The first moments in the Philippines
Previous part: My first solo traveling. To Philippines!
Flight to Philippines
Before departing from Dubai I’ve stopped for one beer at Irish pub near the airport with one Filipino guy and his Airbnb guest. The cheapest draft beer in Dubai they said. But for me the most expensive in my life. Well, the most expensive… I had no cash so I didn’t pay. About two hours before my flight I went to the airport by foot which is nothing strange, but I chose some way through a construction site where I joined some exotic workers so I almost got orange vest and helmet. Luckily, I stumbled upon a wiling security guy (from Philippines, have you ever seen working somebody from Emirates?) who led my the right direction so I was able to enjoy a long waiting at the airport because my flight was delayed, as expected.
On the plane I got the first row with window just for myself. Although there was plenty of legroom, it wasn’t possible to lift the armrests so I moved to another row so I could lie down (or something like that, you know it) and get some sleep during the next 9 hours. First I made a great deal when I bought 100MB internet package for $2 because they wanted $5 for 15MB. And it doesn’t matter it was mistake and it was just 10MB. Since I was quite lost in time, because my watches went clockwise and counterclockwise I guess, so I at least I could follow the aircraft’s position on the map. Cebu Pacific organizes various competitions on the plane where you can win some insignificant prize. For me it would become interesting if I could win some food. In our case the flight attendant sang some songs and you had to guess the song. I was already using my earplugs so it served to me as a lullaby.
We arrived to Manila in the afternoon, AirAsia meanwhile announced me that they moved my next flight from 18:15 to 20:55 so I wanted to try to get to an earlier flight. I moved to domestic terminal, was kicked from the AirAsia office there because they don’t solve this matters and went to beg for a place on the earlier flight to the check-in counter. Fortunately it wasn’t problem, they signed me up on the waiting list, and as the name suggest, I waited. Meanwhile I met Marek from Czech Republic, who was just trying to buy the ticket for that flight, with hid friend Hannes from Netherlands. They enjoyed together playing poker in casinos and travelling around Asia. The earlier flights was delayed (again very unexpected situation) so we left to Cebu without Marek at the time of my previous original flight. AirAsia let me go with my one kilo heavier backpack without paying any fee so they got one point from me.
Hannes saved me in Cebu because I hadn’t exact amount of money for taxi so he paid for the ride. So dank u or how you Dutch mix German with English. Next aim for me was to get local SIM card so I could contact my Couchsurfer host for my first Philippine night. The salesman had absolutely no idea what I was asking about the internet so I bought a pig in a poke, put him to my phone and at the dirty table of ketchup I managed to contact Kim. Kim is a lawyer, he has over 250 references on Couchsurfing and at the same time with me he was hosting another three guys – from UK, Brazil and Spain I guess. We immediately went to a bar for pub quiz in which I knew like zero answers but I found a ride for the next day to Moalboal which was my destination for the next day and I was supposed to get there by bus in the morning.
Find your host
In Moalboal I wanted to snorkel with sardines – this place is known for its clouds of sardines which swim near the coast. While Jharvis, who took me to Moalboal, went diving to White beach with his friend I stayed at Panagsama beach which is actually beach not so much but you can get there into the water. Snorkel served me rather as a straw so I quickly caught the daily drinking regime and tried it without snorkel later. But swimming with head under water and without breathing is really bad. At least GoPro enjoyed some sardines so you can look forward to extra long capture of sardines in a video. It will lasts for two seconds. I tried to snorkel one more time and decided I’ll never do this activity again.
After unsuccessful snorkeling and successful not drowning myself has become the time to solve the question where I’ll spend the night. Even I had a confirmation on Couchsurfing for that night I didn’t know the address and my host didn’t communicate. I stopped for a dinner so I could finally have some local meal. I ordered something Thai or Indian and joined the only person who was there to socialize or what. He was German who lives there for 20 years – during the day he’s biking around and in the evenings he drink beer with his Swedish friend who joined us after a while. He commended me for traveling with small backpack and laugh at the backpackers who travel with a huge backpack full of unnecessary things. Although I was “forced” to small backpack because of the airlines fees I agreed with him in everything but I’d have brought some extra stuff because there is never enough of useless things.
But I had some instructions for my next couchsurfing. To arrive to supermarket in Badian village. So I was expecting that the house will be right there, prepared red carpet and like that. Or that he’d wait for me there all the day long at some bus stop because we even didn’t arrange the time of my arrival. I arrived to the store after dawn, nobody was waiting for me there so I had no other option that to find my own way to Raymund. I showed his picture and name at a bakery on my phone and asked them if they know him. And they did! That was too easy, huh? They arranged transportation for me to his place and it was another ten minutes on motorbike. Raymund wasn’t at home yet but the rest of his family welcomed me and gave me my own room. Raymund arrived around ten o’clock, we drank some beer and Polish vodka, he told me that he hosted two girls from the Czech Republic for tho nights before me and that he’s a guide in a nearby canyon so if I want to try canyoneering. In my plan for the next day was just a visit of Kawasan falls which is the place where the canyoneering ends. So I decided to wake up at six the next morning and do this adrenaline entertainment. And while I was falling asleep at midnight the crowing rooster sweetened it for me. Unlike me he had jet lag I guess.
How was the jumping into the canyon from several meters and how many contact lenses is on its bottom? What strange noises are heard from the jungle along the path on which you walk alone at dusk? How is swimming with sharks? And did I finally find some friends? You will learn in Canyoneering and swimming with sharks.