Monsoon in MactanMonday, July 28, 2014
Monsoon season is a tricky time to vacation in the Motherland. One downpour and there goes an afternoon of tanning, at best, or your transcontinental return flight connection, at worst. As most of the world now knows, the Philippines is battered by about eight tropical storms per year (not counting the other ten that just casually drop in on Philippine waters)—and there's really no way of telling when Mother Earth is going to unleash a big one on our little archipelago once typhoon season has begun.
These past few years, however, I've had to schedule a number of visits home just around this time as some of my very dearest girlfriends chose to be June brides. I reckon I'm starting to get the hang of monsoon vacationing. One workaround I've found is to always pick a vacation spot with an airport which accommodates larger planes to avoid weather-related flight cancellations (I would naturally also avoid spots entailing transfers by boat). Second, pick a resort you wouldn't mind being stuck at if the weather doesn't cooperate. Once you've got those two things down, monsoon vacationing can be quite nice actually: prices are lower, resorts are less crowded, and when you luck out on some sun, it comes with a side of refreshing sea breezes. There's a bit of weather schizophrenia going on, in which the weather can switch from bright and sunny to a straight up downpour in an instant (see photos below, taken within the same hour). But really, it's not a major sacrifice to drink your beer at the beach bar rather than the shore for a few minutes, is it?
We spent one of our little monsoon getaways at Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort in Cebu, where it's quite easy to relax and unwind, no matter which way the wind blows. Mornings tend to be nice and sunny—perfect for getting a bit of color. Afternoons were either overcast or raining—good for peeking at the resort's shark pool, taking a nap in the supremely comfortable bedroom, or indulging in a 90-minute hilot treatment at Amuma Spa.
Now that I'm back in New York where the dog days of summer are fast approaching, I find myself pining for those lazy afternoons spent cuddling and watching the tropical rain come down ...