Pinoy At Heart
Australian Guy Who's Been to 37 Countries Calls Philippines "The Most Beautiful"
Christa De La Cruz | Dec 08, 2015
One day in November, the Choose Philippines Facebook Page reached one of our all-time highs when we shared a video from our Travel Insider Alexander Sherack. The 23-year-old student from Sydney, Australia compiled in an 18-seconder his experiences in the Philippine paradise and his adventures in Cebu, Bohol, El Nido, and Coron. On his own page, he has a longer version of his Philippine travel and captioned it "my travels through the most beautiful country I've ever set foot in."
Why did a guy from one of the most multicultural cities in the world choose the Philippines?
We're as curious as you so we asked Alex!
1) Tell us about yourself and your life as a traveler.
Being surrounded constantly by a mixed group of people I’ve always been curious about what happens in the world. You know, what it’s like to eat street food in Southeast Asia, what it’s like to swim in the Mediterranean, what it’s like to get around in a country that speaks no English. The world is so interconnected these days, it’s hard not to be curious.
From stocking shelves in supermarkets when I was 16 to accounting in big-4 accounting firms, and I’ve used the money I earned to travel—last time I checked—to over 37 countries! It’s taken me to all corners of the earth, watching sumo wrestlers train in Japan, couchsurfing and tindering in Russia, sailing through the sapphire waters of the Adriatic Sea of Croatia, sleeping in hockey rinks in New York, getting kicked out of accommodation at Oktoberfest, going to frat parties at colleges in California, swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines, getting ear infections at a tomato throwing festival in Spain, studying on exchange in Korea, living in a gypsy tribe in the mountains of the North Indian Himalayas, going on fishing adventures with native Filipino men in Coron. I could go on forever. Travel has truly changed my outlook on life, and I recognised that I am truly blessed to be born in a country that has provided me the means to travel so extensively.
2) Which Philippine island was your first destination?
The first island I landed on was the Queen City of the South, Cebu! I still remember the smiles and laughs of the kids running through Carbon Markets, the natural beauty of Tumalog Falls in Oslob, and I vividly remember the feeling of my jaw dropping when I saw my first whale shark. And I’m not gonna lie, I remember the shock when Coca-Cola cost more than a bottle of Tanduay Rum!
Cebu is also a great vantage point to see Bohol. Bohol is known for the Chocolate Hills and Tarsier Monkeys. But I didn’t even make it there. I hired a scooter with some backpackers, and stumbled upon Anda Beach where we picked coconuts off the trees, petted goats on the beach and saw cute school children holding hands on the way to schools in their villages. I also witnessed chicken fighting! I was shocked at first, but being amongst a loud crowd of yelling Filipino men, I realised it was truly unique glimpse into the Philippines not often seen. Although I didn’t see the main sights, I got an experience in Bohol I still look back on and cherish.
3) What other places in the Philippines have you explored?
My next island was Palawan. Good Lord. I’ve never set foot on an island so idyllic and pristine for its beauty. First stop was El Nido. The archipelago of islands of limestone towering above as you cruise past in the old-school bancas is something really special. I got my diver’s license in El Nido and did the infamous ‘Tour A’ seeing all the lagoons and bays i’d seen all over Instagram. Being in the crystal-clear water, surrounded by picture-perfect scenery then coming back to grilled fish and freshly picked fruits was incredible.
I then got a boat ride to Coron, which is also part of Palawan. This island provided me the best travel experience anyone could have asked for. I met a Filipino man who was a native to Coron Island. He was a fisherman who lived on a beach with his family. He picked me up from Coron town and took me for two days on a fishing adventure, throughout all the beaches and bays of Coron - Kayangan Lake, Japanese shipwrecks, Coral gardens to snorkel. But incredibly, he knew everyone who lived in all the huts along the edge of the island. If you’ve ever been to Twin Lagoon, you’ll know of the hut there. His cousin lived there. We went trolling for tuna, snorkelling amongst vibrantly coloured coral and ate the fish we caught every day. I made a Youtube video of my time in Coron which turned a few heads—over 100,000 views on Youtube!
So you wonder why Palawan was voted the number 1 island in the world for 2015? Go and check it out for yourself!
4) Why should people choose the Philippines?
Do I need to say any more? If anyone is planning on travelling to Southeast Asia, then PUT THE PHILIPPINES down as a priority! I feel like I’ve discovered a country that is a gem. I could keep it, but it is too beautiful. I must share it.
This Australian and a number of other foreigners have chosen the Philippines. It was even chosen by National Geographic as one of the must-see places in 2016. If these things don't convince you, we don't know what else will. Choose Philippines!
Watch Sherack's amazing Philippine adventure below:
Australian Travel Insider Alexander Sherack has some very beautiful words to share about his experiences in the Philippines: "From Cebu to Bohol, El Nido to Coron, I swam with whale sharks, picked fresh coconuts off trees, snorkelled through Japanese shipwrecks, commuted in Jeepnies, witnessed brutal chicken fighting and went fishing with a native Filipino who lived on a beach… but most important of all, I met some of the most generous and humble people that made it all happen."Catch a glimpse of his many adventures in the video below!Do you have a video like this to share? Send us a message, and your video might be featured next on our page!Special thanks to SherackCity for the awesome video!
Posted by Choose Philippines on Thursday, November 26, 2015
(All photos courtesy of Alexander Sherack.)
Foreigners Who Chose the Philippines: