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Philippine Odyssey 2011

I never thought I would be backpacking. Steve & I traveled to Costa Rica in 2009. We met this Canadian girl out on her own. I thought 'Hm, that's something I'll never do'...& now here I am. Before venturing out into the unknown, I thought I'd get my feet wet in the Philippines first. I'm thinking of starting and ending this whole adventure in the Philippines. Special thanks to my friends(SPLG) who 'pushed me off the cliff' and got me started by coming with me to Baguio. My family & I also spent a few days exploring Singapore. Not a bad way to kick off my rtw adventures.

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Highlights: El Nido & Sagada! Gorgeous scenery!
Cast of Characters: Traveled by myself but met a lot of cool people everywhere. Shout outs to Torsten (Sagada), Delia (Bontoc), Abner (Banaue), Marcos + Czech crew + California crew (El Nido), Alex + Eds + Odra (Coron)
Logistics/ Links: See places list on the left sidebar. As for how the traveling part worked out- I just bought a Lonely Planet Philippines book. There's gonna be some changes when you're on the road but it's easy enough to just ask around for information.
When: I traveled around Philippines & Singapore mid-Nov/ early Dec 2011. It was hot & humid. It was raining up north (Banaue) too. Good thing I missed the typhoon that struck Palawan late Dec.
Location: see map for cities visited. Philippines, Singapore.
Cost: My expenses are gonna be skewed because I have a home in the Philippines. Here are the averages though when I was traveling around Cebu, Palawan & Cordillera.
Food: about $3-4 per meal. A big, filling fastfood meal will be a min of $3.
Accommodation: This is for budget single private rooms. Sagada= $6; Coron= $10; El Nido= $18; Cebu= $13
Trip Report: Of course I heart Philippines so I'm going to say its amazing! What makes it special compared to other SE Asian destinations? I like how in general, the country is not as touristy compared to others. I like how everybody is warm & friendly (even to me, a local traveler). I like the gorgeous beaches that you can have to yourself. I don't like how the food is crap everywhere (except Pampanga). I don't like the pollution. I don't like how expensive it is (and locals are used to paying those expensive prices!). Its a diamond in the rough, that would be a good idiom to describe the country.

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