I See Jacob: His First Philippine Adventure

For now, you won’t see Bela. You’ll see Jacob!

The Ruins - Negros Occidental

The Ruins – Negros Occidental

I’ll start this interview series with Jacob Hayes. Who is Jacob? He is my ex boyfriend… and now, my fiance

but there is so much more about him than being my fiancé.

Mt. Palay Palay (popularly known as Pico de Loro)

Mt. Palay Palay, popularly known as Pico de Loro (Click the photo to read about our Pico de Loro adventure)

Introduce yourself to my readers, Jacob.

Hi! I’m Jacob, a 22 year old guy who likes hiking,camping, traveling, and shooting. I’m currently training to be an infantry officer in the US Army and I am so excited to be with Isabela soon. I am so thankful to have found Isabela.


Layag-layag Beach

Layag-layag Beach (Click the photo to read about our beach adventure)

Describe your Philippine adventure.

My Philippine adventure was a blast! It was full of first times and great people. I never thought to travel to the Philippines as I defer to Korea, which is like a second home for me. But the great food, beaches, and scenery made traveling to the Phils a wonderful adventure.

International Rice Research Institute

International Rice Research Institute

Boracay - He found a stray cat.

Boracay – He found a stray cat.

Among the places you’ve visited in the Philippines, which is your favorite and why?

I loved seeing Boracay and climbing Pico de Loro. But my favorite place to visit was Guimaras. Upon our arrival, we rented a boat, snorkeling equipment, and two boaters for very cheap. Less than fifty US dollars the four of us each! First of all, the mangoes were excellent. Isabela actually said that mangoes from IloIlo are the tastiest. But I didn’t think that was possible. Island hopping was a blast. We saw a variety of neat fishes at a research center on the ocean. There were some fishes that were bigger than me! We saw a shrimp farm and played with large tortoises. The best part was snorkeling! I had been really sun burnt in Boracay and the fishes were nibbling on my dead skin. It was pretty cool.

Guimaras Island

Guimaras Island (click the photo to read about our Guimaras adventure)

How a)bout the food? Did you like them?

I was surprised at how much I like Philippine foods. Though, I’m an adventurous eater compared to a lot of Americans. I liked pig blood soup and BBQ the most.

Taytay, Rizal

Taytay, Rizal

Ilo-ilo City

Ilo-ilo City

What can you say about the Filipino culture?

I come from the perspective of a person who’s visited the Philippines with a person who knows the language, culture, area, and with friends. This opened a lot more doors for me and I found that people were friendly and receptive. Just about everyone I met with Isabela was very kind and eager to have fun with me! However, I learned that the people of the Philippines are not so different from the people of other countries I’ve been to. People were a lot less responsive when I wasn’t with Isabela. When I was lost, no one would talk to me and cab drivers tried to scam me. I used to think that Filipino were abnormally kind. But no matter how much I say Americans are callous, people are people. That may not be the answer you were looking for. But it was a lesson I learned. On a side note, the treatment of dogs bothered me.

Guimaras Island

Guimaras Island

Boracay Island

Boracay Island

Let’s say you don’t know me or you don’t have a relationship with anyone in the country, would you visit the Philippines again? Why or why not?

Yes, I would visit the Philippines again. My family plans to see Cebu soon. There are so many areas Id like to visit, beaches like Palawan or mountains in Batangas. However, this’d be assuming I don’t have an obligation to the U.S. Army. The little time off I do get, I’d rather devote to family.

Pico de Loro

Pico de Loro

I know you took plenty of photos during the trip. Please share your favorite and tell us the story behind that photo.


This was the photo we took in the way to Guimaras. There is a better one that shows us falling asleep in each other’s arms but it’s in my hard drive and I’m writing this in between classes. lol. I have a feeling Isabela would be a little embarrassed cause we didn’t give her friends permission to take the photo!

Lastly, what was your most memorable experience in the Philippines?

some honorable mentions include hanging off the monolith at Pico de Loro, a run in with a rowdy US hating Australian drunk in Boracay, snorkeling at Guimaras, the first night in which Isabela’s friends took me clubbing (that I actually don’t remember), learning more of the US and philippine army’s history on Corregidor, meeting the founder of Tatoy’s, meeting Isabela’s dad for the first time while I had stomach problems, and all the people I met that made my trip that much better. But my most memorable experience in the Philippines was falling in love with Isabela. By the end of the trip, both of us knew but both of us were too nervous to say it. During that trip, we fell for each other and now we’re going to get married. I know I’m being cheesy right now. Being with Isabela was unforgettable.



Pico de Loro

Pico de Loro



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