Sunday morning of our fifth day in the Philippines but it feels like our tenth, in a good way!
The Philippines are relatively untouched, beautifully rural and authentic. The locals are excited to see us pass their huts in a tricycle, giggly when we wave and are even more ecstatic when we yell HELLO to them. They are helpful, kind and so willing to go out of their way to ensure your stay in their village is a pleasant one.
Our first couple days have been jammed packed from the moment we met up with Dan & Kelly. Unfortunately, they are jammed packed because these islands are actually so much bigger than we anticipated and getting around via trike, bus or ferry is much longer than we originally thought. What we are quickly realizing, which also doesn’t help, is that there is a definite difference of Filipino time and real time. But hey, does it really matter how long it takes to get around when the views from our transportation are absolutely breathtaking and remarkable?!
Dan & Kelly arrived in Alegria at 9am and we met with our guide for the Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls for 1500pesos each ($37CA). We were off to an already adventurous start when our guide wanted to fit himself, Carter and I on one small motorbike and the second guide, Dan and Kelly on the other.
Cayoneering was absolutely amazing. Yes, it was touristy. Yes, there were hoards of people all wearing life vests and helmets. Yes, it was completely worth every peso!
Fortunately because we didn’t stay in the “touristy” area of Moalboal where all the tours start from, we were able to go on a private tour with just us four and our two some-what responsible guides. We walked down a step rocky trail for 15 minutes, easily working up a sweat in the 30degree weather, so when we got to our first jump into the blue canyon water below there were no hesitations (okay, fine, maybe slightly by me...and Kel). There were 7 jumps (from 5-17metres), 2 slides, 4 waterfalls and no injuries! We leaped off cliffs and waterfalls plummeting into the blue flowing river that sits at the bottom of the huge canyon walls, it was like out of the movie avatar! The cliff walls were like mountains, and in the cavernous parts of the canyon there were 20 ft long stalactites hanging above. We kept discussing how the whole place looked man made aka unbelievable sights.
Sliding off a waterfall backwards!
Taking a 8 meter leap!
After the four-hour Canyoneering expedition, we made our way to Oslob for our next adventure.
When we got to Oslob we (and our stomachs) were pleastantly surprised to find an ACTUAL restaurant - patio, seating, menus! By this point, Carter and I have survived off of $0.45 noodles in a cup, the bake shops, and one egg breakfast our hostel made us.
We ended up staying at a newly built homestead, Anglers Hub, outside of the main village-center. This is where we met our first Filipino friend, Ken, who was so sweet and helpful.
Not only did we have Dan & Kelly visit us here but throughout the night we were woken up by some unexpected visitors. A lizard in our room (completely normal in the Philippines... I think), a crab knocking at our door (again, not unheard of) and the roosters starting to cockadoodle at 3am, the dogs barking at 4am and the fisherman banter at 5am.
At 6am we were on the beach, hopping into a fishermen boat to go swimming with the whale sharks! As we were being paddled deeper, you could see the fins of these sharks and bubbles in the water from where they were eating *insert Kelly sweating from anxiety*.
We slid into the water with the sharks. Slid, because making waves and splashing around disturbing the sharks could get you jail time... that, or wearing sunscreen in the water with them. Gangster stuff right there, doing some hard time for SPF.
This was the most amazing experience! There must have been 20 whale sharks swimming in such close proximity to us. So close, that one swam right underneath all four of us and it’s fin skidded across all of our stomachs *insert Kelly’s anxiety, again*
There were sharks ranging from 5m to over 20m long, just massive, beautiful, dosile sea monsters!
After 30 minutes in the water with our new “friends”, we said our goodbyes and made our way to the witchcraft island of Siquijor.
We’ll be exploring waterfalls and the magical island of Siquijor, until next time friends!
Carter Bender & Brittany Wilson left Toronto, Canada to travel the world. Where will they be next? Follow their #cbwtravels blog to find out!