onsdag 29. april 2009
I arrived in Palompon in Leyte at 3.30am so I went to the nearest hotel. My plan was to go on the next day to Hinunangan at the east side of Leyte where I already had booked a room at a beach resort. But I did not take into and account that Good Friday is a very special and celebrated holiday in the Philippines, so there were absolutely no bus service that day.
Palompon is a small town, I don't know how many inhabitants, but you can say that it is a town with one main street which goes along the seaside and the harbour. I don't know if it was special for Good Friday, but it was a very quiet and relaxed town. Of course a lot of the shops were closed that day, so it would probably be more lively another day, but I got the impression that it would not be much different another day.
Though it was an unintended stop over, I am very happy I got that day there. I got to know Virpe and her family there. Her father is a motorbike driver, and motorbikes are the only taxis there, and he took me around there, and Virpe was my guide. I was invited to visit their house, and their relatives which almost all live next door to them. Some relatives also lived near the beach, and there I was invited to lunch, which included “tuba”, a home made coconut wine. They also took me to a cock fight in the local cock fight arena.
Virpe and her family is a poor family, her father earns about 2-6$ a day, and has to pay off his motorbike with about 35$ a month. So Virpe had to stop her studies at college some months ago because they were not able to pay the tuition fees. But hopefully she can get started again, she is a bright girl and had high grades so she really should get the chance.
One thing is for sure... I will never forget this day in Palompon, and the people I met there will always have a place in my heart. It is not easy to explain such experiences, and especially when it is not in my native language, but I hope some of the pics can express some of my experiences.