Certified adrenaline junkie Meggy Zeggers will try anything once—or, when it comes to bungee jumping, “at least once a week, back when I first lived in Cairns,” she injects in between travel stories about her 30-day trip to the Philippines.
With Meggy, stories tend to come aplenty—and in breakneck 60-second intervals. Whether it’s taking a quick dive in the pool before our interview “because it’s bloody hot here” (she’s back in Cairns for now); cliff-jumping from “five, then eight, then 15 meters in Boracay Island, the nicest beach in the Philippines!”; scuba-diving into the blue in Moalboal, Cebu; riding a mosquito boat from Coron to El Nido in Palawan “because a mosquito boat is more interesting than the cruise or ferry we expected..”; or interacting with whalesharks the size of a jeepney in Oslob (“Definitely my favorite experience,” she affirms)—this water girl seems to always be on the move, and boy are we glad we have her on WhatsApp.
Originally from Amsterdam, Meggy started traveling in 2011 and has only been home once since. “I really like this side of the world much better,” she declares. “People are less stressed, they’re not always running around, and the mentality is not always on numbers and deadlines,” she says.
In the Philippines, Meggy shares she met the “most friendly Asians ever. If you ask Filipinos for direction, and they don’t know the right way, they will tell you the wrong way than not help you at all,” she says, only half-kidding. “Filipinos are very helpful, well-mannered, and just so happy. In Banawe after our hike in the rice fields, this guy on the trike took us to his house to meet his family and they cooked chicken adobo for us. It was so cool—we were way up in the mountains in their house made of bamboo and stuff, and it was very nice and welcoming,” she recalls.
It was exactly the same feeling she got as soon as she walked into Junction. “It felt like home—the staff was awesome, I loved the design because it’s very new, industrial, and they also did those funny lines in the walls, telling rules in a funny way so people accept it easier. Like the light switch that looked like a *male organ*, it had a sign that says ‘You don’t want this up all the time’—I thought that was pretty funny and clever,” she laughs.
“Junction is definitely in my top three hostels in Asia. I liked the social areas, the TV room, and the neighborhood is in the less commercial side of the city—it was interesting walking around. And what they did with the vodka, flavored it with Chinese mandarin oranges—now that really impressed me,” says Meggy, grinning.
Meggy’s top picks in Manila: “Greenhills for shopping—it’s very touristy, but cooler than being in a mall; clubbing at Pool Palace in BGC—that was pretty eye-catching because I didn’t expect that in an Asian country; and I got to check out a music festival in Makati while I was there in April—that was pretty cool, there were a lot of events, and the place was so alive.”