Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Island Hopping

The Philippines is made up of more than 7000 islands, and we have no intention of ticking them all off during our time here, but a couple of recent trips have taken our total to 7.

After a late night on Easter eve for the post-vigil karaoke session, we were up early the next morning for a return trip to Bohol, the island we visited after Christmas. We would be back in the classroom on the Tuesday so spent just one night in the jungle hideaway of Nuts Huts. Although it wouldn’t always be convenient, I do approve of places you can only reach on foot: it gives a certain satisfaction to arriving! Not that we were energetic all the time: there was a lot of sitting admiring the view; but we did also kayak up stream to the nearby waterfalls, where, somewhat to my own surprise, I managed to get back into the kayak without capsizing it after a swim in the refreshingly cool plunge pool.

A week later we were back at the port, this time heading to the fabled city of Dumaguete on Negros. Fabled, because, home to one of the other Salesian communities in the Philippines South province, Dumaguete is spoken of with great love by the community here, all of whom would quite like to be assigned there ... and after a couple of days, it was easy to see why it might be a more popular place to stay than Cebu. A much smaller city than Cebu, Dumaguete is quieter, calmer and altogether more attractive. Appeal undoubtedly added to by its sea front promenade and beach, sea you could happily swim in, and spectacular countryside in easy striking distance, including the 30m Casaroro falls. Less accessible since typhoon Sendong destroyed the access path and bridge, it was well worth the scramble over the rocks and through the river to find them.

During our stay on Negros we also added another island to our list, with a day trip to the tiny but idyllic Apo Island. Apart from a brief trip up to the centre of the island we spent the day on the beach and in the perfect blue sea. Neither words, nor photos can really do it justice; and not owning a waterproof camera, you will just have to take my word for the beauty of the underwater world of the coral reef, with its colourful fish and most amazing of all the turtles with whom we swam through the coral.

And if you were wondering, yes, this blog post was really just an excuse to share some holiday photos. 


  1. Thank you Steph, as you say, an idyllic setting - pity it is so far!!
    At least you have packed in a fair amount while you have been there.

    1. I take it you are not planning to visit then?