...our first weeks in the Philippines...
25.10.2009 - 07.11.2009 -30 °C
Another epic travelling session from Malaysian Borneo finally landed us in Cebu City in the Philippines late at night, via an 8 hour delay in Clark Airport, Manila.
This late night view of sprawling Cebu led us to a swift exit the next day in search of a quieter life (Cebu was chaotic and dirty, but good to have witnessed). We jumped on the fast boat to nearby Dumaguette (a mere 4 hours), a student town on the island of Negros.
Dumaguette was a great antidote to Cebu - good food, an almost European waterfront promenade ( must have been the spanwards) and a laid back atmosphere. It also provided our first tricycle journey - not to be missed, these are basically motorbikes with metal framed sidecars - loud, fast and adorned in a mixture of either staunchly Roman Catholic or cheesey 80s movie slogans. They love their cheesey music here too, epitomised by the Celine Dion classics belting out over numerous Karoake machines.
After a couple of nights amongst Dumaguette's laid-back student population, we headed on another boat to the famously 'spooky' island of Siquijor (what better place to spend Halloween than amongst the infamous witch doctors). A hut right on the beach was our home for six long lazy days. The sunsets from our veranda were beautiful... as was lounging in the hammock with a cold beer and a trashy novel.
On the one day we managed to rouse ourselves, we hired a motorbike for a sight-seeing trip around the rest of the island, exploring waterfalls and spanish era churches along the breathtaking coastal road, a pretty good day.
We even tried out a bit of kayaking, exploring neighbouring beaches around the headland from our hut (though we found out later that we had the boat the wrong way round..i though it was hard!).
We were sad to leave Siquijor, we have never been smiled at, waved at and generally greeted so much as in the Philippines, and in particular on this tiny island. However, three solid days of travel beckoned (via over-night sleeper boats, budget flights and dusty long distant bus journeys) which have finally got us to El Nido, from where we start our boat trip exploring the Bacuit Archipelago of Palawan...