Posted by: Jill | June 22, 2008

Sisig, Fengshen, and my first San Miguel Beer

So here I am, two days into the Philippines and feeling somewhat aimless. I’ll report to CCE (the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation) tomorrow morning, and hopefully have something more to do with my time. For now, though, Typhoon Fengshen means the weather has been less than great and I’ve been a bit too sheepish to wander far from my lovely hotel. Still need to get the hang of this solo traveling thing.

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve now gone to the mega Ayala Mall twice in two days. It’s the thing that everyone here does, so for now I can fall back on the “experiencing local culture” excuse. That, and it’s rainy and windy outside. Ayala Mall is basically what one might expect from any mall: big, modern, shiny and fluorescent, though there is only one Starbucks. Today I rejuvenated with a book and a drink in one of the Bo’s Coffee Clubs (the Philippine version of Starbucks, and one of the only places I could find to sit down without loud music or video games) and watched the standing room only Catholic mass right outside.

Mass in the Mall

This evening I had dinner at the cozy Wine Shop, a wine and tapas bar run by a friendly Spanish expat. In addition to enjoying my first San Miguel beer (anyone who’s dined with me knows my affection for local beer), I tried sisig: marinated pig’s head, all tender and yummy. It was delicious, and far tastier than the other tapas I ordered (both mayonnaise-coated). While I ate, I watched the typhoon-induced downpour through the window. The blurry vehicle in this photo is one of the more modestly decorated jeepneys that ply the streets of Cebu City. Jeepneys are the local public transportation system. I have yet to ride on one, but if I do I will certainly pick one with big silver wings and maybe some pink and blue airbrush detailing.

Jeepney in the rain

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