Caguin de Oro is a pretty rough Philippine town in Mindinao in the south, ‘scene of religious unrest’ but is a required stop over on route by ferry to Camiguin Island . A bit like visiting Limerick during the troubles in the North of Ireland, not a good idea at the best of times but hey it must be safer than where the real trouble is.
We booked into a clean cheap hotel in the downtown area and decided to go for a walk and get something to eat. The only restaurants in the town were fast food joints so we picked what looked like the best and it wasn’t too bad but the rest of the town was rammed with 24hr pharmacies, all doing a roaring trade in legal drugs with queues of people, some with scrips others like myself with none. I got six months supply of my cholesterol lowering drug for a fraction of the price at home. I could actually fly down here get a years supply and have a holiday and still see change than if I bought them at home. Same manufacturer too. We got back to the hotel and Lisa and the kids went to bed. I stayed up having a couple of beers and talking to the security guy as he disassembled, cleaned and reassembled both his shotgun and handgun, nice and shiney too.
I have never seen so many pawn shops and churches either but I suppose being in hock to your local pawn shop and your maker go hand in hand in shit poor countries.
You have got to hand it to the Spanish and the Americans, both of whom have made the Philippines a colony, they have done a wonderful job in making a balls of a beautiful place.
It’s really weird here, there doesn’t seem to be a shred of the original culture left, whatever that was and whatever it might have been has been replaced by guns, drugs, pawn shops and religion, a fun mix at the best of times.