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​”Hey, you look like Zac Efron? Are you aware of that?” I told David Bondi during the introductory part of our conversation aboard Ceres Liner bus earlier. “How many times have you been told that?” 

All smiles, David said, “Only once. Just now. You’re the first one who’s said that to me. Thank you.” 

“What?!” I couldn’t help reacting overtly. “That’s impossible. Everyone else around you except me must be blind.” 

David is a green-eyed showstopper with two nationalities: Swiss and French. 

On weekends he’s French; on weekdays he’s Swiss. His family lives in France, just a few minutes away to the Swiss border, specifically the City of Geneva, where he goes to school and prefers to settle down after finishing his Masters in Finance. 

He’s been around the Philippines for six weeks already. His first destination was Davao, where he spent almost a month doing volunteer works, before taking heart and a risk going to Bohol despite having read the news. As of this writing, he’s basking on the beaches in Moalboal and is very excited to relish the same in Malapascua and Coron in the coming days, before heading north to Baguio, Sagada, and the Banaue Rice Terraces. 

At twenty-three, the math wizard almost lost count when I asked how many countries he’s visited. 

“Hmm, fifteen, maybe. But that’s because, in Europe, it’s easy to travel around and add every country on your list, considering that we’re just close to each other and relatively accessible to one another. As for coming here, I chose the Philippines because it’s the best country in Asia where I can practice and hone my English,” David explained. 

“I think your English is very good,” I told him. 

He thanked me, saying, “It’s because I spent six months living in Ireland before coming to your country. That’s the same reason I went there.” 

David took a one-year hiatus from graduating with his bachelor’s degree in finance June of last year to starting his masters come September. What he wants to do in the meantime is travel to where he can use English as much and as far as possible, in order to have gained more confidence by the time he enters the lobby of his university and walks into the classroom four months from now.

Your French-Swiss finance specialist, David Bondi, and this blogger, Ariel Allera, on Ceres bus bound for Moalboal and Malabuyoc, Cebu, the Philippines 

Your French-Swiss finance specialist, David Bondi, and this blogger, Ariel Allera, on Ceres bus bound for Moalboal and Malabuyoc, Cebu, the Philippines 

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