1. They are extremely clean.
Let us play spot the garbage on the streets. Or the lack thereof.
It is worth nothing that while many people would think that Manila and Bohol is set in Philippines, thus being fairly run down and quite dirty but it's exactly the opposite. In fact, the toilets in the Philippines would put the public toilets in Malaysia to shame! They're not only spotless and dry, one of the public toilets we visited at Loboc before we got on the river cruise lunch was also air-conditioned. There was no stench whatsoever and they even had air fresheners spritz out fresh scents, bearing in mind it's just a toilet. So yes, hygiene seems to be numero uno in the Philippines!
2. It is quite safe in Manila.
Plain clothes policemen and watchdogs at every nook and cranny.
This applies to Manila as we we were never left alone in Bohol but having heard so many horror stories on being extra careful in Manila with thugs and snatch thieves, I felt no danger whatsoever. They had metal detectors and staffs checking through your bags when you enter several buildings but really it's all in the name of safety. In fact, it (again) puts the streets of Malaysia to shame as every street was well lit and there were people having their night exercises and spending quality time with friends at family at times like 9 PM, closing to 10 PM. What's up with you now, Malaysia?
3. There are taxes when you exit the airports.
And it doesn't matter how many luggage bags you have, just pay.
Disclaimer: These weren't really all mine! Just the black one on my right.
I initially had no idea about this but watching Ashman pay for our airport taxes made me realize that there actually is such a thing. I am not too sure about the amount but I am estimating a PHP 50 when you exit the Tagbilaran airport to return to Manila and a PHP 550 when you exit the Manila airport. This of course is just an estimate but I do advise on keeping some pesos in hand when you want to leave.
4. People in the Philippines are very cheerful.
Playing under a tap of running water? Boy, this is all the fun we need!
If there was anything that had caught my eye, it was that everyone in the Philippines is a cheerful person. They're always in smiles, always happy and constantly just in high spirits. In the words of Jacky, they are poor but they aren't broke and they are happy that way. It almost makes you rethink the decisions you make in life as a city person as we are constantly chasing after something big and never stopping to smell the roses. Perhaps it's time to step back to re-evaluate things now.
Now that I've wrapped up on most of everything there is about Bohol, I just thought of giving my thank yous away, because we all need to be grateful for all that we receive, right?
I took this, I just didn't get around to watermarking it. Too busy lately, I'm sorry.
Big thanks to Ashman from AirAsia who liaised with me from the beginning to the end soonest as Tania got the word out to him that I would be going on her behalf. Truth be told, I was half expecting a scary looking man who would bark at us through every stop but meeting him at the airport was such a pleasant experience. Bigger thank yous are extended to AirAsia for making this trip come to live what with the arrangement with people over in the Philippines, making it a memorable end to my seemingly dark 2014.
For information on how you could jet off to Manila and then to Tagbilaran, check out my wrap on the AirAsia flights I had in November over here.
BOHOL TOURISM OFFICE
A picture with Gov. Edgar Chatto.
What is shame?
It is with great pride for me to say that I once shook hands with the mayor of Bohol, Gov. Edgar Chatto and also took a picture with him alongside the press release of which he signed for me. Their arrangements over every matter while we were in Bohol is much appreciated and I couldn't have imagined better hospitality than the one we were offered. It actually made me feel like a VIP, something that I wouldn't be in another 20 or 30 years unless I marry a dignitary of some sort but really, thank you.
ANGELS' WINGS TOURS & TRAVEL
With Eric of Angels' Wings Tours & Travel
I usually don't quite like travel agencies because they seem to take you on for a ride with sky high prices then dump you around and rush you through everything as though they were herding cows. And those cows would be us. I don't like being a cow. With Angels' Wings however, it was different because they had assigned one of the friendliest, most energetic and extremely helpful tour guide to us - an extremely knowledgeable man named Erico Joseph (Of who we called Eric all along the way).
They had also covered most of our expenses throughout, what with the experience at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park and tarsier watching at the Tarsier Conservation Loboc. Everyone seemed to be friends with Eric and it was made so much more pleasant knowing that we were in safe hands. They are contactable via e-mail at email@example.com so if you're looking for tour guides in Bohol, I do highly recommend them.
THE FOLKS OF THE TRIP
Thank you all for everything.
From meeting at KLIA2 to jetting off and being on adventures together, thank you to each and every blogger and media people who were there for this trip. I've always been made to believe that a trip will only be enjoyable when you have the right sort of company and I am really glad this group of company has become such easy travelers. From the left to the right, bar the ladies in traditional clothes and the one holding the sign: Ashman, Jerome, yours truly, Kittie, Syahir, Ah Bok, Jacky, Illa and Tatie.
Last but not least... TANIA WEE
That's us in the middle, I don't have a picture of just the two of us.
This is the ultimatum in cheesiness between us but if Tania hadn't thought of me when she first found out she couldn't make it to the trip, I would never have gotten the opportunity to visit Manila (Albeit just for a night) and Bohol over the span of being close to a week. In fact, Philippines has never been a country on my list of to-go places so if it weren't for her contact, I would have never been there in the first place.
Accounts of my experiences are also available on her blog at Sugoidays right here. Do visit, I made her header! Tania writes about her personal travel experiences with places such as Bangkok, Japan and Australia all covered. She also does food and beauty reviews so it's a spot you should look out for with these information when you need them.
So that wraps my tag on Behold Philippines. I know it's been a lot to read about but Philippines has truly been an eye opener for a city girl like me, enough to fill me in on an entire year of adventures. It took me off a lot of things that had happened especially in the 3rd quarter of the year and it completed my year wonderfully.
Goodbyes aren't forever, it's just another way of saying, "I will see you soon".
I guess it's the silver lining I have always been looking for! Stoked to see if I would be traveling more but until then, I'll just continue stalking airline sites for cheap tickets.