"The Last Day"
A short day today and an uneventful one. For some reason, this was the one day I actually got an early start -- I was on the road by 7:30. Since they aren't expecting me back in Iloilo so early in the day I did lots of dawdling along the way.
Before leaving Passi, I stopped at a supermarket a few blocks from the
Casa Dorillo to buy a gallon of bottled water, some cheese bread and a
1-liter Coke. Supermarkets here are much like back in California
except much smaller. This one was about twice the size of a typical
7-11 convenience store. They also are typically located in the cities
instead of out in the suburbs as in America. That's because in America
everyone shops by car while here they walk or take public transport.
You see few private cars on the road.
Gas prices here run around 13 to 17 pesos per liter. That's $1.10 to
$1.45 per gallon, not all that much lower than back home, and much
higher as a percentage of income for most people. A jeepney ride
between nearby towns runs about 3 or 5 pesos (7 or 11 cents). I don't
know how those guys can afford to pay for their gas. Uncle Dave says
every time gas prices go up the jeepney and taxi drivers go on strike,
gumming things up for several days.
The map shows several rather confusing routes running south out of
Passi, but I figured it really didn't much matter which one I took. If
you head south you eventually will end up in Iloilo. The sun was out
all day do I could tell which direction I was going. I've really only
had half a day of riding in the rain on this 6-day tour. Not bad for
the Philippines in the rainy season!
Almost every town of any size has a town square at the center with
immaculately-maintained landscaping, benches to sit on, and usually
statuary and other ornamentation. I was sitting in the one in Leganes
eating my cheese bread and drinking water, and of course attracted the
usual crowd of small children who sat in a circle around me staring and
talking among themselves. At that age, the only English they know is
"What's your name?" They giggled excitedly when I answered "Ako si
Alan. What's YOUR name?" They were fascinated by my (admittedly
profuse) body hair, touching it (to see if it's real I guess). The
older kids were shy and didn't want to appear too interested, but
managed to find an excuse to walk by several times.
I arrived back at the hotel a little before noon. Mom insisted on giving me a big hug despite my dirt and sweat. I quickly showered and changed and we all went to the Bavarian restaurant for a big lunch.
To continue this account chronologically, jump to "September 11".
Back - Top - Forward