Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cebu, Philippines part 1

The flight to Cebu was delayed. I spent almost the entire day waiting in the airport.

The hostel I chose to stay at was called Le Village Guesthouse. Of all the room options, room 2, the 8 person shared room, turned out to be the best. It was one of the few rooms with AC making it incredibly relaxing to sleep there. The other rooms only had fans and it really didn't help with the humidity and heat  all that much.

The people working there were quite nice. Most of them gay.  Flamboyantly so. One was a cross dresser. The staff all really enjoyed singing karaoke while working. They really set the fun mood that permeated the place.

I made some small talk with the other travelers but I ended spending most my time with this traveler named Gigi.

Gigi is an interesting girl. Although she seems quite upbeat, I sense a sadness within her that we avoided talking about. I think she's  doesn't have a home. Something happened to her and now it's been ten years since she's returned. In the interim, she's just been bouncing from country to country with all her belongings staying here and there for long durations of time. I wonder if she ever gets tired of not being able to stay in one place for long time. Probably a dumb question.

Later that night, two guys tried to rob me with knives. One went for Gigi while the other went for me. I tried to fight the one on me and amidst the process, fractured my finger. I distinctly remember a moment where I tried to throw a punch at the guys face and stopped as he raised his knife defensively to stab me. Ours eyes locked and I could see this wild intensity in him. Had it not been for the bystanders rushing over from all the noise, who knows how the night might have ended.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Makati, Philippines

In the morning I took the beginner scuba diving class with Sue.

Our instructors prepped us on diving fundamentals and safety before suiting us up and getting us into the water. Because it was a beginner class, they merely had us work on our breathing and underwater communication skills. Our legs and arms stayed prone while they controlled our depth and direction. It was pretty fun but I'm not sure if scuba diving is something I really enjoy. I don't hate it, but I don't know if I'll be interested in doing it again. The view underwater was pretty though.

Around 11am in the afternoon, I called for a bike and headed back towards Manila.

Rather than stay in Manila again however, I stayed in Makati instead, which is just a neighboring city. Makati definitely carries a different feel from metro Manila. Makati is cleaner, more upscale.

Beyond the nightlife however, I found the city quite boring.

That night, I Couchsurfed at Hannah's place. Hannah is a woman in her mid-thirties who has hosted a handful of surfers already. Quite knowledgeable about Makati and what there is to do in the city, Hannah is a great resource for ideas. I asked what she did for a living but she was a bit mysterious about it, self proclaiming to be an entrepreneur of sorts. I didn't inquire any further. Her place was nice.

We later met up with another traveler, Doris, and went out for dinner and drinks. Doris was a reporter who wrote for whoever paid. I didn't agree with a lot of the things she said but overall she was cool to hang out with.

The following morning I left for Cebu.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Asia Trip Picture/Video Update Status

I think I'll have to wait until I return back to the states to upload pictures because the internet here is quite slow. So keep an eye out in January for post edits

Mabini, Philippines

In the morning I decide to make an impromptu journey down south with Sue to Mabini and learn how to scuba dive.

To get there, we started by taking a two hour bus from the Makati Bus Station to the town of Patangas, which is almost the furthest south of Manila; then an one hour jeepney into Patangas town center, and then a half hour motorcycle ride to the beach resort, Planet Dive. In all, the journey probably took around 3-4 hours.

Planet Dive is an amazing destination if you wish to get away from all the noise and chaos present in a city. Right next to the ocean, Planet Dive's facilities not only are immaculate but blends naturally into its surroundings. Additionally, the staff here are not only friendly and easy to strike up a conversation.


Manila, Philippines part 2

The place I am staying at feels like a hostel with the amount of people staying here, but that is part of its charm. Most hosts tend to invite only 1-3 people a night with 1 being the average but with Christine and James, it seems 4-6 tends to be the norm.

In the morning I meet the Brazilian couple Beatriz and Wilthom. We chat for a bit, complain about the rain, and decide to travel together for the day.

Before setting out for the city however, I first visit the market down the street.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Manila, Philippines part 1

After a ten hour flight from SFO to Narita airport in Japan, a two hour layover, and finally a five hour flight south to the Philippines, I am finally here. Only to be greeted by rain.

Looks like the next few days will be quite rainy. Just my luck.

I'll have to adjust my plans to account for traffic and weather.

So far, I have already wasted money paying a premium for a taxi from the airport. I had a much cheaper alternative but didn't want to wait in line.
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