I woke up the next morning bright and early with the sun shining right on my face. I quickly freshened up and checked out before heading to the lobby to meet my father’s friend. Gerry Rodriquez was the man who would be meeting me today. He was tall and had a commanding presence about him and a charming personality. We spent the time in the morning getting to know each other. He was curious as to why I was in the Philippines and he found my mission to do charity work to be inspiring. He also heard about my time in South America and some of the other work I had been up to. Soon he dropped me at the Cebu North Bus Terminal. This is where I would take the three-four hour bus journey up north to the ferry to Bantayan Island. He helped me obtain a ticket and helped me to load my bag on the bus. We agreed that we would meet again when I was back in Cebu which would be in five days.
The bus left at precisely twenty three minutes behind the scheduled departure towards the beautiful island up north. The drive was almost exclusively on highways and it gave me the chance to take photos of the beautiful Cebu Island countryside. Although most of the route was inland, we had sections of the drive where hugged along the coast. We caught a glimpse of the beautiful south china sea in a rich blue colour.
A glimpse of the South China Sea
Some of the stalls near the ferry port
After driving through some lush green scenery we finally reached the ferry terminal to catch the boat to the island. After a short while, we boarded the ferry for a short one hour journey across the sea.
The crystal blue waters of the South China Sea
Eventually, we reached the island and I boarded one of the local tricycles which would bring me to the hotel where I would be staying. I quickly set myself up in the room before calling the contact that Mr Macatulad had given me. I met the contact Laurie by the beach. Laurie gave me a presentation on the work I would be doing and a short history of the build site I would be working on. I was also introduced to Eric, my guide who would be bringing me to and from the site. He would also be acting as my tour guide on this island.
After the briefing, Laurie and Francis took me into town to show me some of the sights. After organising packed lunch for me to bring to the build site I was taken to the main church in Santa Fe. I caught a glimpse of the yearly celebration of Flores de Mayo.
The main church in Santa Fe
This is when children attend classes for the entire month of may in their local church. It was nice to see all the local children taking part in the yearly communal celebration that takes place throughout the island. After going around the town I headed back to my hotel and said goodbye to Laurie and Eric. Eric arranged to meet me tomorrow at 8 in the morning. Afterwards, I just relaxed in the hotel and on the beach before getting a light dinner and an early night.
The flawless beach