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Philippines?
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
ktmrider
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Philippines?

I have a chance to go to the Philippines in July. Ten days will be devoted to diving but can add a week before and even a week after the trip. Someone mentioned diving with whale sharks and I think that is on the agenda.

I was in the Philippines a lot in the early 1980's while a pilot in the USMC and the carriers were docked in Subic Bay. Most memorable mission was helping move a village which was going to be inundated by a new flood control project. I got to carry a water buffalo in a sling under the CH46 about 15 miles over the jungle. I have often wonder what the water buffalo was thinking.

Anyway, am looking for places to visit and photograph. I know July is rainy season but may pick up a GOPRO 7 for diving and action video.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Yokosuka_Mike
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I spent a lot of time in the Philippines but most of my free time was spent in the pursuit of cold San Miguel beer and... other things.

However, I am impressed that you were a CH46 pilot. What a workhorse of a helicopter. One of my collateral duties when I was stationed on the USS Beaufort (ATS-2) was Helo Control Officer. The Beaufort was a very small ship and we did a lot of VERTREPS in the persian gulf. To make a long story short, those CH46 pilots were amazing! Our stern would be bouncing around pretty good but those pilots would hover their CH46 so low the cargo handlers on the flight deck could have reached up and shook hands with the helo crew members. Yes, very impressive.

Mike
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
ktmrider
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There are aerodynamic advantages to the tandem rotor design. The last Marine CH46 was put in the boneyard about three years ago. Now the only tandem helo still flying to my knowledge is the Army CH47 which is the Army's heavy lifter.

And yes I know all about SML's and "other things." When at Subic in the early 1980's, I was 30 years old, a bachelor, my roommate was our flight surgeon and everything could be cured with penicillin. I understand the airfield (Cubi Point) at the old Subic Bay Naval Station is now FedEx's air hub in Asia.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Does anyone know how hard it is to get find film (color print) or get it developed in either Manilla or Cebu? I enjoy film but I have either a MP240 or X100f for ease of travel.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Isn’t a place I would return to and visit.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Between 2009 and 2012 I spent a totally of probably about 2+ months in the Philippines. I don't think I would trust my film development there, and I would definitely get a lead bag because their airport baggage scanners are pretty old.
Outside of Manilla the food was horrible
Make sure you drink some Red Horse and not just San Mig.
I spent time in Dumaguete, can't recommend it. Cebu and Manilla were cool and there are lots of amazing small islands in which you can experiance some of the best scuba diving
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Was just swimming with those whale sharks 3 weeks ago . Absolutely spectacular, they're in Donsol . Water was barely 5 meters deep and it seemed all I could do to stay out of their way . Easy to keep up with if you rent flippers there. Would love to have had a go-pro with me. I think we we're extremely lucky that day as we saw 4 different ones in a couple of hours (they make it clear there are no guarantees of seeing them). Arrive early for best chances . Quite the country to get around. Peter
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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I'm local. Will respond in a bit

July will be monsoon season. We've had a bit of rain as early as now but expecting the annual typhoons to come later.

Whale sharks: Strongly advise to avoid the whale shark watching in Oslob, Cebu because they engage in unsustainable practices. Donsol is better in that respect.

Film developing: local fujifilm outlet in Manila accepts color developing. I can send you addresses via pm. Black and white developing takes a while (3 to 5 days) and is serviced by independent labs. There's been a resurgence locally brought about by the young crowd.

For scuba diving, there's a ton of sites just a couple hours drive from Manila. Anilao, Batangas comes to mind.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Bill Clark-one of my friends who retired as a colonel from the Marines met his wife at a bar in Olongopo. Been married over 30 years. Sometimes economic circumstances may force women into work they might otherwise choose to avoid. I will not throw stones at her or other "sex workers" I have met.

Moto Uno and Bucs-my friend suggested Donsol as he was diving with them in January.

And my last trip to PI was during the 2016 election. I watched the results from a beachfront resort in Subic and wondering what the hell happened. I managed to do some scuba diving in Subic-lots of wrecks. This trip I want to look at the Bataan Death March and Corrigidor..

I have another friend who was at Subic in 1991 following the eruption of Mt Pinatubo and I was curious as to how the base turned out. He told me he left and there was still a couple inches of volcanic ash on everything on the base as the US Navy turned it over to the Philippine government. Clark is being used as an international airfield but has very limited flights in and out. Flying into Manilla sucks due to ground traffic to get out of the city. As I stated earlier Cubi Point is now FedEx's Asia aviation hub. And JEST (Jungle Environment Survival Training) on the base is now a hostel, go figure.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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We just had our midterm elections and results are overwhelmingly in the current administration's favor... unfortunately.

There's a ferry that runs daily from Manila to Corregidor island. It is mostly a tourist spot nowadays with lots of abandoned military structures. Same goes for the Death March memorial in Bataan but would take 4 to 5 hours drive from Manila.

Diving in Subic is not as great as it was before. There are still plenty of dive centers around but marine biodiversity in the area has declined. Highly encourage to go south in Batangas area. World famous dive spots await.

Also here are the local labs:

https://www.theonlinewarehouse.biz/services/
- c41 and bw subject to wait times

http://www.sunny16lab.com/
- c41 and bw subject to wait times

https://yklcolor.com/services/
- c41 only same day processing

Process and scan service costs $4 to $6 on average per roll. Posting here for future reference.
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