My trip to the Philippines is unforgettable and not because it’s very beautiful, fun and scenic, but also because of the tragic event of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; yes, I was in the Philippines in March 2011. I remember it quite clearly probably because of the even;, on top of the excitement of being in the Philippines for the first time.
I was studying in Singapore for a semester that started in January 2011 and my flat mates and I became close so we started to plan a vacation together for reading week / spring break. I brought up the idea of Japan because that would be freaking amazing; was always a dream (funny that I’m writing this post in Japan now, yay one dream completed). After some initial research, we all agreed that it was out of our budget at the time so we brainstormed and came up with the Philippines. After researching the cheapest route and accommodation, we booked it; fly from Singapore to Manila and Manila to Boracay (the airport outside). 2/4 of us had to go home early so the other 2 decided to check out El Nido in another part of the Philippines too. We had a layover at Manila so we booked a hotel for that night and partied; luckily we made it to the airport the next morning.
One thing you should know about the Philippine airports is that you have to pay taxes/fees at the airport rather than it being included in the ticket; at least that’s how it was in 2011 for budget flights. Once it was time to board, we all got up and went to the gate. We had to board a shuttle bus that brought us out further outside of the airport to a secluded area where a tiny plane that sat less than 50 people waited. If you’ve ever been to Asia, then you already know how they have smaller versions of things compared to America; for example, construction equipment, transport trucks, etc. Think of this plane as an Asian plane in that regard and you’ll get the idea, unfortunately I do not have a photo. Surprisingly the flight wasn’t bad, of course you felt a bit more turbulence but it wasn’t worth much of a concern, for me at least some others may disagree. This is where it gets interesting though.
Everyone has to take a boat a short distance away from the airport to the Boracay island so naturally we did. On the boat, we were instructed to put life vests on and the radio was turned on to a news station reporting a possible tsunami. My Spaniard flat mate started to freak out, and initially I was too but more so just shocked by the news. But once you took a look at the locals on the boat, they were calm with no care in the world; this calmed me down because of course they know best! This did not happen for my friend, he could not take it and this lasted till the next afternoon when the warning dissipated. It was just too surprising though, we just got off a plane to get on a boat to get to an island only to have a tsunami alert…
ATV ride in Boracay
Again I must apologize for the date stamps, they are so annoying; I can’t believe I liked them at some point. I will simply blame my parents for getting into it! Or maybe I was already at the age where I can’t blame anything on them anymore 😦
Regardless, hope you enjoyed this week’s throwback! Please follow/subscribe and like/comment!