Thursday, December 24, 2009

Noche Buena!

Merry Christmas Eve from the Philippines! We made it here safely
yesterday morning, after flying all night, and have been taking it all
in since then.

Yesterday, we stayed in a hotel on Mactan Island, near the city of
Lapu Lapu. (The first picture is the view from our 18th-floor sea-view
room!) Today, we took a shuttle bus into the city of Cebu, did a bit
of sightseeing with our luggage in tow, and then hopped on a bus to
the town of Moalboal. (A 2-3 hour ride across the island of Cebu,
including incredible sea views and a trip up and down the island's
small mountains.) We arrived at the very small resort (only 8 rooms)
where we're staying for the next two nights and, tonight, we were
treated to the traditional Filipino Christmas Eve "Noche Buena"
celebration. This included lots of food (including the unlucky pig in
the second picture) a sangria-like drink, and observing some
traditional singing and party games.

Other reminders of Christmas have included decorations and groups of
Filipino carolers (all with a guitar for accompaniment.) Without
those, it would be even more difficult for this Midwestern girl to
feel like it's really Christmas in 80 degree weather!

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