I flew into Dumaguete, a booming town, since the last 4 years property prices have quadrupled, no wonder with world class diving round the corner and a tall mountain right next to multiple beaches. The town also has some 400 years old buildings to offer, erected by the Spanish back in the days. A bit away from town I found a place called La Fiesta – Ralf the owner is German, living around with his family for quite some time now. I was longing for some nice German food and I found it right there, Gulasch, Schnitzel, Spätzle also the pizza was bloody tasty. The only down part – the noise from the road, everything else, food and social life is superb, not talking about the amazing live music every Thursday. Hooray to the good times!
What made me come to the area initially was a hint from Sanny, to dive Apo Island… For the first couple of dives I went together with Joe, Martin and Kasper to Dauin, which is famous for macro diving, looking out for the tiniest things underwater with sandy bottom and just a few spots like old tires, sunken jeeps or old ropes – we still managed to spot some wired critters and tiny creatures, but the diving was different, the colors more greenish and you really have to look for stuff. Apo Island the next day was just the opposite, more the diving I’m used to, corals as big as cars, colorful and in all shapes some smaller schools of fish, the typical reef fish and turtles, lots of them, the biggest we saw measuring 2 meters. I was stoked by the corals, Raja Ampat will always be number 1 on my list I reckon but Apo gets pretty close. Of course we saw dolphins on our way back to the shore another perfect day diving!
I’m still drawn to the mountains, not as strong as to the sea but all the peaks send out a magnificent energy and the area has some taller hills to offer, so I went up the slopes to the base of Mt. Talinis at round 500 meters, the peak itself is at 1.903! Volcanic activity, vivid colors, hot pools, sulfuric air and some nice waterfalls can be found up there, I was totally reminded of New Zealand! It was a sweet day with the bike, off-roading is so much fun, way better than riding a simple scooter. I managed to handle the semi-automatic bike quite well, feels even more like getting the bike licence now as soon as I’m home!
A pretty versatile week, learned a lot about the Philippines and the people and had some great fun outdoors. Whoop whoop!