Of course this all would have been more interesting if I had written updates while Mom and Dad were actually here, but we packed the days full of sight-seeing, so I didn’t have the time or energy.
In the weeks leading up to their visit, we did a lot of careful planning. Daniel and Zion and Ben and I talked over where we wanted to take them in great detail. We even discussed which restaurants we would take them to. I cook as little as possible over here (my oven/range is a temperamental beast, the daytime temperature in our house hovers around 90 degrees, and the import foods tend to be pretty pricy), and restaurants here are cheaper than in the States. We were so excited for their arrival. Knox, in particular, could hardly contain his excitement. He talked about Bapa constantly.
Mom and Dad arrived on Wednesday, April 20. Now if you know our family, you know that we never do things the easy way. We more-or-less DIY everything. If you ask us, we’ll tell you we’re being resourceful, saving some dough, getting a better deal. Sometimes, it’s great. Sometimes, not. Mom and Dad’s journey to Cebu was in the latter category. They left Bloomington on Monday morning and didn’t arrive in Cebu until Wednesday night. They were “in transit” for 48 hours. They first drove to Chicago then flew to Seoul then flew to Manila then flew to Lapu-Lapu in Cebu. All of this was according to plan. But they got stuck in Manila waiting in a crowded airport terminal for a delayed flight for most of a day. It was rough.
Despite the jet lag, we wasted no time when they arrived. On day 1, we headed to Magellan’s cross and the Santo Niño Basilica. Remember Magellan? He was the first man to circumnavigate the globe. Oh wait, no he wasn’t… Magellan would have been the first man to circumnavigate the globe, but when he got to the Philippine islands, Cebu looked like a good place to go ashore. He planted this very cross on Cebu island upon arrival. Then he converted one chief to Roman Catholicism and gave him a statue of the baby Jesus. Next he got killed by another chief. So the men of his crew became the first to circumnavigate the globe.
From the moment Bapa arrived, Knox had to be constantly at his side or in his arms.
From there, we went to the Santo Niño Basilica, built in 1739. Remember that baby Jesus statute that Magellan gave to the chief? That statue, called the Santo Niño, became the sort of patron saint of Cebu. How a statue/idol can be a patron saint is beyond me. The biggest fiesta of the year in Cebu is called Sinulog, and is a celebration of Santo Niño. I’ve been told that I look like the Santo Niño. Ummm thanks?
We took a peek at the people filing through the chapel to venerate the Santo Niño. Then we sat in the courtyard while Bapa and Knox tossed coins in the fountain.
This picture made us laugh and laugh. Where did Knox get that enormous arm???
Next stop was Fort San Pedro, a Spanish fort built in 1738. The fort was first founded to protect the port from Muslim invaders. Then it was rebuilt and served as the center of the Philippines’ first Spanish settlement.
We ended the day with Thai food and some much-needed gelato.