It has been a whole year since we have gone on a such a long flight, eleven hours from San Francisco to Tokyo and six hours from Tokyo to Manila. This may have been her fifth trip to the Philippines but this time she was three years old with completely new interests from when we last went. A year ago she wanted to run up and down the aisle and I was a little nervous that might still have been the case. I packed our carry on with tons of distraction such as a dollhouse, sticker book, notebook and pencils, weaving loom, unicorn, wireless headphones, and iPad. Oh, and a ton of snacks that she would not normally get. Actually it went pretty well.
I ended up getting a lot of last-minute Christmas presents at Narita.
We arrived in Manila at 11pm but did not get a chance to go home. Instead we went to a hotel because we had only 10 hours until our flight to Bohol with my aunts and cousin. We were going on holiday immediately!
PANGLAO ISLAND BLUEWATER RESORT
It was heaven, the antidote to 32 hours of traveling and jet lag. Warm weather, sunny skies, a beautiful double villa and a plunge pool. All she wanted to do was get in the water as soon as she woke up and stayed in the water until it was dark.
Our first halo-halo, a Filipino dessert made of shaved ice, condensed milk, sweet beans, jellies, fruits, and topped with ice cream and leche flan.
This small pond had a mysterious rotation of wildlife. One day it had sea stars, then fish, and then langoustines.
We were here right before Christmas and the resort was decked with giant parols, Christmas lantern symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem.
Our first coconut of the trip. We live for coconuts.
"The biggest hermit crab I've never seen."
Pond sea star.
I'm obsessed with this bahay kubo.
PANGLAO BEACH ISLAND HOPPING
Site of the famous blood compact pledging peace and cooperation between native chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.
La Purisima Conception de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, commonly referred to as Baclayon Church, was founded in 1596. In 1717 it was elevated as a parish and in 1727 the coral stone structure was completed, now a national historical landmark. It sustained massive damage during a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013 and is still undergoing reconstruction.
TARSIER AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
- Tarsiers are 3.6 to 6.4 inches in length and between 2.8 and 5.8 ounces in weight.
- They are nocturnal and arboreal.
- Each eye is heavier than the brain. They have the largest eyes (compared to the body size) of all mammals.
- They can leap a distance of up to 16.4 feet. Tarsiers catch their prey by leaping from one branch to another. Their diet consists mainly of insects.
- They can rotate their head for 180 degrees without moving the rest of the body. This helps them remain silent while waiting for the prey to appear.
- Tarsiers are solitary and territorial animals. Each animal require one hectare of territory for itself.
- Life span of tarsiers is usually between 12 and 20 years in the wild. Tarsiers are very sensitive to a life in captivity and very small percent of animals manage to survive behind the bars.
IWAHIG FIREFLY WATCHING
At Iwahig River you can take a 20 minute boat ride to see fireflies in the mangrove forest. They looked like lit up Christmas trees. Unfortunately my iPhone photos did not turn out. You really need a good camera to take photos in the dark.