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The Philippines!

Within 9 hours of arriving in Singapore from India, I was back in the airport for a trip to the Philippines with Irfan, a friend I initially met on my flight to Singapore in January.

The Philippines is composed of over 7000 islands. I flew to Cebu City, an area located in the middle of the Philippines. With only 5 days in the Philippines, my friend and I ensured that we had a jammed packed itinerary to do as much as we could.

We were initially sketched out by Cebu, given that the area is a more local area and we found no tourists in the area where we were staying. On the way to the hotel, I saw many walls that were well painted. It was pretty cool to see that many of them emphasized the importance of education.

Promoting education through games

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The next day we headed on a ferry to Bohol, an island known for its beaches and activities to do. The first thing I noticed off the ferry was the interesting transportation:

Taxi Motorbikes - a covered carriage attached to a regular motorbike

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That afternoon we did a riverboat cruise and got to see these kids dance and play ukeleles.

Lunch Buffet on the Loboc River Cruise

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Bohol is particularly famous for its chocolate hills. These hills are a series of hills in the middle of the island that got their name because they turn brown during the dry season.

Chocolate Hills

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We also saw a tarzier (the world’s smallest monkey) and drove through a man-made forest.

Up close with a tarzier. I've got big eyes too.

Man Made Forest - created in the 60's

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On our third day, we decided to rent motor scooters and drive around the island and back into the city. Driving a motor scooter is relatively easy (I got the hang of it in 1 minute) as you just need to know how to ride a bicycle and maintain balance.

Ordering lunch on the beach before an afternoon of island biking

The motor-scooter I rode

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We caught in some interesting sights including the town along part of the ocean:

View of the town along the banks

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We got up at 5.30 AM the following morning and headed out to sea to go dolphin watching. I heard that dolphin watching can sometimes be a hit or miss thing where you can spend hours and often only see dolphins for a few seconds or minutes. As soon as the boat arrived to the dolphin watching spot, we found them swimming!

Sunrise on the beach at 6AM

Dolphins spotted!

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I also did snorkelling for the first time to see coral and some fish. Breathing solely through my mouth is much harder than I thought and I kept raising my head (and getting salt water in my mouth) above water to breathe. I guess it takes a while to get used to.

Fish and Coral!

Completely underwater! (not snorkelling here)

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New Food

I tried several things that looked quite ethnic to me. The first dish I had for breakfast:

Smorgasbord - don't think this meal was Swedish though...the bread was really sweet

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I also had a chicken dish (forgot the name) on the beach in Bohol. Apparently it is a traditional Philippino dish.

Philippines' specialty - rice with seasoned chicken

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My last meal in the Philippines was at Jollibee. I was pretty excited as I did a case study back home at Ivey on this company and its international expansion plans, problems and success.

Pancake breakfast at Jollibee

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Overall, it was an event packed trip including swimming in the ocean (yes, believe it or not I did swim and walked bare foot on the beach), and other fun activities that I have never done before. The Philippines is a great place for relaxing!

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Categories: Exchange
  1. Jen G
    May 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Looks like you’re having an incredible time traveling! Awesome pics!!

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