BY LOOKING at the title, I bet you are already building a mental picture of a man walking with a pregnant woman riding on a donkey on that long-ago night in Bethlehem.
But you're wrong because:
(1) the location was in the bustling city of Davao;
(2) it was Valentine's eve, not Christmas;
(3) I did not have a donkey or a man with me;
(4) I was not pregnant, and;
(5) I was not looking for a place to give birth but to have a much-needed bath and a long refreshing sleep after a 12-hour bus trip.
My dreams of a bed and bath have vanished in thin air with the polite apology of the tired-looking young boy at the receptionist's desk: "Sori mam, our rooms are pull. Valentimes man gud (sic)."
Those words crushed my spirit. That was the fifth inn I was turned down. I needed a room so much but there was none.
It's interesting to know that people in Davao City are still pretty much romantic, young and old alike. Despite the soaring prices of commodities, they still take time to express their affection for their loved-ones.
Here are some more things I have discovered about Davao City that night:
Lodge/Inns: No Vacant rooms
"Short Time": Extended
Waiters/waitresses: Busy; Cranky
Flowers (spelled roses): Out-of-Supply
Mistresses: fidgety; anxious
Valentine Greeting Card Supply: exhausted
By the way, I did get a bed (minus the bath) that night -- not in a manger but in a folding bed at the bus terminal.