I arrived in Cebu Friday afternoon and spent yesterday looking around town. The weather is pleasant – mid 80s and not too humid – and the people are friendly. English seems to be the primary language – signs, local TV programs, most of the books in the bookstores are all in English.
This morning (Sunday) I took a boat to Ormoc and am staying at what is left of a beach front hotel. There is a lot of typhoon damage, everything from uprooted trees and missing roofs to leveled buildings. But life goes on. The port is busy, many businesses have reopened (although with some deficiencies), and the streets are buzzing with traffic.
Tomorrow I will go to the other side of the island and see how things are in Tacloban, then decide what I’ll do next.
Tomorrow morning I’ll take BART to the San Francisco Airport and 32 hours later I’ll arrive on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. The island of Leyte, which was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan, is just 3 hours away from Cebu by boat. I plan to spend two nights in Cebu getting acclimated and figuring out the logistics of transportation and accommodation – there isn’t much information available on current conditions.
I’ll spend 11 days on the islands of Cebu, Leyte, and possibly Bohol, then fly to Kuching, Borneo. From there I will take a boat to the town of Sibu then on up the Batang Rajang into the interior of Borneo. After six days in Borneo seeing how James Brooke and Lord Jim lived, I’ll head to Singapore, then home on 15 March.
I’ve made a map for my trip that can be accessed by selecting “Borneo Map” from the header bar. Select the link “Map of my travels in the Philippines & Borneo” above the map to see the map full screen.
I’ll update the map and this web page whenever I have the opportunity and internet access.