After getting our Open Water Certificate in Koh Tao, we were more than ready for our next diving trip. Diving in the Philippines was definitely on our ‘must do’ list for South East Asia. We’d heard nothing but amazing reviews regarding the breathtaking reefs that where you can dive around the Philippines. Having a flick through our Lonely Planet, we saw a section about Apo Island. As soon as we read that the diving around Apo Island was excellent for spotting Sea Turtles, we were instantly sold.
Apo Island it was!
If you’ve ever heard anything about El Nido in Palawan before, you will have more than likely heard amazing things about the island hopping around Bacuit Bay. From exploring pristine white sand beaches to snorkelling through limestone lagoons all the way to enjoying an ice cold San Miguel with barbequed fish on an uninhabited island, Bacuit Bay in El Nido surpassed all expectations.
Whenever we spoke about or researched the Philippines, it was the Chocolate Hills which repeatedly popped up. Naturally, we decided that while we were in the Philippines we would definitely go and see the Chocolate Hills for ourselves and see what all the fuss was about.
Initially, we had planned to fly to Cebu City and then get the ferry from there to Tagbilaran, Bohol. However, the plan didn’t go quite as smooth as we had imagined. Our plans to get the ferry from Cebu to Bohol on the same day as we arrived from Manila, were scuppered due to a passing Typhoon.
Before we travelled to Manila, unfortunately, we were told multiple tales of people who know people, who were kidnapped after they had got into an unlicensed taxi. You know the kind of thing that you hear about happening in South America. We even heard one story of a woman who was shot in the head in the back of a taxi! Understandably we were quite cautious when we did have to get taxis around Manila.
However, I would say, like with everywhere in the world, bad things do happen. That’s a fact of life. Fortunately though, from my experience and contrary to what people might say, taxi kidnappings do not seem to be a regular occurrence in Manila.