Last couple of days have been making miles on the little hired scooter, from Dauin to Binalbagan last night, then to Toledo tonight which we opted to stay in rather than push on into the night to cross the island to return the bike in Cebu city.
Today’s ride was really pretty, we crossed Negros island, west to east over some little mountains. The road was lined with sugar cane most of the way, but in all the little towns there were nurseries set up on the roadside selling flowering plants, very colourful.
It can be hard work on such a little bike though, sharing the road with lots of sugar cane trucks, buses, motorised tricycles and in the towns the pedal powered tricycles are everywhere.
I’ve never seen these type of tricycle before, they’re an old bmx bike, with a sidecar welded to the side. People use them to go to get around town with, I guess it’s like a budget taxi.
Then it’s the jeepinos, imagine a stretch jeep, with people crammed in like sardines. And finally the mini van, which is usually only carrying twice as many people as seats, and may even be air conditioned!
Over dinner last night we got to talking to the owner of the resto about the Philippines, life in Manila and the people in these little towns. He explained that life in Manila is comparatively hard, so he and his wife had moved to the country where food is much cheaper to buy, and so here they can exist without so much of a struggle.
He went on to tell us that the ten year old boy hanging out across the street was actually homeless, pointing to a bench seat across the road, ‘that’s where he sleep’. Pretty hard going to be only ten and homeless.
In the same breath he asked whether we’d had any problems with people here, which of course we haven’t, and he told us that it’s quite dangerous in some parts, that it’s not uncommon for someone to be carrying a gun!
Then he lowered his voice and told us that many people still believe in vampires, or not really vampires, but people who can change form into animals at night time. It was a full moon too…
Then he told us that one night his wife and her friends were in their house, when they heard some noise from outside, like a man breathing, deep heavy breaths. Then out of nowhere a cat jumped through the window and ran through the kitchen, and they had to chase it out of the house. He leaned forward in his chair and whispered
‘before I did not believe, but now I not sure’
‘Ok… There are cats everywhere here, why couldn’t it have just been some random cat?’ We asked.
He nodded wisely and agreed that maybe that’s how it would seem to us…
We’re still not sure if he was having us on 🙂
Tomorrow we drop off the hunk of junk scooter and get a bus to Bohol Island.