Daily Archives: March 15, 2008

What Will PhP5000 Buy You in the Philippines?

When you basically ask yourself some journalistic questions as a starting point, you’ll find the answers in varied ways that will boil down to your own flexibility and tolerance. The Philippines may have as many as 7,107 islands (…and, did somebody say 7,108 islands during low tide?), but only approximately 1000 are inhabited. If my joker friend should be believed, there’s one island that you’ll find only snakes and another only turtles. He lives in Naval (Visayan Islands) where there are numerous tiny islands. That’s a place you could buy your own island. Without a doubt my friend exaggerates; how much grain-of-salt you have to splash into his stories is your call.

Where are you planning to stay? If you start from my apartment, a day in the life of a king could be possible. Though I can’t promise a queen unless you are one; that would be a queen without a king, just the maids at your service. We’re not close to the beach, but we can take you to Subic in Olongapo where what used to be the U.S. military base is now a tourist area. Or if you want a day by the pool side, we can go as far as Laguna or Tagaytay…maybe simply sightseeing within a 3-hour drive radius. Another option is Boracay Beach as your kingdom for a day. If you are a frugal backpacker, who can eat what the locals eat (or survive on noodles and the kind) and sleep where the locals sleep, then you could last a month finding beauty and peace in places where raw nature abounds. Do you really need that running water in that thing they call faucet? What do you mean hot? Just don’t ask anymore questions! There’s always that middle ground somewhere only you can ascertain.

In March 2005, an unbelievable reunion came to fruition.

9S reunion

All 9 siblings (start from right counterclockwise full circle to the youngest) were there alive and kicking…only our father was not physically present but I knew then he was looking down on us chuckling, like I could hear it with him sitting next to me. What can I say…I was his first baby!

subic-tyoy

My uncle, Mother’s only brother, stays with our family. One of my favorite pictures is a wonderful contrast to the picture of my nephew below.

subic-ral

With Ral growing up in the same house, he brings joy to Tiyoy’s (Uncle).

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Let’s move on to the next questions. When are you going to travel? How long are you staying, and how are you moving from place to place? Who will be traveling with you? What are you planning to do during your stay in the area of choice? Hopefully we’ll be able to address these questions at some point in time; otherwise, you’re on your way to launch your own adventure. Good luck and I hope you’ll find your own place of pleasure anywhere in the Philippines.