I left Batad the next morning, getting up for the early jeepney back to Banaue, from where I could jump a bus bound for Manila. I wasn't looking forward to the 10 hour ride, especially as the drivers here think they have to give you value for money when you book an air-conditioned bus. Everyone ended up with jacket hoods up, hats on, the lot. Ridiculous, it was like being an extra in Scott Of The Antarctic, shot on location in a tropical bus station.
I wasn't fazed by Manila second time around, even at 4am. Touts and the like are just dispatched with a curt "No, thanks" or a "Fuck off" if they get persistent. Ignoring them's usually best. Fatigue had me jumping down the throat of a cabbie who suggested he'd put the meter on "plus tip?". "I tell you what, mate...it's early and I'm knackered. How about I just grab another taxi and we avoid all this bollocks?" He put the meter on and drove. Then dropped me at an expensive hotel so he'd get commission. You get used to all this shit.
Friendly's Guesthouse wanted a night's rate if I checked in before 12pm. Hardly friendly, I mused. One good thing was that Erra's Cafe on Adriatico was open; I sat down to some prawns and rice with a cold Coke, and watched the city awaken.