Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

September 26, 2008

My Side of the Tracks

Filed under: Cebu — Donald @ 7:42 pm

My new neighbor

“Where you going?”, the taxi driver asked.

“Kukuk’s Nest.”

“Why you staying there?” (incredulously).

“It is the cheapest place in Cebu.”

“Yes. It is a cowboy hotel.”

That’s about right, if you switch out the horses for motorcycles. Kukuk’s Nest, in heart of the Philippines’ second-largest city, is the most interesting pension I’ve found since I mistakenly booked a room in a Tijuana brothel a few years back. A Filipina friend was mortified when I told her that guys with tattoos sit around shirtless in the 24 hour outdoor bar, which is often filled with smoke from the neighboring chicken grill.

Kukuk’s tat guy

Kukuks bar

(Next to the grill is a tat parlor. Unlike in the US, where every 12 year old girl has a hissing cobra stamped on her ass, tattoos are still rare in the Philippines.)

The place is decorated with some pretty crazy pieces, a mix of contemporary and cubist and Gauguinesque.

Kukuk’s “fish”

Despite obvious challenges, the resident artist does good stuff.

Kukuk’s Artist

Filipino, Indonesian, and Thai food from the kitchen is tasty, the beer is very cold, and instead of the usual pop treacle they play Neil Young. My fan-only room is in a big old house out back.

Kukuk’s Nest House

Kukuk’s Double Room

In fact, it is only the second cheapest in town. The smaller one was booked.


  1. In response to email:

    I haven’t been on a bike yet, though I likely will soon, since it’s the most practical way to explore remote stretches of coast. If I don’t get out of the city pronto I’ll crack.

    Comment by Donald — October 4, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  2. Hi,Don. I’m so very glad that Phillipino girls don’t risk a ferocious bite when they sit, but
    I’ll have you know that I am twelve and do not have even one tattoo anywhere, especially not on
    my ass. What’s the point anyway? It’s not like anyone sees it (hopefully).

    Comment by Anabel Tassoni — October 5, 2008 @ 11:07 am

  3. You sure you’re American, Anabel?

    Comment by Donald — October 10, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

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