Zentraveler takes night ferry via Philippines!

After what was to be approximately 7 hour bus ride from Bacelod to Dumaguete… my watch said 13 and one half hours and I was beginning to wonder if this was a typhoon, sunami, or just the end of the earth. As it turned out I was still alive and anxious to get back to Cebu.

I went to the ferry office at Dumaguete and procurred a senior discount ticket for 150 pesos, which is roughly three dollars US. I once figured out I could travel by bus in Central America for approximately 20 cents an hour and if I stayed on the bus for a year my daily cost would be approximately $1.60 per day plus food and lodging… which would include corn on the cobb, beans and some sort of homemade tortillas. My sleeping would vary from hammock, backpack sleeping bag, and an occassional budget hotel.

Oh well a diversion …I figured I could travel for a year for under two thousand dollars and have an experience of a lifetime. You could also travel by the ferry system in the Philippines, take advantage of their discounts, and move from Island to Island at a very cost effective method of travel.

Also for those who love adventure, white water rafting, surfing, deep sea fishing, birding, and discovering Spanish ruins and historical sights… the Philippines is a place yet to be discovered, because of its great diversity in culture and geographical terrain.

One minute you are visiting the night ferries and witches of Siquijor Island, who can cast a spell, and the next minute you are witness to a holy event…. complete with large parades and fiestas with drums beating and folks dancing down the street.

The Philippines in one way is just a giant fiesta, trying to suck you in like the Venus Fly trap, and if you are not careful you too will be a part of the celebration—stopping to taste some of their dishes, which don’t even have an English name or comparison, and joining in with the festivities.

As the Ferry pulled out of Dumaguete the night was pitch black and we could hear the whistle blast against the brisk wind. I beleive my bunk number was 454 and I felt like I was back in the US Navy!

The night ferry left Dumaguete at exactly 12 midnight and was scheduled to arrive in Cebu at 8 am. They had a small snack bar for coffee and such and I slept with my arms wrapped around my back pack using it for a pillow. The engines groaned and moaned and the ferry seemed to settle in for the long ride.

A bit dreary eyed I was outside on the railwalk as we came closer to Cebu! The fresh air was exhilarating and I was glad we had a safe trip and would look forward to stepping onto terra firma.

As the ferry approached Cebu, one small homemade boat made of bamboo came alongside the ferry, and to my greatest suprise, a pregnant mother dove off the side to retreive one peso thrown from the ship.

Soon several other homemade bamboo boats showed up mostly with naked children and with the mother or father pointing to their mouths… hoping to get a few pesos for their mornings work. The pesos kept falling usually one at a time and then we docked.

The next tume you think you have it tough, I want you to consider that a family or a single mother got up early and rowed the entire distance to gather a few pesos. My observation showed that the average boat might have gotten about 10 pesos of which they had to dive off of the boat and swim down fifteen feet or more and capture the peso. Of course I empyted my pockets and only prayed they too could have a better life.

So there you have it! If you want adventure and have a small amount of time or a great amount of time… hop a ferry and discover for yourself… some of the wonderful sights and culture in the Philippines!

QUOTE: “You ask why I live Alone in the mountain forest, And I smile and am silent Until even my soul grows quiet: It lives in the other world, One that no one owns. The peach trees blossom. The water continues to flow.” Zendailyquotes.com Li Po (701–762

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Approximately 200 trees can be cut down by an average beaver.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Trees!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Eat more Beavers!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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