Riding out the pandemic in the Philippines

We’ve been here in Caticlan, Aklan, Panay, Philippines, for a month. In fact, today I paid rent towards the upcoming month at the Hangout Beach Resort. And I’ve told our host, Yolly, that we plan to be here for the month beyond that, too. That will take us to mid-June.

Riding out the pandemic in the Philippines

Cash, supplies

For the rent I again went into town to get cash from the ATM at the port.
Like the other two times I’ve been there, the usually bustling ferry terminal for Boracay island is deserted. Thankfully, the ATM on the outside of the building is still dispensing Philippine Pesos.

And again, after getting cash, I did some grocery and supply shopping. It seems things are a little more lively in Caticlan. More small stores have reopened. Obviously, after a month of this emergency, people are getting more comfortable with the new ‘normal’. But a quarantine pass, face mask, and social distancing are still required.

Aside from the money remittance shops, the other really busy place is the Coca Cola distributor. As I walked past, a tricycle was pulling out piled with cases of bottles. And a big truck was being loaded too. I guess Coke is essential? Sadly, the beer ban remains in effect. Thankfully, a small stash of Gold Eagle pilsner (a San Miguel product) has been found at our resort. Maybe I can stretch the inventory for a couple more weeks?

Nights and days

I continue to stay up and sleep late. Staying out of the sun for the morning hours is helpful. My redness is moderating. It hasn’t rained here in weeks. Clouds are rare. We are thankful for the strong sea breezes.

I’m also continuing with exercise and cardio — so I don’t seize up or turn to dust. I alternate stretching and resistance (push-ups, sit-ups, dips, leg lifts, planking, etc) with jogging up and down our small side-road. Working in the garden, clearing undergrowth is another option.

There are two dogs at the end of our street that take exception to my running. There’s loose dogs everywhere here. The rest of them don’t pay me any mind. The two problems have come snarling at my legs twice. I’m gonna get a club or have to jog elsewhere.

Riding out the pandemic — with a puppy!

Speaking of dogs, we now have a puppy here at the resort. The Hangout owner adopted little white female is named ‘Snow’.

Very cute, but in the biting phase. Always chomping on hands, fingers, shoes, etc. She seems to get along well with the three older dogs and handful of cats that live here.

Local life

Of course, life goes on in the neighborhood. We say hello to the handful of ‘regulars’ and kids that we often see.

Walking the beach, I noticed ‘tourist boats’ dry docked on a couple seafront properties. There are some substantial operators here; parasailing, island cruises, sailing banana rides, etc. All of it catering to the Boracay vacationers. All of it is shut down now.

There is a boat builder that is still working. Good to see that handful of guys still employed.

Flying kites is a popular pastime here at present. Thinking I may invest in one. Maybe I’ll ‘contract’ with one of these teen-agers to set me up with a home made kite and fishing line.

The other main activity for unemployed area residents continues to be fishing. Big nets are laid and drawn in a few times each week. And every evening small ‘outrigger’ boats go out to catch supper. They leave around 4:30-5:00 p.m. and usually return between 7:00-8:00 p.m. with a haul of fish which is then divvied up for dinner.

It’s neat to watch the routine and the success. But I sure am glad I don’t HAVE to fish to eat each day. Observing the process at sunset with beach bonfires burning is especially powerful and primal too. I can’t help but wonder how many people on this earth are barely subsisting daily as the virus shutdown plays out. We are so blessed.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading “Riding out the pandemic in the Philippines.”

What to read next from the lockdown adventures:

Tedly and Ellen alternate posting new blog posts every day during the coronavirus pandemic. To see how they got so lucky to land at the Hangout Beach Resort, start at the beginning.

Riding out the pandemic in the Philippines

2 thoughts on “Riding out the pandemic in the Philippines

  1. First off, apologies for the last comment! My phone autocorrected Tedly.

    I’ve been doing the body weight workouts that Arnold Schwarzenegger posted on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/GovSchwarzenegger/comments/flz3es/stay_at_home_stay_fit/

    I *thought* I was in shape…

    I know one of the benefits of slow travel is living like a local. While you, as you mentioned, wouldn’t want to live exactly like a local and have subsistence living, I’d be interested in learning about your perspectives on how, if at all, you’ve been able to accomplish that local integration that you were able to achieve in your other travels before this pandemic.

    Here’s hoping they lift the beer restrictions soon! There’s talk of lifting the blue laws here in Texas to help the liquor stores during the pandemic.

  2. No worries – and thanks for the body weight workout! That will definitely help us out.

    Perspectives on local integrations might be a future post because it’s rather complicated as “slow travelers.” On one hand, we are around long enough to witness and incorporate daily rhythms. On the other hand, in this situation, we are staying longer than normal in a tiny community where we are under ‘enhanced community quarantine.’ It’s like the equivalent of a dead end street – the dead end is the beach.

    We hope to meet you one day!

    Ellen & Tedly

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