While travelling in Asia at some point I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and needed to make a decision on where to go! I decided to go backpacking in the Philippines!!
I still had 2 weeks to go before I needed to be at Tioman Island to do some volunteering. 2 weeks…for some that is a whole vacation! So when I realised that I started to look on the internet for ideas. I did thought about The Philippines before going on this 3 months trip but didn’t make the choice yet.. It was that or Sumatra.. At this point in travel you can go anywhere and the world is free to roam!
That is the advantage of backpacking!
What a wonderful feeling!
Backpacking in The Philippines
Backpacking gives you so much freedom and so that evening I decided to book a ticket with Air Asia to Cebu on the island of Cebu – The Philippines. The next thing I know new plans were a fact, I was on to new adventures!! Going to the Philippines for the first time!!
Cebu is one of the many islands of The Philippines and lot of people know it also because of the tyfoon Haiyan that ruined a lot in 2013.
So that same night I went down to the reception of my hotel in KL near China Town (The 5th Element) to arrange my early check out and a taxi to the airport the next morning 🙂 When you go backpacking everything is possible!!
2 weeks backpacking in the Philippines
The island of Cebu – The Philippines
On Cebu, Philippines, I wanted to go to a great place near the beach to relax and take some dives. From Cebu I immediatly took a taxi to go to Malapascua. Well… I wanted too… It was already in the afternoon and it was a couple of hours driving and I just didn’t make the last boat to the island. I got stuck just before in a small place. My taxidriver knew a small and cheap guesthouse where I stayed for the night.
On my way to this place I saw a lot of the devistation of the tyfoon Haiyan… Known in The Philippines as Yolande by the way.
Malapascua – The Philippines
The next day I was on the first, local boat to the island of Malapascua – The Philippines. The water was just the best I have ever seen!! That bright bleu color is amazing!!
I loved my decision to go to The Philippines already!
The Bright Bleu Water of Malapascua – The Philippines
I found this great resort near the beach, with a swimmingpool and a great big room to myself, and I booked it for 4 days!! I loved it! Already traveling for over 1.5 month by now and this was only the second hotel with a swimmingpool to relax and enjoy my time and being on my second long travel!!
I was at Malapascua Legend Resort. It was the last resort in the row of resort when you come to the island with the local boat. Everything passed this place needed to be rebuild still…. Leftovers from tyfoon Haiyan. The whole day through I heard the noises of people building, they were really busy with that. When I went for a walk I did see a lot of the desastrous result of the tyfoon
I did some great dives and also a lot of relaxing near the swimmingpool and at the beach.
Sometimes a girl needs that too!!
Diving – Relaxing – Backpacking in the Philippines
Daytrip on the island of Bohol – The Philippines
After these relaxing days I went to the city of Ceby. From there I went for a daytrip to the island of Bohol. It is around 2 hours by boat and you can go see the highlights of the island in a day
. I saw the famous Chocolate Hills, a forest made by men, the Tarsier monkey, butterfly farm and I lunched on a great river where I ziplined over just before!!
That gave me a great feeling!!
Back to the coastof Cebu
Moalboal – The Philippines
The next day I went to Moalboal by local bus. Arriving there I took a tricycle and asked him to take me to Panagsama Beach. He told me to go to another place, which would be cheaper also. I found Quo Vadis Beach Resort there and I settled for a couple of days. I did some diving here too and saw the Thresher Shark and experienced swimming in a school of sardines!!
Osmena Peak – Active trip
I wanted to get a workout so I decided to book a hiking trip. I book the trip hiking to the top of Osmena Peak
. It was a great hike and at the hottest time of the day it was quit a challenge!
Hiking – Diving – Backpacking in the Philippines
I also went to Kawasan Falls to hike a bit. On the way back we got a flat tyre with the tricycle 🙂 Great to see how quickly they fix things, there are all kinds of stalls on the side of the road that will fix the tyre. It took maybe a half an hour to fix it, the oldfashion way!! With rubber and fire!!
Visit the capital Manila – The Philippines
I bought a ticket from Malaysia to Cebu, back via Manila to KL again. So At one point I had to go to Manila. I stayed too long on the island and I needed to rebook the ticket if I wanted to go to the riceterraces of Banaue. I immediatly did that when I came to Manila, happy to hear it was no problem for a small extra fee. After checking in at a hostel I spend the afternoon in the old centre of Manila.
I did see a lot of poverty during my travels but the kind I saw here on the streets made me really sad. I saw whole families really lived on the street, onder carton boxes. It really shocked me to see the toys of the kids and all the things the family owned in sight… It was not just one family but multiple..
The Intramuros part of the city is really nice but I couldn’t concentrate on that anymore and was really destracted and sad.
Visiting the Ancient Old Rice Terraces
Banaue / Hapao
I booked a ticket for the next day to Banaue and would spend 2 days up there. It was the nightbus that I booked and I hoped on getting some sleep. The next morning I booked the first guesthouse I walked into…and it was also the one I saw in the flyers. People’s Logde, I paid the huge amount of 4 euro for a night in a private room. I had a bed, no window and one plug to charged my stuff. Enough to be happy during the day.
The view this hotel gives you is one of the best in the area!! I had breakfast at the balcony and felt so happy to be there!! All the trips were booked from here it seemed, it was busy with lots of tourists that came from all sides.
Hiking on the Ancient old Riceterraces- Banaue
Backpacking in the Philippines
Soon I booked a daytrip to the riceterraces. A great hike with at the end swimming at the beautiful waterfall near the rice terraces. I placed my bag in my room and made sure to get the trip! We had a great divers group with people from France till Colombia and from 18 years old to the oldest being 67!! For me the highlight of this day was the walking on the riceterraces, that gave me such a great feeling!!
Walking in places where the locals are working and walking already for hundreds of years!!
The next day I booked a trip to another place in the area, Hapao. I went with a Canadian that was with the group of the previous day. We went by tricycle and had lots of fun!! The road is not always as good was we expect it and we liked it even more because of that!! They are really building hard to make it better for all the tourists that come around but for now (2014) it was an adventure!!
Also Backpacking in the rich Makati City
2 Weeks in The Philippines
When this great trip was over I went back by nightbus to Manila. I was so surprised to have WiFi on board of the bus!! I went to Makati City, I didn’t feel like going back to that first part of town… This part is rich and totally different. Even that much different that the poor people are banned… There was armed security at the beginning of this area… Because we were tourists and had an adres to go to we were allowed. I had a great hotel and spend a whole day … shopping!!
After this is was time to go back to KL and get that bus to Mersing. I needed to get the boat to Tioman Island where I would go volunteer at the Juara Turtle Project. I loved my time in The Philippines and would love to come back one day!
Lots of great nature, culture and beaches 🙂
The more you travel the longer the list will grow 🙂
Want to see some other trips?
10 Days in Sri Lanka
Trekking by Horse – Kyrgyzstan
First 200K of my Camino Frances
Highlights of my journey through Myanmar
Or can I inspire you to go climb the Lion Rock in Sri Lanka?
Sigiriya, climbing Lion Rock + Temples at Dambulla – Sri Lanka
I hope you love this world as much as I do!!
Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!