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Week 17: The last weekly report of the year

December 30, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

Ok so I know I’m a couple of days late with this week’s post, but we’ve been busy. I’m not really sure doing what, but with it being the holidays and all, I think I have a pretty good excuse to be a few days behind. Besides, we already kind of gave you the highlights of this week in our Philippines Christmas Recap post.

This week brings us up to almost 4 months in the Philippines, and in doing so, means our visas were also set to expire. On Monday we headed into town to pick up a few groceries to see us through the holidays, and figured we’d stop in at the immigration office and check their hours over the next few days. Last time we renewed our visa we were in-and-out in less than 30 minutes so we figured this time would be much the same. Boy were we wrong. It seems that every other foreigner in town also chose that day, to renew their visas as well. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

The Dive Sites of Dauin and Apo Island

December 29, 2008 - Filed under Scuba Diving

We’ve been diving in and around Dauin for about 3 months now, and figured it was about time we let you all know a little bit more about the dive sites in the area.

There are about 13 dive sites along the coast of Dauin, 8 of which are marine sanctuaries, and another 12 sites at the nearby Apo Island (not to mention several more sites at Siquijor – which I’ll try to do in another post). There are several great walls, steep slopes, gradual slopes and huge coral gardens all teeming with life. A macro lover’s paradise, as most of the creatures here are on the small side, however there are plenty of turtles, and it’s been said an occasional manta sighting at Apo.

All the dive sites are easily accessible from which ever resort you choose to stay at, ranging from a shore entry in front of your resort, to a 5-10 min boat ride. The sites at Apo can be reached in about an hour and are generally done on a two dive trip. The water temperature is usually around 27°C and diving here can be done all year round.

Considered to be some of the best diving in the Philippines (with a few sites considered world-class), you definitely wont get bored diving in Dauin.

dauin_dive_sites_map
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Posted by: Kelly

Philippines Christmas Recap

December 26, 2008 - Filed under General

It’s been Christmas here in the Philippines since we arrived here in September. Even as we were first deplaning in Cebu, there were Christmas carols playing over the boarding gate speakers. The stores were full of Christmas decorations and fake Christmas trees. Advertisements and commercials were everywhere telling us to prepare for Christmas by buying something. Anything. JUST DO IT NOW!

Needless to say, by the time Christmas actually rolled around we were somewhat desensitized to the very idea of Christmas. No tree this year. We didn’t want to buy presents for each other… It’s just more stuff to carry on our travels. Maybe a trip somewhere in the new year? We were hoping to get a turkey for Christmas dinner, but our freezer isn’t very big. And on our weekly trip to town we discovered that all the turkeys had already been sold. No family here to celebrate with… It was shaping up to be a very un-Christmassy Christmas. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Merry Christmas from the Philippines

December 24, 2008 - Filed under General

Christmas Sandman

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas! Hope you have a wonderful holiday, and we’ll be thinking of you while we’re laying on the beach drinking rum without the eggnog!

Love Kelly & Mike

Posted by: Kelly

Week 16: Surviving Christmas away from home

December 23, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

It’s strange spending Christmas in a tropical country, especially when it’s snowing like crazy back home. I’m not usually one to get homesick, but around the holidays I think even the most seasoned traveller gets a little nostalgic.

I remember my first Christmas away from home. I had been living in Amsterdam for almost a year, and couldn’t afford a plane ticket home for the holidays, so instead I was staying put.  I think I tried extra hard that year, to keep my self busy with all kinds of Christmasy things just so I wouldn’t have time to miss home. 

xmas in amsterdam
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Posted by: Kelly

Little Muffin!

December 22, 2008 - Filed under General

Mason (and Foster)

Meet Mason (and Foster)… my new nephew!  Born Dec. 17th at 1:00pm. I’m so absolutely in love with him and I haven’t even met him yet! Missing events like this is one of the hardest things about being oceans away from the ones you love. 

As soon as I found out Kelly (yes my brother’s wife and I have the same name) was preggers, I knew I wanted to make something for the baby. It wasn’t until we got settled in the Philippines that I realized it might be a little harder than I originally thought. 
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Posted by: Kelly

Random Factoid: Bring earplugs when traveling to the Philippines.

December 20, 2008 - Filed under Random Factoid

I’ve heard that there may be as many as 15 million roosters per year used for cockfighting. No, I can’t confirm these number by anything other than estimating the cacophony of cock-a-doodling at dawn each morning.

Thankfully, we’re not in a rural farming district and we’re also not in an urban center which is surprisingly louder. Still, we have neighbours we can’t convince to make chicken soup.

Posted by: Shim

It takes a village…

December 16, 2008 - Filed under General

We live right next to a tiny fishing village. Every night, just before sunset all the people from the village gather to catch the evening fish. After weeks of watching from our patio, last night I decided to head down to the beach for a closer look.


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Posted by: Kelly

Dumaguete and Dauin Online Resources

December 16, 2008 - Filed under General, Planning, Scuba Diving, Stuff to do

We’re becoming a bit more familiar with the area now that we’re settled in and starting to explore the surrounding areas a bit further. Our friends back home in Canada and some of our newer readers have asked for more information about visiting the Dauin and Dumaguete area. Rather than try to rewrite all the great information already available online, I thought I would compile a list of some of the resources we’ve come across and found useful. Sure, it’s a little biased towards scuba divers, but there’s lots of great accomodations and general information too. We’ve found the forums particularly helpful. Feel free to post in the comments section if you have any specific questions about the area that we might be able to help you with, or suggest a resource we might have missed! Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 15: Tis’ the season

December 15, 2008 - Filed under Weekly Report

December 15th… Only 10 more days till Christmas, and it couldn’t feel less like the holidays. Despite the fact that this country is a little obsessive about decorations, and lights and especially carols, I’m still not really in the ‘holiday spirit’. Perhaps it’s partly because I’ve been hearing Christmas carols on the radio and in stores since we arrived, and that decorations started to pop up in early September. Yes that’s right…. September.


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Posted by: Kelly

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