Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Typical Day in Cebu (or is that Ubec?), Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

It's around 8 a.m. Sunday morning in Cebu, and I've assigned myself the impossible task of describing my typical day here.  I'm not sure I can do this because when I'm here there's usually something going on like the Fiesta last week.  Last week for instance, I had house guests, Susan Brooks and Elaine Sweet, and I brought them around to see the tourist sites of Old Cebu. Aside from that there were the fiesta activities, the triduum prayers at the chapel, followed by some camaraderie. For three nights in a row, we were up until 2 a.m., talking and drinking margaritas.

Now that the fiesta is over and my guests have gone, life slowed down. I start the day by having a leisurely breakfast in my flat.  (This morning's breakfast was tea and bibingka rice cake).) I have my laptop with me and also my notebook and I do some writing or editing. I will be honest and admit that I check my emails and waste quite a lot of time on Facebook and so on.

Mid-day is when I do my errands, which is not the best time here in the tropics.  Noon until around 3 p.m. is the hottest time of the day, and one ought to run around first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the heat has not began or has subsided.  In any case, I've gotten into this routine, the same one I have in Santa Monica; and so at around 11 or so, I'm in Ayala or SM or some other place to pick up this or that.  Recently I ordered bamboo screens for the back patio and I got these at the Carbon Market, our wet market, which should be the cheapest place for these local products, except I foolishly did not haggle and ended up paying twice what I should have. (Never mind. My mother used to say, they need it more than we do.)

Early afternoon is traditional siesta time, and I generally return to my flat and take it easy.  Again, the heat forces you to have this schedule.  I don't actually sleep but continue my writing or reading. Okay, I'll admit that sometimes I do snooze.

Usually at around 5 p.m. I pull myself together and walk to the Cathedral (8 minute walk) to catch the 5:30 Mass.  After Mass I take a walk and go past the noisy starlings in the eucalyptus trees near the City Hall to the new park in the Historic District. I catch the wonderful sea breeze.  After that, I head back to my flat, passing the City Hall, Magellan's Cross, the Basilica Santo Nino, and the Cathedral.

Usually I have dinner with friends, but not all the time.  When I'm by myself I fix a light supper and spend the quiet evening writing or reading some more.

It's the rainy season now, but so far Cebu hasn't been too bad. (Manila has had some bad storms.)  So the small umbrella I keep in my bag serves to protect me from rain and from the sun.  (People don't wear sun hats here, although they really should because the sun can be fierce.) 

I caught a cold the other day. I had an itchy throat, then a dry cough, but no fever, and even though I sound awful when I cough, it's not really so bad. I've been resting a lot to keep this cough in check. 

As I sit here now, I hear the roosters crowing, and the sun is shining through some clouds. It will no doubt rain later on today. Zulueta Street outside is quiet today because it's Sunday and not a work day. Tomorrow the jeepneys and cars will be plentiful and noisy and the street will be full of life.

Photos: My view from where I sit; Group photo of dinner at the Radisson the other night: Seated l-r:
 Inday Blanco, Terry Manguerra; Standing l-r: Chinggay Utzurrum, Cecilia Brainard, Chona Bernad

Read also
The Bachelors and Femina Days of Cebu - Memorabilia photos
Old Photographs and Memories 
The Schools I attended, Part 1, St.Theresa's College
The Schools I attended, Part 2, UP & Maryknoll
The Schools I attended, Part 3, UCLA

Saying Goodbye to Papa
Where the Daydreaming Came From 
Death of a Carnival Queen

Tags: Cebu, Philippines, Historic Cebu, Parian, Cecilia Brainard, travel

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