Adventure trip to the Philippines
Trip to the Philippines
Description of my first trip to the Philippines. A journey through the country of beautiful beaches, waterfalls and rice terraces of Asia. Philippines is a country of sea turtles, coconut palms, whale sharks and good cuisine. Philippines is an island paradise which we can still afford.
I‘ve been travelling in the beautiful Philippines for over a month now, and I am really happy here. I realize that in two or three months I will not be able to see the whole of Philippines, that’s why during this trip I plan to see the whole of Visayas archipelago, whilst with my female travel companions I also intend to see the southern part of Luzon and Bohol, because they only have one month. Islands such as Palawan, Mindanao, northern Luzon and a number of smaller islands, such as Mindoro and Siargao, I will leave for the next time.
Among the many countries of Southeast Asia that I have travelled and explored well, I still haven’t see the Philippines. Most often White tourists and travellers go to Thailand, and from there they either head to the Malay Peninsula or to the French Indochina. In a relatively short time, one can visit Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and see the national parks of Western Malaysia and Singapore. Such route is usually the most common one, although Burma with its temples in Bagan is also very popular. However, countries such as Indonesia, East Timor and the Philippines are located on islands, beyond the most-visited Southeast Asian route, and they also require more time due to their size and location. People visiting the Philippines are usually the ones who have already seen the rest of the region, and now they wish to expand their travel horizons.
I have planned my trip to the Philippines for many years, and I knew that it would be a different experience than in the other countries of south-east Asia. I know from own experience that every country in South-East Asia is different, because despite the similarities, people in every country have developed national customs and specific cultures. Although in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam the prevailing religion is Buddhism, after all, each country is different, in each country there are different temples and different architecture. The selected nations of Southeast Asia are similar to each other, but certainly not the same – what proves the national identity of each of those nations. The seriousness of national identity is what I by the way try to teach in the section titled: “The Politics of Truth.”
The colonial history of the Philippines
I expected that the Philippines would be definitely different than the other countries of south-east Asia. The Philippines was a Spanish colony, thanks to which the country is the only big Catholic country in the region; and what by the way saved Filipinos from Islam. I knew that I would see beautiful beaches, rice fields, exotic animals and scenic views, but also Spanish forts, Catholic churches and a culture specific to the Philippines. Today, many streets and names, as well as words in Filipino language are of Spanish origin. In the Philippines there are different foods than in the neighbouring countries, but also different transport in the form of iconic “jeepneys”, which are big cars painted in kitschy patterns, according to the imagination of the drivers.
The Philippines also became an American colony, when she decided to remove the “democracy” imposed by Spain and introduce her own. Thanks to this, it is easy to communicate in English with Filipinos, but on the other hand, unfortunately because of America, the Philippines has become a sex-tourism destination. It is not a coincidence that the largest centre of prostitution in the Philippines is located near the former American military base in Clark. Today the American base is already gone, but the city turned into a brothel has stayed.
My first route during my trip around the Philippines
I of course started in Manila, where I saw the Spanish fort of Istramuros, a great Catholic cathedral, and I also travelled around the city on a board of adventurous jeepneys. I stayed in the Makati district, where there were many hotels, restaurants and also dental offices (which I recommend in the Philippines). On the other hand, there were also a lot of prostitutes in the tourist district; and worst of all, there were also men dressed like women, witj make ups like creepy dolls, trying to sell themselves to tourists. It was disgusting, repulsive! As if that that was not enough, there were also street vendors offering viagra. I thought: “Well, so that’s how it’s done in the Philippines“. On my last day in Manila I went to the zoo, and then to the Rizal Square and the Chinese Garden After that I took my female travel companions and went south.
During the first part of the trip we travelled in the island of Luzon and stopped in Legaspi, from where we took four-wheeled vehicles to the Mayon volcano. I saw beautiful nature, palm trees, banana trees, the ruins of Cagsawah and the spectacular Hoyap-Hoyopan cave. Everywhere we went there was great nature, coconuts and cocoa, mango and rambutan fruit on the trees. Our next stop was the city of Tacloban, from where I went on a trip to the national park, I saw a few waterfalls and swam in the river by dramatic rock formations. It was also our first experience of the Philippine cuisine, Filipino countryside and the Filipino way of people. The majority of houses were made of bamboo and they were covered with palm leaves.
Filipinos lived simple lives under coconut and banana trees and they ran their small businesses. These were usually small stores behind wall made of bamboo, where they sold coconuts, or ran their barbecue and cooked from home. Very often in the Philippines, the residents grilled meat in front of their homes and they put pots on the table with the food they prepared. From the adventurer’s point of view, it was a simple, interesting life, and these were the traditions which I wanted to see. That was enough to make me happy. On the beaches, Filipinos were usually busy building or renovating fishing boats, or they were fishing. Then, there were not only chickens and pork on the grill, but also fish. I liked duradu and the flying fish the most. The food leftovers did not get wastes, as I was always accompanied by dogs and cats.
Southern Luzon and the island of Samar were only pleasant and valuable stops, because most of the time with my women I intended to spend on the very popular Bohol and adjacent Panglao. We didn’t want to hurry too. We were heading to the port of Bato, where we were supposed to board the port of Bohol, but decided that we would stay in Polompon. Polompon turned out to be a very nice little town with a good fish market, grilled chicken and a wide selection of exotic fruits. Sitting at San Juan beach we ate lansunis, rambutans and mangostine, whilst enjoying the seaview.
This means that in our seemingly rich and well-supplied Europe, we still don’t have everything. We also took a trip to the paradise island of Kalanggaman, with white sand, palm trees, turquoise lagoon and a narrow sandbar. Kalanggaman is a perfect island for taking photos for postcards of perfect places. In Polompon we had a very nice time, and although we planned to stay only one day, we stayed 3 days. The Philippines not only captivates with its beauty and pleasant lifestyle; but it is addictive and makes travelllers want to stay longer.
Our last place in Leyte was the port town of Bato, where we slept on bamboo beds, ate supper by the sea, and went to a poor village, strolling between small boats. Children living in wooden houses on tilts were very interested in us and asked questions, although adults wanted to talk to us too. I noticed that in the Philippines, which is a less visited destination, people react with greater interest when they see Whites, than in the more frequently visited countries of the region, what makes the cultural experience more realistic. Sometimes all the dark faces were looking at us, what made us feel like snow leopards that escaped from the zoo. Our white race is a rare species in the Philippines.
We spent most of our time on Bohol, and although we saw the whole island very well, first we stopped at the Anda beach, where there are the best beaches, water caves and a tourist paradise. Anda was quiet and secluded, and it was there, where together with my white women I experienced a quiet, rural life of the Philippines. Whilst strolling among banana trees and coconut palms, I reached white beaches with palm trees leaning to the sea, and then water caves, which gave me the biggest pleasure. Among the many trips we also took a motorbike tour to the complex of waterfalls hidden in the jungle, called Cam Umantad, on the way stopping for a barbecue between rice fields.
Then we moved to the Alona beach, on the adjacent island of Panglao, which is louder and more touristy, but still beautiful. I personally preferred calm Anda, although I think that Alona should be seen too. When we’ve had enough of the beaches, I took my women on a week-long tour of central Bohol. We of course saw Chocolate Hills and the smallest primate in the world – tarsiers, but we also took a river cruise, we saw butterflies farms, botanical gardens and an interesting zoo, where my little blonde fed a young lioness from the bottle. It was a beautiful time among exotic nature, picturesque views, and in the company of Asian animals.
Our meals were usually in roadside places, made of bamboo and palm leaves. Before I escorted my women to Tagbilaran, from where they had a flight, we had returned to Panglao, from where we sailed to the island of Balicasag to swim with sea turtles, and to the sandbar partly over water, called the Virgin Island. I also took my women to the Hinangdanan water cave, which I do recommend.
I am currently traveling alone, in a small island of amazingly beautiful and adventurous waterfalls – Siquijor, where I jump from cliffs into the sea and I swing on ropes like Tarzan before I decide to throw myself into the water. I plan the further part of my trip around the Philippines without any surprises. I intend to go to Negros, Guimaras, Panay and Cebu, and sail to several small adjacent islands, where I’m not going to hurry. My goal is to go through the whole of Visayas, and come back when I think that my Visayas trip is complete. I will definitely want to swim with whale sharks and I want to dive in the coral reef.
Quite possibly my 2 month Filipino visa will end before I complete the trip, so instead of paying for the visa extension, I think I will go to Brunei, and then continue my trip around the Sabah state. On my return to the Philippines I should get another free visa for 1 month. At this point I am still jumping in the waterfalls in the adventurous Siquijor. During one month I saw of course a lot more, that’s why the full report from the expedition around the Philippines I will publish later.
- beaches in the Philippines
- chocolate hills
- coconut palms in the Philippines
- expedition to the Philippines
- jeepney Philippines
- Kalanggaman island Leyte
- Legaspi Mayon volcano
- Manila Istramuros fort
- Manila Rizal square
- prostitution in the Philippines
- Siquijor waterfalls
- the smallest primate tarsier
- trip to the Philippines