Debbie’s Musings

I don’t really think of myself as old. I’m 66 and that is not old. 90 is old. This is the first trip where I am treated as old, or should I say, elderly. I guess men see my grey hair and my small size and assume I need help going up the stairs on the dock or climbing out of the water on the dive boat. I know, they are just trying to be nice, and helpful. But, geez! I train the dive boat guys that I want a safety arm, but not to pull me up off the ladder. I hope after a few times they could sense that I do, in fact, have strong legs. My standard phrase is now, “It’s okay, I’m good!” If they only saw what I do at home – climb mountains in the snow and ski down, swim 2,000 m in an hour and cycle 50 km in a morning – they would realize I am capable of climbing in a boat. Be nice, Debbie!

Juvenile Barramundi
Juvenile Barramundi

A few years ago, I started booking hotels using my formal name, Deborah. It came from having to book flights with the name matching your passport. And some liveaboards and hotels want exact names also. So I use Deborah. Here in the Philippines, it just seems easier to be called Deborah – pronounced De-bor-ah, not Deb-or-ah. My Dad would approve of the use of Deborah, and I rather don’t mind it!

Karaoke. Filipinos love it. They are terrible at it! Right now we are listening to a woman crooning next door to the hotel. It is just awful! She’s is just singing away on the beach to no one in particular.

School of Batfish

Hard beds. We have encountered hard beds in the Philippines. First on the dive boat, where I would only sleep for a few hours before a throbbing hip woke me up and I had to turn over. Then, in the next two hotels, they were softer, but still harder than my hips like. Then last night we stayed in the Waterfront Hotel at the airport. I slept for 10 hours on a bed made for my hips! Superb! We have two more hotels in the Philippines before we sleep at my son’s place in Australia where I know there is a soft bed!

Backpackers’ mentality. Remember when we were young and, maybe not backpacked, traveled with small carry on bags and found hotels when we arrived in a city, or figured out how to get to a place the day before we were going there. Murray and I talk about how we still have some of that backpackers’ mentality even though we are traveling “heavy” with all our dive gear. It’s part of the adventure to figure out how to ride the bus to Maya port to get the ferry to Malapascua. It’s not really about the money, but the adventure. Old backpackers trying to not be so old!


We are now at a dive resort in Dauin, south of Dumaguete. We go diving today and see more frog fish than we have ever seen. These ones are small to tiny, one being less than the size of my small fingernail. We are getting used to a different dive operation and their methods. We’ll see what we find tomorrow!

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