From all my Asian travels, people in the Philippines are the most friendly, welcoming, kind and respectful people I have met. They love to sing, to dance and to have fun all the time! During my years in Qatar, I have worked with a lot of them and I can say that the majority of them are happy people. The Philippines consists of around 7000 islands which are categorised from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. If you love sandy beaches and clear water this is the country for you. Moreover, compared to European standards and prices, Philippines is an affordable place to include on your travels. One of my ex-colleagues and lovely friend – Ginyl – invited me to her town of Iligan city, so I did not miss the opportunity and I visit this beautiful country.
We travelled through Cebu area, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan city, Initao, Camiguin Island and White Island which is nearby the Camiguin.
Philippines Cebu, Iligan
My friend picks me up from the Cebu airport. W head to Be resort which is around 1 hour away. The airport is modern, clean and easily accessible. We arrive at the resort which has a beach on the front, a dreamy infinity swimming pool, friendly staff, amazing views and clean rooms.
We unpack our things and we head to the Ayala mall for dinner. It’s a very big mall with green, nice shops and restaurants. It is different from the typical malls as the restaurants and the cafes have sitting areas on balconies viewing the small gardens. You can have a look of the Mall here: Ayala Mall Cebu
Returning back to the hotel, just rooming around for some photos and lazy time.
The next day we have breakfast on the open area balcony with a lot of fruits, bread, cakes and drinks. The majority of the tourists are Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.
Next, it’s relaxation time by the pool and the beach. The surroundings, (especially the infinity swimming pool) are really impressive. The pool has a great view to the beach area and its surroundings.
Cagayan de Oro
On the late afternoon, we fly to Cagayan de Oro where we take a bus ride to Iligan city. The journey is through a green scenery, small cute houses and street grilled food restaurants which makes my stomach rumbling from the cravings. I ask my friend whether we will try these delicacies and to my disappointment, she answers negatively “Your stomach is not used to this kind of street food, you will end up to the hospital”. So it’s better to avoid it as it smells heavenly delicious though!
We arrive at my friend’s city, where the air smells humidity, burned wood, grilled food and flowers. They are friendly people and the city aura really makes me happy. We settle down on my friend’s house where her family welcomes me with big smiles and kisses. The next days we room around the city, meet lots of relatives and friends, lots of food, local beers (I really love the San Miguel beer!), really cheap massages – and fun and more fun! The most impressive of all of these are the people who are always smiling, singing and are curious about a foreigner on their small city.
We spent a picnic day on Initao city (1 hour away from the Iligan city). The city has its own park which is a very big place with an entrance fee. The city has a picturesque beach in which we used our sea masks for snorkelling. On the way back we ride on an Auto rickshaw which is a common form of urban transport, in many countries around the world, especially those with tropical climates.
One thing that I did not like much about this beach is the big amount of seaweed. It makes me a little bit uncomfortable and scared….
Our next destination is Camiguin Island, my favourite of all the places I visited in the Philippines. You can find my story here: Philippines (Part 2) – Camiguin Island.