Our next destination, Cebu City, we had timed it so that we would be stopping off for a couple of nights for the festival of Sinulog before heading north up to the Island of Malapascua. Unfortunatley we ended up spending at lot longer in Cebu City than we had planned and wanted to!
When we arrived off the ferry the town had ground to a standstill, there were hundreds of people on the streets, taxis weren’t moving anywhere so we took the advice of a local and walked the 5km to our Air bnb, it was a hot walk but it gave us the chance to explore the city. We struggled a bit to find the place but after asking a few helpful locals we managed to narrow it down. Our host was amazing and the room was lovely. A perfect base to enjoy the Sinulog street parade the next day.
Sinulog festival honors Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. The Sinulog dance moves are literally two steps forward and one step backward to a song which I am 100% certain will never ever leave my head. Please listen to the link below, this was playing everywhere for 2 days solid!
We awoke and headed out to watch the parade, it was impressive but not groundbreaking and it really did feel like everyone in Cebu had come to watch. We dipped in and out of the festivities and the shopping center which had some live music, whilst trying to hide out of the rain.
On our last day in Siquijor Andy had been running a bit of a fever, we had been trying to take it easy but the fever didn’t seem to be getting any better, we were due to head to Malapascua which is a very remote island with no doctors so we made the sensible decision to visit a doctor before we went.
A long story which I won’t go into detail of here of trying to navigate Filipino hospitals (which was way more challenging than you might think) and Andy fainting his way out of a hospital lift brings us to a diagnosis of Dengue Fever for Andy. Malapascua and all of it’s awesome shark diving would have to wait.
The Dengue took its toll and it was a week spent in hospital for Andy where he was banned from doing anything that may cause bleeding, including things like brushing his teeth. He did have a TV in his room and the Australian Open tennis was on, so he was content enough. I had a lot of running around to do thanks to the hospital requiring payment for every procedure before they would do it, among other quirks of the system there (it turns out for example that if you need blood you have to find your own blood donor). Luckily he rallied and was released without needing a blood transfusion and still with a couple of days left on our visas. However we had now missed our onward flight to Australia via Bali by a couple of days which was a real pain.
I managed to book some new flights for a few days away, this time via Papua New Guinea (just an airport turnaround and no exploring for us this time). We spent our last couple of days in a nice hotel with great room service for some much needed rest ahead of our next stop: Australia…crikey!