Sunday, February 22, 2009

San Pedro

As I said before we met up with Bianca in her vacation/country home near San Jose. Actually it's on the road to San Pedro a little fishing village along the coast where she grew up.
She'd just recently built a beautiful place made of wood on the property and I must say it is awesome to be able to have a home where most of the activity takes place outdoors. The upper deck feels like half the surface of the home (and probably is actually) and serves as the dining room, living room and even my bedroom :). It never gets cold at night (so long as you don't ask a local) and you can just sit and read or chat in bare feet and shorts all day long. Oh, I am never coming back..... It's even nice to sit and watch the rain (which I would never admit to at home because it's not true there).
The black sand beach was also nearby with it's fishermen. The water wasn't really good for swimming because there is a river nearby. Actually the river is pretty interesting in and of itself. Like a lot of places in the Philippines, it was a reminder of the strength of the storms they get here as it was just a little stream with a huge and ever expanding riverbed that had managed to tear away a road and part of the village in the last big storm a couple years ago.
Bianca's brother and his family spent most of their time at the house visiting with us, and in a continuation of the hospitality theme of the Philippines, fed us and fed us and fed us again. Shean, I have eaten all sorts of seafood and noodles dishes so your description just doesn't work (although they were all good). I am sure I have gained some weight and an autopsy would now probably reveal a thin layer of tissue between my skin and bones :) Everyone also seems to want to play matchmaker and if I were to stay any longer I would probably end up fat and engaged in no time at all. I'll have to come back....
We spent a few great days at San Pedro just relaxing and trying to convince ourselves that we hadn't found paradise and needed to eventually leave. I am now convinced that it is a disturbing sign that we are getting this trip close to the end of the road mentally because rather than maintain our self-abusing method of putting "lines on the map" by land travel we were seriously looking into a cheap flight back to Manila (which are often even cheaper than the bus). The fact that I would consider this at all when I hate flying (both in principle and the experience) probably means that we are getting tired.....
As it was, we didn't get into a plane but took a bus. It was another one of those marathons that had us riding the bus for a couple of hours on windy roads until we got to the end of the island (Panay) and had to jump on a ferry for a few hours to get to another island (Mindoro) where we drove another couple of hours to its end and another ferry terminal. Wake us up, jump on the 1 am sailing, wake us up again 2 hours later to get off and then a few more hours of driving to get to Manila. In total, 18 hours and no sleep. So we are back in Manila in Bianca's apartment while she has run off to another island on a volunteering trip. We have only a few days left before leaving the country so will stay in Manila for that time and meet up with some friends from Couchsurfing that we've made and see a little more of the city. The Philippines has definitely been one of the top countries of the trip and I must make plans to come back.


At 5:29 PM , Blogger giting said...

I'm glad you are considering going back to the Philippines. And yes, my country still has a lot to offer.I'm glad our paths crossed. You are the most amazing travelers I met. :-) Safe journeys!

At 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have not completed the "balut" challenge... you have to come back!
haha! keep us posted. can't wait to read more of your rantings.

take care guys! keep in touch!

;) larz

At 12:30 PM , Blogger The Bear said...

Hey Ammon,
Sometimes it is only when we stop, relax, and let our guard down a little, we realize how much stess and energy we have been spending making sure we are not over involved in things, but just observing and protecting ourselves. I find it is usally during the second week that I relax and start to feel the fatigue and stress leaving... sort of for me.
Personally I think you should take someone up on the engagement thing, I work with many people from the Phillipines, and they are without exception warm, freindly, beautiful people. You will be hard pressed in life to find better people. Not to mention the noodle dish......mmmmmm.
They had snow in Vancouver again last night, you sure you're ready to come back here? We are at 23 below with a 15 degree wind chill and it's snowing ...again. Everybody sing "the sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow, except in Vancouver where it will come out in May."
Where next?

Love and Bear Hugs
Big Bear

At 3:04 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

ammon, your thoughts are an interesting read. thanks for thinking highly of our country. to have those comments come from a very seasoned traveller must really put the Philippines way up the charts!

yay, go tell the world about us.


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