A Rough Guide to Surviving Sabang

Our time at the moment is being spent within the depths of the Sabang labyrinth. The area is a beach town with a maze of alleyways, houses, shops and resorts nestled in. When walking this area it is suggested that you should keep your wits about you as you never know what is around the corner.

Advice number one: Never wear anything white, beige, cream, or in general anything pale to Sabang. It will not come back that colour and it will take a good hour or soaking and scrubbing to remove it.

Advice number two: When raining do not wear flip flops. Despite flip flops being the normal footwear even when raining its is not advised in Sabang, The motion of the flip flop will spray the back of your legs with whatever you have walked through. This is not normally an issue in other towns, but in Sabang you unfortunately do not know what you are walking through!

Advice number three: Check above you every so often. You never know what is going to fall out of the sky. The health and safety regulations are ‘relaxed’ in the Philippines and this can be tortuous in the walkways of Sabang. The walkways are intended for those from the Philippines so sometimes the width and the height of the isle can be an issue, but so can the shower of golden sparks flying from somebody welding above you or the building work sending concret flying down into your coffee. There is also loose/non existent guttering that sends water pouring off a building roof.

Advice number four: Check the floor. You never know what is on the floor. There tends to be quite a few sleeping dogs of whom are taking advantage of the shade and have grown accustom to people stepping over them. There are also suspicious puddles, children flying around on little bikes, cats chasing each other and darting through your legs, and a random motorbike driving through!

Advice number five: It’s better to go with the flow. Sometimes we may have to forget our manners momentarily. If you wait for one person to pass then everyone will take advantage of this. You can end up standing there for quite some time before you find another space to filter into; its better just to keep going and keep your eye on the final destination.

If you can pass through the labyrinth with skill and knowledge you can find places of refuge and peace. Relax Cafe is a brilliant pit stop where the food is amazing and cheap and the service comes with the biggest smile. Mira’s Cafe can provide a treat of the American variety where cheese and meat sandwiches can be found. Cheap cheeky healthy ice cream pops can be had as a refreshment before the Jeepney ride home. You can also find brilliant jam filled pastries, an excellent underwater camera shop, and a very friendly dive store who provide a waved each time you pass. Within the maze of excitement there are little gems and treats that reward you for the hard days work. You are drawn in and have a need to go back for the treasure you have found; of which most are found under the sea. The colourful corals, dramatic wrecks, the diverse marine life, and the finally warming waters make for an awesome diving scene and cleanse you; refreshing you before you head back to the surface.

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