Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coming soon: The Philippines

The colors of fall in Seoul 

Sorry it's been a couple weeks since my last update.  I try not to write unless I actually have something to say.  (posts that say "took the bus to work.  taught.  went home.  chilled.  slept.  repeat." would hardly be interesting).  Fortunately I have some good news to convey.

After a week of discussion with our bosses, we finally convinced them to let us take our vacations when when we wanted to take them.  Yes in Korea bosses often tell their employees when to take their vacations.  Fortunately since we're foreigners we're allowed to break social taboos and take our vacations when we want to.  Normally I try to abide by all the social norms here that I am aware of but taking my one week of winter vacation during the Christmas week (when they wanted us to take it) would have doubled our airfare and hotel costs.  Clearly this was unacceptable.

But after a few talks, our bosses were fine with us having our time off during the first week of February.  This gives us both an extra day off (thanks to Chinese New Year) and much cheaper rates.

And with that week we decided to go somewhere neither of us have been before, the Philippines.  Specifically we are going to the island of Siquijor.  Good luck pronouncing that (it helps if you say it with a Spanish accent).

The reason a Spanish accent is needed is that the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish and was in their possession for most of it's history.  In fact it was named in honor of King Phillip II of Spain.  Once the Spanish left, it fell under US control until after WWII when it became an independent nation.

The practical benefit to this history is that this gorgeous island country has many English speakers in it.  Combine that with extremely friendly residents and a good size beachfront hut for less than $40 a night (yes you read that right) and you've got a place I can't wait to go!!  Add a hammock and you have my idea of heaven (picture below).  Now comes the hard part.  The waiting.  But good things are worth waiting for :)

PS.  Siquijor is pronounced See-Key-Or with the Or rolled.

Click to view full size image
This is the beach hut we reserved.  Do you see why we're excited?

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