I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the night in my cousin’s aunt’s home in the mountains in Guimaras. Compared to the cities and especially compared to the UK, life is very simple there. They only recently got pipes for running water and blackouts are frequent. They were telling me stories about how a few years ago, before they had mobile phones, if they wanted to speak to their neighbours (the homes are really spread out there), they would stand at the top of a mountain and just shout for them!
We were fed amazing traditional Filipino pork chops (the best I’ve ever tasted), native chicken and rice. Everyone was so welcoming and kind, I will certainly be visiting them again next time I am back. In the evening there was a blackout and the view of the stars was absolutely incredible. Sometimes I forget how much there is to see up there, when I realise it makes me feel part of something much bigger.
The house we stayed in was made of blocks, as you can see in the photograph, and there were no doors or glass in the windows. Three of us slept in one room, on towels on top of a banig (woven sleeping mat) on the concrete floor, and it was one of the best night’s sleep I had. The natural breeze kept us really cool and the sounds of nature were soothing. Very grateful to have had this whole experience.