Today signalled the return journey of ‘Argie’, the loveable, rickety old orange bus that has served us so well on our journey, to the city of Bacolod. Before our departure, the restaurant we frequented in Sagay provided everyone sandwiches on the house for our bus ride. The trip was long, but short (Long in time, short in kilometres). The weather was hot, but not. The suspension was non-existent (painfully non-existent), but it didn’t matter, because the amazing Swan team was united on their grand journey. Minus a quick stop at a rather murky, shall we say, ‘CR’ (bathroom) on the way back, we headed straight for the hotel, where we dropped our bags and went to lunch at the mall. After strolling through the security checkpoint at the front of the shopping centre, guarded by watchful guards wielding sub-machine guns, we were all given 250 pesos to purchase some food. Some of us went to Jollibee, others to vegetarian, healthy options, and one particular person, certainly, the most handsome, insightful and wise person on this trip, went to KFC. After our food adventure, we split off into gender-assigned activities: the girls went to a salon and the guys went to either the barber, or went to the massage parlour. At the salon, the girls were given the choices of manicures, pedicures, facials and hair treatments; all of which were lovely and allowed the participants to feel refreshed and relaxed. The guys got wonderful massages that soothed the muscles and re-energised their mojo’s. Everyone returned to the hotel where we rested for close to an hour, and ‘snazzed’ up for our dinner hosted by the governor, who ironically, yet unsurprisingly, was absent from the occasion. Outside, with fairy lights wrapped around trees, we sat on beautiful circular tables and ate lovely local food, watched extravagant traditional dances, and got our own groove on with a band playing for the rest of the evening; disco lights in full swing. Now, at quarter to eleven, we need to be up at 4:30 tomorrow for our appearance on television. Sleep is needed, and must be sought.
Alex & Emily P