The Philippines. An intense and unforgettable chapter in my life. I can probably write a thousands lines on this country and on my experience there. Just looking at the pictures made me feel a little nostalgic. As I said, Philippines is an important chapter in my life. I went on the other side of the world alone, again, to start another new life. And what a great new life. I met unforgettable people, saw incredible landscapes, swam with the whale sharks, worked my ass off, discovered new cultures and so much more… But the most important is that I found myself over there.
I went to Asia for the first time of my life, a year ago, exactly on the 8th of march. I booked a ticket and flew to this country where I’ve never been before to start a new job in the television industry. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t really know how to feel about it. Everything came quickly.
I got hired and a week after flew to a foreign and far far away country. I didn’t even realize this was happening. I just took the chance and qué sera… sera…
It’s hard to explain what happened there. It’s hard to put all the memories together. I have so many pieces of happiness in my mind and it’s hard to put words on them.
Philippines is a country of sunshine, great people always smiling, banana cues, léchon, chicken, rice, boat trips and crystal blue water. Philippines are a tropical heaven on earth. We were all hard working, preparing productions, dealing with marketing strategies and press relations… Really hard working, six days a week and only one day off to enjoy the beauty of the country. But at the end it doesn’t matter. Because sometimes you realize that not a lot of people has the chance to spend the whole Sunday on a boat, island hopping with your friends and enjoying life.
Life in the Philippines is easy. People are adorable. The characteristic of filipinos ? They are always smiling AND singing ! Yes… well, if you don’t like singing and karaoke, you might not enjoy the magic of the people there.
Food in the Philippines ? Chicken and rice. And what else ? Well… they also have CHICKEN AND RICE ! Haha. I’ve never ate so much chicken in my life. No kidding. Philippines is so the country of chicken and baby rice. I call it baby rice because they pack it in small banana leaves which is very cute. On the chicken side, I must admit something… even if I had an overdose of chicken during 6 months, let’s admit that Filipino chicken is the best in the world. They stuff it with lemongrass and some other sweet spices while they cook it which give to the chicken a delicious taste.
Okay the food over there is not only about chicken, I’m exaggerating. They have a loooooot of different kind of food, from delicious Lechon and crispy pata to weird and disgusting balut (i’m not going to explain what it is, just check on Google. It’s great if you don’t want to eat for a few days !)
Philippines is the country of thousands islands. Thousands islands with unbelievable beaches and infinite blue water…
It’s well known for the diving, the sharks and… THE WHALE SHARKS ! yes yes, you can swim with them in Oslob in the south of Cebu.
The experience was totally unforgettable. Between the excitement and the fear, seeing how big these sharks are and totally not dangerous is impressive. We went there with a bunch of friends just for a weekend getaway. To see the whale sharks you have to wake up early morning (like at 6a.m) and take a small filipino boat which is called a « banka ». From there, a guy take you in the middle of the sea where you’re waiting for the sharks…. until the moment you see a huge 12m long shadow passing under your small baby boat… and at this time YOU FREAK OUT !
Curious and excited, you look under, around, everywhere until the guy tells you « okay m’aam, it’s time to jump in the water. » « Wait what ? No no… it’s too huge dude I can’t.. » « yes yes you can m’aam » and then he pushes you in the water. Your heartbeat is as fast as a Ferrari at 300km/h on the highway and you open as mush as possible your eyes to see if you’re still alive or in paradise. When you realize that the sharks absolutely don’t give a fuck of your face and they are only interested in plankton and sea plants, you chill down. And that’s when the magic happens…. when you start to swim with them and enjoy the beauty of the moment.
Close to the bay where you can swim with the sharks, there is Sumilon island. A beautiful and paradisiac island an hour away from Oslob. I definitely suggest you to go there and spend the afternoon and digest the fact that you just swam with whale sharks.
We did many road trip when we could. We visit as many as possible island around Cebu. We met as much as we could local people. I spent 6 intense, crazy, unforgettable, amazing months in this country and I will never regret my choice of leaving everything behind me for this experience.
I am very grateful for all the moments I spent there. For the friends I’ve made. For the work I’ve done. I am very grateful for this life full of travels which gave me breathtaking memories. Let’s never forget what a certain Mark Twain once said « Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things the didn’t do than by the ones you did do. » So Explore. Dream. Discover.
tssssss ! a few months ago I did a video which I never really showed to people about the Philippines. Here it is :