Monday, 30 May 2016

An unexpected adventure in the Philippines

My trip to the Philippines was a rushed and unplanned one. It was only a week before the trip when I got informed of the available block leave. I knew how precious this 7 day opportunity was, for the fact that I will be undergoing a 9 month long training at Officer cadet school. And so I made yet another rash decision to leave the country. Why the Philippines you ask? Because of the incredible diving spots that I heard about from fellow divers and travellers. However the plans that I had for my trip were changed and rescheduled even before i arrived. 

Brother and sister giving a cheeky grin

A young boy giving me his "handsome" pose

I touched down in Manila, the capital of Philippines only to realise that my transfer flight out to Legazpi had been cancelled due to a blackout in the Airport. Rather than waiting around for the power to stabilise, I made an impromptu decision to settle down and explore Manila for the day; I hopped onto a local Jeepney and my ride around the city allowed me to see the different sights of Manila. I must say that it was a pretty productive day because I did all of this, while using my phone to rebook my flight.
A local Jeepney

Walls of Intramuros

Rizal Park 

Fast forward hours worth of flight and bus transfers; I eventually found myself sitting by the beach in Donsol. With a bottle of Corona in my hand, I observed a lone fisherman boat out into the sunset. Time seemed to unknowingly fly by and before I knew it hours had passed. The subtle colour change of the ocean caused by the last orange rays of twilight seemed to possess a sanative quality in that feeling.

The Fisherman preparing to leave shore

Setting up his netting

Reeling in the net during sunset

Imagine walking straight into a tropical paradise, that's how I felt when I reached the underground river. Clear emerald green waters coupled with rustic sun rays streaming through the dense vegetation. Swimming through it felt as though I was floating through time; an indescribable feeling. To top it off, there were only 4 of us there, making it so much more peaceful. 

The underground river

Group Selfie

Solo Selfie

By midweek I had planned to start diving but unfortunately an accident took place and it required immediate stitches. This meant that I had to cancel my plans once again. At that point of time I should've felt angry but on contrary after receiving help from both friends and strangers I was surprisingly filled with positivity. Days after the accident were rather slow paced, on one of the days I explored and strolled up and down the quitinday hills. The beautiful sights together with the windy breeze brushing against my face really made my day.

Steps up the hill
Multiple hills

Aerial view of the Quitinday hills

Towards the end of my trip I decided to attempt a hike up the Mayon volcano. Similar to the last time when I was in Australia, I didn't want my injury to limit the things I could do. So i did it. The hike was tough and the porters weren't exactly the friendliest people but when i finally reached the lava point all of that seemed to fade away. 

Beginning the trek up

Dried up lava molten

On the edge

This trip has taught me that travelling anywhere or indeed even getting out of bed is never without its risks and discomforts. Sometimes things might not go your way but it's most certainly not an excuse to complain and give up. Philippines, you have not seen the last of me, I'll be back for you. Here's to the next adventure.  

Been to Legazpi before? Let me know about it below! 

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