I am ready to kill a web designer.

Read the title, they are all spotty little boys that spent too much time in their rooms in the dark when they should have been doing things outside.  Not too difficult to do away with and probably legitimately described as a mercy killing.  If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know how appalling this site is, having just now completely invented a mind of it's own that shows no regard for the user.  I have no idea what is going to happen here as hope I haven't wasted a few minutes of my life completely re-booting the system which seems to be the only way to tame the loathed thing.  I really wish I had invested in a decent blog like Chris Black's that I mentioned earlier.  I have been reading a few more pages of it while waiting for this system to upload a few images and it truly is the best travel read I have ever had.

Some extremely good tuna.
However, back to my travels, yet again and much distracted.  After the Hell journey back from Siquijor, I decided a decent meal was called for and I had heard about a good Japanese restaurant called Mifune in Dumaguete.  I have since met the owenr a couple of times and he is a really nice guy but I didn't know that then.  I know little or nothing about Japanese cuisine except Tesco's Finest pre-packed sushi and so I ordered tuna tappanyaki on the principle I at least knew what tuna was.  I tell you, I don't think I have ever eaten fish like it and I have eaten some damn good fish round the world.  Eating a properly prepared tuna steak like this explains why they use the word steak.  It is so firm, it is like eating meat rather than the flakier fish we are used to in UK.  It was absolutely gorgeous and a fraction of the price I would have been charged at somewhere like Nobu in London.

Joey, Michelle and Fergy.
Stuffed to the gills (no pun intended) I finished the evening by popping into the Roadhouse (a local bikers haunt) which just happens to be on my way home.  I bumped into Joey, an ex-US Special Forces type and all round good guy and his lovely wife Michelle.  God, we make a lovely couple - Joey and I that is, although Michelle is pretty attractive as well.  Things could have become messy but I did the sensible and headed off in good order.

I had a bit of a restful day the next day but the day after that I decided to go and explore Sibulan and surrounding area.  Sibulan is the main jumping off point for the larger Cebu island and was an important place in it's own right but is now little more than a suburb of Duma.  There are a few things to see about there, however, so I set about seeing them.

Mia's pool.
A quick stop off in Mia's, another bikers haunt, for a bite to eat and I headed off down the back road along the coast.  A look at the place pictured below shows exactly the problem here.  This is a big resort and it was completely deserted.  I looked at the cabins which were in immaculatey manicured gardens with a lagoon and wonderful views over Cebu and it was perfectly obvious that not only were none of the occupied but they didn't appear to have been for some time.

St. Moritz resort, Sibulan.
I have seen a nmber of resorts for sale here and talking to expats locally I could buy a small resort here for what I could get for my rabbit hutch flat in London.  Thankfully, I am not that mad yet.  Undoubtedly, if someone had money to invest and was prepared to play the long game, they will win eventually but just now in the short and medium term it is a no-hope bet.  The other major thing to remember is that no non-Filipino can own land in this country.  This came in under Cory Aquino's "Filipinas for the Filipnos" regime and whilst it may prima facie seem a laudable concept it is strangling growth in what should be a very vibrant economy.  Well, vibrant if they ever get rid of the corruption.  I apologise to any of my many dear Filipino friends who may read this but you know it is true.  Why would any foreign firm or entrepreneur invest here if it or he cannot own what they are investing in.  I am no economist but this seems pretty easily worked out to me.

Slightly depressed, I carried on out the road towards San Juan and Tandujay that I had last ridden on the day of the earthquake.  I had heard about the twin lakes just before San Juan but hadn't really researched them much, I was just out for a day's bimble about and that was really for another day but I decided to venture up the road a little anyway.

I will let my VT page on the subject serve here as, and I have said this before, I see no point in the duplication of effort even if in this case the first paragraph seems a bit repetitive.

"In my travels, such as they have been and so much more still to do, it never ceases to amaze me the things you can find in the unlikliest places, often by pure chance and this is the case here.

I had enquired around Dumaguete from both locals and long-term expats as to what I should see snd do on my visit and was told that a visit to the Twin Lakes was an absolute must and so I decided to take the motorbike up there one day. Things had conspired a little against me and I was quite late in the afternoon and I eventually decided against the lakes this particular afternoon after taking advice from a local man. I did visit later and they were spectacular but that is a seperate tip.

Church with shrine, Sibulan.

I had almost ridden past the church you see depicted and almost disregarded it but my natural curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look in. There was one workman asleep on a table in a little shelter beside the church but it was a warm afternoon and he had probably had a hard day. Letting sleeping workmen lie, as it were, I had a bit of a look round. The first thing I noticed was something that could only hapen in Asia. The front "door" to the church was actually a wrought iron gate and secured with a stout padlock as you can possibly see in the image. OK, I can understand that. What completely baffled me however was the fact that the rear of the building was completely open to afford a view of the shrine, as you can see, thereby rendering the rendering the padlock about as much use as a lawnmower on a submarine.

Church with shrine, Sibulan.
I had a look round the church and shrine / grotto and was about to leave when, on a whim, I had a look inside the shelter of the now semi-conscious labourer. I was absolutely astounded at what I saw. Alongside a few old and very faded photographs was a complete story painted onto the whitewash and describing an alleged miracle that happened on this very spot on the 4th March, 1994. The story goes as follows.

A medical team accompanied by an Army security detail was in the area attendingt to the medical needs of the fairly por rural community in this barangay of Cambaloctot. All of a sudden, all those present apparently witnessed the sun advancing and receding, dancing in the sky and appearing as if in a prism. This was apparently witnessed by a number of the group including some of the soldiers, not normally noted for being overly superstitious. I am not a religious man, nor do I believe in miracles, but it seems hard to explain so many people having the same experience.

View from a shrine.
As stated above, I am not a religious man and I have no intention of changing my religious beliefs or lack of them on the basis of visiting this place but it was a very interesting experience, made all the moreso by being completely unexpected.

I suppose I should sign off now, it has been a pretty productive day despite the best efforts of this website to stymie me, and I am getting up at the ridiculously early hour of 0800 as a few of the guys are riding up to Tambobo Bay tomorrow to meet an apparently insane Australian boatbuilder called Nigel.  Should be quite a day and I'll report on it in due course.

Stay tuned.

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