The Philippines

Typhoon Ruby – The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof

Typhoon Ruby Philippines

A few words as typhoon Ruby makes landfall in the Philippines

Usually is my platform to write about adventures in far away or not so far away places, encounters and experiences, general thoughts about traveling and to showcase my photography. It is supposed to be a happy place to give you, my readers, good vibes and inspiration.
But once again current events remind us that life is not all about that and can take strange twists. Just after a year since devastating super typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda has hit the Philippines, claiming thousands of victims and leaving even more homeless and vulnerable, another typhoon has made landfall in the country of the 7.107 islands. It is sad to see that the people who have just began to rebuild their homes and lives have now to face another setback. Continue reading

Categories: The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

My top 5 Beaches in Southeast Asia

Beaches Southeast Asia

Tropical beaches – for many travelers the highlight and a must have of a great trip. Especially for travelers from Europe, the US and other countries dominated by distinct seasons and long winters, an exotic beach with powdery sand, clear and warm water, lined by coconut trees is the epitome of a relaxing holiday. For some it is even the sole motivation for traveling to faraway places. During my epic journey across Southeast Asia I was allowed to discover some of the best beaches of the region and some of those I would like to share with you here on ESCapology. Be prepared for some surprises … Continue reading

Categories: Indonesia, Inspiration, The Philippines, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Three months traveling the Philippines – Budget, Costs and Tips.

Budget Philippines Recently people have been asking me about the costs of my three months journey across the Philippines. A little poll on my Facebook Page also showed that there seems to be quite an interest in this topic. And because I never went much into detail in terms of budget and numbers, I would like to give you all a rough overview about what I spent and how I calculated beforehand. First of all it needs to be mentioned that this is very personal and might change a lot depending on how you like to travel individually and what kind of things you are after when on a holiday. Of course, if you are after luxury and maximum comfort, then you will end up spending more than someone who is more a backpacker kind of traveler. The activities you do while on holiday can also make a big difference. Diving can be expensive and so can longer guided tours for example. All of these factors make budgeting for such a trip in the Philippines a very subjective matter, but let’s start with some of my own numbers: Continue reading

Categories: The Philippines, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , | 106 Comments

Roundup Philippines: A country that has it all

El Nido-Nacpan Beach-PhilippinesIt’s been a quiet some time now since I have traveled the Philippines but I never got to write my final roundup. Recently thinking about it, I wasn’t even sure if I should write it at all since it has been so long ago already. But giving it a second thought, I just had to do it. In the end it was the country where I spent the longest time (three months), the country where I found new friends, fellow travelers and locals alike, the country of many adventures and the country with probably the friendliest people I have met. No, not writing this final roundup wouldn’t do this beautiful country and its people justice. A country that has it all and that is probably my favorite country after all. Continue reading

Categories: Roundups, The Philippines, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1,111 Comments

Call for Action: Please help the people affected by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

yolandaAs you all have heard, the Philippines have been hit hard by the recent super typhoon Haiyan. Large parts of Samar and Leyte have been completely leveled, leaving thousands of people cut off from food supplies, fresh water and medical supplies. A lot of people have died already and more will do so if we just stay passive now. People are in desperate need of help – your help.
I have traveled the affected areas intensively with my two friends Chris and Dolph earlier this year. We will always remember the beauty of the country and the hospitality and warmth of their people. We have traveled through Tacloban, a city which has almost completely destroyed. We have made many friends and following the current flow of their updates on Facebook is heartbreaking. It hurts to see the country in such an agony and struggling to get back on their feet. This is the time to stand together as global citizens and act. Please join me and contribute to the ongoing relief efforts of the international community. Continue reading

Categories: The Philippines | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Eat, Sleep, Surf at Stormrider Surfcamp, Bali

Stormrider Surfcamp Bali-2-6Prior to my arrival on Bali, the so called island of gods, I had arranged a one week stay at Stormrider Surfcamp. My goal was to completely focus on surfing and hopefully take it to the next level. The professional setup of the camp, its nice facilities as well as its prime location in the heart of tranquil Canggu made the decision an easy one. I arrived at Denpasar Airport around midday and went outside the airport to get a taxi. It is usually way cheaper outside than within the airport premises. After a bit of haggling I got a good price and off I was for a week of surfing, eating, sleeping and several repetitions of that routine. I was excited. Continue reading

Categories: Destinations, Surfing, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Philippines at its Best – Island Hopping around Matnog

Matnog-5299First of all my apologies for not having kept those updates coming lately. As some of you might now, my laptop had to get fixed in Kuala Lumpur about two weeks ago. Apparently the guy at the repair shop didn’t do a good job since my machine broke down again by the beginning of this week. Such a bummer and more money wasted for the repair. But I am happy it is working again and hope this time it will last for longer than about a week.
Anyhow, before closing my Philippines chapter with the final roundup, I wanted to post one more article which could be a showcase for all the great things about this amazing country. Good friends, friendly locals, great beaches, turquoise waters and a trillion of pristine islands.

Continue reading

Categories: The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Underwater-Encounters with gentle Giants

Donsol-00029A little bit belated, I want to share two awesome encounters I had during my recent stay in Donsol. The sleepy town of Donsol is located in Sorsogon, Southern Luzon and is world famous for being regularly visited by whale sharks. The biggest fish of the world are known to come here between November and June with January until May being the peak season. The encounters with these gentle giants used to be very regular but lately encounters have become scarce. It seems like the whalesharks have found a new feeding ground which they prefer over Donsol. Since I have missed swimming with them while I was travelling in Australia, I definitely wanted to take my chances, even though it was already very late in the season. Continue reading

Categories: Diving, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Pic of the Week 13

Pic of the Week-5427

Farmer plowing the rice field in an old school way. Shot in the region of Sorsogon.

Now that my computer is running again, I want to continue with another Pic of the Week. This one was taken when Glenda and I returned from our day trip to Paguriran Lagoon. The weather had been rather mediocre the whole day and the lagoon hence couldn’t unfold its true beauty. I actually didn’t picture while we were there. We made the best of it and still had a good time. On the way back with our motorbike we passed this farmer, stoically plowing his field with the help of his ox which is here called a carabao. I actually already saw the guy on the way there and told myself to definitely take this picture if he’ll still be there later. Fortunately he still was and I took the shot – the one and only on that day.

Categories: Photography, Pic of the Week, The Philippines | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Surfing a Secret Spot in Catanduanes

Surfing Ctanduanes-00020After I had split with Dolf and Chris, I decided to extend my stay in the Philippines and go back to Gubat, Sorsogon. During our stay there for Holy Week I had made good friends who were proposing to host me for a while. Life in Gubat is relaxed and laid back and the best about it is that you can surf a good variety of surf breaks. And that is exactly what we extensively did for the following few days after my return. We surfed the local reefs in the mornings and the beach break in the afternoon or vice versa. So good to get that needed water time and practice after not having surfed for quiet a while. However, after a while the waves slowly got smaller and smaller and the so called flat spell was starting to take its toll on us. Everyone was getting nervous and imbalanced, anxiously awaiting the next swell. So what to do? Continue reading

Categories: Destinations, Surfing, The Philippines, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

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