[Video] – The Jungle Trail (in the daytime)

boholwalkimageA friend of mine (Adolfo Saldana) asked if I could show what the trail looked like during the daytime which I took in my last video during the night on my walk back from the nearest town, Tagbilaran.  Well, as luck would have it I decided yesterday to take another walk to town for some more white spray paint to finish a pantry project I was doing.  Besides, my mind started to roam thinking about all those short skirts at the mall.


There isn’t any major industry here on Bohol so the island air is pretty much pristine year round aside from some puffy white clouds that drift by every so often.  Well, then there are the dark clouds that seem to rush in and douse the island in a deluge of rain for 20 minutes every so often.  But aside from that.. beautiful clear skies bluer than an easter egg on Sunday morning.

Word has gotten around the village that the new ‘Kano’ at the end of the road still insists on taking walks at night through the jungle road.   The other day Leizel, the local HOA officer who is in the office at the end of my street (very attractive but also, very much married to a guy who I am sure owns a machete of some sort).. chastised me yet again that I really should not be walking around in the dark out there.  In a calm, reassuring voice I explained to her;

You know that part of your brain that tells you something might not be a good idea?  Yah, that part of my brain doesn’t really work too well.”  I don’t think she caught the subtlety of what I was inferring and instead gave me that look usually reserved for compassion on the mentally retarded.

So today I was walking the road yet again, as I said previously, to get some spray paint, cinnamon, raisins and antibacterial soap when I saw yet another little path that juts out from the main road.  It was still daylight, pretty hot and I wanted to just walk down it a bit to get a better view.  As I did, to my left I spied through the bushes the entrance to a cave.  Naturally I went closer to investigate.  My first thought was, “Cobras.. it’s a trap.”  Yet, despite being clad in sandals I ventured forward.  As I did, my presence of mind came to me and I thought, “Pictures!  Gotta get a photo of this.”  As I kept my eye on the mouth of the small cave and my eyes adjusted (keeping my eyes peeled for any type of lion or puma that might leap out suddenly).. I noticed something inside was moving.  There it was again.  Yes, something white was moving around in there.  An albino puma.  I’ll bet I’m the first (maybe last) person to ever see one in the wild.  Must get closer.

As I did I saw there was not just one.. but two in there, definitely moving about as I approached.  It was immediately after this that two Filipino men came out of the cave, both clad in white t-shirts.  They immediately began to walk away.  Their clothes were very clean for two guys coming out of a cave.  As they quickly walked away one of them asked, “Companion?  You looking for someone?”  I wasn’t altogether sure what he meant and the only thing I could think to say in response was, “Why?.. you have an extra one to spare?”  Don’t ask me why, it’s all I could think of on such short notice.  I was expecting an albino puma.

The two of them kept looking over their shoulders at me as they went down the path into the thick of the jungle.  My guess is that they lived down that path a ways and this was where they went to escape the heat and have a smoke.  I went to the mouth of the cave and, yes.. the smell of nicotine hung in the air.  I got a few photos while keeping an eye peeled and continued on my way.

As I did I was still only 10 minutes into my journey and this time I’d come prepared with my earplugs so I could listen to some tunes this time while taking my walk into town.  I got all hooked up and the first song on my phone that came on was, “Red, Red Wine” (the UB40 version, although I like the Neil Diamond version as well.)   This was bliss.  Just walking along in the sunshine with my backpack on.. listening to the music surrounded by more greenery than you can take in with any single glance.

It was a short-lived moment though because by the middle of the song a Jeepney came slowly tumbling up the road behind me.  It wasn’t a for-hire jeepney but a private vehicle.  Keeping with the groove I gave them a glance and turned back around to keep walking.  The jeepney slowly passed me and then came to a gentle stop ahead of me.  I could see that there was a man and woman in the front, two young girls and a boy in the back.  As I pulled off my earplugs I could hear the male driver saying something in Visayan to the kids through the window with no glass along the back of the cab.

My father says to get in.”, the girl of about 15 said to me as she opened up the back hatch.  My Mom always warned me, “Never take rides from strangers offering you candy.”  No candy was involved so I figured this was legit and climbed in, setting my backpack to my right as the jeepney began it’s slow, bouncy journey across the rough, coral road.  I removed my sunglasses out of respect to say, “thank you!” to the driver as I looked at him in the rear-view mirror reflection.  Remembering what little Visayan I do know I then followed up with, “Salamat!”  He waved his hand without turning around as though to say, ‘No problem.’

Soon the girl sitting across from me asked me, “Where do you live?”  Here in the Philippines it seems whether you are a foreigner or not, the customary first conversation is usually a series of questions covering where you are from and your marital status.  Who you know is usually right after that.  I told them with a few gestures where I lived and she said, “That is very far from ICM (the mall).. you were going to walk all this way?”  I told her I’d done it before and it was good exercise.  And yes, even she told me sternly, “It is not safe here at night.  You should not go.”  Being in a bit of a smart-ass mood (which is often) I told her, “Yah.. I guess I should just stay in town overnight, get me a room and roam around downtown.”  Yet another puzzled look in return.  I get that a lot here.

She told me the names of everyone on board and, with my crappy short-term memory I instantly forgot all the names and later decided her Dad’s name would be Sal and his wife’s name Nella.  I really am bad at remember people’s names.  But what I do remember is that she said they all lived at a church property and her Dad was the Pastor.  I noticed she did not say he was a Priest and gave a knowing, “Ahh.. I see.”  “We are Baptists.” she followed up with, just to make sure I really did see.   That set me at ease a bit.  Not that I was worried at all.  There is no glass in the jeepney and I could have escaped even with it moving along at 15 miles per hour without much hesitation if that’s what it came down to.

After a bumpy ride we made a few turns, entered the edge of town and soon were at the ICM mall entrance.  I made my way out and to the driver’s window to give the man some proper gratitude for his kindness.  He smiled, said something in Visayan again and off I went to the mall.

The rest after that was fairly uneventful.  Got my groceries, spray paint and then ran into the same three ‘promo girls’ I’d seen there earlier in the week.  Here they have these promo-girls who are usually tall with long legs (hence the tallness) and quite often very cute.  The short dresses are a plus as well as they move about the mall handing out promo materials on behalf of whatever company hired them.  I had serendipitously run into my neighbor in the grocery store earlier and she insisted I meet her at her car to give me a ride home.  So while I waited outside for her to exit.. this is when I ran into the same promo-girls in blue handing out flyers for the Globe network.  It would have been rude to ignore them so, I went to introduce myself.

After a bit of chit-chat I asked if they’d take a photo with me.  It’s part of their job description (I think) and so they got all giggly, posed and someone nearby snapped off a pic.   As they took turns looking at the photo preview on my phone, one of them went into a well rehearsed spiel about the Globe network services they were advertising.  I gave her my full attention and three sentences into it she began yammering complete jibberish.  The poor girl got all nervous and embarrassed but began laughing uncontrollably as she apologized profusely saying she normally delivers her message very well.  Her two promo-friends got a big kick out of it and began teasing her.  Despite the fun we were having for the moment I know they have work to do and they couldn’t be seen chatting away with me.  So I made my exit and thanked them for the photo op as I left to locate my neighbor’s car in the parking lot and waited for her there.

So, not just once but twice in the same day I lucked out and got a ride.. sparing me from a little over a 2-mile walk round trip.  I can always get my exercise some other time.  As for the mini-pantry, I sprayed two more coats on it in the dark using just a flashlight to see so, I’ll take a look at it in the morning.  It’ll be a nice fixture in the kitchen to keep my sugar, coffee and other goods readily available behind its wire-mesh doors.

I hope you enjoy the video, below, and until next time.. as I always say, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Take care,

Henry “Reekay” V.
www.lifebeyondthesea.com


 

Author: Reekay

After 49 years living in Southern California, USA, I decided to move to the Philippines despite never having been here before. In July, 2012, I took a leap of faith and transplanted myself to the amazing Philippines. I am a single man taking an honest look at all that the islands here have to offer, one day at a time. I hope you find my LBTSea site informative, entertaining and hopefully a bit of each. 🙂 Be sure to visit the Forum and other parts of what the site has to offer. Browse around and be sure to sign up for updates via email. Enjoy!
— Reekay

22 comments

  1. Henry thanks for all your posts. I look forward to every one of them. I'm heading to Manila for two weeks and may stop over in Cebu for a few days. If I do I will give you a shout out. I'm heading on a Delta flight in the morning. Peace!

    1. Awesome! Keep me posted when you get to Cebu and perhaps I’ll make a trip out so we can hang out a bit for a beer. Use the ‘Ask Henry’ page to send me a private email and I can give you my local cell # here. Have fun!

    2. Awesome! Keep me posted when you get to Cebu and perhaps I’ll make a trip out so we can hang out a bit for a beer. Use the ‘Ask Henry’ page to send me a private email and I can give you my local cell # here. Have fun!

    1. If it’s that bad, the simplest route would be to attach a USB hard drive (or memory stick) with enough space to save just your personal files. Photos, documents, etc. Then do a ‘Reset To Factory Settings’ re-installation of your laptop. Just Google the brand/model of your laptop and add the words “reset factory settings” and you will get the key combination to press during startup to activate that program. It’s automatic once you start it and restores your laptop to like it was when you bought it, kinda like Draino. ha! Any existing programs would have to be re-installed. But at least then you’ll have a stable, fresh, efficient operating system. (check out my other site; http://www.henrythepcguy.com )

    2. If it’s that bad, the simplest route would be to attach a USB hard drive (or memory stick) with enough space to save just your personal files. Photos, documents, etc. Then do a ‘Reset To Factory Settings’ re-installation of your laptop. Just Google the brand/model of your laptop and add the words “reset factory settings” and you will get the key combination to press during startup to activate that program. It’s automatic once you start it and restores your laptop to like it was when you bought it, kinda like Draino. ha! Any existing programs would have to be re-installed. But at least then you’ll have a stable, fresh, efficient operating system. (check out my other site; http://www.henrythepcguy.com )

  2. Henry, Thanks for the Video. I can see why a nighttime trip could be nice, but I am curious about the concern for your safety is it danger from MAN or animal they are worried about? What is life without a LITTLE risk (I emphasize little being a family man).

    1. One of the times two women told me I should not be taking the road, either alone at night or day, I asked them; “Why not?” They just kinda looked at each other not having really given it much thought before. But.. the next day, after they’d most likely asked their husbands for input, they told me, “Because there are crazy people living in the forest. Drug addicts who will kill you.” Personally, I think I’m more likely to run into the “witch with no panties” that Delia keeps warning me about than a drug-crazed lunatic. I mean, many people here don’t have the funds for cigarettes or luxuries like strawberry jam.. much less afford some Shabu (local drug) or weed. If they are on weed, not even close to dangerous. If on Shabu, the last thing they are coordinated enough to do is hang out for weeks in the jungle with all the spiders and cobras just ‘hoping’ some lunatic like me passes by to rob. Most people here are family-oriented. They are home before dark, eat dinner together and are in church on Sunday. So, by comparison, walking the forest at 10pm (to them) seems like madness.

    2. p.s. As for risk, I believe in calculated risk. Because that’s how all of us live anyway every time we cross the street or even leave our front door for that matter. It’s just the math I use is a little bit more fuzzy than the calculations most people use.

    3. One of the times two women told me I should not be taking the road, either alone at night or day, I asked them; “Why not?” They just kinda looked at each other not having really given it much thought before. But.. the next day, after they’d most likely asked their husbands for input, they told me, “Because there are crazy people living in the forest. Drug addicts who will kill you.” Personally, I think I’m more likely to run into the “witch with no panties” that Delia keeps warning me about than a drug-crazed lunatic. I mean, many people here don’t have the funds for cigarettes or luxuries like strawberry jam.. much less afford some Shabu (local drug) or weed. If they are on weed, not even close to dangerous. If on Shabu, the last thing they are coordinated enough to do is hang out for weeks in the jungle with all the spiders and cobras just ‘hoping’ some lunatic like me passes by to rob. Most people here are family-oriented. They are home before dark, eat dinner together and are in church on Sunday. So, by comparison, walking the forest at 10pm (to them) seems like madness.

  3. great video Henry. all I can say is, you are a brave man. I am not sure about walking back home in the dark. you know you shouldnt do that. ha….i had to say that cause I know you have heard it a few times before. are there many american type homes for rent on Bohol? thanks for sharing the video with us.

    1. Duly noted. 🙂 As for ‘nice’ homes here in Tagbilaran (city proper) there are plenty up for rent. Even here in this area there are some really, really nice homes. Multi-story with all the style and amenities you’d expect from a state-side home. Mostly owned by either foreigners (through their Filipina wives, of course) or local professionals such as surveyors, engineers or government officials. Check out these current listings of homes in Tagbilaran, Bohol at; http://www.ayosdito.ph/li?fs=1&ca=10_s&l=0&th=1&q=Tagbilaran+&cg=2040&w=110&ros=&roe=&ss=&se=&title=

  4. Hi Henry, I enjoy reading your adventure story. Local warning must be considered carefully because it is your life at stake. I was born in Vietnam. I know what does it means by local warning in Vietnam. My female cousin was trick into following some men into a bushy area in Vietnam. She was looking for her younger brother at that time. She was rape and kill. People found her bone a few months later. The Bohol local is right. There are drug addict and criminal element in Bohol. Local has lived there for a long time. The local knows what has happened locally more than any foreigner. There is no snake anti-venom in Bohol or Cebu. Snake anti-venom must be ordered through Manila then ship to Cebu. Curiosity can put you in great danger. Please don’t do it. Thanks goodness I have asked a lot of old time PI expat many question for the past 13 years. I am still learning but I listen to the local and old time PI expat for their advice to keep me safe. Have a nice adventure but be safe too.

    1. Thanks. That’s about the best, most sensible reason I’ve gotten yet for not walking the roads late at night. However, what I weigh against that is that I’ve walked the road as late as 10pm and at the end of the village, while the people are in church.. the little kids are out playing in the dark on the very same road with zero adult supervision. Over twenty kids under the age of 9. If the forest road was that wrought with drug-fiends there would have been some instances that made parents keep their kids supervised. But apparently, in this particular area.. nothing like that has occurred. Also, in the daytime, people go up and down that road all day long. It’s the -only- way to get in and out of the village here back to ‘civilization’. And yet still no reports of robberies or murders anyone can recall to tell me of.

      Now, on the other hand.. a friend of mine just moved from Gamaras (spelling?) isle back to Iloilo recently. Mostly he moved because he was so intensely bored there on Gamaras. But he was telling me that over there the cobras are such an issue the hospital has a steady rate of patients from cobra bites. Now that’s a statistic I’d pay attention to. Here, I have asked, “When was the last time you saw a cobra?” Nobody has with the exception of my neighbor, and even then she said she only saw it out in the jungle area -away- from the main road. There’s a path across my street that leads into the jungle. I see old people, women and kids disappear into that area every few days and return like they were just walking to the neighbor’s house. No reports of cobras or drug-addicts there either. While on a night-walk home the other night, I walked about half a mile with a young, 20 year old girl who was out there with no flashlight. Apparently she does this quite often.

      I do believe some areas are more prone to drug addicts. Take the Carbon Market area of Cebu at night for example. I’ve skirted through there quickly and was ready to defend myself at any moment because that place is just nuts. I don’t go there at night on purpose, it just worked out that way that night.

      1. Yah Henry, Filipino takes a lot of risk. Many risk is deadly to them and to other. For example, filipino ride 3,4,5,6 on a motorcycle that is design to sit two. There was an accident in Bukidnon of a family of 5 riding on one motorcycle. One truck side wipe the motorcycle and the whole family is gone. Adult and children all get killed. Coconut falling from a tree is deadly too. One filipina got hit by a falling coconut in the head. She starts foaming in the mouth and convulsing. She would require neuro-surgery but without peso there is no hope. There was a filipino who get killed by cell phone snatcher. The list goes on and on. There are snake bite victim who did not make it because of no anti-snake venom. Check with Chong Hoa and Cebu doctor hospital in Cebu. They will give you an idea of how many snake bite victim visit the hospitals. Life is cheap in Vietnam and in asia for the working poor. But I don’t want to die cheap.

        1. It’s sad, but what you say is true. As I wrote about in one of my early diaries, I saw a kid do a high flip during a dance contest and he landed the back of his head into the cement from about 15 feet up. It was horrifying. Life hangs on by a thread here, as you described with the motorcycles and robberies in certain areas. But looking at the big picture, there are very few places in the world where anyone can consider themselves ‘safe’ from either accidents or harm from others. I once read about a man who had slipped in his kitchen, banged his head and fell unconscious into his pet’s water bowl where he then drowned. Weird stuff.. but with billions of people on the planet, eventually odds are something weird like that can and does happen.. anywhere.

          1. Taking a walk in downtown Washington, DC in the “wrong” spot, or at the “wrong” time can have serious consequences……point is: we gotta enjoy wha time we have…….worrying only takes away from that.

  5. “Going to the Mall……to goof-off a bit” LOL – PRICELESS….Enjoy Amigo……..soooooooooo envious! Luv this vid! Alfred0-

  6. Hi Henry, when you make videos from your place in Bohol I can here some very interesting bird calls in the back ground ? I am curious are they colorful ,is there much variety? I am a real bird lover ..thanks Eric

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