The Beginning

Hello, nice that you found the way to my trip report. The focus of my first report on the Philippines will be my girlfriend Lyra that I had as already mentioned on the main page, sometime met between spring and summer of 2009. Since that time, there was almost no day that we had talked not about Yahoo or Skype. After a few months and turn a confession that she had "butterflies in the stomach" to me, I decided to visit her. First I informed me extensively about the country, because Asia is not equal to Asia. Then I was looking for a nice hotel on the island of Cebu. Then only the flight and I started my travel. As a tourist in the Philippines, one must visa free stay a maximum of 21 days, so I was first just two weeks. So ... there you go.


The Arriving

After I Lyra made ​​it clear that I'm actually visit her, she was of course totally over the moon. Flown am I then with Cathay Pacific from London via Hong Kong to Cebu. The journey takes an average of 22 hours. On 15.9.2009 I then took off. I was really quite excited.

On 16.9.2009 I landed on time at 11:30 clock on the Mactan Airport. Mactan is the name of the island, which is connected directly by two huge bridges to the island of Cebu. The airport itself is rather small, but still large enough so that even long-haul aircraft can land there.

After I had gone through all the security checks and I had my stamp in the passport, I waited briefly for my luggage before I left the airport and step outside. I had rented a car from AVIS in advance, so I went to recently looking around first directly to the car rental to which was only a few steps away from the exit. Lyra and two of her cousins ​​had first hidden among the waiting people, curious waiting if I really come.

I waited in front of the AVIS input a minute, suddenly a 1,50 m small person standing before me, with dark skin and a grin from ear to ear. In addition to her two very young women, hardly bigger than her. At first I was surprised, but then at second glance I realized Lyra. I hugged her and together we went in to the car rental.

After a felt like half an hour after all the formalities were done, we climbed in a Toyota Vios Automatic.

From the airport we went to Cebu City and there in the neighborhood (barangay) Inayawan far in the south of the city. This district is sadly known through his mountain of rubbish (dumpsite) , residence of the poorest of the poor. While Living in Inayawan is not a privilege, but better than so many other slum. We went there because Lyra was living at the time there with her uncle. She had a falling out with her mother and is therefore drawn from their hometown Carcar after Inayawan.

Her uncle wanted me to know, before I moved with Lyra our hotel in Moalboal. I did not mind, so we did it that way.

When we arrived in Inayawan, I had not let on, but I was really shocked at how people live there. The houses, mostly built on own land, let no particular style or architecture seen. There are just small houses, some with stair access to upper floors, but partly also several rooms on one level. The floor is made of either concrete, dried mud or bamboo.

The floor plan is either made ​​of wood or just a large piece of fabric that is on a piece of wire that is stretched from wall to wall. Lyra's uncle heard here on the "wealthy" because his house has two floors and is built entirely of stone.

The device is usually sparse. Old tables, vintage plastic chairs. Benches made of bamboo. Totally outdated entertainment devices, but still fully functional.

When we arrived at the house, Lyra showed me her family. I was looked at by the children very curious and adults rather skeptical, but friendly.

I was invited into the house and Lyra's uncle also began immediately the interview. He just wanted to go sure that Lyra is in good hands with me and I left a really good impression. After about two hours Lyra's uncle made ​​the suggestion to accompany us to Moalboal, that we find fast our hotel.

I agreed and so we went there together. From Inayawan you need with little traffic about an hour for the 40km long route. From Carcar to Moalboal then it takes another hour because you have to cross over the mountains on the island. I was a little quick on the go, so we rushed past Moalboal. It was already dark when we after a long search found the Bungalow Hotel. I said goodbye to Lyra's uncle and together we went then to the reception.

The hotel that I had booked for us was the Tipolo Beach Resort at Panagsama Beach. It has ten rooms, all in a beautiful Bugalow with terrace. All bungalows are situated in a beautiful, well-kept gardens overlooking the sea. On the horizon you can even see the neighboring island of Negros.

We made ​​ourselves, nor ate together at the onsite restaurant at night and then also went to bed soon.


Philippine Taoist Temple

Thursday, 17.9.2009

Lyra wanted to show me her island and thereby get to know me better. At her suggestion we went after breakfast back to Cebu City. In Carcar we picked up her cousins ​​Jenny Rose and Jessel and together we drove then in the mountainous northwest region of Cebu City.

There, the Philippine Taoist Temple is located. A small but really beautiful temple complex. The guards, of which there are some there, watching with eagle eyes the visitors. There are some open building there, but only one can of "infidels" not enter or be photographed. The chapel, which is located in the center of the plant.

The temple has an entrance in the north and one with parking for cars and buses in the east. During this visit we came from the north. The entrance is a replica of the Great Wall. Before you can get into the area where the temple is located in, you will be stopped at a checkpoint. For the levy of passport (tourist) or Resident ID (locals) you can pass.. If you come from the east and park for free in the parking lot, you dont have that procedure. Here are a few more photos.


Da es in den Philippinen immer schon sehr früh (18 Uhr) dunkel wird, mussten wir uns schon bald wieder auf den Rückweg machen, da wir zurück nach Moalboal mussten. Daher machten wir noch einen Zwischenstopp in einem Jollybee Restaurant in Carcar, bevor wir dann zurück fuhren.


Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak

Friday, 18.9.2009

Today we wanted to see the south of Cebu and what Lyra was particularly important, without cousins. So I informed me in my crafty book, what's so interesting. We decided to go to Badian, where there is the Kawasan waterfalls. After breakfast we drove off. After about half an hour, the plate appeared already on the left side of the road to the falls. Parking spaces are there very less (3 pieces), as most people arrive by bus. After I parked the car, an elderly man spoke to me, he would watch for 50 Piso on the car. Still quite German in my head I wanted to refuse politely, but I remembered what happens to a car in Sicily, if you refuse such a kind offer. So I relented. Just kidding, the man has actually been taking care of the car, although this is completely unnecessary, but now at least he could buy something to eat, without've been begging for it must. From the parking lot to the waterfall runs you about 15 minutes (Note: The position of the Kawasan Falls in Google Maps is wrong. The waterfalls are much farther to the west). Because as a tourist stand out with my white skin and long nose like a sore thumb, it was not long before two young men offered as a guide, of course, against a donation, they only inquired when we were back at the car. I filmed a little on the way to the waterfall ...


The waterfall is really worth it if you do not want in a swimming pool. The occurrence, you have to pay after a few hundred meters cost 10 Piso per person.

Then if you're arrived at the waterfall, you want to occupy one of the few tables there, while costing 150 Piso per table. If you want to enter by one of the rafts, including a waterfall massage, it costs another 150 Piso per raft. Considering that these guys are actually duration Unemployed and throughout the day tourists and locals sail through the waterfall, you will quickly notice that is well laid out and the money is for a tourist self-only peanuts.

For those that have not arrived in bathing suits at the waterfall, there is on the toilet a possibility to change your clothes, but you should not expect luxury or cleanliness. You are in the middle of the jungle.


Once you overcome this "barrier", the bathing fun can begin. Oh, and the natural pool is quite deep, so take care of the kids.


After about 2 hours we left the falls and as we walked back I asked Lyra, where is the highest point on Cebu. She replied Osmena Peak. So ... there you go.

The Osmena Peak is located in the district of the town of Dalaguete and there in Barangay Mantalungon. To get there is relatively cumbersome, since the area is in total mountainous desert and is sparsely populated by farmers. One must therefore ask in Dalaguete the way by anybody then drive you certainly high, but only insofar as it is possible. At least then it means ... run upon a merciless mountain. At the end you are then about 1000 meters above sea level and enjoys beautiful weather with a glance view up to Bohol is very interesting and also the shape of the peaks, but see for yourself.


Then we climbed back down, which was a little less stressful and drove back to Moalboal.


Mactan Island and Cebu City Tops

Saturday, 19.09.2009

This Saturday the island of Mactan and Cebu City was on the program. From Moalboal we drove right by Inayawan, to pick up a few relatives. Then we went to a short time directly on to the Mactan Shrine what is located near the airport.


The nearby eastern Mactan Island is connected by two bridges with Cebu City and has numerous beaches, including some with western standards. The circumnavigator Ferdinand Magellan found there the death. He was there from the tribal chieftain of Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu, defeated in battle, as if to bow to the people of Mactan Lapu-Lapus under leadership not the white supremacy and of the rule of princes Cebuano and Magellan therefore a conquest expedition of Cebu undertook the next door island of Mactan.At the place of his death in Punta Engano in the "Mactan Shrine" a monument to Ferdinand Magellan, the so-called "Magellan Marker", as well as a statue of the victorious chieftain Lapu-Lapu. [Source: Wikipedia]

Then we went back to Cebu City and there in the district of Lahug, Busay. There is the viewpoint tops. There, 700 feet above the sea, has a beautiful view of with Cebu City across to Mactan.

The path is difficult, however, even with the car. First you drive through the city which alone already takes a good hour and then it goes up the serpentine, as I have never seen them before. Once at the top, the visitor arrive a beautiful park.

After a few photos and a nearly empty tank, we went down again (engine at idle and just be careful brakes). Luckily, I quickly found a gas station, then we went back to Inayawan and Moalboal.

Ave Maria Kloster

Sunday, 20.9.2009

With an aunt and her cousin Lizel we went today to the sanctuary of Cebu. In the Ave Maria Convent of Simala, Sibonga. By car coming from Carcar you arrive in about three quarters of an hour. The monastery is built on a mountain, accordingly worse is the road, the higher you go. It is fully funded by donations and it will find regular fairs which are also very well attended. The monastery have no entrance fee.

The monastery has a reputation that affects the Virgin Mary miracles there. Because the Filipinos are very Catholic faith anyway, that works too. A church tax in the Philippines is not at all necessary, because the money comes from voluntary. Very clever Filipinos have recognized this and taken the donations of the faithful for their own purposes contrary. When the monks realized this, they let make a sign that said, only they are authorized to accept donations. :-) The photos show the state of the monastery in 2009. Two years later I visited the monastery again.


Fort San Pietro

Monday, 21.9.2009

Today we drove back to Inayawan. It was actually planned anything, but a friend of Lyra had suggested to visit the Old Fort San Pedro. So we did that really nothing special, but I still made ​​a few photos.



Bohol Sightseeing

Tuesday, 22.09.2009

Today we took a big planned trip. Island Hopping is on the program to the eastern neighboring island Bohol.

Early in the morning we picked Jessel and John-Michael from Inayawan. Then we went on to the pier. We bought tickets and then boarded soon the boat.

The 38km long trip takes around 2 hours. At the pier of Tubigon the ride was over. There were waiting some sightseeing guides that offer island tours by car. Even if these people come across as sketchy, you can use this service in good conscience claim. The prices are fixed and the sightseeing route is explained on the spot on a map. Payment is made only at the end when you're back at the pier. One can choose between a car or a minivan depending on number of people.

Our first stop was the Chocolate Hills For this we go to Carmen in the center of the island.

Generally speaking, the Chocolate Hills are an uneven terrain of grassy knolls, which are characterized by a uniform conical or dome-shaped and mostly symmetrical appearance. Overall, their number is specified with at least 1268, where one starts from a total of up to 1776 individual mounds of grass covered limestone. The surveys vary in their heights between 30 and 50 m, with the largest dome reaches a height of about 120 m. Although they are scattered by the thousands as molehills on the central plain of the island, they accumulate in the territories of the municipalities Sagbayan and Batuan, however, with the greatest accumulation occurs near the town of Carmen.

During the dry period when the rainfall for the vegetation is not sufficient to dry the grass-covered hill, change their color and take on a chocolate brown tone. Because they remember in these dry periods to oversized chocolate kisses, they were given the name Chocolate Hills.

A particularly apt description of this attraction provides the photographer Andre Salvador:

„Most people who first see the pictures, this landscape can be difficult to understand that these hills were not created by human hands. Nevertheless, it is this thought quickly, in view of (necessary for this) workload, the construction of the pyramids would have certainly surpass.“

He continues:

„There are in the world no natural formation like these. From a distance they look like half the balls that seem to have grown out of the ground. The molehill-shaped and almost as uniformly shaped hills provided the entire landscape with green and brown dots.“


[Source: Wikipedia]



Then we went to a river. There you had the choice between food on the boat or food on the boat with river trip. We decided just for the food. At this point I have to mention that these are all extra and is not included in the ticket price of the tour guide. At least the food an all-you-can-eat and only by the short time available was limited because of the tour. There were dished out all sorts of Philippine delicacies. Here are some pictures.

Then we went to the smallest monkeys on our planet, the Tarsier. I have really long tried to photograph the animals sharply, but that turned out to be quite heavy.


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