Project Breaking Down Barriers:  From Bohol to Cebu, to Leyte, to Samar
Lunch at STK (Photo taken by STK waiter, STK in Cebu, December 2012)

Project Breaking Down Barriers: From Bohol to Cebu, to Leyte, to Samar

Our 15-day Philippine tour was almost coming to an end.  And, we intended for it to be a blast.

On our last evening in Tagbilaran, we had dinner with our couchsurfing host, Malou.  She’s a bubbly lady who was very helpful to us for this entire Bohol leg of our trip.  We met at one of the malls in Tagbilaran and, when I saw her, I just knew that she was the person that we were going to meet.

Tara, Malou, and me

It was sort of a weird and pleasant experience for me, meeting our host couchsurfers for the first time.  I got this vibe from Russell, our host in Sabangan, Malou, and would get this from Fernz, our host in Samar.  To me, they exuded this open, accommodating, generous, and adventurous persona.  Like, we all share this love for life and experiences and travel.

Tara, Malou, and me

We had dinner at Acacia de Bubu, a place where they serve grilled food.  We ordered pork barbecue, chicken barbecue, and Tara the vegetarian added chorizo, of all things.  We shared the stories from our travel with Malou and just laughed through most of the night.  It was great having that chance to meet her and have a conversation with her.

Crazy-faced Tara

In the morning, we bade good-bye to Malou, her caring mother, and funny father.  Tara and I then headed to the port so we wouldn’t miss our 7:00 AM ferry ride to Cebu.

Once in Cebu, Tara and I found our way to my buddy, Therese’s, restaurant, Casa Verde main branch.  She was supposed to join us in Samar but decided against it when we found out how much tickets would cost for her for an overnight trip.  It would just really not be worth it.

We had lunch at Sugba, Tula, Kilaw (STK), a restaurant owned by one of Therese’s relatives.  There, we got to sample their super tasty scallops.  It was very delicious that I savored every bite I took.

Let's eat!


We got to the airport an hour before our scheduled flight.  We planned on hanging out for a bit more and have conversations about the travel and what our plans for the next few days would be.  But, a few minutes after checking in, we heard a call for Cebu Pacific passengers going to Tacloban.  Apparently, the captain requested for an early fly-out.  It was so weird for me because, uhm, early departure in Cebu?  Again?  Anyway, we left Therese at the airport, where she was going to wait for her flight to Manila scheduled an hour after ours.  We later on found out that it got delayed by an hour.  Poor buddy.  Good thing she brought a book with her!

The flight to Tacloban from Cebu took just a few minutes.  In my mind, our plane had just taken off and then a few minutes after, the crew announced that we were already descending.  Tara and I were looking at each other and almost at the same time blurted out, “Are you kidding me?”  Haha!

When we got to Tacloban, we hopped on a jeepney that took us to the main highway.  They were telling us to ride another jeepney to the mall where we were supposed to meet our host, Fernz.  But, Tara and I decided against it.  I mean, what’s another walking along a busy highway to add to our list anyway?

Tara went to Western Union to withdraw money that she was going to use for buying banigs or weaved mats in Basey.  But, there was an error in the transfer so she didn’t get any.  I had a few extra bucks with me so I could lend her some to pay for the bus, dinner, and beach.  But, we wouldn’t have enough to buy lots of the beautiful creations of the people of Basey.  Oh well.

We took a jeepney to the terminal and waited for a bit for the van going to Marabut in Samar to leave.  So, we took this time to get more acquainted with our host.

Fernz is a nurse in a public hospital.  He’s been a couchsurfer for a while now and would usually entertain anyone who requests to be shown around Leyte or Samar.  According to him, his province is the road less traveled.  So, he takes every opportunity to show anyone who’s interested in seeing the beauty of it.  He also practices yoga and climbs mountains.  He’s writing a book about their region and is almost nearing visiting all provinces part of it!

We crossed the famous San Juanico Bridge at night.  It was really beautiful.  And, long.  Then, we got to our fourth province for today, Samar.

We stayed at French Kiss Beach Resort.  We were the only guests.  We walked along the highway to a nearby but more expensive resort, where we had dinner.  And, spent the rest of the night having conversations about life, love, and adventure, over a cup of coffee and bread.  A great way to cap our last night of the trip.


Coffee and bread

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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.

See ya,

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  1. Ge Ann

    that’s my good friend fernando…

    1. monica

      Oh, cool!!!

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