Thursday, May 1, 2014

Philippines impressions

Philippines, the land of crystal clear sea, beautifully rich marine life and dreamy sunsets over the Bacuit Archipelago. This is the place you see on all the travel package promotional materials and it still looks twice as awesome in real life than on the picture.

The people who are not involved in the ruthless fight for tourist's money are very nice. The folks we stayed at in El Nido and Puerto Princesa were really kind-hearted and we had a few nice chats with them. We even took nice photos!
When I got a flat tire with a rented motorbike, a tricycle driver stopped by and tried to fix it for me, using his home made equipment. I was just standing by, clueless :)

Diving in El Nido. Take one beautiful, unspoiled place on the planet and mix it with the adventure of doing a diving course there. Together with the cool people at Deep Blue Seafari, it's one of the bigger experiences of your life. The underwater world is amazing and so lively in El Nido. It's also great to learn a new skill. I'm already looking up what it takes to get the next level of diving certification.

I loved the jeepneys in Cebu City. They are the easiest way to get around the city, ever. Just figure out where you need to go, look for a car that has your destination written on the side and wave it down. Ask the driver to tell you where should you get off. And it only costs ... well almost nothing. The drivers must love their cars, they decorate them with spray paintings depicting all sorts of stuff, including Jesus, eagles, landscapes or just abstract patterns.

In Bohol, Panglao island, things are getting very touristy and it stops being pleasant. People are trying to sell you stuff every 10 minutes ... not very conductive to a nice relax on the beach. But the Bohol interior is still a thing to see, offering rice fields, rainforests, churches and the Chocolate Hills (they look meh on photos, but in real life they're pretty cool). And if you have a moment or ten, stop by Nuts Huts!

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