For anyone out there visiting Cebu City for the first time and thinking about checking out the Colon area, don’t bother. They call it “Colon” because it’s as smelly and dirty as an unwashed asshole.
Not that it couldn’t be a tourist attraction. It actually could be if Filipinos gave two shits about anything other than themselves, which they don’t.
Personal greed and wanton self-interest has led to decay everywhere in the Philippines, but perhaps nowhere more so than this festering rat’s nest of teaming masses, filth, noise, and polluted air from jeepneys that “supposedly” go through regular emission testing. Yeah, right.
There’s another obvious fail right there. Well done, Philippines. Are those testing machines even powered-up when they use them? Makes you wonder…
If you consult material from the tourism industry here, you might be fooled into thinking that Colon is a hip, happening place. As FiloFail has repeatedly pointed out here on this blog, that’s because this is the land of illusion. They will show you a turd and call it a candy bar. Maybe they need to lie about the hard truth of this place so they can live with it. I don’t know. All I know is that what is ugly to my eyes is beauty to theirs, and they flock to it like it was honey or something.
Colon is named after its main avenue, Colon Street, which is said to be the oldest street in all of the Philippines. It sure looks like it. The whole area looks older than death itself. Every building is caked in layers of ancient soot too deep to ever be washed away by the rain.
And speaking of the rain, during the rainy season here, most of Colon is underwater. I just experienced that myself not too long ago. It was a special treat, let me tell you. The roads became rivers, and Filipinos – being aquaphobes – were all pressed back against storefronts in an attempt to seek protection with the overhangs. All I could think about myself was how much human shit must be floating in that water. Maybe that’s why the next day, when the place should have been swept clean by the previous night’s downpour, it still smelled like a sewer.
Better yet, the place is a trip-hazard extravaganza. It’s like they only employ former Shabu addicts to be civil engineers here, people whose brains have been totally fried. I’ve never before seen sidewalks like they have in Colon. It’s ridiculous. It reminds me of stumbling across a scree field: up, down, canted sideways, gaping holes all over the place. And don’t forget those sawed-off metal pole stumps that are all at just the right height to catch your toe as you pass by. Sheesh! Is this a sidewalk or a basic training obstacle course? Fuck me!
Colon is infested with Bajau. For those not familiar with this Filipino sub-group, they are basically gypsies. And just like other gypsies, they are expert beggars and thieves. It’s widely known here that gangs of Bajau children have a favorite technique where they will mob a foreigner, then distract him/her by grabbing at their arms while other Bajau are busily going through their pockets. That’s one special feature of Colon you will never read about in the travel literature. Another is that Bajau children walk naked around Colon and shit directly into the gutter. I’ve seen that with my own eyes.
Ignorant Filipinos love to go to Colon and shop because it’s cheap, and it’s cheap because it’s Chinese-made junk. Most of Colon is owned by Chinese that have intermarried here and basically taken over, at least in terms of the businesses there. I can’t understand why that doesn’t bother Filipinos more or cause resentment. Maybe it does, but that doesn’t stop them from flocking there in droves to shop. Gotta save every peso when pesos are rare, never mind that whatever you buy in Colon is good for one use only. The Chinese are good at business, but they sure do make junk-ass products. And stupid Filos can’t get enough, because it’s cheap.
So, go to Colon if you want to breathe polluted air, smell shit, have your eardrums destroyed, buy crap products, discover what it feels like to be an ant in an ant’s nest, and get mobbed and robbed by Bajau youth. If that sounds like fun to you, then go for it! As for me, I avoid that place like the plague as much as I’m able.