After three and a half years in Asia!
Back in 2010, the Philippines was the first place we planned to visit in South-East Asia. We had our flights booked, we were ready to go, and then one week before we were due to leave, this happened.
So we put our Philippines trip on the back burner for a few years (try three), mainly to give myself time to calm down and overcome my rage with those two damned airlines. When we finally did arrive in Manila, almost three years later (in case I hadn’t already told you) I felt my blood burning and blood pressure rising again at the sight of Cebu Pacific and SEAIR office buildings.
Despite this miserable experience with the airlines, every traveller who had visited, every Filipino we met, told us we must go. Air links had improved in the mean time (thank you Air Asia) and it now appeared easier, and cheaper than ever to get to the Philippines. Oh, and this advertising campaign may have helped to gently persuade us. I challenge anyone to find me a cooler tourism campaign / TV commercial than this…
On a rainy day last May, we were thinking about what we could do for our three-week Christmas holiday. We saw return flights from Shanghai to Manila for £90, yes £90 RETURN, and booked it there and then, in the middle of our lunch hour.
Shortly after, we discovered we had another ten-day holiday for Chinese New Year, three and a half weeks after our Christmas holiday. With the Philippines being a big, developing country, spread out over more than 7,000 different tropical islands, it takes a while to go anywhere. We didn’t feel like three weeks would do the country justice, not that four and a half probably would either, but with the cheap flights, combined with the rubbish weather, pollution and mayhem of Chinese New Year in China, we figured another week and a half in the Philippines is considerably more preferable than another week and a half in Nanjing, twiddling our thumbs, wishing we were somewhere else!
So, I write this after our first visit to the Philippines. We will be returning again in two and a half weeks.
And yes, in case you were wondering, the Philippines is awesome.
I will be writing some more about our travels in the coming days and weeks…. watch out!