Unless you’ve been living in a cave or on a deserted island (more than possible in this part of the world) you’ll know about Typhoon Haiyan going on a rampage through the Philippines earlier this month. Liam had been tracking its development, and our turbulent flight to KK was probably her influence. The big damage came whilst we were up the mountain, so we didn’t know much about its extent until just five days before we were due to fly to Manila.
We spent a frantic few hours in Sepilok (with bad wifi) trying to work out where else was an option if we couldn’t go to the Philippines. We quickly found that on our budget, from KK, we could fly to Singapore, Jakata and, well, the Philippines. Looking at places we/I hadn’t been before was limited and very expensive.
The next step was to look at whether we could go the Philippines. Advice seemed to extend to “don’t go to places affected by the typhoon”. Helpful. As Big Dave has pointed out, as communications are down no one knows the full extent of the damage yet, but it is estimated that 2,000 of 7,000 Islands have been affected in some way.
Our plan in the Philippines (with just over two weeks) was to do the northern loop from Manila, then head to Puerto Princesa by boat and explore El Nido and Coron. This was where our information got sketchy. Would we even be able to get from there to Cebu City for our onwards flight? Cebu Island had been affected but the City was meant to be ok. Haiyan had to have got west to China/Vietnam somehow. The storm was the biggest to make land in record history, it would stretch from London to Berlin… Pretty massive.
Eventually the money factor won. We caught our flight to Manila and spent a few days in the capital before heading north, something we’ll take more time over, then fly to Cebu without seeing any of the beautiful beaches the Visayas are famous for.
At least we already found paradise on Kadidiri.