Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort

If you’re looking for an island getaway, Bohol in the Philippines is the place to go for natural beauty and fun on the beach. From Manila, flights are affordable (~$50 USD round-trip) and quick (an hour and 15 minutes) through Cebu Pacific. Bohol is the province and the name of the main island, but it also has 75 minor surrounding islands. The capital of Bohol is Tagbilaran City, and that’s where the airport is, but I can’t recommend spending a lot of time there. When you go to Bohol, you must stay on the island, Panglao. Panglao is just a short drive southwest of the Tagbilaran airport. 

So happy to be at Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort in Bohol,...

So happy to be at Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort in Bohol, Philippines for a week. More to follow.

The Massachusetts Moment

by O. Langer

The ferry to Cebu is late.

Every seat in the large waiting room is taken. Those not sitting are stood either against the back wall or in the isles. There’s a white noise of chatter. Behind microphones, by the doorway the tourists will use to embark, are acoustic guitars, a mandolin and a tambourine. In front is a donation box. Few will put in. The hum of talk won’t abate when the performance starts.

The blind band appears; each member with an arm locked in a colleague’s for guidance. All are in the Ocean Jet company uniform of yellow polo and red shorts. Though one is a young man, the songs he’ll sing this evening are hits from long before he was born. Massachusetts, by the Bee Gees, is one.

Tarsier Time: Hanging Out With the World’s Smallest Primate

A long-time opponent of zoos, my up-close experience with wild animals has been somewhat limited.  A trip through SE Asia years ago provided brushes with iguanas, water buffalo, and the ubiquitous gecko, but sightings of elephants or tigers evaded me; I refused to visit them in camps, wary of bearing witness to animals who underwent training for the sole purpose of entertaining humans.  Wild creatures of an exotic nature felt like an aspect of the planet destined to remain distant from my own small existence; I sometimes imagined them in their natural habitat, but beyond that didn’t persue learning about them in any sort of focused way.

Loboc, Bohol Island, In Pictures

Waking to 6 a.m. rain and rooster calls, fried eggs for breakfast, fried eggs for dinner, packs of children trailing us on the Barangay dirt road, a marching band that travels from house to house each year for forty days, the sea-green river, wide wooden floor planks of a 15th-century church, cats, a clock tower, bananas and Red Horse beer, a porch rope hammock and again, rain, beading on the leaf-tips, threatening to let go.

This was Loboc.

(Click on a photo to enlarge and view in a carousel…it’s better that way.)

Journey to the Jungle

It’s 12:25 a.m. on Sunday, the eve before Korea’s Lunar New Year, temperature for tomorrow predicted at -1.  I’ve been typing away on a couple marketing projects all day,  while Joe fried beans for seven-layer dip, trucked to Home Plus for a bottle of wine, some  Johnnie Walker Red, a pineapple, other colourful things. Now he is chopping mushrooms for pasta salad, preparing for our overnight trip tomorrow with friends to a pension in Yangsan.  The train will leave from Bujeon Station at 10:30 a.m.  I haven’t packed but the Philippines is fading and between preparing to leave Korea (38 days!), selling my bookcase, my couch, my mirrors, teaching, writing text for websites and reading up on Rajasthan (11 hours, the guide book says, from Delhi to Ajmer, then 30 minutes to Pushkar…) the blog has been on an unwanted pause.

Philippines Peek

We’re back in Busan, with stories to tell.

I’ve got a few scrapes from a motorcycle spill, and our bank accounts took a dip after we had to buy brand new full-fare plane tickets back to Korea following a missed flight due to a cancelled boat–but the trip was wonderful.

More posts and photos coming this week :)

Happy New Year with love!

On a "tricycle" (motorbike with third wheel, driver and passenger seats) on Bohol, Philippines

Holiday Hello

Hello friends, family, and all my Coco Busan readers out there!

Wishing you all very Happy Holidays!  I hope this finds you relaxing with awesome people, sweet tunes, and something warm, cozy and fireplace-ish.  This week I was really craving a hangout around a crackling fire, and also remembering past seasonal festivities such as Boxing Day shenanigans in Victoria and chill-out time with my mom and bro.  Next year I will be back in my home-hood for Christmas 2012, but this year, the season is promising something a little different.

In five hours I’ll be boarding a plane to this island-filled country…

with my guy Joe…

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