How to not be a sex tourist but feel like one.

Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
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Flag of Philippines  ,
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Well. It is I Vinny, and I'm back in Manly Australia once again. Which means I survived the Philippines with its sex tourism, murder, election issues and military action. And I LOVED it. Great place, great people, crap food. Well crap may be unfair. Bland and flavourless maybe be a better description certainly not for the foodies out there. Which came as a surprise. A South East Asian country that was ruled by Spain for 400 plus years sounds like a true mouth watering combination.

But not to get ahead of myself.

The two weeks prior to leaving to the Philippines I spent back in Manly. Tom and I went our separate ways in Brisbane, he, also having only two weeks left in the country, headed with Lola to some more Northerly climes I had previously seen, so to save money I returned to Sydney to try and earn a quick buck. Little did I know then but it was the last time I would see that beautiful yellow bodywork........That's Lola not Tom by the way.

I spent a few days trawling round Sydney's hostels putting up signs regarding friend Roger's work agency. Adam the American arrived for some fun before his departure back Stateside. The rains came in a big way. Five days straight of heavy storms and flash flooding. Standing at a main junction in just shorts and my rain jacket, push cars out of the knee deep water that had stalled was a very bizarre. Then Tom returned for his last few days minus our lady Lola... a sad time... but with a fist full of dollar having passed her on to some Israeli chaps.... a happy time..

The day came, Tom had gone, I said goodbye to the American and headed of to the airport. Its been a long time since my last long hall flight and things had changed. There is your own TV screen, on demand films and plenty of new security measures. I was excited. I found some of this out when the spiky check-in lady told me to take the toothpaste and deodorant out of my hand luggage, when I asked why she shot back at me 'Its just the same as in Europe'. I explained politely that I haven't be on a plane in a long time she asked a few curious questions and the ice melted. I asked her if I had my own screen. She cracked into a big smile, looked at me like a cheeky toddler and asked if I would like extra leg room.

The flight was fairly standard to KL with a quick stop in Brisbane, where we all had to leave the plane and go back through security. I got pulled to one side given an 'explosive' check. Also a new one on me, my clothes were swabbed in certain areas then ran through a machine which, I assume, told them I wasn't in danger of combusting. 5 hours at KL then a 3 hour jaunt to Cebu City.

Cebu, Philippines second city, is gateway to the Visayas, Mindanao and the South. For me it was a stopping point before heading to Palawan. The town itself is large and sprawling backed with mountains, With a chaotic dirty downtown and a chaotic less dirty uptown. Pollution was high and not helped by the 35 degree humid conditions.

I was questioned by the cagey cabbie on my way into the city. 'so, you here to find a women?'. After I replied 'no, I'm here to see the country' he warmed to me and we ended up talking about boxing. Namely Manny 'Pac man' Pacquiao the national sporting hero. Now the question didn't come as a surprise. I was already aware that the Philippines has an appallingly large sex trade, though illegal. What I hadn't considered, as the day progressed and the question was asked repeatedly, was me fitting the bill as a sex tourist. A solo travelling white male over 25. Everything reminded me of this. From the receptionist at the hostel informing me that my single room would be comfortable for two or eyes watching from outside bars or eateries waiting for me to finish my meal or beverage to be propositioned. It quite a disconcerting thing trying to eat your lunch under scrutiny knowing sex will be offered as dessert!.

'Do you have the time?' 'What country are you?' or the more direct 'Hey Joe' were how the advances would commence with persistence until you gave a definitive, No. I took to asking 'How old do you think I am?' As far as I was concerned I was 20 years younger than the numerous white predators strolling around. 'Erm, 35 or 40?!!' I took to stopping asking 'How old do you think I am.'

I like to think of myself as a friendly person. I like to smile, mind my Ps and Qs, pass pleasantries and take time before I passing judgment. So, I decided to sit back and not have an instant loathing for all the men who were blatantly there for a woman or women plural. I tried to romanticize in my head that many of these frequently moustachioed men with local in tow tottering along in 10 inch heels were in love and would live happily together. When passing these fellows in the street I would try to catch an eye and nod or a least share a smile. Only once did I receive anything that could even pass as an acknowledgement. Why would this be? I questioned. Did they not notice me? Do they feel guilty about what they are doing and eye contact would be admissions of there own failings? Or are just flawed people who's level I will happily, hopefully, defiantly never reach or want to comprehend.

Important: During my 3 weeks and throughout my life I have met many examples of happy unions between 'western' and 'Asian' cultures . I hope that doesn't need to be said. These men though, these men are different.

Enough of these meanderings and observation. Cebu was great. Three days I spent immersing myself and acclimatizing. Sweating, eating, drinking and seeing the sights. Karaoke is the order of the day. Its everywhere. In the shops, in the bars and clubs, on the parks and at home. On one of my strolls out. I passed a back street bar. Twenty surly Pilipino face stared out at me. This may have been slightly unnerving if it wasn't that one of them was singing Britney's 'Baby one more time' over the PA system. The Basilica Del Santo Nido, home to Magellan's cross and Fuerza Del San Pedro were beautiful reminders of the countries Spanish past and strong Catholicism.

3 days was more than enough however and I boarded the plane excited to be moving on to the island that had caught my eye the most. Palawan, home of the........... well you'll have to go onto the next entry.
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Comments

jamster0106
jamster0106 on

sad...
I was reading your post here and I was just sad about the things you said...ohh well it's your opinion on what kind of people live here...
By the way, it's Basilica del Santo Nino..not Nido or unless you are talking about the Nido brand for milk here.

I do hope you search from your experience the nice thing that you have found/seen in Cebu, or so I wouldn't wonder why it took you 3 days to stay if nothing nice is coming your way then.

granial
granial on

reply to foolsgold entry
hi,i am a kiwi,i have been to the philippines on 4 occasions,never once have i indulged in sex while visiting here.i think your judgement on the men that u see in the malls and on the streets is very harsh.many of us come here because we like the filipino people and the friendliness,were not all interested in exploiting the locals.i do agree with u about the food and the cleanliness,also i would like to see a rating system introduced for the taxis,so that the drivers that invest in decent ,clean vehicles can charge more and the dirty taxis can charge standard fee only.my son is married to a filipina,i am in relationship with 1 and have been for the last 3 years,perhaps next time u visit the philippines,if u smile a bit more u yourself, may find the foreigeners such as yourself respond with a smile.good luck in your travels.dont be so judgemental on your fellow men

granial
granial on

NICE FOOD AT LEAST FOR A CHANGE
i found out that many foreigns think food in the philippine is crap,but at least their is the FRENCH BAKER IN SM CEBU who provide good basic food suitable to foreign tastes.i eat there most days when in cebu and u will see many foreigners ,but u must make allowances when traveling in 3rd world countries,the people here are great so patient and kind.

socialbutterfly
socialbutterfly on

Vinny's Cebu trip
Hi. I did not finish reading through your blog when I saw ur comment on the 'blandness' of Filipino cuisine. I beg to disagree. It really is an interesting blend --- Spanish, American, Japanese, Chinese, and more recently, we have been 'invaded' by Indians, Koreans, and others. So on top of our already spicy and tasty cuisine, we have influences coming from various parts of the globe. Next time you visit Cebu, try Casa Verde. And if I'm not mistaken, there's also a Colasa's there. I really find your comment disagreeable, I'm sorry. You're not giving justice to Filipino cuisine and taste. Go around some more, visit the side streets, do not content your self with seeking refuge in malls and similar places. You have already gone on a trip. Make it an adventure. =)

Cebuano on

Tourist has different reasons in going to Cebu. SOme of them went to cebu to find cebu real estate for investment.

Mom on

I am sad that your experience in Cebu was such that you have such a low opinion of us. How much have you seen of Cebu? Food? Have you tried any of the authentic Filipino restaurants? Presently, just in the two major malls, Ayala and SM you will find a lot of choices, and the widest array of local and international cuisines. Someone mentioned Casa Verde, and my American husband eat there almost everyday bec they are able to satisfy him with his perfect medium (local beef) steak, with mashed potato, veggies, shrimps for $6.00. In Ayala alone, there are a lot of choices Cafe Laguna, Hukad, Jerry's Grill among many other Filipino restaurants. choices on international cuisine is also abundant - there is CYMA, Gustavian, too many to mention. The terraces have three floors of restaurants and choices are so varied. Your description of the streets you walked on seemed like you got an accommodation at the cheap part of town. You also get what you pay for. There are those foreigners that took offense with your judgment but i think while what you described is true to an extent, it is also a generalization. Come to think of it, if no one look for or patronize paid sex, would they be there? And it is not only in the Philippines. It is happening in every country, or can anyone claim with 100% certainty there is a country that is an exception? Some are just so subtle about it. I am not justifying or saying it is ok for us. I just think that someone will have an impression or judgment of a place or people with just a short or few experience/s. You said you survived your visit to our country - with its sex tourism, murder, election issues & military action. Were you in the middle of it? Did you experience or was in a place where murder was happening for you to survive it? Not to say that in one part of the 7,100 islands it may be existing, but to picture the whole country as that seems too much. Media come out with SENSATIONAL news. With your short visit, you reached a conclusion it is true. oh well.

ken cebu resort on

I admire your honest opinion and it shows that poverty has a face.... what can you do about it ? whether you are a FILIPINO or tourist.... help save the poor and deprived..

kamran on

i reached boracay today after spending a week in cebu. where i come from (dubai) non on the philippines city can get closer to the variety of cousine offered there, the cleanliness, the infrastructure, rule of law etc. etc. but come on, if you visited philippines for the above reasons then it is your mistake. most tourist visit this country for beautiful beaches, wounders of nature, lovely people and all that a very low price. we come here to seek refuge from all that modern stuff that is taking away the calmness of life from us.
what you are looking for is not here, when you made a mistake do not blame anyone else.
and by the way, food, after my mom, no one can cook better that my wife, this is how happy i am. but this does not give me right to claim that indians stink because that eat food full of curry that smells from their sweat.
please do not feel offended by this as i assume you are an australian with indian name.

foolsgold
foolsgold on

Please, please, please, for the love of all that is good and sweet in the world, please stop e-mailing me about this.

I didn't write it, I wasn't there, I've never been to the Philippines.

For the 62nd time, it was written by my travelling companion Vinny who went on a holiday.

Any comments can be made directly to him, at neil_tuckwell@hotmail.co.uk. I am sure he will get as much pleasure out of replying to them as I have ignoring them.

And as an afterthought, not directed at the comments here but some of the more colourful e-mails that I receive... well, get fu*cked, basically.

PilipinoAko on

Filipino food is not a "crap", i wonder where you got your food? Is that really a "Filipino food"? Vinny, the next time you visit the Philippines go check-out if the food that they will serve you is truly a Filipino food.

Try to ask for "classic adobo", "sinigang na hipon/bangus", "sisig", calderetang kambing, "inasal na manok" then get your outback steak and compare!

I live here on

Original poster

Actually your observations are 100% correct, I have lived here for a few years and can't wait to leave, when I can afford to.

You only scratched the surface - it get's worse.

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

Filipino food is rather unhealthy to be honest. Its deep fried and lacks the spices and quality of other Asian dishes. Theres nothing about deep frying pigs trotters and putting a truck load of oil in there. Theres NOTHING in the way of Vegetarian dishes to write home about and i was amazed that people eat so little fruit there. The indian in Cebu .. wow! 1 indian restaurant. 1 authentic vietnamese restaurant at Park mall (the other is Chinese mix), a vegetarian chain called Persian Palate and thats it. Theres very little variety on offer apart from BURNT food most of the time and deep fried food. The people here that talk about variety perhaps cannot afford to travel and see outside their country or havent travelled beyond the wharf at Cebu. Filipino food is mostly CRAP. its the best word that best sums it all up. its full of FAT, SALT, OIL, DEEP FRIED. Like hello??? that stuff is tasty indeed but just remember .. that was the good old days of 1950s before people started dropping like flies from heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. The beaches are full of rubbish and plastic. Take Maya for instance where they were burning plastic on the waters edge to get rid of it. Ride through most towns around the island and youll get the waft of burning rubbish, plastics and other TOXIC RUBBISH. I must say though.. Over all my gripes.. If you want the loveliest, friendlest, happy bunch of people and ive travelled much of Asia and pacific then the Filipinos are #1,2, and 3 on the list. If it wasnt for there warmth, communication and ability to truly be a host .. then I wouldnt be going back there time and time again and call it my 2nd home let alone having found a girlfriend there. Hey and when im there I leave my opinions back in Australia.

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

Too many times foreign men might take the friendly questioning by females being a "come on" .. all of a sudden they are getting attention where back home they wouldnt even get a blink of the eye. Go to India etc where pretty much the same as I got in the Philippines.. "are you single", "are you alone" etc. may be taken the wrong way. Guys .. these arent necessarily queues that the person wants to jump into bed with you.. its just a bit of hospitality and everyday speak for some cultures. The opposite sex touching your arm when you speak or coming close is also the same. I just hate sleazy guys that objectify and commoditise Asian women and bullshit their way to saying they want to marry them. Cebu is not a sleazy place, it doesnt have that same factor as i found in other parts of Asia where between the airport and hotel i am offered prostitutes THREE times by different hotel staff. In relation to my last post about the Filipino food.. Sorry guys i was there nearly 12 months and had some really BAD BAD experiences of food .. even at Ayala Terraces. Lets see how things go when i go back next month. I must say that I ate off the street as well and dont include these experiences into the Ayala categories im saying BAD from the quality and standard i was expecting and that the restaurant made themselves out to be. :)

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

Mom (re your post) "I just think that someone will have an impression or judgment of a place or people with just a short or few experience/s. You said you survived your visit to our country - with its sex tourism, murder, election issues & military action. "

what are you talking about. Theres no sensationalising the fact that Philippines isnt COMPLETELY safe. Take Danao.. the murder rate is 63 times more than that of NSW Australia? If crime wasnt a problem why is Ayala a fortress with armed guards? Did you know that 53 people were massacred in the south at election time? did you know the mayor of Davao has a group called the Davao death squad? how about the 5 foreigners killed in as many weeks recently by robbers or the 5 indians kidnapped near manila recently which is regular with the PNP saying the kiddnappings are higher up until Christmas. Why is there a gun bad during elections for the nearly 1 million loose firearms in circulation as well theyre trying to cut down on? Why are jeepneys held up or the recent slaying of the father of a hotelier in Cebu and attempted murder of his son.. in addition to business people in the media being scared about a spate of ambushes in cebu on business people because the rate to liquidate someone is from $150? Why have people lost faith in the Philippines National Police? Do you know about the Communists rebels and Islamic MILF that are in the south .. insurgents that occupy most of the provinces with Cebu being proud to declare they are insurgent free. I could go on and on .. sure Cebu is safe, there are minor crimes eg. pickpockets and holdups... but you cant say its crime is low compared with other countries.

Isabella on

This guy is absolutely an idiot Australian! I have lived in Australia and people are courteous and refined there, maybe this author is an exception. Remember Philippines got thrice of your population so people comes in different classes too. Obviously you are in the low class who are also suited to the lowclass and might have been in touch with low class people like you.


You are so obnoxious, Vinny!

Arseve on

I am from Cebu and I must admit most of the things said in this blog are TRUE. But there is no place like home. As a tourist one must be prepared to accept what might come their way once they are on a foreign land. One must have read about Cebu before coming so most of these experiences are just confirmations. I am sure that if there are tourists also in your city they would have good as well as not so good things to say relative to their experiences.

So tourists, enjoy your stay and blend in if you can. You are in Asia, totally different from where you came from if you are not ethnic Asian.

Qheiyla on

sorry for what you've experienced. If you think that the Filipino cuisine is a crap that is because you are a foreign and not used to the food. The same for Filipinos that goes around the world or OFW's, but somehow FIlipino people learns how to appreciate and get used to the food of the country they're in. Have you tried LECHON DE CEBU? If not then you're a gonner. You should 've atleast going south or up north cebu go to beaches or the mountain side of cebu, it's mostly where i can find peace of mind. however, Filipinos are more likely to be hired for work aroung the world because of their passion and devotion for a certain job. have you also been to Ayala Malls? Casa Verde in Jones? Moon Cafe? Bob Cat? Jollibee? We, Filipinos, have already adjusted to your food and other country's food, although there are some cuisine that we don't like (eg. Kimchi) we somehow got used to the food and have learned to live it, love it, and embrace it.

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

Yea i went to Bantayan and swam amongst ladies sanitary pads and rubbish on the beach, or the plastics and rubbish being burnt on the waters edge at Maya.. The people at Bantayan didnt give a rats bum about the rubbish on the beach, tin lids, plastic bags, the 3-in-1 wrappers and shappoo sachet packets floating in the water by the bucketload.

I had Licheon De Cebu and ate from street vendors over restaurants. I went to all the places you mentioned and IT Park and the South, the North etc. The problem is the FOOD IS UNHEALTHY for long term consumption its a largely heavy diet that is acidic, fried or high in saturated fat. Show me a good salad? theres a forum discussing "where can i find a good salad in Cebu". You have lots of land in Cebu to grow nice stuff but its just Pork and Rice or Chicken and Rice being served at Restaurants. Theres very little variety outside of FRIED FRIED FRIED.. The only main vegetarian restaurant is Persian Palate and Salads at IT Park or Ayala (1 place thats decent).. for a city of Cebu Cities size its rather .. well pathetic that even on Trip advisor the #1 tourist attraction was Ayala Mall? ... huh .. a mall as the main tourist attraction? check it out.

PS: I want to say my comments are related to RESTAURANTS and commercial end. Im not talking about a home style cooking filipino food as I appreciate and eat anything that was served and dont want to see it as a personal attack if it is ...

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

The other thing is regardless of whats what with the comment on food .. the people of Cebu are the Best! ive encountered in all my travels .. they are warm, friendly and hospitable and as Qheiyla said .. i would recommend anyone going out to the province areas and really getting amongst it. Thats why i keep coming back.

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

gie? like what? ... silence...no examples given..

bogart on

well said vinny.. it's your opinion. i'm from cebu and have travelled around the globe. our food is indeed crap, but that makes us misses home evrytime were away. we value more on family more than anyone in this planet. we welcomes guest and take care of them. Even for guys like you who only talks as if you know everything in the Philippines. Try going to other places, such as pakistan, libya, nigeria.. and continue with your intelligent opinions.. good luck

Dennis M on

Guys if you hate the Cebu so much why not leave? No one is forcing you to live there! All countries have their problems. Why not focus on the positive stuff rather than dwell on the negative things.

Barlow on

Dennis? You a newbie thats just landed .. Please update us in say 6 months or something when youve done some solid yards ...

DennisM on

6 months! I have lived in Cebu for more than a year when I opened a business there and lived in Manila for almost 17 years. I'm based in Australia. I have seen the worst and best things of both countries. All I'm saying is that no matter where you are there are positives and negatives. If you focus on just the negatives it will blur your perspective in life. When I was in cebu I met a lot of fellow Australians sayin " if I have the money I will buy a ticket home and leave this dump!" well all I can say to them was "what kind of st---p c--t goes to a city with no means of going back home?' maybe a bit harsh but makes you wonder what kind of mentality this guys have.

DennisM on

My last comment was directed at you : I LIVE HERE

asitejust4u on

Ok Dennis..
Pity locals cant see what BEAUTY they have in beaches, the mountains. What resources they have in sunlight and gorgeous weather and fresh water and abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables. The country has a SIGNIFICANTLY better community structure, spirit and environment than anything in the west has to offer. Thats why i choose to live here.

I guess you need to see the negatives to make them positive. I would love to join forces and provide more education/programs about the rubbish on the beaches, burning rubbish next to the ocean and dynamite fishing. Its a pity to be swimming around ladies sanitry pads, plastic bags and the like on beaches and seeing people just carelessness throwing rubbish onto the beach and into the ocean.

Yes, and your example. Theres some grubs that come here ... i see it .. they dont even say boo to the guys that open the doors and the waiters. Thats what i said to a friend. Imagine you dont have people to greet you at the store, where someone doesnt say peekaboo in the shop when you are being served... make the most of it... say HI back and be nice :)

DennisM on

Hi asitejust4u!

Thanks for your insight . I guess you are right, we need to see the negatives and be aware that they exist and try to make them possitives. You are also right about the locals not protecting and not taking care of their environtment enough. It's a pity. But the problem is deeply rooted the mindset of the people, the lack of guidance and leadership form their Governement and their Church.

The Philippines had been and are still being "raped" by corrupt officials with no interest in change because they know that change for the better will affect their wallets and that goes for the Churches as well.
It is well percieved in the West that the Philippines is a very poor country, but they dont't know the truth. The Philippines is a rich country. They have a lot of natural resources, gold & minerals and some oil and of course the millions of Filipino workers abroad sending billions of dollars to the Philippines each year. But then again those resources are just being stolen by the people that are supposed to be running the country.

Environmental care comes with economic status. If a society is pre-dominantly poor then the casualty will be the environment.

DennisM on

With regards to food in the Philippines, we need to remember that the restaurants there adapt their menu for majority of the market which are the locals.Only a small number or restaurants do cater for westerners and are mostly in financial difficulty.
Just because Filipino foods are presented and prepared differently doesn't make them crap, it only means you are not used to it.
If someone only likes to eat healthy stuff then they should eat raw fish and vegies all the time. Chinese cuisine which is so popular here in Australia are not so healthy as well but people do enjoy eating it, so as the deep fried chckens from KFC! Its all about growing up with them and getting used to them.
Kimchi which may be a shock to most people is a staple in Korea, it may be pungent but that does'nt make it crap. Its all about culture.
I guess If someone likes his bangers & mash exactly the way he want's it then he should'nt leave his country.

Calignee on

I have been to Cebu 8 times and i feel sorry for you because you never discovered the real Cebu, sure the food my be a lot different to what you have tried before , but if you explore real Cebuano eateries you will discover real gems of local tasty foods
especially fish and vegetable dishes. I have visited many parts of Cebu and circumnavigated it by car and stayed at many nice resorts and also some very fine hotels with rock bottom prices the Diplomat in ramos street comes to mind with superior rooms for 1300 pesos for 2 people or about $30 aus for a good 3 and a half star hotel within walking distance of uptown Cebu City.
The people of Cebu are the friendliest people you are ever likely to meet, i have never been threatened or robbed and have always tried to ride in jeepneys and trycycles because its what locals do, the locals always chat to me in the jeepneys even the lovely women, and the sex trade is considerably more low key than in Kings cross in sydney. I walk around freely at night and in the daytime even in areas like Alaska Mambaling which is a squatter area and all the people say hello and ask where i am from, i am seeing a mature philippino woman who is my girlfriend and i really like the climate and the prices are so cheap its riciculous and i try to tip generously any and all who give excellent service , which is most people
The service in the philippines is outstanding and extremely curteous even to philippinos and is the4 best i have encountered anywhere in the world. I hope other people will take your comments with a kilo of salt and go and see Cebu for them selves and enjoy exploring and eating and drinking on a shoestring budget . Cebu is a wonderful place to visit and i am going to spend most of my time there when i retire

asitejust4u
asitejust4u on

As far as it goes I agree with everything youve said above Calignee.. Theres actually a whole better world out in Mandaue for your next visit away from the Ramos/Mango area :-) Cebu has a vibrant band scene eg. The Outpost. There are some real gems (places) out there but you have to dig around ..

I make no bones about it if i said the food is unhealthy. It is. Its high in salt, sugar and saturated fat, bad quality oil and other nasties. Just like if i have a bad Curry or Thai dish or fish and chips.. (to just elaborate on what ive said before) It still doesnt stop me eating it at family events, having a bbq at a road side stall and if im out on the street but i eat in moderation like drink in moderation. perhaps the use of the word crap is not correct i mean .. Macdonalds food is crap as well.

Im not sure what diet your on but i certainly dont want clogged arteries eating Lechon Kawali and Crispy Patter, Chicherons etc in overdosed proportions on an ongoing basis. that said ..being able to cook at home means I can try a whole range of greens at really really affordable rates eg. Kan kong and family

Theres a reason the vegetables are used sparingly and thats simply the affordability factor. I understand a broccoli might be 10-15% of my friends days wages for example. Most fruit and vegatables here are simply unnaffordable as we know it and quantities consumed in the west. for my friends so of course .. protein (fish, pork) and carbs (rice) are just the cheapest things going.

Another fact being a hiker and kayaker as part of local groups here is the rubbish thats in the estuaries and sea trash .. its really bad. Having lived here 4 years and rented in various areas of Mandaue and in the province I also get out, catch a jeep (even if ive had comments of being kuriput by jeep passengers ), habal habals and trikes... Yes, ive had my overseas friends visit and say to get taxis but I say catching (above) is like walking with bare feet on grass .. you really get to meet interesting people or just feel a greater sense of connection with there area and locals.

But being subject to swimming in Womans sanitary pads in the water twice and dirty nappies is quite a sad reminder of how people here treat their own environment here in the Philippines. Burning plastic on the waters edge and other nasties or starting road side manok rotisserie with plastic! which ive seen is quite common.

Kayaking through the mangroves you can see the remnants of plastic bags in even remote island areas clogging the mangroves, floating plastic satchets etc, ive been to areas in the north of Cebu and dynamiting of fish STILL goes on.

It will change over time and I am positive it will.

Theres nothing negative about raising this issue which are merely fact of life here and i live around it.

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