First of all my apologies for not having kept those updates coming lately. As some of you might now, my laptop had to get fixed in Kuala Lumpur about two weeks ago. Apparently the guy at the repair shop didn’t do a good job since my machine broke down again by the beginning of this week. Such a bummer and more money wasted for the repair. But I am happy it is working again and hope this time it will last for longer than about a week.
Anyhow, before closing my Philippines chapter with the final roundup, I wanted to post one more article which could be a showcase for all the great things about this amazing country. Good friends, friendly locals, great beaches, turquoise waters and a trillion of pristine islands.
Beach Paradise on Tikling Island
I got invited to join a few of my local friends for an island hopping trip starting from the town of Matnog, situated on southern tip of the province of Sorsogon. I did a good amount of island hopping back in Palawan and actually got a little bit bored of it. This time should be different though. We had the boat chartered exclusively for ourselves and left early with clear skies and the sun shining. The vibe was great and we were anxious to make it to the first island. It was just a quick stop on a small getaway named Tikling Island. Our captain picked up some fish for lunch and we took the chance and went swimming and strolling along the beach. It was beautiful – white sand, a calm and turquoise ocean chopping its gentle waves on the pristine beach. There was basically no one else on the island – it was like paradise.
Beer, Beach and Barbecue
The next stop was another island, this time a little bigger, named Calintaan with its well known Subic Beach. The beach is a getaway for local tourists but even there, we shared this paradise with only a few other day-trippers. The beach was lined with white pieces of coral which made it very special. A little bit set back, a few fishermen had their settlement. They were going about their daily business, repairing nets or preparing flags for the beachfront decoration. Kids were playing airily in the water and fisher-boats occasionally coming in and going out. The atmosphere was so relaxed and serene.
At the same time our captain and his helper started to prepare our food. Pork barbecue and freshly caught grilled fish with rice and vegetables. At the time it was done, everyone was starving and happy to dig in. We all shared the food, ate with our fingers and got to know each other better. The food was delicious and of course we finished all of it. everyone was pretty much full but someone brought up the idea of having a few cold beers afterwards. Sounded good and since there was no shop on the island, our captain took a small banka and fetched a few cold ones back at Matnog. So great and needless to say that the ice-cold beer was very refreshing and went down very smoothly.
After another stop at a hidden lagoon and some cliff jumping it was already time to head back home. It was late in the afternoon and everybody was feeling tired after so much time out in the sun and of course the share of beer in the heat of the day. Slowly we were chugging back to Matnog harbor, the sun still out and the ever present Bulusan Volcano in sight.
Last thoughts …
The island hopping around Matnog was a big surprise for me. In the end, it is not on the tourist map and not mentioned thoroughly in the popular guidebooks. Hence I didn’t know what to expect. But it was great and definitely comparable to the trips I did on Palawan. Some may say even better which almost seems like blasphemy. But the main advantage it has there is the lack of mass tourism. Palawan was crazy touristy and crowded compared to the trip we did here. Hence for me it was way more enjoyable. I just like to escape and dodging the crowds – makes every trip more worthwhile. So if you are in the Sorsogon area, make sure to book one of those trips. Definitely a highlight.
A little bit out of the correct order, this article marks the preliminary end of my adventure in the Philippines. It’s been great and probably one of the best trips of my life. The next posts will come out of Bali, Indonesia but before I will sum up the last 3 months in my regular Roundup-Report. Make sure to stay tuned. I hope the laptop stays alive for longer this time.