Having spent near enough two months on the move, some much needed chill out time was top of our agenda in the Philippines! We flew into Manilla and as we didn’t fancy hanging about we booked a flight to Kalibo airport on Panay island the following day. A night was spent in Kalibo and the highlight was waking up 4am to see Sadio Mane score the winner for Liverpool in the derby on a dodgy internet stream.
In the morning we took a bus down to Iloilo City and it was not pleasant. Roads in the Philippines aren’t great and for the entire journey we had people vomiting left, right and centre around us. Luckily, we managed to keep our breakfast down. We stayed one night in Iloilo at Pension Hotel which cost us £5.00 for a room. It also wasn’t particularly pleasant.
The next day we took a boat over to Guimares Island. The hotel was really nice and we seemed to be the only people there. We had our own terrace, our own private beach and a beer only cost 50p! We stayed for 3 nights and lapped up the luxury.
We needed to travel back up Panay Island to reach our next destination – Boracay! The weather was hit and miss as Typhoon Nina hit us on Christmas day but bar that we had a great stay. White Beach (cover photo) definitely ranks high up on the favourite beaches i’ve visited! We stayed at Box & Ladder Hostel and it ticked all boxes as far as a hostel went. Rita (the owner) even invited us to a free meal with her family on Christmas eve!
Christmas day was a bit different than our usual festivities back home. However, we did manage to buy each other a few small gifts and we even tucked into a Christmas buffet at a restaurant on the beach which consisted of all kinds of things. It was okay but they could have replaced the fish and rice with turkey, pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings and gravy!
As i am one of those awkward people who has a birthday in between Christmas and New Year we had something else to look forward to after Christmas. Nicole surprised me with an overnight stay at the very fancy Fairways and Bluewater Hotel in Boracay. So we packed our bags for the night and swapped our hostel for a 5 star hotel complete with an infinity pool!
The island was really starting to get busy now for New Years as floods of people come to Boracay to see the hour long firework display on the beach. After stuffing ourselves with food and red wine that was put on by the hostel we made the short walk to White Beach. Midnight struck and the beach lit up with fireworks launched from boats from one end of the beach right down to the other end. Now i’ve been to a few Disney World firework displays but the fireworks in Boracay may have just matched it! Happy 2017!
Well rested and well tanned we departed for our next island in the Philippines – Bohol. You can read more about our trip there and also watch our Youtube highlights here – Exploring the best of Bohol Island