I didn’t know which was worse – the young, tattooed Asian dude constantly being smooched by his thickly eye-lashed girlfriend in front of us or the little kid crying sporadically behind us. In the end the little kid won when he threw up and peed during our decent into Tokyo. I can’t say much about the airplane food either which also almost made me want to throw up.
After a painful 22 hours of travel we arrived in Manila bleary eyed but excited. We were a little behind schedule but going past immigration and collecting our bags was a breeze. The exit doors opened and our Philippine adventure officially began. Our first task was to try to pick out my aunt from a sea of waiting faces. Fortunately, ‘the Chef’ stands way above the height of the average Filipino. Even with his eagle eyes and circling the waiting area a dozen times we could not find her. We had our ‘Philippines’ cell phone with us but without a load it was useless. Eventually, we found her. I’ve discovered given enough time things always seem to iron themselves out. The hardest part is you need patience.
I knew we would be coming during the hot season but I didn’t realize just how hot it was. We arrived smack in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures hovering in the 32 degree celsius range and humidity making it feel like 40. ‘The Chef’ and I would be sitting around my aunt’s kitchen table and I would see the beads of sweat build on his forehead. Good thing we brought lots of handkerchiefs. Meanwhile back in Toronto we found out there was a frost warning!
Our sense of time was already eroding. It didn’t help that clocks here never seem to be set to the exact time. We were staying with my aunt in Laguna before heading down to Coron, to acclimatize and get a few important tasks accomplished. We were ready for bigger challenges waiting for us in Palawan.