WHY IT´S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES
HOW TO GET THERE:
Manila is the best place to fly to when you are going to the Philippines. Since it was a long trip from Oslo where I came from, I spent a day there before flying to Cebu in the south. There are a lot of domestic flights every day, I booked my ticket to Cebu the day before going. From Cebu I travelled by night boat to Bohol.
If you want to visit Boracay, there are flights every day from Manila and other places in the Philippines. The price was around 100 dollars. It is a little more expensive to fly to and from Boracay since it is a holiday destination. There are a lot of airlines you can choose from, like Cebu Pacific, Air Asia etc.
WHERE TO STAY:
You can choose all sorts of hotels or hostels in the Phillipines. I stayed in both five star resorts and cheap cottages.
In Boracay I stayed for nine nights for 7000 Philippine Pesos or 150 USD. This was 100 meters up from the beach. I had my own bathroom, balcony and the staff was very friendly. The place was called St. Vincent Cottages:
In Bohol I stayed in an amazing five star resort called Bellevue Resort:
WHEN TO GO:
High Season is from December to April. It is is the dry season and the coolest most pleasant months. Many resorts triple rates around New Year and before Easter.
Low season is between June to September when accomodation prices drop 30 % in resort areas. Typhoos can cause days of rain.
Philippines are one of the cheapest holiday spots on the Asian continent. The country is cheap in comparison to the rest of the world, as well. The price level is a bit more expensive in holiday destinations such as Boracay. But in other places you can get a meal for 120 Philippine Peso (2,6 USD) in an inexpensive restaurant.
100 Philippine Peso is around 2,6 USD.
"It´s more fun in the Pihilippines" is the slogan for tourism in the Philippines. I think the guys in the photo agree! They are doing a mermaid shoot on White Beach, Boracay.
Are you wondering where to go on holidays this year? I always try to go somewhere I have never been before. This year I went to the Philippinies and it blew my mind! Here are ten reasons why you should book a trip to the Philippines this year.
1. THE BEACHES
The Philipines consist of more than 7000 islands, edged by white sand buffering turquoise waters filled with some of the world's most diverse marine life. And most of them are relatively unexplored.
White Beach is the place most frequently associated with Boracay, the most popular holiday destination in the Philippines. White beach is four kilometres of white, fine sand. Swaying coconut palm trees make perfect natural umbrellas. It is voted the most beautiful beach in the world for a reason. When the sun sets Boracay is devoid of brilliant hues. The sun is out, but it shines behind a canopy awash in pastels - a cloudy sky of pink, lilac and baby blue. The sea is wavy, foamy and stubbornly opaque, not a flat mirror that passively reflects the sky.
Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island in the Philippines. The tropical paradise is a one hour plane trip away from Manila. It used to be a secluded island, but today 1,5 million people visit the island every year. And when the airport is renovated, the island expects 2 million people every year. Too touristy, you might think. But Boracay´s beauty is still breathtaking.
2. MOTHER EARTH HAS BIG BOOBS IN THE PHILIPPINES
On the island of Bohol, you can visit the Chocolate Hills. When I was there they were green, because it was during rain season. But in the dry season, they look like brown hills made of chocolate. Mmmmm!
Is Yoda from Star Wars hiding in a filipino forest? Nope, this is the smallest primate in the world called the tarsier. This little monkey lives in the island of Bohol in the Philippines. The eyes of a tarsier are bigger than its brain, and it cannot look in a different direction without turning its head.
3. ISLAND HOPPING
There are over 7000 islands in the Philippines. This is the perfect place for island hopping!
This is Balicasag Island near Bohol. We just talked to a man who did boat trips to islands and he took us there. This is a virgin island.
The island above and under is Digyo Island near the village of Hindang on Leyte island. We rented a boat and it took about an hour to go one way.
4. SEAWEED, COCONUTS AND SEASHELLS
The food in the Pilippines is very clean. I celebrated Christmas here, and on Christmas Day we ate seaweed, a whole fried pig, vegetables and rice. And off course, you can find coconuts everywhere. Like these monkeys we met near Hindang. One is stealing all the coconut flesh while the other is really jeaous!
Breakfast table on Christmas Day in Hindang. Fresh fruits, seaweed, vegetables, fish and rice.
Sitting on a coconut, drinking a coconut. It´s happiness in a nutshell for me!
5. THE BEST BEACH FOR KITESURFING IN ASIA
Bulabog beach in Boracay is voted the best kitesurfing beach in Asia. If you´ve never tried before, this is a perfect place to learn. Very crowded at times, but warm water, lots of schools and shallow water with no rocks.
6. BRAVE, BIG SMILES
The people of the Philippines always have a smile on their face. Even the Typhoon survivors i met in Tacloban where set on staying positive, despite all the damages and loss they experienced during typhoon Yolanda over a year ago.
In Tacloban I met a lot of people who had lost their homes. Like this man called Romeo.
This ship went straight into the living area, but stopped a few meters from her house. It is still there, as a reminder of what happened.
The toilet is all that is left of a house in the same living area.
These kids in Peerless Village lost their parents during typhoon Yolanda. This Christmas they were given new school bags by a volunteer organization.
7. THE WATERFALLS
In the Philippines you can find those shampoo commercial waterfalls. This is Gunhuban Falls near Bato in Leyte.
Had to do that yogapose the first time in a filipino waterfall.
8. BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS
I´ll let the pictures speak for themselves! They are from Leyte and Boracay.
10. FINALLY - YOU FORGET HOW TO GO HOME
I forgot how to be a viking when I got home. There was a snow storm when I landed in Norway after four weeks in the Philippines. The plane couldn´t drive up to the gate, so we had to walk. The airport personell laughed at me as I made my way in slippers to the entrance.