The Philippines

Comotes Islands - San Francisco - Day 1 (Monday, June 25th)

Introduction
Travel
Arrival
Nayong Pilpino Park
Taal Volcano in Tagaytay
Bohol Day 1
Bohol Day 2
Ormoc
Power Plant
Departure / Arrival
Sabin Beach Resort
Brother Boy
Party
St. John's Day
Comotes Islands Day 1
Comotes Islands Day 2
Relaxation
Local Adventures
Shopping
Back to Manila
Craft Shops
Packing
Going Home

Let's Talk Food
Bloopers and Out Takes
Not in Kansas
  Pump Boat Rose

On Monday, June 25th, we headed to the Comotes Islands for a two-day get-away. We stayed at Santigo Bay on an island called San Francisco. Tudela and Pilar are the other islands that make up the Comotes Islands with Pilar being the smallest. Besides our immediate family, we were joined by Elvira and Marietta’s good friend, Raquel Ramos (Queng).

On the three-hour open boat ride to reach the island, we saw flying fish, which looked like sparrows, and hundreds of small leaping fish. The leaping fish spent only a second out of the water, but the flying fish amazed me: five full seconds of air time and the appearance of a gliding bird. They were tasty too.

Bebs, Dave, Rose, Amber, Elvira, Raquel, Carl Marietta, Carl, Elvira, Raquel

A vast white sand beach greeted us, but the water was so shallow, the boat couldn’t reach shore. We disembarked via a plank and waded to shore, our possessions held above our heads. The water came to just above our knees (or to your waste, if you slipped while getting off the plank). Bebs got a piggy back ride from one of the boatmen. I thought we had arrived at low tide, but the water continued to recede until the boat was thoroughly aground.

We had breakfast at the one restaurant in the resort. The Filipinos decided the food was too expensive ($24 for 6 adults and 2 kids) and found us an alternative location for dinner. Locals, part way down the beach, would cook for us and we would eat at 6:00 out on the beach. Perfect! The cost of a full dinner for us and the boatmen was less than the breakfast.

Comotes Island - San Francisco

Raquel, Bebs Dave

A storm erupted at 5:00. Dark clouds rolled toward the resort with lightening in the distance, exposing various shades of blue throughout the bay. The rain hit, but like most of the storms we encountered, it ended quickly. At ten minutes until six, the rain stopped. What timing!

We had to wade in shin deep water to reach the beach (I guess it was finally high tide). Sitting in plastic chairs under the open sky made the delicious meal all the better. When dinner was over, one of the boatmen pulled a long thin leaf off a nearby coconut tree. I gave Marietta my best, "What the hell is he doing?" look. "Toothpick," she explained.

In our rooms, I had noticed a list of "rules" which I read through. Half way down the list, I came to a halt - "#8 No Karaoke." In the Philippines?? I was shocked. Obviously, this resort catered to foreigners. Luckily, our beach dinner was not on resort property. And what would you expect to find on a beach in the Philippines? A karaoke machine!

Dinner on the Beach Our Chefs

The dinner table was cleared and drinks were brought out. Bebs had gone with some of our boatmen (who had joined us for dinner) and brought back Red Horse beer and some "wine" for me. I was beginning to realize that "wine" does not mean the same thing in the Philippines as it does in the U.S. In the Philippines, "wine" means any alcohol that’s not beer. So, I drank rum.

I managed to expand my knowledge of the Tagalog language. I was able to include the useful word "gago." It means "stupid." Now I can say breast and stupid. Thanks Marietta, always helping me with the important words.

Amber at the Mike The Austrians Take Their Turn - Again

Carl and Amber took their turns singing. Carl reads, so he can sing along with songs he knows. Amber tends to make up her own words. I searched the song lists for a song she might know by heart and put on "Jingle Bells." It turns out the only part of that song she knows is, "Jingle Bells."

While I was doing a rare solo - my voice is hard enough to listen to without hearing it amplified - three foreigners walked up, a couple from Austria and a man from Finland. Intrigued by Christmas music in the middle of June, they came to investigate. Shots of rum were distributed along with the insistence that they all sing.

After a little hemming and haaing, they all did a number. Then we couldn’t get the song lists away from them. They were addicted. The Finlander didn’t stay too long, but the couple stayed until the end, singing and dancing, dancing and drinking.