I’m not sure why I didn’t stay in the Philippines!? I’m certain that I would have found an island just for me and would have lived happily ever after 🙂
The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7000 islands (7107) and it will take you about 20 years to spend a day on every island! And you will never be bored! You have: nature, wildlife, volcanoes, jungles, mounts, beaches, islands, reefs, sharks, fish, boats, remains, rice fields, churches, history, sunk ships, culture, lovely people, diverse food, colorful festivals, parties, cheap rum!, waterfalls, crater lakes, name it!
You can spend all your life exploring the Philippines! Having said that, allow me to pinpoint some of the things I experienced there and when you visit it, please send me a postcard! 🙂
ARRIVING and some facts about philippines
The Republic of Philippines is the Asia’s largest Catholic country with its 100 million people population and an additional 12 million Filipinos living abroad. The history of the country dates back to the 900 year, followed by the Spanish colonization and from 1898 when the country regained its independence.
The geography of the country mostly consists of mountainous islands which are covered in tropical rainforests and volcanic in origin. The Philippines has active volcanoes, wildlife and a diverse marine life. The climate is tropical and there are three seasons:
- Summer (tag-init or tag-araw) – the hot dry season from March to May;
- Rainy season (tag-ulan) – from June to November;
- Cool dry season (tag-lamig) – the cool dry season from December to February.
I went there with my sister in February. We flew from Dubai to Hong Kong and then taking the low-cost CebuPacific to Manila. Thanks to Philippine Airlines, there are now direct flights from Europe, Australia and the US! 🙂 And the other airlines you should check are the low-cost airlines: AirAsia, Jetstar and CebuPacific.
BEAUTIFUL BEACHES – WHITE SAND BEACH IN BORACAY
We stayed only one night in Manila and again using CebuPacific we headed to Boracay – the magnet island. It’s an island you will never want to leave. Our plan was to stay there 2 nights but we stayed one week 😀 According to some magazines, Boracay is ranked as #2 on the list of the world’s best islands.
It is still a paradise but it has become very touristic and you’ll notice that the prices there are double/triple compared to the prices in the rest of the Philippines. The island features 4 km long beach with white sand and a lot of bars and restaurants. During the day you can try: para-sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, massage, rowing, diving and many more. The island is relatively small and you can go to the other beaches.
And the activity which you can do every night and is completely free is to watch the amazing, splendid, magnificent, unique sunset. Every night offers a different sunset. Ones of the best in my life!
PALAWAN – the PARADISE ARCHIPELAGO
The Palawan island is voted to have the most beautiful beaches in the world and has a subterranean river which is one of the new 7 natural wonders of nature.
It features lagoons, cliffs and an underwater life that will amaze you. The archipelago of El Nido is absolutely stunning! I will understand if you go there and just stay forever, you lucky ‘bastard’ 😉
Mayon AND TAAL VOLCANOES
Taal volcano – an active volcano in a lake with a lake in the crater which contains an island. Wow!!! Now read the first sentence again 😉 and see the photo. You are welcome 🙂 It’s easily accessible and you can do a 1 day trip from Manila.
Mayon volcano in Legazpi – another active volcano with a perfect cone form declared as a national park and a protected landscape. You can google it to read and see the latest eruptions. It’s about 12 hours bus ride or only 1 hour flight from Manila and you can combine it with visiting Donsol where you can swim with the whale sharks.
That’s what I wrote on facebook, in the upcoming articles I’ll give more information on where and how to see the whale sharks.
That moment when you don’t dream just because you are living your dream. That’s my day in Donsol: landing 6am and going straight to the bio center and the next moment i’m swimming with the whale sharks, I’m so small, i feel respect and I’m thankful, I’m just 20 cm above the shark, touching the fin, then i move next to her, she feeding on plankton, opening her huge mouth and i feel the stream, then i stop and let her swim away… escorted by janitor fish… nature is amazing!!!!! Then enjoy the sunset and the endless horizon, so peaceful and that day stays forever in my heart…
I’m blessed, I’m happy i shared this dream with my beloved sister, the happiest moments shared together!!!
Dream, love, share… — with Svetlana Sushko at Whale Shark Center Donsol, Sorsogon.
THE SHOWER DANCE
Ancela, Toti, Jack, Rei, Josh, Lloyd, Anssen, JanahMarie, I am happy that I met you and I miss you! We had so much fun and I can’t wait to meet you again! Keep in touch!
With that I want to conclude this article because I’m in a hurry to pack for camping in Sithonia, Halkidiki, Greece. Stay tuned for the upcoming articles with more details where, how and what to do in the Philippines!
PS: You will not regret going to the Philippines – you will regret that you left the archipelago!