Ribs, dancing and news of death in Cebu.
Posting this from the hotel lobby while waiting for breakfast.
2 hours ago, I had the most amazing massage at a 24-hour Thai spa near the hotel but they used the wrong massage oil. I asked for lavender to help me sleep but they switched it with Nan’s peppermint oil, meant to keep him awake. Now I’m wide awake as fuck but maybe for a good reason.
Yesterday started as out as probably the busiest day I had here. My day was packed. Market research is the mission and training is the ammunition. I needed to stay at Moonleaf Cebu till noon. Midday, Faye whisked me off to Casa Verde, a restaurant infamous for their gigantic portions. Ribs are the star of this much-recommended foodie haunt and I had to have it. Humongous (it was actually a pair of honeyed slabs of ribs) indeed and I even skipped the rice to have more space for it in my tummy, but I wasn’t able to finish everything.
More work to do afterwards and my good friend Niche came from Manila for the long weekend and to help launch Nick Automatic’s new collection. I’ve been a fan of this brand for quite sometime and it was a great pleasure to meet Nico, their head honcho. Gushing around the store made for quite an unexpected gift — a free shirt!
After that, Niche and I visited Zee Lifestyle’s headquarters and gave milk tea to their hardworking team who were closing an upcoming issue. Glad to have met these guys as I have been a reader of Zee for quite a time.
Evening rolled in and I headed to Outpost again this time with Nan and his group. There was a band playing giving the whole place an intense Cubao X vibe. All they needed was a DJ set. But this didn’t happen, so at Niche’s invitation, we went to Vudu, the local superclub. Loved that the DJ had 3 hype boys, I mean why the heck not? It was pandemonium.
After dirty dancing with the locals (loljk no), we went to the wonderful spa I wrote about earlier. Eyes wide open after that energy jolt of a massage, I went back to the hotel and recharged my phone. I decided to wait just less than an hour for breakfast.
In no time my phone rang and out rolled messages from various family members. Our dear Lola Mary, my paternal grandmother, has passed away after a long illness. She’s my Lola Americana - fresh from Michigan, daughter of missionary parents, she married at 17 and had 13 children. She ran a strict army wife’s household but with such flair for the fabulous and flamboyant. Regaled by tales of balls they hosted in the vast dance hall of the Estrada ancestral house, I idolized Lola as an icon not only of entertaining and good manners, but of style. Once, she refused to go inside the operating room because she didn’t have makeup on. The first time she welcomed me in to her room and had a look at her dresser complete with cosmetics with names I couldn’t pronounce (they were in French) and her trying on her made to order dresses — that was my first fashion moment, I was 5 or 6.
Lola has been sick for quite sometime but she always had a happy smile for us, her gazillion grandchildren. We will miss her very, very much.
One more full day in sunny Cebu. I bite into this wonderfully crispy danggit and dream of my childhood summers in the family beach in Lanao del Norte, my Lola on the shore tending to the food and busy keeping her lace dress dry from the rushing tide.