A Tropical Christmas Means White Sand Beaches

Mactan, Cebu. December 2011.

I had the opportunity to bring my son with me on our last trip to attend a media event in Cebu city. It’s the island where Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, landed and named the country after Spain’s King Philip. In Mactan, he was eventually killed by tribal leader Lapu-Lapu (now the name of a tasty white fish). Today, Mactan is a hotel-filled vacation spot, with pretty little beaches and a thriving tourist industry.

Karsten and I checked out the old Hilton Hotel (now M√∂venpick Resort, where we celebrated the latest international awards of Manny O Wines–nearly 50 now!), Crimson Resort and Spa, and Maribago Bluewater Resort.We felt so blessed and spoiled, having slept in the same suite where Apl.de.Ap. of Black Eyed Peas stayed, eating buffets breakfast, lunch and dinner, having our own plunge pool in the private terrace and soaking up the sun. (Thanks to all our sponsors, mentioned above!)

I was so very impressed by the service we were given in those resorts. Cebuanos, the people of Cebu, seem to have a sense of self-esteem that I feel is lacking in Manila. The bellboys, bartenders and drivers would chat with us casually and confidently. It was refreshing, and the kind of service I appreciate, where you feel that people actually enjoy their jobs or at least keep a positive attitude.

Because we are leaving for a white Christmas, I wanted my son to experience a tropical one first, even with our fake, plastic evergreen. Playing with sand between his toes, and attempting a tan, for starters. The grainy sand was a new sensation for him. At first he was too concerned with keeping his feet clean, but after awhile he warmed up to the waves, and didn’t want to leave.

It continues to amaze me how different life in various parts of this planet are–the climate, the food, the surroundings. But, as long as your heart is content, you can take happiness and sunshine with you wherever you go.

I will miss many things about Asia, as we pack our bags today to make another journey across the world, just my son and I. But I also look forward to new discoveries, wondering how Karsten will again enjoy the snow, the wintry forests, the real Christmas trees.

We continue our nomadic adventures, and I keep my heart open, ready for whatever tomorrow will bring…


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