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5 things: my favourite islands in the Philippines

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How lame am I? I bought a scratch map of the Philippines on a flight last year with Cebu Pacific Air (I also steal their inflight ‘Smile’ magazine because it’s actually quite good!). I couldn’t resist, mostly because I love maps. My husband even had a wall sized world map made for me when we lived in Nepal.

Anyway, I digress. The map. I started scratching off all the places I have been to in the Philippines, and counted that I’ve been to 30 islands. Now considering the Philippines has over 7,107 islands, this is a mere drop in the ocean (no pun intended), but to get you started here are my top 5 islands in the Philippines:

  1. Siargao – So I might be a bit biased here, considering Siargao is in the same Province as my mum’s home (Surigao del Norte), however you can’t go passed its surfy laid back vibe. It is still relatively untouched and I’ve got a blog post on it coming right up!
  2. Cabugao Island (Isla de Gigantes) – The natural and rugged beauty of this place, and its surrounding islands, made me feel all Robinson Crusoe-y. The lack of typical touristy facilities and difficulty of getting phone reception really added to the adventure. I have previously posted about it here and here.
  3. Palawan – despite our experience there, I have vowed to go back and conquer Palawan! That is, to go when it is not raining…
  4. Bohol – a special place because my grandmother and grandfather and their families were originally from here. Additionally, Bohol has so many things to do, that don’t just involve lounging on the beach.
  5. Boracay – you may be surprised that I included this, but like I said in my post about Boracay: despite the crowds, White Beach really is a beautiful beach.
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5 things: Tough food decisions in El Nido

Lunch with a view at El Nido Corner
Lunch with a view at El Nido Corner

Food is definitely not an issue in El Nido; your toughest decision will be where to eat and trying to plan it around all of your activities!

Continue reading “5 things: Tough food decisions in El Nido”

Palawan Part I: El Nido

Palawan 5 Before we left for our end of year holidays people told me,

“Typhoons never reach Palawan because it’s too far west!”

“The end of December and early January are the driest and best times to visit Palawan!”

I can definitely dispel both of those sayings and say first hand that they are myths!

Continue reading “Palawan Part I: El Nido”

HNY 2015

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We have just arrived home from our holiday on the islands of Cebu (for Christmas) and El Nido, Palawan (New Year’s Eve). Our holiday wasn’t exactly what we were expecting…but more on that later!

For such a small sleepy town, seemingly in the middle of no where, the people of El Nido sure know how to celebrate the coming New Year and put on a fireworks show! It all started with firecrackers going off as soon as the sun went down. We decided to watch the show from our hotel roof and went up just in time to see Chinese lanterns sailing gracefully by above us at about 11.30PM. I’m not sure if our watches (and phones) were wrong, but I swear they started celebrating the new year at 11:50PM with the majority of fireworks and noise starting at that time! But what a show, albeit a random show, it was. Fireworks lit up the sky all along the beach in a gorgeous colourful display (sorry for the average .gif quality below – you can watch a better version on my Instagram). Then they went off behind us; and just as if it was the grand finale, fireworks shot up on top of us from our hotel rooftop!

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While watching the festivities, I was thinking that there is not much more that commands your attention like fireworks going off. They kind of snap you back to reality, forcing you to live in the moment. What a great reminder for how to live everyday of 2015.

Here’s to living in the moment; being content and grateful for how far we’ve all come. Happy New Year!