So on to the Philippines after our mad dash in Malaysia. I was so looking forward to this destination but sadly I can't help feeling disappointed. Unfortunately we didn't have the best weather, and I think by this point I was pretty knackered and didn't want to have to haggle prices, argue we were getting ripped off, and have to distrust everyone we were dealing with.
The islands proved quite a chore to get around as obviously they're not that set up for tourism. Funnily though it was the least touristy destinations we stayed that I enjoyed, more so than places like Boracay which was tourist central.
I can't put my finger on it entirely but something was a bit odd with the Philippines. There were take aways EVERYWHERE, nowhere really understood the not eating meat thing, prostitution was so in your face it was quite uncomfortable on occasion, it was just all a bit wonky. That's the only way I can describe it - wonky.
Saying all this, we did some more diving and took our advanced open water certificates which was fantastic. Diving in Puerto Galera was so great - we did a night dive, a deep dive at 30m, an amazing ship wreck dive, a navigation dive which Lauren and I were terrible at, and a buoyancy control dive which was hilarious having to stand on our heads under water etc. I LOVED both the night dive and the wreck dive and can't wait to do both of these again.
We also dived on Apo Island which is just off the coast of a place called Dumaguete. The town isn't overly exciting though we did find a restaurant that cooked real proper vegetables so ate there a fair few times (other than that I swear I have never eaten so much crap in my life than these two weeks). Apo was amazing though, we saw huge fish and nine turtles!! I got very excited about the turtles!!
We did an amazing bit of snorkelling too with whale sharks which was absolutely terrifying but SO COOL!! They grow up to 12m long and they were right next to us! Four of them! Their mouths are a meter and a half wide, it was so scary, but they're vegetarian apparently so it's okay?! It was brilliant, and this to me is how the Philippines redeemed itself on our last day.
I'm glad we went, but I'm glad we only went for two weeks. And I can't ever see myself going back to be honest, but it was good for the diving at least!