One of the first thing you notice about the Philippines is the amount of guns everywhere (and we didn’t even venture into Manila where I’m told even 7-11′s have armed guards). It seems odd for a place that seems at face value to be so friendly and which we were reassured was very safe by our Philipino friend (Anna, Wiggy’s girlfriend, she organised the holiday), yet outside every bank you’ll see guards armed to the teeth with machine guns, pump action shotguns and ammo belts.

Not only that but two days ago we were swimming in the pool at our hotel (Canyon Cove, Nasugbu – more on this later) when a security guard with a large machine gun came sauntering round the pool within a few paces of us. It didn’t bother me really, just odd to see them patrolling the pool like that.

Another night Anna took us to a local nightclub in downtown Nasugbu for a cracking night out, the thing was basically a roof on stilts with no walls, with a few hundred people inside listening to local bands (of course), the place was really friendly, whole families were there from grandparents down to infants. The music, as you’d expect from Filipino bands, was excellent, and up to date compared to the Filipino bands you see in Paulaner and other Shanghai bars (think Lady Gaga (Poker Face) and Black Eyed Peas (I Gotta Feeling) rather than the staple Hotel California, U2 etc you normally see). I was having a great time dancing away and proper hit the booze, at one point I ordered 4 bottles of san miguel pilsen because they weren’t delivering fast enough and I’d drank 3 of them by the time Wiggy had finished his first (unsurprisingly enough I finished the night asleep on my chair). Anyway, let me get back to the point, we were sat quite close to the entrance of the club and at one point I turned round to look at the entrance gate to note that it was being policed by no less than six armed guards sporting a variety of machine guns and shotguns. When we left there were only 3 (only…) so maybe I witnessed a change of shift or something, but anyway, how much trouble can you possibly get at a family nightclub in a small town that you need so many guns for protection? I don’t know about you but one machine gun is probably enough to convince me not to cause any trouble…

Anyway, here’s a special promotion I saw at a sports shop in a Tagaytay shopping mall:

If I was him I’d ditch that first aid pack and get an Equalizer strapped across my back, just in case my baton snapped and I ran out of bullets

No honestly, it REALLY is for baseball!!

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