Cebu hell or paradise?

I find a lot of people complain about Cebu on arrival due to the fact the city lacks any real infrastructure or investment for decades. A friend described it as if a war had happened here and nothing has been fixed afterwards. It’s a fair description in some aspects because even getting your rubbish/garbage collection most of the time doesn’t happen and it ends up being burned or buried in pits. That is the rubbish that doesn’t block the City rivers and streams. Ive seen people bend over to take a dump into the sea while driving across a bridge. A lot of the simple infrastructure is missing for the population. Pot hole filled roads, huge shanty towns, congested narrow roads and public service vehicles that have seen better days bellowing out dust and smoke. As well as lacking lights at night. For a new arrival to Cebu you can see why my friend John was pretty well shell-shocked in this environment after spending time in other countries which had embraced change and developed a more western approach to development. Investing billions of dollars in the process. Most of the money set aside for projects of development gets lost in corruption such as the current street lighting fiasco and the fertilizer subsidy vanishing.. who are involved ? It all starts at the top and works it way down.

But there is new developments in Cebu that are changing pockets of areas but not anywhere near the amount needed. Many of the old taxis are being replaced with new due to old franchises not getting the renewal contracts due to the age of vehicles its small but a start. The Jeepneys and multicab buses although are pretty much going to stay for the forseeable future unless Japan has a new more environmentally friendly replacement to the multicab in the future. The crippling import taxes will make this a difficult thing to change and likely to stay for several decades yet. There is always talk of electric vehicles and solar but they aren’t rolling out in europe yet which has huge budgets available in comparison so what chance does the Philippines have? No doubt its a project getting foreign sponsorship and more to do with PR than anything else. But either way something will have to eventually be done the vehicles aren’t getting any younger. So time will tell. The new mall extensions at Ayala and SM have given fresh new sections for shopping, housing sub-divisions and condos have appeared all over the place. The problem is it “isnt” the real Philippines locking yourself in a condo or sub-division only traveling to the malls for shopping cuts out the real Philippines and the real people who live here. Aswell as the natural beauty that is everywhere once you leave the main city.

Yes you have the Sari-Sari at regular intervals. Run down roads and no street lighting but this is the real Philippines that people should see and move out of the City with its heavy smog and overpriced housing development projects. The thing about the stories of robberies,kidnappings and murders you have to look at the locations geographically and see where is safe to head.. but to be honest I feel more safe in the Philippines than I ever would in London or Birmingham.