blog of travels around southeast asia

#birds #sky #flying #trees #oldwestburygardens #westbury #blackwhite #blackandwhite (Taken with Instagram)

Peacock sighting at the back of our hut. Good omen for C’s departure, I say =) The Farm at San Benito. Batangas, Philippines.

the graveyard of the tom-yum

i grew up vegetarian. actually no. that’s a lie. i grew up loving bacon and chicken mcnuggets more than anything but my parents vegetarianism won me over at age 9. 

since then i haven’t been a big fan of meat. while i started eating a little bit while working in the great outdoors a few years ago, i was finicky about it. too much cartilage in my mouth and i’d lose my appetite.

at the beginning of our amazing five month excursion through southeast asia, (philippines, vietnam, laos, thailand and back to the philippines) that is now excruciatingly close to an end, i could hardly crack a crab shell without getting a little disgusted. but today, as you can see from our side place pictured above, today i devoured a microcosm of the sea with b’s help, after our scuba dive. (the soup was an appropriately meaty filipino version of tom-yum, a thai soup we learned to make a veggie version of in thailand.)

for a former/ambivalent veggie, it was a new experience for sure. but i was actually satisfied that i could rip apart the skeletons and what not without any squeemishness. my comfort with the strange, unfamiliar - even wrong - had grown.

when i sat down to write this i felt there was a point i wanted to get to that i’m not sure if i’ve reached.  we have been keeping this blog to document our trip for ourselves and others. and it has been a great experience and way to connect to friends and others and to share our trip. i had thought i would do a lot more writing and perhaps am feeling now a slight tinge of regret for not having done more.

maybe what i want to get at here is just to state the simple gratitude that i feel for the opportunity to take this trip - and to do it with someone who i love and enjoy so thoroughly - and for the people who have been so generous along the way, to my parents and b’s family, both in the states and here in manila.

and while my mind hasn’t changed as drastically as it did during my last trip to asia at age 19 (not that i’d want it to), it has instead, drifted in a far more pleasant manner: slowly, outward, quietly and unnoticeably.

…it’s now been a few days since writing the above. we are now at the farm: a swanky wellness center a few hours south of manila. a treat for ourselves, arranged by b, and it is the perfect place for the bittersweet end to our trip, as we will be worlds apart as of tomorrow, b staying here in manila and me (c) returning, alone, to nyc.

perhaps a few more pictures here and there from our trip that we didn’t get around to publishing or maybe even new ones from b - or perhaps we will also somewhat re-purpose the blog. who knows. but for now, it’s a sad, albeit incomplete, goodbye and end to an amazing chapter.

bangkok airport to manila (3 weeks ago).

double exposures from coron. as promised.

double exposures from our first dive yesterday. coron, philippines.

unfortunately due to stupid shortcoming with tumblr, i have to upload 1 or 2 at a time so expect more of these!

siete pecados (7 islands) marine park, near coron town, busuanga, philippines.

day 2 scuba diving. amazing. we loved it! so beautiful! and we had our awesome scuba instructor again. we saw a huge diversity of corals, and um other things, and tons of fish including a barracuda! while there were some currents and lots of little bits of things in the water and it was a little overcast, every color of the rainbow was there! not to mention that some of it actually glowed. so amazing! i can’t wait to go again! maybe in a year?! (c)

more double exposures from the bangkok airport.

more double exposures. same airlink ride.

Blazing Coron sunset. No treatment. Sigh. Palawan, Philippines

double exposures! taken during the sweet train/airlink ride from central bangkok to the international airport.

cyc beach, coron, palawan, philippines. (next to coron island.)

today we went scuba diving! we didn’t have an underwater camera but we got a few fun pictures before and after above water. it was my (c) first time and b’s second or third. though we both had baby butterflies in our tummies beforehand, it was easy, enjoyable and amazing - largely due to an awesome instructor, borge, from manila, who is also a marine biologist and has years of diving under his belt though he is still young.

we went down to about 12 meters - the farthest you’re allowed to go on your first (discover) dive. we saw some beautiful corals and tropical fish including one that looks like a slick white rock with jagged edges - sort of squarish. and there were some fluorescent (or bioluminescent?) um, things, i don’t even know if they were fish - one looked like a slug. more terrestrial pictures to come! if we get the change to go again (tomorrow) we will bring an underwater camera!

we picked up this satchel from the night market in chiang mai, thailand. it’s been through a lot. We thought it deserved a spot on our blog.