The Heart of the Philippines

We left the wonders of Palawan, great friends and calm waters and headed north on our great Filipina adventure. We are still in the transitional time of the NE Monsoons so strong NE winds prevail with a mild low zipping past now and then. We hit a perfect time to make the crossing weather wise so off we went.

Apo Reef, well famed dive site and natural wonder, lies mid way across the passage. We pulled up to Apo Island in large swells but little wind and found a mooring with decent protection so we popped in. Unlike the murky Palawan water, here it is crystal clear with wonderful visibility. We did two dives, saw turtles, sharks, large Napoleon fish and tons of others critters. We ducked into the large bay formed by the massive reef for the night. Next day up and at ’em early for a spectacular early dive.

As the ongoing genset problems had still not been relieved we had a shortage of tanks so had to go. Good thing we left as the weather turned again the next day. We pulled into a new harbor just south of Manila Bay to find a small marina, Punta Fuego. They were hosting a sailing regatta so space with tight but they let us stay at the fuel dock. i got 1800 liters of fuel, at the all time low price of 31 pesos per liter. We later found it to be 25 pesos a liter but too late. We also found a good mechanic who got right to the gen problems or we thought so.

A long prediction of 20 plus knot winds right on the nose changed my plans and we went north to Subic Bay. Here we reunited with Lost in Asia, or Palawan cruising buddies. Peter sent his engineer over and we went through the entire system, tracing fuel to the Racor filter but not past it. Low and behold he found a broken “O” ring on the filter cap. All that trial and tribulation over a nickel O ring, wow.

So with a week of bad weather ahead i took advantage of the resources at Subic Bay. My old friend Mario came by and started some cosmetic projects, wax and varnish. You ask why i love Asia? hull waxed, $200 usd, 6 coats of varnish, $200 usd including materials!!! try that at home. That and the first real bath in 3 months and Furthur is standing tall. i restocked parts and filters, food and other things only found in civilization.

The crew took this time to do some land cruising. When they returned we had a long chat. They were unhappy i had waited for good weather as they were under some time limits and wanted to move faster so they left the boat. This has been an issue before with crew who do not understand i make “go” calls on weather not their needs. I am going to express this more clearly to future crew.

There was another issue that has risen in the past and did again. i have learned to mostly leave my “right/wrong” beliefs i carried in the western world behind me. i am here to immerse and learn not judge. For short time travelers and some veterans this is not easy. As anyone who follows my blog or facebook knows i have a eclectic group of friends gathered from this adventure, most i would not have attained at home. I have endearing friends who are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Lady Boys, and yes, bar girls. I would not trade any of the encounters for what i had at home.

The culture here is based on different values, family being number one. Elders are cared for by the young, it is a duty eagerly accepted and valued. You see no old folks homes or abandoned elderly here. For reasons i do not understand, this duty falls heavier on the females. Add to this duty taking care of small children. Again this falls on the females, the men seem to not have any responsibility for child support.

So a young single mother will usually leave her child in the loving care of her mother and venture to the city to earn a living for them all. This drives many into the sex trades. Again leave your western values at the airport because here it is accepted and not deemed wrong. The girls are generally very happy, especially when they are successful at supporting their family, they put huge value in this. they are stressed when they fail to produce enough to support the family. My involvement with this part of the culture has risen some judgment from some of the western women on the crew, others have embraced the encounters and gained new friends.

As an older western man coming from a land were age does not bring reverence, actually quite the opposite, i find the kindness and attention i get here enchanting. Yes i have given girls here money but that small amount goes to feed a kid or a grandmother, so well spent. One can compare the two worlds either way, but i am not here to compare or judge, just learn and enjoy.

5 thoughts on “The Heart of the Philippines”

  1. Brian, I’m glad you are not letting other people force their way of living on you. Always disappoints me to see people pass judgement when they lack the knowledge or experience to know what they are talking about. Good people will always float to the top and be in your life while the bad will quickly exit.

  2. SUBJECT: RE: The Heart of the Philippines

    Glad to hear things are well. Like you crew.

    From: Furthur Adventure [mailto:blog-31901-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2015 4:04 PM
    To: jnsparke@h…
    Subject: The Heart of the Philippines

  3. SUBJECT: RE: The Heart of the Philippines

    Hello Brian:

    I am flying a desk in Palm Beach. NICE. Ready for the break from Philippines. 8 years was enough.

    If we do go back I think it will be Palawan or …. South America? I have friends inviting me down there and ready for a new life style.

    A boat is in the future. I will pick up something down here so Abby and I can go out. Lots of Islands close by.

    A few years of this will fill up my bank account. Sell the real-estate.  Then????

    Have fun.

    Carl French

    Senior Yacht Consultant

    Carl French

    HMY Yachts Palm Beach

    Palm Harbor Marina

    400 N. Flagler Drive, Ste. C

    West Palm Beach, FL 33410 USA

    Office 561 833 6060

    Cellular 561 410 1423

    377 97 70 35 77 Monaco

    From: Furthur Adventure [mailto:blog-31901-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2015 7:04 PM
    To: carl@c…
    Subject: The Heart of the Philippines

  4. SUBJECT: RE: The Heart of the Philippines

    Hi Brian:
    A great lesson learned.
    By the way, I hope that was Furthur’s first bath in 3 months, not yours
    From: blog-31901-comments@t…
    Subject: The Heart of the Philippines
    To: jimflaherty@h…
    Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2015 00:04:08 +0000

  5. SUBJECT: Re: The Heart of the Philippines

    So what is next for crew?

    John Sipkens SFC, USA (retired)
    On Feb 7, 2015, at 16:04, Furthur Adventure wrote:

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