So Christmas is on the horizon and we decide it is time for an adventure. We choose the Philippines for a number of reasons, one of them being that it has such a large catholic population and it is, well, Christmas time. Borocay is the well-known tourist destination with beautiful white sand beaches and will be the destination for many of our peers at SAS. Looking for something a bit different we discover the island of Mindoro and the town of Puerta Galera. Deciding that we want an even more exotic adventure, we spend a few days coming over the more than 7000 islands that make up this interesting country - well, I don't think we actually looked at 7000, but we spent a heck of a lot of time. Anyhow we found this small Island called Camiguin. It has 8 volcanos and a rich history with Spanish settlements dating back to the 1500's. It is about 5 miles by 10 miles and has a very small little neighbor - white island - which is barely an island at high tide. Everything we read about the people on this island is welcoming and inviting. We find a small cottage for rent - about 50 bucks and night including breakfast and book it. We buy plane tickets for the four of us and one for Auntie Jenn who will be joining us for Christmas. We tell the Lauwes about it and they get on board. Woo Hoo! We will fly into Manila then catch an early morning flight to Cagayan de Oro in Mindanau, the large southern main Island of the Philippines. Then we catch a shuttle to the port and a 2 hour boat ride to Camiguin.
|The people of Camiguin continue their idyllic and simple|
existence sheltered and unfazed by the virulent pressures of
today’s accelerated lifestyles.
We change our plans, having to bail on our flight from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, and plan to go to Puerta Galera for the Holidays. Christmas will be explained in a further post. However, the impactual part of this story is that the day before we were to leave Shanghai for Manila, there was a severe Typhoon in the Southern Philippines creating a massive flash flood in Cagayan de Oro. The city was underwater, a large tragedy. The death count is well over 1000. We felt very thankful to John Vietch.
Now we still have these plane tickets to fly from Manila to somewhere in the philipppines and need to use them sometime in the next year. Like the Philippines and want to get back. This was a somewhat costly mistake, but the thought of avoiding tragedy is of course often priceless.