Green Verde has an amazing young chef and we ate there every night we were in Sabang. I had the lemongrass chicken almost every night, which was an amazing combination of flavours and just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Christine also found her favourite and stuck with it – pineapple chicken I think it was. As an ex-luxury lodge manager I can safely say that the staff members at Green Verde were truly exceptional. It must just come naturally to them as I highly doubt they’d had any formal training. Our favourite waiter (also the chef’s younger brother) was only 16 and working there to earn some money during his school holidays. He would bend over backwards to please us. I had brought teabags on the trip with me as it is the one thing I can’t live without, and each morning he would boil us a mug of water each on the stove (for a minor charge of 5 pesos to cover the gas usage) and I would feel completely content drinking my tea and looking at the sea. Heaven!
Sadly, it came time to head back to Puerto Princesa, fly back to Manila, kill some time there and then fly to Seoul. We caught another van back to PP and although this was the shortest of our car journeys on the island it was certainly the most unpleasant. First, the horrid little toddler, who had been our neighbour at Green Verde with her parents, was in the same van, got carsick and then puked everywhere, including on my pants. So we had to stop to clean up and let her dad could go change his clothes… Shortly afterwards there was a loud thump and some shouts from the passengers in front…turns out we had hit a dog. Like I said, unpleasant. As I think I mentioned before, the problem with stray dogs and cats in the Philippines is big. They really need to get with it and do something about it, if they aren’t already.
We got back to Manila in one piece and stayed the night at Happy Coconuts again. Then we decided to try out the blind massage therapists down the road. I had heard about blind massage and decided it would be interesting but I didn’t expect it to be so, totally amazing!! By far the best massage I’ve ever had. The lady was so sweet – she was very chatty and interested. She asked me if I was Korean and I wanted to laugh thinking, “do I look Korean?” and then realised…oh yes… This place had quite a few blind people who actually live there and all have been trained in massage. They are called “New Vision Massage” and have two clinics: one in Manila itself (3rd floor Madonna Apartment., 1224 Don Pedro St., Singalong, Manila. Tel: 523-5994 / 313-9546) and the one we went to in BF Homes (346 El Grande Ave., BF Homes, Paranaque City. Tel: 09177490890). Their e-mail address is email@example.com – I highly recommend them if ever you are in the area!
Finally it was time to leave the Philippines and while we were waiting to check in at the airport a man came up to us and asked us where we were going. We explained that we were there early and just wasting time until the check-in counter opened. He said “oh no, let’s get you checked in”, took us to a closed counter and told the lady there to check us in. We got chatting and said we were English teachers in Korea. I asked if it was possible to get a seat with extra legroom because of my height and he told the lady to do this, even though those seats had been blocked on the system. Suddenly he had to take a call and headed off, waving goodbye. We were both happy to have nabbed the exit seats and while we were waiting in the queue a lady in uniform came to us and said “excuse me are you Clare and Christine? English teachers?” We said yes, wondering what was going on and then she asked for our boarding passes, handing us two new ones. We must’ve looked confused because she said “our manager asked us to upgrade you to business class”. We both agreed that this was the cherry on top of our fabulous stay in the Philippines! We were giggling like school girls when we go on the plane and its spacious business class seats, amazing food menu and amenities. In fact, we both wished (for once) that the flight was longer than the 4 hours because we were so damn comfortable! To add to that, the food and wine was amazing! All in all, a fantastic trip and one I would do all over again if I could. We landed in a rainy Seoul in the early hours and were struck by the sheer amount of people all around us, pushing and shoving, and our inability to communicate with anyone…