Six days at the same guest house, clinic visits, a seven hour roundtrip to the hospital, somewhat bedridden and not even getting to the gorgeous beach beyond the gate. My ear had been little sore and I’d started taking the antibiotics I’d packed - but I continued to climb waterfalls, snorkel and swim, and then my ear got worse but I thought an earplug would help and I kept swimming, and snorkelling and we made our way from Siquijor via two ferries, a tricycle and a bus to our next stop, the awesome Langnasons Place Resort at Oslob.
We had things to do and I like to see as much as I can so on our first day in Oslob we swam with whale sharks and visited the incredible Aguinid Falls - five levels of waterfalls to climb and swim in and armed with my trusty earplug up the falls I went. But on the way down extreme pain set in, followed by the side of my face swelling and other yucky things.
And so started my trips to the local clinic to see the doctor who looked into my ear with an iphone torch and prescribed antibiotics and then two days later onto the ENT specialist at a hospital in Cebu who has all the necessary resources to suction my ear and see that I’d perforated more than 60 percent of my ear drum.
It took five days for me to be up and around again. We’ve stayed at Langnason’s the whole time and my blessing is that in slowing down and spending time at one family owned guesthouse we’ve stopped focusing on what to see and spent real time with a beautiful Filipino family.
The guest house is down a small lane and backs onto the ocean, a rocky coral beachfront between the back gate and the water. It has a good sized swimming pool and spa and three small buildings housing 12 guestrooms in total, scattered palms and lush green plants, an open common area with kitchen and the family house.
The family is just beautiful. The owner Mari-Lhu runs the guesthouse. Her husband works on cargo ships and is away for long stretches and this year-old venture is their investment in getting him back permanently to the Philippines. Her sister Melba works alongside her at Langansons, while their younger sister Melanie is a nurse at the local clinic and was so helpful with getting me in to see the doctor.
Their father, Papa, has a fancy car and a tricycle and takes guests on tours to local hotspots like the waterfalls and mountains. Emily adores him. Between them are four beautifully natured children who Emily has taken to and they have had a lovely time together.
And this family has taken us in and helped us so much. From taking me to the clinic and hospital to administering my eardrops each night, putting on a birthday lunch and karaoke for me, looking after Emily while I’ve slept, watching her in the pool, letting her hang in their loungeroom and watch tv with their children.
Even though I have been sick I have had such a lovely time with this beautiful, caring family. And that’s our blessing. Slow down, spend time with local people, get to know them as much as you can. We leave tomorrow and while I’m happy to get on with our journey I am sad to leave them. But we will be back. In a few months when my ear is back up to par we will resume our Philippines holiday and return to Langansons - there are still more waterfalls for us to climb around here and some special people to see.