I See... Filipino's! :)

Hello again! Welcome on this monday coffee break! If ur not into working yet, here's a nice update from the far east to keep you dreaming 


The Philippines, the country of genuine friendly people and the never ending smile, of sunshine and pearl white beaches, and beautiful marine sanctuaries (although increasingly threatened by dynamite and cyanide fishing). But also the country of severe corruption practices, of bureaucracy, but foremost the country of fees. Seriously, haven't they ever heard of 'inclusive'? After paying all the necessary taxes they still charge you an airport terminal fee. Travelling by boat looks a little bit like follows: taking transport to the harbour, finding the right ferry company that offers the first following ferry service, stand in line for ticket, stand in another line for passenger fee, stand again in line three for terminal fee, stand in line to check if you paid all the necessary fees, X-ray your luggage, wait at your gate, shuttle picks you up to drive for 10 meters to drop you off at the ferry, stand in line for ticket and fee check, and then when you are finally standing on the boat, you still need to state your full name, nationality, age, and residence in Philippines: Welcome aboard!

As every where else in Asia here too is the fear of catching and spreading the Swineflu great. So as to challenge to the local authorities a little I always hope to get a serious cough, or a big fat sneeze while handing over my health declaration form. My timing is not always right, but this time I got it to work: right in the face a big fat sneeze, 'ah, Swineflu you know'. They can appreciate my sense of humor...

Anyhow, it was nice to back in the Philippines again. While disembarking the airplane I again met some Filipino's who were also travelling towards Manila and eventually exchanged numbers with one of them Euri so we could meet when I'm back in Manila again. The Filipino's are so amazingly friendly and truly helpful, no strings attached. That is such a welcoming surprise as mainland SE Asia has its reputation of always demanding the favor to be returned in money. Maybe it's a consequence of the Americans' presence in Philippines in the 20th century, coz the high poverty rate would surely encourage other kind of behavior. They are already honoured talking to a westerner and making new 'friends' as having caucasian friends is, weirdly enough, a status. Everyone has a family member abroad and loves talking about that family member how fortunate he/she was to meet a westerner. Unfortunately, me travelling by myself makes me an easy target for potential relationships. This is how many conversations start: 'Hi ma'am, how are you? Where u from?' and then either 'Do you have a boyfriend?' or 'Where is your husband?' 'ah, no boyfriend? Want Filipino boyfriend? It's very nice, I know someone who is single, very nice guy, etc.' After one day I suddenly 'discovered' that I have a boyfriend living in Amsterdam who's already working hence why I'm travelling by myself.

The main reason to fly back to the Phillies was to make a lot of dives. The country holds a reputation for being one of the most popular destinations when it comes to diving. So I first went to Palawan where I wanted to get my PADI Advanced. Sabang is just a laid back beach town so my first dive was at El Nido. The ride from Sabang to El Nido was again a very interesting experience: I sat on top of the bus enjoying the magnificent views and the ever shining sun. Here I also met the French couple with who I travelled with for about a week and with whom I got my Advanced. Eventually, we decided to get our Advanced in Busuanga Island which is famous for its WWII wrecks. So while wreckdiving I managed to get my new dive certificate, really cool! I also dove in a lake in which a thermocline exists that goes from 18 degrees to 36! As I'm always cold I truly enjoyed this dive!! After Busuanga Isle I flew to Dumaguette where I dove at Dauin (Macro diving) and Apo Island - a Marine Sanctuary although it is full of fish cages - and ended my holiday on Panglao Island where I made my last 2 dives at Balicasag Island. After Dauin this was my best dive for seeing any Marine life! In short, after three weeks I increased my dives from 4 up to 19!! Yes, I found myself a new hobby!

In these three weeks I also met a lot of Filipino's and learnd quite a bit about local issues. People really liked to make you part of the community and travelling by yourself in the Philippines (well, except for being 'harassed' for marriage arrangements) is definitely not a lonely experience! I think this in part can be explained by the language barrier which is of course non-existent: they all speak English. And even if they only speak a little English they are not afraid of making mistakes and thus still try to talk to you. I remember this one moment when I was walking back from a waterfall close to Dumaguette and a local boy started to walk with me. First, I was a little annoyed but he was so cute (he was 18 but looked 12!!!) and by walking next to me I noticed from the reactions of the locals that he was becoming the new cool guy in town and the funny thing is that his English got better the more attention he got from the locals. Eventually, he walked all the way down with me as to ensure that I would not get lost and had to walk the 45 minutes all the way back up! And of course no money charge, he enjoyed walking with me! Another example, because of this amazing attitude I got invited to a local town meeting about how to save the El Nido bay (they want to dredge the area which is a UNESCO protected marine park), got invited to a batch party of an Alumni Homecoming Weekend, hung out with Harold, the owner of Harold's Mansion in Dumaguette, etc. It was a really awesome experience and I can recommend the Philippines (and in particular the Visaya region) to everyone. I'm going to miss the typical Bangka boats (see the pics, I crossed the ocean from El Nido to Coron on one of those things! Crazy...) and the little airplanes they use to fly from one island to the other (seriously, people who are afraid of flying will LOVE these airplanes 

Tongue out

On the 28th of August I planned my flight back to KK and it was time to say goodbyes. It was nice to meet Euri in the end, but unfortunately I didn't have time to meet with Kent anymore. Rosanne, I had say Hi to you!


Low battery (have my own laptop, did I tell you guys that already??) so bye bye for now. Have a good working week!





he meis, even een dikke knuffel uit nederland!
Ben nog steeds jaloers!
Volgens mij zit Patrick volgdende week in hongkong, misschien kunnen jullie wat afspreken?


Hee lieverd!! Wat een geweldige reis heb je toch!
Love your stories and picca's! Zie je snel weer in ons koude kikkerlandje!? Dikke xx!

p.s. nog bedankt voor je leuke kaartje! xx Tamara


Hi lieve Suus,

Wat een verhalen... Zo jaloers! Thanx voor je lieve kaartje! :) Mis jou ook, maar bent alweer snel weer terug. Kijk al uit naar ons wederzien ;)



Hé Suus!

Goed bezig met de locals daar ;-) Het gaat je goed af zo te zien en je hebt leuke events bijgewoond..beter dan karoake bij een local ;-)
Heb je wel contact gehad met Kent dan? Had je hem gesmst? Nog een overnachting gehad in "the darkroom" van Manilla trouwens ;-)

Tot gauw! Je zit nu in Maleisië zeker? Heb je al meer duidelijkheid wanneer je in Brisbane aankomt?
Ik weet niet zeker of ik er tussenuit kan sneeken...maar kan waarschijnlijk wel in een weekend afspreken schat ik in.

Liefs Roos


Hey lieverd!

Dus nog meer duiken!! gaaf hoor. Hoop dat je een onderwater toestel hebt gevonden zodat we die ook kunnen bewonderen. Want die onderwater wereld zal ik helaas nooit meemaken met mijn oortjes.
Voorzichtig! niet alle locals vertrouwen he! En ik zie je gauw weer!!

Dikke kus Charlie


Hey suus!!
WAUW!! Wat een mooie duikverhalen! Echt leuk ook om te lezen hoe gezellig 't is met de fillipino's. Ik wilde je ook ngo even bedanken voor je lieve kaartje. Echt super!!! :)
Wanneer staat de vlucht naar Nederland gepland...? Heb zin je weer te zien!
X Marloes

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