Sunday, December 27, 2009

Philippines Recap

We're back from our whirlwind four-day, three-night trip to the Philippines, feeling rested and so glad that we went. We started the trip on Mactan Island, near the city of Lapu Lapu (named for the Filipino warrior who killed Magellan on that very island.) There, we stayed at a nice hotel, with a room overlooking the ocean. We soaked up the fancy-ness of it all, enjoying meals and drinks at the resort and taking time to walk to a neighborhood "restaurant" for lunch (really just one woman, cooking out of her home. We had a choice of whatever she'd chosen to cook that day. It was delicious!)

The next day, we headed into the city of Cebu, where we explored Fort San Pedro, a 500-year old Spanish fort, and a basilica, busy with people celebrating Christmas, before boarding a bus to the town of Moalboal, 90 kilometers and about 2 1/2 hours away. The bus ride was an adventure. The scenery was incredible - sea views and mountain landscapes - but the company was equally interesting. We were squished in with dozens of other sweaty bodies (it was in the 90's that day), many of whom had hopped on to sell snacks and other goodies, and at least one excited rooster. (Beyond roosters being common in rural areas anywhere, cockfighting is very popular in Cebu, so we got used to seeing men walking with their roosters to the local arenas.)

Once we arrived in Moalboal, we hired a tricycle (a moped with a sidecar) to take us to the little resort that would be our home for the next two days. The resort only had eight rooms and was right on the coast, so was absolutely idyllic. The highlight there was definitely the snorkeling (I know that we already posted about this, but it was so great that we'll both be talking about it for years. I only wish we'd had an underwater camera! It was like "Finding Nemo" in real life!) But, we also took plenty of time to enjoy the food, beer, people, and sunshine.

Our last night there, we walked into the village of Moalboal to check out the public market and wharf. And, on our last morning, we went to an orchid farm to see a huge variety of flowers (and, for whatever reason, caged monkeys and exotic birds.)

All in all, an amazing trip - what a luxury to have this experience! I've included a few pictures in this post, but if you have time and interest, there are plenty more on our photo site. Look here: for the photos (three albums) and here: for a few videos from our trip (one from the Noche Buena celebration, one from snorkeling, and one from our tricycle ride to the orchid farm.)


  1. Wow, it looks so beautiful. I love the snorkeling pictures - especially the ones with your flippers sticking up out of the water. So glad it was such a good trip!

  2. Christmas and thee Philippines what a combination. That's awesome you guys. What an opportunity. Glad you guys get the chance to see the east as you work there. Keep posting cause that's the closest I'll ever get to visit those places, so you need to be my eyes. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.