Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
Trip End Sep 22, 2007

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Monday, August 6, 2007

After getting the bus back to Cebu, my German friend Klaus and I jumped on an overnight ferry to Cagayan de Oro, where he had been living for the past 7 years.  This ended up being quite an OK trip compared to some of the nightmare overnight bus trips I had been on before.  The beds were small but comfortable and the air conditioning was set to Arctic freeze but  it had a nice bar with a live band and even video Karaoke on the rear deck.  In the Philippines Karaoke is absolutely everywhere!  Unfortunately however most people are really bad.  They don't let this put them off though and generally those listening will be respectful of even the worst singers.  Another thing about the Philippines is that there is music absolutely everywhere you go. I also find it interesting how religious people are here.  Before the ferry leaves the port, everybody stops and listens to a prayer asking for God to bless the trip.  Off course I am more than happy for them to pray on the off chance that it might help in some way, given the appalling safety record of ferries in the Philippines

When we arrived in Cagayan I decided to spend the night before heading to Camiguin Island.  Klaus was a very good host and took me out to eat some Philippino food which was very tasty and consisted of marinated raw fish (that I probably shouldn't have eaten).  He also took me to see a Cock Fight.  When we arrived we were told there were no ring side seats left and we were sold two seats in the stand.  As soon as we walked in though we were ushered by some of the locals into an air conditioned perspex booth at ringside!  I realise that this is a brutal sport but I can tell you that it is still a massive part of the Philippino culture (similar to bullfighting in Spain I suppose).  There are actually advertisements for dietary supplements, steroids etc to enhance the performance of your Cock.  The Cockfights in Manila are also broadcast nationwide on the TV every Sunday which was a shock to me....  Oh and there are also Roosters absolutely everywhere you go, which can pose a big problem when you are trying to sleep.

I stayed in Cagayan for a second time on my way back from Camiguin Island on advice from Klaus that I should experience the Cagayan night cafe which is on every Friday and Saturday night in Cagayan.  This was definitely worth seeing as the whole of the town square was blocked off to vehicles and the streets were covered in markets and plastic chairs and tables.  Here you could buy 1 litre bottles of San Miguel beer for next to nothing, feast on BBQ meat and be relentlessly hassled by roaming vendors to buy Peanuts!.

The next night I was back on the overnight ferry to Cebu.

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Thanks for sharing your experience in Cagayan de Oro. I hope you had a great time staying in here. Night cafe is my favorite part because you can buy things at a very low price. And the foods here are really good.

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