After 26 years, I have hit country 28! Let’s see if I can keep my number of countries higher than my age, although that is pretty unlikely because a) there are so many awesome countries I want to go back to already and b) as it stands I can’t keep jetting off to see more countries right now!
I was only on Cebu Island, in the Philippines, for 4 days, so it really was a flying visit, but a very enjoyable and memorable one. There is something very real and charming about the Philippines. The people are extremely friendly and everyone is just getting on with everything with no fuss. It is also a very beautiful country, with gorgeous beaches and tropical rainforest-like areas.
My highlight was swimming with whale sharks! They are the largest fish in the world and despite being terrified at the idea of swimming with sharks that are about 10 metres long, I was determined not to miss out on the opportunity. They don’t eat humans – but knowing that and trying to convince yourself that they might not change their mind at some stage is different! Our dive guide gave us our briefing which basically was ‘If a whale shark swims towards you, just stay calm and don’t swim anywhere, it won’t bump you’. Ermmmm I’m not sure I can take that risk, I think I would rather try and get out of its way!
I was eager to see the first one to find out if I would completely freak out, or remain calm and just enjoy diving with them. Thankfully it was the later and I calmed down as soon as I spotted the first one. They move relatively slowly and are INCREDIBLE.
I saw about 6-7 whilst I was down there and apart from the occasional moment of turning around and finding a tail pretty close to my face and having to swim away pretty fast so I wasn’t accidentally knocked out (the tail alone is taller than your average human), it was a very special experience.
I then went and visited the Tumalog waterfalls near Oslob, which were magical as the water falls very gently in to a lagoon below.
Unfortunately the rest of my time after that was not so exciting as I had really bad food poisoning. This meant that I missed the two dives the next day, which was disappointing as I knew it would be the last time I was able to dive on my travels. However, I’m so grateful for all the experiences that I have had over this past year that I really can’t complain.
The mash-up video for the Philippines is below!