Walk This Way

Not that we really need to explain ourselves to the rest of the world, but the slow pace of life on these islands is as much an accident of geography as it is of the climate.

On the island of Palawan, as is probably the case in many others, the trip from one end of the island to the other takes as long, if not longer, than the voyage from the mainland.  Geographically, it is easier to travel between islands than within them, what with mountain passes, river crossings, wild pigs and tribal wars barring your way.  More often than not, it is too much of a hassle to go anywhere.

Because local horses are laughably small, travel during our ancestors’ times was either by river, but most often by foot. The particularly rich could get other people to use their feet, riding in baskets and hammocks carried by servants. Thus was Filipino time just another turn of phrase for I’ll get there when I get there.

With fuel prices out of control, and everyone rushing to get on the trains making it look like World Youth Days ’95 to ’97 every day, the Filipino might have to start walking again. Fares on all public-utility vehicles are about go up, if they haven’t already, and trying to get a ride in rush-hour Manila will be even harder with less people able to afford to drive. In this heat, late is about to become the new early.

(cue title music, roll credits)



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