Philippines – Squirrel People

My problem in relating my adventures these days is not deciding where to begin, but where to end…

Gee, what a clever little sentence that was!

Perhaps you noticed the new panoramic picture in the previous journal? the catchy island slogan? Don’t give me the credit, I couldn’t make up something that cheesy if my life depended on it. That’s the tourism bureau’s official catch-phrase for this silly rock. I took the pictures used to make the panorama from White Island, a small coral & sand key about a mile offshore from my sitio (village).

Camiguin is an oval shape of sorts and unfortunately for you I live on the north end, the skinny end. So the perspective of this picture keeps you from seeing all 7 volcanic peaks we have here. We’ve had a lovely string of sunny days this past week, but even so I’ve yet to see the top of the highest mountain on the island, Mt. Hibok-Hibok — that’s it dead center with clouds obscuring its upper reaches as usual. You can see three large white specks in the middle of the shoreline, that is Paras Beach Resort where you can stay and pay 900x the actual retail price for anything your heart desires. I currently live in YumBing, the sitio (village) directly behind it, perhaps 50m from the ocean.

I’m going to go ahead and warn you in advance that this is the last you’ll be hearing from me until… *checking my calendar* … … March 4th. I’ll get to why later on, but we’ve got a lot of ground to cover before the emotional goodbyes begin.

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Philippines – The Arrival


“Island of your Imagination”

Taken from a sandbar one kilometer offshore.
Taken from a sandbar one kilometer offshore.

February 11th, 2006


…Before I arrived on the island I thought I knew what that word meant. All reports I was able to find, and everyone who I talked to who had heard of it – Filipino and Foreigner alike – confirmed that it was a tropical island paradise, a sunny jewel adrift among the sheltered waves of the Philippine Sea. Today, Saturday, marks my 5th day in the Philippines, and what would have been my 4th day of research had I not fled the island for the comparative comfort of nearby Cagayan De Oro…

Perhaps “fled” is too strong a word. Truth be told I’m here in CDO today because my research assistant, Melvin, must teach a Japanese class every Saturday at the local university. This weekend I accompanied him back into the city for one reason and one reason only – to dry out.

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