Saturday, November 1, 2003

Subic Bay

We stay at the Mangrove mini-resort hotel/restaurant on Baloy beach near Olongapo city. For 1200 PHP/night you get a big but not very well designed aircon room with hot shower (but no direct light in the bathroom) and small TV (uselessly far away from the bed). There's a small closet, but no wardrobe, no table, no chair. All rooms overlook the bay, and there's a mini swimming pool. The restaurant serves decent food at reasonable prices (150-250 PHP).

The busy main street, a 10' walk away from the resort, is rather shabby and of course dusty, heavily polluted and noisy. In short, not a pleasant sight.

Mangrove is a 15' ride from the ex-military base and the MasterDive dive center we'll be diving from. They'll pick us up every morning and bring us back in the afternoon.

Subic is a strange place, with lots of British and Australian expats, all rather storyful characters. Everybody on the wreck course I'm following being British too, I feel very much an outsider, having no particular interest whatsoever in the rugby championship nor being much of a social small talk beer drinking mate.

It being the 1st of November, I witnessed quite a sight: the hillside cemetery crawling all over with people coming to spend the day and night with their ancestors. Having a family picnic around the graves, chatting away with relatives, the ghosts left pretty much speechless as far as I could tell. At night the whole hill was lit up by thousands of flickering candles.

No comments: