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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
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We just got back from a 3-week vacation in the Philippines. Here's a brief report. As I am married there's not much information about the girl or p4p situation but IMO you can find a nice (or not so nice) girl anywhere in the Philippines. Therefore the place is the thing.
Cebu City: Spent our first day there. That day was mostly spent learning first hand about the Philippines health care system http://www.marriedafilipina.com/2015/04 ... ilippines/
I've been to Cebu City many times before and there have been many other trip reports about it. It's not bad for an overcrowded, polluted, city and has a decent airport, but nowadays that's all I am interested in - arrive at the airport and get out of Cebu City.
Camiguin: Flew from Cebu City to Camiguin; about a 1/2 hour flight. The island is small, lightly populated and beautiful. It's an island of 7 volcanoes (1 active). Hotels were inexpensive; I paid $40 something for a cottage that faced the famous White Island, a crescent-shaped sand bar. For 1000 pesos we got driven around the island for most of the 1st day. Spent a half day going to and from the previously mentioned white island - a must see but honestly after a couple hours you're done with it. Relaxed the rest of the 5 days we were there. A great place to relax. Certainly not a place for night life - any excitement is outdoors and in the water. Here's a video to give you an overview of the place. http://vimeo.com/110138549
Boracay: Spent 5 days and 4 nights. I had spent a week before in Bora. It is a place you can eat, drink, party, or most anything else you can think of. I am told that p4p is plentiful. The downside is that it is a tourist trap and you are surrounded by more foreigners than Filipinos. The positives: All you can eat buffet dinners with entertainment are on the beach every night for $10 or less. Drinks are 2 for the price of 1. I'd barely make it home nightly. Massage places are everywhere, on the beach or in a spa; 350-500 pesos. Water activities include island hopping, snorkeling, scuba, parasailing, jetskiing. There's more to do than time or energy to do it! That being said, after 5 days I was happy to leave. It's fun but can get old after a while. My stomach and liver could never stand living there.
Moalboal: A small town on the west coast of Cebu, it's well known for diving/snorkeling and it's expat community. We spent just two days in a cottage right by the sea. I think it was the most peaceful place I have ever been to. Steps just behind our cottage led directly into the ocean, the water was very clear and calm and there were very few people in that part of the ocean. As far as the eye could see I would see maybe a handful of people. Nice snorkeling and swimming and the view was spectacular. Filipinos would every morning swim out with a homemade spear and snag fish for their family. Fun to watch. Definitely a place I would like to check out again.
Southern Cebu: Took the Trans Cebu highway to cross the island from Moalboal to the somewhat more populated southeastern coast of Cebu. Spent time in Argao, Dalaguete, Oslob, and my wife's hometown, Alcoy. They are all nice towns. Alcoy is sleepy; Dalaguete and Argao a bit busier with more stores and restaurants. Oslob is the largest, though none are large. Al the towns line the coast and have nice beaches; Alcoy's is arguably the nicest beach and best known for snorkeling/diving; Oslob is known for it's whale sharks. I intended to swim with the whale sharks but didn't happen this time. This area is provincial though there is a modest expat community (lots of Germans, Dutch, some Americans). It's beautiful, nice people and is definitely what you might call the provinces, without being too far away from civilization. About 3 hours to Cebu City and 2 hours to get to Dumaguete if you want to cross into Negros.
All in all a great trip - we were not ready to return to the US.
Check out my blog @ http://www.marriedafilipina.com
Nice report. I've seen photos of Camiguin and it sure does look stunning. I'm going to try and hit it up on my next trip. Boracay looks awesome but I somehow do not have the will power to get myself there. Something I dislike about tourists I guess. I think I'm heading back to Philippines sometime in late July or August. Have you been to or heard about Mt. Pulag? As an avid hiker and outdoorsman, this is my number 1 destination I want to get to but I've heard little about it. Here are some pics from google
If you go to Alona Beach in Bohol (actually Panglao Island) it is often compared to as a mini-Boracay. White beach, tourists, island hopping, etc. but less so. I enjoyed both Boracay and Alona but as you say you have to recognize them for what they are.
Check out my blog @ http://www.marriedafilipina.com