Dumaguete & Dauin Area Beach Resorts

January 25, 2009 - Filed under Planning

The other day a reader of our blog emailed me asking for a hotel recommendation in Dauin. A lot of the guide books are pretty lacking on this area and usually only have one or two listed. I realized this was something we haven’t really talked much about since we arrived here, and figure it was about time we made a post about it. Keep in mind we haven’t been to all of these, but I’ll give you a bit of info about the ones we have been to, and then list the others in the area and you can check them out for yourself. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Week 20: Bring back the sun!

January 19, 2009 - Filed under Weekly Report

The last couple of weeks we’ve had some pretty gross weather. Although this is suppose to be the dry season this week has been anything but. I know it’s nothing compared to the crazy weather back in Vancouver, but for those of us who moved to a tropical island mostly for the weather… well it kinda sucks. Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Week 19: Happy 30th Birthday Kelly!

January 12, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

Happy Birthday Kelly

This week our update comes from the beautifully manicured grounds of the Thalatta Beach Resort. We decided to celebrate Kelly’s 30th birthday with a little change of locale and some diving, swimming, and spa time. Just 15 minutes south of Dauin in Zamboanguita, with 12 nice little cottages just off the beach and a large wine and spirits selection, Thalatta has been a nice place to kick back, relax, and celebrate the latest arrival to middle age. Its a shame they don’t have a seniors diving discount… :) Read More…

Posted by: Shim

Random Factoid: The Philippines is the Text Messaging Capitol of the World

January 10, 2009 - Filed under Random Factoid

Filipinos send on average 20 text messages per day, compared to the US. average of 11. Last year on New Year’s Eve alone, mobile users in the Philippines sent 1.39 billion text messages from a subscriber base of just 50 million.

text messaging in the Philippines

Statistics for 2007. Source: Reuters

Posted by: Kelly

Week 18: Hello 2009!

January 5, 2009 - Filed under Planning, Weekly Report

I can’t believe it’s 2009 already, and that in a week I’m going to be 30! We rang in the new year on a beach, with a couple bottles of champagne and some of the friends we’ve made over the last 4 months here in the Philippines.

2008 has been a year of change. It was back in January that we started planning this crazy adventure and pretty much everything we’ve done over this past year has been in anticipation of this. In March Mike quit his job and went freelance full time. I spent most of April getting my loft ready to sell, and finally listed it in May. We made trips to Vancouver Island, Kelowna, and Edmonton, to make sure we saw all our family before we left. I gave notice at work in June, but stayed on till just before we left. August is a bit of a blur, what with packing, planing, organizing, and an endless amount of good-bye drinks, it all went by so fast. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

Stuck in a culinary rut

January 2, 2009 - Filed under Eats

Do you ever have one of those days when you can’t decide what to make for dinner? When you’re bored with everything in your fridge and you feel like all you do is make the same things over and over? Lately it seems like everyday is that day.

Back in Vancouver we never used to cook this much. We’d eat out quite a bit, and with so many great restaurants we rarely got bored. Here in the Philippines the restaurant options are a little bit lacking. Thats not to say we haven’t had some great meals, but on a whole, things here are kind of bland. Fast food abounds and pretty much every restaurant has the same menu. So we’ve taken to cooking at home quite a bit. It’s great cause I love to cook, but I’m starting to run out of ideas. Read More…

Posted by: Kelly

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.

Read More…

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