Any advice for the Philippines?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by mooseontheloose, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I have the opportunity to travel to the Philippines on business for a conference in Cebu mid-August, and as I'll be on summer vacation from the university I think I'd like to stay for an extra week or two to take in the country. Unfortunately though, I don't have a lot of time to plan (as I normally would) for a trip like this and would appreciate any ideas or suggestions people might have for visiting the country. I'm looking more for interesting photo ops (nature, people, architecture) with the minimal amount of travelling/internal flights -- ideally just to visit 3 or 4 regional areas.

    I know that going to the Philippines in mid-August is not an ideal time climate-wise, so if there are any other suggestions about places to avoid at that time that would be great.
     
  2. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Los Baños is a nice, scenic small city with a campus of the University of the Philippines. If I recall they have an economics school, and an international school. It's located about 60 km SE of Manila on a good highway, so not near Cebu. I wouldn't recommend Manila (too hard to get around in) or Mindanao (too many terrorists).
     
  3. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Thanks John.

    I'm hoping to avoid Manila altogether, other than using the airport as a gateway to other places on the island. I have a full 8 days to do what I like, which is just enough to be tempted to do a few areas, or equally to just hang out on a beach for the entire time (although the photographer in me says NOOOOOOOOOOOO!). I'm doing quite a bit of internet research, but for whatever reason, I still prefer having a real guidebook in hand (which hopefully will arrive tomrorrow) to help me make final decisions. I definitely won't be going to Mindanao while I'm there, and hopefully won't have to deal with any typhoons either, regardless of where I am.
     
  4. Brownman

    Brownman Member

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    Hi,
    You must be in the Philippines by now and have already noticed (especially shooting available light) CONTRAST can be your biggest enemy or friend depending on you style and film stock. Also culturally, contrast is a very apt word to associate with my country and people being the only predominantly Christian place in Asia. Im sure the guidebook already told you that CEbu is where they'd put the earliest symbol of our Christianity with Magellan's Cross planted right in the heart of the city. Although i have lived a big chunk of my life in the neighboring island of Bohol, photographing centuries old baroque churches, spanish forts and ruins that pockmarked this region is a photo op that skipped my interest maybe because it is an everpresent fixture in my cultural makeup. Now living overseas, im realising we have more things in common with Mexico than close neighbors Malaysia or Thailand. (My name is Rodrigo, but i digress)
    With 8 days, You dont have to go back to Manila to explore other islands because CEbu is already a gateway to almost any place in the Philippines (and other countries because of the Mactan Int'l Airport). The seaports could also get you to any Visayan island in half hour to 4 hour short trips. Malapascua Island in the northern tip is where id hang out for a day or two if my thrill is the beach. Its a long drive though. What i'd do is hop to a ferry (1 hour) and cross to Bohol island and be able to explore more ops in a such a short time. (pm me if you need contacts there) What i like about this place is that even if its listed as No 1 tourist destination in the country, it has escaped the kind of 'tourist saviness' and not as corrupted by it compared to other places like Boracay. From there you can have other ferries that can take you to places like Camiguin (volcano, beaches, churches), Dumaguete, Siquijor, Sargiao (already Mndanao) and a lot of other interesting spots. Your choice, unfortunately you cannot pack them all in 8 days. Two last things, pack your gear well against humidity, sand and dust and bring lots of films, i left 5 years ago and even then i cannot find triX anywhere in the region. Bon voyage!!!
     
  5. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Thanks Rodrigo!

    I'm currently up north in Sagada to see the hanging coffins (just left Banaue), then off to Baguio and back to Cebu where I will catch the ferry over to Bohol for a couple of days (not enough time to visit properly, but hopefully the weather will be nice over the weekend!). Hopefully we won't have any more landslides in this area and I can actually make it down south to catch my flight on Saturday morning from Manila. If you have any more specific advice about how to manage two days in Bohol, please feel free to send me a pm and hopefully I'll get it before I get down there!

    Cheers.
     
  6. 6x9

    6x9 Member

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    Visit Mindanao and go PJ the conflict. Be very careful though, they've been known to attack PJs. Enjoy PI!
     
  7. ryanmacalandag

    ryanmacalandag Member

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    pls check your PM. Bohol photographer here. :smile: might be able to help you with going around Bohol.