News from the Phillipines

My uncle has retired and is traveling in the Phillipines with his new bride. He’s an excellent writer and an accomplished photographer.

Satellite photo Map of Cebu City in the Phillipines.

Bob’s Phillipine Travel Website with Photographs

Here is a letter from April 2, 2005:

We’re back in Cebu now after two weeks in Dumaguete. Dumaguete, on the island of Negros, is dominated by American-founded Silliman University which has a large and very pretty campus — mostly pretty because of the HUGE Acacia trees. I suspect most of the students are from affluent families from the central (Visayan) islands. I did not see any white foreign students. There is a couple of other colleges in Dumaguete — so lots of students. Also many expats, mostly German and other European. It really felt like a Philippine version of Burlington, more attractive and gentrified than most of the Philippines. I liked it a lot. Something of a real estate boom going on but prices still less than Cebu. Oceanfront property is readily available. Some of the best diving anywhere is available nearby.

Now we have an apartment in Cebu; a bedroom with balcony, a living room with balcony, bath and a small kitchen. We are able to do our own cooking for the first time in more than two months. We have to pay our own electric bill and are trying to limit our use of air conditioning, which uses lots of juice. It’s summer now and up in the mid-90s each day now. We’re also going to try to use public transport rather than taxis. Going most places in a taxi costs about 90 pesos or $1.80 and a like amount to return. The public transport, jeepneys, costs 8 pesos or 16 cents. They can be hot and crowded but lots of local color.

Lots of girlie bars in Cebu. Many guys just go wild with that. One guy said he was like a kid in a candy shop. He went a little too wild and ended up in detention because he pissed off some Filipina who filed some charges against him. He said the detention was not so bad — could send out for anything, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut and who know what else — girls drugs etc. My only vice is slightly increasing consumption of San Miguel beer. When it’s so hot, it’s easy to suck down a bottle or two. A bottle in a bar or restaurant costs 25 to 35 pesos — 50 to 70 cents. At the store beer costs 13 to 16 pesos. I don’t drink rum much but it sure is cheap. I have a bottle of Tanduay Gold in front of me — 18.25 pesos for 375 ML.

There was a foreigner hang-out in Dumaguete where the German expats would start just after breakfast and be glassy-eyed by lunch time. Same bunch of guys every day. They were pretty obnoxious, hassling the young waitresses, etc. Two of them got into an altercation and the police were called. Two jeeps full of pulis arrived with M16s but they really did not know what to do with the foreigners so sat down and were given coffee. I guess just the presence of all those cops and M16s sobered everyone up a little. The police are not so well trained so it’s better to stay away from them. I got out of there! The place had really good food, especially Thai food and German sausages and overlooked the ocean.

We’ll be here all of April. We’ll probably be back in early June but not sure yet. I enjoyed Macao and might go back there for a visit on the way back. The Las Vegas gambling industry is making huge new investments in Macao and this might be a last opportunity to see the place before it is totally destroyed.


Bob and Carol


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