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Upstream from Borongan

by becca on March 9, 2010

One of the day trips we ventured on while staying in Borongan involved hiring a fishing boat to take us out on the Suribao River to explore a quiet village and a seemingly untouched waterfall.

A 15-minute tricycle ride brought us to a small pier where we hired an older man to take us in his rickety little boat about an hour up the river. After passing fisherman in shallow, narrow wooden boats, kids swimming in the cool green water, and a few kilometers of endless towering cliffs covered in palm trees, we arrived in a little village where it quickly became clear that westerners don’t often visit. A short walk through the narrow paths and we were being followed by a gaggle of children, wide-eyed and shy but very curious. We stumbled upon a cock fight and watched the battle until the razor on the talon of the winning rooster carved open the loser. (It wasn’t quite as gruesome as I had imagined though, you can’t really see the cut through the feathers.) Finally we hopped back on the boat and said goodbye, waving back to our fan club of local kids. Next stop was a waterfall where we busted out some beers and snacks we brought along, sat in small cool pools of water formed by the rocks and enjoyed ourselves in the sun.

To hire the boat and captain for four hours cost about $12 split among four people. It’s little trips like this that make me think that the Philippines are in some way the last frontier of Southeast Asia. In Vietnam or Thailand for example, an excursion like this would be promoted, the price of the boat inflated, the children in the village might beg and the rural authenticity of the entire experience would be lost in the process.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

asa 03.10.10 at 10:30 am

what a wonderful description of your village adventure in the philippines languidly lying under the sun gazing at the beautiful waterfall.

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