Costa de Oro

Being invited off on a family weekend holiday is always a pleasure but also slightly intimidating when it is only your second day and everything is still new.  I had no idea where we were going but welcomed the opportunity for some rural exploration.

After an exciting introduction to Filipino road use and then getting stuck in a tunnel (thanks to world championship skateboarding, on Easter Saturday on a busy road, no less) that was reminiscent of some sort of zombie film, it was with great relief that we hit the coast.

With a fleet of three boats, packed with people ( as well as more awaiting our arrival) and supplies it was a steady voyage along, around a point and then it was patient gazing time, trying to pick out all the features such as banana boats (great fun by the way) and places to buy a cool drink.

Despite a massive building overlooking everything, Costa de Oro still looked lovely.  We were located a short bridge away from the pool and sea with plenty of greenery and rooms. Sleeping in a tent was my destiny which was fine by me as I was anticipating my first night looking up at the Southern night sky.

Everybody was so welcoming and hospitable, it really was so wonderful to meet each one of them and learn about life, the culture and customs.  I quickly became kuya (brother) Steve and although pretty shy, managed to pull off a favourable impression and win a game of pool at one point too.  In my experience the people of The Philippines as a whole are the warmest and most kind hearted of any country I have been too.

The food, likewise was wonderful, everything was so delicious, I probably repeated that far too many times but there was nothing I disliked.  That goes for the whole month but this, my introduction was a real eye opener to the quality of the food and the cooking, not to mention the portions, I am not ashamed to admit, I ate until I was over full with every meal because it would be a crime to let anything go to waste.

Filipinos love singing, they invented Karaoke as a result . Although I did manage to avoid offending everybody in hearing range by not attempting it during my stay.  Still there is something wonderful about coming back from a swim in the warm ocean and eating breakfast whilst being serenaded with Unchained Melody.

I love my tree shots, as regular readers now and there were monkeys up there somewhere this time.  The best time to look up though was at night, jet lag had well and truly kicked in now and I stayed up all night watching mosquitoes try in vain to penetrate the netting of the tent.  The sound of the sea, the rustle of palm leaves in the breeze, and the cries of unfamiliar birds, and fruit falling from tress wasn’t enough to lull me to sleep but did keep the smile plastered to my face.

Thanks to Crissy and Ritz Retsap for the additional photos.

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49 Replies to “Costa de Oro”

  1. I see hotdogs, Ste J, ha ha ha. Filipinos eat a lot of hotdogs. Even their spaghetti has hotdogs in it.

    You were there in summer, hence, mosquitos. They disappear when the rains come, june to December.

    If and when you go back to the Philippines, make it December. The Philippines is an amazing place in December. they really are into the holiday spirit.

    Did you go to the Visayas region ? ( south of manila ) That’s where you can see the most beautiful island scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t go near Visayas, always up for seeing it next time. December is a good time to aim for, both without the little blood suckers and for the Christmas cheer too.

      I like the hotdogs, I wish they did the same over here but when I need my fix, I will be rushing over.

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    1. I really did make the most of it, it was amazing to be so involved. It is always tough when an outsider doesn’t speak the first language but everyone made me feel welcome using English and that made me want to learn Tagalog so next time I can talk (albeit badly) like a local!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve, Maybe I shouldn’t bring this up in the presence of so many good things, but were you anywhere near where the terrorists were? It seems really doubly unfortunate that some bad things should happen in one of the places in the world which seem the happiest, from your experience, but I sort of worried about you after the fact when I found out there had been terrorists in the Philippines too.

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    1. The terrorists are in the south, so a long way from where I was, although they had threatened to attack some tourist areas just before I came away. It’s terrible what’s going on there and I hope the government forces throw them back into the sea.

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  3. The fact that you’re wanting to go back, shows how much of good time you had. Wonderful photos, I hope you’re planning on showing us some more 😀

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    1. Plenty more to come my friend, in fact probably about ten posts worth in between book reviews and such. As a small teaser, the next post will be an unexpected opportunity which I wasn’t expecting but am happy to have had. Very rewarding!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great adventure! It looks like a special place and it’s nice to see people who look so happy. I’m glad you escaped that zombie tunnel.

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    1. At one point the police turned up with sirens blaring to move the obstruction and there was a general rush back to the cars which was a bit of drama for the imaginative. There was no way anybody could feel sad in such beautiful surroundings and with good people such as those.

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  5. What a wonderful write up, love the photos. Your tree shots are gorgeous, love the light. Incredible to think there are monkeys up there, living wild. Your nights in the tent must have been surreal…the whole trip an assault on the senses in the best possible way. And the food! Wow! I shouldn’t be reading this before dinner. Love seeing your smiling face amongst such a happy, hospital and friendly group. Can’t wait to read more my friend!

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    1. Sherri!!! I need to reply to your email, apologies for the delay on that. It was incredible, this post was my second and third full days and I was already feeling right at home. Everything was just brilliant and memorable. That night in the tent was strange because it all caught up with me, the jet lag and so on. Still it was worth it, when I realised I could go for a swim in the warm ocean in the morning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Got it my friend! No apologies necessary…I can barely keep up at the best of times as you know! Will reply as soon as…will be disappearing again from blogland with the house move coming up and way too much to do before then… Meanwhile, I share in your wonderful stories…what great memories and how amazing to swim in that early morning warmth!

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        1. Good luck with the move, that’s always a nightmare. We will still be around when you get back and keeping up is harder to do each year it seems. Still we will get though it and catch up a bit at some point.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Looking forward to hearing more about your month in the Philippines. How fortunate to get so much time to immerse in what looks to be a lovely island.

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    1. I think I burned my fair share of calories at the beginning of the adventure, it is still a mystery how I managed to squeeze myself onto the plane at the end of it all.

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    1. Yes, it was a wonderful experience, so many memories, each place abroad I have visited has been really wonderful but this one came with an excessive tan!

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  7. More lovely pictures! The tree is beautiful, the sky, the sea… There’s something in the abundance of sun and in living near the sea/ocean that makes people open-hearted, hospitable and warm. Just look at the Mediterranean region…

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    1. That is a very good theory! It made me very happy and eager to get back there again. I have more photos which I will get around to posting soon.

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    1. It’s a wondrous place, I have a whole load of photos of Batanes to get posted soon as well. I really enjoyed my time in your country and am excited for my next visit.

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        1. It’s a beautiful place and everybody is very friendly, well worth a visit! I am excited to try more new places next time and soak up as much culture as I can.

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            1. Salamat po! Everybody was so welcoming to me and were impressed that I chose your country for my first trip to Asia. I am excited to come back and give smething back as well next time.

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