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Welcome to my little slice of paradise, known as the island of Mactan located off the main island of Cebu within the Philippine Islands. My Beautiful Wife Linda and I live within the city of Lapu-Lapu, named after the tribal chieftain who killed the Spanish explorer Magellan hundreds of years ago on this very island. The photos page linked below will host ever rotating pictures of the local area and of course the many beaches we visit twice a week. Some of the pictures may come as a shock as I try to show the standard of living that ninety percent of the population must endure here. The one thing that struck me the most, was that even as materially poor as these people are, they seem very happy and content, always a smile and a friendly hello for me, very laid back and most hospitable of all nations. A very tropical way of life, from exotic fruits and "house" plants growing wild to kids jumping off seaside cliffs naked. The traffic does take some getting used to, the most common form of transportation are Jeepneys (mini decked out bus of a sort) and Tricycles (small motorcycle with a huge covered side car), even though we are in the middle of a city, I can even now hear roosters crowing, cock fighting is very popular here and you will see a few roosters tied up by a foot staked out in almost every yard. Its also very common to have to steer around road crossing goats and cattle and a lot of stray dogs. You do not leave anything edible unattended on the beach, if you do, don't be surprised to find a goat standing on the picnic table helping itself to your lunch.
Getting around Mactan or Cebu Island is relatively inexpensive. The "tricycle" shown is the most common of local transportation costing Linda and I about 80 cents for the twenty minute trip to the beach, which for us takes us almost across the entire island. I appreciate the rack located on the back of the tricycle as it allows me to carry home all my collection buckets.
The local drivers have all taken us to the beach so many times now over the years that I no longer have to tell them where to go, once they see me standing on the side of the road in a wetsuit they know exactly where I want to go. They are also very friendly and know that if they help me to carry my gear either to the beach or back into the house they will get a nice tip out of it, of which I would do regardless of their helping or not as I feel sorry for the drivers spending an hour on the road just to make two bucks.
There are also plenty of taxis available which you will need to get anywhere of any distance. On rare occasions some of the drivers will try to make a "bargain" with you on the fare which is never a bargain for anyone but the driver. Insist that they use the meter and if not, get out and find another taxi. There are no city public transportation to speak of yet there are a great many "jeepneys", which are nothing more than modified trucks yet are fairly comfortable and very inexpensive, but with a taxi only costing two dollars to just about anywhere you need to go, I would rather enjoy the privacy and air conditioning than to ride in the back of a jeepney.