This was my fourth trip to the Philippines but the first time that I have been there over Christmas and New Year.
I was able to celebrate with my relatives, whom I sadly don’t see that often since flying there is pretty expensive.
Best of all, the weather is 20-25° compared to cold and grey Vienna and I definitely won’t be visiting again in summer when it is so hot and humid.
How to get there: We always took different airlines while going to the Philippines and I enjoyed Singapore Airline and Korean Airline the most, due to their service and food ;)
What to see:
We did not do a lot of sight-seeing in Manila since we did that many years ago but we went to Tanay, to visit a friend and Boracay.
Tanay is just about 2 hours away by car and has lovely red volcanic earth.
Boracay is about 1 hours per plane from Manila but you need to take a boat to the island.
We have been to the island 6 years ago and so much has changed! We did not like it that much because there were so many tourists and a lot of hotels were being built. Also while helmet diving I noticed a lot of dead corals which is not only bad for sea life but also for the tourism which is not sustainable.
Boracay has a super long beach and we discovered behind some rocks a beach which was empty from people and brimming with small cute crabs.
The weather was not the best and it was raining for the most part. This is due to the climate change since in December it normally was always typhoon free season.
I am so fascinated with the different layers of rocks. I wonder what information they are displaying.
Can you spot the crab? ;)
We made friends with a kitten which seemed to belong to our hotel. It was so tiny and cute!
What to eat and drink:
What I miss most about Asia is the wide variety of fresh “exotic” fruits and the fresh seafood. I have a love for buko pie as well which is coconut pie made with the meat of fresh and young coconuts.
No Filipino party would be complete without lechon, a roast pig. Everyone loves the crispy skin but I am more after the super soft meat.
On Boracay I discovered a cute little restaurant called “the sunny side cafe” and I ate there every single day for breakfast. So yummy! And if you order their pancakes they are so huge, you can’t possible eat them by yourself!
we also went to the wet market on the island which really fascinated me as you can see from the picture spam ;)
This was our lunch!
Seafood is generally enjoyed with vinegar and kalamansi in the Philippines :)
Traffic is a serious problem here and generally the way how people drive is quite intimidating.
The Philippines is not a super safe country, so take care of your belongings and avoid visiting the south of the Philippines, many tourists or foreigners are abducted there because of the conflict between the Christian government and Muslim rebels. The Philippines is the most catholic country in Asia and most of the muslim population is located in the south due to it being near to Malaysia and Brunei.
What I loved:
– Elza, the dog of my aunt is the cutest puppy and I am very sad for not having her around
– fresh mangos, coconuts etc.
– meeting with my relatives
– getting massaged and groomed for a fraction of the price I would pay in Vienna
– you can eat outside without being bothered by wasps (but beware of mosquito’s!)
What I did not like:
– air-cons are on everywhere and it gets super cold, especially in malls so bring a jacket!
– environmental pollution
– chaos on the airport on Boracay
What to pack:
The Philippines have the same volts as the US so you need to bring an adapter if you are from Europe.
Even if it is hot, you should always bring a scarf or a light jacket to cover yourself from the cold winds of air-cons.