Bantayan // Philippines.

Bantayan Island was the second stop of our trip and we were amazed even more by the beauty of this place. It was more touristy but it's no surprise that people want to come here. We stayed in little cottages that were secluded from the rush of other parts of the island and right by the beach which was so lovely. We adopted local dogs and cats with kittens that were not happy to see us leave. My little niece fell in love with water and playing in the sand, which included eating it, and it was so sweet to see her joy of exploring all these new things! We took a day for island-hopping, which means renting a private boat and going to smaller islands that can only be reached by water. It's amazing how different each island is, or how the sea changes in such small distance. 
There was less local villages than on Malapascua, where we went before. But you could still see the poverty of the place in certain parts. We could see white men with local girls walking down the streets or going to bars, and we wondered how that can be such a normal thing here. It was things like this that somehow made it a relief to leave. To close our eyes to it again. But that's the thing, once you come to see parts of this world, or not even that, it can be right around the corner from your house, when you see poverty or injustice, you can't close your eyes to it. You are responsible. And that was one of the feelings I left this place with. Other than feeling humbled and insipired by the hospitality and kindness of people we encountered, by their humbleness and contentment, as the plane got off the ground and in the darkness I watched the slums lined up by the wall of the airport of Manila, I felt this burden. A burden of knowing, and seeing, all the things wrong with this wide world. And feeling responsible, but unsure of what to do with the feeling. I believe that's what visiting the Philippines awoke in me again. A desire to care and strive for a change. Wherever in the world that might be.

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