Sabang

Sabang is a beach side town an hour north of Puerto and better known for its surf and the underwater caves.  Up to 10 years ago a place no one visited unless you stayed for a week, that was until the road was built.  Now the daily hordes of Chinese travel for a day trip to Sabang.  There is now a Sheridan hotel to cater for those who don’t need to wander too far into town.  I did think for a moment to sneak in for a swim in the huge pool, but I definitely would have looked out of place.  The hostel I stayed at was a 15 minute walk along the main road and owned by a German man who came over 30 years ago.  He and his wife created a beautiful place, unfortunately today it needs work done.  I sense in his tone that he is disillusioned with how his life has panned out.  Critical of the work ethic of Filipinos, the state of western society and the loss of an area now more interested in making a quick buck and destroying the natural environment.  His son was born in Sabang and has never left the area, he has 4 children to a Filipino who sat with me and spoke about the changes in Sabang since the road opened up.  She wants to build up the hostel again and hope more backpackers will come and appreciate what they have to offer, however because of the way shuttle vans just come in and out for the caves, the hopes of having people stay for longer for a day are remote.  She said they use to come for a week at a time, to surf and soak up the lay back lifestyle.  An example of how mass tourism can have such a devastating effect on ones life.

Although Sabang today caters for the in and out tourist, staying for three days gave me the opportunity to wander the streets.  On my last night after the day was a total rain out, I was sitting on the pier waiting for the lady to start her bbq so I could eat yummy pork skewers, I heard the sound of a man, “the speaker is now connected”. What speaker, before I could turn around music started blarring out, children from everywhere ran to the sound.  What followed for the next 2 hours was an outdoor version of bootscooting come a gym workout.  I loved the sense of community, this wasn’t run by adults but teenagers love of music and dance.  The Filipinos love of pop music and Karaoke filled the air with fun and laughter.  Of course when children take control there is the probablity that some would run amok and sure enough behind the organised dancing, the youngest of the bunch were jumping on car roofs, bonets, opening doors and basically causing mahem.  Yet not once did I see an adult repremand or stop them from playing and having fun.  I must say as the party ended and the kids returned to their homes, I danced my way also up the road in darkness to the hostel, I’m sure noone saw me doing my own bogan interpretion to Vogue!  Well I hope not.

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