Dave's Philippines Trip

June 6-16, 2013

Thursday June 6th

Delta $2813 RT
#3503 AUS 11:33am to Minneapolis 2:20pm
#621 MSP 3:20pm to Tokyo 5:35pm next day

Appropriately one of the movies I watched was on how Filipino singer Arnel Pineda joined the group Journey.

Friday June 7th

#173 NRT 6:25pm to Manila 10pm

Hope my fly wasn't open, I may have been inadvertantly wang-wangin' all over the place, how embarassing.

Arrival after midnight. Plenty of activity on the street until 5am.

Stayed at the Best Western Oxford Suites Makati for $71.

No need to go home alone, look what I picked up! After double checking this was not pet food, I must say they were pretty good.

Saturday June 8th

Everywhere has their own version of mass transport, the Jeepney- here you see a variation on the Central/South American modified school bus. Enter from the back up a long aisle, sides open vs windows.

24hrs AND they deliver. What kind of third world paradise is this?

Fly Manila to El Nido 1500 using Island Transvoyager (ITI)
Booked through El Nido Art Cafe.
Had to pay an extra 1700 pesos for baggage weight.

The view of Manila while flying out- a MASSIVE city.

"Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the nation's center of education, business, and transportation.
Manila has a reputation as a congested, polluted concrete jungle, and is often overlooked as a mere stopover for travelers aiming to reach other Philippine provinces or islands. To an extent this reputation is deserved, but Manila is nevertheless rapidly developing and has its own rich history and experiences to offer. The city is sprawling, bustling, and culturally complicated, with a colorful multi-cultural heritage and varied nightlife."

El Nido
Palawan District

"El Nido is a coastal settlement on the Philippines island of Palawan. El Nido is comprised of 45 islands and islets; limestone cliffs are also found here, which form a Karst backdrop similar to those found in Ha Long Bay, Krabi and Guilin. El Nido is a popular destination for locals during the long holidays of Holy Week but, until recently, has been relatively unknown to foreign tourists. El Nido is more than just a stereotypical tropical paradise. Beaches, clear waters, jungle, steep limestone cliffs and stunning inlets make for one of the world's most beautiful seascapes.

Before El Nido became a popular tourist destination, fishing and harvesting swift nests ("Nido") were the main source of income. Nowadays tourism has become the municipality's main source of revenue; however, the authorities are trying to keep it sustainable and hotel chains are refreshingly absent. Huge tour groups are nowhere to be seen. El Nido is also known for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and kayaking."

One extreme to another- a packed massive city in a 26 story hotel with 24hr activity, to some beach huts in the middle of nowhere where I am the only guest. Now the local transport is a trike, a motorcycle with this metal contraption over it for passengers.

Very rustic.

Starfish footprints!

Dinner at the Sea Slugs Resto, right on the beach.

Sunday June 9th

Stayed at the Coral Bay Beach and Dive Resort, 3000 pesos/night.
I was the only guest there.

View at the front of my cottage.

Included breakfast.

Invariably the only time you will find me on a motorcycle- somewhere in Southeast Asia, being shuttled somewhere in just some swim trunks and a backpack, thinking "if that dog in front of us makes an unexpected move- protect your head, and the skin grafts are gonna suck."

Our group boarding to head out for the day for "Tour A" 700 pesos.

Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Simizu, Secret Lagoon, Commando Beach

First stop- Seven Commando Beach

Big Kahuna about to hit the beach!

I think it's gonna rain some more.

When in doubt, work out!

Meet up with Nathalie, her mom Helga, and an aquiantance of theirs for dinner at the same place as last night.