Saturday 6th May 2023
This morning we had quite the sleep in. I think I woke around 8am to go to the bathroom then went back to sleep and woke just after 10am.
By the time we got ready for the day, the cafe downstairs had stopped serving breakfast so we Google mapped where we knew there was a beauty spa we could get Nails/Hair/Skin done and figured we would just find something to eat around there.
Bree ordered the GRAB (as per usual as for some reason my credit card isn’t working on the app) and our driver came and picked us up in his boy racer car 😂 when I opened the door there was this massive cockroach 🪳 on the inside door so the driver had to come round and get rid of it for me
When we arrived at this little shopping area called ‘The Greenery’ we quickly noticed there weren’t really any place of interest for us to eat at. It’s definitely a Philippine thing because they loveeeee their chicken! Literally every place is a chicken store and so many food outlets sell chicken 😂 I think our options were chicken or seafood and we weren’t keen on either so we walked 10 minutes down the road to a cafe called Abaca Bakery Cafe. I mentioned in my last post about how so many restaurants, cafes and stores here seem super over staffed and lots of people just stand around… well that was definitely the case with Abaca Bakery. We walked in and there was one person sitting and having a coffee and cake. We walked to the counter and they had two staff at the till (one a trainee and one training) then two other guys behind the cabinet. Then they had another 4-5 staff off to the side of the counter just standing there watching. It’s honestly so awkward (this has happened to us a few times) where we walk in a place and it’s dead silent and they all just look at us and wait intensely to what we’re after. I ordered a Calamansi Juice as I kept seeing it advertised everywhere and wanted to try it. Along with a toasted bagel and lamington. Bree ordered a toasted bagel as well but she skipped the drink as she grabbed one from somewhere else prior. After confirming our order about 3 times they got our name and we went and sat down at a table.
Now this is the weirdest thing. When the juice & Lamington were ready, they put it on the counter and called out my name to go up and get it. Call me crazy but there’s literally all these staff standing there doing absolutely nothing that they could have just brought it to our table 😂 but instead, we got up and walked to the counter as they all watched us in silence to pick up our food and sit back down. When our bagels were ready they did the same thing, called our name out and watched us get up and get them just to sit back down again. I can totally understand when it’s a busy cafe you wait for your name to be called and you grab your drink or whatever but they literally had one customer and all these people had nothing to do. When we started eating our food, one staff member came over to me and said “I’m so sorry ma’am but we do not allow outside drinks in the cafe” and handed me a paper bag for Bree to put her drink in 😂 totally fine, but 1. I’m obviously not the one with the drink so I don’t know why she didn’t direct this to Bree and 2. Did it matter that much? As like, no one else was there. Haha, it is what it is but just little things like that make me think, would you not have just let that slide? 😂 I dunno… I’m just adjusting to the culture I suppose.
The bagels were actually really good! I’ve come to the conclusion that Filipinos make really yummy bread.
We walked back to The Greenery and went to this skin clinic called DMV Dermatology so Bree could enquire about Skin frequency type treatments – however they said she’d have to make an appointment with the clinic doctor before she could get any treatments done? We had no time for that and also didn’t see the point of it so we declined and went to another beauty place called Revive. (Note: we had Instagram searched all these places prior to arriving and they looked so nice but when you turn up it’s such a different story and every place you go to looks really dodgy 😂) Bree booked in to have a pedicure done and I asked for a manicure with backfill. (This took a lot of explaining as they thought I wanted extensions on all of my nails) I had two ladies working on my nails and one lady massaging my feet.
As they do it over here, they filed my old gel colour off then scraped it off with the cuticle remover 🙃 then they used this tube of gel looking substance to put on all my nails to ‘backfill’ them. Everything is an experience honestly 😅 the end result was fine, however they did look a little round and clunky but I suppose they were better than before.
The whole process took nearly 2 hours. Bree and I started at the same time and her pedicure took just as long as my nails. One thing to note over here, everything is definitely on ‘Island Time’ and there is no rush to go anywhere or get anything done quickly. Something which we’re learning to adjust to 😅
While we were getting our nails done, this cute little 4 year old girl came in with her Mum and Nanny to get her nails and hair done. Just had visions of my future child haha! While her nails were getting painted her Nanny was hand feeding her chicken 😂 (of course)
It was after 4pm by the time we finished so the day had pretty much come to an end for us. We headed back to our hotel and I dropped some washing off at the laundromat across the road to get done before we headed off to El Nido the next day.
While the was getting done, good ole’ Bree spent an hour at the hotel gym while I went in the pool and lounged in a pool chair 😂
It was 6pm before we knew it and we were starting to think about dinner. As the mall was really the only place of familiarity at this point, we ordered a car to take us to Ayala Centre and had dinner at this Italian Restaurant, finished off with ice creams at Dairy Queen 😋
We hadn’t washed our hair since we left Australia and wanted to treat ourselves to Blow-waves so we booked at a hair salon at the mall (that had good reviews) called David’s Salon. We were tossing up whether to get Kerastase Hair Treatments but as we were heading to El Nido the next day and would be doing a boat tour with swimming we decided to save that for another day.
I confirmed with the receptionist we could both get our hair done the next morning at 10am and she booked us in.
It wouldn’t be an Asia holiday without a massage every day so we ordered a car to take us to a different massage place called Aloha Massage & Cafe (again, good reviews on Google)
It was located in the weirdest place though – right next door to a pub playing super loud music and live bands with lots of people all outside at tables drinking and smoking. You literally had to weave your way through the tables to get to the massage parlour. Once you were inside the massage parlour you could still hear the band playing and everyone laughing and talking outside so I wasn’t sure how relaxing this massage was going to be…
When we arrived, the receptionist asked if we’d made an appointment so I immediately thought “wow this place must be good if you have to book”
Bree booked a volcanic hot stone massage for 90 minutes and I did the Swedish 90 minute massage. (AUS$18)
The experience started off great, we were escorted to a little area where they washed and scrubbed our feet and put flip flops on for us. Then they took us to a curtained room where we could lay down on these massage beds and put on these disposable shorts 😂. It was however so dark that I probably put mine on back to front. You wouldn’t want to be elderly as you could barely see a thing.
Massage started off fine however THE PRESSURE was a massive let down. Prior to the massage they had us fill out these forms saying how you wanted your pressure and where you wanted them to focus. I circled neck & head and wanted STRONG pressure. The pressure was so weak. Plus she kept going over the same area with the same movement over and over and over again. I was so close to asking her to change it up as the movements were starting to irritate me 😅 and she wasn’t really massaging deep anywhere, just lots of soft strokes up and down and not getting in anywhere. I’ve gathered because I’m pregnant everyone treats me like a glass vase Incase they break me which is super frustrating. Not to mention she spent barely any time on my head and neck I wondered why I even bothered filling out the form 🤦♀️ Half way through the massage though, the LOUDEST snoring was coming from Bree’s side of the room and I had to keep stifling my laughter that she’d fallen asleep this fast and that she actually even snored that loud. I kept thinking ‘wow she must have been SO tired’ however towards the end of the massage when I peeked over at her I realised it wasn’t even her but the person in the curtained room next door to her. Not the most relaxing experience with spa music playing + the live band + some guy snoring his head off all at once but we survived 😅
It must just be my massage’s over here being not up to par as Bree said her massage was great! Plus there were some people before us that re-booked for the next day so if you’re ever in Cebu and want a massage I wouldn’t completely write off Aloha Massage & Cafe.
When we got back to the hotel it was after midnight so it was straight into bed after having showers. Thank god we were leaving Cebu the next day as we were running out of things to entertain us. Hopefully my next post will be a bit more interesting as we head off to El Nido! ☺️