Philippines · Travel Days

Travel Day: Manila to Cebu, Philippines

We started the day out early, I think Ty, and I were up at 4:30am. Ugh jet lag. Ryder was around 5ish and Linc a bit after her. We relaxed in the room for a bit. Ty went for a crazy early run through town. Afterwards we enjoyed another wonderful hotel breakfast.

Our plan for the day was to hit up the amusement park which was right across from the hotel and we could see it from our window. Ty figured out how to buy us tickets online and we thought we were set. We wandered out and noticed that no one was around and no rides were running.

We found someone behind the fencing so we asked him when it opened, he thought 11am. We asked a nearby food vendor, they thought 10am. We asked a nearby store worker, they thought 1pm. Ugh so we had no idea but it wasn’t anytime soon. We went into the mall to find some finger nail clippers. Exciting alternative it was not.

However, right inside the doorway was a fun little kid arcade. The kids were stoked, and Ty was excited since it only cost $5 per kid for 75 tokens. Each activity only cost 1 token so it was actually a super fun time killer. Linc got two stuffies from the claw grabber machines. Unheard of! The interesting thing was there were several adults there, who were obviously regulars at these fishing games. They had buckets and were playing them like retirees at a casino. Ty and I couldn’t figure out if they were actually making money on these fishing games or what the objective was.

We spent quite a while at that arcade. Afterwards we found the biggest grocery store I have ever seen, and needed several associates to locate the tiny nail clippers. From there it was back to the hotel to check on the status of the amusement park. Ty had the front desk call for us, and that’s when we got the news the amusement park was closed! Ugh – just not super successful today.

The decision was made to go to the pool till we needed to leave for the airport. The pool ended up being a good diversion since there were some local kids there and numerous games of Marco Polo were played. We were checking out at 4pm so headed back to the room for showers, and packing.

Also to note, the amusement park did open up at 2pm, while we were at the pool we could see across the roof to the swinging pirate ship and hear the squeals of laughter. Ugh…

Ty’s original plan for us, was to leave Manila and fly to Cebu at 3pm. However, the airlines changed our flight to 7pm. The only other option was to leave at 4:30am, so we stuck with the 7pm option. The only hard part of this was, we’re planning on swimming with whale sharks the next day and have to get picked up at 3am! It would have been a later evening than we planned but tolerable, again if things had gone as planned.

We got to the airport, checked in and they took our bags, went through security, the regular activities. However, when we got though to the gates, we saw a wall of people. Every seat was filled, people were lined up all along the walls, and just seating on the floor where there was space. Ty and I have never seen an airport like that! Nothing was delayed either, this was just how they operate.

We found a tiny corner of the floor, right in front of the gate entrance. We’re there maybe 2 minutes before someone pops out. Great, we figured they were going to tell us to move. Instead it was a random staffer from the VIP lounge, asking us if we wanted to wait for our flight in there. UM YES!! Also the price was $20 for up to 12 people to enter, but there was no one else in there!

Watching an episode of Wednesday!

Then the two ladies rushed in with our premier dinner meals from the airlines.

Granted it was a piece of fried chicken and a packet of white rice but it seemed so odd, and posh that they were delivering us our airline meals before the flight.

We arrived at the airport about 4:30 for our 7pm flight. A bit early but we weren’t sure how early to arrive for a domestic flight in the Philippines. Well 7pm rolls around and there’s no activity. Ugh, we ask the staff and they say the plane is here, they just need to clean it. It takes another hour for them to clean the plan! My efficient American brain is exploding at this point. I asked the staff and they said this was very typical.

We finally take off about 8:30 and the flights only an hour long. We’re all so tired from being up at 4:30am, that we all sleep on the plane. We arrive, get our bags, thankfully this doesn’t take an hour, and go find our hotel driver. So glad this process was smooth.

Ty booked a room that said sleeps 4 online. We arrive and they tell us at check in, nope, just one bed in the room and she tells us it has no couches even. They’re so busy with New Year reservations they have no roll away beds. UGH! We asked for all the extra bedding they can spare, we’ll just make nests on the floor for the kids. We’re beyond exhausted it close to 10pm and we have to get up to meet our driver at 3am!

My poor kids are just passing out wherever they can this trip.

We finally get into a room, and thankfully there’s a couch. We pull the cushions off two chairs and make a bed for Lincoln as we wait for housekeeping to bring blankets, pillows, and sheets. A lady finally shows up and she’s holding one flat sheet… seriously. She said they have nothing because the hotel is so full! She finally offers to grab the bed duvets. Yes please! We put the sheet on the couch and Ryder passes out. Linc has a hotel bathroom tossed on him and he’s asleep. When we finally get the duvets and some extra pillows both kids are already out. It’s been such a long day and the fact we’re getting up so early isn’t making this any easier. But it will be worth it since we get to swim with WHALE SHARKS!

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