From Beaches to Urban Jungle

Sinulog 2007  in Cebu. All photos by Loa Iversen.

Travelling in the rural parts of the Philippines, time has become a somewhat absent factor. The boat leaves when it’s full and the next bus arrives after the first. In order to make a smooth transition from the deserted beached and the laidback life to the urban jungle of Hong Kong, we decided to work our way down to the proper town of Dumaquete.

A marriage proposal and a few beers later I was on the midnight ferry to Cebu just in time to celebrate Sinulog. A festival celebrating a saint with a parade of colourful people and small kids posing as political propaganda combined with street parties and events covering every bit of the city centre. A last joyful and unique taste of life in the Philippines before a three hour flight delay brought us to a closed down Hong Kong airport and an expensive taxi to a closed down hostel.

After waking up our fellow students to get threes hours of sleep scrammed in a spare bed, we were ready for a full program on the first day of the official study trip. Let’s just say that after 7 hours of sleep in two days I’m not at my best, something which gave our presentation at the university an interesting twist.

Hong Kong is a lot of things and I’m slowly growing to love it. The fact that I got chocolate and my iPod recharged for the first time in weeks might just make up for the cold I caught and my sprained ankle. I’d say that in global cities mobility is in fact not an overrated ability. Hong Kong, Pearl River Delta, China – all of it – seems like another world, which is fascinating to explore and a bit concerning as it seems it can only be a matter of time before they will conquer our sweet little Europe.

Until then I’m testing a new theory: Is it possible to map the phenomenon of shopping without going broke?

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