Cebu and Plantation Bay

June 26th

About that ‘better internet.’ When it’s working, it’s much faster. But (you knew there had to be one), the POS connection keeps dropping. Like every 5-10 minutes. And takes a minute to recover. I’ve since learned that unplugging the router for a minute seems to help for an hour, but man is that tedious!

Most of the rest of the family have gone on long (12+ hour!) day trips since we’ve been in Cebu. One day they spent over 8 hours in the car, though an hour or so was because of traffic. Yesterday they remaining family split up (about a third of the party has had to leave already; some to go back to work, one to go to his high school reunion in Tacloban, another group to be with their family for a memorial in Manila). The ‘oldies’ went to a shrine, two hours one-way, the rest (only 7 at this point) went to Plantation Bay, a very nice resort with a series of huge man-made lagoons, that Eliz and I have visited a number of times.

At first, the snorkeling was disappointing, as the water was a bit dirty and I could only see about 10 ft. Still interesting things to see, though, colorful fish, corals, etc. I borrowed my nephew’s GoPro camera and took some videos. If they turn out good (I could barely see anything on the tiny screen), I’ll put a few on Youtube and send some links. We got lunch (I was the only one to get in the water, they all wanted to wait until after lunch, only an hour after we got there), which was part of the day pass. Eliz and I ordered the salad (it came with appetizer, main meal and dessert), which was quite small, and we were expecting the rest of the meal to be equally small. Well, it was very generous and hardly anyone managed to finish. It seems that salad greens are relatively expensive because most are cool-weather plants.

It turns out when we first arrived it was the change of high tide and that was why there was so much crap stirred up in the water. I went in after lunch and the water was a lot more clear, so I borrowed the GoPro again and hopefully got better shots. One thing I missed, though, was the carpet of giant clams I remember from the decade plus from our last visit. Either they moved the barriers that keep the boats out and now the clams are on the other side or they died and were replaced with coral. I recall extremely vivid colors from the clams, though my memory tells me they were in deeper water, so maybe they’re there and I missed them.

When we got back to the house, the power was out (thankfully the first (and hopefully only, since we’re leaving in a few hours after I write this)). I was tired, though, so went to bed. The sun was still up, so it was probably around 5:30. I woke up (well, stayed up; I had to pee – being old sucks!) around 1:30 with an incipient headache/migraine. Hopefully the drugs I took will short circuit it (it’s only hovering in the background now). I spent some time answering emails and writing this, now, at nearly 4, people are stirring and hopefully breakfast is on its way.

With the coverage reports convincing me that I should make my Treasure Hunt movie, I’ve shifted focus back to tidying up the script (I had a handful of suggestions from the last editor I haven’t incorporated) and then working on a shooting schedule (movies are only rarely shot in the order they’re seen; they’re shot such that the same locations are filmed consecutively to minimise cost and setup time). I need to convince myself that shooting over 4 weekends is feasible before I promise my cast and crew it will be done in that time.

Because I’m a regular on Reddit (though largely as a lurker) I posted there asking for suggestions on where to ask for cast and crew:

Good suggestions for finding actors, and, in private communication with one of the respondents to the acting one, it seems being able to offer $1K for the gig will get me lots of interest as there are so few paying jobs in the area.

I got contacted by a guy via the DP (director of photography, the person responsible for the images that actually get captured) ad and we’ve swapped quite a number of emails. Though he lacks his own camera, he does have enough credits to have an impressive reel, so I may wind up working with him. He’s eager to start and has read an earlier draft of the screenplay.

I’m not getting nearly as much writing done as I had hoped, but I’ve also been feeling very tired. I hope, with our arrival back in Tacloban, that I can finish my adaptation and be able to put in some solid work hours.

Author: Tfoui

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