Time on Mactan Island
Trip Start Oct 08, 2008
22Trip End Dec 09, 2008
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arrived here on November 27 and stayed five nights at the White Sands Resort, an attractive complex with swimming pools, koi ponds and nicely manicured grounds. Our room was large, nicely decorated and with a very comfortable bed. Definitely the best accommodation we had so far on this trip and certainly a sharp contrast with the budget style places we stayed in during the GAP tour. The hotel staff here was so polite and friendly that we felt almost uncomfortable with the unending geniality. White Sands is right on the water with a small private beach and views of boats and distant islands. Unfortunately the beach was not good for swimming, the water being very shallow, murky and constantly churned by buzzing jet skis
For five days we did absolutely nothing other than lounge around the pool, read and eat. On the first night there we got invited to a small wedding anniversary celebration at the resort. There was a nice buffet, musicians and company from Mexico, Germany and Argentina. The hosts were an Afrikaner and his Filipina wife. He in fact was being detained in the Philippines and unable to get back to his job in Qatar because of a dispute over a house that he invested. His only hope was to bribe officials and a judge so that he could leave.
While there were numerous white male guests at the resort, most of them were accompanied by Filipinas, some of who were half their ages. Vicky was definitely in a minority here, as there were only three or four Western women in the resort. Another large contingent of guests here were Koreans who if fact comprise the majority of tourists here. We even had difficulty finding a place to eat outside of the resort because Korean
restaurants surrounded us from all sides
We ventured out of the resort a few times and the contrast was striking. Our luxury resortand a handful of others in the vicinity were surrounded by poverty. Lapu Lapu City is a crowded ramshackle placefor the most part populated by truly poor people ling in squalid shacks and with little opportunity for employment and means to improve their lives. Probably the main contributor to the poverty is overpopulation and lack of family planning. Ten children in a family here is par for the course, and many couples have even more children. The cycle of poverty is therefore perpetuated by lack of education and the Catholic Church that prohibits any type of family planning.