Last summer I suggested former MP for Phitsanulok Dr. Warong to visit Palawan, my hometown dubbed as the “Last Frontier of the Philippines.” He said he’d been to the Philippines quite a few times and even met former Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Linglingay Lacanlale in one of his trips. However, he’d never been outside Manila. If ever he visits the Philippines again, Palawan would be his first destination.
|Dr. Warong and his wife|
I never thought he’ll take my suggestion seriously. Few weeks after our conversation, he asked me to create an itinerary for six people and invited me to be part of the trip. But due to busy schedule at the university and some workshops lined up, I ended up asking my friend’s help who used to work as a teacher here in Thailand to be their tour guide.
My friend Johanna and her then-boyfriend now her husband Poulo, took them to the Underground River and to some not so popular yet interesting spots in Puerto Princesa City. I saw photos of their adventures shared by Dr. Warong on his Facebook account. They were all smiles. They even sent some of their photos as if to make me jealous in our Line group. LoL.
|The Underground River as the backdrop|
When they arrived back in Thailand, even at Suvarnabhumi, I found myself at the receiving end of their never-ending stories. It was overwhelming seeing them as they narrated the similarities and the differences of Thailand and the Philippines and the places they’ve been to. Glad they really enjoyed their trip!
It didn’t occur to me that they were actually planning to visit the Philippines again. “Come December, it will be our second visit this year to your country, John,” Dr. Warong said.
As usual, Dr. Warong planned to have it done in December so I could join the trip. This time it will be in Vigan. It was suggested by Goodwill, the new teacher at Sapanteesam School where we initiated our pilot project called “English for all.” But because I have a plan to visit the Philippines in summer next year with my family, I am not sure if I still have the budget for this December visit. Fingers crossed!
On a serious note, I am really happy to hear that they really like to explore the Philippines once more. Despite the negative things happening in our country including the modus and the stealing of airport officials at NAIA, news about international tourists enjoying the Pearl of the Orient’s beauty and hospitality is a breath of fresh air.
In a way, I still cling to the hope that it’s more fun in the Philippines!