Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover

Thursday, February 18, 2010

phillipines. day by day.

So I have clearly neglected the blog over the past week, but its not like any of you are paying to "subscribe" to this work of art, so don't complain! As most of you know, we spent the past 6 days in the Phillipines, where I discovered that although close together, the southeast asian countries differ in innumerable ways. I could probably take a week to record all of the stories and happenings of our great adventure, but that wouldn't be fun for anyone, so I'm going to keep it short and sweet, and filled with pictures. Here we go:

Day 1

-more than likely got severly ripped off on our taxi ride to the hostel from the airport, rookie traveller mistake. But we needed a ride, so we had no choice.
-started driving down this dingy looking alley when I said "oh my god, imagine we were staying somewhere like this hahaha", not even 30 seconds later the taxi stopped in front of the "international youth hostel", and requested his pay. I thought it was a joke at first, no such luck.
-hostel ended up being decent, it was my first hostel experience. The guys said they would give it a 7/10 as we had our own bathroom, clean sheets, and an air conditioner. I was wishing I had the number for the Marriot.

The fam in the hostel, both mine and elizabeth's first time =)

-we decided to go to "Malate", which is a small district of retaurants and bars, we attended "Max's chicken" for dinner, and then went to a strip of small bars where the boys haggled for beer lol.
Colt 45, soooo classy. at only P120 ($3CDN) for 6, how could we say no?!

-we then decided to really have the full filipino experience and hit up a kareoke bar. Regardless of the fact that there were multiple transvestites rocking out on the stage, we still managed to do some damage (possibly to the ears of others) of our own.

-made the seemingly terrible decision to stay out until almost 6am even though our flight to Cebu left at 10:30 the next morning... but sooo worth it =)

Day 2

Although everyone was exhausted, this day got off to a great start, well for me at least. While waiting in the aiport I made a possibly life changing discovery, "Mrs. Fields Cafe" sold SUGAR FREE ICE CREAM. I was neither hungry, or craving ice cream the slightest bit after having slept for less than 2 hours, but clearly I had to test this stuff out. It seemed like hours before the little asian man behind the counter managed to scoop it out, but soon enough I had this frozen jackpot in my hands, probably my happiest moment involving food in a while. It tasted about as good as you would imagine, actually it didn't really taste like anything at all, but that is besides the point here people; I can still have ice cream, which means that I may in fact be able to refrain from losing all of my composure and retain some degree of sanity.

After the flight to Cebu, we had to get tickets for the ferry to the island of Bohol. The biggest change, and most bothering aspect of the Phillipines was how slow the service was, absolutely everywhere... It took over an hour for 10 of us to get our tickets, I legitimately thought I was going to lose my mind and go print the fricken tickets myself. Thankfully I decided to get something to eat instead. The selection consisted of 3 little plastic containers of asian-ish food. I decided to take a risk and got one containing eggs, rice, and some little sausage thingies that were actually pretty good. Low carb, high fat.... Greatttt for the waistline I'm sure.

Everyone was exhausted and slept almost the entire ferry ride, I actually started writing this blog before my computer died, and left me nothing but angry and tired. I woke up just in time to catch myself drooling literally allll over my arm, and the boat approaching the dock. One a much more pleasant sight than the other I'm sure lol. Our resort was minutes from the ferry dock and we were soon at our temporary home "Bohol Tropics". We got settled in before deciding to check out the pool, at which the guys indulged in Pina Coladas, I caught myself wondering if we were legitimately counting on these fruity cocktail-sipping boys to protect us if needed. Dammmmmmmmmit.

Later than night the norwegian boys arrived and it was decided that we would eat at the resort restaurant, I ordered some sort of korean chicken that was definately what I would classify as mystery meat. Needless to say, I stuck to my rice and cappucino. After dinner we all hit up the disco on the resort where we got the pleasure of listening and attempting to dance to an utterly terrible filipino cover band. Mighhht have been the worst bar experience of my life, the no-drinking aspect might have added to the lack of fun haha. Although not drunk I did somehow manage so bust out some incredible dance moves, if I didn't know better I would definately think I was on something. My new drug of choice; sugar lol. Kidddddding mom =)

Day 3

Today was the day where we would discover Alona Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach about 25 minutes away from our resort. A van ride here cost us about $14CDN, and was split between about 10 people, cheap cheap cheap. We spent time laying out, shopping around the little boutiques, and enjoying authentic filipino cuisine.

Elizabeth and I loved it so much that we went walking along the beach, found a resort that had a room available for the ensuing night, and booked it on the spot. Impulsive much? Maybe. That night we returned to the beach for what we thought was going to be some sort of raging party, as it was lunar new years eve. Turned out not to be the case whatsoever, but a good time nonethe less. And the night before valentines, sooooo romantic, not really but whatever.
Hakon was my valentine in the phillipines, evennnn pulled through with a gift, this guy breaks NO promises lol.

Ben Struggling bigtime after his Jagerbomb... It honestly took an hour to get the shots organized, only in the phillipines.

Day 4

Day 4 turned out to be a really really neat experience. The 16 of us rented this boat that took us snorkling out on this small island called Balicasag. We rode across the ocean (just a bit), and arrived at the island where we had time to get organized for snorkeling. We then got in these teenie tiny boats that fit 3 (including the paddling driver), and headed out to the coral reef. I have never been snorkeling like this before and it was probably the coolest thing I can remember doing in a long long time. Everywhere I looked I saw these amazing fish that looked like they had just jumped out of the pages of a national geo magazine, it didn't even feel real. I literally reached out and touched some of them. There were also schools of hundreds of fish that would just swim right by, I feel super nerdy elaborating on this right now but I can't help it.

Hakon and Jorgen on the boat ride back. Brotherly love <3

As much as snorkeling was truly unbelieveable, the amount of saltwater that I swallowed due to a slightly defective snorkel (or maybe a defective user), was definately not healthy. We snorkeled until we could snorkel no more and then made our way back to shore where we had lunch. A couple of the guys had the locals make them some fresh fish, which according to them, tasted better than it looked.

The view from balicasag island

We made our way back to the island, where once arrived, everyone except for Elizabeth and I, headed back to Bohol Tropics. We checked into our room at Alona Kew White Beach Resort, showered, and headed down to the beach for dinner. At this point we realized that since it was valentines day, all restaurants had the tables and chairs set up romantically on the beach lol, we enjoyed it. After dinner we got changed and headed down onto the sand to get massages. At this point it was 11pm, but the massage ladies were sill out in full force. We also realized at this point that this evening would have indeed been very romantic had one of us been a guy lol. This was the first night of the trip that I had actually gotten a decent sleep, although we got our wakeup call an hour early, but had no idea due to the fact that our room was lacking a clock of any sort. We went for breakfast, and then spent some time looking around and going between little shops before returning to our room for a nap. After our little sieste, we made our way down to the beach where we once again worked on our tan and got massages.

The massage thing may sound a bit crazy to those who don't know, but you can get an hour long full body massage for P250, which is equl to about $6 CDN, we got one every day... I took this picture of one of the many souvenir-sellers on the beach and managed to get a snapshot of a massage lady in the backround, sorry about the butt cheeks of the male customer haha.

We went to a Filipino restaurant Monday night, as it was our last night on the island, where about half of us completely destroyed our bodies with bbq pork. Sooo good, but wayyyy too much food. Garlic rice, Beef Tapa, and BBQ pork are going to be 3 new additions to my mainly western way of eating. Addicted to that stuff.

Day 5

A day of travelling. We woke up early to catch the shuttle to the ferry for 6am, where not one of us was able to stay awake for longer than 10 minutes. Once arriving in Cebu, we caught our 10:20 flight to Manila, where we once again set up camp at the same hostel as before (except this time we lied about how many people as to not have to unneccesarily pay more). We spent the day shopping at the Mall of Asia (Asia's largest shopping mall), where I was literally in heaven. Let me loose in that place with a credit card and you've got a wildwoman on your hands. Thankfully Liz was there to keep me in check. When we later met up with the boys, who had managed to go ice skating in the mall in their shorts and no socks, we went to the bowling alley, and then the movie theater, where we watched "Valentines Day". Don't ask me how, but I managed to stay awayyyyy from the popcorn. I'm only so good like this because the fam keeps a tight leash on me at all times, especially around food. I'm sure I'll thank them someday, but for right now I often threaten to punch them or suggest that they "don't tell me what to do".

Not an overly eventful day, although I think in total, between the 6 of us, we devoured about 12 frappucinos. If anyone thinks they can out do that, let me know... We're up for the challenge. As long as sugar free syrup is involved of course.

Day 6

Had to be up at 3 and catching a taxi at 3:30, as our plane left at 5:20. Never have I slept so well on a plane. We arrived in Hong Kong in shorts/tshirts, and other summer apparel, only to be greeted by a temperature of below 10C. Those of you back home are probably thinking "oh booo hooo cry me a river, we're literally freezing over here". And believe me, I feel ya, I've endured that gross Winnipeg winters for more years than I would like to remember haha. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled over here weather-wise.

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