Cebu's a grotty, ramshackle kind of town. If anything, it looks worse than Manila's edgier areas at times when dark, as there aren't as many people around. I've got my Manilero head on now, it's easy to go with the flow and not be intimidated by the city and it's goings-on.
If Manila attracts the out-and-out Sex Tourists, Cebu seemed (to me) to attract a different type of white man: the Lovelorn Loser. I'd got chatting to the irritating Yank from the airline office, Eric, at my hotel reception. He was actually OK when he wasn't banging on about how great America was (aren't they all). He was here to find a wife. Hence his behaviour at the airline office, I suppose. I asked him why, and he told me American women are hard work: they don't want to clean or cook, or look after their man. I burst out laughing, but he was earnest. Each to their own, but I prefer a woman who's going to tell me to Fuck Off now and again, and give me a run for my money. Eric's mate was a headcase. I'd seen him at the office, too. He wears a bandanna, tight vest, cheap jeans and possibly the smallest cowboy boots I've ever seen. With big heels. His trick to attract the women was to flex his biceps every now and again, treating us to a less-than-pleasant waft of B.O each time he did so. Good Luck, mate.
By far the saddest case I came across (in both senses...I felt a bit sorry for him) was Andy, a 45-year old Californian. His wife had stitched him up, and he was paying maintenance to their two kids which crippled him financially. So he'd come to the Philippines to meet a Filipina via a dating website. Turns out she'd invited three prospective husbands, and was trying all out at the same time. She picked another fella, and even asked Andy for advice on him. Talk about painful. So he was currently chasing another girl. He let it slip that his former wife was also a Filipina he'd met through another dating site. I was walking beside him in a daze as he told his story; it was depressing me. Talk about a glutton for punishment. If I ever get like that, a bullet would provide a welcome release.
The next morning I woke early to extend my visa before heading for my first dive destination since busting the ribs: Malapascua.