Why The Philippines?
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
That quote could easily summarize what the Philippines are. I am sure you have about the beauty of this place over and over again, from some friends who spent their vacations there, or even from blogs like mine, and you might be intrigued about what we are talking about or skeptical to believe our words but, let me tell you that none of what you have been told can compare to the beauty of the Philippines. Nor the pictures you see, nor the words you read or hear can make justice to this place.
Funniest thing of all, we went to this place because I was one the only countries where I didn’t Visa to travel to. When returning to Seoul from Jeju Island, we saw that amazing wall of Images in the ferry station where they displayed some of the most beautiful Unesco World Heritages and we decided that our next destinations would be one of those amazing places.
Right after arriving in Seoul, we started planning our next trip, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and The Philippines made it to our final list, and as I told you before, The Philippines was the only country where I could travel without Visa so, we made it our election.
It was already Mid-November and the winter was already installed in Seoul and we were trying to escape it by any means, but finally, the day arrived and it was time to start packing for our next adventure, The Philippines.
Our one day experience in Manila
Our main destination was Palawan, but there are not a direct flight from Seoul so, we made our first stop in Manila. From the very moment we landed, we could feel the sweet hot and humidity of the island, we could say goodbye to our winter jackets for a while.
Before our arrival to the airport, we had heard a long list of awful things the guards could do to us, but nothing of that happened.
But truth to be told, the traffic is worse than you can possibly imagine, It took us more than an hour to get to our Homeaway, and I promise to god, the distance was a 10 minutes walk, but we didn’t know.
In Manila, we were so lucky that one of us had a good friend os his living there, It made it really easy to us for spending one of the craziest nights I remember, a night just to enjoy and forget.
After waking up the day after, with one of the greatest hangovers of my life, we headed to the airport, there we would take a plane to Palawan, where we spent 9 amazing days.
First days in The Paradise
When we arrived, our HomeAway guest was waiting for us at the airport with a great van and brought us to her home in Las Roxas.
The fist day we took it easy, we went to a quite beach where it was just the 10 of us and just relaxed a little, with we would be needing to stand the days that were coming.
The third day of our trip, we went to Modessa Resort Island, a recommendation by our host, this is a great place for snorkeling, it was the very first time I tried and I really did love it, the earth is also beautiful under its water cover.
We had a great day on the island, after snorkeling for a long time, we went lunch and then had a long walk through the island and lied in its white, hot sands for a while until the sun went down.
Modessa Resort Island
After spending three amazing days in Roxas, we decided it was time to visit El Nido, our HomeAway host was so cool, she arranged everything for us.
El Nido and its unbelievable beauty
The image you see below was taken from the balcony of the hotel, and for the next 4 days we would be waking up in the morning and having breakfast with that before us.
We arrived early in the morning, so we were in time for taking one of the ships you see in the picture for island hopping.
I have never seen such a beautiful thing, and from that moment to this very day, there is a thought in my mind: There is too much beauty in this world to stay at the same place forever. It changed the meaning traveling had for me, “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”
The very last day we had in El Nido, we decided to do something on our own, not guided, not scheduled, we improvised.
We went to one little town where there were almost no tourists and us divided into two groups, some just wanted to chill on the beach and others to discover a bit more of the place and walked a long way through the forest and it headed to that beach you see in the picture, I have no idea what it name is, it wasn’t in our plans.
After the long walk we had we were really thirsty, and had no water with us, lucky for us, the place was full of coconuts, what we didn’t know is, how hard it is to punch it out without the necessary tools. We ended up getting our price anyways tho.
During a couple of hours we spent there, we encountered with no one but few locals that made their living there.
We felt like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and even felt confident that we could fabric about to make our way back (it didn’t really work out).
Humbleness, not having and not needing. Not needing a baby carriage to feel like you are a better parent, your kids not needing a hundred toys to be entertained, not having too much because you can’t afford it, and being happy anyway because you already realized that you don’t need it.
Your parents or your older brothers being the only people you want to look alike, because they are your greatest heroes and because you are not exposed to a 24/7 constant advertising on TV or the internet reminding you what you should have or how you have to look like to be accepted by everyone else, and making you feel that if you don’t have it you are automatically less interesting, less cool. Feeling beautiful even though you are not exactly Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, because they are not your model of beauty. Having the confidence to do whatever it is that you want without aiming to be somebody else.
This is exactly what you can see in these people waking up every morning in that paradise that they are lucky to call home. When you asked them for a picture, you didn’t see someone trying to give you his best angle for the picture, neither a fake smile, everything you saw was a person curious about what you were doing, trying to figure out in their heads who were you or where did you come from.
Money, makeup, an expensive hear cut, cloth from a boutique… How many of those things do you think you need to look beautiful? NONE! Something original, you own style, no matter what the biggest brands in the fashion industry said would be cool to wear this spring or what everyone else is doing to his hair, be confident that if you feel comfortable with yourself you are wearing the right thing. That and one big smile in your face is all you need to look beautiful.
Be original, be curious, be confident and smile, put a big smile on your face every morning and wear it everywhere, it really does fit with everything. That is what I learned from the people of the Philippines.
“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”