Travel & Culture

Island Life in the Philippines

I went to the Philippines and Taiwan in August with my best friend Vaishali. Neither of us have been to the Philippines before.

We went to the island of Cebu in the Philippines, and… wow. Wow. The views were breathtaking, and life was very hakuna matata. Click to read and see more of my Philippines adventures!

I didn’t want that as the cover photo of the post because… there are prettier things to see than my tan legs in a messy hotel room.

Weather

I was nervous about going to the Philippines at the end of August because (1) super hot makes me think of mosquitoes and I REALLY hate mosquitoes, (2) August is during their monsoon season and rain makes me miserable, and (3) I only saw rain and thunderbolts when I looked up Cebu on the iPhone weather app. Was I excited? Eh.

But the weather turned out beautiful. It only rained while Vaishali and I were asleep – yay. The mosquitoes were not that bad (at least not as bad as Taiwan) – little yay.

Food

I may be wrong, but their food is very meat heavy. Anytime they served a salad, it one slice of tomatoes, two slices of cucumbers, and one leaf of lettuce. It could be because it’s harder for island countries to grow their own produce, so fresh produce is quite rare. Nonetheless, their dishes were quite delicious. Filipinos know how to sauce their food, man! My favorite drink would have to be the original lassi (left), which is salty.

Activities

It’s the Philippines – there’s no end to the amount of activities here! Here are a few:

  • Diving: there are some spectacular dives in the Philippines, and if you don’t have your diving certification, you can also get certified here!
  • Snorkeling: it was the first time I’ve seen so many different colored and shapes of fish, all within a hands reach! Of course, I didn’t touch any of them because it sounds kind of gross.
  • Canyoning: Vaishali and I did this (you can see a bit in the video below), and it was SO MUCH FUN.

One thing we didn’t film was our snorkeling adventures, which is a complete bummer because we saw so many things in the backyard of the resort. All you needed was snorkeling gear, walk out about 3 meters (almost 10 feet), and you could see so much stuff like starfish, corals, yellow fish, blue fish, sea snakes, black fish… (As you can tell, I don’t know too much about fish.)

It had been several years since I went swimming in the ocean, so I was really nervous the first time we went snorkeling. Neither of us had life jackets on, but there is also no reason to worry about Vaish. She’s a natural fish. I was doing okay until we saw a sea snake, then I went into panic mode and started backstroking my way to land. After breakfast, I grabbed a life jacket and we both went back out and it was a whooole neeeewww wooooorrrrrlllddd!

What You Should Know

  1. Bring sunscreen. SPF is important. Skin cancer is real. Take care of your skin.
  2. Bring bug spray. I went nuts on Amazon for bug repellent spray and bands because I know that (A) bugs really love me, (B) I have nasty reactions to bug bits, and (C) if I have a whole ton of bug bites on me, I get much crankier faster than usual. I also believe that you need regional bug spray in order for it to be effective. The links above worked better in the Philippines than in Taiwan, and had little effect on American bugs.
  3. Bring enough pesos and American dollars. They don’t use credit card. Don’t get stuck in the Philippines.
  4. At least for international flights from any Philippines airport, you have to pay a fee. Bring enough cash (rule #3)!

That’s all I remember from the Philippines! I know, super late post so OF COURSE I would forget a lot of details. I really need to start carrying around a tiny notebook to write down all my thoughts. Next time.

Check out the vlogs from my Philippines trip –

-Juliet

Have you guys ever been to the Philippines? Where did you guys go and what did you guys enjoy/not enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!

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