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Week 3 & 4: Settling In

September 30, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Weekly Report

OK I know I missed a week. But some how the days here just seem to fly by. I’m amazed by people who manage to post everyday. Here I am living in a tropical paradise where my biggest decision of the day is ‘should I read my book by the pool or in a hammock?’ and I can barely manage to post once a week, let alone once a day.

Anyway, over the last two weeks we’ve been settling in to life in the Philippines. As I mentioned in the last post we moved into a new place, which has been great. After three weeks of eating out it’s been great to be able to cook for ourselves. And although it’s a little small, it’s nice to have somewhere to call home, even if it is only temporary. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Home Sweet Home (at least for now anyway)

September 23, 2008 - Filed under General

After three weeks of traveling around and checking out a few different places in the Philippines, we finally found a place to rent. It’s been a bit of an interesting process, as people tend to tell you what they think you want to hear rather than the reality of the situation. It also took a little longer than expected… it seems that filipinos take “Island Time” to a whole new level. Never the less, we now have somewhere to call home, at least for the next month anyway.

We have rented a studio apartment at the back of the resort we’ve been staying at. It’s small but it’s clean and has a kitchen which is great as Mike mentioned in the previous post… Plus we get to use all of the resort amenities like the swimming pool, dive shop, internet and backup power generator (the power goes out a lot here). There’s also a couple of restaurants/bars a small spa, and a free shuttle into town.

Anyway… since pictures speak louder than words I decided to put together a photo tour of our new place…

Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Good Eats

September 22, 2008 - Filed under Eats

We’ve managed to get ourselves set up in a small studio apartment near the beach. Most importantly, with a furnished kitchen! While Kelly and I are often more inclined to head out for a meal than prepare something at home, after three weeks of restaurant food we’ve been craving simple comfort foods.

There’s no lack of familiar ingredients here. Rice and noodles, coffees, teas, and spices. Most are readily available. The basic meat groups are the same… and usually fresher than at home. The seafood is plentiful, colourful, and sometimes confusing. Many types of fish and shellfish are unfamiliar, and will require some experimentation. Vegetables are similar, but of varying varieties. Tomatoes are orange or green. Carrots are short and fat. Oh, the selection of fruit! Banana and mango trees are everywhere and during the storm last night at least 3 coconuts fell onto the roof, scaring the wits out of us. The papayas are amazing. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Malapatay Market

September 19, 2008 - Filed under Entertainment, Stuff to do

About 20km outside of Dumaguete lies Malapatay, a sleepy little seaside town which comes to life every Wednesday. People from all over the island come to, buy, sell, barter and trade everything for anything at the Malapatay Market.

Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 2: Dumaguete

September 17, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

After a relaxing week on Panglao, we came to the conclusion that although beautiful, it was perhaps a little too small for us to stay there long term.  So we decided to continue on to the next destination on our list. Dumaguete.

Dumaguete is a laid-back university town on the south-east coast of Negros Oriental. Although lacking a white sand beach, there is a quaint little promenade that runs along the shoreline, with a few little cafes scattered along it, which make for a great place to people watch.

Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Learning to shoot underwater

September 13, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography

As some of you know, before we left Canada, I purchased a brand new, and very expensive toy to allow me to take, what I hope will one day be some great underwater shots.

I started by testing my new toy in the pool. I wasn’t quite ready for that big blue ocean, and decided that somewhere safer, like the resort pool, would be a better first step. Plus this way if I flooded it on the first try, at least it wouldn’t be in salt water.

With Mike as my test subject I cautiously stepped into the pool and slowly submerged my expensive camera. When I was confident there were no leaks I splashed around a bit and took a few shots. It’s heavier than I expected and took a bit of getting used to, but once I’m deep in the ocean the weight wont really be an issue.  Read More…

Posted by: Kelly


September 11, 2008 - Filed under Drinks

I wouldn’t call myself a beer connoisseur. More of a cross-sectional consumer, but I do like to sample a little bit of everything and the Philippines has a few very good beers. All come with little paper hats… which possibly serves some sort of sanitary purpose? Maybe to keep out flies while sitting on the bar waiting to be delivered? Perhaps to mop up the condensation which inevitably drips off the bottle and into your lap? No, it’s actually just so you can wipe off the lip of the bottle…

San Miguel Pilsen – Long live the stubby bottle! The standard beer of the Philippines. Ranges from P25 to P65  (Approx $0.50 – $1.50) depending how touristy the bar is. Light and refresing. Available on every corner in the Philippines and in British Columbia at most government liquor stores. An amusing tagline on the back of most bottles reads, “A truly satisfying beer with a refined well-balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed for over a century. The only beer that nourishes true Filipino friendships.” Read More…

Posted by: Shim


September 11, 2008 - Filed under Entertainment

Over the last week I’ve been waking at obscene hours in the morning due to crazy wind and rainstorms, loud air conditioners, bats, cicadas, mosquitoes, jet lag, and any number of other excuses. So, I’ve been watching a lot of tv till the rest of the country wakes up and breakfast is available (I’m really looking forward to having my own kitchen soon!). While there are many of the same television networks we’re used to like CNN, BBC, National Geographic Channel, and The Discovery Channel. It’s fair to say that there’s a number of interestingly quirky shows and stations that have caught my attention. Here’s a few:

The Soundtrack Channel – That’s right… music videos from soundtracks. That’s it! Classic.

Religious Evangelism – There must be 20 channels, non-stop, day and night. I can buy my salvation from most of them for a pledge of $80/month for 6 months. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Where We Are

September 10, 2008 - Filed under Travel

For those of you wondering where we are in the Philippines, I’ve made you a map.

Posted by: Kelly

Week 1: Panglao and Bohol

September 9, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

After 18 hours of traveling we finally arrived in Cebu. Despite a relatively decent flight, we were both hot and tired and just wanted to sleep so we took a taxi straight to our hotel. We’d decided to stay just one night in the city, get over our jet lag and then head off to Panglao, a small island off the tip of Bohol.

We woke up quite early the next morning and decided to get a jump on things and take the first ferry of the day. Two hours later we arrived at the port of Tagbilaran. The ferry terminal was surprisingly un-caotic and we were able to grab a taxi with relatively little hassle. A short 25 min ride and we were on Alona beach, the busier tourist area of Panglao Island. I’d done a bit of research on hotels before we arrived and after dragging our heavy bags even a short way down the beach in the hot sun, we were happy to arrive at one of the ones on the list. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

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