Here in Davao, at the family hotel. The air stepping off the plane was warm and comforting, like a down blanket. I find it just fine. All my travels here were very uneventful — happily so. I’m very pleased to report that it’s not as necessary to avoid the Manila airport anymore. Domestic and international are together, no more Mr. Toad Wild Rides to make a connection in cross-town taxis. The flight to Davao from there was also just fine. It’s about 600 miles, basically the same as SF to LA, only with maybe 6000 islands between instead of I-5. Arriving at the hotel was a nice coming home, seeing people I haven’t seen for a long time. All the workers are very friendly to me — somehow it’s important to me that they like me. They work so hard for our family and are willing to stick it out through our troubles.
My father and step-mother have been here for over a week, and they report that they only real trouble they had was with a waiter at the Royal Mandaya hotel. He was a klutz and spilled beer all over everything and was lame about cleaning it up. That seems to be the extent of the civil unrest right here. I’m happy to say that Davao seems just like ever, only growing.
The ISP here is remarkably slow, so I might be a slacker replying to emails until I can find a better internet cafe. That’s all I’ll write for now. Have to get ready for dinner at my favorite restaurant. Grilled seafood and garlic rice, followed by fresh mango… yummmm….