Earlier this year, we embarked on a brand-new journey to the Philippines. It was one of my absolute favorite trips so far and I can’t wait to return in 2016! To get you as excited as I am, here are my top 10 favorite experiences from the Philippines:
- Every single thing about Sibuyan Island. From the greeting as we stepped off the ship, to the experience in the rice fields—including planting rice and riding water buffalo!—this island was the epitome of our Philippines expedition.
- Local transportation. Moving around via Jeepneys (old US military jeeps leftover from World War II) was great; extremely colorful and crowded, it was a very authentic way to see how the locals get around on a daily basis.
- The dances. At virtually every port, we could expect to see the locals milling around, dancing for us in greeting, each island with different, unique costumes and music.
- The food. We were treated to local delicacies every place we went—whole roasted pig, coconut, tamarind and rice cakes, and tons of local fruit.
- Meeting the fishermen in Ticao. After cruising via Zodiac into this small hamlet, we saw several fishermen preparing for their day. Not only did we get to observe their daily routine, some of us even got our hands dirty, helping them pull the small fish from their nets after a morning out.
- Visiting the schools. On several islands we got to visit local schools, and each time we were serenaded by singing and dancing. Pamilacan Island was particularly special; once their dance was complete, the children gave a handwritten card to each of us from the ship, thanking us for visiting!
- The festival on Limasawa Island. Usually only performed once a year at Easter, the locals performed their theatrical reenactment of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines; the costumes and dancing were incredible.
- The snorkeling. Throughout the entire expedition, we got to see countless fish, stunning reefs, and even whale sharks!
- The constant marching bands. It felt as though wherever we went, marching bands followed us. Little kids holding big tubas never got old!
- My 45 new Facebook friends! The enthusiasm of the entire country was on display and it’s something I’ll never forget; fortunately, I have 45 new friends on Facebook that I met during the expedition! I’m so happy to have a constant souvenir from this incredible country; it truly is more fun in the Philippines!
For more information, visit our Journey through the Philippines with Palawan & Tubbataha trip page.