If you take a holiday in the Philippines, don’t forget your flip flops, says The Family Adventure Project’s Kirstie Pelling…
There are over 7000 islands in The Philippines, so it’s a good bet your relaxation time is likely to involve water. You’ll never get chilly while splashing about in the blue here; even in the rainy months of July and August the weather is warm and the sun soon creeps out again after a shower.
“This is your first time in The Philippines isn’t it?” says the hotel receptionist as we check in. “I know this because you are wearing boots.” Sure enough the rest of the country is in flip flops.
Flip Flop culture
Mind you, our kids spend most of their downtime in bare feet. The hotel pools are a particular magnet. But then, it’s hard to walk past one when it is outside your room. Many of the resorts come with spas so parents can relax too – you can challenge the kids to make a giant sandcastle while you have a ‘his and hers’ massage on the beach, or treat the whole family to a fish foot spa.
Chilling out with the sea life is an absolute must here. Bring a snorkel. We book a day’s snorkelling with Islands Banca Cruises. Mid-morning paragliders fly overhead as we sail off on a traditional Filipino outrigger. We hand feed several different species of fish on the marine reserves of Nalasuan and Gilutungan and amidst the coral and the rainbow swirl we find Nemo. Or maybe he finds us.
He certainly seems to enjoy our snacks. But we don’t need them anyway. Traders in boats have already taken orders for coconuts and are racing to cut them from the trees so we can drink the milk through straws. And lunch is freshly caught crab, clam soup, fried squid and Lapu Lapu fish, enjoyed on a floating restaurant.
We find ourselves afloat again a few days later on the pale green Loboc River on Bohol. This time the restaurant is heading to a waterfall, with a community choir waiting on a floating platform to sing and dance for our pleasure. Messing about on the water has never been so easy. Leaving all this behind may be a little harder.
For every flight and hotel trip that you book to the Philippines for 7 nights or more from now until the 31st of December, Expedia will donate £100 to Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes, schools and livelihoods.
Find out more about the work of Habitat for Humanity in the Philippines.