Friday, August 31, 2012

The SULU Archipelago!

My first travel to Tawi-Tawi was via ship from Zamboanga City Port and I haven't felt any excitement because it was my first to go to the province. My perceptions were very different until I started to talk to strangers inside the ship. Their comments was really different on what I heard in the news and print medias. The travel lasted for 16 hours and half of it was spent in sleeping. We passed by the SULU ARCHIPELAGO upon reaching the province of Tawi-Tawi. Seair flights during that time was stopped due to some aircraft standards that until now they haven't resumed their operations to Tawi-Tawi. That is the reason why I took the ship instead. 

I was happy to know that there where already available flights to Tawi-Tawi by AirPhilExpress the second time I visited the place (at present,CebuPacificAir has already flights to Tawi-Tawi). I'm also glad to know that flights are in the morning because I know that Islands within the Sulu Archipelago are magnificent. Upon take-off my camera was already prepared and ready to capture beautiful aerial sites. Below are pictures I took during my Zamboanga - Tawi-Tawi flight. Enjoy! 



















These Islands are great and very comparable to some beautiful known beaches in the Philippines. If and only if this part of the country is very safe for tourists and locals, surely people will flock and build communities here. 




Friday, August 3, 2012

Pangangan Island CALAPE, BOHOL

It was stormy season in Metro Manila when I and my officemate decided to go to Pangangan Island Calape, Bohol for field work. It was a risk that we will ride a boat around the Island during high season of monsoon. 

It was a bit cloudy with slight rain around Metro Manila during our departure from NAIA Terminal Three. I was wishing and hopeful that the weather in Bohol is not the same as in Metro Manila.   

Bohol is a Province and an Island that has so much to offer. It has a lot of activities and perfect for unwinding. It has nice beaches, dive spots, extreme sports, nice views and etc. It has also an easy access from Manila, Cebu and Davao. 

There's a new flight by MidSea Express from Davao-Bohol v.v. check the website for details: http://www.midseaexpress.com/

I will go back to Bohol and search new places to unwind. 

Flight 5J 617 bound for Tagbilaran.

Bohol's rehabilitated highways. No more rough roads around Bohol. 
Rows of Indian Trees, some parts are Acacia Trees. 
Calape Town Proper
The Calape Church, not as old as other Bohol Churches.
The Causeway to Pangangan Island.
Cottages within the Causeway

It looks like an abandoned lighthouse. This is the boundary if the Marine Protected Area in Calape. 
We stayed at Treasure Island Beach Resort in Pangangan Island. They have several choices of food, good food. We ordered more on sea foods which it cost so much in big cities. But in Treasure Island the price is affordable. Look for Maam Blessy owner of Treasure Island Resort: 09165569382. If you want to relax and unwind for few days, for me, Treasure Island Resort is perfect for you. 

Sunset view from Treasure Island Resort
Treasure Island Cottage

Aerial view of Pangangan Island

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Great MAKATI Skyline!

The whole stretch of Makati Skyline.
 I was invited by my officemate to have tea or coffee at her condo and I was struck by the view she has on her living room. Thanks for the invitation Makoto!




Another view of Makati Skyline.

It looks like some sort of first world skyline.

New York? Hong Kong? Shanghai China? I don't think so.

The tallest building being built at this this generation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Great BOHOL

I was Cebu-based and there were many times I tried to visit BOHOL! Time, budget and effort won't allow me. But during my Travel in the Visayas, Bohol is on my top list. It's like all people around me had been to Bohol.  

Bohol, a great package for tourist. All in one: from Landscape to Seascape; Flora to Fauna, Food and People. 

Upon arrival at Bohol Port, there are many people offering for package tours. All tours are of the same stops and price. The usual price is 1,500.00Php. Two days in Bohol is already enough unless you beyond with your adventures. 

I have decided to take the tour the next day. I was surprised what I saw outside my hotel room.

Moonset at 5:30am
Insider Tip:
You may contact Kuya Jun at +639196457427 or contact my Boholana friend, Sky for more information.

The BOHOL Package Tour:

First Stop: "The SANDUGO" 

The statue of Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi symbolizing the Treaty of Friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. 

The SANDUGO Statue. As if I was part of the Treaty of Friendship!

Second Stop: "The BACLAYON CHURCH"

The Church of Baclayon remembers us how old the Christianity has been introduced in the Philippines. There were also old Churches in some parts of Bohol as well as in the Visayas Region.

Exterior of Baclayon Church 
 
Interior of the Church
Insider Tip: 
Make a wish during for first visits on Churches. -a tip from a friend, Hannah-

Third Stop: "Philippines' Greatest SNAKE"

It is a Python Snake and it is recorded as the biggest snake in captivity. There is a human-snake too who performs Whitney Houston in Live! 

Biggest Python in captivity.

Insider Tip:
Make sure that the snake is full upon entering its cage.
Fees: 5.00Php - access road, 10.00Php - entrance

Fourth Stop: "Philippines' Smallest Primate: TARSIER, Tarsius syrichta"

The Phillipine Tarsier was known as the World's Smallest Primate but there are articles stating that it's not.

Tarsius syrichta
Insider Tip:
Do no over-stressed them, they are endangered.
Fees: Only Donations

Fifth Stop: "LOBOC RIVER CRUISE"

The Loboc River Cruise is very popular since it is not an ordinary cruise. It's like a fine-dining in a floating restaurant, in the middle of the river with 360degrees view of rainforest. Food is great at 450.00Php.

Loboc Church

The cut-Bridge: the construction was stopped because the Church will be demolished if pursued.

Floating Restaurants and floating raft with the dancing ladies. 

The tip of the river cruise.

Insider Tip: 
Be there by lunch time to make sure food is freshly served. Bring extra money for extra charges like government taxes and so on. Kindly refer to Bohol Official Site for more info.  
Fees: 450.00Php - buffet, 100.00Php

Sixth Stop: "The BUTTERFLY FARM"

There are several species of Butterflies are on site. 

Different types of Butterfly Pupa

Learning Macro-Shot
Insider Tip:
Learn macro option to capture great shots. 
Fees: 25.00Php

Seventh Stop: "MAN-MADE FOREST"
It is a 2-kilometer ride covered with Mahogany Trees. The trees have grown better than those in the wild. 

The Man-Made Forest

Eighth Stop: "The GREAT CHOCOLATE HILLS"

It was raining when I get there so I had to wait until the rain stops. While seeing the view, I was wondering how these things had happen. I always remember when I was a grade-schooler, "Chocolate Hills" is always on discussions about "Ang Mga Anyong Lupa ng Pilipinas". At that age, it's like always a dream of seeing Chocolate Hills in person.    

The GREAT CHOCOLATE HILLS

video
Upon leaving the View Deck in Carmen

Insider Tip: 
Do not visit during rainy days, you won't enjoy the view. There were no covered walkways to the top of viewing deck. 
Fees: 50.00Php

Aside from these stops/adventures, Bohol has still lot of things to discover. Danao Adventure Park offers great deals for extreme adventurers such as the bungee-like adventures aka Plunge. The beach type of person could go to Panglao Island and other neighboring Islands for great Beach adventure. I had visited Panglao Island but only in few hours at dinner time. I wasn't able to capture great scenery in Panglao but my friend Sky (Under the Sky) wrote about Panglao and her adventures: Paradise called Panglao Island.

I will make sure to feature Danao Adventure Park and Panglao on my next visit in Bohol. 





Friday, March 30, 2012

Videos for PHILIPPINES' BEST BEACH DESTINATIONS: CORON and EL NIDO

CORON PALAWAN


video
Coron Islands

video
Feeding Frenzy at Siete Picados


EL NIDO PALAWAN

video
Viewd from Og's Pension House


video
Amazing Rock Formations

Thursday, March 29, 2012

PHILIPPINES' BEST BEACH DESTINATIONS

It's almost SUMMER! I miss Philippines' nice beaches. I am a lone traveler. I often go to the beach to unwind, to see people, to meet new faces, to experience new crowd. With these experiences, I have compiled photos and memories. This compilation is based on my personal experiences. 

1. CORON PALAWAN
Coron Palawan for me is the best. It has many things to offer and the experience is totally different. You'll be able to see different attractions from nice beaches to lakes to hot spring to coral garden to museum. Name it and you'll have it. Visit Coron and see it for yourself. 

Coron Boulevard

Moutain range viewed from boulevard.

Viewed from atop going to Kayangan Lake.

Kayangan Lake

Stony Montains

Siete Picados

Culion Island, Home of the Leprosy Museum.

Getting There: 
From Manila: Take the flights by Cebu Pacific Air, AirphilExpress.com and Philippine Airlines
From El Nido: Take the Boat Ride from El Nido

Insider Tip: 
Contact Mommita' Lodge: Everything is included: Airport Transfer, Food, Accommodation and Tours. Contact no +639082762553, +639082762553 email: zaldyangulo@yahoo.com, mamitaslodge@yahoo.com

More of Coron Palawan by kim under the sun:

2. EL NIDO PALAWAN
El Nido is similar to Coron but fewer attractions only those beaches and islands. But these beaches and islands are magnificent. You have four options on which attractions you are going to take. TOUR A, TOUR B, TOUR C and TOUR D. 

View from OG's Pension House.

Island stop over with Tour C.

Our boat and the majestic view of stone islands. 

Stony Islands

Breath-taking mountain range at El Nido proper.

The OG's Pension House

Beachfront of El Nido Proper

Getting There:
From Puerto Princesa: Take a Bus, Jeepney or Van. The most comfortable and fastest ride is the Van. But if you want to go for an adventure, take the Bus and ride on top. 
From Manila: Take the flights by Seair

Insider Tip:
Take an early schedule from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. Stay at OG's Pension House, they offer cheap rates with free breakfast. The location is perfect for the beachfront view. 
OG's Pension House: contact no: +639167070393 and +639204040223 email: ogspensionne@yahoo.com.ph

3. BORACAY ISLAND
What I love about Boracay:  the crowd, the party, beachfront, sunset. I love seeing people with their best swim suits. The beachfront is very wide and the sand grain is very fine. Sun-Bathing is perfect in Boracay. 
Boracay Sand Castle

Vintas at Station 3

Boracay Station 2

Wind Surfing at Station 1

Willy's Rock at Station 1

Perfect weather for sun-bathing.

St. Vicent's Cottages

The Boracay's Night Crowd

Getting There: 
From Manila/Cebu to Caticlan/Kalibo by Cebu Pacific AirAirphilExpress.comPhilippine Airlines and SeairZestAir
From Clark to Caticlan/Kalibo by SeairSeair and Air Asia.com
International flight from Pusan, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei by ZestAir

Insider Tip: 
It takes almost two-hour bus ride from Kalibo to Caticlan. St. Vincent's Cottages in Boracay offers affordable rates and located between station 3 and station 2. There are free booklets from Caticlan Port upon departure to Boracay Island. 

4. BANTAYAN ISLAND CEBU
It is similar to Boracay but it has shorter beach front. Sand grain is also as thin as Boracay's in some parts. 
This is the nearest Beach Getaway from Cebu in terms of land trip. Mactan Island Cebu has also nice beaches but it is already used by the luxury hotels. Unlike Bantayan, the beachfront is shared from one resort to the other. 

Booths for the Celebration of Fiesta during Lenten Season.

Sunrise at Santa Fe Bantayan

Brown Sand at Botigues Island 

The Bantayan Crowd

People usually bring their own tents for cheaper accommodation fees. 

Getting There: 
From Cebu City: Take the Bus going to Hagnaya from North Bus Terminal Station, North Reclamation Area Cebu City. 

Insider Tip:
Visit Bantayan during the Lenten Season. Instead of having sacrifices, the Island is full of so much party, food because it is also their Fiesta.

5. SIARGAO SURIGAO DEL NORTE
Siargao is known as the surfing capital. Perfect place to learn surfing. But, how about those who are not surfers? Siargao has a nice beachfront in General Luna. There are also three small islands you could visit which is also perfect for non-surfers. Go and rent a boat and go to Bucas Grande which has similar landscape and seascape to Palawan's.

General Luna Siargao

Foot Bridge going to General Luna seaside.

Sohoton Cave Bucas Grande. Place for millions of Jellies only found in Sohoton and Palau.

Secluded Island nearby Bucas Grande

Stony Islands 

The Cloud 9

The Cloud 9: best visit every September for Surfing Competition

Getting There:
Take the boat/ship by Montenegro Lines from Surigao City Port. The ship docks at Dapa Siargao then rent a tricycle to General Luna. Cebu Pacific Air has direct flight to Siargao. You may also check AirphilExpress.com and Philippine Airlines for flights going to Butuan.

Insider Tip:
Do not travel during high season of monsoon. You won't enjoy the trip.