I’m actually in the Philippines you guys!
It’s looking far better than what I ever imagined it would be like!
WHATEVER AM I DOING THERE?
Well boys and girls, a long time ago, in the summer……..I told you that I had astonishing news! That astonishing news was the introduction of my journey to the Philippines for the very first time.
WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO THAT EXOTIC PLACE?
I’m in the Philippines right now, and it’s ridiculously exciting.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THERE?
I’m going to:
- Visit Manila
- Fly to the island of Bohol
- See the most famous Chocolate Hills (which aren’t actually made of chocolate…)
- Stare at the tarsier, otherwise known as the world’s smallest monkey!
- Go on a river cruise
- Run around the Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary
- Explore the southern edge of Bohol’s Panglao Island
- Search out where the best dives can be found on the Balicasag Island
- Explore historic Cebu – the Queen City of the South!
- Sail across and experience a Mactan Island Tour
- Find out if the Lechon suckling pig dish delicacy really is as good as they say!
- Eat the best that Filipino food has to offer!
- And at the end of it all, I’m going to take advantage of the spa and massage moments, because by the end of an exciting but intense time, I’m going to need it!
BUT WHY AGAIN?
As you know, I’m a lifestyle expat travel blogger. And part of this lifestyle is spending an awful amount of time writing and spreading the love on social media.
If you don’t get yourself out there, it can be quite lonely.
Thankfully, I’m a bit of a social butterfly and a little bit of a show-off, so meeting other bloggers is always going to be a good thing. One of those ways to get-together is to attend a TBEX conference.
I had originally planned to go to the European conference in Sweden, but a window opened up. That window was the fact that I’m taking up a new job!
Now you all know that I presently work for a British / American company doing corporate teaching in industrial, business and governmental establishments. Well, from November 2016, I’ll be working for a German company as the Vice-School Principal. And get this. I’ll be responsible for their English-speaking business AND their Social Media Management!
It’s a small business and will be focused on international languages. The company is called LOGO Sprachenschule, and is based in my gentrified hipster neighbourhood of Prenzlauerberg. In the best place in the world – Berlin!
As usual, I’m an advocate for smart travelling, so I’m not quitting either my travels or my job anytime soon, thanks very much!
Gosh, you’re a busy girl Victoria!
WHAT IS TBEX ALL ABOUT?
Well, TBEX is the holy grail of the travel blogging world and stands for Travel Blog Exchange.
It’s the world’s largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, writers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands and social-media-savvy travel industry professionals. There are three (3) conferences held annually in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, attracting 600-1000 delegates from all over the world!
The organisation used to be located in North America and Europe but for the first time in 2015, was based not only in “the West” but in Asia too, and on a cruise-ship in the middle of the sea!
It’s also a medium for the creative minds of the travel industry to come together, to network, to learn, to negotiate with the travel industry, and for those who are so inclined, to take the business of blogging to the next level.
I had heard a lot of good and sometimes controversial things about TBEX, but I decided to attend the conference for myself and make up my own mind.
Last year, I went to the TBEX conference for the very first time.
Every year, TBEX partners with fantastic destinations so that bloggers and media people get the opportunity to meet potential business partners or sponsors, meet influential bloggers, get new strategies and tips, network with each other, discover new destinations, share a new experience and well, be entertained and paaaaaaaarty like it’s 1999!
Oh alright then. Paaaaaarty like it’s 2016!
I love the Asian continent, and I’ve been to Asia many, many times, but I’ve never been to the Philippines!
The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean!
It consists of:
- A population of 101 million people!
- 36,289 kilometres of coastline
- 10,000 feet of mountain ranges
- 7,107 tropical islands
- 6,000 endemic plant species
- 5,000 species of clams
- 2,000 species of fish
- 900 species of seaweed
- 600 species of birds
- 500 animal species
- 400 species of coral
- 176 languages and local dialects
- 100 indigenous ethnic groups
- 22 species of whales and dolphins
- countless beaches
- and the capital city – Manila
While I’m in this part of Asia, I decided to visit another new country in the vicinity.
I picked Taaaaaaaaaaaiwan!
Taiwan, otherwise known as, the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia.
Neighbors include the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous non-UN state and the largest economy outside the UN.
The history of Taiwan dates back tens of thousands of years although it’s believed that the appearance of a culture based on agriculture around 3000 BC, reflects the arrival of the ancestors of today’s Taiwanese aborigines.
Taiwan was initially colonised by the Dutch in the 17th century, followed by an influx of Han Chinese including Hakka immigrants from the Fujian and Guangdong areas of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait.
The Spanish built a settlement in the north for a brief period, but were driven out by the Dutch in 1642.
In 1662, Koxinga, a loyalist of the Ming dynasty who had lost control of mainland China in 1644, defeated the Dutch and established a base of operations on the island. His forces were also defeated by the Qing dynasty in 1683, and parts of Taiwan became increasingly integrated into the Qing empire. Following the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, the Qing ceded the island, along with Penghu, to the Empire of Japan.
In 1945, following the end of World War II, the Republic of China (ROC), led by the Kuomintang (KMT), took control of Taiwan.
The KMT ruled Taiwan (along with Kinmen, Wuqiu and the Matsu Islands on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait) as a single-party state for forty years, until democratic reforms in the 1980s.
During the post-war period, Taiwan experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, and was known as one of the “Four Asian Tigers.”
That’s all for now!
SHOCKING NEWS! I’M ACTUALLY IN THE PHILIPPINES AND GUESS WHAT? THE SECRET CHINESE-SPEAKING LOCATION I TOLD YOU ABOUT IS….TAIWAN!
Even though I was a member of TBEX, all opinions and the exciting time that I’m currently in the middle of, is my very own!
Come and find me on social media ‘cos you know what, I believe it really is more fun in the Philippines!
In November, I’ll be travelling to Austria and starting a new job!
Have you ever been to the Philippines? Did you guess the secret location would be Taiwan? Any tips? Have your say!
See you in Berlin.