After checking out of Residential Lodge we rode a mile south to view some more hanging coffins and a couple of caves. The Sumaging cave was huge and it would take 6 hours to navigate through it to the other side, we got about ten minutes into it when Lloyd slipped in the biggest pile of bat crap ever. You could hear thousands of bats above us and we were walking straight through their faeces which at first was soft but became particularly sticky, James's flip flop snapped terminating our caving experience.James rode back to the village to buy some flip flops and to wash the crap from his feet and I rode to another cave and climbed down into it where I found a number of old coffins, some of them has rotten away revealing human skulls - quite a chilling experience.
After breakfast / lunch in the Masferre Country Inn we bought a wooden souvenir; Bulol the rice protector is an important element in the Ifugao culture of the Central Cordillera so it seemed quite an appropriate artefact to take away with us.
We headed to back to Bontoc and South to Banaue, stopping off to view the rice terraces which have been described as being the eighth wonder of the world. It took the Ifugao tribes over 2000 years to create the imposing landscape which was truly breathtaking. From Banaue we headed East towards Batad cutting straight through minority villages and off road up a rocky path where we were flagged down by one of the locals who jumped on the back of my bike until we arrived at a small shop where around 15 lads were stood. The lads insisted that we left the bikes there and trekked into Batad, at first we thought the worst and thought the lads were after our bikes or money but one of the local women came out and explained that our bikes would be safe and a guide would take us to the small village. The lads came across as being harmless and one of them explained to us that he would sleep next to the bikes for a dollar so we parked up and followed Francis and his daughter to down some steps and onto the jungle trail. We had to carry a live chicken by its feet to the village, the young girl also had hold of a chicken but because she was so small the chickens head kept banging into stones, I felt sorry for the poor birds but that evening they would be turned into a local dish.
We arrived in the wonderful village of Batad just before it went dark, we could see that the village was overlooking unreal rice terraces shaped like an amphitheatre. We were introduced to Francis's family and shown to our accommodation which was a traditional wooden Ifugao house on stilts; we had to climb some bamboo ladders to enter the house. The house was surprisingly roomy and boasted five beds and a fire; the walls were decorated with skulls and carvings to keep bad omens away.
That evening we ate another traditional dish 'Chicken Tinola' a delicious stew with a ginger flavour washed down with a few Filipino brewed San Miguel beers. We met an Israeli couple called Omer andRonnie a Filipino student called Ray and a number of locals - Rambo, Gilbert (the guy who had been on the back of my bike), Francis (our guide) his brother and owner of the house Raymond and the rest of his family. We played the guitar and had a fire under our accommodation; Raymond told us a few stories and explained how the smoke from the fire would get rid of Mosquitoes and helps harden the wood. Again James and I didn't have any problem sleeping after an exhausting day. The only downfall of the day was that I couldn't find a phone or the internet to wish Roger happy birthday, but we'd be back in a town tomorrow at some point.
Francis woke us up for an early morning trek to Tappia waterfall, we had to cut straight across the rice terraces balancing on narrow walls with large drops on one side, we then walked down a what seemed to be endless steep steps before catching our first glimpse of the impressive waterfall. I stripped down to my boxer shorts and took a dip in the bitter pool before our climb back to the village. We ate noodles before the strenuous climb back to where we parked the bikes, the jungle was wet and humid and when we arrived back at the bikes we were wet through with sweat. We were exhausted and had to ride all afternoon, enabling us to return the bikes on the 29th. The tracks were wet and we started our ride nervously but we were soon picking up speed splashing through muddy puddles on the track back to Banaue. We rode south through Lagawe then on to Santa Fe, we stopped off for some food where I showed a group of locals a magic trick, they couldn't believe it and I couldn't believe the disbelief in their faces I felt like David Blaine.
We rode through the scenic Dalton Pass and rode hard; we didn't even stop to take photos we knew we had to make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time. 17.00 we arrived in San Jose where we checked into a hotel for the evening. We had a bite to eat in a local 'eatery' before bed. We'd trekked for 4 hours swam in a waterfall and rode for about four hours I felt like I'd aged about ten years in one day.
After our complimentary breakfast we headed into the hotels underground car park and loaded up the bikes; James's bike had a slow puncture so we topped it up with air before riding back to Angeles city.We road south to Gapan then West towards the city, the city was badly signposted so we relied on my compass for the majority of the way. 13.00 We arrived back at the Marble Inn and were greeted by Henry, we had an ice cold beer before returning the bikes; however James's tyre was now flat so we had to visit a vulcanising shop where they replaced the inner tube.
After a well deserved sleep we joined the rest of the locals in the restaurant before heading to the Pea Eye bar with one of the locals named Mikey to another local bar to celebrate our trip and the fact that we were still alive. Mikey needed cheering up as his Filipino bride had recently passed away, however he was soon laughing and jokin and we all enjoyed the evening.
We had a huge lie in and basically used the day to rest and plan our onwards travel plan; moving on from the island of Luzon could work out pretty pricey because its holy week were flight and boat prices were inflated for this national holiday.
We booked a flight to Puerto Princesa for the 2nd, this was the earliest day we could get a cheap flight for (£35). After a well deserved lazy day - catching up with my emails and blog we spent the evening playing pool in the bar.
During my full English breakfast Henry commented that the sausages were German and therefore the best in the world, he obviously hasn't had English ones. I hadn't had a guitar session for a while and was getting itchy fingers so Henrys son 'Frederick' and I decided to have a bit of a jam. Henry came across as a bit a perfectionist and had a particular taste, this was reflected in his choice of guitar for his son, most dads would start their son off on a cheap and nasty copy cat guitar but Frederick had a Hamer guitar and a huge Marshal amp. We went into the basement where he plugged in the six string and told me to play it, I played a random power chord and it sounded sweet, I asked him if his dad didn't mind the noise and his response was 'he bought me it'. I started to play a few licks whilst Frederick bashed away in his drum kit. The rest of the day was filled playing musical instruments followed by a game of table tennis, Frederick seemed to be like his dad in that anything he tried he wanted to master, I like that in a person.
After freshening up we went into the bar for a drink before heading too Fields avenue for a bite to eat, Henry owns an Italian restaurant on Fields avenue so we decided to eat there having been told they do the best pizzas in town - we weren't disappointed. As we left Salvidors we bumped into Mikey and his family entering the establishment, we wished him all the best before entering what can only be described as a jungle. The street was wild; I mean wilder than anywhere I've ever been with kids and hawkers approaching us asking us if we wanted sunglasses "no thanks its dark" maybe Viagra then sir, I mean I don't really know how you can go straight from selling sunglasses to selling Viagra. The Viagra was an indication to the clientele on the streets, apart from the street rats 'I mean kids' James and I were the youngest guys there, I couldn't believe that there were no stag do's or groups of young lads, it was like the place was a huge secret and you only get told of it when you get you become a pensioner. We had a good night on the town before staggering back to the Marble Inn.
I woke up slightly hung over ate some pasta and headed out onto the streets of Angeles. It was Maundy Thursday and I'd read how that in the Northern provinces they celebrate Easter in a somewhat unusual way, I hadn't planned to be here for the festival - it was more luck than anything. James was too hung-over to play out so I grabbed my camera and headed to where I'd catch a glimpse of the celebrations - church.
The church was being prepared for a five o'clock service but apart from that not much else was happening, so I walked back onto the street where I saw a man dressed in white holding a cross. The man looked like he was a member of the Klu Klux Klan, I smiled at him but I couldn't tell if he was smiling or not behind the white cloak. I carried on walking over bridge where children swam in the dirty, rubbish contaminated water below me and made my way to a number of 'cycle taxi' drivers, I asked them where I could watch the Holy Thursday celebrations, they told me it would start in 30 minutes so I sat patiently before making my way back across the bridge again. As I got to the other side of the bridge I could see that a group of Filipinos were forming, I sat down on the bridge a few metres away from the crowd but before I knew it I became the centre of attention again and people were asking me how I celebrate Easter? And where am I from? I answered them in a polite manner but was more interesting in what the young lads were doing just behind the curious bunch. I reversed the conversation and asked them what they do and before I knew it they were pulling me in every direction as I shot a series of photographs.
The young men were binding each other up with rope in a convict style fashion, some wearing a crown of thorns others covering their faces with a thin linen cloth. The young men started to lash themselves with what looked like to be a bunch of small canes on a rope, each man would have two of these leashes and slap them on to their back simultaneously. The men all bent forward as another man pulled out a cutting implement and made around 10 incisions on the back of each man. Being brought up a catholic I knew what all this represented but still couldn't help feel slightly anxious by it all, I was the only white boy around and here I was watching some bloody religious ceremony. The men started to form a line and parade over the bridge flogging themselves, they walked straight past me splattering blood on my light linen pants, I was going to make a joke about sending them the dry-cleaning bill but didn't think the timing was appropriate. I jumped onto a jeepney and past the parade jumping off at the next junction for another shot, a few cycle taxi men recognised me and told me to stand with them, as the men walked past they were hosed down by a man with a hosepipe and the bloody water formed a red stream across the road.
I was quite disappointed in a way that on Good Friday I'd miss the crucifixions, believe it or not devout believers are actually nailed to the cross in public.
Back at the marble inn I changed out of my blood splattered cloths and packed up my belongings, we'd be checking out of the Marble Inn the following morning and catching our £35 flight to Palawan.
We checked out and settled what had become quite a big tab before catching a Jeepney to the bus depot. I wanted to set off quite early because I'd read that public transport can often be unreliable on the Easter weekend. We boarded the bus at around 10.00 arriving in Manila at around 11.30, we then had to catch a taxi to the airport, the driver tried to overcharge us but we've been in the Philippines too long to know what the correct price should be, as soon as I mentioned police he lowered his price and we were soon enough sat in the airport waiting for our check in desk to open.
Our flight was at 5.00 but we were sure things were going to be delayed by the bunch of chimps working on the Cebu Pacific check in desk; each person seemed to have to wait ten minutes for them to process the luggage etc. 5.00 we were sat on the plane and actually took off early, the flight was ace and the scenery was beautiful; as we approached the main land in Puerto Princessa the pilot banked extremely low to the water before touching down on the small runway.
The airport was tiny and within minutes we had our bags, we filled in our names in a small register book and walked around 250m up the road where we found Moana Hotel. The room was quite basic and slightly expensive for what it was (850 pesos / £12), however the small pool was lovely and right next to a restaurant / bar so we decided to take it. I immediately jumped into the pool before heading out into Puerto Princessa.
Puerto Princessa is the second largest city in the Philippines after Davao, in terms of area. The city is remarkable for its cleanliness, something the mayor Edwin Hagedorn is praised for as he manages to enthuse the locals with the idea of keeping their city clean - throwing cigarettes here could incur a fine.
We headed to the nearest ATM but had to try four before we had any luck, we needed to get the maximum amount out each day for the next couple of days because once we leave Puerto Princessa there are a lack of banks. On our way back to Moana Hotel we stopped at a locals restaurant and ate the seafood special which was delicious, a combination of fish, clams and squid all for less than £4.
Most of the day was spent planning our onward trip. I visited a number of travel / tour shops and asked them how you get to the small coastal town of EL Nido, all the options seemed to be quite expensive until the hotel employee Cze advised me that they have a minibus heading to El Nido on the 5th this was perfect for us. We also looked into getting from Puerto Princessa to Cebu but this also seemed expensive with flights costing over £100, I stumbled upon a flight to Cebu on the 13th giving us over a week on this beautiful island.
The rest of the day was spent in the pool, later that day we rented motorbikes for our trip to the underground river which we were planning on completing the following day.
11.00 We had filled our bikes with fuel, had a bite to eat and headed North East towards Sabang.
Sabang is situated near the St Paul subterranean National Park and is supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), thick in jungle the road there was again great fun, winding and twisting through small villages such as Santa Cruz, Baheli, Buenvista and Cabayugan. We located the Boat office in Sabang but had to wait quite a while before we were allowed on the vessel so to kill time we walked onto the beach where we ate lunch (sting ray adobo) which was obviously fresh and pretty tasty. 15.00 We boarded the six man wooden boat and headed East towards Saint Paul bay, the boat headed towards a small remote beach where James and I disembarked. We had to walk five or ten minutes through the jungle before reaching a small hut where we were issued with a life jacket and safety helmet. We saw one paddle boat exit the cave packed full of tourist, we were pretty lucky because the only other person in the boat was the guide who was a remarkable rower. The three of us entered the cave which is a candidate for one of the new natural wonders of the world; the underground river meanders for over 8km and nature has provided it with a bewildering variety of enormous stalactites, fragile looking columns, smooth-walled pipes, jagged caverns and huge impressive chambers including one completely covered with bats.
After visiting the underground river we headed back to Sabang on a boat with some of the staff from the underground river before jumping back on our bikes and heading back to our base in Puerto Princessa which took considerably longer than the journey there because we took the wrong turn off. James's bike was also playing up after we bought fuel from a small shop, every time he slowed down the bike would stall - coughing and spluttering; we managed to get both bikes back in one piece and exchange them for our passports which we'd left as a deposit.
Later that evening we packed up our bags, packing an additional bag that we'd leave behind in Puerto Princessa enabling us to travel light when visiting El Nido the following morning.
6.00 Our mini bus to El Nido arrived and we loaded our bags on to it, we picked a number of other tourists up before switching to a more comfy twelve seater minibus. I tried to shut my eyes and get some sleep as the journey was going to take six hours however the driver was crazy, screeching around hairpin corners and breaking at the last second, every time he went around a corner we had to tense up like we were in an F1 car; I think it was the prayers of the passengers that helped us make it to El Nido. We walked around El Nido for maybe an hour trying to seek accommodation on the beach, however they were all full or too pricey so we settled for a bamboo beach type hut just behind the stretch of more expensive lodgings on the front.
El Nido Plaza was pretty basic, two beds, a fan, and a communal bathroom, however we were here for the beach and diving and just needed a place to sleep and for £4 a night (each) we weren't complaining.
I ventured out to explore this quaint coastal town and visited a couple of dive centres and a lovely restaurant called the Art Cafe. After a sleep James and I headed back to the Art Cafe to use their Wifi whilst listening to live music, the acoustic guitarist was excellent, I chatted to the middle aged Korean looking man at the bar after his performance and said we would return to watch him again later on in the week.
After breakfast in the Art Cafe we decided to hire some flippers and go snorkelling, El Nido is surrounded by rugged steep limestone cliffs, we swam along the rocky bay until El Nido town was now out of view and all we could see is the turquoise water and the fascinating islands of the Bacuit Bay. Almost all of these rocky grey islands jut steeply out of the crystal clear water and have small sandy bays, it was like paradise. We snorkelled as far as we could before meeting a large wall of jelly fish which we didn't like the look of, so we turned back; on the one hour swim back we rested on a rock and watched as a Philippine King Fisher (Halcyon chloris qullaris) landed close to us.
James and I were both exhausted from the snorkelling session so decided to have a siesta before booking our diving courses, James wanted to complete his PADI open water and I wanted to finish off my advanced diving which I'd started a few years ago in Thailand / Malaysia.
Seadog divers was owned by Barry Whitely a middle aged Yorkshire man I met on my first day in El Nido, Bazza was from Huddersfield and it seemed appropriate for me and James to dive with him as we both studied inHudderfield and Bazza was one of them people you warmed to immediately. He sorted us out with what seemed to be a reasonable price (£150 for me - 6 dives + advanced cert) and after a spot of tea at Squidos restaurant (another local internet cafe) James and I went back to sea dogs to watch a few dive videos; the videos were compulsory for James's course and a good opportunity for me to refresh.
The following morning at 8.00 we'd be diving in the Bacuit Archipelago.
We were both up bright and early and fitted out with all the gear which was packed into a large plastic crate and carried onto the speedboat. We were joined by Barry (sea dog owner), Dow (dive master), Jeff (dive master) and two other couples who seemed pleasant enough. James and Barry would dive together and complete the first stage of his open water and I'd dive with Dow and two other lads (Frederick the Swede and Henry the Brit). We completed two dives in the morning and saw the most amazing corral I've ever seen, I was slightly nervous at first because after not diving for years I was literally thrown in at the deep end and my breathing wasn't the most efficient nor my buoyancy however I soon got back into it. We spotted a number of interesting species from your average angel fish, shoals of barracuda and a few puffer fish to a pair of large mating octopus's and a really unusual cuttle fish.
After two dives we headed to a small beach set in a cove to eat lunch, the beach was like something from a bounty advert and the water was so clear you could see fish swimming in the clear shallow water from metres away. After our rice and meat type stew James and I swam to a small opening on one of the cliffs, we climbed through the hole and into a small lagoon, the water here was warm and even though the pool was relatively small we were still surrounded in every direction by steep cliff faces.
Back on the boat we headed to yet another island to complete our third dive, by now I was back into the swing of things, kitted up in minutes and sat on the edge of the boat ready to drop back into the warm South China Sea. The third dive was different to the other two as the visibility was even better and the corral formations were more interesting, we swam through a number of tight corral walls helped by the current before drifting back to our boat which took about twenty minutes. After ascending up the anchor line and passing my weight belt and jacket to the captain I stripped to my shorts and dived off the boat for a quick swim before heading back to El Nido town. Barry let me dive today as a bit of a refresh; tomorrow I'd be completing three dives and after a bit of paper work I'd hopefully be granted my advanced diving certificate.
We celebrated our first day of diving with spaghetti and seafood washed down with a banana and rum milkshake, later in the evening we returned to the dive centre to watch a few more videos, it wasn't long before our eyes became pretty heavy, we were both sunburnt and exhausted after our three dives and we had to be back at the dive centre at 8.00 the following morning
7.30 fruit and biscuits for breakfast before meeting up with Bazza and co at the Sea Dog Dive Centre, we were joined by two Germans and an American and of course the two dive masters 'Dow and Jeff' and Bazza. We loaded the kit onto the boat and headed off to one of the many islands, my first dive was the deep dive which I was slightly nervous about, Barry and I would gradually descend to 30m and see how my reactions were at that depth. The open water cert allows you to dive at 18m and the deepest I've been is around the 20 mark my concern was would I be effected by Nitrogen Narcosis which gives you a reversible alteration in consciousness, it can be the same sensation as alcohol intoxication which I'm use to except some people have a tendency to panic and try to kick to the surface. Ascending to the surface from that depth requires a safety stop to prevent damage to the lungs and prevent decompression sickness and panicking could lead to all sorts of problems. However Bazza and I took it slow and the only problem was the poor visibility, Barry had a torch so we could still look into caves and crevasses.
My second dive involved picking up a series of weights from the sea bed and adjusting my buoyancy control device accordingly. After this and a few other tasks we swam to a nearby reef where we saw a black tip reef shark, the shark was about two metres long and swam in front of us before darting back amongst the corral.
After dive number two we headed to a nearby secluded beach to have lunch. As we walked onto the beach I noticed some small cages which were housing protected turtle eggs, we were quite lucky because a few of the turtles had hatched in the last twenty four hours and were in a small basin in a nearby hut.
Barry and I dropped off the boat about 100m from the beach and the others carried on to another island. Barry was going to test my navigation skills and had armed me with a compass; we both descended to the sandy sea bed where he drew a square with a twenty next to it onto the sand indicating for me to navigate us both around a square shape, the squares length would be determined by twenty kick cycles.After completing a couple of tasks we swam along the corral where we spotted a long banded yellow lip sea snake, apparently one of the most venomous in the world - I shook my head maybe half a metre away from the snake not realising it was venomous, however its mouth is so small it's never bitten man, so Barry told me. Barry and I swam to the secluded beach and took off our gear and had a swim before the rest of the gang on the boat returned for us, whilst we were in the shallow water a huge Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) soared over head, it was the perfect end to the dive.
Back at the dive centre we completed our dive logs and told Barry we'd sit our small exam tomorrow, we were too shattered to be looking at books and just wanted to shut our eyes.
Later that evening I woke up about 22.00 but knew if I didn't go out I wouldn't be able to sleep, I ventured out alone and had a bite to eat before a few beers in another bar playing live music. The band weren't brilliant but played a number of songs that I love, after they finished playing the set the quizzical band joined me at the bar for a drink.
After six dives in 48 hours I was looking forward to a lie in however at around 6.00 you could be mistaken for being in a zoo with the number of animals crying out. I had a quick shower before heading to the Art Cafe where I spent all the morning catching up with my blog and emails. In the afternoon I had a bit of work to do towards my advanced diving cert so spent a few hours with my head in my oversized text book which I now have to carry around the world with me.
16.00 We headed to Sea Dog Dive centre and completed the necessary paper work, James was granted his open water and I was given my advanced diving certificate. Barry cracked open a beer for us both and Jeff and Jose (another dive master) joined us for a few drinks, we were sat in Barry's front room which is an open plan terrace overlooking the sea and the Archipelago, we watched assun retired for the day and the colours of the landscape gradually changed.
Jeff, the 27 year old dive master took us to a local restaurant and introduced us to a few locals, I ate the stuffed squid which was a full squid stuffed with onion, garlic and tomatoes it was honestly the best squid I've ever tried. After our food we played a spot of pool and then a poker session with Jeff (Dive Master), Daniel (German we just met), Youngest (manager of a guest house) and James; Youngest won the small pot and took James and I to a local night club where we carried on the fun.
I woke up early again and headed to Squidos for my one of my favourite drinks of the trip so far - banana milkshake and a mango pancake for breakfast. It was our last day in El Nido which was quite upsetting, normally after a few nights somewhere I'm ready to move on but I could stop here for months, everyone is friendly and laid back and things seem a lot simpler here. Electricity is turned off between 6am and 2pm and an air raid sounding siren goes off at 22.00 indicating that all children under the age of 16 should be off the street but its things like that which I love about El Nido. When the power is off children play on the beach front (unattended), shop owners sit out on the street and everyone nearly everyone smiles at you when you smile at them, it's hard not to smile when you look at the surroundings.
After a spot of pasta at Squidos I strolled across to the beach which is maybe 50m away from our hut. The sun was dropping in the western sky west behind the huge cliff faces and it was a perfect time to enjoy the warm water and watch as fisherman ended their days, in fact I went back to the hut just to grab the camera. After a cold refreshing shower we headed out for a bite to eat
We dropped by the dive centre to say our goodbyes to Barry, Dhoy, Jeff and Serena before walking along the beach front to Marbors (the restaurant / bar we were playing poker in the previous night). Bernie the owner greeted us and introduced us to a friendly Ozzy called Mick, weall had a bite to eat (rum and chocolate pancake) before hitting the pool table. Mick was a character the 30 year old Perth resident had picked up a Filipino girl from Puerto Princessa and put her and his luggage on the back of a small 125cc bike and rode for seven hours to El Nido. Mick had short ginger hair resulting in him having the nick name Oranga which is nick name for an orang-utan, on a drunken episode in South East Asia a few months back, Mick decided to have a tattoo on his side. He had no idea what to have branded on his right side but after a lengthy debate with the tattooist and his drunken friends, Mick left the tattoo parlour with a tattoo of an Orang-utan; the anthropoid ape native to the forests of Borneo and Sumatra stuck his thumb up and smiled in a forthcoming manner.
More people joined us in the pool session; Mick's girlfriend, Lina and Daniel - a Swedish brother and sister combo as well as a few others. The small party soon spilled out onto the beach where we carried on drinking shots of rum and sharing stories. 3.00 bar man from a night club who I'd met the previous night took me home on his bike, I asked him if he'd been drinking to which he replied "not as much as you" - he dropped me off in one piece.
6.00 I struggled out of bed, packed the remaining bits and pieces of my belongings and caught a bike taxi rickshaw type thing to the bus station where we hopped onto the 9 seater 4x4 minibus and begun the six hour Dhaka style rally back to Puerto Princesa. We checked back into the Moana hotel and had a well deserved sleep before eating a seafood pasta dish at the bar
We used our last day in Puerto Princesa to organise our onward travel including camper van hire for Australia. Once I had retrieved quotes from several companies I felt like I'd done a bit of work and spent the second half of the day in the pool, we had the pool to ourselves until it was hijacked by several noisy bar girls from across the road. After we were well and truly sun kissed we packed our kit up ready for our onward flight to Cebu City at 11.40 the following morning and headed out for some food.
After my continental breakfast consisting of bread, jam, juice and coffee I packed up my remaining belongings and checked out of the Moana hotel. Our Cebu Pacific flight to Cebu City (located in the Visayas - Island range) was due to leave at 11.40 but with the airport literately a stone's throw away we could afford to take our time. We casually strolled up the road and checked our bags in, where they were hand balled onto the jet, we paid the £1 tax fee ate a hotdog then boarded the plane - why can't the bigger airports be so prompt and trouble-free?
After an hour flying over the Sulu Sea which boasted blue skies and petite paradise islands below, we landed on a small island called Lapu-Lapu which is connected to the main land via a bridge. Lapu-Lapu was a proud Filipino chief who opposed the Spanish authority, and led to a battle in which the Portuguese seafarer Ferdinand Magellan (in service for Spain) responsible for colonising parts of the Philippines was killed.
We caught a taxi to Cebu City and checked into old, shabby but reasonably priced 'McSherry Pension House' which is centrally located just off Pelaez Street (£3 Each).
We were both pretty peckish so headed to a fast food restaurant called the Jolibee; the jolibee is basically a rip off of every fast food place you can think of selling anything from burgers, fried chicken and fries to pasta dishes and sweets. Even though the city is fairly big it was quite easy to find our bearings, we visited the 1836 city cathedral before locating the ferry terminal where we booked our onward journey to Bohol Island for the following day at 13.30. Cebu is the capital and the main town on Cebu with a population of about 800,000 however there wasn't anything particular James and I wanted to see in the slightly run down city so we just used it as a stopover before carrying onto Bohol.
Later that evening we ventured back out to the Jollibee but soon retreated to our room; we were already tired but constant hassle from hawkers and hookers can be pretty draining.