Philippines - Actually..., like that!
Trip Start May 04, 2010
21Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Homestays, hostels, "room for rent"
What I did
More than I ever could have imagined
Eight months on from "Salsa through the Kimberley" with Noam we met again in what could be as far away from remote Western Australia as possible – dirty, overpopulated, chaotic Manila!
Although we’d been discussing the prospect of meeting up again on and off over the whole time we were apart, it was a rather awkward reunion. Both not really sure what “we” were and in a bit of shock about what had actually eventuated! For me, I had given up my grand plan of stewardessing on a private yacht before venturing on through South America to backpack through the Philippines with a guy I barely knew! Very un-Amy like – but that is what felt so good about the decision
And while I ended up not only heartbroken (as per my parents prediction – of course!), but also broke and abandoned back in Perth where I wasn’t ready to be, I can say now at the other end that it was worth it!
In agreeing to the Philippines as a meeting destination, I didn’t know much about the country. I was going in blind with Noam as my guide. Having travelled extensively through there for 4 months previously, he knew what he was doing! I certainly may have been blind going in, but boy did it open my eyes! A place still untouched by the tourism machine where you may not see another “white” person for days; the pollution and apparent social chaos of the cities, yet the raw beauty of the country; the poverty and overpopulation wherever you went, yet the incredible genuineness of the people who can’t do enough to help you to be nice rather than for a tip! It was a humbling experience that put a lot of things in perspective – especially my appreciation for a hot shower!
So what did we do in the Philippines for 2 whole months you ask?
Kitesurfing, salsa, karaoke, cockfighting, trekking up a live volcano, camping, cooking lessons, riding water buffalo, shopping at local markets, overnight ferry rides, crammed jeepney rides, crammed bus rides, couchsurfing, homestays, beach hoping, volleyball, chess, the most phenomenal diving, pool, late night music sessions in the darkness of Apo Island where the 3 hour supply of power shuts off at 9:30pm, Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival, twilight yacht cruises, gambling with mountain police, bathing in hot springs, tending to rice paddies, waiting for landslides to be cleared before passing on overloaded jeepneys, rockclimbing, mountain climbing, get up close and personal with real mummies....
There are so many stories I could tell about that trip. It’s hard to explain that it was, “actually, like that.” There is one very special person however who will be laughing at this "for sure...maybe" ;-)
I feel so lucky to have shared this experience with you Noam. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart again.