Scrolling through Facebook the other day I found a great video featuring the 10 suggested places to travel in 2018. The number one place on the list was Cebu, Philippines where I happened to spend five days in February. Unlike most places in the world, a trip to Cebu has to be planned well and in advance.

I was traveling with a friend who was happy to be spontaneous with me… which was where the road downhill began. Absolutely nothing on our trip went as we had hoped and no one but us were to blame. We somehow managed to laugh through all the hardships knowing that we’d have amazing stories to tell. So here I am, telling our story!

The only plans we made concerning Cebu were the flights, two un-researched Airbnb reservations: one night in Cebu City and the rest in Dalaguete. After getting ripped off by a yellow taxi in Manila, I was happy to spend 30 minutes in line for a fair-metered white taxi. While I figured out how to get to the Airbnb, my friend, who had arrived several hours before me, searched for a bar for us to go to.

Google results came up with many suggestions, including El Gecko Resto Bar. The bar had great reviews and was described as having cheap beer, great food and being a hub for expats. It sounded perfect. Plus after getting dropped off at the wrong address and having to walk a kilometer on roads lacking side walks, I really needed a beer!

One hour and two taxis later we found ourselves sitting at the bar, sipping on beers listening to live music waiting for our food to arrive. We caught up, shared our experiences flying in and chatted to the friendly waitresses. Once our food came we finally got a chance to look around us at this place that we came to.

I almost chocked on my french fries when I saw a 50 year old man motor-boating a beautiful young girl in stilettos. At his table was an even older man talking to an even younger girl. I tapped my friend and pointed to the door, that a group of elderly expats just walked through. They were immediately swarmed by voluptuous, scantily dressed Filipino women.

Maybe it was the beers that made us laugh so hard we almost cried at how we unknowingly ended up in a whorehouse in the Philippines. The ladies were all nice and friendly but left us alone when we made it clear that we were not potential clients. After a few more beers and laughs, we caught another taxi home. Vowing to look through photos of bars instead of just reading the reviews. After all, photos speak a thousand words and in our case, we only needed to hear one.

Despite the mix-up, we had a great time at the place and got to try cheap delicious beers. We should have known from the results of the first night that the rest of the trip would end up in sun poisoning, deleted video files, lying tour guides and no door in our bathroom. Stay tuned for more Cebu fails and adventures!