Sabang Underground River
This is the entrance to the underground river in Sabang. It is a UNESCO site or a World Heritage Site, so a bigger historical attraction. Not very exciting however, for a person who has never been in a cave it would be ok. This is not a cave full of stalagmites and stalactites; it is cave full of water, a river ride with rock walls above you. A few bats and birds inside. The time it takes to do the trip is less than one and half hours and cost 600 for the boat and 200 Peso for the entrance fee. If you share the boat, the price is cheaper. The boat driver said in low season about 30 persons per day entered and in high season, which I think is the month of January it has about 100.
The Philippines does a terrible job of wrapping up tourist attractions, the infrastructure leading here, the general amenities once you are in Sabang, and everything along the path is less than what would really encourage tourism to boom. There is apathy among the tourist and not much energy to see the place, lot of talk about how to leave and not a lot of talk about staying.
I believe the Philippines tourism department has catered to the CHASE girl market too much and almost no interest in the backpackers. It is just greed, believing the backpackers have no money so best to discourage them. What happens now is there is little bread and butter tourism, no regular groups of backpacker so everyone is tries to gouge, however none of them are making any real money because all the places are empty.
It is possible the real tourism here is from the Philippines Tourist who comes here on vacations in the summer. They would not care about the sun and would want to avoid the sun, not consider the jeepney difficult. I do not consider it difficult, in fact, it was very easy, however I have traveled in South America and this was a walk in the park.
The guidebooks kill the tourism by overly commenting on the road. What is difficult about this route is not transportation; it is the lack of other travelers. I cannot guarantee I can share a boat, therefore I could pay up to 3000 Peso or 60 Dollars for a boat trip if I was required to move fast. Steve is paying a small fortune for a boat from Port Barton to El Nido as he is the only one on the boat.
There is a problem with the road from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa or the junction actually. The problem is exacerbated because of the rain. The locals are avoiding the trip or postponing their milk run to the city until the rains end, and the road is dry. Therefore, there is not enough people to fill up the jeepney, and the jeepney does not leave. The problem is half the road and half no riders.
It is not guaranteed the Jeepney will leave daily.
This is inside the cave, very dark inside and hard to take photos. The boat stays in the middle and you have to be lucky to get close enough for the flash. If you really want to take photos, you probably need to motivate the boat drive with cash. I am not sure; their English is weak, and a repetition of the same phrases.
The charge 3000 Pesos if a film crew wants to film the underground river. I was trying to explain they should pay a film crew 3000 Pesos to film the river and not charge. This is one of the best ways to promote and market the caves and they make them pay excessively. It is sort of the grab money when you can or can extort, it is the wrong way to earn money. I do not think the government cares about helping the locals to earn money; it is more about the park rangers and the upper officials making money.
This is a UNESCO site which is meant to preserve the place, not sure what they want to do, the word Eco-tourism is used frequently around here, however I see nothing that says they care. Eco-tourism has become the marketing bait for the scammers. I have no use for the word, it normally means a pay a lot of money situation to destroy the environment better situation and nothing as what the word should mean.
Essentially eco-tourism is meant to create jobs so the locals will stop destroying the ecosystem.
There are many small streams that enter the ocean, therefore many small bridges.
This is a wonderful American man and his Philippines wife, they appear to be the perfect couple. They appear to adore each other.
This large motor has ZERO mufflers; it was challenging the trip on the high-speed boat of the Mekong River for the most annoying form of transportation on the planet. I dream of being on a relaxing boat, tooling around the islands. Nothing comfortable about this boat and I will avoid, or buy one and put a muffler system on the boats.
This is the face of Rowena a very nice Philippines girls on the boat with Kevin. Notice how her lower jaw is a little forward. The lip is extended a little farther out than the Thailand people or the rest of Asia. The locals around the Sabang area have a rounder face and the forehead or hair was father back on the head. The face of the Philippine girls is very pretty sometime and more often probably than the Thailand girls, however hard to say, the small squat looks can turn in to fat quickly here.
Generally, the Philippines girls and people are quicker to laugh and smile than Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia or Vietnam. However, the Christian populations like here have more scammers and theft than the Buddhist. There are many and various small compromises along the path, one thing is better, the next thing is worst.
I think or know the question of many men is this, which country makes the best wife. I think probably for an American the Philippine girls are better. For a German the Thai wife is better, for the Brits I am not sure, for all the others they can only hope to find a wife. The wanted passports have their choice. America, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand, oh yea and Germany. Most of the other passports are less in demand.
Hard to imagine how many men here talk about women and who makes a better wife. I think about the USA and how we cannot say to each other, we want a wife, and here men will say, I am going to get a wife and live in so and so location.
Aaagh. The electricity just went off, I am at 99 percent charged so re-charged and good for an hour of typing later when the inspiration hits. I am getting bored, better for my blogging post or readers, however not for me� Not sure, I like to blog, however there is a balance I strive for, in the middle between bored and too much.
This is a typical boat in the Palawan Island area of the Philippines.