After stopping at the “OK” pension house we arose early to have a wonder round Dumaguete city before heading back to Bindoy. First priority though was breakfast and it wasn’t long until we came across a Jollibee with a McDonalds sat opposite a quick coffee and a meal it was time to start exploring what we can before we headed back.
It was very obvious that there seemed to be no smog in the air and traffic wasn’t heavy may sound a little odd to say these things but Jovie has mentioned the same to me as well because the comparison of Cebu and Negros is a stark contrast of realities.
As you can see the tricycles are regulated for access and times they are allowed to run in certain parts of the city. The other thing I was surprised to see was a developed park area for kids as well as people to wander around. It was great to see they were not only functional but well maintained. I am sure it was around now I seen the first street trashcan/bin. Not first one I have seen in Dumaguete I mean the first one I have seen in the Philippines outside of a shopping mall.
I have recently been getting the gardening bug and it was great to see the flowers in the park as well as the others around our travels of Negros. Climate seems perfect for Orchids and lots of other colourful plants.
Time to catch the bus and head back as we are hoping to take in some of the sights near Bindoy before heading back to Cebu. See any rubbish in the street below? Because pretty much everywhere seemed to be this spotless we came across. Which sort of burst the bubble of life in Cebu as like I say to many other people living in one area doesn’t show life in the Philippines. Which is why this travelling around becomes more important as time goes on as I am hoping to map out a lot of the islands with information over time. Having lived and visited different parts it starts to build a large jigsaw puzzle of life in the Philippines with contrasts,contradictions,beauty and dismay as well as 1001 other things including the different climates that make the islands unique from each other.
Hoping onto a Ceres bus at the local bus terminal it wasn’t long until we were heading back to Bindoy which gave opportunity for me to hang out of the window with my camera as there was no air conditioning just open windows the full length of the bus. Low dust also meant the lens didn’t get much blow onto it.
As we got nearer to Bindoy we had a vendor get on the bus with some fresh peanuts,boiled eggs and other snacks for sale. They generally hop on and off the buses all day long as they go up and down the route. I didn’t get a photo as I was busy chewing on peanuts we bought. It was while eating peanuts we made a stop in one of the towns to pickup passengers and vendors approached the windows for selling their goods. I was sat happily eating my collection of peanuts when I noticed a strange looking guy. He had long permed hair similar to the guitarist of Metallica in fact his facial features were very similar. I watched him out of the corner of my eye trying to avoid eye contact. It wasn’t those things that made him weird though it was the fact he was wearing a long dress and wearing a cheap plastic child’s backpack. Although I had managed to avoid making eye contact with him it didn’t stop him approaching my window with his hand out begging. A quick dili (meaning no) he stood back from the bus before lifting his dress up to reveal himself as being completely naked underneath. I had avoided looking by continuing to eat my peanuts as I knew he was going to do something crazy. The bus driver then started yelling at him shortly afterwards we headed back off to Bindoy.
Thought this restaurant sign was rather relevant to the strange guy (in regards to Willie Wonka slang as a man’s manhood). Also wondered who was such a fan, was it a play on words as the colours are also relevant to the famous Roald Dahl tale of Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory. Didn’t have time to ask on this trip but will make sure we do on the next one. It was soon after we were back in Bindoy and Aga decided to sleep for an hour as Jovie woke him up at 3am chatting and he was already feeling rough with all the travelling we had done so far. It gave me an opportunity to talk to Jovie’s landlady about Negros Oriental and trying to get a better understanding of why things function so well but also the relevance of poverty in the region (Poverty because most of the domestic helpers and yaya’s in Cebu seem to come from Negros they must be leaving for some reason). It became quite appararent that the mountain regions although functional living there is pretty harsh and kids pretty much finish education at 15 if their lucky to help with the farming etc. Also became obvious giving assistance on farming such as helping increase livestock quality and introducing some new methods would help people a lot more than things like dental and feeding programs would. Its one of the things I think people forget to do when deciding to do a project which is to ask people what they need and want. Permaculture would also help and discussing rice crops there had already been introductions of aquaculture where fish were introduced to the same pools as well as ducks giving three crops in the same space.
After Aga rested we started to head further north and came across a coral sanctuary but to be honest there was nothing there the most interesting things were the birds we came across in some fields but they had flown by the time I got my camera sorted. Would love to be able to sit still for a day somewhere and just watch the wildlife as I think the only way to see it is to stop moving. I was still feeling the bumpy road in my butt making the ride difficult as well so decided to head back and prep up for the trip back to Cebu rather than continue as we had asked a few people about things to see and the only other thing they came up with was a local dam.