The Good, The Not Bad, And The Ugly

Departing Chungking mansions, bags in hand to head to the airport, there was still time for someone to try and sell us a room, even though we were clearly leaving, comical. The short flight from Hong Kong to Clark airport, North Luzon island, took just over 90 minutes. Clark was originally the main airbase of the US forces in the Philippines until the eruption of Mount Pinatubo back in the 90s…

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Pinatubo from the sky

After a few short hours in the Philippines we went from a jeepney (the national symbol of the Philippines), to a bus, to hitching another jeepney, to a moter cycle with side car until we arrived at the small settlement at the base of the volcano, Santa Juliana.

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From the back of a jeepney

Pinatuno literally blew it’s top in 1991, with catastrophic consequences on the surrounding area. The top was reduced by 300 metres in height sending lethal volcanic ash all over the shop, then shortly after, a typhoon hit turning the ash into a soggy lahar, transforming Angeles and nearby towns into one giant swamp. To the locals, it was like waiting for a bus, nothing came in years then two natural disasters happened in one day, hundreds of people died and many were more injured. There is no sign of Mr Lava Lava today though, the 14 Km round hike takes you past the small village of natives, through the rugged valley that the lahar flow created and eventually to the crater lake, which has filled with water over the years. Knackered by the end, but overall the trip was good…

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Aetas village children

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Picked up some snacks from a stall before heading back to Angeles city, everything I asked about seemed to be 6 pisos, ‘how much for the biscuits?’-6, ‘how much for the coffee?’-6, ‘how much for for these oily peanuts?’ -‘erm… 6. This guy should just rename the shop, EVERYTHING’S 6 PESO, considering there are 65 piso to one pound, I guess that’s not bad…

We spent one night in Angeles city to break up our journey out of Luzon. Angeles city has one purpose only – sex tourism. After seeing something of such natural beauty, we then came face to face with the complete opposite, a place so rupulsivly vile created by the hands of man. It is because of Clark airspace that Angeles is what it is today, as the American soilders opened up a market for prostitution in the area. There’s no sights in Angeles, unless you consider hundreds of Lou Carpenter from Neighbours look-a-likes walking hand in hand with girls a third their age – at best, something on your must see list. There is no other way of putting it, Angeles is just downright ugly…

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The Cactus loves hiking

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Categories: Philippines | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Good, The Not Bad, And The Ugly

  1. Gary. This blog brought my old memory banks back to life regarding Olongapo City just down the road at Subic Bay the main American naval base. It may now be like Angeles but in the early 70s it was worth visiting as it was the closest you could come to a ” wild west ” frontier town, looks and action of Tombstone. 🙂

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