Blogs from Philippines, Asia - page 5


Asia » Philippines » Manila April 25th 2015

Men on stilts, beautiful girls playing xylophones, dancers and costumed natives greeted us as we arrived in Manila this morning. It was a beautiful sight and made for good entertainment early in the day. Our first stop was the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial where 17,000 Americans are buried. It is was a solemn sight and the location is beautiful. A couple of hours navigating traffic,apparently snarled due to an accident, we finally arrived at La Loma, a marketplace renowned for its suckling pigs. We didn’t sample any… On to a Chinese cemetery where we found 2 story mausoleums, some with running water and air conditioning as the families tend to spend time there in reverence to their ancestors. We were told the Chinese are wealthy in the Philippines and their burial grounds show it. Lunch ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Negros Oriental » Apo Island April 22nd 2015

We missed our chance spotting turtles back on *that secret island* a week ago and so we have made it our sole purpose to seek out a place where such animals are in abundance. We LOVE turtles by the way. That place is called Apo island. Getting here was pretty straight forward. After our boat ride and 3 bus journeys from Sugar beach we stayed the night in Dumaguete again so we could leave early enough to get to Malatapay to stand a chance of getting a cheaper boat with locals or day trippers as opposed to the 2000php boat hire price. More so as it was market day our chance was much higher. We caught a 45min bus from Dumagute (25php each) to the port town of Malatapey and headed through the busy market to ... read more
Walking through the busy market
Cattle auction

Asia » Philippines » Negros » Sipalay City April 18th 2015

For us the aptly named Sugar beach conjured up thoughts of fine white sand, beaches lined with palm trees stretching as far as the eye can see, beautiful crystal clear water lightly lapping against the beach and an overwhelming feeling of tranquillity. To our surprise it turned out to be all of the above, although the sand was more golden brown than white. At Sugar beach we were treated to the most tranquil 3 mile beach, everything in some way was perfect, but was this paradise for us? Well if you would have asked us before ever travelling we may have answered Yes. However now, things have changed. Getting here from the popular expat epicentre of Dumaguete was a full days undertaking including 3 buses and a small boat. We caught our first bus from the ... read more
We witnessed some amazing sunsets here
The Sun just setting
The beautiful red and orange skies

Asia » Philippines April 13th 2015

Ever wonder what paradise is like? We think we've found it. So far on this trip we have been to the local touristy beach of Langkawi; the atmospheric Perhentian island and the lovely island of Malapasca with its bustling local village life and a handful of dive resorts. Now however is time for something more secluded. The island we spent the next 4 days on can be found on the map of the Philippines but there is not a mention of staying here in any of the guide books we have. We only heard of this place from word of mouth (Dennis who we first met in Banaue) and it came highly recommended. This place was truly undiscovered. We asked around about how to get here and found out that the best day to travel here ... read more
Colourful boat
All to ourselves
Our beach front cabin

Asia » Philippines April 12th 2015

Asia » Philippines » Bohol » Tagbilaran April 9th 2015

Tagbilaran; The jump off point for visitors wishing to visit the popular chocolate hills and the incredibly cute Tarsiers in a nearby sanctuary. Tagbilaran is the main port town on the island of Bohol. From Malapascua we travelled back to Cebu city, stayed a few nights (in order to extend our 30 day visa) and then caught a 2 hr ferry from Cebu port across to Tagbilaran, Bohol. We arrived in Tagbilaran with the usual touts and taxi drivers asking "where are you going?" "Tarsiers?" "Chocolate hills?" "Panglao?" We politely declined all offers and made our way into the main town in search of our hostel 0.8miles away. As we walked we could not help but notice there was a distinct lack of jeepneys and cars on the road. Instead it was polluted by tricycles; more ... read more
Tarsier seeking shade
The famous chocolate hills
Psalms on the back of tricyles

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Malapascua April 5th 2015

For our wedding anniversary we wanted something idyllic and relaxing, we wanted a small island with a nice beach. Not just any beach though, we'd set our minds on the Philippines. In the end we settled on the picturesque island of Malapascua and our timing was not half bad. To get to the island of Malapascua we had to travel to one of the most northern towns of Cebu; Maya, and catch a boat to our destination of Malapascua. Usually there are big yellow coaches with air con taking people to Maya but I think we may have just missed one, hence being piled into a small minivan. During our 4 hour ride to Maya we got talking to a group of Filipinos who were heading to a town an hour outside of Maya for a ... read more
Loungers were calling our name
Our boat
Underwater tunnel

Asia » Philippines » Cebu » Cebu City April 4th 2015

The return night bus from Banaue to Manila arrived earlier than expected at 3am. Tired, we caught a quick cab to get us back to Pink Manila Hostel. Arriving to people still partying at 4am was a little shock, but we quickly avoided the invitations to join and jumped into our dorm beds and fell straight asleep. A 16 bed dorm room that is, the largest we have ever slept in and we both slept like babies. The following day we decided to do nothing but relax as most things were closed (we found out that even McDonald’s was closed when we strolled the empty streets). We therefore spent most of our time in our hostel. P jumped in the pool a couple of times, Chris went to the local gym on the ground floor and ... read more
Getting comfy in the minivan
Our mix and match dinner from the food court
Cramped at the back of the bus

Asia » Philippines » Sagada April 1st 2015

Leaving for Sagada the following morning was confusing to say the least. Were we going via Jeepney or private bus? Should we take the cheaper Jeepney option or join the others in hiring a private minivan which costs more? Were we going to opt for the day trip, an overnight stay or a couple of nights? After hearing bus services had been stopped in Banaue on Good Friday, we did not know if there would be any bus services on that Friday in Sagada and our flight leaves Manila for Cebu on Saturday so we eventually agreed just to stay the one night in Sagada. To be honest, we were not fussed about the jeepney but as others in our newly found group had limited time in Sagada and could only do a day trip, their ... read more
The famous hanging coffins of Sagada
Coffins in the mouth of the cave

Asia » Philippines » Banaue March 29th 2015

As we intended to spend some extended time in the Philippines we decided to explore the north luzon area before we got to the islands so we could get a better feel for the country. We also like to work for our beach time; theres no pleasure without pain. Plus we figured 1 week of strenuous mainland activity equates to several weeks of beach time right? When we were told by other backpackers that the rice terraces in north luzon were truly beautiful although we were in no doubt about it, we could not start to picture or imagine what these terraces were like for ourselves. Looking at pictures gave us a general idea but this alone was not even close to the actual experience. The experience was far better. Being there with these terraces in ... read more
Overlooking the town of Banaue
On a mission to the view point

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