The Philippines

A nice little tangent that i’m really glad I chanced in the end. It’s definitely hard to really do the highlights (Bohol, North Luzon, Manila, Cebu, Boracay, Palawan) in three weeks. A 21 day visa is free so most people stay only this long. However unless you fly, you tend to lose days to boats and once a week ferries and the like.

I kind of wish i’d done some planning and squeezed more in, like the rice paddies in Banaue and the wide-eyed monkey face things that have eyes like Puss in Boots from Shrek. But when faced with the dilemma of countryside v’s city v’s culture v’s remote villages etc there is only one clear winner for me. Swanning about on beaches instead!


1)      So I hate the sweeping statement that is: ‘Filipino’s (Thai’s/Laotians/insert Asian country here) really are the friendliest in the world.” But you can’t deny here has to be noted for immaculate manors. You can escape that level of hassle or confrontation that you can’t in other SEA countries, and generally the friendly vibe feels slightly more authentic and less loaded. Ok, being referred to as ‘Ma’am,’ 24h a day is a little OTT unless you are the Queen but if you ask for directions on any given Jeepney, chances are someone will hop off and walk you there. Love thy neighbour.

2)      San Miguel recycling. Each beer bottle comes with a napkin stuck around the rim for wiping the recycled bottle clean, DIY style. You get to drink and save the planet. Win win.

3)      The magical coconut pie to end all pies. $10 peso. Best thing to ever be sold on a bus. Fact.

4)      Jeepney’s. 7 peso – wherever you want to go – in a psychedelic patterned tin tractor. Cars just seem so dull in comparison.

5)      Dirt cheap £10 ish flights. You can take to the skies for cheaper than a UK cinema ticket/round/bag of fish & chips.


1)      Boats. You are slow, you sink a lot, and you make everyone feel sick. I’m over you.

2)      Sex Tourism.

3)      Music.  Not that I don’t enjoy a bit of Michael Bolton ‘How Can we Be Lovers If We Can’t Be Friends’ whilst on an early morning minivan from time to time, but people playing their entire cheesy MP3 players out loud in public (This goes for China and in fact most of Asia too) kind of grates after a while. Earphones are $50 peso. Buy some.

4)       Cockfighting. I know the little shits are not your fave at 4am, but don’t strap them with razor blades and let them peck each other to the death. Give them a cuddle.

5)      Room prices. So there is a backpacker scene if you look for it, but at $500p ($10) rooms and only fractionally less for dorms, the PP is pricy (relatively) to do alone.

Where I stayed: Friendly’s Guesthouse  Manila, Tuna Joes Puerta Galara, Ruby’s Puerta Galara, The misc bamboo hut/someone’s house? Boracay, Treehouse Borocay, Banwa Guesthouse Puerta Princessa, Tribal Guesthouse Sabang, La Banane El Nido.

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Connecting to %s : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

February 2012

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