The Surprise That Never Was: Dad’s First Out Of Town Trip

Years ago my dad was suppose to leave for Kuwait, that was his chance to sit on plane and see the world  but then the gulf war happened. He never left. He never got to ride a plane ever since.

I was around seven or eight at that time but now I am almost running beyond the numbers of a month and it feels like I have to fill something missing that he should experience in life, a plane ride.

The idea came up nine months prior to his birthday when my favorite low cost carrier threw in a peso sale for their seats.

Total seat sale damage: Php 2,500 round trip tickets for two.

It was excruciating to keep a secret like that for me it was torture!

Anyways fast forward several months later come November 17 his birthday. It was suppose to be a secret until we get to the airport but my brother-in-law slipped his tongue and asked my father “What time are you leaving for Cebu?“, there goes my ten month top secret plan, ruined just several hours away from the actual time for the surprise!

I didn’t want my dad to act up surprise when we go to the airport so I told him that I know that he already knows about my plan to kidnap him, which was the whole point of having it as a surprise because I know that he would just say no if I tell him ahead of time just like how he acts up if I ask him to see a movie. Well thank God that everything went well no one was up on arms trying to defend him self from a possible abduction.

Okay so passed goes the drama no surprise moments at the airport for my dad and everything but I am still glad he went with the plan without a hitch.

We landed around 11PM at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport and I really wanna impress him with letting him know that I could actually go around the city without taking the easy way out, the cab. I wanted to take him and ride the local jeepneys or fierras but I thought that it’s kinda late and he might have been tired already so I decided to take a cab instead.

We came to our hotel nearly 12 midnight but this horrible incident left us with no choice but to sleep in the sofa, well that’s another story.

The next day was kinda busy and challenging for us. We had so much on the list but so little money well that’s true at least for me, I didn’t want dad to spend anything on this trip.

Our first stop was Magellan’s Cross and then we attended mass at the Basilica de Sto. Nino de Cebu. While hearing mass it reminded me about the stories I was telling him about cebu, that the way they sing in mass is exactly how my kuya Eli sings and he agrees!


My plan for the trip was experience the queen city it self plus the city of Carcar. I wanted to squeeze in the beach but our time and budget wasn’t allowing us but we were able to cover the basics.

 Carcar Market


St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish Church

Siomai Sa Tisa

 Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Cebu Provincial Capitol

Malacanan Sa Sugbu 

Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia 


I am glad that my dad enjoyed this trip. He even said that he didn’t feel any abdominal pain like how he feels if he is here in Manila.

For now I have to save again for our next trip, international maybe? 😉


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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.