Prelude to the Jungle

panglaoCurrently it is the holiday season and my plans led me here, to the island of Bohol where I plan to relocate to in a month or so.  A town called Tagbilaran, which sounds more Irish than Filipino to me but.. oh well.  In the last few days I have been in a taxi, a speedboat, a motor tricycle, a crazy van-ride at very unsafe speeds and a motorcycle.  It’s been hectic but an adventure none the less.

A family of a friend kindly offered to put me up with a room at their home, which is located in the same jungle area I plan to move to.  In fact it’s quite possible we will become neighbors.  This was a lot of fun.  (I didn’t bring my laptop so I’ll have to add photos later, I’m updating from a Net cafe in town.)  Their home is what is called a nipa-hutNipa Hut‘ and is kinda like what you see on Gilligan’s Isle.  Because the temperature here is warm all night, the upper-roof area and windows are open.  It sits on short stilts as well.  The room they set aside for me includes a mosquito net (don’t want to get that dengue-fever) and at night it is just SO incredibly peaceful.  All you hear are slow-chirping

Me at a nearby Tarsier Reserve in Bohol
Me at a nearby Tarsier Reserve in Bohol

crickets and the occasional rooster that has no concept or clue of time.  For about five miles around there are only less than a dozen homes scattered through the jungle along a very rough road that leads back to the edge of town.  So.. once you are out there.. you are really ‘out there’.  Just trees and stars and more trees for miles around.  It is just so incredibly beautiful both day and night.

When I arrived around 4pm I was taken to a neighbor’s home who insisted I have dinner with them so we could meet.  Word travels fast when there’s a visitor to the area.  They were very hospitable and I had a great dinner while we chatted.  Later in the evening I leaned back onto my make-shift bamboo bed, pulled the mosquito net over me and just listened to the subtle sounds of the night out in the ‘province’.

The next morning the wife made a great breakfast.  Afterward I went down the street to check out a home I may be moving into.  The owners let me in to take photos as I looked around.  Needs some cleaning and fixing up but.. it’s got potential.  Especially if I can find a shady spot to install a hammock and outdoor PC station in the shady courtyard.  Really big kitchen, so that’s a plus.

This move is exactly what I have been describing I was looking for all along.  ‘Out There’.. I am totally cut off from society, linked only by a motorcycle and that reallyisland-city-mall rough road back to town.  But once in town, I have a large mall complete with good food and a movie theater to keep me from going stir-crazy.  There’s even a very large bookstore.  All this is located in the town of Tagbilaran.

Meanwhile, just ten miles south is the adjacent mini-isle of Panglao.   I can’t wait to tour all the beaches there!  It is everything you’ve seen in those amazing screensavers of tropical beaches.. but in 3D.  Warm water, day or night, all year long.

I’ll update again later with photos I’ve taken here, but for now what I’ve seen of Bohol I am very much in love with.

Henry V.

Author: Reekay

About Me.. In 2011 I made the decision to move to the Philippines within a year. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling and sharing the information with you needed to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia.
— Reekay


  1. Wow, Henry! I’m glad that you’ve found – at long last – your den where you wanted to belong once you stepped in the Philippines. And a paradise it is. I had been there one full day, and I know how enchanted that land can be. I can hear the ‘subtle sounds of the night’ that you talked about. I know it’s the music that the nature composes and plays every second out there. Make sure you have internet connection there. Internet and a good woman would just give the final touch to that green green canvas.

    1. I spoke with two of the (married) women about the Net connection and they said even with Sun Net they get decent net access. I have Globe 3G and there’s a Globe office just 2 miles away in the ICMall so I’m figuring it will be equal to what I have currently in Mactan. One thing I will surely buy my first night I move there will be a mosquito net. Plus ‘mosquito coils’ to burn in the house because mosquitoes just drive me insane. Plus, dengue-fever doesn’t sound any fun either. In Mactan, not much standing water. But in the jungle it seems water just ‘sits’ in crevices hidden in the foliage.. no avoiding it and that’s where they breed. I swear, I’d use a flame-thrower sometimes if I knew it would kill every last mosquito in the room.

      But at night.. so peaceful. I’m lucky that at my studio in Mactan the high cement wall blocks out the city noises so that it is nice and quiet in my little neighborhood. But the jungle sounds at night are very relaxing. As for women, I’m thinking I’ll have less access actually since I won’t be in town but maybe twice a week. Plus I gotta find me one with no kids who doesn’t want kids and around here.. that’s a rare Filipina. “No More Babies” is my mantra. I want to be free to travel with a lady when the mood hits. I’ll just have to see how it all pans out.

      1. I was stationed in Phubai, Vietnam for 11 months and with my mosquito net over my bed, tucked in at the sides was a lifesaver, mosquitoes would line up at the start of the evening on the outside of my canopy and at first i tried sleeping without using a net and i got ate up by them. The blessed mosquito net (mosquito bar) made my entire stay there in VN quite comfortable. Most nights i slept good. Mosquito net was more important to me than a gun! (LOL). I followed this blog one time where this couple took a cross country bicycle trip on a bicycle built for three, two adults, and one male boy. Turns out the kid was not contributing much to the ride in the way of pedaling, he actually was just a 100 pound bag of potatoes they had to haul around on the bike. So, i agree with you Henry, not having kids nowadays is a wise move, and i see too many adults suffer with the addition of children to the equation. It’s not like it was in the 1800’s where children were taught to work and make a contribution to the family. I appreciate your honest comments about the child situation in the Philippines, i did not realize it was like that – so many single Filipina having all those kids out of wedlock. Most blog don’t mention it very much it seems.

        1. I’m not against having kids.. just to be clear. I have four of my own. But kids need stability, schooling, help with homework.. they need and deserve time. It comes down to priorities. For most ex-pats they are fine with having more kids and give them the time they need.

          But for me, my priority is building my income and traveling. That means a lady with no kids, now or later, is the best choice for me in particular. I know one woman who is absolutely wonderful.. a true gem of a Filipina, but she has a child. It’s not fair to either of us when we each have different directions so we stay good friends and both are free to continue looking. Just comes down to priorities and direction in life. 🙂

    1. I have only been to a small part of Alona beach in Panglao and that was enough to convince me it was time to move from Mactan. I’m sure Cebu has some nice beaches at the resorts and maybe.. maybe some I haven’t seen that are public (???). Mactan is the same.. not a decent public beach that doesn’t have rocks. To the north and west end of Mactan the water is affected by the ship traffic. The south is undeveloped and murky. To the East, as I said.. the good beaches are on the resorts. Panglao however seems to be just one great beach after another, many of them I hear are not resort-owned.

  2. Hi there. When you’re in Island City Mall, look for Bohol Bee Farm. You can drink your coffee there or have a sample of their native ice cream. Free wifi where you could work and update your blog. You can also arrange about visiting the farm resort in Dao in Panglao island. Enjoy.

    1. Thanks for the tip! During my first trip to Bohol I only had about 4 hours to sight-see after scouting out rentals. I had thought he said Bohol “Beef Farm”. It was only later when we passed through Panglao that I saw on the side of the road, “Bee Farm”. ha! I’ll check it out once I’m there though. I do love honey.

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