Philippines

Going or not going to the Philippines… An uncertainty that nagged us since day 1! It’s not usually on a backpacker’s SEAsia trip, not just because it is far but also because of  its geography which spans over thousands of islands making it hard to travel.
All our doubts went away when a super cheap flight deal dropped on our lap. It was only for a fortnight but we didn’t even second guessed it and bought the ticket straight away!

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Fort of Santiago

Our first stop was Manila –  a modern city with a mix of Spanish colonial architecture. As soon as we landed we felt the western influence. Everyone could speak fluent english which, after 5 months travelling in Asia, almost made us weep.

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We wandered around the Intramuros, an historic walled area in the heart of the city started by the Spanish colonial government in the late 16th century to protect the city from foreign invasions.

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Colonial buildings all over Intramuros

IMG_9937Manila Cathedral

IMG_9954Fort of Santiago

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Fort of Santiago

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Casa Manila, a museum depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization.

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Japanese Gardens

Next came Siquijor, a tiny island with a reputation for being haunted by the mangkukulam (healers) living there but it’s actually just a hidden paradise filled with beautiful white sand beaches, amazing snorkelling and endless waterfalls.

IMG_0225 We found paradise… and just for ourselves!

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Jumping off Lugnason Waterfall

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Lugnason Falls

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Cambugahay Waterfall – clear blue waterfall with just a few other people

We spent the afternoon swimming, jumping off trees and hanging around  with a group of drunk locals who made Carlos down 5 or more cups of Philippino rum.

Picture Credits: a (drunk) Philippino man

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Endless white sand beaches

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30ºc under the shade

Our last day was spent diving in Apo Island, a boat ride from Siquijor.

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View from the boat

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Selfie time!

We weren’t very lucky with the weather and, while trying to avoid the rain, we ended up in El Nido where the weather was fine but the tourist overload got into our nerves. Adding up to that, we got our first food poisoning spending a whole day in bed.

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Carlos and Lorenz enjoying the ride

Once we were back on our feet and while exploring the beaches around El Nido, we luckily bumped into Lorenz and Justine, a Belgian couple we had met in Thailand a month before. We agreed to rent a private boat to avoid the crowds from the tours while island hopping.

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Sexy!

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We finally found our lunch spot – and it was just for us!

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Our lunch followed

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A beer before the amazing seafood…

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Lunchtime!

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After lunch it was time to burn those calories – kayaking in the small lagoon!

We finished off our island hopping with the big lagoon, already under the shade but very quiet and peaceful!

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We still visited Port Barton but unfortunately the pouring rain didn’t let us out of the room 😦 It was a quick visit to this amazing country with so much to offer, we will definitely  be back to explore these never ending islands!

4 thoughts on “Philippines

  1. Beautiful photos I wish we were there with you it deep snow here and minus 12 in the wind chill it is freezing all on to get the house warm with the heating on . not long now to you coming home . Don’t rush to leave all that behind love you can’t wait to see you .xxxxx

    Like

  2. com estas fotos eu fico cheio de inveja, mas logo me passa. ou entao vou aí.
    E tu Carlos vê bem, saboreia, sente e vive.
    e com a Maria podes ir ate ao fim do mundo.

    Like

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