WOW Philippines!

Friday, July 30, 2004
Wow Philippines is their tourist slogan and we saw it everywhere. We went to the Philippines mainly to check out their beaches… and that we did! We only made it to two beaches though – Boracay and Malapascua. We had intentions of visiting more of them, but they we just too fantastic to leave!! Plus, it usually takes a day of bumpy bus rides to arrive at your next destination… so we were having a hard time finding a good reason to go anywhere.

Boracay is touted as being the best beach in the world… and after visiting I would have to agree. It’s amazing. They have wide, white sandy beaches with great restaurants, lots of bars and tons of activities. Not that I participated in many… mainly I just soaked up the sun and the atmosphere.

Malapascua was much the same as Boracay – which is to say it was fantastic as well!! The only difference is that there are hardly any people on Malapascua. Everyday you have the beach almost entirely to yourself. It’s ideal – you get first dibs on the shade under the mangrove trees when the sun gets too hot!

Many people might tell you not to visit the Philippines during this time of year since it is monsoon season. But, other than a little nightly rain and the occasional passing shower, it wasn’t bad at all. It was a good respite from the blazing sun. In fact, it was more of a benefit than anything else. Accommodation was always available at the nicer places for half price, the beaches were quiet and the mangoes are in season!!! I have never tasted better fruit than a ripe mango in the Philippines. It’s a reason to go back there every year.

A beach is a beach though, so not too much to say about that. What you might find interesting is the Philippino fascination with cockfighting. It’s the most popular sport in the country and with just a little travel around the country, you can see proof. Philippinos have been known to buy the little birds their own seats on buses when transporting them to their next fight. And although we never witnessed that, we did see one guy who carried his bird in his arms on the ferry and then tied him to his foot for the four hour bus ride into the city. Talk about dedication! I hope he won.

Meric, your people say hello and they miss you!!

We have just arrived to Hong Kong and have finally bid farewell to South East Asia. I hope they will miss us as much as we miss them.

Love, Alison


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