Nov 14-Dec 13, 2017
Goodbye and Thank You, Ubay
Location: Ubay (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
After 30 days in Ubay, it was time to pack-up again for a new destination - time flies. When I arrived Ubay 30 days ago, it wasn't to live here - it was simply to stop by since I was already in Talibon, a nearby town. I'd been to Ubay before and it didn't really excite me to be back. But cheap rent that fit my budget was available - this is usually the stumbling block why I have to carry on and continue my search for a new destination.
Ubay is hot, dusty and humid - you could feel the grime on your skin the moment you walk out into the streets. Their tourist attractions are not really noteworthy and there isn't really a comfortable hang-out place. My room was clean and decent, but being on the 2nd floor, it was hot. I can't say I've acclimatized in all those 30 days. There was always that ambivalence and mental-complaint.
I felt an edge about Ubay. Unlike most places I go to where life hums leisurely and people are laid back, Ubay is a bit wound-up. It seems normal at the apparent layer, but a little stress and the edge shows up.
From the P25/k laundry that takes your laundry, weights it, makes you fill the form and then ambush you by adding that underwear is P5/pc and not part of the weighing package, to a laundry woman who agrees on a price and charge more when you get the laundry, to a hotel staff who was hostile upon my entry into the hotel grounds, to the vendor who showed fangs when she thought she wasn't paid yet, the edge lurks just underneath the surface.
Marooned by Ed Stafford
In my boarding house, we have a common area with cable tv. I would often watch Marooned by Ed Stafford on Discovery Channel where he is dropped in the most inhospitable location and left not just to survive, but thrive until his extraction in 10 days.
In a way, this is the challenge I'm into. I know I will survive, but the question is, how can I make the most out of my new destination within my 30-day timeframe? Of course I could make money by finding work. But work or money is not the object of my life now - but to discover life's Easter Eggs as I continue my journey.
I tried connecting with people. I do this as a matter of course, but there was just no resonance here to carry on. I tried small talk with folks in my boarding house, but they were not interested. I reached-out with Couchsurfers, but the only person who replied just zoomed-out. I met an interesting lady, but she wouldn't give me the time of day. The only person I connected with was Lars, a Danish cyclist who took me with him to some of the area's interesting spots.
Pretty much, my daily routine would be
- drinking 1.5L of water when I get up and do Nauli (abdominal churning)
- working-out - mostly yoga, abs and inversion
- heading to the market for my sikwate laced with rum and honey, and putomaya-binangkal for breakfast
- go to the wifi place to write a blog, read-up on Bitcoin Cash or Economics in One Lesson
- afternoon halo-halo with a full pint of fresh carabao's milk and additional kaong I bring with me
- pizza for dinner with my grated carrot - yes, almost a daily pizza dinner because at night, Ubay only serves bar-b-q
I tried finding ways to be productive.
- I finished reading Economics in One Lesson and saw the invisible reality that exposes the fallacies of popularly held economic tenets
- I increased my Bootstrap proficiency by developing several mock websites using a variety of its templates
- I read-up on Roger Ver and Bitcoin Cash (and discovering I had Bitcoin Cash as a result of the Bitcoin hard fork in Aug 2017)
- aside from my Power Yoga routine with Bryan Kest videos, also I tried doing other flavors of yoga like Budokon Yoga by Cameron Shayne, Pranawayu Yoga by Ketut Bandiastra and Advanced Yoga Flow by Michelle Goldstein.
Ubay wasn't all that gloomy for me. For my blessings,
- I found a cheap clean place with tv in the common area
- my landlords were nice decent people - they included me in their meals at times
- they have good affordable sikwate at the market
- there is a pizza joint serving decent pizza
- Ubay has noteworthy community initiatives in agricultural irrigation, dairy, livestock and waste management - which they pass-off as tourist attractions, but they are not.
This 30-day traveling format has been challenging with Ubay. Energetically, Ubay is dead for me. I had to generate my own excitement and think of ways to be productive as I counted-down the remaining days. I would have left much sooner if not for my 30-day constraint. My apologies if I sound ungrateful and even arrogant. But watering-down what I honestly feel just to be politically correct seem lying. Ubay didn't feel like the best use of my 30 days.
Do I still want to continue this 30-day challenge of picking any destination that fits my P2500/month budget and stay for 30 days to make the most of the place and thrive? Or do I stay only while the place continues to excite me and leave the moment it gets old? While I can find ways to be productive, it still feels like I could accomplish more if I were in a place that resonates to begin with - somehow, Penang and Ubud come to mind where life overflowed.
Next stop: back to Loboc
Ubay, Bohol, Philippines
Ubay Travel Info / Tips
- Jewel's Nook is the only cafe in town - a/c, serving only espresso P50 but NO WIFI
- you can buy Bahalina (aged, decanted and alcoholic coconut sap) at the Public Market for P75/half gallon
- there are 2 stores serving good P10 sikwate (native chocolate drink) and P10 puto-maya at the Public Market...just ask around
- tricycle ride around the city is only P8/pax
- trisikad ride around the city is only P5/pax
- laundry is only P25/kilo, minimum of 3 kilos, for pick-up after 2 days
- Southern Buses at the Public Market leave Ubay for other parts of Bohol
- market day is Monday
- Ubay-ubay Festival is the town fiesta held every January 28-30
Ubay to Cebu City by boat (as of July 2017)
- M/V J&N Carrier - 10am Monday-Saturday, 12am Sunday
- M/V J&N Ferry - 10pm Sunday-Friday, no Saturday trip
Ubay to Leyte by boat (4-5 hours) (as of July 2017)
- Ubay to Bato
- M/V Lady of Smile (or Lady of Charity or Lady of Guadalupe) - 1pm daily
- MBCA Star Sirius (or Mama Mary or San Isidro 9) - 8:30am daily
- MBCA Neriboy Allen Rey (or Mama Mary Irvin or San Isidro 5 or San Isidro 6) - 10am daily
- Ubay to Hilongos - M/V Leopards Sea Runner or Leopards Adventurer 1, 9am daily
Ubay to Pitogo (Bohol) by boat (as of July 2017)
- MBCA Bobong B - 11am daily
- MBCA Bobong A - 4pm daily
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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