The last few days in El Nido have been pretty much the same as the others- making animal noises at sunsets, cheap rum, power cuts, sunbathing and socialising.
Being in a hostel has been just like being in uni halls (minus the lectures and deadline pressures). AND THERE ARE PETS!
The weather wasn’t as great on the last couple of the days, which meant we spent a lot of time lounging around, reading, writing and eating. But sometimes it’s nice to have days like that, when you put your feet up and don’t have any worries or rush.
Tuesday night was one to remember anyway. The hostel staff organised a boozy trivia quiz night for us. It was hilarious! From the start, me and jenny were convinced we were going to win, so we were covering up our paper from the guys sitting either side of us (even though we were obviously really shit). We did our usual British thing and poured neat rum into cans so we wouldn’t get caught for sneaking alcohol in. People must have wondered why it was taking me three hours to finish a single can of coke…
Drunken Bex, being drunken Bex, confidently got up to take part in a dance off. Anybody that knows drunk Bex will know how often, after a few drinks, I challenge random people to dance offs in the middle of clubs and bars. I can’t dance for s**t, but drunk Bex seems to think she can.. But guess what- maybe she can a little bit cause WE WON! 10/10 points! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
The next day, which was spent slightly hungover, was beautiful and hot and sunny and just the best day for floating in the sea and sunbathing. I’ve built up a good tan now, especially on my stomach, but my tan lines are awful!
We popped back into town to get some more cash out and went to a really nice Greek restaurant on the water for dinner. The food took ages to come but it was worth it. I would have usually gone for the seafood Paela, but couldn’t resist carby homemade fries and haloumi (hangover food).
One of our new roomies (who was weirdly from Kingston and whose dad apparently lives just a couple of roads down from my old house) was chatting to me for a bit about the capital- Manila. I was saying how I wasn’t too excited about going back there in the morning and we exchanged stories from each other’s experience there.
It was too early for him to check in to his hostel, so he found himself, after barely any sleep for two days, going on a tour around the slums of Manila for a fundraiser. What he saw and heard is so devastating.
There was rubbish EVERYWHERE. And feaces. The tour guide urged them to try not to throw up before they had even arrived. It was literally like walking through a dump where people lived. He said there wasn’t really any houses, just some shelters. Kids sat on the side of the street sniffing glue, others searched through the rubbish to find leftover food that they could re-cook it and sell as street food. Apparently some people even let paedofiles take their children off to rape them, just so they can earn a bit more money. They have NOTHING. He said he was terrified and convinced he was going to get beaten up and robbed.
Just thinking about the fact thing place actually exists, not just here but all over the world, and there’s millions people there right now is so eye opening and heartbreaking. I have slated the UK for a lot of things, but it’s made me realise how lucky we are to have our country; nothing like that would ever be allowed to happen. Despite the areas where our country might not be so great, at least we have a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in at night. I haven’t been to the slums myself, but just his story has really stuck with me and really upset me. I hope one day something can be done to help these people- I know I will do what I can if I ever get the chance.
But not to end things on a bad note! Our two weeks here have been unforgettable; I’ve never been anywhere as tropical and beautiful as this! I will miss the jollyness of the Filipino people, going out of their way to say hello to you and referring to you as “ma’am”!
I feel like I have ticked so much off of my bucket list already! But I’m also coming away with the realisation of just how big the Philippines actually are how much there is to see. I’m leaving for now but will definitely be coming back to see the other islands!