My summer vacation plans were made quite late and based almost entirely on the price of the flight the cheapest I could find from Seoul was to The Philippines. Once I had that settled the next step was what to do once I got there. I wrote already about my trip in the Philippines and what I did but left the Letterboxing to its own post.
I checked out Atlasquest.com to see if there were any letterboxes. It kicked back an old hide from around 2007 around the Palace in the Sky near Talisay, south of Manila along with two other hand carves, one in Manila and one in Cebu. I had also brought one of my own carves prepared a day or two in advance but I had no real idea of where I would hide it.
I had been waiting for the chance to get the Seoul Airport Box for since just after I arrived in Seoul but since I hadn’t taken any international flights I hadn’t had access to the area. Despite a simple design can tell by the delicately carved lines that the carver must be very skilled. Their well places and almost over-lookable detail was really cool to notice too.
When I arrived in Manila I had zero plans but I knew I didn’t want to stay around the city but I didn’t plan on leaving so soon that I couldn’t nab the MNL Airport letterbox, that isn’t actually at the MNL Airport. I had to go straight to the airport when I workup in the morning to head to Cebu so that I could get to Seguijor, a small island.
There didn’t seem to be too much to see in Cebu and upon first checking the Letterbox listings there wasn’t one there. but i remembered a Letterbox friend who coincidentally if from Florida, like me, I shot her a message asking what happened to her listing. She said she would reactivate the listing that she had taken down thinking that since it hadn’t been found in 3 years it must have been lost, stolen or destroyed.
Fort San Pedro where it is hidden is one of the few sights to see in Cebu and is currently undergoing a conservation project which has scaffolding and workers all over the place which made nervous that they might have moved something in the clue making it impossible to find.
I paid my small entrance fee and found immediate refuge from the commotion of the cars and motorcycles outside the walls. it was on the smaller side of the Spanish forts that I have seen but still worth the fee. I took out my clues and read them carefully When I was at the “x” that marked the spot I looked but came up empty handed. It was a bummer but i had to still enjoy the fort taking some pictures.
After taking a few Pictures I re read the clue and passed by the spot once more and found it hanging out right where it was supposed to be all along. I took my find up to the second floor and stamped in while watching the palm shadows cut back and forth across the stone paved walkway.
The next day I had a 5 hour ferry ride to Siguijor, a peaceful island that can be circumnavigated on Motorbike in about 2 hours and having a population of about 80,000 was the perfect place to forget about Seoul. I only wish that I had had more time before having to hide my Move It letterbox and get back to Cebu to Fly to Palawan.
After realizing that I had a flight from Palawan to Manila and then three hours later a flight from Manila back to Seoul on my last day I thought it best to change my flights to give me a day in Manila before leaving for Seoul. So in the end I would have a chance for the MNL Airport Letterbox after all.
I signed up for a free city tour starting at 9 am at the hostal where I was staying. We got started at 1030 and I was really worried I wouldn’t have time to get the stamp before having to leave. The whole tour was a mess for me; it entailed nearly an hour on public transit to get to the old part of town, Intramurros. I had to leave almost immediately after getting there, having never made it to the letterbox.
I got a taxi to my hostal to grab my bags and had 3 hours to get to my terminal and get checked in. We were stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours, then I was taken to the wrong terminal and had to go back into traffic which took another 40 minutes. By the time I got the the check in desk my plane was 5 minutes from leaving and I had to purchase a new flight home for the following day.