Manila, Cebu and Orango island – the Philippines in 2016

何かと縁があるフィリピンに、ようやく初上陸。
マニラとセブのビジネス街、様々な層の居住地区、観光地… どんな境遇であれ、活き活きとたくましく生活してた印象。

Philippine, one of the country related to our business – we have finally reached there!
Manila and Cebu – business area, residence area for various groups, tourist site… people are vigorous, lively and powerful.

マニラ・・・昼にいなかった人が集まる夜のリサール公園、涼しいからここで寝て朝まで過ごすらしい。あちこちでめいめいが、大統領選の選挙活動に参加。イミグレ前で、「更新の手続き手伝うよ」と声かけてくるおっちゃん。スペイン統治時代を感じる、風情あるイントラムーロスとマニラ・ホテル。イントラムーロスの石塀沿いに、珍しいゴルフコース。混み合う超スローな電車。高齢者や女性が来たら席を立つ青年達。子供達の手を引く若いママ。車にロザリオ飾ってながら、料金吹っ掛けるタクシー運転手・・・帰国日、早朝の空港のターミナル移動で時間なくて、焦って呼び込みタクシーに乗ったのが運の尽きだった。でも、4,000ペソと言ってたのが380ペソに(笑)。これも経験、通常の倍以上の金額なのは承知、寝起きにギリギリの時間配分した我々が悪い。結局、急いでくれてはいたから間に合ったし。町のタクシーは、メーター料金プラス渋滞分チップ程度で大丈夫で、吹っ掛けられることもない。「メーター回して」って言う必要もないのでご安心を。

In Manila… Rizal Park, where people are gathering at night for the rest and cooling themselves until the morning. Young and old participating the election campaign around the streets. a man calls out to us in the front of Immigration Office, saying “Do you need help for visa renewal?”. Intramuros and Manila Hotel, the atmosphere of the Spanish Colonial Era, and a rare but beautiful view of the golf course around the stone wall there. Crowed train moves too slow. Young men naturally gives up their seat for the old and ladies in the bus. Teenage girls leading her kids by the hand. Taxi driver trying to overcharge us even if he puts his rosary on the rearview mirror – it was our fault, though. We knew he will cheat us, but no choice in the early morning since we are missing our flight. Thanks to his rosary, 4000 pesos turned out to be 380 pesos and at least he seemed he tried to rush to the terminal as much as he could anyway. It was just like we paid double for our experience! Regular taxi drivers were not like that, though – they use the meter automatically and just ask for the extra money for the (heavy) traffic jam and you should pay it.

セブシティ・・・2時間以上の遅延、欠航当たり前のセブ・パシフィック航空。裏通りで「お腹すいた」と食べ物をせがむ子供達。オスメーニャ・サークルではメーデーのデモ行進。「日本は、雪降るんだよね?今が時期?」と尋ねるバーテンダー。オランゴ島行きのバンカーボートでは、窃盗団みたいな風貌の少年達が、50kgの米袋を頭に乗せて、汗かきながら何往復も船から運び出す。バタバタ(トライシクル)に乗ってると、「ハーイ」と投げキッスしてくるオランゴ島の子供達の笑顔。

ビジネス街には立派なビル・・・建設中ビルも多い。その地区だけ見ると、マニラやセブは急成長中のように見える。でも、ほとんどの道路や居住地、施設が整備されていない。貧富の差も相当ありそうだけれど、日本のような社会の窮屈さがないからか、クリスチャンが多いからか、彼らはおおらかに見える。

In Cebu City… it seems that 2 hours delay and cancellation of Cebu Pacific Airline is ordinary situation. In the backstreet, children comes to us saying “we hungry” with their hand sign, “want to eat”. March for May Day around Fuente Osmena Circle. Bartender asking me “You have snow in Japan, right? Is it the season now?” In the bunker boat going to Olango island, a boy disguising his face like a thief goes back and forth carrying a 50kg rice bag with his head out of the boat. These boys also kindly help kids and a pregnant woman to get in the boat. Olango kids send us kisses and say “heeey!” with their big smile.

There are a lot of tower buildings in business area, and some of them are still under construction. It looks like the economy of Manila and Cebu City is growing and expanding, but most of the part of both city (residences, roads and facilities, etc.) remains untouched. I guess the gap between the rich and the poor of Manila and Cebu is much wider than that of Japan. Regardless, they looks more generous and happier than Japanese even if they don’t have a job.

我々が経験したのは、7000もの島でできてるフィリピンのほんの一部。新聞では、アブサヤフに誘拐されたカナダ人の首が、サマル島で見つかったとニュースになっていた。

もっとエピソードあるけど、省略。
あちこちで、どこか懐かしく感じた。戦後の日本のような。 地元のビール、サンミゲルが安い・・・コンビニで30ペソ程度、ホテルで飲んでも120ペソ!また来るよ!

Our experience this time is the only a bit of the Philippines – there are more than 7,000 islands in the country. The newspaper says a Canadian has been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf in Samal island.

Salamat, Filipinos!
should stop here even though i have more episodes… during walking around, I felt something familiar… looks like the scene in Japan after WW2. San Miguel, a famous local beer in the Philippines, is only 30 pesos at 7-11, 70 to 120 pesos at hotels! We will be back! Salamat, Filipinos!

エピローグ:帰国後にフィリピン領事館に行ったら、投票にきた人だかりで普段以上の混雑・・・フロアにべた~っと座って喋ってた。混んでる時はいつもこんな感じだけれど、マニラにまた来たような気分に。

Epilogue: I went Consulate-General of Philippine in Osaka for usual mission after we got back, and it is crowded with people sitting on the floor, chatting and waiting in line to vote. This is ordinary scene for me – but i feel like i’m still in Manila.

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