Saturday, December 31, 2011

Travel Guide: 6 Must-Do Activities in Baguio City

Baguio never gets old. This city perched on the cold mountains of the Cordilleras is one of the most-visited summer destinations in the country. It entices many of its visitors with a chilly weather perfect for those lazy bones. It is a home to some all-time favorite tourist spots that show a glimpse of its past dwellers (established by the Americans in 1900) and that of the mountain people's rich life and culture; a haven for shoppers and bargain-seekers; and a magnet for food lovers. For these reasons, just like many, I’ll never grow tired visiting this city. 

To fully enjoy a getaway in Baguio, I'm sharing with you some of the things that you can do while in there. I've also added tips that might be helpful to plan your trip. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bucket list 2012

2011 has been an amazing traveling year and I feel like I've already covered most of my dream Philippine destinations. I know there's still a lot to be seen. For 2012, I'd like to visit some more places here in Pinas. I'm also excited to go out and see some of our neighboring SEA countries-- finally for the first time. Excited! :)

Here’s the complete list of what I plan to do next year:

1. Experience sunrise atop Mt. Pulag

2. Swim with whale sharks (Butanding) in Donsol

3. Camping in Calaguas

4. Meet Ketut in Bali

5. Food trip in Kuala Lumpur

6. Explore Callao Cave and Palaui Island in Cagayan

7. Experience sunrise and sunset in Siquijor and Dumaguete

8. Visit Masbate

9. See the vintas of Zamboanga

10. Reunite with relatives in Samar, visit Biri Island

11. Do some volunteer works

12. Complete Backpacking Pilipinas Volume2

13. Enroll in a swimming lesson

14. Write on this blog regularly (once a week, maybe)

15. Read more books

16. Watch a jazz concert

17. Fly a kite

18. Join a marathon 

19. Plan a wedding 

20. Save 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Unforgettable Journeys

I wish I could bottle up all the great memories I had while backpacking Pilipinas this year. I immensely enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks to my travel buddies who joined me exploring some destinations in Luzon, Vizayas and Mindanao! Until next year! But before I get too hyped up with 2012, first, here's 2011 in retrospect. :)

Revisiting Mt. Pinatubo. The first time I went there in 2009, I was  very impressed with the crater that I told myself it definitely deserves a second visit. So last January, I climbed again. This time with Cha, Kidd and Janet. But unlike in 2009 that good weather was on our side, this recent climb proved to be more difficult. It was drizzling all the way to the top and we had to go through an agonizing four-hour trek on a rocky terrain. But all the hardships waned the moment we saw the crater. It’s worth it! :)

Palumbanes Lighthouse Summit. On my previous visits to Palumbanes Island (Caramoran, Catanduanes), I always wondered when I would ever get near its lighthouse. Perched on the mountain overlooking the island, for me it’s a silent witness to the daily grind of the sea, mountain, and the community living below it. And so on my visit last March, along with 10 companions, I was thrilled to have finally reached this panoramic part of Palumbanes. From there I got 360-degrees view of the island. What a sight! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Traveling Panay on a Shoestring Budget

Trip to Boracay, Kalibo, Aklan, Iloilo and Guimaras (November 9-12, 2011)

The less crowded Puka Beach

I consider myself a poor backpacker. Always on a tight budget, my travel itinerary usually includes haggling for cheap tour packages, scoring for airline seat sales, sometimes sleeping on fan rooms, taking public transport and eating in some off-the-beat carenderias.

And my latest trip to Panay was no different.

Ten months ago, I was lucky to have chanced up a relatively low airfare. Thanks to Cebu Pacific’s piso sale, I was able to book my Manila-Kalibo-Manila flight for only P800.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Seven Wonders of Nature: Puerto Princesa Underground River

We only have until 11-11-2011 to vote for Puerto Princesa Underground River to be included as  one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature!

“The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world's longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.” –

This is our chance to pin one of our best destinations on to the world map. Let's do it!

Here are ways to vote:

A. Online Vote

1. Go to the site:

2. Go to the Vote tab and choose your seven candidates. Your first pick should be the PP Underground River Philippines! :)

3. Create a new account and fill up the form. Use a valid email address to vote.

4. Confirmation of your vote will be sent to your email address.

B. SMS Vote

Each SMS sent counts as one vote for PP Underground River in the New7Wonders of Nature.

Send PPUR to 2861

Cost per each SMS sent:
PHP2.00 (Sun)
PHP2.50 (Globe, Smart)

Below are some of my photos from my trip to PP Underground River this year. :)

Let's all vote now!!! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Off-the-beaten track Batad

Life in Batad amidst the rice paddies

August 20-21, 2011
Batad, Banaue, Ifugao

We took the 10 p.m. trip to Banaue via Ohayami Transport (P450 one way), the only bus company that plies the Manila-Banaue route as of this writing. It was a nine-hour bus ride which I didn’t really mind since I slept almost the entire trip. At 7 a.m., we reached Banaue, Ifugao.

It was a crisp and clear Saturday morning and the beauty of Banaue Rice Terraces simply blew me away

We were led to People’s Restaurant for breakfast. The view of the rice terraces from there was excellent but I’d rate their service as poor. Imagine, they forgot to serve our meal! :(

Monday, June 20, 2011

Camiguin Deserves a Second Chance

The tall and gentle cascade of Katibawasan Falls

When my flight to Mindanao was booked, the first thing that came to my mind was Camiguin. I’ve seen lots of beautiful photos and heard enough great stories about the place. The White Island, the prominence of Mt Hibok Hibok, the sunken cemetery and the hot springs made this island an “enchanting and captivating” place to explore.

But nature has its way of making you see things differently. It was a drizzling Monday morning when we left Cagayan De Oro City. Kim, Cha and I took the easier route going there, two-hour fast craft via Paras Sea Cat. It was almost noon-time when we set foot in the island, and the overcast sky we left in CdO followed us in Camiguin. The place looked bleak and lonely.

One of the pools at Ardent Hot Spring

Paddling Through the Wild Rapids of Cagayan de Oro River

We left Manila an hour past our scheduled flight, thanks to Cebu Pacific. When we arrived in Cagayan de Oro City, I thought we won’t be able to push through with the river rafting. Who would actually do it nearly sun down? Well, we decided that our adventurous hearts won’t be cowed by the possible danger ahead. So from the airport Kim, Cha and I headed straight to Mambuaya, the jump-off point. We were supposed to start it at 3pm but with the delays, we hit the first major rapids a little after 4pm. And then the 13 kilometers sunset river rafting/cruising ensued.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Experiencing Asia's Longest Dual Zipline in Bukidnon

At 4,500 above sea level, the first 5 seconds of the 840m flight is the most scary

Waking up to a rainy morning and with a flight to catch in the afternoon, Cha, Kim and I decided to ditch the original plan of commuting our way to Bukidnon. We contacted Kuya Danny, a cab driver, who agreed to drive us to Dahilayan Adventure Park for P2,000 roundtrip. We left CDO at 7a.m. and reached Manolo Fortich at 9. It really wasn’t supposed to take two hours since we were aboard a private car. But we just couldn’t be stopped from taking photos of the scenic views on the way to the site. We enjoyed the lush vegetation, the plateaus, the charming old houses of Del Monte farmers, the magnificent hills on the background, the small talks with some farmers and the photo ops amidst the sprawling pineapple field. For the delays and muddy feet we got, it was fun.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Philippine Churches: Bato Church

It took 53 years (from 1830 to 1883) to build the St. John the Baptish Parish, known as the Bato Church. Said to be one of the oldest churches in my home province Catanduanes, it's one of the places that's not to be missed if one plans to visit our small island.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Philippine Churches: San Diego Pro-cathedral

The statuesque San Diego Cathedral

October 5, 2010
Silay City, Negros Occidental

This is one of my favorites. It's huge, grand and beautiful. Located in the center of Silay City, this church is named in honor of Didacus of Alcalá, the Franciscan saint more commonly known in the Philippines as San Diego de Alcalá.

The church interior

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nagsasa Cove is Love

May 14-15, 2011
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

I’ve been asked several times which of these two coves is more beautiful, Anawangin or Nagsasa. Well, for one, I think Nagsasa is the exact clone of Anawangin. Both have the same textures. It has the same lagoon, rolling mountains, off-white sand, nice beach, Agoho “pine” trees canopy, and almost the same number of campers. In both places, I found my “sugoi” moment which is what I care about. So really, I can’t say which is more beautiful, because both are worth visiting. 

I’d definitely say it was one of my best weekends with the girls. Thanks Kim, May and Liz!!!  

Monday, May 9, 2011


The cow, Eric, Kim and myself up at Chamantad-Tinian Viewpoint

April 27-30, 2011
Batan and Sabtang Islands, Batanes

The thing I have with travel blogging the Philippines is that I sometimes run out of the right adjectives to describe each place I’ve been to. And now I’m faced with the same dilemma. How will I describe Batanes? Breathtaking, magnificent, panoramic, rustic. All these words suit this place just well. But for this blog, I will borrow the Ivatan word Mavid, which means beautiful... Mavid Batanes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Batanes Itinerary

Scenic Vayang Ranch 

Planning a trip to Batanes? Here's our itinerary! I’ve included here our contacts, travel budget and places we’ve seen and visited during our four days and three nights stay there. Hope this helps, somehow. :)


For first time travelers, I would suggest getting help of a tour guide. Going around there on your own can be a little difficult since most places are really far and can be time consuming. Here's how we've spent our days in Batanes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Not Quite in Batanes Yet, Almost

Falowa Ride. Honesty Coffee Shop. Vakul. Rolling Hills. Lighthouses. Batanes.

These are some of the phrases/words I've been googling and wiki-ing for the past weeks.

According to Wiki, the province of Batanes, composed of 10 islands, sits at the topmost part of the Philippine archipelago. About one and a half hours plane ride from Manila. This place has been highly regarded as a prime tourist destination because of its magnificent rolling hills (some saying it can be compared to the ones in New Zealand), famous stone houses that have stood the test of rough and unforgiving weather conditions in the past years, the Ivatans resilience and kindness, and of course, the lighthouses that have become silent witnesses to the rage of the seas and the fury of the skies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2011

Feb 13, 2011

How this balloon got to it's mushroom shape in less than an hour, I was there to witness.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Puerto Princesa Adventures

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River 
March 20-22, 2011
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

I was feeling grumpy days before our trip. I wasn’t my usual jumpy and excited self. But then, the idea that I’d finally stop wondering what it feels to be inside the Underground River gave me some comforting thoughts. I. Must. See. It.

Kidd and Cha inside Ugong Rock

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Palawan (photo story)

"Seeing Double"
Malcapuya Island , Coron, Palawan

Friday, January 14, 2011

Beach, Books, Ben Afflecks, Boracay!

Devoid of many expectations, I packed my bags for Boracay without doing my usual pre-travel duties such as drafting an itinerary and researching the what-to-see-and-where-to-go-there stuff.  I was ready for anything. I cared less whether it’s a great place or not. I will be there to relax, to escape the city, to chill.

My pre-Boracay thoughts were that this place reeks with sun-kissed tourists, loud party-goers, over the top expensive hang outs, hardworking locals asking for massage services, a pocketful of sunshine, and yes, white sand beaches.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A bit of Albay

Oct 23, 2010

If Pinatubo became beautiful after the disaster, Mayon will always be the disaster-threatening beauty of Albay. It is the constant view that no one can escape from. Always there. Always a welcoming sight.

Along with my sisters Cha and Loi, we had a quick stop in Albay before heading to our own province, Catanduanes. We arrived in Bicol with clouds scattered and some isolated showers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...