Philippines 2008

From Philippines_08

It's always hard to write about something that happened more than a year ago, but the Philippines were such an amazing experience, that the words come out of my mind in such a spontaneous way, and by the time you finished reading this, I'm sure you'll run to the closest travel agency (if you're still that kind of traveler) to book a flight and arrange the time of your life. This is about my second trip to the Philippines, because the first time I was there I couldn't believe my eyes. This time I went with a crew of 18 people, 18 friends that wanted to live the time of their life. But let's talk about it!!!
Where to start from? Manila.
When we landed in Manila after an endless flight that saw us hostages of the Abu Dhabi airport for more then 4 hrs (maybe one of the most boring airports I've ever seen), and before we could enjoy the beauties of the wild Philippines, we jumped on a wreck that took us to Batangas (a 2 hrs drive...just in case we weren't exhausted enough), where we had a typical boat waiting for us. It was the perfect introduction to what we were gonna experience. The sun, indeed, was going down by the time we started floating on those amazing waters, and just when we were realizing where we were and where we were going to, it was all dark and the sky was filled with thousands of stars. Just us, the humid breeze of the ocean, and a lot of expectations. Giuseppe and his stuff was waiting for us in the dark, on the Fisherman's Cove peer, and we immediately felt their hospitality and felt comfortable in that hidden corner of the world. We left our luggage right away in the rooms, had dinner and then only had to wait for the day after.

Each day was different from the other, even if our schedule was moving from one secluded place to another, on board of a wonderful boat. This was actually our second home, 'cause we use to do almost everything on it, from jumping into the crystal waters, to having delicious lunches with fresh fish cooked on a grill or just relax while sunbathing! The world was passing by us, and all we had to do was feeling and taking every single gift it was giving us.
Beside the amazing secluded beaches the area around Puerto Galera could offer, there was plenty of things to do if we were tired of relaxing and chillin' out. We only had to ask Giuseppe for the right tip and he would have had the answer!!!

- "Giuseppe, we'd like to rent some motorbikes to have a ride in the palm trees forests around here, and maybe climb up on the mountains to visit some village".
- "No worries. Just go out here the resort, take a left and after 300 meters you'll find what you're looking for...just tell them you're my friend and they'll give you all the bikes you need".

That's what we did a couple of days, in which we pushed ourselves over the limits riding on tricky dirty roads and reached places otherwise we would have never seen. Passing through those landscapes was like heaven! There was blinding green everywhere, bulls on the way, little rivers to overcome, and every once in while small villages with a bunch of kids either playing or coming back from school in their cute blue uniforms. It was heartbreaking watching them waving at us and smiling with those sweet faces. But as soon as we would stop to socialize with them, they would turn incredibly shy and almost scared. Only after taking them some pictures and showing them the screen of the camera, they'd start laughing and screaming and would pose to have more pics to an endless game!!!
But if you're not a bike rider you can still have fun doing some tracking!!! With a couple of hours walk (after an hour drive on the groovy jeepny) we reached the beginning of a path that took as to an amazing waterfall where we refreshed ourselves and had the rest we deserved....and step to the next level: paddle the canoes we rented across a quiet and lush river back to where we started our jouney. No dangerous situations, no nasty animals on our way...just some kids jumping from the high banks or some giant bull refreshing in the waters.
And to close the circle, one of the last days we went visiting some indigenous tribe (one of the many), people that always lived there and resisted to the invasions of the many countries that ruled over the Philippines. It was an extremely touching experience! Facing their poverty, their rural lifestyle and their simplicity was something I'll never forget. We also had a little basketball game with the kids on their local playground...they were sooo excited to share their time with us and showing us how good they were.
Well, that's about it. I don't think my words are enough to describe the beauty of this country and the hospitality of its people, but for sure it's a place to go and live it in its single wonders.

2 commenti:

  1. These places are just beautiful! Few people would plan a holiday there. This means there isn't much turism, isn't it? Where are the places you have visited? Is it a dangerous country?

  2. There are sooo many metropolitan legends about this country, but to tell you the truth I didn't find it dangerous at all. It's like anywhere else in the world; if you stick around dangerous areas of a city, there's more chances you get in trouble. Same is for the Philippines! If you go to the south where the fundamentalism is a big problem, you might run into dangerous situations, but as long as you stay away from those areas...I guess you'll be fine. The locals are just lovely, always smiling at you, saying hi any time you pass by and willing to talk to you if you give 'em the chance! It's always a matter of how you approach people and places. If you go to foreigners countries pretending to be the one with money and knowledge, then you'll be mistreated everywhere. There's always something to learn, even in poverty, and that is something I try never to forget when I travel!
    Unfortunately I only went (twice) to an island called Midoro and in the area of Puerto Galera, but it was enough to get an idea of how wonderful those places are. After coming back I did a quick computation: if you want to visit all the 7.500 islands (more or less) of the Philippines it'd take you more then 2 years...just spending one day on each island. That's a crazy idea I had in my tell you how bad I want to undestand more about that culture!