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  • Writer's pictureKirk

My Experience with Locals in Leyte

I took a ferry boat from Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, to the island of Leyte to get a feel for life away from the big cities. I landed and stayed in Ormoc. I posted on the boat ride here:

One day I hired a tricycle diver to take me to a nearby village. I wanted to walk around a bit to get a flavor for the village life on that island.

Normally I would rent a car in these situations but there were none available in the town. Not even a single taxi! Only some guy named Butch who will drive you around for a price. Or I could jump into a shared Jeepney at a very low price at the expense of being packed together like sardines, or rent a private motorbike taxi. The last choice is the one I took, to take a dedicated motor tricycle ride.

The village streets from my tricycle ride:

I asked the driver to drop me off where I could have access to the ocean. It's amazing to me to be on an island with so little access to the water. But he knew of a place and he dropped me off and told me to walk straight down the road which was probably only a 10th of a mile or a little more to the water.

Here are the photos I took on my walk to the water:

But a funny thing happened along the way. This was not a straight road to the water as I had anticipated. There were twists and turns in it. Even though I knew the general direction of the water, I couldn't find the right road to get me there. There was a lot of low income housing down here as well.

I finally happened upon a family that were out side of their house and on their porch and I asked for directions.

With their limited English they invited me to sit down. They explained (as best I could understand) that the beach was not much to look at there and encouraged me to sit with them.

I thought, well they enjoy interacting with a foreigner and there is likely a prestige factor among their neighbors to have a Western visitor. I was happy to accommodate as I always look forward to these unique interactions.

There was only one man present along with three women. It didn’t take long for me to realize why they were so eager with their invite. They made it clear they wanted to go to the local market and wanted me to buy! They were quite direct about it too.

But hey, why not? We’re talking pesos here so I was not too concerned in breaking the bank, besides, as I’ve explained before, I earmark charitable money prior to each trip.

We got to the store and they bought a few staples and some candy. Then, as we were about to leave, one of the older ladies pointed to a quart beer and asked for my approval. I nodded in the affirmative so she grabbed two, waiting for my objection which never came. So then another of the ladies grabbed a third one. I didn’t object, after all there were 3 women. The man can fend for himself!

The total bill came out to about $10 USD. We went back to their home and the ladies opened their beers and I bid them farewell. I really didn’t want sit with the women after they had a large quart sized beer in them.

I gave up in my pursuit of the beach. I had a worthy encounter for this trip so I found my way back to the main road and flagged down a motorbike taxi to return me to my hotel.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Jun 20
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

It is funny the different lifestyles that you have encountered in your lifetime. I have truly enjoyed reading about it. I am very blessed that I have not had to beg or be direct in asking for a handout. But this is axway of life for a lot of people

Jun 20
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