After a very stressful time waiting on J.P.'s passport to arrive, we were finally able to leave on time for Dumaguete on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. We arrived, safe and sound, Monday 7:30 AM Philippine time (Sunday 7:30 PM). I won't try and go into too many details about the flight over.....15 hours, non-stop from Atlanta to Seoul, South Korea then after a three hour lay-over a four hour flight to Manila. We had to wait for the 6:30 AM flight to Dumaguete. As an aside to my friends coming to Dumaguete; Air Philippine is no longer in the "Old Domestic" airport. They've transferred to Terminal Two with Philippines Airlines.
There was one surprise at Immigration in Manila. Normally, as a foreigner, I receive a 21 day Visa and have to pay a tax for any additional time. However, this time,perhaps because I am married to a Philippine citizen, J.P. and I both were given "Balik Bayan" visas....good for one year. I told the Immigration officer that that was very nice but I couldn't stay here that long because of work.
We were met at the airport in Dumaguete by two of my wife's sister who had hired a tricycle driver to take us to Mama and Papa's place. We had some many pieces of luggage that the tricycle couldn't travel very fast. We can only get so close to Mama and Papa's place and had to hand carry the bags the last leg.
Not long after breakfast, Cathy and I and the baby were finally able to lay down a bit. It was the first time in more than 30 hours that Cathy and I could lay down. J.P. was able to get a little sleep on the plane but Cathy and I were not so lucky.
It was after 3PM when we awoke. I wanted to hurry into town before the Forex money exchange office closed. To our surprise, we did not make it in time and had to find a money changer on the street. I was leery of them the first time I used their services a few years ago but now it's not so hard to do.
This A.M., Cathy's brother, Jesse Boy, brought me into the city. Again Forex was closed.....I guess it will be closed for all of Holy Week.So it was back to the money changers, than to Western Union to send money to another sister in law for the travel expenses for her and husband and baby to come to Dumaguete from Dipolog. Jesse Boy and I made our way to Super Lee Plaza to buy a cook stove for Mama. He headed back home with the stove and money for rice and he'll fetch me later. It would be impossible for me to find my way back home again. I've been to Dumaguete often enough to know my way to Sibulan but I'd never be able to find the house from the Highway.
I'm at Scooby's now .... I'll send a few emails then go out for some photos before meeting Jesse Boy at Dunkin' Donuts. I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload any photos for the blog while I'm here but I'll try, next time.