Last hours before leaving for the Philippines! First big trip of the year where we return to Southeast Asia six years after our last time. Let’s see first hand if these sunsets are as beautiful as they say and infect us with the sympathy of the Filipinos between so much island, greenery and water.
Despite having visited some surrounding countries, the Philippines and its more than 7000 islands is the one that most attracted us since our last visit to that area. Until recently a stranger, has hit a tourism boom quite large over the last three years and we did not want to miss the opportunity to go see that before it becomes even more adulterated.
We have three weeks ahead of us to cover a tiny part of what this country has to offer. Apart from seeing some of the points of the route best known by the Central Bisayas, we have reserved space to hit the bottle well and marvel at one of the most beautiful bottoms in the world. Palawan, Cebu, Malapascua, Bantayan, Negros, Apo and Bohol are the islands chosen in a route that we hope will fit in spite of the slowness to move through the Asian country from one place to another.
What we will see in the Philippines
An almost exclusive place for divers, where we could not miss the appointment. The lack of beaches is replaced with wall dives that remove the hiccups and the beautiful waterfalls of Kawasan. Pescador Island and the possibility of mixing with a large bank of more than a million sardines attract us too much. Oh and without forgetting that some absent-minded whale shark can pass by!
This tiny island off the coast of Dauin is one of the best places to snorkel with sea turtles, so that’s it. A single town lives in the place, surrounded by reefs and vegetation with an astonishing tranquility.
Another island of quiet beaches and towns away from mass tourism where we hope to talk a little with the locals and tour quietly.
Target number 1: thresher shark. This nice long tail shark full of elegance delights divers in the quiet Malapascua. But you’ll have to get up early in the morning to see it at a place unique in the world: Monad Shoal, a cleaning station where it climbs every morning from the depths. This and Gato Island are safe dives on this island in northern Cebu.
Bohol, Alona and Balicasag
We will have a few days to enjoy the sea beds of Balicasag and its turtles, one of the pearls of the Philippines. This marine reserve half an hour by boat from the island of Panglao and its famous Alona Beach is another “must” for diving.
Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills
It remains to be seen how we will manage to go through the interior of Bohol and reach perhaps its most characteristic photo, the Chocolate Hills and its green landscape. We do not want to miss the visit of the tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world apart from mysterious. As always we will follow the responsible tourism since we have seen that there are different places, some not very recommended. We hope to investigate and tell you when we return.
Palawan and El Nido
We will dedicate our visit to Palawan only to El Nido due to lack of time and not wanting to cover everything. Even though it is the most visited spot in the country and is perhaps becoming something very touristy, we never shy away from a place like this if it is really worth it. The incredible and beautiful places have a lot of people and we think it is. We hope to see again those impressive rocks coming out of the water full of vegetation between lagoons of crystalline water.
What we look forward to seeing in the Philippines
In a country with so much diversity it is normal that we end up leaving things behind and discarding them from the route. It always hurts but you have to do it, just as it hurt us to leave Corón and his fleet of Japanese ships sunk from the Second World War. For that and for its incredible landscapes of karstic rock very similar to those of the Nest.
Siquijor lost our island battle over Bantayan. We still don’t know very well why or if we have chosen badly, but we don’t know until we reach the place. In any case we were left with the desire to visit the haunted island, its waterfalls and ancient churches.
Mindanao to the south we see that it gives for another particular trip. Camiguín or Siargao are places that by the photos that we could see, they attract by themselves but they are more to trasmano of the most typical route.