Our flight to the Philippines only took a couple hours, but we had a five hour wait in Manila and a further two when our plane became delayed. Luckily beer was cheap so we sat amongst the busy crowd sipping San Miguel and whinging about the wait. Our flight was finally called and we were passed along the muggy runway from one worker to the next leading us to a toy-size plane. As soon as I fell asleep we were landing in Laoag, a town on the north western coast of Luzon.
It was wonderfully warm outside which we lapped up after being chilled to the bone throughout China. Much to our excitement we had to get a tricycle to the city centre. A tricycle or trike is basically a motorbike with side car attached. I sat in the side section with the all the bags and Craig was on the back of the bike. I had a huge smile on my face and it felt like we were backpacking again.
It’s as if Laoag knew we were coming; we were expecting a ghost town at 9pm but to our surprise there was a fun fair heaving with locals so we checked into our hotel and headed straight back out for some street food. We tried the local speciality of empanadas which were filled with cabbage and a raw egg and then deep fried. Mine was cooked perfectly for me, a nice firm egg inside but I almost threw up watching Craig eat his meat version where the white of the egg was still runny.
The locals were all very smiley and saying hello. Their English is amazing and they even have an American accent. They are extremely polite, and we are now spoken to as ‘sir or ma’am’ which is hilarious considering we’re just a couple of backpackers and it makes us feel like royalty.
We spotted a few jeepney’s around town which are old stretched jeeps left behind by the US army. They’re bloody awesome, either all shiny metal or painted brightly, they can be quite the work of art. We didn’t sleep well that night, there were lots of Filipinos in our hotel and they seem to arise before the sun and make so much noise. Maybe their not so polite after all…but they sure are happy.