Yes. We made it. After 24 hours of long flights we made it to the Philippines! So yes we did return to Southeast Asia! After deliberating over whether to go back to Sri Lanka or go to the Philippines we decided to go to Puerto Princessa, Palawan, The Philippines! Since it's world-renowned for beaches we decided we'd cross off another Southeast Asian country! Seeing as how my favourite country has shifted to India over Myanmar (!!) you'd think I'd rather go to somewhere like Nepal because it's bordering India. But no. Since my newly second and third favourites are Myanmar and Vietnam I couldn't wait to see what the Philippines had in store! I wasn't disappointed. Even as we were 20 minutes outside of Manila (The Filipino capital) I could see Palm-fringed sandy beaches! Of course the Philippines is 1,400-ish islands (geography class would be HARD) so it figures that there are many great beaches here!
We flew into Puerto Princessa at like 10pm so you can probably understand how we woke up at 10:30am the next morning! Wow. Max said that the Philippines reminded him of Bali but I think it was more the tropical paradise of Costa Rica...wow. I haven't thought about Costa Rica in a long time. But there you have it. The geckos 'gecko-ing' and the birds chirping. In fact the only thing missing were the waves! We ate a delicious breakfast (FRESH watermelon) and then did math. We've come to a realization that seeing as how we were only on the 60 page mark in India we better get doing some more math! I'm on page 138/350 now and Max is...actually I don't know where Max is. Adding onto Jay's threat of having to do math ALL through AUGUST is the fact that we might not go to Kitchi, if it's not finished!!!
After doing 10 or so pages of math we went down to the beach taking a tricycle. Yes and no. First it's actually an improvised tuk-tuk but it has the motorcycle on the left side and one wheel on the other side. On top of that wheel is a sidecar that has a roof and is attached to the motorcycle (somewhat) so yes it is a tricycle in having three wheels! But no you don't have to pedal! We headed out to the ocean and guess what? The tide was out. As in WAY out! We had to walk (as Max said) 100m to get to the actual ocean and some water. Along the way we passed THREE starfish! Considering how Max and I have never seen a WILD starfish Max decided to pick it up! He said it felt like something squishy but I just think it felt like sandpaper. Then Max put it down inside a different pool of water and it started moving! Have you ever seen a starfish move? Like really move? Well thin invisible (well nearly invisible) lines came out of the end of each appendage and it started crawling on them! Mind you though it wasn't moving very fast! Does anyone know what those thin lines are called? It was incredible! After the sun went down we headed back which was a mistake because in the Philippines it gets REALLY dark like 10 minutes after sunset! Added to the mix is the fact that there are no streetlights! So we relied on Jay's iPhone flashlight! We managed to get home safely but were a little freaked out before we went to bed because a LIZARD (not a gecko this one was bigger!) had crawled over my leg INSIDE OUR ROOM!
The next day we did more math and then went to breakfast and hung around our place for the afternoon. Then we went to a mall. A BIG shopping mall! It's really weird how the few places in Southeast Asia that have money really HAVE MONEY. They also like to show it. Robinson's Mall was one of those places. A sparkly white concrete/glass building it looked...reflective! We walked around the mall for awhile admiring all of the familiar brands (ToysRUs!!) and eventually we ended up down by the movie theatre! Now we hadn't seen Batman V.S. Superman (when you're travelling you can't watch movies all that much!) so when we saw it advertised we HAD to see it! Since the next time it played was 9pm we resolved to come back tomorrow and see it at 6pm, so we started looking for food. We didn't see anything we liked so we left without eating because it was 8:30pm and we wanted to get back to bed! The next day we were really excited to see it and so the whole day passed by real fast! Jay started reading Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix (Book 5) and Max decided to do a Blog. Now I really was worried about not being able to go to Kitchi so I hammered back some more math pages! When it was 5:15pm we arrived at the mall and went to get something to eat. This time we looked harder and we found some pizza. Then since it was 5:45pm we went back to the movie theatre. Now I'm not going to tell you WHAT happened in the movie, but I'll say this: The start is probably the scariest part and my favourite part was when Batman visited Metropolis and saw Superman V.S. General Zod! The movie is AWESOME THOUGH! It's SIX stars! But did any of you guys who saw it see the commercial for Marvel's Civil War?? It's gonna be awesome!
The next day we switched hotels and at our new hotel we can see kids playing basketball. Tomorrow we planned to go on the Underground River! We were so excited that we hardly slept! When we FINALLY got there the next day (our bus stopped like 3 times!) we got to get into boats and we had these listener devices on so we could hear a guide talking. When we got into the cave/river I was instantly reminded of the DarkCave in Vietnam (where we went in the mud) because it was so dark! There were THOUSANDS of bats as well!! We couldn't talk but our guide did anyways! It was really dark and also annoying that so many people were using flashlights because the guides already had some! We saw things like a 'Fruit Market' with papaya and apples and oranges-though they were as hard as rock! Literally! We also saw some really cool stalactites and stalagmites (I can NEVER remember which is which!) that had formed 'Columns' which were stalactites and stalagmites connected from the ground! When we got near the entrance/exit again my eyes started burning because it was so much lighter! After the Underground River we headed back to our hotel and we had to go RIGHT asleep because we were so tired!!
Tomorrow we're going to El Nido which is a popular beach for island tours! I'm excited!