1. Where are you from and when did you arrive? I have Filipino heritage but I spent most of my life in New Zealand, Australia, and Middle East. I arrived in the Solomon Islands in May 2013.
2. What brings you to Solomon Islands? My husband was recruited to work here. A wonderful opportunity opened up for me to explore this country. I couldn’t resist another chance to splurge on seafood and laze around in the beautiful warm sea.
3. What’s your favourite thing to do here? We love going to the beach whenever we get the chance or driving around the local villages. I am a keen photographer and I try to photograph everything I see. I love seeing the beauty of simplicity in life, about people’s way of life their culture and tradition. Apart from that I am always busy for brunch or lunching with my wonderful friends during the week.
4. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve done in your life? After so many years of travelling I have so many amazing experiences. I have always been fascinated by active volcanos so my husband and I chased the volcano down at Vanuatu. It was active alright, we climbed up on top, walked around it and stayed and stared at its beauty until after sunset. The air was gusting that night which made it dangerous and exciting for us. It was spectacular with lava erupting and almost reaching us. We were privileged that our tourist guide had taken us further than other tourists.
The scariest and most fun I ever had was being on top of the tallest office building in a roller coaster that went 360 degrees around the building. This was in a 3rd world country and I was afraid that this activity wasn’t regulated properly. Our chair was permanently tilted 90 degrees downwards directly facing and looking down on the traffic. It was only one seat belt that was preventing me from falling. I was screaming my head off but there was no way they could stop it. Nevertheless I enjoyed it very much.
Another time was literally swimming for my life. We wanted to see a secret lagoon near El Nido, Philippines. It is located in one of the small islands in the middle of the sea. This lagoon was totally enclosed yet hollow inside with plants all around it that makes it look like a secret garden. There were heaps of birds there too with their nests on top of the cliffs. The lagoon entrance was underwater and the tide was very strong. The water was deep. I saw the photo in advance and I really didn’t want to miss it. Luckily I had booked the boat privately and the crew’s concentration was just for me and my friend so I wasn’t afraid at all. The boat couldn’t go near the rocks at the lagoon entrance. We had to swim one at a time. The lagoon’s entrance can only fit one person it was tiny and being under the water made it so exciting. The tour guide had to signal me in accordance with the waves, there was no time to think twice otherwise the water would slam me against the rock. For someone who can’t swim I did well. It was only my friend and I that risked this experience. Some other tourists from Germany and USA decided it was not safe to do it.
5. If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be? There is beauty in everything if you see it with open mind and open heart. The world is beautiful. Although unjust and unfair at times we have to make the most of it. Travel the world, enjoy the simplicity and celebrate any luxurious events life has to offer you. Don’t miss out on any prospects that bring you rewards. Create opportunities that will accentuate your work, desire, passion or hobby. Opportunity will not come to you so you have to search for it yourself.