And her family explore the extraordinary natural wonders of the Philippines.
My kids are in absolute heaven. They are masters of their own machines, riding their rented ATVs along a shallow creek bed, explosive revs shattering the air as they navigate a tricky turn up the bank. They are doing all of this in the shadow of a perfectly cone-shaped volcano. A plume of smoke drifts endlessly from its vent and dissipates in the brilliant blue sky, a reminder that we are in the presence of the Philippines’ most active volcano: Mount Mayon.
My (then) 10- and 12-year- old, along with the friends we are travelling with, are having the time of their lives. And despite my mild concerns about safety (I’m worried about the ATVs, not the volcano), I’m relishing the exuberance and the sheer joyous freedom of this moment in the land we’ve called home for the past eight years.
I live with my family in Manila, the country’s lively, traffic- congested capital. We love it here, but we also relish any opportunity to get out and explore. This is the city you’ll arrive in, and it has its attractions – shopping is one of them – but my advice is to depart as soon as possible. The best of the Philippines lies beyond its chaotic capital. And in this tropical archipelago of more than 7000 islands, there’s a great deal on offer: pristine beaches, World