We stopped at a small school outside San Jose City and spent a short time talking to the instructors and children before getting back on the road. What was supposed to be a seven-hour ride from Banaue dragged on and slowly became an 11 hour ride. The outskirts of Manila, and into the center proper, added at least 1-1/2 hours to go less than 5kms/3 miles. Travels With Sheila could have easily run that distance without breaking a sweat! Incredibly stressful at the end of a long day. What would the drive to the airport tomorrow morning be like?
Back at Traders Hotel once more, a special Valentine’s Day Buffet was being served in the dining room. Traders gave us a gorgeous room overlooking Manila Bay (Isn’t it “Murphy’s Law” how we always gets the best room when there’s no time to spend it it?) The four of us threw bags in room and raced down for the buffet that was okay, not great, before going to sleep. A 5:00a wake up call for breakfast and then left for the airport.
Hindsight is always 20/20 when traveling and this was Margie, Art, Steve and my final opinion on Luzon. We came hoping to see tribal culture that was a total wash and disappointing. There is no authentic culture left for a casual tourist. The mountain tribes have moved on in Luzon just like the rest of the world with the younger generations becoming westernized.
However, what we did take away from Luzon was the unexpected military memorials and former battlefields that moved us and left an indelible memory.
My favorite sight? The quirky, kitschy, and colorful jeepneys of Luzon. (Okay…call me weird…)
Let’s see what Palawan has to offer…