Well I have successfully navigated the Philippines in a plastic waste free manner! Hurrah!
I was pleasantly surprised at the attitude towards waste in general, especially in a touristy town El Nido ("the Nest"). There were a number of signs emphasizing that littering was not tolerated (with a 1000 peso fine! aka $25) and giving instructions on how to get rid of waste. El Nido was my first real impression of the Philippines and it turns out that not every where is quite at the same level.
The next city I went to, Coron, still had huge amounts of plastic trash all over the place. Both locations are very touristy and have scuba diving as a big part of the industry. Coron is more of a wreck spot than a nature spot though and I wonder if this accounts for the different attitude. I have a feeling that El Nido has more of a protective marine environment feel. The diving there was pretty spectacular :).
I ran into a familiar problem... STRAWS!!! GAH!!!! Hey Asia! Stop giving me a straw all the time!!!!!!!! I can't wait until I no longer have to ask for a glass without a straw. At least in the Philippines people have a good grasp of English. I still had to mime a bit though, the get the point across. And I still got quite a few funny looks :P.
I stayed away from street food this time. Not really for any particular reason, except that the food in the restaurants was really good and really cheap. There was no motivation to eat off the street. Plus the food in Malaysia was so yummy, I am not sure if I will be able to top that street food.
Buying gifts wasn't a problem here as most touristy places were selling hand made items that weren't wrapped. I was very happy to see that. I was very impressed to see unique gifts as well!! Hurrah, not the same crap that everywhere else sells. The best one was a turtle and sea star key chain that were made of recycled plastic!!!! Win :).
I am looking forward to comparing Canada to other places I have been on my journey. I have really high hopes that we have less trash everywhere and a bigger awareness of plastic. We'll see...