Woke up the next morning in Cebu to the continuing sound of the roosters doing their thing. Our couchsurfing host let me and my girlfriend sleep on his bed while he slept on a small couch literally 2 feet away from us. Still, I couldn’t complain, especially after what we went through the night before (which I wrote about in the Day 1 post). We met some of our host’s other couchsurfers who we staying outside in a tent. A guy from Germany, a girl from Spain, and another guy from LA, who went to college in San Diego. Naturally I spoke mostly with the fellow Californian and we shared our first impressions on the Philippines.
We all then hopped on a Jeepney. This local way of transportation was a weird experience. Designed after American WW2 jeeps, and decorated and painted to the drivers preferences, each Jeepney is unique and goes to different locations. I had no idea how my host knew the difference between Jeepneys, but we followed him on one anyway. We were crammed on two rows facing eachother sitting next to locals. We were lucky to have enough space for our bags and it was a decently comfortable ride.
We arrived at Magellan’s cross. Apparently the spot where he put a cross marking the arrival of catholicism from Spain. I remember my teachers in school briefly telling us about Magellan. They never mentioned his true mission of his journey around the world. “Heaven forbid” one of us may have been inspired to travel to other places besides Israel, or even worse, learn about catholicism. After a few minutes taking pictures and walking around the old church nearby, we went to the ferry dock to go to Bohol.
While waiting in line to buy tickets, I heard a guy speaking in Hebrew, asking what time the ferry left. My immediate thought was that he was talking to me. I turned around and saw him and two other Israelis (who were clearly just out of the army) look right back at me. I’m not sure if they knew I understood what they were saying, or if they noticed my chai necklace, but I tried to act like I didn’t know they were there. They were still confused when they were waiting in line, asked the couchsurfer from LA in English about the right ticket to buy, and they told him they were from Israel. The couchsurfer immediately looked at me and was about to say something. Shortly after he mentioned to me how he remembered I told him I speak Hebrew and that he thought I wouldn’t want to be speaking to Israelis on my travels. He was right. I’m not sure what it was, but it felt uncomfortable to be around Israelis when I wasn’t in Israel. Maybe I just wanted to avoid a long conversation with them explaining how I knew Hebrew, why I was in the Philippines, and why I was no longer dati (religious).
We arrived in Bohol a few hours later and went our own ways. Our host was nice enough to help us buy a local sim card in order to contact our new host in Bohol. When we finally arrived at her place, we felt pretty comfortable. She’s American, lived in a really nice apartment for Philippine standards, and had a really friendly dog (looked like the dog in the Target ads). She had a local friend (my girlfriend and I still think it’s her boyfriend) who was there as well. Got to watch some NBA with him and eat a home cooked meal. We made sure to go to bed early for a long day ahead.
The sounds of roosters doing their thing once again put us to sleep.