I know we haven’t written anything in a while now, and since we know that you can’t sleep because you keep wondering of our whereabouts, we decided to make one big post about our last 2 weeks in the Philippines. This is Ceci, by the way 🙂
Activities and places we visited in our last two weeks:
- Ever and I learned how to ride a motorcycle. I should say, I tried and Ever picked it up. In my defense, I must say that I barely know how to ride a bicycle, and for the world’s sake I decided I should not attempt to drive in the city so I wouldn’t be a danger for myself and others. Ever has been the designated driver since.
- We stayed in a beautiful tree house hosted by Jonathan Santillan through Airbnb (don’t forget to sign up using our referral code!). If you happen to be in Puerto Princesa, stay there! Jonathan is an amazing host and helped us a lot with our trip. Also, the guesthouse is amazing!
- We went scuba diving for the first time. Our host in Puerto Princesa is a diving instructor, and he took us for two dives and taught us the basics of diving. It was very tough at the beginning since we were learning the basics in shallow water with pretty strong waves (I had a very hard time just holding my position), but at the end we had a blast. The only incident (pretty scary, though) was that during our second dive, Ever suddenly ran out of air. When the instructor and I realized, he was no longer behind us. We got pretty worried, but thank God Ever just went up and nothing worse happened. We think there might have been a leak in one of the tubes.
- We went on a tour of the Underground River. Because of the season, it had been raining a lot and often, so the water was brown and murky instead of the beautiful green and clear you’ll find in pictures. Nonetheless, we had a lot of fun and the caves where stunning!
- We visited Nagtabon beach, just one hour away from Puerto Princesa. No tourists at all (there were only another 2 people besides us) and just beautiful.
- We met our future stalkers, Daniel and Carolina. For the next two weeks, we would end up being followed all over the Philippines (ok, ok, we also followed them 😛 ).
- We met a group of backpackers on our way to Port Baron, and they mentioned they were heading to this resort called Coconut Garden Resort. We decided to join them, and we are so happy we did! This amazing resort is the only one on the island, which features white sand and crystal clear water. We spent 3 days there, where we snorkeled and kayaked around the island. The staff, food and the resort were great! One really cool thing was that, because only about 10 people live here, they rely on a generator for their electricity. This meant that we only had power from 11am-1pm, and from 6-8pm. They generally had wifi during these hours, but it made dial-up look like lightning!
- We played a super cool murder mystery game with our new friends and we had a blast!
- After a dramatic 5 hour ride in a Jeepney, we left Port Barton and headed to Puerto Princesa Airport to catch a flight to Cebu. We spent a night in Cebu City and caught the first ferry to Bohol Island the next morning. We spent about 4 or 5 days on the Island, using the complementary motorbike issued to us by our hotel.
- A little story about our jeepney ride: we took the 45-minute boat ride from the Cacnipa Island over to Port Barton, where we learned that this colorful limousine would be our chariot. After they loaded a guy’s motorcycle on the roof (check out the picture!), we paid our 250 pesos ($5.50 USD) and were on our way to Puerto Princesa. Actually, the guy round around the tiny village picking up fish, rice, and a bunch of packages being shipped over by the villagers. After 30 minutes of courier services, were had moved about 1 mile. We then rode for about 3 more miles before we stopped at a river and filled the bus’s radiator with buckets of water. We did this two more times along the drive. Also, we had no wipers and no windows, and quite a bit of rain. It was definitely an adventure.
- We visited Sagbayan Peak, a theme park that has a stunning view of the Chocolate Hills, and it features a free small zipline (that still gets your adrenaline going) and a lot of superheroes and Disney figures throughout the park. It was a very simple park but we both enjoyed ourselves taking pictures and riding the zipline.
- We visited Loboc, took a lunch cruise in the river, rode the full size zipline and walked across the Loreto hanging bridge.
- We hung out in Alona Beach (where our hotel was) a lot. Also, our hotel had an amazing deal of a double room and a motorcycle for only 790 Php (18 USD) so we rode on the motorcycle a lot (my butt was in pain during the time we spent in Bohol). Speaking of which, on our first night, we went to town (Tagbilaran, about 25km away) for dinner. On the way back, it was dark and it started raining. The motorcycle started feeling funny, so we pulled over only to find out that our rear wheel was flat. We asked the nearest store owner if they knew where we could fix it. He said 1km that way. So we walked the motorcycle there. Luckily, it only cost $4 and about 45 minutes of our time.
This never happened. We took a bus to Jagna, a tiny town about an hour east of Tagbilaran and Alona Beach, to catch a ferry going from Jagna to Camiguin. But, when we got to Jagna we learned that they changed the ferry schedule a few days before, which meant we missed the ferry of that day. We came back later to purchase our ticket when the lady in the ticketing office notified us that the ferry for the next day was cancelled due to bad weather and that she could not tell us for sure when the next ferry would be available. Jagna must be the littlest town in the world without a whole lot to do or see, so we decided not to waste time and head back to Tagbilaran where we would catch a flight to Legazpi instead.
- We had the BEST FOOD here, so a good part of our time here we could be found eating on the street stalls. We had pili candy, coconut candy, sili ice cream (ice cream made of a spicy chili), bicol express (more chili and pork), etc.
- We rode an ATV to climb a part of the Mayon Volcano. It was hard and scary at first, but we definitely enjoyed the experience! Sad thing is that we couldn’t see the volcano’s perfect cone because of the clouds. 🙁
- We went to Embarcadero and tried the coco candy and watched a movie in 5D!!!!!! (The video was not really 3D, and the moving seats were rather jerky.) It was nothing amazing, but it was a good laugh and a nice little break before buying more candy.
- We visited the Cagsawa Ruins, the Daraga Church, and had a sili smoothie with mango and avocado (drooling while writing this).
- We visited the Cathedral in Naga (the first black church I have ever seen) and tried wakeboarding for the first time. It was truly AWESOME. I went face to water more times that I can remember while Ever became the master of the beginners. We would definitely do it again!
- We had the best Halo Halo ever!! Our last night in Naga we had sili ice cream, Halo Halo and beer for dinner!!!
- We finally had the Philippine equivalent of McDonald’s, Jollibee. They have fast food burgers, chicken, pasta. But the best part is the music that they blast from massive speakers. “I’m your friend! I’m jolly!” *Note from Ever: Ceci has been singing this song non-stop for about a week now. Please watch this video and warn the authorities that Ceci is torturing Ever.
The Philippines were amazing and I could see us spending an entire 3-4 months here alone. But, after nearly one month in the Philippines, it was time to move on to Vietnam. Although Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) is not too far from Manila, the reasonably-priced flights were long and ridiculous. We flew from Naga to Manila (not again!!) where we would spend some 6 hours waiting for our next flight. About 3 hours later, we were finally in Vietnam…
We apologize for the long hiatus. We were really busy trying new things and enjoying some crazy adventures. Also, the wifi at some of the places we’ve stayed made it difficult to stay connected. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our adventures in Vietnam!
Tell us what you enjoyed about our Hawaii and Philippines stories! Did you like the pictures? Did you want to hear more about the food or about transportation? Let us know in your comments below!