Advisory: Before reading this post, I’d like to give the readers a heads up. This post may include negative comments towards Cebu. These are just a few thoughts I had when I first got here last year. I have nothing against the people, the government or the place in general. I love Cebu! This was my summer place when I was younger. My grandmother is a Bisaya who grew up in Balamban. If you’re mind today is not as open as others, I would suggest to go back to this post some other time. Lastly, I’d love to see your thoughts below. 😉
When I first came to Cebu I only have a couple of words. The basic one’s; “unsa” for what, “asa” for where, “dili” for no, “oo” for yes, and the numbers which are also the same as my mother tongue’s I hardly speak nor understand the language. Whenever I can’t say it in Cebuano, I say it Tagalog with a bit of shyness. Not that I am shy using the main language, it’s just that it feels awkward speaking Tagalog in a non-Tagalog place.
In Cebu there are 2 main languages: Bisaya and English. They’d rather speak in English (which by the way they’re really good at) than Tagalog though they know Tagalog.
My first hundred days in Cebu wasn’t easy at all. I have to adjust from the pace of the people, the traffic (which sometimes is worse than the traffic in Edsa. I think), the language and everything, including events I can no longer attend (i.e. Best of Anime, ToyCon, Jpop Fest, et al).
Cebu’s lifestyle is laid back compared to Manila’s, you can even compare it by just ordering in a fast food chain counter. In Manila, the crews run. In Cebu, they walk despite of the long queue at their counters. In Manila they look like panicking. In Cebu they look so relax, which sometimes gets into my nerves specially when I only have 45 minutes from my one hour break. In fact, I can remember twice or so many times I have to ask the crew to run to get my order just because am already late. Some would, as a courtesy, some would just look at me. Specially when I say it in Tagalog out of frustration.
I used to living fast paced. Either in Tacloban where I studied for college or in Manila which served as my second home away from home. And the only time to relax and adjust the pace is when I’m home (Samar). So my first few months was full of adjustments. Now I am already used to the laid back lifestyle. 🙂
The traffic too is a headache specially at the Downtown area. Well, traffic is everywhere. But if you think Manila has the worst traffic in the country, think again. In Cebu, not only there are traffic lights in every corner, half of the main road in downtown serves as parking area which causes more traffic. Some jeepneys don’t stop at the appropriate or designated jeepney stop area, people crossing everywhere, crossing even when the vehicles’ light is turned to green.
There was once in Colon, I was waiting until the traffic light signals the people to cross. Suddenly a man came past behind me and ran towards the road. A car of course which I remember a private vehicle almost hit the man. The man walked towards the window of the driver’s seat and started yelling at the driver. I was terribly shocked with the act.
I’ve also lived in Lapu-lapu City (the city from the other island) for a month or two and have experienced traffic due to road constructions. But it was okay.
In Cebu, I realize, happiness doesn’t always make you happy. The thing I love the most about living here is not only a 500 peso bill can survive for a week, also the beaches (which I love the most) are very accessible. For a day I can dip my body into a salty water and go to bed with satisfaction. I’ve learned and still learning more words and am also beginning to like the gay language than use the normal Bisaya. Haha!
Despite of my first impression towards the city, I’ve loved the place and felt like I can find home here. The relaxed lifestyle taught me to be patient. The traffic will never be an issue when you have silly friends with you. And let’s not be martyr here, I sometimes cross at non-pedestrian lanes and I have to cross without waiting for the traffic light to change the signal, but I have to do this at night because cars from 9 PM is already very seldom. ahihihi!
One year in Cebu and I am yet to discover more, learn more and find more reasons to even love the Queen City of South more.