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  • Day102

    Although we had to get up at 5 a.m. it was sooo worth it. Did snorkeling with whale sharks today. Those cuties were 6-8 m long (can get up to 12-18 m and weigh 12 tons), but totally calm. They even swam directly under the boat and touched our legs. They only eat plancton, but open their mouth up to 1 m, I was afraid, they would accidently snif me - but it was absolutely awesome! Rest of the day is chillaxing-time 😉Read more

  • Day101

    The trip from Tokyo to Oslob on Cebu Island was exhausting - 4,5 hours plainride with Vanilla Air and a 4 hours drive (for 130 Km) through slums, burning trash and pure poverty, while fighting drugs and brutality against children and women. Very hard to see people and animals living like that - makes you think and be thankful for the things at home. The "resort" for 28€ a night and Oslob itself are - lets call it - interesting, but people are nice.Read more

  • Day103

    After the whale shark snorkeling, some hanging out at the pool and a massage in Oslob, we decided to leave to Moalboal for two days. George, our driver, managed the roads like a pro and now we have a perfect beach paradise "just" for ourselfes! Sharing it with wild dogs and sea urchins ( Lars met up with those pretty close today 😢) though. Paradise and anxiety therapy at the same time...

  • Day38

    Today was honestly one of the best experiences of our life!!! First, I will begin from the morning...

    We thought we would be up at 7/8 ish as that has been the pattern every other day, but we must have been tired as we ended up sleeping until 11.30. I did wake up at 7 though and see the heavy rain so thought what is the point in getting up early.

    We got ready, and checked out at 12. It was so awkward because Sophie asked what our plan was that day, and where we were going. So it was very awkward saying that we were moving to Sheebang hostel which is a hostel only 10 minutes away. If the weather was nice then I'm sure the huts and hostel there would have been great - it had cute hammocks and swings and was right near the sea!
    But in the rain we just wanted to have a proper shower inside (after such a long day travelling the day before). We said it was because we had friends over at the other hostel (though I'm not sure how believable that was!).

    Anyway, we got a tricycle over to the hostel by the same man for 150 pisos. We checked in to our room - it was alright! First impressions of hostels are never great - sharing a room with many strangers and a bathroom is never going to be particularly appealing.

    We decided to visit Iwahig Prison and penal farm which is the Puerto Princesa rehabilitation prison. It was one of the best experiences of our lives!

    We paid 700 Pisos return for a tricycle to the 26,000 hectare prison which holds 3,186 convicts, and was about 15 km away from Puerto Princesa City.
    Iwahig is unique among penal institutions. The Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm were originally set up in 1902 by the United States to house Philippine prisoners who had fought against the American colonization of the Philippines. It served as a depository for prisoners who could not be accommodated at the Bilibid Prison in Manila.
    Now, the open-air Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm offer a unique approach to reforming criminals. It is one of the largest open-air jails. Instead of concrete walls, the prison is surrounded by a wire fence. A single guard at the entrance greets tourists and criminals’ relatives without inspecting them. He just took my driving licence for security. The idea of the prison is to rehabilitate criminals, so that the minimum-security inmates feel integrated within the community. Their main mission is no longer only punitive but information and restorative justice (Iwahig’s Superintendant Antonio C Cruz)
    As many as 200 minimum-security inmates are responsible for farming and office-related work, as well as for supervising the tasks of the medium-security inmates. Aside from the maximum-security inmates, who are kept isolated, all convicts learn a trade, including farming, fishing, forestry and carpentry. This is so that they can be reintegrated back into society, and bring something back into society as opposed to being released as a better criminal (which we believe occurs in our British prisons as a result of the urgent prison crisis!).
    As Hope and I entered, we arrived by the gym where a group of criminals greeted us. They took us over to the souvenir shop, showing us dream catchers, keyrings, magnets etc. – many of which they had made themselves. We bought some peanuts to give to some of the prisoners, and started talking to many of them.
    They showed us a dance – it was great! We ended up staying for a few hours, and so were lucky enough to see them perform 3 dances – Backstreet boys, cheerleader by Omi, and another one that I can’t remember.
    We spent hours talking to them – we were fascinated. The main man we spoke to, Jason, had the two tear tattoo on his face – so we immediately were aware that he was a murderer. Though we could not see any guards nearby, we did not feel unsafe at any point. He told us his life story. Two mafia members were searching for someone who they were going to murder, and on their mission searching inside Jason’s house, they shot Jason to leave him for dead, and killed his family. Jason spent 3 days in hospital, and woke up to find that his family were dead. He did what Hope and I personally believe most 20 year old men would want to do in that situation – and he killed the two men. He was given a life imprisonment sentence. He spent his first 17 years in Manila prison – which I think is the Quezon City Jail. He told us stories of the gangs there, the high drug use, the prisoners running the prisons, the over crowdedness - the hell life! After 17 years of good behaviour, he was moved to Iwahig Prison and Penal farm to spend his last 5 years – to be released after 22 years imprisonment. He told us of the many journalists who have visited him, people want to hear his story. We spoke to him for hours and couldn’t believe his life. He shared his experiences in both prisons – and talked through with us the differences, and his opinions. He said that some people here can have their family living inside the prison with them. He shared how they feel less like animals in cages here – and more like free human beings who are earning their space back in to society!
    Hope and I are so passionate about this area, and were truly amazed. We really believe that the British system need to adopt some of the beliefs in prisoner rehabilitation of this prison, and then the urgent prison crisis could make some way of improvement.
    Jason also told us about how many visitors, particularly Russians, have come in to the prison to just ‘laugh at the animals.’ We cannot believe how uneducated, rude, and shallow some human beings really are. If only people worldwide could understand the successes of the rehabilitation of offenders – instead of just listening to the media and wanting more punitive punishments, maybe we could make some way of improvement.
    We bought some peanuts for Jason and his friends, played with their lovely big teddy bear dog, and enjoyed learning some more.
    Our tricycle driver took us around the prison showing us the medium security area – all areas wear different coloured t-shirts depending on the security level. Each section has a boss – who is a prisoner who has earned their place.
    These prisoners are learning skills that are going to help them to reintegrate back into society. They are able to bring something to society, and are helping to reduce the over crowdedness of Manila prison. We just wish England could introduce something as amazing as this – Hope and I have set our new aim to open a rehabilitation centre in England…. Watch this space !!! Haha
    Read more

  • Day100

    Aufregung am frühen Morgen! Um 5:45 Uhr wurden wir abgeholt, um dann eine halbe Stunde mit diesen friedlichen Riesen schnorcheln zu dürfen. Wahnsinnig beeindruckend! Der größte war wohl so 7-8 Meter lang😱, aber ohne Zähne😀
    Danach haben wir noch ein wenig die “Stadt“ erkundet. Fotos sind in Bearbeitung...

  • Day98

    Mit Vanilla Airlines (ja, die gibt es tatsächlich) sind wir heute morgen gestartet. Der Flug dauerte 4:30 Stunden, die anschließende Autofahrt nach Oslob (130 Km) auch:-)
    Kulturschock inklusive! Während man in Japan buchstäblich von der Straße hätte essen können, liegen hier nicht nur Essensreste, sondern alles mögliche auf der Straße. Dann wird es zusammen gefegt und angezündet. Südost Asien eben...
    Fotos werden schwierig. Selbst mit WLAN reicht es wohl nur für Text...
    Read more

  • Day99

    Geweckt von einem herrlichen Sonnenaufgang in unserem Zimmer und auf unserem Balkon direkt am Meer. Der Rest vom “Resort“ ist eher rustikal. Gleiches gilt für den Ort an sich. Dafür sind die Menschen super freundlich.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of the Philippines, Philippinen, Philippines, Filippyne, ፊሊፒንስ, Filipinas, الفيلبين, Filipines, Filipin, Філіпіны, Филипини, Filipini, ফিলিপিন্স, ཕི་ལི་པིནས྄།, Filipinez, Pilipinas, Filipíny, Philipinau, Filippinerne, Filipini nutome, Φιλιππίνες, Filipinoj, Filipiinid, Filipinak, فیلیپین, Filipiin, Filippiinit, Filipsoyggjar, Felipines, Filipinen, Na hOileáin Fhilipíneacha, ફિલિપિન્સ, הפיליפינים, फिलिपींस, Filipiny, Fülöp-szigetek, Ֆիլիպիններ, Philippinas, Filipina, Filippseyjar, Filippine, フィリピン共和国, ფილიპინები, Filipino, ហ្វ៉ីលីពីន, ಫಿಲಿಫೈನ್ಸ್, 필리핀, فلیپین, Filipinys, Philippinae, Philippinnen, Bizinga bya Firipino, Filipiene, Filipinɛ, ຟິລິປິນ, Filipinai, Nfilipi, Filipīnas, ഫിലിപ്പൈന്‍സ്, फिलीपिन्स, Filippini, ဖိလစ်ပိုင်, Filippinene, फिलिपिन्स, Filipijnen, Filippinane, ଫିଲିପାଇନସ୍, Filippinas, Amazinga ya Filipine, Filipine, Филиппины, Filippiinnat, Filipîni, පිලිපීනය, Filipaina, Filibiin, Filippinerna, பிலிப்பைன்ஸ், ఫిలి పైన్స్, ประเทศฟิลิปปินส์, Filipaini, Filipinler Cumhuriyeti, فىلىپپىن, Філіпіни, فلپائنی, Phi-líp-pin (Phi Luật Tân), Filipuäns, פיליפינען, Orílẹ́ède filipini, 菲律宾, i-Philippines

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