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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 125 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

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Showing posts with label PHILIPPINES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PHILIPPINES. Show all posts


 January 26th to April 9th

This trip started with an 8 night stay in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. My flight on January 31st to Manila originated in Cancun per my plan. The flight was a nightmare with 6 hours to San Francisco and 4 hour  layover. Then a 13 hour flight to Seoul with MASK REQUIRED ON PLANE, Another 3 hour layover and 6 hour flight to Manila which arrived late causing me to miss the flight to Boracay. Bought another ticket and arrived on February 2nd at 3 pm.

(1) BORACAY: I will stay at nice hotel (Ferra Premier) for 6 nights and then fly to Palawan.

(2) EL NIDO, PALAWAN: I spent the 1st 4 nights at Frendz Hostel to take advantage of the backpacker vibe and swimming pool on the 6th floor with great views.

FLY TO VIETNAM on February 19th.


DANANG: Week on beach in Danang before Thailand. Highlight was Dragon Bridge spewing fire.

March: Fly to Phuket, Thailand for more beach time.

March 30, 2023. Fly to Tokyo, Japan for CHERRY BLOSSOMS 🌸 

PHILIPPINES, Boracay Beach


Boracay Beach is incredibly beautiful, especially with all the sailboats, but the water has lots of seaweed. The beach walk where all the hotels, restaurants and bars are located is really busy all the time. There are many different restaurants of all price ranges from $1 to $9 unlimited seafood buffet.  There are sooo many tourists here and most are Asian. Move today to Bonzai Resort for 15 days ($17 day) including private room with bath and air con. Only 30 seconds to beach.

PHILIPPINES, Bandaorn to Boracay Island


Caught the 7 am "pump" boat to Estancia for the 4 hr. ride with about 20 passengers and lots of cargo. Started out inside the boat but the fresh air and beautiful weather convinced me to climb on top. That was great for a few about 1.5 hrs until the rain and large waves started seriously rocking the boat. That is when the 4 hr. ride turned into a 6.5 hour ride. Arrived in Estancia around 1:45 pm and then caught a minivan to Roxas City, then another minivan to Kailbo, then another minivan to Leticlan, then a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay Island, then a 15 minute tricycle ride to Frendz Resort where I have a reservation in 2 WEEKS.

Since my plans checked so quickly and did not have internet, I was unable to make a reservation at Frendz, which is the cheapest and best backpacker establishment. He told me there were no rooms available but that he would have an opening in 2 days and then I would be set for a month. Down the street I go with my backpack and no idea where to look. Place after place was $40 to $60 and this was at the cheapest looking places. I finally went back to Blue Bayou, ironic, and took the $37 room with private bath, tv and fan and free breakfast. The fact that I had not eaten a real meal in 24 hrs. was adding to the problem. They only had a room for the night so will do this again on Monday.

If this had not happened many times before I would not be happy but part of the job.

PHILIPPINES, Walking back from Whale Shark adventure


While on the 45 minute walk from the Whale Shark Interaction Center, 6 teenagers on motorcycles stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. I told them I was just exercising when in reality I was saving $1 instead of using the moto tricycle. They asked me where I was from and when I said Louisiana, they started singing almost simultaneously, "When I was a little bitty baby my momma rocked me in the craddle, in those ole cotton fields back home. I was born in Lousiana, just a few miles from Texarkana..............................." I could not help but laugh. Then they said they had to go. They were on a journey to the center of the earth. It will take a few days to disseminate all this information and come to a conclusion. lol I have noticed in the mountain villages that the older people have a preference and it is almost constant, 1950's to 1980's Country Music.

My other favorite thing to do here is walk. Almost every child will say "Whats your name." Then they tell you theirs. I am guessing it is to practice their English, but they truly love Americans and will engage you in conversation whenever possible. After being asked my name, I asked a little girl her name and she said "Miley Cyrus". The Filipinos love to be inventive when picking out names. I heard of another whose name was Chivas Regal. At least in Donsol, the friendliest people I have ever met in the world.

PHILIPPINES, Donsol, Swimming with Whale Sharks


Hopeful that today's whale shark adventure is more successful than yesterday's manta ray bowl dives. Luckily we did see and swim with 2 enormous whale sharks which are in actuality fish.

We sat on the edge of the boat until the skipper and leader of our group said to jump in. They have a spotter on a flagstaff looking for large shadows in the water. It was a great experience but after second time I had enough. While the regulations say only 6 people per whale shark, when one is spotted EVERYONE goes in the water towards the shark. Sometimes 20-30 swimmers. Me babysitting. Lol



Went diving for the 1st time in 2 years to try and see the Manta Rays at the cleansing station in the Manta Bowl. This is a location where the current allows them to remove the parasites. (something like that) Unfortunately we had no luck seeing any Mantas but did get 3 more dives under my belt. May try again or wait for the ship wrecks on Caron. 

PHILIPPINES, Banaue, Hike Batad to Bataan and bus ride to Banaue


One of best hikes ever. Took Lonely Planets advice and did the hike from Batad to Bataan to catch the bus back to Banaue. Got lost in the beginning because the paths follow the retaining wall stones and it is hard to tell which is the path. After getting lost a few times and stepping INTO a rice paddy and getting one shoe muddy, I found the path. From there it was just 2.5 hrs. of spectacular rice paddies and terraces. When I made it to the road I saw a local bus coming and stopped it. I climbed inside and it was full so I had to stand. The bus takes about 1.5 hours to get to Banaue. After the first stop, I asked if I could climb on top with 5 other locals who were already up there. He said yes reluctantly. With my backpack on top and my feet hanging off the side off we went. I know this road can not be near as dangerous as the "Death Road" but many places we went it seemed almost exactly like it. At some spot there was just only an extra 6-12 inches of road for the wheels to make it and the drop off was at least 1500 ft. down. I was a bit terrified the first few times I looked between my feet and there was no road but a sheer drop off.
Then it became amusing and exciting and I had the best time. My back was turned from the front of the truck most of the time until the first limb almost knocked me off. Good thing I started paying attention because as we got to civilization, we had to duck over 50 electrical lines. Seriously, we had to lay down completely on a few occasions and twice the cable still touched my back. One of my best trips ever. Got back and cleaned up, bought bus ticket to Manila and leave at 7 pm for the 9 hr. ride.