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​Before I left for Cebu City this afternoon, I dropped by Malabuyoc People’s Palace to take a selfie or two. And only a couple of hours earlier, my cousin Alma Allera Pimentel and her hubby, James, dropped by my house to invite me into a free ride in their car as they’re heading to the city. 

“Thank you. But look, I’m not prepared. I haven’t even taken a bath. Nor have I packed my bags. I still have a lot of cleaning to do in the front yard. Plus, I prefer taking the bus for one reason you already know. But if I’m broke today, I will definitely have no choice. Thanks again,” I declined. 

Alma and James laughed, saying, “Of course, we know. There’s no one from Asia to Europe to the Americas who doesn’t. But it’s O.K. if you need to take a shower or prepare your things. We will wait for you. No problem.” 

I remember a conversation I had with a group of friends at the cafeteria in our office building. We talked about specific topics from finding old friends via social networking sites like Facebook to making new friends, preferably foreign, on various sites. 

They’re all comparing apps and whatnot. And because I wasn’t quite familiar with many, I couldn’t relate. “I’d like to download one of those apps, so I could start searching for new friends now. What’s the best one for me?” I asked. 

But they all said, “Are you crazy?” 

“Why? What’s wrong with me?” I expressed bewilderment. 

They told me: “Ariel, you don’t need an app. All you need is a bus carrying one hot foreign backpacker! You are very spontaneous and confident. You’re one of a kind. And you’re too good to go with us.” 

Right now, I’m on Ceres bus and, while writing this, I’m chatting with my seatmate from a neighboring town whose work is transporting bodies from the hospital to its morgue. How morbid! He’s cute, but I’m sure you will say that he will pale in comparison to all of the foreign travelers I’ve featured in my blogs. 

This blogger, Ariel Allera, takes a selfie while waiting for Ceres bus in front of Malabuyoc People’s Palace in Malabuyoc, Cebu.