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Full Circle

Day 97: General Santos City to Zamboanga

Zamboanga, Philippines 
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Approaching Zamboanga. Children call for coins to dive for.
Michael Palin - Full CircleAboard the MV Princess of the Pacific. Uneventful voyage on a flat calm sea. Dawn heralded by not one but possibly a hundred cockerels travelling with us, each one in their own cardboard box. Once one starts to crow, another picks it up and then another, like a crazed close harmony chorus, until the noise is deafening.

As we turn in towards Zamboanga we pass on our port side the volcanic cone of Basilan Island about which my Lonely Planet guide is uncharacteristically guarded. 'For your own safety you would be advised to think twice about visiting Basilan.'

At the deck rail I fall in with a Filipino insurance salesman who is scarcely more encouraging. He nods towards the smudgy blur of Zamboanga. 'This used to be the worst of all the ports in the Philippines,' he observes with the relish of one who is not stopping there.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 97
  • Country/sea: Philippines
  • Place: Zamboanga
  • Book page no: 139

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