Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Philippines: Elsewhere

Dagupan Beach

Dagupan was a stopping point between Vigan and the 100 Islands. It's interesting, but not that interesting. All along the beach there are small little huts that serve as private karaoke bars. You rent them by the hour and get to sing to your hearts content. Beyond that, there is not much to do in town. The seafood restaurants are okay. We didn't see any other non-Philippinos there, so I guess it's a good place to meet the locals.

Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan is home of some famous waterfalls that are supposed to be quite beautiful. I didn't see the falls, as the town was just one big tourist trap scam. For example, before I went, the official website listed the per person boat price at $630 Pesos. When I got there, it was $800 Pesos, with a two person minimum. Now, the price is up to $1000 Pesos. The hotels are overpriced. And everywhere you go in town people are shouting at you, waving you down, all in the hopes of selling you something. After one night I left without ever seeing the falls.

Nasugbu Beach

Maybe I'm just not a beach person, but I found every beach I visited in the Philippines to be lacking in anything of interest. The sand here was nice. And there were lots of hotels to choose from. On the down side, it is a tourist trap, with people constantly trying to hawk things, especially a boat ride to the white sand beach. I couldn't find a halfway decent restaurant along the beach. Even in town the choices were slim.

About the only think that peeked my interest was a group of men hauling in their fishing net. After what seemed like several hours of work by a small group of men, they finally landed their catch. It was handful of fish that an old woman quickly weighed on a scale and were spirited off to someone's dinner table. A rather disappointing climax to such an rigorous ordeal. Which serves as a good closing metaphor for Nasugbu.

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