12 Aug
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

20 November 2018

Warm bodies



13 November 2018

Today we pretty much relaxed. All we did was take a trip to Las Cabanas beach and rent a kayak for a couple of hours, then have some lunch. Okay, so that’s still more than most people were doing. This was the first beach I’ve visited in the Philippines where there was a long row of sun-loungers covered in bikini clad women soaking up sunshine. It’s not an activity I understand, but to each their own.

So what are my thoughts about the Philippines? From, admittedly, a 3 week visit covering only a fraction of 3 islands. Well, this might be entirely in the eye of the beholder, but it felt like there was a fair bit of similarity between here and parts of south and central America that we’ve visited. As though the common heritage of Spanish colonialism followed by North American influence had left behind some common elements. Certainly in food tastes, language and secular architecture. It certainly doesn’t feel as determinedly “oriental” as Thailand, Indonesia or Cambodia.

I guess perhaps the lack of Buddhism or Hinduism might be a factor? There are no shrines, no temples, no statues and stupas anywhere in the Philippines (that we found). Just the occasional churches, of various odd sounding denominations (what on earth is the “Church of the Black Nazarene”?). It feels less exotic.

One way in which Filipinos seem quite like Thais is in having plenty of domestic tourists. The folks from Manila in their white tourist vans and the locals of Bohol, Palawan and the Cordillera almost seem like they’re from entirely different countries. The wealth gap is simply vastly more pronounced than, say, someone from London vs Shropshire.

Oh, and this is worth shouting out: Filipinos have generally been among the nicest people we’ve found in our travels. Not just because they are helpful, but also because they tend to leave you well enough alone too. Even touts in the Philippines we’ve found will tend to take a “no thank you” as exactly that. Rather than the touts of most other nationalities who seem to think that asking again, and again, and again with a slightly different spin, and again, and again, and again… might somehow magically change “no thank you” into “oh, alright – yes please”.

Chocolate Hills steps

Chocolate Hills steps

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