On our recent trip to the Philippines, we decided to head into the provincial area where my wife had grown up and spend a couple of days exploring. I can’t get enough of travelling in the rural areas of the Philippines. The people are always friendly, and it feels like time slows down compared to the city. This time I wanted to avoid buses and jeeps as they can be very unreliable and I like to be able to do my own thing and not have to worry about a timetable. Luckily a friend of ours offered to lend us his tricycle so we could get out and explore without relying on public transport.

After an epic first day trying to figure or the Philippine roads and joking with locals as they hopped onto the back of the trike expecting a ride, only to realise it was an English guy driving. We were riding back to the house at around 6 pm. Across the road, a cow was looking very majestic with the sun setting directly behind him. I decided to try and sneak up and try to get a shot convinced that it was would be friendly. He pretty much ignored me while at a safe distance, so I etched closer and closer after shooting into the sun for about 30 seconds he lifted his head from eating grass, realised I was standing very close and charged at me waiving for his horn welding head from side to side. I of course panicked and ran as fast as I could in flip-flops across a freshly ploughed field towards my wife who found the whole thing hilarious. (My wife will tell you that the cow was shaking his head as he was irritated by flys and didn’t charge at all but I am sticking to my story.)

On day two we wanted to take our friends and family island hopping, we spoke to a local jeepney driver who agreed to take us to Alaminos and back for a four thousand pesos. It was approximately 3 hours from where we were staying. Alaminos is home to ‘one hundred islands’ national park, an incredible collection of 124 stunning little islands that make for the perfect day exploring them via a boat, hired for around three thousand pesos. It was the first time my daughter had experienced a Philippine beach, and I have honestly never seen her so overwhelmed with Joy. I’m not sure if its the child it brings out of the adults or that she is just growing up so fast, but for the first time she was able to get involved in all the fun we were having. She especially enjoyed berrying my brother in law in the sand and running into the deep part of the water until her daddy came running in to save her.

a sunset over a residential area in makati
me and my wife on a trike
a cow with the sun behind
people on a bus
little Sophie happy on the beach
A jeepney in the sunset