There is me – flying to the Philippines for 3 weeks in the believe I can do some work and improve my students travel website. Fiddlesticks! The Philippines has the slowest internet speed in the entire Southeast Asian region and I couldn’t reach any of my goals I’ve had set for those two weeks. What do we learn from this? Do your research before! :-p
Well then, let’s enjoy the paradise I would say! Here I go – travelling the Philippines!
- Coconuts, warm water, a tropical climate and a huge variety of underwater species around more than 7100 islands make thePhilippines a scuba diver’s paradise, and therefore my paradise. The cutest and smallest monkey in the world (the Tarsier) and the biggest and at the same time the most harmless fish in the world (whale sharks), both live in the Philippines.
Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences made brand new marine discoveries this year with more than 100 species that are likely new to science, which will be studied in the coming month. Those new discoveries included rare and new species of colourful sea slugs, barnacles, and heart urchins and many more.
Do you wanna be my mermaid?
Of course I have (again) met heaps of amazing and inspiring people and one of the
coolest women I have met on a boat ride was Anamie Saenz. She runs “Mermaid Academies” in thePhilippines“. (One in Boracay, one in Manila and one in Cebu). They will help you to gain more confidence in the water and to
improve your swimming skills. You can basically take some lessons and learn how to become a mermaid. Yes seriously. Another inspiring person who does what ever the BEEP she wants and follows her dreams. Thumbs up.
Funny enough, in the same week, my friend Mike King from London, whom I have met in Vietnam several years ago on a motor bike trip, posted some pictures of him doing those classes. Such a small world with so many amazing people and ideas.
Chocolate hills in Bohol
While travelling the Philippines, you gotta go to Bohol and see the chocolate hills. Only the name by itself made me go there. 🙂
What are they and how did they get there? Well, the locals believe, a very long time ago a handsome young giant fell in love with a mortal women. After she died, the handsome giant cried so much that his giant teardrops turned into those delicious chocolate hills.
Makes sense. Chocolate + Love. Yes I will take that in as a story. 😀
The estimated number of chocolate hills in Bohol is 1300-1800.
Time for some action Baby! Canyoning. What’s that?
When my friend Francis and me arrived at the travel agent’s activity board, we didn’t
even know how to pronounce the word Canyoning. Walking, swimming, climbing, jumping down the cliffs, abseiling down 30 meter waterfalls and get to shower in them afterwards.
Canyoning is one of the top and MUST DO activities in Moalboal, Cebu. The longer you wait to jump the worse it gets. I was so fucking scared but there was no way back up. So either jump, or stay there and die. 😀 This adrenaline pumping activity will stay in my memory for a very long time. I still get little adrenaline kicks in my stomach when I think about it.
Swimming with whale sharks in Oslob
Whaaaaat you swam with whale sharks? Really??
I was a bit torn between weather to head up to Oslob or not. You get to swim with the largest sharks in the world, them being 1 meter away from you. Amazing. Yes and no. Let me get this right.
Yes it is amazing, if you hear that. But in Moalboal it’s not what you expect it to be and it’s a huge controversial topic. It is a human interaction into nature, and it is stops those whale sharks from reproduction, as they are meant to travel and not to stay in one place. Let me explain quickly.
Do not expect a natural and spiritual experience. You will not go swimming with the whale sharks after you have found them swimming in the open sea. You will be brought 20-30 meters into the sea from the shore, with a little boat and with approx. 100 other tourists, who are kicking their fins in your face while you are trying to have ‘an amazing’ experience. The locals are feeding the whale sharks every day, in order to make them stay and to keep the business running.
One of the locals he told me about this one whale shark which is in Moalboal since several years, coming all the way from California and not willing to leave anymore. How do they know? Tags. As simple as that.
People are not allowed to touch the whale sharks and they give you this brief before you go out there that you will get brought back to land if you don’t obey their rules and all that bullshit. Look at this picture, a young lady RIDING a whale shark! What the actual fuck? We humans are the most destroying species on this planet.
If you are angry at me right now because I actually did it, I understand and you can slap me verbally in my face. Just leave a comment underneath this post. I get it.
Read more about why you shouldn’t swim with whale sharks.
This time I didn’t have quiet the time to squeeze in 7100 islands because I was about to move to Perth and things were already planned over there. Things called University and all that… So, this wasn’t my last visit, for sure!
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Have you visited the Philippines? Have you done some of the activities I did? How was your experience? Do you have any recommendations for someone who goes traveling the Philippines? Please leave a comment below in the box. I would love to hear your story!