Philippines Trip: The Weather

I was very worried about the heat in the Philippines.  I am only a sun person if the sun is shining and it is about 65 degrees or lower.  Anything much hotter and you will find me in the house, shade or water.

My sister in law picked January to go because that is before it really starts to get hot.  The mildest weather is from December to February.  During March and April the heat increases.  Last year, in March and April most of the days were between 90 to 95 degrees.  It is not uncommon to have an occasional day that can reach 100 degrees during the hot months.  But it is the humidity that you have to watch out for.

We stayed in Lucina first and the temperature during that part of the stay was 84 to 89 degrees.  Humidity is the most comfortable for Americans between 30 to 50%.  When I was in the Philippines the humidity was about 65%.  I don’t think I really felt the difference mentally, though I think my body noticed.

One day, we left the hotel and walked about 4-5 blocks to a drug store to pick up some supplies.  It was hot outside, though we were walking partly in the shade.  Once we got in the store it was kind of cool.  I won’t say air conditioned, but it did feel better than outside.

Walking back to the hotel I was feeling OK.  Hot but OK.  Once back at the hotel we had to climb 3 flights of stairs to get to our hotel room on the 3rd floor.  As I climbed these stairs the temperature got hotter with each floor.  By the time I was at my room I was very over heated.

I walked into the room, locked the door and took off my shoes and socks.  That didn’t help so next my pants came off.  Yes, I was walking around the hot Philippines in pants.  I don’t own much summer wear and I hardly walk around in shorts at home.  I was feeling sick.  I tried to drink some water and then lay on the bed.  I did not move from the bed for about 20 minutes.  I was just letting my body relax and enjoy the air conditioning we had in the room.  That air conditioning saved me.

Going into this trip heat was a major concern for me.  I know that I am not good in the heat and if it wasn’t for visiting relatives, then we would not have gone.  Luckily, the days I visited my father in law’s place it was not too bad.  If I got hot in the house, which had no air conditioning, I would go out to his back yard which was shaded by trees.

1548053209390  Father in laws yard.  All dirt, though the trees were great.

One of the cooler days, while visiting my father in law, when it was about 84 degrees my father in law asked if we could shut the door because it was chilly.  He is really use to the heat now.  He moved back to the Philippines about 10 years ago?  I just looked at him and thought, too cold?

While we were in Lucina I mostly stayed out of the sun or inside where there was air conditioning.  I was very lucky to have a small balcony in my hotel room.  I saw a lot of people and vehicles from that balcony.  Plus, I could go out on the balcony till I started to get hot and then walk right back into my air conditioned room.  The direct sun did not touch my balcony so I was able to stay out longer.  It was the best hotel room for me.

The last part of our trip was going to El Nido and taking a boat to a resort on Miniloc Island.  The temperatures were still hot, though most of the time there was a tropical breeze that made it feel tolerable, even nice at times, if I stayed out of the sun.  It felt like 70-75 degrees to me in the shade during the day.  Though, as soon as I walked out into the sun it felt SO much hotter.  Again, I tried to stay out of the sun and I was pretty successful.

I only put on a little bit of sun screen, so I wouldn’t pollute the ocean.  I made sure it was on my face and then my back when I went snorkeling.  I only got a slight baseball sized burn on my right arm (weird) and I got burned on my nose and forehead a little.  I was very pleased.

Again, at the resort cottage we had air conditioning and a balcony.  I got to do a lot of people watching from the balcony.  This balcony had a little couch on it so it was so comfy.  I loved our little water cottage.  If you come you may not want to stay in #7 because the water doesn’t reach the water cottage.  So, we had no fish to look at.  We did get to watch little crabs digging homes.  They were so cute.

1548722513939  #7 is the one on the right with no water.

Now back to the weather.  One of the people I traveled with loves the heat.  She goes to Las Vegas often and will sit in the sun around the pool, so the sun doesn’t bother her.  I am not sure if the sun was stronger here or if the breeze just made it feel cooler.  She ended up with skin like a lobster.  She was very painful.

So just be careful when dealing with a different climate then you are used to.  I knew I needed to stay out of the heat and sun as much as possible.  This meant that I ducked out on some activities because I knew it would be too much for me.

I made it through the heat with almost no trouble except for the one incident of being overheated.  I made it through the sunny days with hardly any sunburns.  I stayed in the shade whenever possible..  And even though I did a little less I had so much fun and experienced so many new things.

I survived the weather on vacation.  What I think is funny is that 4 days after being back home it got cold and started to snow.  We don’t get snow here often and I have had snow in front of my house for 5 days and it is snowing again and is to last about 5 more days.  This is the biggest snow our place has had in years.  The  news says it is the most snow in February since 1923.  That is almost 100 years ago.  I had so much fun in the snow!

My body was wondering what the heck was happening.  The first couple of days after returning home I kept trying to leave the house without a coat.  As soon as I would open the door I would realize that I was not in the tropics any more.

What kind of weather do you prefer to be in?

Philippines Trip: Get Ready – Travel

(What is your favorite part of planning a vacation?)

To get ready for a trip especially a big trip you need to do a lot of planning and packing.  First you plan where you are going to go, how you are going to get there, where you will stay while you are there, and how you are going to get around.  Then you need to figure out what activities you are going to do once you get there.

For this trip I didn’t do any of this.  I was feeling a lot of stress as the trip was getting closer and then about a day before leaving I figured out that the majority of the stress was coming from me not knowing what was planned.    How did this happen you may be wondering?

The trip was planned by my sister-in-law.  She asked us some questions, though all the hotels, transportation, and everything were planned by her.  Some of the stress I was feeling was the fact that I was not in control.  When we go on vacation I am usually the one to make the travel and the activities plans.  It was strange to not have that role.

I was also experiencing stress due to the fact that I was going to another country that was very foreign to me.  I was worried about the long plane ride, about what kinds of food they had, about homeless children looking at me sadly and me wanting to bring them home, about not speaking the language, and about the heat that I was going to have to live through.  Have I mention that the heat and I are not the best of friends?  We are not!

The day has come and I am just now starting to pack, without a list.  I always have a list, so I took 5 mins and made a quick list.  Even the quick list came in handy and I am so glad I quickly made it.  I packed.  Luckily, I had till 7 pm to get all my stuff together.  I needed all day.

I was very lucky to travel with relatives that knew what was going on and had all the tickets and travel plans.  They came to pick my husband and I up at home and took us downtown so we all could catch the Light Rail to the airport.  It was the first time I have ridden the light rail and I was nervous about that even though I was still in my home town.
1547871833358  Light Rail in background
The whole day I was feeling nauseous off and on due to nerves and it continued as I was waiting for the light rail.  Once we got on the light rail my nauseous stomach started to calm down because it was being replaced by excitement.

When it was time to get on the airplane I felt scared and exhilarated.  I was felt hyper in the plane.  I didn’t want to belt myself in till the last minute.  I was on my knees in my seat looking at all my fellow passengers.  I am pretty sure that the person behind me was probably thinking I was weird.  It didn’t help that I could not stop smiling.

1547883428275      My Plane!             1547885746434

Once belted in I was mentally getting ready for a 13 hour plane ride.  I think the longest I have been in a plane is about 3 hours.  I had a game plan.  I had taken aspirin for 2 days before to thin my blood a little to help reduce getting a clot and I had decided that every time I went to the restroom I would do squats to help my blood flow.  I ended up visiting the facilities 3 times and did 15 squats each time.  I really think it help me not be so sore.

I brought a book to read since I had so much time to kill.  Though they had onboard movies, TV shows, screen games to play, and a map I could watch the plane’s progress across the ocean that kept me occupied.  I read about the first 2 pages of the book and that was it.

We had a layover in Taipei.  The next plane ride was only a couple of hours to get us to the Philippines.  That was an easy flight.

I decided that I would be smart and plan when I was going to sleep on the plane ride, so that I would land in the Philippines with me almost on their time.  It worked!  That night I was actually falling asleep while we were at dinner.  Luckily, the restaurant was in our hotel, so I excused myself early and went to bed.  The next morning I was on Philippine time.  (I didn’t do that on the way home.  I will talk about that in a different post.)

I survived the 16+ hour travel time that I was so worried about.  It was really easy.  It was a bit tiring and boring during the layover, but not bad at all.  My legs got a little sore sitting so long, though doing those squats on the plane really helped.  If I should do this kind of traveling again I will not be so worried about travel time.  I know what it is like and that I can survive it.

What is your favorite part of planning a vacation?