Puerto Princesa Day 3

April 26, 2024

Even though we travelled east to west last fall coming home from Africa I had forgotten how bad the time zone change is. It is our third day here and I am sacked. We managed to stay awake last night until 9 pm and got out of bed at 5.30am, both reasonable times. At about 3pm this afternoon Debbie and I are on the bed nodding off uncontrollably. When we got home from Africa it took a month to get our clocks straightened around. This time we have 4 days because we will be 60ft under the surface of the water on Sunday.

After ½ a morning of lollygagging we left the hotel in search of lunch. Back on the street again I noted a few more things about Puerto Princesa, and I’m assuming that time will tell, about the Philippines. People here are not in a hurry.  It’s a pretty good guess that has to do with the heat. I walk along at what I consider a saunter and still pass by people easily. Even the traffic is somewhat slow. It moves along but it is still easy to cross a street on foot.

The place is noisy. Debbie and I must almost yell at each other to communicate. Most of the sound I think is generated by the traffic. The din is loudest on the main roads and dwindles on the secondary roads, less again on the tertiary roads. Today we walked down one of the residential ‘alleys” and it was honestly quiet.

Again, something I just noticed today; everything is in English. So, I looked it up. There are two official languages in the Philippines, Filipino and English. Filipino is the language used to communicate between the peoples of many different ethic backgrounds but English is the official language for government, education, and business. I thought it was a bit too easy to get about here.

One more odd thing about at least Puerto Princesa, pedestrians obey the traffic lights. You arrive at a corner and there is a group of people waiting for the walk light to flash on. And, yes people jaywalk. I think mostly because the blocks are so long, but when they reach a corner, they stop and wait for the green walk light. And if there is an uncontrolled crosswalk mid block the cars are quite polite about not running you down. There are very few places we have travelled where these actions are common place. I thought Edmonton was unique in the world.

The other thing quite forward in thinking here is the count down for the traffic light change is for the walk light to end. At home the ever-intelligent powers that be have chosen to have the counters count down the wait light teaching people that it is acceptable to cross while the orange halt hand symbol is on display.

It seems the Philippines has a bit of the wild west in it. One of the more disturbing signs at the front door of many establishments is ‘no firearms’. Yup, no guns. I’m guessing again but by the need for those signs I assume it is OK for people to carry them. Yesterday we passed a gun store with hand guns on display in the window and what looked like very scary weapons on the wall just inside the open entrance door. That is a bit unnerving for these two Canadians.

Tomorrow we get picked up by the boat crew and head to the open ocean to do some diving. We will write a few blogs but will not post them until we are back on land and have access to the internet.  

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