Philippines Travel Stories, Page 45

Sabang Rain

Sabang Rain
Thursday December 8, 2005, 6:37 AM

I took a Jeepney from Puerto Princesa to Sabang, the location of the UNESCO Underground Rivers or rives in caves.

The Jeepney cost 150 Pesos and there are must be three types of trips here per day. 7-9 and I am not sure.

The trip was about 2-3 hours and very good, not a bad trip, culturally interesting; however, the small jeepney is hard to see out of and would have like to been in a bigger bus that was on the second trip. They say they only leave when they are full, so this could be a problem.

It was cloudy yesterday and it is raining very hard now, it is very early at 6:42 am, therefore it will probably burn off as the sun rises and leave. I am trying to figure out where the sun is located in the Philippines as so far the clouds have enveloped all of the locations I have been. Most everyday in Manila it has rained, I have not seen much sunny weather.

I am in Roberts Bungalows, there is a place called Marys in the Lonely Planet Guidebook and all of the travelers walk down there like sheep and check in, they do not even stop along the way to see if there is other choice. I walked down there because all of the locals asked,

�Are you going to Marys?�

I finally said yes and walked the 10-20 minute walk to the place, it was hot when I arrive and it is behind this knob of rock on the cost, it seem to slow down any possibility of a breeze, plus outside the loop of the small village. Marys is far enough down the beach you would have to be very motivated to want to walk at night from Marys to the small restaurants. I truthfully believe that every tourist almost in the area will be leave today if they can, there is not much to do and the water is not inviting at all.

All the Hotels seem to be the same prices 450-500 and a cheaper room without toilet for 250, the choice for me was either a breeze off the ocean and close to the village. I am right on the beach and can walk out and be on the beach, there is not really a difference, right now it is very cold here so I have both blankets on me as I type, the other less exposed locations would be warmer.

Dab Dab is the name of a German Unique Restaurant, it is nice and I met a person by the name of Mike we went down there and ate last night. It has three bungalows and they are very beautiful, for sure, the best I have seen. 500 is the same as I am paying and they are better.

Dab Dab so far is the best quality of room.

Roberts is Second

Marys is third, the rooms are older and bleaker.

However the only one that has many people is Mary�s, I guess that is not true, there of the cabins in Roberts has tourist, Mike, a Korean Couple and Me.

The electricity is only on between 6:00 and 10:00 although many people may have private generators, however there is presently no Electricity and I am working off my computer battery.

The ride from Puerto Princesa to Sabang is nice, I really enjoyed the trip, I hope to go see the Underground River today and then maybe go to Port Barton, and I hope a little bigger place and less deserted. I was cracking on Mike and asking,

�Where is you Philippines Girls in tow?�

There is a assumed status that you will have a Philippines girl with you, everyone ask, including the women,

�Where is you Philippine girl?�

It is morally suspicious question as there are so many bar girls or semi-pro prostitutes that in the Philippines as it has cross over from some type of Sin to be a Prostitute maybe to a job position in these Island. What do you say to a old woman in the Jeepney that is asking where your Philippine girls is, she knows and I know the only girls around that you can snag in one day in Puerto Princesa is a semi-pro prostitute.

However she persist in asking,

�Why didn�t you bring one from Puerto Princesa?�

The nice girl versus semi-pro prostitute situation has cross or blended in the Philippines it appears to now where it seems to me there is not a stigma on the girls when they work in a bar. Then I hear stories about the nice girls hiding or holding off for marriage, it is mess.

Mike has traveled the whole world, he is a helping to contract some 1300 Philippine workers into Iraq to work and build in the country. He was in the Vietnam War and is has been to so many countries I think he make me look like I have never went anywhere. He is from the USA and knows a lot, about 58 years old. He has worked and traveled, in the books by the Drifters of James Micheners he writes about a group of Expats called the Jobbers I believe.

There is this sub-set of travelers who work on oil wells, or maybe in strange jobs like arranging to buy lumber or big contracts for construction. I suppose there is many sub-contractors in the world like Mike that serve the Army Needs as they travel around the planet. Nonetheless, there is this group of traveler-workers that make a lot of money, not just a little, an extreme amount of money in comparison to their needs. If you do not have a home, you do not need money. The big expenses are car, house, and filling up the house with stuff. These jobbers will flop or end up all over the word in small center or Expats locations; they will be rich men in poor countries.

I am not sure what will happen today, Mike wants to take either a boat or a Jeepney to Port Barton, I am in favor of a boat, however presently it is miserable outside. We were or are going to the caves at 8:00 am, I am not sure, and it is very rainy outside the room and not a great day so far. I am tenuous in talking about the weather on the islands. It is possible in the tropics to rain and stop suddenly and the sun become extremely sunny and nice.

I am hoping to leave today, however a little rushed for me, if we go to the underground river caves and then to Port Barton the day will be extremely busy for me, I am not used to moving the whole day and avoid an eight hour tourist days if possible. I am on my eight to forty hour bus trips or travel trips, however I do not do this of free choice, it is more or less no choice, the only good option. Today is different as I can go to the river today and go to Port Barton tomorrow.

I will play passive and let Mike make the decisions, he is sort of West Point, blah blah, very relaxed, however very persuasive in ways of doing things. Interesting in how he maneuvers or controls situations. A true expert in management in a way, I do not like to plan these more mundane things like arranging boat, or jeepneys so I will allow anyone to take over on these types of trips.

Mike is quite a personality, has traveled, and knows enough about politics and the government of these USA to really have some clear opinions. We discussed Iraq and the whole world as how it interrelates last night. There are zero girls around, and the Dab Dab restaurant has only one more German guy, the Karaoke bar had 6 Philippines so there was nobody to stop or keep us from talking. There was nothing to do but talk.

I need to make a decision right now, pack and try to take a shower. A dip shower is all that is available, however it is going to be cold. There is no electricity so no way to heat water for coffee or for a shower. I am in need of a shower so I am going to freeze and do it.


Streets of Manila Photos

Streets of Manila Photos

Manila Drunk

This drunk sat down in the street on Adriatico Street in the Malate part of Manila, he was almost directly in front of the Malate Pension or the Friendly Guesthouse. He sat there for about one hour and never left, there is very few police during the day and I have no idea what he was doing. This is not common as drunks and beggars normally stay out of the street, unless they are sleeping. He was awake and just sitting here; this means more of crazy to me and not just drunk. I was a little worried about him as the cars do not even move over to allow him to sit, defensive driving or taking care for people walking in the streets does not happens in the Philippines, so walking and sitting in the road can be dangerous.

Beggar Philippines

On the way to the Airport to fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island in the Philippines, this beggar child came up and looked in the window. The child puts his hands to his face saying he is hungry. I offered some food or bread I was eating the other day to one and they turned me down, they want money, not food. I am immune to these children and believe a good country will solve this problem. Tourist should not solve it. This just enables the country to avoid their responsibility to their people because it paid for by outsiders.

Begging is always a moral dilemma however not as big as you think. Either a person learns to ignore these people or they go home. Sound pretty jaded, however the world is full of beggars and people who are willing to ask you to support them, even in the USA people want free money and are not afraid to ask or take.


Sabang Philippines Cultural Conundrum

Sabang Philippines Cultural Conundrum
Wednesday December 7, 2005, 5:35 AM

The Philippines is an Island Paradise or I am thinking and believing it is, I am not sure. The problem is this, there is four five major types of tourist in the Philippines.

1. Philippine Tourist
2. Korean Tourist
3. Japanese Tourist
4. Couples from miscellaneous countries, not any dominance, more or less cultural or want to really see the planet travelers.

5. Men coming to see women.
6. Scuba Divers

Conundrum
1. word puzzle: a riddle, especially one with an answer in the form of a play on words
2. something confusing: something puzzling, confusing, or mysterious

SUN or SUNTAN
The puzzle here is this, none of these people really like the sun, I suppose the couples could and so could the scuba divers, however not really. Therefore I keep looking for a beach with people laying on the beach. I can guarantee in Puerto Princesa it is not obvious where the beach is located. I took a taxi or asked the taxi to take me to "White Beach" here in Puerto Princesa, however he took me to "White Beach Resort." I did not even walk around, as the taxi driver took me down a long road or path and I was afraid it was going to rain. I would then never find a taxi out of this barren place and have to walk back in the rain in misery. We drove on the motorcycle cart taxi quite away, I never felt like we went near the beach or water.

Tourism may be even smaller here than I thought; I am going to the core tourist places here today to check. Sabang, it is a place where there is underground rivers in caves and a UNESCO site or a World Heritage Site. There should be some travelers there, however I am getting weak. I met one couple here or an older man with a ponytail with a Philippi no girl. Most of the couple are this, a white man with a Philippine girl.

I was asking last night the persons that work in the Hotel, where are the beaches. Now to me this means sun and suntan, lying around on a beach. To an Asia person this is anywhere there is a coast and the can swim. Swimming is somewhat boring after about one-half hour and sitting around on a beach, tanning and taking in the sun has to dominate the day. One man Dean named after Dean Martin is very helpful, he is from the Philippines however really does not understand a beach. He is just very helpfully repeating what is normal for travelers.

I want a beach to lie around on and read my book, cooking in the sun, a place to absorb the energy I receive from the sun.

I am cooking water presently in a the pail in the toilet, this Hotel does not have hot water, very strange, the hotel has Air and Color TV however no Hot Water. I really like hot water and my one cup coffee maker is heating about 2.5 gallons I would guess so I can take a dip shower. It is about done.

I am leaving at 6:00 to go to the Bus Terminal or maybe a Jeepney terminal, I am not clear, the guidebook says the buses leave at 7:00, however there may be so few, they do not leave until they are full, the man Dean says or asked a guy and said they leave when they are full at 8:00. I am just going to sit around and look a people, I like to look at people and my gut says, there is some interesting traffic or person moving around the country of the Philippines, some real characters.


Port Barton Palawan Philippines Satellite Connection

Hello,
I am in Port Barton in the Philippines, on a very slow satellite connection and hard to blog, will post some cut and paste blogs later.

I am fine, the internet is bleak outside the major cities on the Island of Palawan.


Palawan Hotel

Palawan Hotel
Monday December 5, 2005, 6:25 PM

Audissie Pension - 600 Peso Air and TV with Cable

I am in my Hotel in Puerto Princesa, the name is the Audissie Pension, I really have no exact idea where it is located. I went to the Backpacker Inn and it was only 150 Peso; however, the room seems sort of bleak and off the path. I decided to trust a good Taxi driver who said there was a room for 300 Pesos. When we go to that hotel they was full except for the 700 Peso, went to the Audisse next door and got a room for 600.

There are rooms for 300 though in the Hotel next door, it just looks like the place is very full. 600 Pesos is about 12 Dollars U.S. and I am trying to work, so nice to have a color TV and a little better feeling.

They have these cool motorcycle taxis, sort of like a Tuk Tuk from Thailand but really a motorcycle with a cart on the side. Another photo I can take of Taxis around the planet.

Palawan has a small town feeling however must be bigger than it feels; I think about 150,000 and that is larger. They have these taxis and I think this place will be ten times easier to travel around in than Manila.


Manila to Palawan Philippines Flight

Manila to Palawan Philippines Flight

Monday December 5, 2005, 3:46 PM

5700 Pesos Round Trip with Asia Spirit Airlines.

I am in what I think is the Domestic Airport in Manila, not real sure as the taxi just took me to the airport, have not tried to understand the place. I will leave in about one-half hour for Palawan.

The waiting area is very similar to a waiting area for a bus, or some nice waiting area with a better grade of human in a bus station. Very few western type people here, most Asian. Many Japanese and Koreans, it appears to be a larger percentage of tourists than the USA. Europe or Australians. It is December 5, it has to be starting a high season, and however I have not seen any real jump in people.

Funny about Asians, they do not want any suntans or sun in their face and we are in a beach, tropical type paradise. I am going to lie around in the sun and read my book, hoping to find some shallow snorkeling places.

The airport is full of cell phones; everyone is using them now for play toys, like a pacifier to pass the time.


Visa Extension Palawan Puerto Princesa

Provincial Immigration Office
BAD- Fernandez Street (NOT CORRECT!!!)
This is correct - 412 Rizal Avenue, next to Palawan Hotel

Puerto Princesa CityTel. No. (048) 433-2248
(for Visa & Passports)

I am on the Island of Palawan, I came into the Internet Cafe to search for the address of the Philippines office of Immigration here in the city of Puerto Pricesa, to say the least it has not been easy to find. The motorcycle taxis are clueless, the hotel is cluesless and the English has taken a drop here in Palawan.

This site appears to be about it, however is down or broke.
http://www.immigration.gov.ph

I have found this:
http://www.gov.ph/faqs/visa.asp

Yippee, I found on this page... I hope it is correct
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=emergencyservice&province=22

Provincial Immigration Office
BAD - Fernandez Street! (NOT CORRECT!!!)
This is correct - 412 Rizal Avenue, next to Palawan Hotel

Puerto Princesa CityTel. No. (048) 433-2248
(for Visa & Passports)

But.. I will hope...

It took me two trips there as the man to sign was not there, and then he had to call the girl that had the key to open the door. I think easier than Manila by a long way, however still not real good.

ANYONE that wants to leave you passport in Manila and come to Palawan.. BAD idea, you need it to get through the airport, they have a passport checking table.


My Search of Mom and Pop Hostels in Palawan

It is like the whole world forgot me, the backpacker and skipped right to three star hotels. I have been trying to find this place called the "Backpackers Inn"

I finally go to it however I have been avoiding going directly to it, hoping it would come up higher on my normal searches. Nothing about a normal search technique could help me find a cheap hotel on google.com. I had to go to the special techniques.

I typed in this... :

Palawan + backpacker + "Puerto Princesa" + Hotel

Found these about with talk about the "Backpacker."
http://www.dkrupa.com/trav/seasia/diary_nov.html
http://travelphil.com/internet_eng/uebernachten/uebernachten_palawan_palawan.html

My guidebook on the Philippines is five years old and I have found no backpackers in the Friendly's Guesthouse except for Elliot with a Guidebook, I am not sure what they are up to.

However I could maybe have found it good if I went for a HOTEL I already knew exist. I already know this place exist so the search is not fair. Easy to find a hotel you know about, difficult to find the best one you do not know exist.

I use this link all the time to learn how to search better in google.com.
http://www.googleguide.com/advanced_operators_reference.html

The internet is getting to crowded and the webmaster have taken the top searches right out of the mix. The Mom and Pop places do not have a chance, giving a false image that they do not exist. They still exist in guidebooks, however the internet is hiding them.

I did some direct searches, this place seems to be hard to find, another great reason to buy a guidebook. The internet is still missing the boat on Travel Information.