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Category — Video

Winter Vacation Part 4 – El Nido

Hi Everyone!  here is the El Nido installment!  This is a rather large post laden with videos that I suggest you watching.  We got a little obsessed with our water proof camera case!

January 12, 2010 06:19 PM

I don’t know if Chad mentioned that it was raining A LOT when we were in El Nido.  Above is a picture of Chad on our first day.  We were famished and dirty from the bus ride.  We just sat and watched the waves.

January 12, 2010 06:21 PM

A view from the restaurant in our hostel.  Watch out for sea spray!

January 13, 2010 11:20 AM

I have to say, yes, I went to the Philippines because I wanted some Vitamin D.  That being said, it was really wonderful to see the islands surrounded by storms.  You never see clouds in a postcard.  Despite the fact that we couldn’t run around in the sand without being pelted by rain drops, it was very beautiful.

January 13, 2010 05:30 PM

One our second day the weather cleared up by the late afternoon so we decided to take a sunset cruise.  Cleared up meaning we could walk without being drenched.  It was a rocky boat ride but it was nice to get out and Chad took some magnificent photos.

January 13, 2010 05:36 PM

On the third day we decided to sign up for an island hopping tour and brave the weather which cooperated above and beyond our expectations.

January 14, 2010 09:40 AM

Island Hopping Boat Tour – Sea Level

January 14, 2010 09:44 AM

Sunshine!  We are so happy!

Next is a video of me waving.  Woot.  You can tell we were adjusting to the underwater filmography.

Kate Waving – UNDER WATER!

January 14, 2010 09:49 AM

My mask was a little tight.

January 14, 2010 10:14 AM

Chad has some awesome nautical moves!

January 14, 2010 11:07 AM

This is probably me favorite video (LaGOONy).  Chad head butts the camera and when the lens is in and out of the water it looks like we have HUGE bodies and tiny heads.  Oh, and NAME THAT TUNE!  Sorry, it’s me and not Chad singing!


January 14, 2010 11:17 AM

We finally found fish!  This spot was amazing.  We saw more fish here that our entire diving trip in Thailand last year!


Look forward to another fish video at the marine sanctuary on Panglao.

January 14, 2010 12:31 PM

This is our lunch spot.  Look at the video for a panoramic view!

Lunch Break Beach

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

Relaxing after a long and wonderful day on the water – wow we got roasted!

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

The porch area of our hostel.

January 14, 2010 06:17 PM

Our final day we decided to do a cliff climb.  It was fantastic.  Just us and the guide and limestone!

January 15, 2010 02:52 PM

The view was incredible and terrifying!  Look at the video!

Cliff View of El Nido

January 15, 2010 03:07 PM

January 15, 2010 03:10 PM

We could see that red flag from the beach in front of our hostel – it was soooo tiny!

January 15, 2010 03:11 PM

Me with our guide.

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Water break!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Whoa Nellie!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

So, after the sunset sail we went on an evening swim in the ocean.  I got in a fight with a stray board – it won.  While we were snorkeling my wounds got sunburned!  You can tell that I had fun!

January 16, 2010 06:58 AM

Time to go back to Puerto Pincessa.  Above is the kind of bus we took to El Nido.  Below is the less comfortable option we took back.

January 16, 2010 06:59 AM

Next, Bohol!

In other news, we are doing really well!  I can’t believe that our time here is almost up.  We finish at school next Wednesday, we leave Samcehok a week from tomorrow, then we take off for Beijing on the 4th!  Also, we will officially be back in Chicago on the 19th of April at 3:10 PM!  YAYY!!  We can’t wait to get home and see all of our family and friends!

Thank you for keeping Grandpa Baird in your thoughts – keep it up!  He is improving to the point of serenading Grandma Baird on her birthday/Valentine’s Day!  We are very happy!

Well, it’s time to look for some more Couch Surfers for our trip.

See you two months from today!

Love, Kad & Chate

February 19, 2010   Comments Off

Winter Vacation Part 3 – Puerto Princesa to El Nido

The 3rd post from our Winter Vacation is from one of our more memorable adventures. After Manila, we took a small plane for about an hour to another island called Palawan.  (Video Soon!)

January 11, 2010 04:36 PM

On the Plane…

January 11, 2010 05:09 PM

Over this… :)

Palawan is often called the “last frontier” of the Philippines.  It was only claimed by the Philippines in the 1960s after being tossed around between Japanese rule in WWII, American rule earlier in the century, Spanish rule before that, and Malay long ago.  So, as expected this island was much less developed than Manila or our later stops on Bohol and Cebu.  We flew into Puerto Princesa (the capital of the island) and had to stay the night before heading up to El Nido.  We arrived at Manny’s guest house by tricycle (there are no taxi’s on the island – WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!) just in time to catch this great view of the sunset!

January 11, 2010 06:12 PM

January 11, 2010 06:13 PM

January 11, 2010 06:13 PM

We took off into town to find some internet and came across this church.  They had 3 masses a day 2 in English and 1 in the local dialect.  Pretty cool!

January 11, 2010 06:53 PM

January 11, 2010 06:56 PM

I think we were hungry!

The next morning we left at 7am on a local bus for our next stop – El Nido.  We had the option to take a local bus for 300 pesos each (~$4) or a minivan with aircon for 600 pesos each.  We opted for the cheaper version hoping for more of an adventure …   The bus was a huge open air giant of a machine and looked like it had been in use since about WWII or so.  The bus slowly filled with all local Philippinos …. and us (the only foreigners in sight).

January 12, 2010 07:56 AM

This was our navigator :)

January 12, 2010 08:18 AM

This was our seat…

January 12, 2010 08:39 AM

She was our entertainment…

The bus ride took a solid 8 hours to get from Puerto Princesa to El Nido.  We spent most of the trip admiring the amazing scenery, clinging to the railings as we hurdled down rough pavement, gravel, and dirt roads, or we watched the children sitting in front of us.

January 12, 2010 10:18 AM

January 12, 2010 08:49 AM

On top of the bus, people packed on loads of goods to ship, bags, and at one point in the trip… a motorcycle!  When the bus was full, people sat on the roof.  No one fell off, but I’m sure there were some close calls with the rough roads and crazy driving.

January 12, 2010 09:12 AM

One of the many amazing views on the bus ride up to El Nido.

January 12, 2010 10:27 AM

Here’s another…

We made it safely to El Nido.  Luckily it only rained for about 20 minutes near the end of the ride.  We’ve heard horror stories of the bus getting stuck in the mud on rainy days and taking 12-15 hours to get to El Nido.  We also avoided flat tires (another common occurrence).  Video of our arrival into El Nido is below.

The bus ride was definitely an adventure.  We chose it because it we wanted to have a more realistic Philippines experience and we got it.  We saw a lot of beautiful sites, but also so the shanties and shacks of rural Philippino life.  We stopped a few times and encountered some begging children, hungry and dirty.  A sad sight and a strange reminder of Manila.  The restrooms along our trip were shacks with holes in the ground or a basic toilet with no seat or water.  Needless to say we limited our water and food so we could avoid them as much as possible.  Many of our companions on the bus didn’t speak, or didn’t want to speak English so it was hard to know what was happening when we stopped, or how long we had left on our journey.  But that was all part of the experience.  It was one of our more memorable experiences of the trip and I’m glad we did it.

Up Next – the town of El Nido and it’s paradise limestone islands!  Oh.. and some great underwater videos!

Please keep my (Chad) grandfather in your thoughts.  He’s having a rough recovery from knee surgery a few weeks ago.  He’s doing better the past few days but still has a long road to recovery ahead.  Nothing makes us feel farther away from home than when someone we love is sick.  We just thankful for the wonders of Skype that help us keep in touch.

All the best,


February 14, 2010   Comments Off

English Festival (Updated!)

Last week the Samcheok Office of Education hosted an English Festival for all of the Elementary and Middle Schools.  This 3 day event was mainly a competition consisting of speeches, skits, and quiz games.  Our school participated in all of the events and Kate and I judged a few of the events as well.  All in all it was a fun few days and a nice break from being at school :).  Here are some pictures from the event.  For the full album visit this page.

I’m also in the process of uploading videos from the event.  They’ll be up soon. UPDATE: They’re up now!

As always – click the image to see a larger version.

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This is MinJae – one of the students in our skit.  He’s amazing… and has the best smile around!

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Our 2nd grader, Hanbit, reading an English story about his mom.  Be sure to check out the video of this… adorable.

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This is Miguem.  Kate wrote about her speech a few weeks ago here. She did a great job!  Again – a video will be up soon. is here!

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These little guys were from another school and they sang and danced to a song called “Do the Elephant!”.  Pretty amazing!!  Check out the video soon!

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We did “Who’s on First” for our skit.  It was pretty great – at least we thought so.  They did a great job and I think they understood it which was great.  This is Who, What, and I don’t know – the players.

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This is Jaeook and Minjae – the fans going to the baseball game.  They’re both really sweet boys in the 6th grade and they did a great job in the skit!

Throughout all of this – Kate was more nervous than any of the students.  But they all did a great job and Kate made it out alright too :)


November 21, 2009   Comments Off