Thursday, April 22, 2010

Philippines 2- Malapascua

   We loved the Philippines so much that we decided to go back right away. We booked our tickets for the weekend, and then the next day I ended up with the worst food poisoning of my entire life (right on top of an awful hangover). I missed atleast three days of work. I left my bathroom one time to crawl to the doctor and then straight back in. I probably lost 15 pounds in 5 days.

   But that wasn't going to stop me from going back to the Philippines. I was feeling quite a bit better, but nowhere near good. I thought I was going to die the whole flight. I had to sprint across the airport to the bathroom after we landed. I was smart enough to bring a roll of toilet paper with me, which i'm fully convinced saved my life. Lesson number one that I learned from international travel: Never under estimate the value of toilet paper.

  We took an incredibly rough and bumpy bus ride for about 6 hours from Cebu to the boat launch for Malapascua. The drive was absolutely beautiful. And it seemed excessively dangerous. Huge bay windows as big as the side of the bus were open, anyone could have fallen right out of the window at any time. This coupled with an aspiring F1 driver and the remnants of food poisoning, combined with a lack of air conditioning, and a fresh mixture of wildlife (chickens mostly), made for one of the most interesting experiences of my life. It was stunning and lively, and even though I felt like death for every second, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

   And then we got there. I almost fell into the ocean as we boarded the outrigger boat, my sense of balance lost somewhere on the side of the road. After about 20 minutes, we were standing on a post card. Perfection in every direction. We found a place to stay that was about five feet from the water. Three of us split the room for 30 dollars a night total. We pulled the bed onto the patio and slept under the stars. When the sun came up in the morning, we would drag it back inside and lazily fall back to sleep. Amazing seafood was within 1000 feet of our room at all times. I think one of us fell in love, but I can't remember. I know for sure that this is where I fell in love with mango.

  One night we found a hippie circle on the beach. The stars were countless and we spent hours singing songs, playing guitar, talking to pretty girls, and drinking on the beach. The heat of the day was brutal, but the night air was perfect.

   Death and destruction fill the news with gloom. But if you look deep, there are happy people that enjoy life everywhere you go.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Philippines; San Fernando

   Some places grab you from the first second and never let go. The Philippines is a very special part of my life, and has been from the second I landed. And despite suffering large lacerations on my foot due to late night beach strolls mixed with jagged rocks, and having potentially the most hectic car ride of my entire life, it was enough to make me go back three other times. Best road trip ever. I fully intend to retire in the Philippines and live a simple, beautiful life in my later years.