Friday, February 21, 2014

The PI and Cameroon

Just got back from the Philippines where I saw many similarities with Cameroon.

1)  They both sell a lot of things in small, plastic packets in small boutiques (or sari sari stores).  Everything is apparently the opposite of buying in bulk -- whether its coffee, flavoring mixes (maggi cubes in Cameroon or sinigang mixes in the PI), detergent, etc.  Every ten feet, there's one of these boutiques.  Now if the PI would just get their heads together and sell hard liquor in small plastic packets…

 2)  They both have great hikes to mountains -- Mt. Cameroon and Mt. Pulag.  The difference is that Mt. Pulag seems better maintained and not as trashed.  It may have something to do with more conscientious hikers.  We had to watch an orientation video at the visitor center before our hike, advising us not to trash the mountain.  I'm not saying that was the reason Mt. Pulag seemed better maintained, but it may have helped. 

3)  Speaking of trash, they both burn their trash.  They both, however, reuse their beer/soda bottles, so I suppose that's something.  I did see some locations in the PI that separated their trash into recyclables, trash, organics, etc.  I didn't see any recycling facilities however. 

4)  They both have merchants who walk the streets selling their goods.

5)  They were both colonized by European countries white people -- Cameroon by the French, English and Germans and the PI by Spain and the US. Colonial mentality is still alive and well in the Philippines as evidenced by its skin whitener billboards. 

This post was written in honor of my blogging buddies, Marj and Bill:

Photo right before the hike to Mt. Pulag.