Philippines, Germany · 32 Days · 35 Moments · February 2019

Trip to the Philippines 🐠☀️

25 March 2019

25.03.19 - Danny: Finally arrived back home in Munich, where my parents were already waiting. The whole journey was simply incredible: had a lot of fun traveling with Simon and Andi, got to know a new culture & new friends , explored beautiful nature, swam at pristine beaches, drove along scenic roades, overcame my comfort zone and mastered the challenge of traveling solo. Nevertheless I am very happy to be back home and see my friends and family again. I don't think that this can be appreciated enough: having the time and ressources to go traveling, but on the other hand having no need to flee from regular life and enjoying both, traveling and the everyday life. Glad to be in such a position.

24 March 2019

24.03.19 - Danny: Getting slowely but surely to the end of my Phillipines - holiday. Today I went to the mall, did some shopping, bought food for the flight, strolled around and packed my bags, before I ordered a taxi to the airport in order to catch my flight to Riyadh at 6pm. What I realized here in Manila during driving Jeepney (some sort of bus you can just hop on and off): Without even asking the people gave me advice and helped me out. Even though it is such a big, and busy city and the people are for sure having more severe problems they still stay friendly and helpful - that's something I will miss a lot in Germany. Currenrly sitting here in Ryadh with t-shirt, pullover and a jacket, being stuck at thr airport for 8 hours of layover. I just don't get why people in countries with warmer climate simply can't handle air-conditioning properly. Always cooling down to the maximum - such a waste of energy and not even comfortable.

23 March 2019

23.03.19 - Danny: In the morning I went to secret beach, watched the surfers, and tried using my last chance for a while to get some tan. On my way back I really appreciated driving on all this palmtree-lined roads for the last time. At 2pm the van picked me up in order to drive me to the airport, where I had to catch my flight to Manila. It's hard to leave Siargao's beautiful landscape behind, especially when you are heading to cold Germany. Finally at 10 pm after some delays I arrived in my hostel in Manila, where I went straight to bed.

22 March 2019

22.03.19 - Danny: One of the few days that I really slept out. Waking up I directly jumped on my scooter as I planned to drive around the entire island. After 1,5 hours of drive I reached my first destination, a waterfall and jumped straight into the refreshing, cold, wet - was a huge pleasure after driving in the heat for so long. My second and last destination was the beautiful and pristine beach of Alegria. Upon arrival only a few locals where playing in the water. I encamped in the shadow of a palmtree, read a book, listened to music, ate pancakes, swam in the sea wandered around the beach and recapped my entire trip. This made me very happy as I realized how many great moments I have experienced in the last 3 weeks. As the sun slowly started to set I made my way back to the hostel over the eastern side of the island. Even tough my ass began to hurt from all the driving it was so much fun driving trough this beautiful, green nature I could have driven far longer.

21 March 2019

21. 03.19 - Danny: Alarm rang at 4am as I wanted to see the sunrise from a viewpoint over a palmforest. Waking up after 4hours of sleep sucked but it was totally worth it! After driving for half an hour I arrived just in time and had the usually crowded spot for my own. I made my way further north, drove through scenic palmtree-lined roads and stopped for a few minutes when something catched my attention. Finally I arrived at a quite uncrowded beach where I appreciated the slowly increasing temperatures and took a short nap. I spent the afternoon lying under the shadow of palmtrees at another beach, tried to get into surfing but the waves where not that great and same for me so it wasn't a huge experience. In the evening we had an amazing 'family dinner' the hostel: everyone helped buying and cooking some dishes. In the end we had a huge and delicious meal of several dishes. Afterwards we had a lot of fun playing some drinking-games before we went out for a Fullmoonparty.

20 March 2019

20.03.19 - Danny: At 10am the boattour to Corregidor - Island started. The island was pure paradise! The only people on it where locals and the people from my hostel. We hiked across the island and enjoyed some extremely nice, breathtaking views. I could not really believe that this island is not yet discovered by the masses. After the hike we had lunch, and chilled at the beach jumping in the water, playing games, chilling in the sun. As I took a seat on the sand and enjoyed myself by reading a book, a girl from South Korea asked my if I am alright... Seems like reading a book is seen as a strange amusement there. For sunset we went to another island, it was a great one as you can see! In the evening the other guys convinced my joining them to an italian restaurant. I had tasty Carbonara but it was not really filling. Luckily quite everyone else did not even come close to finish their pizza so in the end I ate an whole pizza and my pasta - food makes me so happy!

19 March 2019

19.03.19 - Danny: At 9am I went for my plane to Siargao. Traveling on the philipinnes can be a pain in the arse sometimes. Because of the many islands you have to take a lot of boats (time consuming) or flights (expansive, threatening to the environment). I tried striking a balance by taking a cheap flight with a few hours of stopover in Cebu as there is no boat connection from Puerto Princesa that would have been reasonable. Still was expensive and took more than half of the day... After a few hours stopover in Cebu, finally at 5pm I arrived in my comfy hostel on the island of Siargao, where I roughly planned my next few days. Even tough it was cloudy and will be partly rainy the next days I am looking forward to explore this beautiful island. The views I enjoyed by looking out of the van during my drive from the airport already where exciting. In the evening I spontaneously joined the guys from the hostel to a party and we had a funny night in a raggae/goa bar.

18 March 2019

18.03.19 - Danny: Today was one of the calmer and less fascinating days. Early in the morning I jumped on board of a fully packed van to Puerto Princesa, from where my plane to Siargao is leaving the next morning. This time the driver was supricingly not driving as he had to brake a worldrecord. As arrived in Puerto Princesa I went to the mall for some shopping, partly needed because I lost some stuff and partly just for fun some clothes I liked. Discovered some nice stores with cool, cheap and unique brands. The rest of the day I spend by the pool reading, improving my tan and planning the schedule for my last week.

17 March 2019

17.03.19 - Danny: As Chino and Liana decided to join me at my kayaking tour to Inoladoan Island, we met early for tasty and filling breakfast. Right afterwards we started into the open sea. After 1,5hours of exhausting paddling with the sun burning down we finally made it to the beautiful island. At the beginning we were the only ones, but later some tourist boats anchored. Still it was not very crowded. We spend our time at the beach snorkeling, sunbathing, reading books in hammocks and talking about our different countries (Brasil, Philippines, Germany). On our way back we stopped shortly before entering Port Barton in order to have a clean view for the sunset. Watching the sunset on our kayaks, floating on the waves was an incredible experience I will alway think back to with joy.

16 March 2019

16.03.19 - Andi: Time to say goodbye... today I am taking my flight back home. The last 3,5 weeks went by really quickly as we experienced so many new things everyday. But despite my time in the Philippines was amazing (except some moments I didn’t felt that good) I am happy to get back home living my day-to-day life. Actually I am really grateful for this realization that I don’t have to escape from my normal life in Augsburg/Freising. Thank you Simon and Danny for making that time so wonderful! 😊
16.03.19 - Danny: After I got a huge amount of sleep I luckily felt better again and spent forenoon relaxing on the beach, reading a book. In the afternoon I trekked 2 hours towards an waterfall. Really enjoyed the way but far more I enjoyed the dip into the cold refreshing water afterwards! On my way back an Philipino traveller from Manila offered me a ride on his habal-habal (Motorcycle) and for sure I  said yes. Had some nice conversations and I really enjoyed getting to know more about the Phillipines from a deeper perspective. In the evening I went to the beach for a picturesque sunset, the atmosphere got perfect by a guitar player singing in the background. Suddenly Chino, the guy who picked me up with his motorcycle appeared with his girlfriend and a beer and asked me to join them. So we spent the rest of the evening together, watched the sun fade away and the stars coming out, got out for dinner and planned a kayak tour for the upcoming day.

15 March 2019

15.03.19 - Danny: Today was our last day together so we planned to go surfing before we had to catch different vans at 1pm. Sadly Andi felt sick so I just went exploring El Nido  and chilling at the beautiful beach on my own. At 1pm we separated. I took the van to Port Barton and Andi went for Puerto Princesa. First I felt a little bit anxious because I was alone now, but as soon as the van started driving these thoughts were gone - I was more busy trying not to vomit as the driver raced the bumpy serpentine roads like crazy. As I finally arrived in Port Barton I started feeling the same symptoms Andi had before, so i just jumped in the Hostelbed and tried curating myself by a huge dose of sleep.

14 March 2019

14.03.19 - Andi: On the boat again! When we arrived in El Nido yesterday we were already really amazed by the stunning landscape and excited what there is even more to explore when you leave the mainland and enter the sea. These kind of boat trips are all organized the same way.. pickup in the morning, 4-5 spots for snorkeling or relaxing at the beach and lunch in between. Especially our destination for lunch was really remarkable. Swimming in deep turquoise water and looking up an approximately 150m high rock cliff. Felt amazing! In the evening we enjoyed our last evening together with some Siomai (kind of meatballs) and rice at the rooftop of our hostel.

13 March 2019

13.03.19 - Danny: We woke up at 5:30 and had planned to use a quad, driving to hike a mountain and than renting a kayak for some island exploring. Sadly the quad was not working well and we only could drive like 15 km/h (looked like douchebags sitting there on this dangerous looking, noisy ATV and than even being overtaken by the slowest trycicles without a hitch). So we had to reschedule and only went up the mountain. Indeed it was not really a hike, only 700 steps up straight, demanding to walk up in the sun but nothing what we would call hiking. On the top we enjoyed a great overview and chilled for a while just admiring the landscape. After that we packed our bags in Coron, said goodbye to our kind hostel staff and took, with one hour delay, the ferry to El Nido, which was air-conditioned so strong we were freezing the entire 3 hours. In El Nido we just checked in to our hostel, went for dinner and organized a tour for the upcoming day.

12 March 2019

12.03.19 - Andi: Island Hopping Tour No. 2: As it was an awesome experience on the boat yesterday, we decided to go for another day trip. Today we chose islands further away from Coron and focused more on relaxing and splashing around in the water than snorkeling. The beaches we explored were the most beatiful ones we have ever seen! To swim in absolutely clear water, which appeared in an astonishing turquoise from the outside, just fealt unreal! After a long day on the catamaran we spotted a decent gym with just 1€ entrance fee and went for a pretty hard workout at 29 °C - never sweated that much while exercising!

11 March 2019

11.03.19 - Danny: What a day! Hopped on a boat early this morning for a full day island tour around some islands around coron and it was just amazing. Sitting on the edge of our boat, air flowing around your body, water splashing up, sun shining and this with the beautiful nature around you - there is no chance but to enjoy this! The attractions also were pretty decent, some snorkeling, kayaking and swimming around in scenic lagoons and bays. Sadly the spots were often too crowded so we could not 100% appreciate the beauty around us, but we just tried separating as much as possible from the masses so it was alright. Also a filling and tasty lunch on a neat beach was included. In the evening we hit a hard freeletics workout, jumped under the shower and then went for the city to get delicious & cheap dinner.

10 March 2019

10.03.19 - Andi: Today wasn’t that special - we just took an 11 hour ferry ride from Puerto Princesa to Coron. Last night we were quite nervous if we are able to take the ferry as it just rides two times a week and we didn’t book tickets in advance. So we drove to the port at 10:30 PM and got to know we have to wake up at 4 AM the next morning to catch the ride. After some hours of sleep everything worked out fine and we were able to recover fully on the boat.

9 March 2019

09.03.19 - Danny: The alarm was ringing early this morning - we had to catch our Flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Even though we did just have one day here, we did not want to skip one of the 7 wonders of the new world, the Puerto Princesa Underground River. So we rented a scooter and drove the 2 hours towards the cave. Even the drive through this beautiful green nature, embedded by huge limestone rocks would have been totally worth it. Arrived there, we had another estimated 2 hours of hiking to manage but because we have been in a hurry we made it way faster. The tour through parts of the cave was unreal, felt like in a movie. There are lots of huge rooms inside, bats and other animals living inside it. And yet the cavesystem is not even fully explored! On our way back we power hiked the trail, to the cost of our guides who were also quite exhausted. As we came out of the jungle fully exhausted we jumped into the sea at a beautiful beach to cool us off before going back home.

8 March 2019

08.03.18 - Danny: Once again we woke up at the beach, but this time in direction to a scenic sunrise-  could get used to this! On the road again we just grabbed some food, booked our ferrytickets and gave back our scooters before we had to say goodbye to Simon, who is now heading for Nepal. He was a great travel company and it was not only interesting but also lots of fun traveling with him. Andi and me than hopped on another ferry towards Cebu, from where we will catch a plane to Palawan tomorrow in the morning.

7 March 2019

07.03.19 - Danny: Waking up because sunbeams tickle your skin, opening your eyes and all you see is a pristine beach, lined by palmtrees growing into the clear blue sky - sounds like a dream right? But that is what we woke up to this morning. After decamping, we headed for a waterfall. It was not crowded at all what made us enjoy it even more. You could use a ropeswing to jump into the turquoise water, climb up the fall and do some jumping action from the top - was a huge fun! Headed further towards a ‚magical tree‘ surrounded by water filled with fishes you know from the so called fish spas. We sat down for a while and enjoyed the free pedicure. Finding the beach we chose to sleep was a bit of a hassle cause it was a hidden one. As we finally made it we spend our last evening together with a campfire, some beer, good food and watched the sky full of stars, all accompanied by the sound of crashing waves.

6 March 2019

06.03.19 - Andi: Welcome to Siquiqor! This morning we got up early to get the ferry from Dumaguete and arrived within an hour at the so-called mystical island. Before lunch we already explored a beautiful beach where we settled down for the rest of the day just sunbathing, snorkeling and reading books. After sunset, when all the other people were leaving, we decided to stay here sleeping at the beach under a stunning sky full of stars. PS: I got to learn a new marketing method. When you have a homestay, drive with your scooter around and stop tourists on motorbikes by at the road to tell them from your business. Not sure how effective this is!

5 March 2019

05.03.19 - Danny: Today was more of a travel, than an activity day. In the morning we started a private boat tour that was mediated to us from a friendly local we met yesterday. We got the once in a lifetime opportunity to snorkel with millions of sardines that settled down in front of the island. Was overwhelming to see them forming shapes and building circles around predators. Furthermore we luckily discovered a giant, majestetic turtle swimming and fooding calmly in the sea. After that tour we packed our bags to travel towards Siquiqor. Unfortunately we missed a connecting ferry in Dumaguete, so we had to search for an accommodation there. Nevertheless we made ourselves a nice evening on the island of Negros, did a sport-session, got tasty food and drank some beer. Are finishing our journey to Siquiqor with the first ferry in the next morning.

4 March 2019

04.03.19 - Danny: Planned to get up early this day in order to start our hike to the highest mountain of Cebu. Unluckily for me the night ended already at 2am due to my jetlag. But I used this time to coordinate our travel plans for the next day so it was alright. At 5am we departed with our scooters, had a stop for breakfast and one for watching some locals playing basketball (the nationalsport in the Philippines even tough they are so small). Finally at the peak of the mountain the clouds cleared and we enjoyed a breathtaking view over the entire island. On our way back we stopped at an beautiful, three-level waterfall and hat lots of fun jumping into the water, sliding down natural slides and climbing up waterfalls. In the afternoon we accidentally stumbled over a great scenery and took some minutes just sitting silent and enjoying the view.

3 March 2019

We were quite unsure what to expect on Cebu (as there weren’t so much instagram pics like for Palawan) but it is mountainous and we already fell in love with it! We explored two beautiful waterfalls and got to chat with some really friendly locals. At the parking area for the scooter, a huge Filipino family took care of our scooters and when we came back we had great fun with them making jokes and also got some coconut wine. Unfortunately it didn’t taste that well !😁

2 March 2019

Today we started with exploring the area around calape via scooter and chilled at the beach. For me it’s pretty amazing how the the Filipinos - and most South East Asian people I think - can chill in the squat position for hours and I just feel pain at this! 😂 In the afternoon we travelled to the ferry port and as there was no space anymore in the bus, we took the 45min-ride on top of it. Quite refreshing experience! In the evening we arrived in Cebu und finally met Danny. Looking forward to the next two weeks traveling together!

1 March 2019

After a few stops and some small delays I (Danny) finally made it to the Phillipines. It was not that hard to leave cold & rainy Germany behind. We all have been glad to see each other again and spent the remaining evening with planing the next few days. Looking forward, to explore this beautiful country!
This morning we had to say goodbye to our couchsurfing host Domenic as we were leaving Loboc to make our way more north. We found a hostel with an amazing view and everything is fine but we’re the only one in an 8 bed dorm, so poor hostel owner! As we didn’t had big plans for today we just checked out a beautiful waterfall, played billiard with some Filipino kids and spent time on the scooter. The highlight of the day was when Simon climbed up a palm to get some coconuts for us. We planned to eat and drink them at the beach while sunset but we didn’t found a decent location so we enjoyed them at our hostel. Actually it was more a coconut wine because it was already a bit older and started to ferment. 😋 PS: Sorry for this awful selfies but I have a software problem with my iPhone back camera and can just take pictures with the front one.

28 February 2019

You only realize how great your life is when you don’t feel that good.. Today was more a chill day as I had a bad stomach and felt a bit ill and fatigue. So most of the time we chilled at the beach but as this got boring quite fast, we tried to get inside a 5*-hotel next to us. We made it and were quite hyped when we chilled in the pool with a view onto the seaside but unfortunately we got busted after 2 minutes and had to leave quickly. Maybe Simon‘s dreadlocks are to be blamed for that.. 😁 Last and also this night we are staying with our host Domenic as we tried couchsurfing. He and also his parents are really kind and it’s amazing how hospitable all the Filipinos are!

27 February 2019

Have you ever wondered why the spontaneous events are always the best? 🤔 At first we started with some organized locations like the butterfly conservation area where they breed those lovely animals and had some fun with our tour guide taking pictures. Also we saw the tarsiers, they are the smallest primates in the world and have huge eyes. In relation to their body size they are 150x bigger than ours! Afterwards we hit the road again and stumbled upon a nice hanging bridge from which Simon jumped into the water - not for me as I am a scaredy-cat. 😂 While chilling in the water we noticed a bamboo raft at the riverbank, took it and paddled down the river. Suddenly we heard the sound of a waterfall and were quite scared but we made it easily to the land. Over there we realized that the waterfall was just little and that we found a beautiful spot with no one else around! 😍

26 February 2019

Today started with a little workout and a various breakfast from the local market. We tried e.g. dried fish but I tasted awful! Afterwards we rented a scooter and made our way to the inland of Bohol - the home of the chocolate hills but unfortunately they are green and not brown. On the way from one spot to another we occasionally spotted a motocross track and had some fun with our scooter there and luckily it is still working. Lastly, we planned to hike up one of those chocolate hills and found one with a building on top, so that there was a way up. To be honest, it was really steep and not made for flip-flops but we made it. On the summit we waited for the sun setting down and had fun talking with some Filipino kids. 🌅

25 February 2019

The day started perfectly with time management a la Andi... long story but in the end we reached the ferry from Camiguin Island to Bohol in the last second - thanks to Simon. For this day on Bohol we planned to check out some beaches and caves but then we ended up eating and drinking rum and coconut water with some locals at a birthday party. They approached us at the beach and afterwards we went to the house of one of them and sang karaoke. Suddenly it was dark and we realized that we missed some destination we had planned to see but this spontaneous party was quite better.

24 February 2019

Last night we slept at the beach under palms and a sky full of stars - we cannot afford those expensive hostels anymore. 😁 As it wasn’t that comfortable, I already had woken up at 4:15 AM and waited until the sun rose so that we could start to hike up the volcano. At about 800m height we had an amazing view over the island and were already hyped of standing at the top but after we reached 900m it started to get foggy and when we finally reached the top at 1300m, we didn’t see anything but fog. For me it was quite disappointing but Simon took it easy. He focused on the way, not the destination. After just 5 hours we were back down and relaxed in some hot springs but actually they were just a bit warm. That was a perfect end to our hardcore speed hike which really pushed me to my limits. For the rest of the day we chilled at the beach, took a nap while Simon was snorkeling and afterwards we further explored the island by scooter.

23 February 2019

Set our alarm at 5:45 AM in hope for a beatiful sunrise - too bad it was cloudy. In the morning we rented a scooter and visited a giant clam sanctuary where a 11-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy gave us some information about the clams in English. They have my whole respect for that. Afterwards Simon proved me that he is a better climber than every monkey. In the afternoon we visited a cock fight event: Two chicken with 10cm long razor blades at their legs fight each other until one is death. Meanwhile, the whole crowd is going nuts and is betting money on the „game“. Really intense and quite shocking experience!

22 February 2019

Our last sleeping accomodation wasn‘t the best but what could you expect for 3€ ? 😁 Cagayan de Oro isn‘t really a nice city, just loud and dirty. As an european person it‘s crazy to see how many of the Filipinos live - without running water or toilet paper. Therefore we directly headed forward to Camiguin Island by ferry and were able to snorkel a bit in the afternoon. For dinner we got a recommandation for a barbecue and started to look for it. After a 15min-footwalk we found a little wood hut in the middle of nowhere. As we asked if they also serve rice, the man crossed the street and delivered rice directly out of his kitchen. I am sure this business is not registered legally! 🤔

21 February 2019

Finally our new journey starts - at least for me (Andi). The trip began quite exciting as I nearly missed my flight and was the last person boarding. I had a stop-over in Rhiyad, Saudi-Arabia (amazing to see from plane how accurate this city was planned). Both flights went by quite quickly and in Manila I finally met Simon again, who will be my travelbuddy for the next two weeks. Unfortunately we forgot to take a reunion picture 🤦🏻‍♂️ This night we‘re staying at a 3€-night-hostel with just locals around us in Cagayan de Oro and looking forward to our first whole day in the Philippines.