Monday, April 18, 2011

Cebu Paradise

Over the years, we have gotten to most places close to Hong Kong. Somehow we had missed the closest place which is Cebu. We recently we were lucky enough to get there. In the Philippines, Cebu is just a 2 hour flight due south from Hong Kong. Cebu, a long narrow island with many other smaller islands clustered around it, has some interesting history. Ferdinand Magellan landed there in 1521 during his attempted circumnavigation of the globe. Sadly, he died there in a battle between the Portuguese and Spanish explorers and native people. He left behind a wooden cross that still remains but we did not see it. In fact, we only drove by the large Magellan monument that marks the place he is thought to have died. We drove by, pointed it out to the kids, and kept moving in the direction of our resort. We came for the resort and stayed at the resort. We are not nearly as adventurous as Magellan or even as adventurous as we usually are but we did find a little bit of paradise. 

The resort was lovely with beautifully manicured grounds and huge pools. What set this resort apart from the others however was the ocean. The beach and water right off the resort were the cleanest we had ever seen in Asia. The kids ran right into the clear blue water and started yelling about all the fish they could see. Starting from the beach, you could strap on your googles and see everything from clown fish to giant clams to lion fish. We loved to spot these brilliant blue starfish and commonly called out blue starfish alerts. Tori was thrilled to see a parasitic fish, saying that she never thought she would be so lucky as to see that (note: Tori studies parasities). Everything else was too numerous to note. We all swam around admiring the coral and fish, getting sunburns on the back of our legs for the first time ever from staying face down in the water so long.

With tons to do in a gorgeous environment, we gravitated to the basics when we needed to get out of the sun and surf. We loved the breakfast buffet. We loved reading Harry Potter poolside. We loved the water slide at the pool, not to mention the ice cream store at the pool. The kids kept kicking off their shoes and running barefoot on the grass. Then Tori lost a tooth. (Previously, Royce lost a tooth in Singapore and Tori lost a tooth in Beijing. Our kids can talk about the tooth fairy and international exchange rates in the same sentence). We keep doing ordinary things in extraordinary places yet all the while wanting extraordinary experiences for our three little people's ordinary childhoods. Somewhere in the between the glamorous and the mundane, we enjoyed another great Southeast Asian beach vacation. And we have the sunburns to prove it.