And the usual blog,my Philippines adventure....
First of all apologies there was no movement video over the weekend - this blog explains why.
I went on a little adventure to a place called Daila Farm in Tagaytay, 70km south of Manila. To get to the farm I had to get the plane, then a cab to a mall to get the bus to Nuvali then a jeepney to the farm. When I told some people I was doing this "transportation" trip they found it quite amusing! I didn’t see it as anything that far out, English is quite well spoken, it was going to be daylight and I had been given great instructions…. What did their amusement say either about me, or the trip I was about to embark on.
Flight (1:50am) - check - 3 seats to me sleeeeep. (freezing cold plane, must remember that with Scoot)
Cab to mall - check - easy peasy
Walk block - ask policeman - wait here ish…. erm ok.
Holiday Inn - love them (gave me a free coffee), no real bus stop wait on the corner near the booth (payment booth it turned out to be).
Mmmmm when’s the bus?
Holiday Inn said between 5-8am!! LOL what the.. Booth man - 7.30am. It was 6am.
Coffee Bean opened and I sat and read and watched the morning sun come up.
Bus - pretty much on time - front seat and off we go. Traffic and lights gave me a chance to scan the land - malls and commercial buildings with ramshackle wood and iron huts in contrast.
So interesting and extreme.
Bus stops - cross road - find Jeepney…
Where? Somewhere ‘here’…
One came - not for me..
Yipppeee on I hop; the only white face but not looked at in any way other than yup another person.
I edge my way closer to the driver, watching people pass their money down. How much was I to pay!!..
I glanced to my right - woooohoooooo a guy reading an English book! YES.
He was fab, told the driver my stop - I gave my peso to him and got some back, how much!!... not sure but not a lot!
English reader got off - driver mmmmm methinks we were ok. Every now and then he’d stop and ask someone where the Steakhouse was, my landmark. Sign for steak place - not yet not yet!! little while longer and off I hop. The farm was just next door, and woooohooo I made it!!
It was fun, it took me out my comfort zone, I had no other option than to be patient and wait for whatever form of transport was the one I was to get. Very little wifi meant I couldn’t keep checking my phone (let’s be honest we all do too much….). In the moment and I loved it.
The farm, not what you might imagine, not sure what I expected - photos attached for you to see. The main thing I want to say is that it was peaceful, calming, quiet, in nature, happy people, chilled and the air was fresh as it was higher towards the highlands. I was greeted warmly by the staff and met up with my friend to see what he was up to!
We sat, chatted and after an amazing breakfast of banana, fresh coconut, cacao and nuts I was put to work! Well I wasn’t but I helped basically - sticking labels on bottles. Yup it was like being a temp again on a production line! He has a line of local produce - coconut oil, cacao, coconut sugar, ginger tea and coconut chocolate ice-cream - YUM… He had an order to deliver the next day hence our sticking.
I admire those who are determined to set up their own thing - it takes a lot of work and thought and confidence in a way to keep going when it seems uncertain - or maybe faith is a better word?
Break time - I wandered up the road, found a stunning lake in the distance to be told later that was the volcano area. I sat in a ‘bar’ and had a quiet beer, lost in thought. Down the road - of course no pavement, small stalls road side selling the same foods or brushes or plants (diabetes plant anyone??)!! Plastic here and there (too much), dogs wandering the streets and tricycles honking for business. It reminded me of Thailand and Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur and the bit of Vietnam I’d been to.
I got back and bottles done, dinner eaten - the BEST banana heart dish and eggplant something or other - ongoing chats about the world and the future of it and life as we knew it.
I slept in a nipa, a traditional hut with a wonderfully warm blanket! I was a bit worried about rolling over and falling onto the floor, but you’ll be please to hear I stayed on both nights. I’d heard a rustling the first night, no idea what it might be. The second night as I walked up the ladder I knew - there in the middle of my floor was a frog! He hopped away not to be seen or heard again. Can frogs jump down far??..
Mornings were crisp and fresh, the second one was a stunning blue sky - in the movement video you’ll see it. Up and move, more bananas, chill, and off to deliver the oil.
We drove into Manila ( much quicker than my journey!!) - dropped things off, met up with the family, had coconut meat noodles (yum), meeting with a website to sell the products and a long drive home.
Traffic - unreal. Friday night mayhem. 4,000,000 cars in out and the city each day!! what the. Now the traffic is okay right not such a big deal - singalong, chat etc.
Let me explain - in the car were 6 adults and 3 children all under 2….
It’s a biggish car, but erm - Singapore for 4 years where that sort of thing doesn’t happen. 2 slightly grumpy children with very loud voices made some of the journey a tad unpleasant and amusing at the same time! Finally it quietened and we had a great singsong to get home.
My last day was me on a workshop about women’s hormones - a stunning warehouse setting in the middle of a concrete village and a guy building his wood house outside. Contrast.
It was interesting and I met a cool lady (not one for networking I tell myself but seems I am) and hope something work wise will come out of it and learnt a few things about my hormones I didn’t know!
Off to meet a friend recently moved from Singapore to Manila to walk around in civilisation known to me - streets lined with shops, decent pavements and the return of the humidity. So many people but weirdly not crowded.
Time to leave - one last adventure to be had though….
My friend googled which terminal - 2 says guru google.
Cab - T2 - 2 hours just before.
In the terminal - no Scoot.
ALL Philipines Air.
T1 - shuttle bus - fab
erm what time?
‘street’ cab - 750 peso WHAT!!! arsehole (plus I only had 500)…
‘proper’ cab - 300…
T1 : 8:20pm flight 9:35pm
I’m in - through immigration -coffee and chocolate in hand - chill
“Dear passengers on Scoot flight blah blah blah to Singapore, the flight is delayed….”
No idea how long until we got on
What else to do but laugh…
Flight - freezing - home - 3am
Great trip - loved every minute even the babies crying and the delay and the Philippines is one cool place full of contrast and extremes - stunning wild scenery, friendly people, great food and an overall chilled vibe.
I will be back there for certain; to see my friends and it slowed me down. I was reminded to take time and not be in a rush to do do do….
That life is what it is and some things are just not worth bothering about.
And that life is what you make it
Thanks to the Philippines for having me.
If you are wondering what business he is setting up it’s
Kayumanggi Organics …
Beauty, Truth and Goodness….