Suddenly missing my second home much. Perhaps coz yest met someone from there and he mistakenly thought I was from his homeland too. Hahaha.
My love affair with the Phils started when I went Manila for class in November 2010 and hopped over to Cebu City and looked for Janice's brother with Aqing. That wasn't that memorable a trip as it was still a strange place to me but I remember the seafood and awesome sunsets we saw.
So in the January of 2012. I decided to risk it and head over for the Sinulog (for another time) and after the festival. Gino (the brother of my friend - whom I kept in touch with) brought me over to Bantayan Island. And the story begins.
A bit of background of my home. Philippines is divided into mainly 3 regions: Luzon. Visayas and Mindanao. Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands and covers almost 300,000 square kilometers with a population of more than 98 million people with an additional 12 million Filipinos living overseas. There are hints of influences from Malay. Hindu. Islamic and even Chinese elements in the country to this day (Wikipedia).
So. The Batanyan Island is located in the Visayas and on the west of the northern island of Cebu. We stayed at Santa Fe. The eastern side of the island in a place called Yoonek Inn (1 minute walk to the beach). As on the beaches and shorelines. Bancas (their indigenous boats) are seen dotting the landscape. Below is an example of how a simple banca look like.
And the beach that was of where we were staying was super peaceful not to mention beautiful. As a typical locally grown Singaporean (I sound like a fruit don't I? 'Locally grown and produced in Singapore' =)). I have never EVER seen a beach so white. So powdery. It left me speechless. The waters seem to reflect the blueness of the skies. And the skies were such a sight to take in. Robin blue with clouds stretching endless across. I love how the colours are seen in these 3 photos below. And yes. Shamelessly they are my watsapp wallpaper and main wallpaper in my phone. And my laptop wallpaper for work. <3
And like any other part of Philippines and many other countries. A wet market is a place that despite the fact I don't quite like the wet and fishy smell of the place. It will continue to be a place which will attract me. Like how some people are attracted to shop or visit museums. Me? Wet markets please! =)
We also took an island hopping banca and went ashore to an island named Virgin Island. It's a private island and only when the owners are not in can guests drop off and explore the place. Being a private island definitely has its perks. As we went ashore. Another group of 4 were juz leaving the place. Perfect! Practically as we roam about on our own. Besides the caretakers and the one who steered the banca to the island. We were the only 2 guests around! Yet another peaceful place and yes. I fell in love harder and faster. <3
Of a culture I was still a bit foreign to (even though I had spent 5 days in Cebu City). Drinking is something that cannot be missed. Breakfast lunch and dinner. Always. Me being the conservative me only drink at night. But in the Virgin Island. I drank with them in the hot afternoon too. =P
No surprise that I drank after dinner then? =P Thing was. I had a beer (San Miguel Pale Pilsen) before Gino dared me to drink tequila. My first shot of tequila ever. I guess I gave a lot of firsts to my love yeah? =) So. 40% of El Hombre tequila. Took 1 sip and I could feel the burn! God. No matter how I sucked on the body salt and lime I could feel the alcohol burning a hole through and through. =/ And I could feel me swaying and getting a bit high. Hahaha.
But no. It didn't end there. Gino finished up the rest of it in a single gulp and ordered another 2 beers. O.O San Miguel Light. I can safely tell you. That night was one of the highest I would have. And that was what pushed me to me drinking more often and raising the bar at my alcohol tolerance level. =) But beer preferred over hard liquor please. =)
With fresh seafood. Awesome beaches and beers. What more could a girl ask for? =P I am in love. Through and through. <3