Philippines Travel Stories, Page 43

No Beach but a Turtle Philippines

No Beach but a Turtle Philippines
Wednesday 12:42 PM December 14, 2005
I am in Puerto Princesa Palawan Island Philippines
Philippines Turtle
I started by taking a taxi, this is the second attempt to find a beach in Puerto Princesa, my technique of taking a normal taxi and not the taxi that cater only to the tourist has lead me astray again. The English here is weak and I am having trouble with the word "Beach." It appears I am going to have to have the Hotel Receptionist person help me, maybe they will need to say swimming beach in the Tagalog Language of the Philippines. There are these taxis drivers that hang around like a connected leach to a cow at hotels. The speak good English and try to charge a person five time the normal fare for a taxi. Actually the locals all correct me there are no taxis in Puerto Princesa, there are only tarsus. There are these motorcycles with build on side cars that will carry you anywhere in the city, I think they are taxis and the locals must only use this word for a car. Nonetheless, these little motorcycles with a sidecar cost 6 Pesos, this is ridiculously cheap, however probably just about perfect for a local to afford to pay.
I did not find the beach on attempt number two, I think if there is a beach it is small, insignificant and ugly...
I did find this big turtle.
I was walking down the coast line, trying to find anything that looked like a beach, I found a lot of homes jutting out into the bay. Everyone is easy going and friendly, however not real talkative, the Philippines children are great and all have learned how to say,
"What is you name"
I say,
"What is you name?"
My reply answer only is answered by about one in five, so the English stops at the name questions, I am amazed they say,
"Hey Joe."
I do not know, maybe this is a hangover from the USA Military being here during the Second World War,
The boys pants were falling off and I was too far away to get a close up of he comical scene of him pouring water on this dead turtle. It was a sea turtle and the locals I believe were trying to say it got caught up in the fish farm operation off the shore about 100 Meters. I asked if they was going to eat it and they said no, they said,
I have no idea.
House in Philippines with boat
These home are called Shantytowns in the Guidebooks, I am trying to figure out how I feel about these home. In comparison to my home in the USA, I could say they are poor in comparison to me. However this is not fair, they are not poor,they are living very different than me and pretty normal. Poverty to me should include some social barometer that says, are they drastically different than the other people that living around them. These people are living the same as everyone else, no different no less, except for the rich here in the Philippines.
Poverty is an ugly word, like we should feel sorry for them. I do not feel sorry for them, I feel a little weak sometimes, however sorry or pity is not the word for this. I wish or think it would be nice for them to clean their clothes and wash their bodies a little easier. They are clean, however the time it takes to shower is 5 times more than me. I am in a nicer than normal hotel here and it does not have hot water, so maybe I should say three times.
Poverty is defined as earning less than one dollar per day by the United Nation, this is definition that is almost meaningless, what about the places where they barter. Maybe it does include this, however the definitions that reach me are meaningless.
City Water]
All these homes have water, the water is metered and I believe they must pay for the water, however this is also not totally true.
Poverty to me is somewhere when the line of quality of life goes down below..
1. No schools.
2. No clean water.
3. Disease or problems grow and they are not capable of adapting.
4. Controlled by larger groups by manipulation to stay obedient.
A. Mullahs, Clerics, Catholic Priest, Monks, etc or Bosses and owners.
Normally the owners work in partnerships with the governments.
Water Well
This is a well, we are presently about 40 meters from the water front, the water table is about one meter down. I do not think the water is clean, however the water is clean enough to wash clothes. In a land where you must pay for water, this water is cheaper. Potable or drinkable water is maybe available in all the bamboo design homes.
Store Security
Store Security
There is a very large store called NCCC here in Puerto Princesa, it has this double person security system. You buy something, pay for it, then the girl passes it down the line to the second person. She checks the slip, signs or marks it, then put the bag under this sealing machine. The bag is sealed an then the receipt is attached to the bag.
Keeping persons from stealing seems to be a big emphasis here in the Philippines. Many of the homes along the water, or almost all had these chain length fences, or bamboo fences around the homes. In my experiences there is not these types of systems unless there is a need. Sadly most of the honest and safe mentalities of the Southeast Asia has disappeared in this culture that is maybe three parts of cultures. One-third Native or Tagalog, one-third Span and one-third American. My travels seem to discover that anywhere there is a Catholic society there is more theft. Buddhist seem to have the least, however the levels of cruelness goes up, there are many tradeoffs. Arab have this friends and hospitality thing, however can be intolerant of anyone leaving the group or asking too many questions.

Philippines Scammers

Philippines Scammers
Wednesday December 14, 2005, 8:29 AM

I live in a normal hotel and do normal tourist things, I know I can avoid certain persons in certain places. I am in just a normal Hotel doing what normal tourist  do, I am experiencing less than less than most because I do not drink alcohol.

I am experienced and fully aware of many small ploys of people to snag my money. It appears impossible here to sit and talk with a person in a restaurant without them trying to bill me for the other person.

I got an email saying to be aware of the smiling faces, and I have to say this is true, every time a person starts smiling at me here I am getting nervous. I was in two situations in two days where I was expected to pay for the person that was close to me, the bad parts it the restaurants and hotel all help in the situation.

They have this tab or write down the price and then pay later, this is the methodology of the little scam. Hard to check the bill at the end, as it is in Tagalog and confusing. I am now going to only pay as I go and not accept anyone coming up and talking, I will have to say leave me alone, or just leave the place. There is also this cover charge that is hooked onto the entrance to many small places. I was trying to go for a walk last night and stopped at a couple of small Karaoke Places. I have to admit, I will never trust the word Karaoke again in my life, it is always more than a sing along place here in Asia and most of the planet.

In the El Dorado Hotel in Port Baron Lucy tried to put a shot of Tequila from the girl at the table on my tab. There was about 8 persons at the table, I just sat down.

I walked down the street and sat in the Keraoke Bar, restaurant, and girl came over and sat, I ordered a coke and the next thing I am being asked to pay to enter the place an to pay for the drink of the girl. I had nothing to do with anything, tried my best to understand the system, I thought I was in obviously just a small family like Karaoke bar and not one of the pro versions. I guess like Mexico the corruption never end, the spirit of the person is always on the con, from the top to the bottom of the society.

Most person just ignore this stuff, they are on a three week trip, they feel sorry for the people and think they are special, a rich person that should give to these person that steal their money.

Fortunately the Philippines has some chain restaurants like Jobilees and I can avoid the smaller places where is always feels like I am walking into a strip joint. I am getting this constant feeling like I am getting something on me.

What is good is the Sun is shining today, the first time in about 7 days.

Candidate for Mediocrity

Candidate for Mediocrity
Tuesday December 13, 2005, 3:12 PM

�Once you start to compromise your thoughts, you�re a candidate for mediocrity.�

Said in the movie, �Biloxi Blues� when the lead person in the movie was going to remove and destroy a page of his diary because it said something that hurt a persons feeling. A play a movie by the writer Neil Simon.

I am feeling pressure to not think, the writing of my thoughts into this computer has become to aware to me, it is apparent that people are reading some of the comments. I am fortunate that most people keep their comments to themselves, however for sure it is possible there are readers that are thinking. I sometime kid my friends that I am the brother of Deanna Troi from the show Star Trek the Next Generation. I am an empath and can feel what people are feeling. Nobody ever gets the joke, however it is my joke and a feeling I do have or sense, as if sometime I can feel what other people are feeling.

This is not fun, especially when I intuitively feel I am correct; however, there are times when I am not as correct as I feel. Nonetheless, there are times when I am too correct. The hard part about any test to see if you really do understand what a person is feeling will usually be thwarted by a lie. People do not admit what they are feeling, it is not a normal person that admits what they are feeling, and at least they do not admit the good feeling, only the extreme type or non-important feelings.

I do feel a pressure to not think or feel, or say, what I am seeing and feeling, it is a fun planet I live on. There is nothing about the world that is reality based; there is a world of layers where nobody will reveal the layers.

Philippino Power

We got extremely stuck in the mud yesterday on the road from Port Barton, Palawan Island Philippines to the crossroad or good road that leads to Puerto Princesa.

Water Bufalo

These are a couple of water buffaloes waiting to do nothing. They were tied at the road posing as a pond like they were ready for work.

The young boys tried with a water buffalo, the first time the little wood harness thingy broke, so he left and came back with two water buffaloes. They tried to pull the truck backwards, while Kevin and me both kept trying to induce them to pull if forward. They finally got it moving backwards and farther into the rice field. Finally they decided to go forward, me and Kevin had dug a channel and at this point the water in the pond called a road was down about six inches.

I got them to slow down for a second and hold and I said loudly.
"Philippino Power!"

We had a long rope on the front of the 4 x 4 Toyota Truck and pulled it out with man powers, the Water Buffaloes seem to be of no value. I was cracking up as we finally was coming out of the water. There were still three girls in the truck that had not even ventures to leave the truck.

I was dwelling as I was trying to choose whether to leave by Jeepney or by 4x4, the Toyota truck is very small and probably with the effort of the 6 Passengers and the three borrowed boys we could have almost alway pulled the Toyota out of the mud. While with a Jeepney it could be impossible to remove, no matter how much we pulled. I was sort of annoyed, because I made a bad assumption that the Toyota has a wench on the front or on the truck. I just hopped in thinking it would be able to do the same ploys as the Jeepney.

In the end, even with the three girls in the truck we still were able to remove the vehicle from the mud. I am often amazed though at the wimpy attitudes of what we would see sometimes as primitive person, they are not primitive and they do not work as hard as we rather think. Life has become easier all the time for the world and presently there is a marked lessoning in physical labor. Instead they are overusing their fingers to text message on the cell phones.

Air Conditioned Laundry

Air Conditioned Laundry
Tuesday December 13, 2005, 7:36 AM

I have traveled for a long time, over 9 years now, there is never a day goes by that I do not learn something new. I do not think travel creates a tolerance for the world; travel creates intolerance for the crazies of the world. What I learn everyday is there is always something else to learn. If I just talked about travel, it is still impossible to learn everything. I have washed my clothes or had my laundry done in every possible way, or I am always thinking I have seen every possible way.

Yesterday, I was trying to pay to have my laundry done, I asked the receptionist,

�Do you do laundry?�
She said,
I then asked,
�Do you have a dryer?�
�Yes, we have dryer.�

I sat there and mulled this over, hmm� do they really have a dryer, and if they have dryer do they use it. I have learned so many options, ok, then I think, today it is raining at least 10 cats and 10 dogs. I must be very careful, I do not want my clothes to come back wet. Strange as it may seem, if the clothes are not dry, many places will fold them, stack them, and return them to me, as if they are dry. Hard to believe they will try to do this, however the world will try to get away with about anything, if you will accept. They know we are leaving and really have no choice. The problem is this mildew smell, if you leave the clothes hanging on the line for more than one day, they often start to take on this mildew or rot smell. I need a dryer today, there is no choice, nothing would dry in this type of humidity.

I try again in a checking mode.
�When will the clothes be dry?�
She says,
�Maybe tomorrow.�
I say,
�A dryer takes one hour.�
She says,

She proceeds to point down below, like there is a dryer down there, there is a clothes line down there, I can see that, I do not see anything that looks like a dryer.

I asked.
�Do you have a dryer?�

I then say again,
�When will they be done?�
�Maybe later.�

The cost here is about three times the going rate for laundry; I only want to get some shirts done. I have to give up, I cannot figure out the truth, all I can figure out is this, and I do not trust my laundry to be done. It is better to stink than to walk around in mildew clothes. This is a very big smell, not and easy smell to tolerate, and after the clothes are imbued with this smell, it then take some real hot water and a really good laundry or time to get rid of the smell.

I then start to figure out another option, as I walk around I start keeping my eyes open for a laundry. I will walk in and look at the dryer, only if I see a dryer will I have my clothes done. I find this small grocery, they are selling the single packs of soap, grouped in packs of 5 for about 20 Pesos, I opt to insure I have this option, I buy the soap and put in my pocket. If the sun shines for even a minute, I will try to wash a couple of shirts and hang out.

Normally it is better to be in a room with a fan, a fan will dry two shirts, or one pair of pants, or about five pair of underwear quickly. I go back to my room, oops, I have only an air conditioner. I have never put my clothes in front of an air conditioner, maybe it will work, I am not sure. I decided on the underwear, I will wash them in the bucket in the �Comfort Room� and then try to dry them. Half of getting clothes to dry is to wring them good, very good and they are half-dry. I put the underwear in the bucket, let them soak. I then take them out later, half I hang in the shower and the other half I hang on a chair in front of the air conditioner. When I woke in the morning, the ones in front of the air conditioner are almost dry, or within a step, the ones in the �Comfort Room� as the call the toilet in the Philippines are just as wet as when I slept, I shift the almost dry underwear to on top of the television, I am pretty sure it is hot enough to help. I position on a chair all the others.

This system is working, I am not going to have my underwear stink from mildew. When they are dry, I will then go for two shirts, as long as I wash more each day then I wear, then I will be able eventually to clean all of my clothes.

Air Conditioner and the Television, a new learning experience in laundry cleaning.

4x4 Stuck on Angeles City Trail

I have been making jokes.
I am in Puerto Princesa, bailed on Port Barton.

I was in Port Barton and the rain was pouring buckets, I realized the whole beach was leaving if they could find a boat, jeepney or truck. I finally realized it was crazy to stay, I could get stuck there sitting in the rain and have to pay a fortune for one person to take me out on a motorcycle.

We got up to go on a Jeepney, the Jeepney canceled, I realized there was a 4x4 Toyota loading, I asked about a ride, 500 Peos, 425 more than the Jeepney so I took it... Talk to Kevin who leaves to day with his girlfriend, he sat in the back and got wet she was in the front.

We got stuck and learned that the local water buffalo do not obey or pull for the Philippines person, after sitting around in the rain 5 of us used a rope and pulled it out.

I have may photos, trying to catch up on all the typing as there is not very good internet after you leave Puerto Princesa.

RAIN.. It has rained every day I have been here, I saw some grass and trees along the road that looked like "Rain Forest."

Rain and more rain and rain again. However here in Puerto Princesa I can walk around, use the internet, etc.

The joke about the "Angeles City Trail.'

My guesstimate if you was going to say what group of persons go the most to Port Barton presently it would be girls from Angeles City, the road we was on back from Port Barton to Roxa or the turn off point was a large trail. Therefore a good trail for the Angeles City Girls... I would guess that 60 percent of the person going to Port Barton have a girl they found, discovered, met, rented in Angeles city and have them along. I have learned a lot about how to marry a Philippine girl.

Port Barton Rain

Port Barton Rain
Sunday December 11, 2005, 6:21 AM

I am leaving or I hope to leave Port Barton today, I really do not have a choice, I wanted to stay for a few more days however the Jeepney is leaving. The Jeepneys are not leaving everyday and today most everyone in the Port is leaving. Therefore I am leaving with them to insure I am able to leave. I need to get on an airplane and do not want my life to be rushed. It is not possible to force my way to Puerto Princesa, I must somehow depend on a boat or a Jeepney or maybe a 4-wheel drive.

Up until about five minutes ago the rain was pouring down, it seems to have just stopped. The problem with the road is the rain, it has caused the road to have huge ruts. There are winches on the front of the Jeepneys to pull it out if needed, however any way you do it the road is having trouble. I guess the government has a half finished construction job on the road and it is no just mud.

Getting stranded is part of Island life, having to stay until the boat leave, the bus leave, or until the weather breaks is part of the deal. This is one reason it may be wise to travel the Philippines with a friend, it can be terribly lonely until the boat departs or there is a way to leave the remote place you are staying. Time is the next problem, how can you schedule when you must wait until there is a boat. I have the time, however most of the person in Port Barton do not have unlimited time.

They just turned off the lights, now I am on battery, I need to get packed and hope the jeepney is leaving. The amount of rain that was falling could have changed the plans and I could be here for another night.

I am going back to Puerto Princesa where my plane leaves on the 18th, I will go up or down the coast to more accessible beaches, if I can find a beach.

4:00 Electricity in Port Baron Philippines

4:00 Electricity in Port Baron Philippines
Saturday December 10, 2005, 4:49 AM

I am very happy, I cannot sleep, and yesterday the Electricity did not come on or was shut off by 5:00 AM in the morning. Today they turned on the Electricity at 4:00 AM, I have already typed and used all the battery power, so now is the perfect time to turn on the Electricity so I can continue to type or play on my computer. It is 4:50 AM and I am hoping they do not turn it off soon, or at least no before I have a charged battery.

The idea of solar powered computer and satellite connections apply here, this is the perfect place to have this type of computer gear.

Hot Coffee and Hot Water now for a shower, I am happy.

I did not discover or notice the electricity until it was probably on for one-half hour so missed out, I disconnected my computer from the cord because I do not like the jolts it causes when they turn on a generator or turn off. I am not sure however, I feel that the biggest problem with electricity and laptop computers is variations of electrify that is not a constant 220 or 110. Generators create fluctuations in the amount or degree of electrical current. I believe this will burn or make my transformer on the cord burn up.

This is just speculation.

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