. We have not seen many tourists here compared to all the other countries we have been to and I suspect we will see even fewer tourists on the island of Palawan, called "the last frontier". The Philippines have the most amazing underwater snorkeling that I have ever seen. There was a unique underwater cliff with stunning colorful coral reef right by the resort where we stayed. I went snorkeling by the edge of the underwater cliff every afternoon with nobody else but me and some local fishermen in the water. Unfortunately I did not take the camera with me so I have no pictures to show but I saw some gorgeous lionfish, coral snakes, barracudas, giant clams, and other colorful tropical fish that I could not name. I unsuccessfully tried to free a young barracuda by hand from an illegal fishing net tonight. We are flying to Palawan tomorrow for the last 10 days of our trip in the Philippines.
The Philippines are composed of more than 7,000 islands so we can only focus on two areas in our two weeks here. Our first stop was the island of Bohol, opposite of Cebu island. Bohol is known for its chocolate hills, the tarsier monkey (the world's smallest monkey), the Lombok river and awesome snorkeling. Filipinos are some of the friendliest people we have met on our trip despite the insecurity that a lot of travel guides talk about. There is a mix of Spanish and American influence in the country. The Spanish were the first occupants a few centuries ago and they brought with them Christianity. About 90% of the population is Roman Catholic and you see it everywhere in the number of churches, chapels and religious bumper stickers. There are also a lot of Spanish words in the language. The Americans came later and the Philippines have used the US as a model for their political and judicial system. They unfortunately copied the bad sides as well. Police officers and security guards are heavily armed and known to be quite trigger happy