A Meander In The Philippines
I spend a lot of time in Boracay and I might write a whole submission on it another time but this is an account of some of my meanderings in other parts of the Philippines.
I met a lady called P who is from Kabankalan in Negros Occidental while I was there. We hit it off and I spent a number of weeks travelling around the Philippines with her.
I was with P for a few days when she suggested that we go to her home town. I am opened minded roll with the flow kind of guy so I thought "Ok, let’s do it."
We travelled down through the island of Panay to the port of Iloilo and got the ferry to Bacalod in Negros. Travelling with a native gives you an edge on sussing what there is to see. While we were there she suggested that we go to Mambacal. Maybe it
Our next stop was Kabankalan, a very clean city.. Apparently the mayor is very strict when it comes to littering.
I met P's family there, nicer people you could not meet, and they made me feel really welcome. Had some really good nights sitting outside her house with her brother and some of his friends who are musicians singing songs and drinking Red Horse,
Kabankalan was the first place I got to drink Tuba. There are Tuba houses around the main market area. Tuba is palm wine. The sap is extracted from an unopened coconut bud and fermented. I am Irish and I can handle my alcohol but this was different. I
While I was drinking with the locals (I was promptly back on the San Mig), P whispered to me that some of the people in our company were NPA. I asked her what that meant and she said they were New People’s Army. She informed me that they were a
Philippinos are a fun loving people but like the Thais they can have a proclivity for violence. There was a character there whose nickname was Bruce Lee (he was sporting a lean shirtless torso) who seemed to spend all his waking hours in a Tuba-induced
There is only so much being polite and smiling and nodding one’s head you can take and after a while I started to ignore him. He would tap me on the shoulder and insist that I listen to him again. After a while when he was not getting any hop from
I have fond memories of Kabakalan though and will definitely go back there one day.
The next stop was Sipalay on the way to Sugar Beach, about a four hour trip on the bus from Kabankalan.
We arrived there late in the evening and it was a quite unique journey to Sugar Beach. First we had to get a trike which took us out of Sipalay and then across mangrove swamps in the failing light. When the trike dropped us off we had to walk for a while
There were six resorts there. The first one is the Takatuka Lodge. When we walked in there around 9 pm the first question I was asked was have "Have you got a reservation?" WTF, they were booked out! We tried the resorts along the beach and
The next day we decided to take a boat trip back into Sipalay as I was nearly out of cash and needed to go to an ATM
Sipalay is a town with a population of over 60,000 people so I presumed that there would no problem getting money. How wrong I was. There was only one ATM and it was not online. The nearest one was an 8-hour round trip back to Kabankalan and I did not
Sugar Beach is a very nice place to chill for a few days. Reminded me of the island beach resorts in Thailand years ago. The room we stayed in had a veranda from which you could step straight onto the beach. The Takatuka Lodge although I did not stay
Our next destination was Damuguete in Negros Oriental which is university town with a nice promenade. I had wanted to spend a few days on Siquijor Island which is close by but P would not hear of it as she was scared to go there. Siquijor gained notoriety
So to finish we often hear of the Phi in Thailand and how Thais, particularly the ladies, are scared of it. In the Philippines, people are scared of ghosts as well. I have been with on two occasions pregnant Philippino ladies whom I met before they were
These ladies who seemed sane and rational in every other way could not be left alone in the hotel room day or night because they firmly believed and feared that the Aswang (it's googleable) would come in and eat their babies!
It really does sound like the infrastructure in the Philippines is not neatly as developed as Thailand. 8 hours to the nearest ATM? Wow, sometimes in Thailand it feels like you're never more than 8 minutes from one!