Published: August 6th 2008August 6th 2008
A sunrise I was so relieved to see
the morning after one of the scariest nights OF MY LIFE!
Ok so here's how it is. I've been seriously lax in updating my blog for a few reasons, the major one being lack of decent internet access. Other reasons involve the kind of lifestyle Ive been leading here, its pretty laidback and by that I mean lazy. Sorry to anyone who was previously glued to my regular entries (which Im sure are of limited numbers!). Im afraid I wont be able to go into too much detail for the happenings of the past 5 weeks because Tanduay (local rum) has ruined my brain and thus my memory.
Im here in the surfing capital of the Philippines and yes I have been trying to learn to surf ;-) The only problem is that I SUCK! People keep telling me it takes a long time, however, it is tricky to think this whilst comparatively speaking Agnes is getting really really good!! So, Ive been out of the surfing scene for a few weeks and I went for the first time again yesterday morning, I still need tuition and a push but I caught some waves and it was rockin'.
I guess I dont really know where to start. At first we
What a coincidence...
Ted also shot his finger into Agnes' head that morning, maybe the violence was contagious.
stayed with Agnes' friend Gerard in Manilla and then he suggested we come here (and would probably end up staying). He wasnt wrong, its soooooooo beautiful and chilled and I utterly LOVE it!
So when we arrived we stayed in a homestay with Jing and his amazing family. Jing is also a surf instructor which worked out handy for us. The first couple of weeks involved a mix of surfing, boozing and eating a lot of rice and fish. They have this dish here called Kinilaw (raw fish with Ginger, onion etc) and its so super tasty and real healthy too, double trouble. I really enjoyed learning to surf but I have to admit my started to get a bit disheartened when I could see progress of the others and how mine was pretty much at a standstill...so I took a break and ended up hiring a bike from Wilmar (one of the best guys around). Then I started biking around a bit, mostly the 16K journey to Dapa (a big town where we get the ferry off the island). So I currently feel really healthy and Im definately losing more weight which is making me feel virtuous as
Jong and Wilmar
On the 1st night we 'jammed', many more came after :-)
hell (not sure how well those two words fit together but there you go).
Today Im considering flying to Manila on the 13th with Agnes before she heads back to Canada and then venturing around the Philippines a little before returning to Siargao for the Fiesta times in September. I changed my flight from Bangkok to Melbourne to depart on 15 September but now I think I may have to change it again to a date in October ;-)
After staying with Jing for a couple of weeks (maybe 3) we decided that coming home late after a booze-up wasnt the best example to show his kids, plus we wanted a bit more independance to live like the locals. Our friend Patrick suggested we move into a big wooden house which is a remarkable 20p per person per night but does involve a bit of labour in order to make it liveable i.e. there's no running water so we have to visit the nearby well and carry buckets of water in order to wash etc. Its been a bit challenging and we still havent had chance to cook a proper meal as we have to light a fire
in the 'dirty' kitchen. Luckily, the men here always cook! So we've been treated to many a meal at various people's houses, we just have to pay (not very much) for the food and we end up eating real well. Lots of fish, squid and chicken dishes and they all taste amazing.
One thing I have to report which aint so good is that I had my camera stolen. It had all of my pics from the Philippines on it and I cried a lot when I found out. Anyway, life is like that sometimes so I'll just get on with it. Teddy-boy saved the day though cause he had copied mopst of the pics onto his laptop a few weeks before!! Therefore I can add some to this page.
Another kinda crazy happening, the first week we got to Siargao the rebels stormed the police base which was quite close to a resort where we were playing a particularly successful game of poker (well for me anyway :-0). When we heard gunshots we thought they were fireworks but then it soon became clear what was happening. At that point I crapped myself. There was a big group
of us and so we decided to walk to Pascal's house along the beach in darkness so as not to be seen. Erica told me she was worried that they may be looking for hostages and the most likely people were apparently us foreigners - eek. Anyway, I was so scared I was gonna die that night. During our walk along the beach I held Agnes' hand and squeezed it so hard I thought she was gonna hit me. I also heard a gunshot followed by a loud scream which of course didnt help matters. We ended up staying at Pascals all night because the gunshots kept happening sporadically. Luckily Jong and Mitz and a bottle of Tanduay were present and so we got a bit leathered and were kept entertained by their crazy chatter. We heard the next morning that a number of police were killed, but I cant confirm this cause I didnt see any news reports. I couldnt sleep for the rest of the night because the floor was so hard, mozzies were killing me and Ger's snore was skull-shatteringly loud. So when the sun started to come up I couldnt wait to go outside. The sunrise
Named after a tasy choccie bar
was so surreal, at first I thought the clouds were bomb-smoke and I felt like I was in Apocalypse now (sorry to use such a cliche buit thats really what it felt like). Then I realised thatit was just clouds in silhouette and it looked so beautiful.
I will write more little stories about my time here soon. In the meantime, I hope all is well with everyone, thanks for your messages - keep writing and I will try to reply. Congrats to Kevin and Heidi, Matt said it was a wonderful day. So sorry I missed it :-(
Love and Miss you all so much xxx
There are more photos below