Brooke’s Point was a place I very much enjoyed visiting. Home? No. A place to stay a while, maybe. It certainly was the type of place I could settle and write a book in. No distractions, easy going; with a rustic charm.
A tourist destination? I think many would be disappointed. There are no lush white sandy beaches, restaurants with stunning variety’s of food, and not so much to do. Though I did hear of a resort not so far from the town.
However, if you’re after a piece of real island life … and reality … this might just be the place.
I walked along the main road backpack in tow. Pawn stores, hand painted advertising, a single Manok (bbq chicken) stall were the mainstay of the town. Even when I got to the minivan terminal the laid back conductor didn’t rush up asking where I wanted to go. 250 pesos and 5 hours back to Puerto Princesa, leaving in 30 minutes is what the sign said. I asked if he could reserve the front seat and went off for a breakfast.
“It’s 200 peso to Puerto,” said the chop house owner.
I thought I’d been cheated, just like the online forums had said I would be. I asked again to be sure. Sometimes in the Philippines you have to double check linguistic statements.
“200 from Centro terminal 2,” came the reply.
And with a few more queries I learned that there was a second terminal literally 15 minutes further on down the road. That was 50 pesos cheaper. I also was beginning to understand the Philippines that little bit more. I put a personal bet on that the same minvan I was on, would be stopping off at Terminal 2 aka it was the same bus traveling to the same place.
30 minutes later and I won my own bet. I wasn’t complaining, I hadn’t been cheated. There were two separate terminals. I had a front row seat, and the air conditioning was working well. What’s more, the
driver was a friendly guy and we shared a meal halfway. At this point I began asking about getting to Sabang, home of the world’s largest underground river.
It’s 2.5 hours from Puerto Princesa, and I figured I could make it without spending the night in the capital. But like all good plan’s they change.
Dark clouds began to appear and spots of rain hit the windscreen. I took a chance and guessed it would not last, but I also didn’t want to be roaming around Sabang in the rain looking for a place to stay. I’d heard it was expensive. So like any traveler on a budget I changed my plan.
We turned a corner and I spotted one of Puerto Princesa’s, if not the worlds, most unusual of places. A penal colony with no guards. A place where the prisoners roamed freely and lived with their families.
Rain began to fall as I jumped out of the minivan. What better place to ask for shelter than a prison?
Iwahig Penal colony – murderers, thieves and a she-male inmate … this was one very different place
Liked this post?
|Never miss a post!
Subscribe to my free newsletter now for weekly updates. (Get my ebook & mobile app for free! )