To visit Millie & Omar
29.09.2014 - 10.10.2014 30 °C
Monday 29th September
Our trip started when we got a taxi to Melbourne Tullamarine airport with Kyle and Clare when the taxi driver almost drove off with me only half in the car. As much as it was hilarious, I did shit myself. When we arrived at the airport we had a 5 hour wait until we could even check in so we made a little bed for a few hours in the seating area and attempted to get some sleep.
Finally 4:30am came and we were able to check in at last and off we went and flew to Kuala Lumpur then onto Manila landing at 9:30pm...
When we collected our bags, we walked outside the airport to find loads of people just staring at us but no sign of Millie & Omar. After 10minutes of walking around the car park/pick up point area, we finally found them ?. It was so good to see a friends from home! Omar's friend Peka was driving us back up to Satan (where Omar's family lived - about 5-6 hours north of Manila!) On the drive, we caught up on each others lives before falling asleep. At 3am we arrived at Omar's families home, to be greeted by his two aunties who were very welcoming. We felt awful but after 24 hours of having no proper sleep, Joe & I just want some sleep. We were shown to our room in the auntie's house, where as Omar & Millie have a little granny flats at the back of the house.
Tuesday 30th September
On our first proper day in Saytan, we woke and was introduced to Pandesel - a sweet bread made fresh for your order which was lovely and to make it even better Omar had more auntie's in America who sent over things like peanut butter. So Coffee with Pandesel and peanut butter become our breakfast. After few more hours of catching up and getting to know Omar's auntie's - Jeana & Marie as well as his niece Shannon & nephew Lancelot, we could a walked around their barangay. Everyone starred at us like we were the first white people they had ever seen especially the school kids. We walked to the barangay's chicken farm where all the roosters where kept. All the roosters had a string tied around their leg and had about a metre or so around the to be free, this was due to roosters wanting to fight each other. Then we had a little around the barangay through the rice fields, past a stream and past a little stall where a lady was bbqing food which sounds amazing but what she was bqqing wasn't my cup of tea. Millie asked me to try something off the stall but wouldn't tell me what it is, so I had a guess and managed to find it was part of a bird but I wasn't ready for what it actually was! Its called Baitmax which is chicken blood but I hate black and white pudding so this was not what I wanted to try haha! We made our way back to Omar's house, I started to feel abit unwell but I put it down to long hours of traveling and being awake and not enough rest. Later whilst having a few drinks we found why I hadn't been feeling well...I had septic tonsilitis.
Wednesday 1st October
Today Millie and Omar decided to take us to the hot springs about 15 minute drive away so whilst we hopped in a tuk tuk, Omar and Millie took Omar's motorbike for a ride in the mountains. Driving through the mountains was amazing and so beautiful, when we arrived at the hot springs there was an old metal bridge that needed to be crossed over a shallow looking river before we got there. I didn't like walking across the bridge... I felt like it could collapse any minute. We picked a spot in the café attached to the hot springs to leave our stuff and headed for the pools. The hot springs were unbelievably hot, I could only get into one that had a cold water hose running in it. It was like dipping in to a hot bath that has no cold water in it. After abit of swimming, relaxation in the 'coolest' hot spring and some lunch. Omar decided to take us to see some waterfalls in the mountains. When the tuk tuk first stopped at the side of the road, I thought 'Erm...where is the waterfall?' Omar then walked us down the side of a restaurant and over a little stream which ran under a bridge on the main road but behind the rocks/mountain side there was a beautiful huge waterfall - Colorado falls!!! We took a few photos then Omar & Joe attempted to swim in the pool but the current was too strong so we made our way back to the tuk tuk to go see another waterfall. The next waterfall - bridal falls was just sitting just off the road side in the middle of the mountains and there was a horrible old metal bridge again to cross before we could be next to it!!
On the way back to Omar's house we popped into the market so I could get some antibiotics and antihistamine which cost 5 pesos each ($1 = 37pesos) I couldn't believe it!! After having our dinner we help Omar make Shanghai rolls for our trip our tomorrow at the hundred islands and we also got to try them before we should of to. They were delicious!!!
Thursday 2nd October
Happy 5th Anniversary to Joe & I ?
Today we went to the hundred islands, we took a two-three hour drive at 7am this morning before jumping on a boat to sail through the islands. The views around the islands were beautiful, there were few main islands which had stuff to do so the first stop was Quezon island - the main island of all. Here you could snorkel around, explore the island and have a picnic, firstly we had a little dip in the water whilst it was sunny but them Auntie Maria insisted on feeding us first before we did anything - which we certainly weren't complaining about. Auntie Maria & Auntie Jeana's cooking was amazing and they loved feeding people. After some amazing food, we decided to hop on the boat so it could take us around the islands some more so we headed to Marcos Island which had a cave at the top of the island with a plunge pool you could jump into but the sea level wasn't right around the island so the boat owner said we will go back later and took us to snorkel instead. Whilst snorkelling we were over huge coral reefs with loads of fish around and as we swam out more we found huge clams on the bottom of the sea bed. When we had had enough of snorkelling, the boat owner took us back to Marcos island to see the cave and jump in the plunge pool. It was a massive jump but it was nerve racking in case you hit the rocks when you jumped but was awesome to experience!! We headed back to the main island to chill out again, sadly the weather was over cast so no sunshine to sunbathe in. After an hour or so of relaxing, we decided to head back to the main land with an extra stop along the way. Virgin island was our next stop, where we decided to zip line across from Virgin island to another island, the walk up to the top of the island was tiring but so worth the view - 360° view of all the islands around it was amazing!!! We had never zip lined before so I was a little nervous but again the view and zip lining was amazing!! Once we had all done the pipeline, we got on the tiniest boat for five people and made our way back to the main island to jump aboard our guide boat back to the port. Once we were back at the port we had a little look around stalls before heading for a little drive to the fish market, well seeing an Asian fish market defiantly opened by eyes! Flies everywhere and landing on the sea food, we were stared at like we were aliens and the smell was awful! The best thing about going to that market was that we bought some prawns which are stupidly expensive in Australia!! We climbed back in them van and headed back to Omar's house and Auntie Maria cooked up a storm in the kitchen - fish, beef and prawn dishes with rice! It was the first time I had been given fish to eat with its head & tail but surprisingly I got over it and ate it.
Friday 3rd October
Today was just a chilled out whilst Omar went to Baguio but in the evening we decided to have a few drinks with everyone and Omar's friend Marcus came over also who hadn't touched alcohol for 8 months. Well what an eventful night it turned out to be, Omar & Marcus drank their drinks the traditional Filipino way... shot of gin washed down with a mouthful of water (rather than mixing together). Well Marcus ending up almost sitting on Joes lap after a few drinks and at one point looked like he was about to kiss him. Omar's auntie had had enough of Marcus' behaviour at this point so they sent him home but Marcus decided he wanted to jumped over the fence and join us again... he was led out of the gates again and slept outside of the gates until morning.
Saturday 4th October
We had another chill out day today before later having a massage by Ruby (Omar's cousin).
Sunday 5th October
I woke up feeling awful during the night I had developed a fever and diarrhoea which wasn't pleasant and made me more home sick then I ever had been before. I spent the day in Millie's room where I had air con, eating tablets all day, watching bits of movies and sleeping! Thankfully Omar took Joe out shooting so that kept him from being bored whilst I was ill and poor Millie stayed around the house so she could keep an eye on me. Bless her.
Monday 6th October
Today I still felt awful but thankfully better than yesterday. During the afternoon when I didn’t feel so bad we took a walk to Auntie Maria’s boyfriends hut in the rice fields so we could do some shooting. They had made targets out of bags and paper on put them on the other side of the stream for us to shoot. The gun was so noisy I wasn’t able to stand their without my fingers in my ears so when they finally convinced me to have a go, I had to put leaves in my ears to block abit of the noise out. After an eventful day we chilled out for the evening watching films.
Tuesday 7th October
Thankfully I feel a millions times better today, as we are going to Baguio for the day. We took the scenic route up the steep mountain roads stopping along the way for the views, which was fab but sadly it was a little cloudy so the view wasn’t fully clear. We then reached a shrine where I bought a candle & lit it for my Grandad <3, which brought back all the emotions that I have been hiding nice he did three months ago. We got back in the car before carrying on into the city for some lunch at 50’s style café, as much as the food was nice at Omar’s house it was so nice to have western type food. We also went to the Presidents mansion and gardens, we also went to go to seen the military park but was turned away due to wearing flip flops. We slowly started to head home on a different route down the mountains for some other amazing views stopping along to admire the views. Another chilled evening eating yummy food and watching films.
Wednesday 8th October
As we were short on money, we had a lazy day again watching films in Omar’s family’s living room with everyone. Omar had decided we were having goat for our dinner tonight to celebrate that we were here visiting. Omar went to the farm to kill the goat and brought it back to the house so I got out of the way so I didn’t see the goat otherwise I wouldn’t of eaten it later on. The meal Auntie Maria had made with the goat was amazing and she certainly didn’t waste any of it… stomach and liver in a bowl on the side which I did not touch.
Thursday 9th October
Today is our last day in Saytan with Millie, Omar & their family, we made of the most of the time we had walking around the barangay and spending time with Millie & Omar as well as doing our chores of packing! Auntie Maria made spaghetti bolognese which was fan especially when I was craving western food and after not being able to eat properly for a few days this was a blessing!
Friday 10th October
Today was the day we fly back to Australia to begin our new chapter of our working visa there, so we got up at 4am to drive back to Manila… landing about 10am. First we headed for food, as we all needed breakfast before heading around Manila shopping mall for a good shop before our flight. After a few hours of shopping, we sadly had to head to the airport for our flight. Saying goodbye to Millie & Omar wasn’t easy as I didn’t know when I was going to see them again due to them being on the Philippines and us in Australia…