Indeed we needed a holiday, as travelling is actually hard work 🙂
Finally some wifi here in NZ and we could upload some pictures from Philippines. We spent 3 weeks there over Christmas, and visited 10 of the 7000+ islands of the archipelago. And that was a lot of travel in all sizes of boats, buses, tricycles etc… More details in the video 🙂 But overall things were rather easy, because for the first time in the past 6 months we could READ what is written (all countries visited so far use Cyrillic or Chinese characters!) and talk to people who mostly speak good English, with some Spanish words mixed up… That is because Americans took the territory from the Spanish in the 1900s and Philippines gained independence only in the 1970s.
So we went around the area of Cebu, Negros and Bohol islands (no time for the famous Palawan, but we’ll come back for that!). We visited some old Spanish colonial cities and sugarcane plantations, drove around mountainous and un-touristy islands, snorkelled in nice beaches, and just relaxed for a change. Finally a true holiday within our trip… and yes, the goal of getting “beach-bored” was achieved!
Here’s some of what we saw:
Capital Manila – there is an “old town” but it is actually a reconstruction of the buildings completely razed during WW2
We took a huge ferry for 24h to get from Manila to Cebu. We were the only crazy tourist in there, and people asked us if we are missionaries!!
We were super happy with our spartan cabin, but not so happy when we discovered our roommates the cockroaches :-/
It was much nicer to take this other ferry with the open-air dorm
But the nicest of course was to rent our own motorbike and go wherever we wanted!
This is how to get petrol for the motorbike – in Coke bottles
Why use the pump when you can just dispense a litre from the Coke bottle…
The roads were quite empty but still dangerious because of random stray animals. We half run-over a cat that was scared by a kid a jumped in front of our wheels 🙁
We also took the jeepneys, which are American army jeeps of the 1950s transformed and used as public transport. Still working, 60 years later!
Jeepneys, always creatively decorated
For shorter trips, the tricycles are very popular. And very nicely decorated as well!
And it’s not just for humans, tricycles work for pigs too when they need to go to the market
Happy new pig owners
These guys chose to buy a slightly bigger pig… it took 5 men to push it into the jeep, and lots of squealing!
Street in Silay, a tranquil old plantation town
There are still many beautiful wooden mansions that sugarcane plantation owners built in the late 19th century. This one is a museum but most are still inhabited by the descendants
Another beautiful heritage house
The sugarcane is still grown in the area, and transported in these huge trucks
Hurray! We can read the shop signs!
People breeding roosters for the cockfights, a favorite Sunday pastime and gambling
The fights are quite violent as they are fitted with blades and to win they have to stab each other :O
The food was quite European, which was nice after travelling across Asia for so long. They serve them in little bowls with a cup of rice. You can eat for about 2 euros!
Some nice beaches and beach babes…
Found the sweetest and juiciest ananas in this world!!
Boats have very cool stabilizing bamboo arms
Showing of his capoeira moves
We lived in this little cottage on the beach for a few days
Getting ready to snorkel
Both getting some air
Corals and crazy starfish called crown of thorns
Merry Christmas! A day in the hamoc for me…
While Cesar was hunting for coconuts!
But no luck in the hunt so I had to order one from the bar…
Beautiful Lobok river in Bohol
In the Bohol Chocolate Hills. Apparently they get very brown in dry season.
The tarsier is the smallers primate in the world, a weird and cute mix of monkey, frog and rat. With oversized eyes to see in the dark
A few glimpses from the road and the incredible swimming with the sardines cloud in Moalboal: