The Philippines

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Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - The Philippines - Go Ugly
159    September 6, 2004
TIP: CULTURE - ONE UGLY CITY
LOCATION: Banaue Philippines
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A Hobo trip around the world. Year 7
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      THE PHILIPPINES
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       DURING OUR ONE MONTH STAY IN IRAN
 ~ TODAY’S TRAVEL TIP
       CULTURE - ONE UGLY CITY
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THE PHILIPPINES

Flew into Manila with a round trip ticket from Bangkok, Thailand
that cost 240 U.S. Dollars on Philippines Airlines. Met up with a
Danish girl at the baggage carousel and we spent the last few days
comparing notes and wandering around. This was good because
I have seen less than 20 travelers or tourist in the last 5 days and
that is sad. But I really wish I was ten years younger when I was
with her, but she was a good friend for 4 days.

This place seems to have it all.

Beaches - My priority.
Scuba Diving - The Danish girl was a Scuba Instructor.
Volcanoes - Located in “Pacific Ring of Fire”
Girls - both paid and free
Half English speaking, that means most can speak half English.
Surfing
7100 Islands
85 percent Christian
White water rafting
Mountains

WENT TO UNESCO SITE OF BANAUE RICE TERRACES

I was lost so the ever reader of the guidebook the Danish girl
sort of chose and I agreed to go after I learned that Banaue
was part of the UNESCO save something valuable project…

So I walked up and down two or three skyscrapers in the last
few days as me, her, and two French people walked to one of the
magnificent feeling locations in the world called Batad. With guess
what, more or lots and lots of rice terraces. I estimate there is
over 120 in some locations. It is a marvel of water engineering,
but I will save that story for next letter.

I would add Batad to this list of great feeling places.
Corioco, Bolivia
Lago Atitlan, Guatemaula
Foz de Iguacu, Brazil
Koh Tarutao, Thailand
Orosi Valley, Costa Rica

NOT the same as the beach in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.

I have my feelers out and my antenna is twinking but my
cultural observations about the Philippines are still sketchy.
I would say this place feels pound for pound a better deal
than Thailand. I would avoid Baracay and anything that says
resort, plus get out of Manila as fast as possible and you will
be dollar for dollar the same as Thailand is my guess.

Most people go to Baracay and then would probably say the
Philippines is expensive. I am in a 3 dollar a night hotel presently
in Banaue and paid 1 Dollar in Batad for a taste of heaven.

Scuba and Resorts do not make a country expensive.
Those are your options and choices.

I was told by a Norwegian that you can renew you visa forever
and they just do not seem to care, he has been here for 6 years.

The place is friendly in a way, not too friendly, but they seem to
talk to me instead of giving me Asian orders, and the guidebook
makes it sound dangerous, but I think they are wimps.
(I took my training in South America, Asia is easy.)
This is probably backpacker heaven in many ways.

What is bad about this place is the 7100 islands. It would take a
lifetime to move around this place. I would suppose you have to
avoid the southern islands, because there is the same same type
of crazies causing Islamic religious terror, but they are easy to avoid.

I am heading south to Angeles City to see if there really exist a
location in the world where American Expats group together. I have
found every other western group, but I have never seen an American
Colony of Expats. Americans just do not travel.

I hope to have time to get to the beach, I mad major blunder in only
buying a 15 day round-trip ticket, but everyone said it was expensive,
and dangerous. My impression so far it is Thailand with a lot of extras.
Life is good.

Mabuhay! ( To Life! )

KENTA FROM JAPAN
I have a guest writer for the Go this way section as Kenta told
me some interesting information about Iran.

IRATE FANS
I found out that people do not like to be called stupid...
as I received some creative emails. But that is good.
That means they are reading the letter.

I see this type of letter as the future of press or papers.
I owe nobody and can write whatever and however I wish,
now that is a free press, no need to coddle. I call them Fans
because they are still reading.

Philippines is priced right for Hoboes.

Today's Go This Way
DURING OUR ONE MONTH STAY IN IRAN

Today’s tip
CULTURE - ONE UGLY CITY

Just another day in Paradise!
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X
Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
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You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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DURING OUR ONE MONTH STAY IN IRAN

I met a couple of Japanese world travelers in Phnom
Penh, Cambodia and they had visited Iran, and in the
conversation with Kenta and his girlfriend he mentioned
that he had some interesting conversations with the Iranian
people, so I asked him to write about it for my newsletter.

Kenta is in my opinion on the extreme upper level of
understanding culture. He has a webpage in English
and Japanese languages. He lived in Canada for awhile
and speaks exceptional English...


By Kenta Tanimichi
of Japan
http://www.geocities.co.jp/SilkRoad-Desert/6062/english

 - START QUOTE -

Speaking of which, I did not write about my experience in
Iran. Let me write here:

During our one month stay in Iran, I can't think of a day
we did not have conversation with local people. Taxi
drivers, hotel staff, waiters or just someone walking down
the road. Surprisingly many people here speak enough
English to have some conversation with us. And everybody
talks about politics. I can think of only one person who
did not get in this topic. All the other people will
eventualy talk about their leaders, even high school kids.
How they are all corrupt, stealing money from the state
and sending them to Swiss bank, police brutality, lack of
freedom. They all hate Rafsanjani, one of the most
influencial figures in Iranian politics. He is also one of
the highest ranking mullas, Islamic clerics.

I remember a man I met at a market in Tehran. He took a
silver coin out of his pocket and showed it to me. He
spoke nothing and I didn't understand what he wanted to
tell me. Maybe he wants to give me the coin, I thought.
The coin looked unusual. I never saw that coin before.
Unlike other Iranian coins I was used to, this one had a
face of a man I never saw. I asked who this man was.
"Shah." He said just that word. It must be an old coin
from the Shah time. I was still not sure what his
intentions were until he said "Shah good. Shah come back
Iran, people happy."

Then another day in Tehran. It was snowing that night. I
met a guy in his 30s. At first we had casual conversation.
Where are you from? What is your job? What do you think of
my country? I told him I was impressed by Iranian people.
They were often very helpful to us. Just when you needed
help, someone will come up and offer assistance. He heard
what I had to say but seemed not so interested. He said
something like "what about the (Iranian) government?"

Obviously I did not comment. I mean, this guy could be
secret police and we already met one of them on day one at
the border upon entering the country. I know this guy for
only five minutes. You don't comment on questions like
that. So I pretended to look naive and said I don't know.
Then he starts talking his favorite topic. As usual I just
listen and make no comment. But then he said something
strange and I had to interrupt. He said "we envy Iraq."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean Iraq was attacked and Saddam is gone. People now
free. Iran should be attacked. Then we be free too."
"Attacked? Who attacks?"
"Well, I think U.N. But maybe they won't. But America
can."
"Are you saying that you want Americans to attack Iran?"
"Sure. Why not?"

Whay not? There could be civilian casualties. Even how
efficient the smart bombs are, Americans might mistakenly
bomb children's hospital, for instance. You never know.
What if your kid was killed? I asked to him wanting to
know how sure he was.
"Yes, it could happen. In war, people die. I know. I was
soldier. I fight with Iraquis. But if our children live in
Iran, there is no future. If our government is attacked,
our children have better future. Freedom."
Wow. I didn't know what to say. This guy looked pretty
serious. He was saying he could sacrifice his kid's life
for the better cause.

I met other men who said something similar. I never
expected to hear anything like that. Maybe because
traveling through Europe and Turkey, everybody seemed to
be very anti-American. Even Americans. But Iranians were
different. I met several men who served in the Iranian
military during shah time and was trained in the U.S. They
spoke excellent English and openly talked how their
country was better when Americans were here. Ironically,
Iran could be one of the most pro-American country in
Middle East, I thought.

My email is getting a little too long. I will finish it
here.

See you somewhere. Happy travels.

Kenta in Hanoi

STOP QUOTE

By Kenta Tanimichi
of Japan
http://www.geocities.co.jp/SilkRoad-Desert/6062/english

Thanks Kenta
Andy HoboTraveler.com

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by
By Kenta Tanimichi
of Japan
http://www.geocities.co.jp/SilkRoad-Desert/6062/english
Not for reprint without permission

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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CULTURE - ONE UGLY CITY

Do you want to learn about culture?
Do you want to know the real country?

I was walking back from the beautiful rice terrace of Batad,
Philippines with two French people and one Danish girl. We
discovered it was too late to catch a bus for Sagada and would
have to remain in Banaue for the night. I thought this sounded
perfect because Banawe is a small town built in the side of a
mountain with a rushing river in the valley below. But the Danish
girl decided that she wanted to walk for two hours to the village
because there was nothing to do in the village.

We stopped in Banaue on the way for breakfast and instantly
left for Batad and our knowledge of the city was zero.

Not really important why she wanted to walk, or why she thought
the city had is nothing to do, but nonetheless it is a town in rural
Philippines and has a culture to learn and enjoy. This city is
perfect for observation and interaction with the locals, plus it was
a bonus extra time, so it was hard to imagine for me that a walk
down a road would be more enticing.

Are we really trying to avoid the people?

I find that too many people are only going to the tourist attractions
and following the guidebooks. But then they profess to want to save
the planet, the trees, and the world from the machine. Then even
worst they wish to explain the culture of a country to me, or explain
the knowledge that they read…. Ooops, that is right they read
about the culture, they do not know the culture.

(I am on my fourth night now in Banaue, decided to stay.)

If you want to save the planet, which probably does not need
saved, but if you want to help the people of the world, then first
you need to know the people you wish to save.

So my tip is this…
Go to an ugly city that is not in the guidebook, or the guidebook
says there is no reason to go, stop being selfish long enough
to experience the real country.

PUT ONE UGLY CITY ON YOUR LIST OF PLACES TO STAY

Just another day in Paradise!
PLAN YOUR ESCAPE...
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
X
Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
http://www.hobotraveler.com
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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I’m alive and doing fine.‘
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