Philippines Travel Stories, Page 44

Expats in Philippines

Expats in Philippines
Saturday December 10, 2005, 4:08 AM

I was reading over and fixing up a little of my blog typing and realized some of places I have stayed the longest had many Expats. I assume there is a natural inclination to stay in these places. I am like any other person, there are places that are comfortable and I stay longer. In addition, many other persons stay in these locations longer.

I am trying to learn where in the Philippines the Expats live, and how, I know there a many in Angeles city, however that place is like Sodom and Gomorra to me and I do not want to live there.

El Nido sounds like one of the better locations in Palawan and I chose to fly to Puerto Princesa because it was cheaper. I do not want to hurt my trip by forcing the way up to El Nido and then making my whole time on Palawan a travel trip. There is a balance to travel and too much time on a boat or bus is not good. I am amazed at the time I would need to really explore this place; there are many places to visit. However because there are so few people away from the cities I would be less inclined to visit as many. There is a great Expats community in the Philippines and if I really involved myself with them, I could learn a lot about where to go and what to do. Most countries do not have long-term people that live there, yes a few, however not like here where they are everywhere.

The problem if there is a problem with the Expats here is they are mostly hard-core drinkers and babe chasers. Not a big problem, however they tend to be one-tracked in their talk and what they want to do. I am not finding many who are doing more than talking in the bar. It sounds like they are all a bunch of Alcoholics hanging on the bar stool, however really there are fewer problem drinkers here than in Bangkok. The young drink themselves silly persons are not here; these are older successful persons that came to the Islands to retire. They drink a lot, however not in a drunken way, I have not seen any stumbling around, on Khao San Road in Bangkok, it is common to see a fellow traveler walking home drunk.

The ages is maybe the point here, there are some old people here, the average ages is over 40, so many of them are up in their 60�s, however I would say the common age is about 45 and fast approaching over 50.


Daily Routines

Daily Routine Philippines

Saturday December 10, 2005, 3:20 AM

I have daily travel routines and I like them, they keep my world safe, simple and clean of messy worlds. I just woke up and it is 3:22 AM, this is too early, so my cycles are out of wack, I went to sleep too early. Port Barton is slow at night and the rain is not helping, it makes everyone have less to do and not sure on what to do. It is not raining now and I am hoping the rain has passed us over. It would be easy to choose to go to El Nido looking for sun and a better beach; however, I know this is crazy. If the sun shines, I am on a good beach, or close enough to be enjoyable. No Bikinis and nobody on the beach, except for numerous children, however I can go and receive some Vitamin D from the Sun and enjoy the day.

The routine today will be simpler as I am going on the third day of being in Port Barton, I have figured out where there is Internet for 180 Pesos, 140 Pesos more than I pay in Manila however if I time it correctly it would be 90 Pesos. The man at Summer Home where there is Satellite Internet is happy to assist with the Internet so that make the Internet better than normal. He is British and that is the reason there is Internet here I believe. The Satellite Internet is deceptive; it is only a Satellite for Philippines somehow and not anywhere on the planet. Pretty slow yesterday and not fast enough to really enjoy.

Pearls are here, I will go read in the encyclopedia�

�Pearl (gem), lustrous concretion produced by certain bivalve mollusks (see Mollusk) and valued as a gem. Pearls consist almost entirely of nacre, which is the substance forming the inner layers of the mollusk shells. Nacre, known as mother-of-pearl, is composed primarily of aragonite crystals. The pearl is an abnormal growth resulting from the invasion of the body of the mollusk by a minute particle of foreign matter, such as a fine grain of sand. The particle acts as an irritant in the mollusk and becomes coated with layer upon layer of nacreous material. Both marine and freshwater mollusks produce pearls.� (2)

The Japanese figured out a way to make Pearls as early as the 20�s and now they have a Pearl Farm here in Port Barton, I need to check on this and collaborate it is really a Pearl Farm, however 80 percent sure. I would have expected persons to try to sell me Pearls here, nobody has tried to sell Pearls to me or hardly anything, it like I am ignored except by the persons who wants us to buy them beers, or the boat drivers maybe.

There were people in Puerto Princesa trying to sell me Pearls, I ignored them as they just looked like glass beads, and of course, they could have been just that, who can tell.


Port Barton Palawan Philippines Near Sabang

Port Barton Palawan Philippines
Friday December 9, 2005, 12:53 PM

I am in Port Barton; it is a small village on the West Coast of the one of the larger Islands called Palawan in the country of the Philippines. Port Barton is located between Sabang and El Nido more or less.

There is a maze to run here of when and when I cannot use the computer, Sabang and Port Barton have this 6:00 to 10-12 policy of Electricity, this means they only turn on the village generators at night. I think I am on the Hotel Generators presently and this is good, as the time is 12:57 in the early afternoon. I think they turn on the electricity here at 4:00 in the morning for Pearl workers; however the owner keeps us disconnected as she believe we do not need it. The reason it is a maze for me is that my usual computer work time is between 5-8 in the morning. The electrify is not on at this time so I am trying to work when the generator is running, which is now.

I am not sure if I like to type or blog or whatever I am doing, I do like to type when I feel like typing, I do not want to sit and rattle this computer because it is convenient. I want to rattle the computer when I feel the inspiration.

What got me started now is I wanted to view all the photos I took of the Underground River Caves of Sabang, plus to view if I captured any noteworthy photos of the boat trip between Sabang and Port Barton. Most of the photos are boring to me, however I am jaded, and I am here and saw the real thing, hard to impress myself with a photo. The critical problem presently with photos is rain; the weather is overcast, rain, then overcast, not a sunny disposition of feeling or views. More like looking through a cloud, hard to capture the feel of a cloud or haze, maybe in the future with a better camera I can begin on this photographing journey or lessons in trial and error.

Nonetheless, I am in Port Barton a nicer place after the semi-boring place of Sabang, the lights and streets are rolled up early in Sabang so hard to find a conversation worthy of being called a conversation.

Here in Port Barton you have a 90 percent male traveler to a 10 percent girlfriend with a male traveler ratio. Therefore, a good place to talk boy talk or hang around and drink beer if you drink which I do not and talk about girls. I just talk about girls and avoid the beer. I am not sure what the scoop is, however I guess the road between the major East Coast road and the West Coast over here is blocked because of construction created mud. The trip here by jeepney or van is blocked so about 50 percent of the people are missing, because of the bad road. The numbers of people are either over exaggerated or unexaggerated, however I doubt I well ever suss out the truth. To me if you want companionship here, you best bring it, UNLESS, you love to hang around with the boys on the stool at the corner of the bar, then you would be in Heaven.

I think there is some abnormal social behavior as all the younger pretty people probably rush for the city to do something, probably the girls go out to do something they will never tell their parents about and if they succeed, they will leave the country. I am not sure what the boys are up too, the cell phones, internet, and television has communicated to the world, there is a world out there and where you live is boring, so they all leave, go somewhere to a city.

I do not know, I have been talking a lot with Steve, I thought his name was Mike, however his name is Steve Something, I discovered he is working for Halliburton. I do not know how to spell, and frankly, I do not care. However, this company gets in all types of bad press because it appears that Chaney the Vice President has his fingers in the till, who knows and I am not caring. However good gossip, Steve says they are wasting taxpayers money, however he is cashing the checks obvious and is in a position of upper management, so I guess he is part of the problem.

I assume he would not like me typing this in my computer, and again who cares, he is assumptive that people listen to him. West Point blah blah corporate politically correct, and sort of demand we listen him because he already knows?.

He is just here for women as are most of the men here, I like women, however cannot say I am here only for women. I wanted to hang around Sabang, walk up, and find more pictures of the Water Buffalos and them drag type carts. However, the bottom line is a boat was arranged and I did not want to fight to find the next boat.

My game plan now is to hang our here and be bored, however content until about the 14th of December and because of the road I will try to leave then and go back to Puerto Princesa. I am 95 percent sure by hook or crook I can get back to Puerto Princesa in four days even if the road is really closed.

Everyone else is talking too much on leaving, I am trying to stay, and I see the place as fascinating. There are Pearl Farms of some form; this is going to take three days to figure out what is happening there. I think or hope the rain stops enough to explore better. There are too many boys or men hanging around trying to hook on to our good nature so they can make money. I need the normal people to come out of the house, the rain must stop, and they I can ask questions about the Pearl Industry. I can see it from shore and the woman Lucy at the Hotel says it employs 100 people, which is a lot, I do not think she is right, maybe 20-40, however I am guessing. 100 persons is a lot and the stick fence in the water around the Pearl Beds is small, I am hard pressed to see 100 persons scooting around.

Steve is very knowledgeable and extremely up on what is going with the Jobbers or what the Jobbers that work on Oil Rigs or in other country as labor are doing. I suppose the Halliburton Company is about this type of labor, however hard to say. I have seen many Jobbers, I am not sure what to call them, however they work in about 1-3 year stints in other countries and go on vacation to places like Sukumvit or Pattaya in Thailand and buy up all the women they can as fast as they can then go back to work.

There are many of them in the Philippines as probably more of a place to retire, as the type of girl is different here and more personal and not so much a money thing.

I have seen this person in Iquitos Peru, Ecuador, Northern Thailand, as I have never been to Pattaya I am just gossiping, however for sure Steve collaborates this is a place. The Vietnam War created some of these places, there is also the Japanese or Korean created places in the Philippines. Hmmm? I never thought about it however, Japan had a big force in the Philippines during the Second World War this is maybe the reason for the return of the Japanese tourist. Their great grandfathers probably are saying, great place to find women.

It is a great place to find women, however like Port Barton it also a great place for culture and other Island type adventures. I am losing my lay in the sun beliefs, maybe this place always has a cloud above it and it is more or a rain forest jungle place and not a beach place. I have not seen the bottom of the ocean so it is not Belize here; it is still a mucky water view of the bottom.

I am trying to find dry sand, not all beaches are the same and for sure, it is difficult for me to trust any travel writer when they say there is a beach.

I could talk for days maybe about the types of beaches, and laughingly all of the could be good beaches almost if they put in swimming pools? hehehe

OK, this beach does have some dry spots, however mostly some type of tide beach, the one in Sabang may have had see Urchins in the water, this makes swimming almost impossible as they will cut your feet. However, Port Barton I believe has sand bottom all the way out, there is some of it dry.

For me to enjoy a beach there has to be somebody on the beach in a Bikini, this means there has to be foreign girls because the Asia girls avoid the sun like the plague. To get a high enough quantity of foreign girls in one spot in the Philippines, I may have to go to the very touristy place of Boracay.

Am I barking up the wrong tree, is there some beaches I can enjoy in the Philippines, or do I need to two around a Philippines girl to not be lonely? I am not sure and of course this is just exploring in one way or another, the conversations in the Philippines are much more enlightening and interesting with the Expats here than I ever encounter with the Dread Headed Tattoo, Pierces bodies of Thailand, plus with a push there are some very interesting Philippines person to make friends with, while Thailand is great work. Mostly a language problem, however also a culture obstacle.

I will stay in Port Barton, hope the rain stops, try to go see the Pearl operation here and hopefully get brown. I cannot believe I can stay in the tropic this long and accidentally avoid the sun. You give me any nice place, a couple of bikinis and I will go lay in the sun, I am amiss, what is happening.

Port Barton is like Palolem Beach in Goa or closer, very big and wide, not real spectacular however does have the hanging palm trees and the boat, however missing all the people and the Expats large numbers.

I am fully aware that any place can change drastically, it is December 9, 2005, maybe another month the tide goes down, for some reason conventions of Swedes come to Port Barton and the world changes. The beach is dry and full of bikinis. It can change in a heartbeat and maybe it will not. I sort of look for places to park for months on end, like a place to retire. Hard to choose a place where it is not 100 percent dependable. I like Koh Pha Ngan beach in Thailand, the Full Moon Party beach because I have never been there when there was not enough Bikinis to enjoy life. Now the Expats here would hate the place because there is no bar girls and hookers and such, only a large amount of young travelers. I would say the conversation is weaker however, the beach life is better.

I have came up with a methodology on how to write some guidebooks, I think I can hire or pay people to help and it is manageable, maybe a perfect solution. That is a teaser and even though I am typing in my own journal I am not going to talk about this? hehehe, somebody may be reading.

I was on the boat yesterday listening to a painful 16 Horse Motor with NO muffler blaring for three hours. I could not talk and I was thinking? I have the solution; I have a daylight view of how to write a guidebook, I can see daylight. I love them little light bulb moments in life when clarity reaches the mess of thoughts and cleans house.


Sabang Underground River

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.


Sabang Philippines

Sabang Philippines

This is a bus or Jeepney unloading at the boat docking area in the center of the Fishing Village of Sabang. The whole place has no more than 100 huts in the immediate area; however outside the village are some rice farmers. In the small village of Sabang there is really only about 20-30 huts. The place is very small and more of a group of houses and not a village. A village normally has a central store that serves the city, a bigger store that would sell or collect items that are needed. A trading post more or less, the stores here are small and not very well equipped. I believe for major shopping the locals go into Puerto Princesa to buy things, one German woman said this to us, however this is a bad stretch of road and we are all not so happy with the road; however, I believe the locals do this trip as a normal part of life. The trip is not bad, it is just most Asia travelers are pampered.

The talkative woman on the Jeepney owned a fruit stand, or a few fruits stand. The lemons or something like a lemon is only the size of a nut. A girl in the Hotel was using them to do shots of Tequila and they are about the size of a U.S.A. Quarter Coin.


Road from Puerto to Sabang Photos

Road from Puerto to Sabang Photos

These great children were piled up on what I think was rice, however not sure, this is taken from the window of my Jeepney. The Jeepney stops often along the road and picks up or drops off persons.

This boy with a Machete, wife, and child it appears got on the back of the Jeepney. He does not speak any English and none of the persons in the back agreed or disagreed when I said,

��Cock Fighting.�

I held up my hands showing a fight, and punched the air. They rather agreed, however like talking to boxes sometimes. Later a great and happy woman got on the Jeepney and talked up a storm, however the boy had already left.

This boy and the chicken are simple, nice, however it is slower life, much slower than my life, I am in about gear three and he is in gear one, or granny gear. The mind needs some exercise to go fast. There is no reason to think fast, however when you are around a person that is thinking fast, it is annoying. I am annoyed when I meet people from the USA, as they want to talk very fast. I am not accustomed to talking or thinking fast and they want to go very fast. I see no reason to go faster, so both need or could adjust.

There are these big limestone outcroppings along the road; this is some huts that probably live by growing rice on the flatlands below the large rocks that jut out into the sky. I thought this was a volcanic rock island before I came, however it a sandstone, or limestone broken earth crust island. You can see the strata of the rock as it points to the sky.


Map of Trip from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton

Map of Trip from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton

This is a map of our route or my route, it was with so many people in the Jeepney or on the boat, I feel a we is appropriate. I took a Jeepney on a good road from Puerto Princesa to a turn off, and then took a road off the same coast as Puerta Princesa that crossed over to Sabang. This road was a little rough, however really ok, and the most interesting part of the trip. The Jeepney has very low windows and is not good for looking out the window. It would have been better to take the 9:00 microbus or bigger bus. Hard to say as first come first serve mean you could be standing on the back of the bus if you timed it wrong.

Many people just take a tour and go to the underground caves very quickly, pay a lot and avoid Sabang.

I think you have to say to yourself, or ask yourself, do I want to associate with normal Philippines persons. If you do not want to sit on the bus with normal people then you need to take the tour, if you want to see and learn about them then go on the Jeepney and stay in Sabang. I would say 80 percent of tourist avoid them at all cost, or minimize the contact with the actual Philippine people, opting to stay with other Expats with Philippine girls in tow.

The boat ride between Sabang for 3000 Pesos share among three person was not so exciting. It would have been wonderful if the 16 Horsepower motor had a muffler. It was so outrageously loud it was not possible to talk; my ears have finally stopped ringing. I personally will not take the boat again unless I am forced. I would rather go slower and enjoy the trip. I also get motion sick so the boat is rough as the waters are not calm presently.

The cost of the Jeepney to Sabang from Puerto Princesa was 150 Pesos, however I have never heard yet of anyone paying the same, everyone pays different prices.

The problem with the road is when you cross over from one side to the other, the road along the coast. The West Coast is good; the road from the West Coast to the East Coast crossing the island is bad. I was laughing to myself in my Encarta Encyclopedia in the computer it can calculate the miles. There is a big controversy on how to get or the difficult trip from Port Barton to the West Coast Road way and when I calculated it is only 10-15 miles. This is short jaunt and could be walked, the wanna-trek persons should pretend they are paying to trek, go free and walk out of the place.


Photos of Puerto Princesa Hotel


Photos of Puerto Princesa Hotel
 
Travel Shower
 
I had a nice room, air conditioning, TV, Cable and HBO, everything in the room except for Hot Water Showers, so I used my one-cup water cooker and 
heated the water to take a dip shower. This was in the Audussie Hotel next to the Puerto Pension, a very nice hotel however not on the normal paths in 
Puerto Princesa.