After having traveled two months in Philippines in the end of 2008, I promised myself to return as soon as possible to this lovely country in the far east. Early April I was back in Maasin City (Leyte), where the first leg of our backpacking started 8 days ago.
First we traveled by minibus from Maasin to Tacloban (see photos from Leyte). Then we crossed the longest bridge in the Philippines to reach the rugged island of Samar, where we visited the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog (see photos from Samar). At the northern end of Samar we had to catch a ferry to Luzon, which is the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines. Our first night in Luzon was spent in Legazpi City, at the foot of the dangerously active Mayon Volcano (see photos from Legazpi City). Swimming with whale sharks sounded both funny and scaring, so we took a sidetrip to Donsol, which is the premier whale shark destination in the world. It was a magic moment jumping into the sea, and swim together with a 10 meters giant whale shark (see photos from Donsol). But Donsol is a rather expensive place to stay more than one night so we continued to Naga City, a very modern city by Philippine standards (see photos from Naga City..
After one night in Naga, we continued on a nightbus to Manila, where we are right now. Tomorrow we will start the second leg of this backpacking around Philippines, moving to the mountainous northern part of Luzon.