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Tropical Experience - Philippines
"The Holiday I Wanted" (2018)
For work schedule reasons, I can have holidays only during our winter months. I couldn’t decide among several different destinations and Samuele (whom I found online) was fundamental to making me decide to choose the Philippines. Already from the very first messages, I perceived his passion for this wonderful country. From the Travel Program he sent, I was able to observe also how prepared he was, and everything was confirmed when the trip became reality.
I traveled during January 2018 for 3 weeks, visiting Palawan, Bohol and Siquijor.
We spent 4 days in El Nido, where we had boat tours and snorkeling, eating grilled fish every time on a different islet.
We then moved to Puerto Princesa for a couple of days, where we had a very beautiful night tour on a river to observe fireflies, but the best show I keep as a memory was seeing the sky full of stars…
The second day tour was at the Underground River, it was interesting yet it didn’t give me much special sensations.
We had an interesting and pleasant stay in a farm where everything was self-produced: honey, ice cream, bread. Here I even “challenged” myself trying the pizza (which I never do out of Italy) and well, it was very good!
Also here we had boat tours doing snorkeling with sea turtles (wonderful!), sighting dolphins and relaxing on the near islets.
Also the inland tour was very interesting, visiting the Chocolate Hills and the small strange Filipino tarsiers.
I intentionally left it for total relaxation and I met some Italian friends, changing a bit from “active” pace of the first part of the program planned by Samuele. The island is small and very tranquil, with the (quiet) limited tourists concentrated in the San Juan area. We rented a scooter and we went around all the semi-deserted beaches and in the inland side’s jungles and waterfalls. Everything was very beautiful and relaxing.
During the whole trip we were surrounded by a wonderful sea, beautiful nature and the the kindness of the locals, always willing to communicate and help. The locals, despite all their troubles with natural and political calamities, are always willing to give you a smile! Another important thing: I never felt any discomfort nor being in dangerous situations.
I really think that I will go back again to the Philippine next year, there is still so much to see…
A Few Considerations
On January the weather is not always very good, often variable, but with the positive side of never feeling too hot. Temperature was always around 30 degrees and we almost never used air conditioning.
Manila Airport is near its collapse: flights from and to Manila are often very late (some even 4-5 hours). And so, you’ll need to plan the transfers well, keeping a large time allowance for the flight connections.
Bring cash with you, because there are just few ATMs and not always working. Exchange cash at the airports (where available) because it’s strangely more advantageous.
VIVA LE FILIPPINE! Cheers to the Philippines!