when by chance, you happen to add on an item from the buffet counter to your plate. and then it blows your mind. and because of that happy accident, that item will always be a favorite. never able to get it out of your life.
that is the philippines.
added to the travel order by word of mouth it was good.
this place. was more than good. spend some time there and it will steal your heart. gone. in a bag, kidnapped. your heart belongs there. that’s how much i love the philippines. one of the top 2 places in the world. in my opinion.
seattle to taipei. taipei to manila. spent only a day and a half in the big city of manila. poor. and dirty. and buildings half way torn down. but amazing, and friendly. and smiles and hellos around every corner. school children. and sweat. and humidity. and $3 half hour foot massages and the most glorious 3 hours in a spa that would suit royalty.
manila to coron. off the little plane and into a jeep’van, and thru what looks like jurassic park. thru windy roads, where children run out of the jungle-forest to see what car is coming down the road. and at the end of that windy road is a village town. coron. dirt road. motorbikes. little shops. children everywhere. animals roaming. stores lit by candles in the evening. houses and buildings on stilts in the water. you cant be there for 5 minutes without feeling, you are far far away from home and very much so in a different culture.
after one night in a hut, with mosquito nets over us, we ended up at what would be our home for the next week. sea dive. where heaven meets coron. $12 a night. on the water. open air. people that would rival jesus for their kindness.
—> so our days in coron set the bar high. kayaking across the ocean. renting a private boat daily. just me and T. our own boat men, who spoke barely any english, but we loved them. meals cooked for us, chosen from the market that morning. scuba. island hopping. swimming in the purest water in the philippines. lakes heated by volcanic activity. the night market. that one guy we bought street meat from every night. ice cream for .15. mango smoothies.
over everything we did, living like (filipino) queens. accommodation. scuba. the private boat. 3 meals a day. get this, all for $176. read that again. no really. it’s .02 to the dollar. its basically free.
i kind of want to cry. i just want to go back.
this place stole my heart.
most of all. over everything else. it was the people that made the impression. they stop you on the street to see how you like their country. they are full of yes ma’am’s and will literally give you the shirt off their back. even if its their only one. the children run to you. all they do is laugh. and sing. and play. the town is filled with happiness, even though they have next to nothing. they see your boat pull up on their island and insist you join their picnic. they pour you their whiskey, give you their fish.
they are the most. the most. wonderful people.
i will stop there. i could go on for days. the cool part about our trip was: we didnt feel the pressure to have to shoot everything. some things we just experienced. some days (alot of days) we didnt even take our camera out. we just experienced it. and that, i love. and that, is what time off meant for me.
here are bits and pieces of one of the most special places i’ve ever had the opportunity to be.
it is a gem.
[ manila ]
[ coron ]
you dont exactly want to pet the animals there. for reals.
see the cross atop the mountain? then….see the image below it? we climbed 700+ stairs in hella humidity. totally worth it.
our sea dive. home away from home.
kinda clear water.
our sweet angelica. became our home on water.
on our way to lake kayangan. (not in this image) the clearest water in the philippines. and literally one of the most angelic places on earth.
our ‘captain’ ryan….cooking us up lunch.
one of our boat boys.
the color doesnt lie.
oh my goodness.
weirdest coolest fruit ever.
they all smile. and they all say thank you afterward. its precious.
the weirdest man we’ve ever met. also beginning of an awesome night. tranny karaoke?!
coron set the bar high. no place could even compare to this place.
i was planning my trip back before we even left.
if you are planning a honeymoon (or trip) i cannot say enough words to tell you how much i’d advise you going to the philippines. its the most charming place in the world.
up next …. our time in Vietnam and Thailand.