ang pilipinas part I

This would be a monumental post if I were to post my whole trip to the Philippines at once, so out of three weeks this represents the first two days or so.

A man getting coconuts for us to drink and eat. Below is my first fresh coconut, and I credit it with saving my withered little life just about then.

When we weren’t living off of coconuts and mangos, we ate at these little ‘hole in the wall’ joints. The term is more descriptive of these places then anything in North America, really. You go in, lift the lids on the pots on the counter, and point to what you want. Four of us could eat for about $2 CAN. Despite appearances, it was more often than not better food than the resorts/hotels had.

Ian feeling not so daisy fresh.

Since I’m vegetarian I would always be done eating first (i.e. I hardly ate) so I had a lot of time to sit and take photos.

Kids just hanging out on Camotes Island.

This is a deep cave with a freshwater pool discovered by the Japanese in WWII and used as a hiding place. I cut my foot on a rock here and it took almost three weeks to heal.

Being tall is no help when traveling in the Philippines.

Halo Halo, the national dessert, done best at the otherwise lame fast-food chain ‘Chow King’

Tagbilaran, the city on Bohol.


The Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Ancient mounds of coral eroded by rain and wind once no longer submerged.

Ube (purple yam) cake. I give ube an enthusiastic two thumbs up. Even from the back of my pickup.

We stopped at a very sad little zoo.

Oh yeah, and the animals were subjected every day to multiple showings of a transvestite air band performer.

show hide 5 comments

C.J. Scott Wow. What a trip. My spirit would be crushed too if I had to endure the transvestite air band shows on a daily basis. The Chocolate Hills of Bohol are amazing! I can imagine that fresh coconut must be amazing too when you’re feeling delirious with heat and heavy polluted air. Can’t wait to see more images!

Laura Millin Hey Melia, beautiful work. And props to you for opening that owl cage at the zoo – I hope the poor thing escaped. You’re a braver woman than I – there’s no way I could even set foot in a place like that, just way to depressing. Your images of the children are incredible – strong, serious, yet innocent too.

Ian B.B. Grant Thanks for the pictures Melia. They truly capture the essence of our trip… dark, serious, polluted, but you still got the glimmers of brightness as well. I look forward to volumes 2 and 3!

rafaella Hi. Beautiful pictures you got there. I’m pinoy, based in Cavite City- a city in Philippines, part of Luzon. You really see the Philippines, no? hahah. Yes, it’s sad that natural resources here are ignored. and, of course, the people. Government here are corrupt to the bone. Full of injustice and fraud. People the country call leaders are good for nothing. my my, i’m whining. hahah. sorry ’bout that. Filipinos just live their lives. We are happy people. ps: chow king’s halo halo is lame. its just full of ice. I’m looking forward to your next volumes 😉

ralph m… hello…’s cool…it’ true that coconuts here is good…and of course this place is hot…
i like the way you edited the pictures,’s so cool….

can you send me those pictures in cebu, the original one that have a color not black & white and no effects,..,plss…hope u will send it…i will wait…