Saturday, September 10, 2016
Our Latest Trip to Cebu City
Our recent trip to Cebus had its own positive and negative aspects - its own ups and downs - its own Yin and Yang.
My original plan was to take the first fast craft leaving Sibulan for Liloan, Santander at 5:00 AM. With the time involved in traveling by water, then the bus ride from Santander to the South Bus Terminal, we should arrive in Cebu by 10:00 AM. With luck, we might be able to finish our business with Immigration in time for the last bus returning to Santander that afternoon.
Unfortunately, a defective alarm clock put the kibosh on that plan. We woke up too late for the 5:00 AM departure, taking the 7:00 AM trip instead.
The heavy traffic from the South Bus Terminal to the J Centre Mall, where the Immigration office is located, didn't help either.
On the positive side, everything went better than expected at Immigration. I was able to get my I-Card with only a five minute wait. Getting all the paper work, for my status conversion from probationary resident to permanent stamped, approved and paid for, also went surprisingly well. The fee turned out to be 2000 pesos less than I had expected, and on top of that, we were finished by 2:00 PM. We wouldn't be able to make the last bus to Santander, but it was theoretically possible to catch the last bus going via ferry to Dumaguete. We might not have to spend the night in Cebu after all.
The 10 kilometer taxi ride from the Mall back to the terminal took two hours. We had even bypassed stopping at Krispy Kreme in hopes of still making the bus.
We did make it in time for the last bus, but it was so crowded, and we were so far back in the pack, taking the bus would have involved standing for the five hour trip. We weren't up to that.
My wife and I decided, instead, to head the the hotel where we normally go when staying over night in Cebu. Fortunately for us, there's a suitable cafe adjacent to the hotel. We could get a decent meal and go to bed at a respectable 7:00 PM.
Up before four, we were out of the hotel by 5:00 AM, and in a taxi heading for the terminal. We managed to get a light, non-nutritious breakfast across the street from the terminal and were able to catch the first bus to Santander. It was so early when we left Cebu, the Krispy Kreme located not too far from the hotel was not yet open. We would be leaving the city sans glazed donuts.
We'll be returning to Cebu toward the end of next week for an interview with Immigration. The appointment time is 10:00 AM which means we'll have no other option than to travel to Cebu the day before the interview. We'll be able to be at the Immigration when it opens at 8:00 AM and with a bit of luck, we might even be able to bump up the interview time. Stranger things have happened.
Even with the scheduled 10:00 AM interview, we'll have no problem getting the afternoon Santander bus. We might even have time to go by Krispy Kreme.