GrabWheels on-the-go in Intramuros, Manila | MaykExplores

As part of the sustainable tourism of the Department of Tourism, the Intramuros Administration and Grab Philippines signed an agreement on free-of-charge use of e-scooter. 

Registration booth.

GrabPh provided 30 units of the two-wheeled portable mobile service which will be free-of-charge until December 2019. Simply sign up, present your valid ID, and a briefing on safety by the assigned representative.

GrabWheels operation is open from 9 am to 4 pm, every Tuesdays to Sundays only.

Just visit them at Plaza Roma near Manila Cathedral and Comelec.

Enjoy your ride and learn from the hidden history of Intramuros.

#BeatTheTrafficOnWheels #GoGreenOnElectricity #EasyToRide

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CWC CamSur and Mayon Volcano Albay | #MaykExplores

Whenever I hear about Bicol region, what usually comes to my mind is their local cuisine — “bicol express” or locally called as ‘gulay na lada or gata’, a combination of chili peppers, gata (coconut milk), and pork. That’s how they cook dish as such adding spice or siling labuyo (native small chilies) on it where most of us enjoy and feel like it gives super power (just kidding) as well as eating more than we could. I have asked some Bicolanos during my travel and not all of them are fond of spicy. I even taste the “sili” ice cream found and originated only in Naga City.

Be cool here at Bicol!”

When it comes to sight-seeing, the Mayon volcano is also stand out to me known as the perfect cone-shaped active volcano in Asia located in the province of Albay. Here, you can have the chance to experience closely around Mayon using ATV catered by tour operators with different packages that will take around one to five hours of driving depending on your choice.

Bicol region is composed of six provinces, for mainland namely Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon and for offshore–Catanduanes and Masbate. I will tell you what I found and discover in Camaraines Sur and Albay except for the rest provinces which soon are part of my future escapade. You can click here for Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, a mesmerizing white sand and crystal blue water visible in the islands. By far in my opinion, the long-stretch beach in Calaguas is more likely Boracay in Aklan province. Seriously!



Early of this year 2019, I traveled the region at select provinces particularly Camarines Sur and Albay. Six times daily flights are flocking in Naga airport by two top airlines–Cebu Pacific and PAL. Upon arrival, I used to walk from the airport up to the national road for 10-15 minutes via airport road. I boarded a bus heading to Naga City proper for only P150.00. This is way cheaper than chartering a private taxi which costs you P300.00 unless you do have more baggages to carry on or if you can find carpooling with other passengers. I opted to wait bus along the national road that took me 45 minutes to one hour. Bus terminal is located near SM Naga and so other terminals of jeep and tricycle. From there, I boarded a tricycle heading to my accommodation in San Sebastian St. (knowing it can be reached by just walking) then I took a quick rest for my Albay escapade within the first day.

An almost three-hour travel time to reach the province of Albay from Naga City just to witness the astounding perfect cone Mayon volcano. Much appreciation as you get closer by availing ATV packages under LAVA (Love ATV Volcanic Adventure) where registration and starting point is located near Cagsawa ruins at Brgy. Busay, Daraga, Albay. This so far has given me an exciting trail among other ATV operators across the country. You can contact kuya Mike for the packages available at 0998-213-4874 or 0909-413-1706 and to assist you in driving lesson which particularly same as the usual motorcycle but be extra cautious because terrains are expected with bit struggle.

“Ooops! That’s just a simple trail.
It excites me the most!”
LAVA Package as of January 2019.

The second day was well spent at the CWC or the CamSur Watersports Complex located in the Provincial Capitol Complex Cadlan in Pili. You can choose from a various array of water activities like the most popular sport–wakeboarding, aqua park inflatable, kayaking, wind surfing, and more.

Please contact CWC if this is operational.
A huge picturesque frame with wakeboarding as background.

CWC amenities also included clubhouse restaurant and bar, cabana rentals, and swimming pool.
For rate, you can hit their website at www.cwcwake.com. I swear, you won’t stop wakeboarding pulled by a rope! A beginner can start wakeboarding in a separate lagoon back and forth. You can request transfer to a wide circular lagoon for professional. 


Here is a simple itinerary for 3D2N.

DAY 1 : MAYON, ALBAY
0540 : Departure in NAIA 4
0700 : Arrival in Naga Airport (10 minutes walk through airport road)
0700 - 0745 : Airport to Naga City Bus Terminal
0745 - 0800 : Terminal to Accommodation
0800 - 0830 : Quick rest and freshen up
0830 - 1130 : Naga City to Legazpi (you can actually get off at Cagasawa ruins where vast tour operators for ATV are located)
1130 - 1200 : Quick Lunch in SM Legazpi
1200 - 1230 : SM Legazpi terminal to Cagsawa
1230 - 1630 : ATV Adventure located near Cagsawa Ruins
1630 - 1700 : Waited bus along national road
1700 - 2000 : Cagsawa to SM Naga
2000 : Free time, took dinner and back to accommodation
DAY 2 : CWC, PILI
0700 : Wake up call
0700 - 0720 : Accommodation to jeep terminal near SM City Naga
0720 - 0810 : Jeep terminal to jump off point (Landmark: 7 eleven)
0810 - 0825 : 7 eleven to CWC
0825 - 0900 : roamed around, picture ops
0900 - 1300 : Start of activities
1300 - 1400 : freshen up
1400 : back to Naga City, free time and tried to taste the popular Sili Ice Cream at 1st Colonial Grill in SM City Naga. In all fairness, this strawberry-color and spicy flavor soft frozen food is a must-try! Yours at 99.00 petot only.
I’m hotter than you think.”
This popular ice cream comes with level of spicy from 1, 2, 3, and the most spicy is Volcano.

I suggest maximizing your time and visit Caramoan. I was not able to come and explore the group of islands in Caramoan due to heavy rain in the afternoon.

DAY 3 : PASALUBONG CENTER and BACK TO MLA
0700 : Wake Up call
0720 - 0830 : Freshen up and packing
0830 - 0850 : Accommodation to Pasalubong Ctr.
0850 - 0930 : Bus terminal to Naga Airport
1205 : Departure in Naga City
1325 : Arrival in NAIA 4 Mla.

Pasalubong center is located at Stall 7 & 8, Bicol Central Station (opposite of CBD Plaza hotel), Ninoy and Cory Avenue, Naga City, Bicol. Almost all stuff are available like souvenirs, pili nuts products, bottled dishes and delicacies, accessories, home decors and more.

My third day was also a bad weather where LPA is reported in Bicol region. Naga Airport administration declared cancellation of flight so the only alternative is rerouting in Legazpi airport. I grabbed the changes but unfortunately I am hesitant to catch the flight wherein 2-3 hours of travel from Naga to Legazpi airport should be taken. I should go back to Bus terminal in Naga city proper.

Surprisingly, it was a really adventurous thing that I came to a point to board a bus from Naga City Bus Terminal thru Isarog Busline heading back to Manila. It costs me P1,100.00 equipped with reclining chairs and air-conditioned. Travel time is approximately 8-10 hours so better to bring snacks but don’t worrry, the bus is usually stops in Quezon province. The ordinary bus (non-aircon) can cost at P500 for one way, more cheapest than other bus company.

Check image below for total damage excluding airfare. There are sudden expenses like the bus fare at P1,100.00. Also, food and pasalubong are approximate amount only.

Missionaries of the Poor, Manila | #MaykExplores

Christmas is just around the corner. I am truly honored with the assistance of my friends’ church organization and of course one of the biggest fast-food chains worldwide–Jollibee just to make our planned event turns into reality.

“Sa Jollibee, Bida ang Saya!.”

I felt so inspired by many of our foundations throughout the Philippines in reaching our dear less-fortunate Filipinos to serve and give benevolence in a very simple way. The spirit of thanksgiving and camaraderie show how non-profit organizations nowadays emerging because of a belief that everything is meant to be shared.

My friend and I collaborated with each other for the Missionaries of the Poor Manila to share a little food to bite to every lolos more importantly the special children and some outside kids. Thanks a hundred folds to them and also for Jollibee’s hundred of burgers were given out to each of our beneficiaries and became successful as we put smiles among them. The team also added variety of food coming from their organization’s fund as well as presented a show where they can showcase their talents.

A young kid carrying a toy given by a foreign group.

The Missionaries of the Poor is located at San Andres Bukid, Manila City under the supervision and assistance of Rev. Fr. Ambrose, MOP. The mission superior, Bro. Anthony Wechuli, MOP and the other Brothers. The mission begun historically in Jamaica in 1981 followed by seven countries including Philippines where there are 3 mission sites: Naga City, Cebu City and Manila City. It was 2008 when founder Rev. Fr. Richard Ho Lung initiated the talks pursuing mission in the urban poor areas in Manila particularly in San Andres Bukid. Later,  all the good deeds of our Brothers is now a success. Some of their activities are sharing catechism to children and families nearby, feeding program, and dental check up. Meanwhile, the Manila mission is catering abandoned lolos and special young men as the team is planning soon to be of service to elderly abandoned women.

Their smile brings joy to everyone.
One of the lolos who sang with the volunteers.

You may refer to below details whenever you visit and plan for activities by schedule. By far, there are 19 children and 21 lolos.

Contact: MJ / Bro. Anthony J
+63910-4622-664 / +63921-6374-900 or
mopmanila@gmail.com.
Visit them at 1766 Sagrada Familia Street, San Andres Bukid, Manila City
https://missionariesofthepoor.org.

This is a meaningful chance to mingle with them and touch ones life! May all the graces of the Lord be always with us! Let’s make our presence a blessing to everyJuan!

Boracay Island, Philippines V2.0 | #MaykExplores

The most famed paradise-Boracay Island with its natural fine white sand, crystal-clear turquoise water, and dubbed as Top 10 Beaches around the world by CNN where old Boracay is known to its party-night goers, exaggerated number of tourists, some unlawful accommodations and so on. That was before I encountered firsthand the island in 2017.
During my second visit after the mandated closure by the DENR and other government agencies and officially re-opened in 2018 of October 26, it seemingly worth to begin another glimpse of the island as 6-month rehabilitation was successful and continually implementing rules to align with the environmental laws. Number of tourists every single day is also regulated. The accommodation had reached 11,612 rooms as of February 8 of 2019 for a total of 316 establishments which accept booking via online or call. Check out Department of Tourism – Philippines Fb page for the updated list of accredited hotels and inn.
There are only limited water activities imposed by the partnered agencies of DENR. Some of these are paddle boarding, banana boat riding, helmet diving, para-sailing, jet skiing, and paraw sailing. Any of these should be requested at the booked hotel and inn or through DOT-accredited travel agencies in order to avoid illegal tour coordinators and commissioners at the same time to control number of tourists to each destination.
Daily flights from various airlines can still land at the Caticlan Airport and soon to be called Boracay Airport located in the mainland of Aklan. 
Kalibo Airport remains also as an alternative way to enter to the island which considered airfare is way cheaper than Caticlan airport. From Kalibo, you can board a van or bus bound for Caticlan port for about 2-3 hours.
As you arrive at the airport, you can avail all-in land transfers including environmental fees for P600.00-P700.00 from the arrival hall to booked accommodation. If you opt to save a little, you can avail outside the airport building costing at P450.00 up to the doorstep of your hotel (this also includes environmental fees and terminal fee.) If you however want a more inexpensive way to get to chosen inn or hotel, from Arrival of the airport located at the expansion area in West Road Aklan, board a tricycle at P100.00 which takes 15 to 20 minutes per way heading to Caticlan port.
P100.00 – Environmental Fee (one time fee)
P75.00 – Terminal Fee – Caticlan port (one time as you enter to the island)
P25.00 – Ferry Fare
P100.00 – Terminal Fee – Cagban port (one time as you leave the island back to Caticlan port)
Those arriving and without land transfer arrangement from Cagban port, hop in e-trike at P10.00 to P40.00 depending on distance or station of your destination. Tricycle and van are equally available outside the port of Cagban.
Time really flies and the airport is expanding its facilities wherein arrival and departure will be separated soon.
Aside from the three stations, you can head over at Bulabog beach in the other side of the island for water activities. You can also explore Puka beach by chartering a tricycle at P300.00 from station 2 or by e-trike at around P40.00 each or by boat where fare depends the number of passengers.
We stayed near D’mall in Station 2 for 3D2N through Traveloka.com for our convenience in terms of food hunting and also good location instantly to reach and bum at the white beach shoreline.
Since some water activities were experienced almost 2 years ago, we decided to merely set mind from bustle, relax and feel what Boracay could offer from its picturesque spots.
Always note to arrange your accommodation before arriving in the airport by showing a confirmed itinerary since Cagban port personnel will surely check preferred inn or hotel in order to be allowed inside for boarding a ferry.
The island has now encompassing a new image today as it fosters sustainable Boracay longing its way to entice more visitors in 2019.
The road project on the island is still under construction, and hopefully extensive operation will be met at possible time.
For me, I typically enjoy Boracay among other beaches because of its wide-range longstretch white sand. Am also planning to come back all over again! Even if a group or solo, it is possible to explore.
You can still refer here for suggested itinerary.
 
Related post: Boracay Island, Aklan

Tuguegarao and Palaui Island, Cagayan | #MaykExplores

The best feeling, whenever I travel, is that when you meet locals who are willing to make your experience extraordinary and worth saving. To begin with, I have started my tour from Tuguegarao City up north particularly in Palaui Island. Since I will be spending 3 days only, I got my 2 nights stay along Aguinaldo Street within Tuguegarao city.
Tuguegarao City is the capital of Cagayan Province begun in the year 1839 after the relocation of provincial government power from Lal-lo municipality. It comes from two Ibanag words tuggi which means ‘fire‘ and aggao which means ‘day‘. Yes, extreme sunny weather is expected within the area as the average temperature might reach about 38-39ºC. Tuguegarao hit 42.2ºC on August 19, 1912, and May 11, 1969 recorded in the history. It also dubbed as the hottest city around the Philippines but no worries as cold weather can also be encountered once Amihan approaches usually by January to February according to Ibanag people.
Afi festival is their annual celebration signifying fire as stories say that the city was burned from the wilderness out of vast Palm trees.
It is also home of old churches during the Spaniards colonization which gives more historic remembrance during their era.
The ever first parochial church that had been built is the Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto or the Stone Chapel of Saint Hyacinth, the patron saint of Tuguegarao City.
Here are some destinations that can be chartered by a tricycle (only means of transportation around the city) where minimum fare is P10.00 only.

– Tuguegarao Cathedral
– Divine Mercy Parish
– San Jacinto Church
–  Horno Ruins
–  St. Paul University
–  Cagayan Provincial Museum and Capitol
– Sunset at Buntun Bridge
– Pinacanauan River

Your travel may not be completed without trying to taste their local food, the Pansit Batil Patung. A traditional pansit version of Cagayan people mixed with veggies, noodles, choice of cooked egg, and topped with lechon kawali. It should always come with soy sauce with chopped onions and vinegar or calamansi. Bon appetit!
Visit Jomar’s Panciteria (where I ate the famous Pansit) along Luna Extension and never forget to take an image of Buntun bridge that measures around 1,369 meters, the second longest bridge in the country connecting the city and Solana. Jomar’s is nearing the bridge where I preferred to visit in the late afternoon for sunset moment. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day.

Pasalubong Center can be found at Local Government Unit (LGU) OTOP along Centro 6 and in DFA near Tuguegarao City hall. You can also buy from Lighthouse Cooperative in Bagay road and Caggay road. Most of the well-known products available are the Chicharabao-popped carabao meat, the Carabao milk candy of Alcala, and so on.

From Tuguegarao City, you can also chase the 7 chambers of Callao cave in Peñablanca located in Barangay Quibal. I chartered tricycle which took me around 45 minutes from the city. I paid the entrance fee and environmental fee at P120.00 and got up at 187 steps leading to the cave.
Another option you may choose to visit in the same area is the Sierra cave that requires a local guide and basic gears which can be rented from the entrance desk and lasts for at least 3 hours. Take note that their operations are until 5 pm only.

If you can find more time just to reach the other churches, we have St. James Parish in Iguig (can be reached by UV Express, Jeep, or Bus from Tuguegarao near Don Domingo public market) or the Iguig Calvary Hills, The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat (can be reached through Jeep or tricycle from Tuguegarao), St. Philippine Church in Alcala.

After my first night in the city, I woke up early 4 am and catch the first trip of the van at 5 am in front of Robinson’s Mall bound for Sta. Ana in which it is considered as Protected Landscape and Seascape in Cagayan. As you get to Sta. Ana proper, head over to San Vicente Port via cab that awaits maximum passengers of 6 persons. That would be P20.00 each from the town proper to San Vicente Port. If you are in a hurry, you may pay the whole fare at P120.00.

What happened next is that I registered at the port for environmental fee and contacted my most generous and accommodating guide, Kuya Danny who was waiting upon getting off. Each destination is corresponding with a fee, so whatever your option is depending on your budget. You can instantly customize at your own choice. Write down Kuya Danny’s contact details at 0935-894-4860. He has a boat for the tour that can accommodate at least 8 guests.

By the way, the last departure time of van in Sta. Ana proper back to Tuguegarao is at 3:30 pm while the earliest is 03:00 am but if you are in San Vicente Port nearby, the van takes around without chartering a tricycle heading to the town proper.

I suggest having your nights in Sta. Ana if you opt to visit all the destinations aside from Palaui Island. Yes, the northernmost has a lot to offer, where Palaui Island is a look-alike of Batanes that views breathtaking hills, Calayan Island is also a place for whale watching (I haven’t tried this because my time is limited), and of course falls, rivers and some coves are must see by renting a tricycle. Some of these are Dumasag River, Buakeg Fall, Zinago Cove, Puzo Rubio, Anguib Beach, and Nangaramoan Beach. You can contact Kuya Ronald at 0916-158-2259 for the land tour and reasonable rates. For accommodation, reach Kuya Danny as he knows room at a cheaper price ranging from P700 to P1500 for 2 nights.

In my case, I chose special day tour at P3,500.00 that includes Punta Verde (where mangroves are abundant) and Cape Engaño (a lighthouse, where you can see the little islands of Dos Hermanas) in Palaui Island, the Crocodile island, and the Anguib Beach in mainland known as the Boracay of the North.

Here is my suggested itinerary.

DAY 1 : TUGUEGARAO CITY and CALLAO CAVE
0855 : ETD Terminal 3 NAIA
1010 : ETA Tuguegarao Airport
1010 – 1030 : Airport to Aguinaldo St. (Accommodation)
1030 – 1200 : check in, freshen up and lunch
1200 – 1245 : Tuguegarao to Callao Cave, Peñablanca
1245 – 1500 : Callao Cave photo ops
1500 – 1545 : Callao Cave to Tuguegarao City
1545 – 1730 : Tuguegarao City tour
1730 – 1800 : sunset at Buntun bridge
1800 – 1830 : Jomar’s Panciteria
1830 – 1900 : Back to accommodation

DAY 2 : PALAUI ISLAND and ANGUIB BEACH
0400 : wake up call
0430 – 0500 : Accommodation to Van terminal in front of Robinson’s Mall
0500 – 0750 : Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana town proper
0750 – 0920 : town proper to San Vicente Port
0920 – 0940 : registration at the port (waiting for another team for me to join just to lessen the expenses of the tour)
0940 – 1500 : Special Tour: Punta Verde, Cape Engaño, Crocodile Island, and Anguib Beach
1500 – 1530 : Brgy. San Vecente to Van Terminal in town proper
1530 – 1830 : Sta. Ana to Tuguegarao City
2830 : free time

DAY 3 : Flight back to MANILA
0700 : wake up call
0730 – 0830 : breakfast
0830 – 1100 : Pasalubong hunting
1100 – 1200 : lunch
1200 – 1300 : pack up and check out
1300 – 1330 : Accommodation to airport
1540 : ETD Tuguegarao Airport
1640 : ETA Terminal 3 NAIA

Here is the breakdown of major expenses.

– P120.00 – airport to accommodation- vv.
– P600.00 – Callao Cave tour, Tuguegarao-Callao vv.
– P20.00 – Callao entrance fee
– P100.00 – Callao environmental fee
– P200.00 – City tour
– P100 – special Pansit Batil Patung
– P500 – van fare, Tuguegarao-Sta. Ana vv.
– P20.00 – Sta. Ana town proper-San Vicente Port
– P3,500 – Special Tour for Palaui Island
– P300.00 – Cape Engaño tour guide
– P50.00 Punta Verde tour guide
– P1,140 – Accommodation from traveloka (3D2N)
_______________
– P6,650.00 in Total excluding airfare

I got my airfare at P1,133.00 roundtrip via Cebu Pacific seat sale. My heart to this airline!😃

Always contact Kuya Danny because believe me, he is a man of kindness! Thanks to him and his family for the warm welcome during my stay in Sta. Ana.

BORACAY: Updated Accommodation List | #MaykExplores

As of yesterday October 25, the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had finally listed 157 DOT-accredited hotel establishments with a total of 7,308 rooms available.
The so-called island paradise featuring pristine blue waters and white soft sands is officially re-opening today after 6 months of rehabilitation. There are only 6,405 tourists every day according to DOT to prevent congestion entering the island and maintain its natural resources. The 200 trained lifeguards by the Philippine Coast Guards and some of the personnel from the Philippine s National Police are set for the security of the tourists along the stretch of the island and in resorts in preparation of the re-opening.
As mandated by the government agencies, upon arrival, tourists are required to present hotel confirmed voucher at the Caticlan port before issuing a boat ticket heading to Cagban port. DOT noted that only confirmed accredited accommodation is allowed to enter the island. Here is the list of the hotels for your reference.
For the additional guide on hotel and transfer booking, you may hit on the official website of Boracay at www.myboracayguide.com.
I am very much excited to witness how Boracay today looks like. According to the report, rehabilitation will be completed before 2019 ends.
For tourists and residents, check this lDo’s and Dont’s around the island.
Photo by: ABS CBN News

Batan and Sabtang Island, Batanes | #MaykExplores

“I see skies of blue and clouds of white.
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself what a wonderful world…”
The supposed Boracay adventure was turned into somewhat they called BREATH-TAKING landscapes at the northernmost of the Philippines, Batanes!

Imagine? I just got a promo of P1,184.00 for a roundtrip but to my surprise, Cebu Pacific has given the passengers a chance or re-routing it with select travel dates and any destinations around the Philippines due to the mandated closure and rehabilitation of Boracay from April to October 2018. I took the opportunity because given that airfare bound for Batanes is quite expensive even if discounted unless Piso fare is available. (maybe because airfare is costly to prevent congestion around the islands).
Batanes has an approximate number of population of 17,000 known as the Ivatan with its capital Basco. It has 6 municipalities namely, Basco, Mahatao, Ivana, Uyugan, Sabtang, and Itbayat. Each town offers one-of-a-kind and amazing greenland and blue sea sceneries. Cultures and practices are still preserved from a long time ago and continue to maintain which serve as tourist attractions. Most of these are, wearing their so-called kanayi–a hat for a man, kalapay–a basket for a man, vakul–a hat for a woman, alat–a basket for a woman. Ivatans are also known for their stone houses that can last for a century. It is usually made of stones and limestone (that’s how rich they are in natural resources) exclusive for the wall and foundation. The dried buchid or cogon grass is used as roof wherein one of the barangays is used to plant by hectares uphill. It also lasts for about 25 to 30 years depending on thickness. The province is also abundant in root crops like sweet potato, cassava, and ube where they used to produce products out of like camote donut and cake, ube halaya, camote chips and so on. They are also planting Tubho in which dried leaves should be soaked in water and bring into a boil to make a tea. It could be served hot or cold depending on your taste. You may also add sugar and powdered milk if opted.
The only store originated in Batanes that showbiz talk shows had discussed many times is the Honesty Store in Ivana. This is actually an unmanned shop where you can buy and put your payment on the basket. Ivatans are also known for being so honest. Indeed, during my visit I have witnessed the fact how truly honest they are whenever I left my valuable bag in their Cogon Trike! Fantastic. Kudos!
Ivatans used to pasture a limited number of animals like cow, sheep, and carabao located atop of the hills. They have an association where each member is allowed for 7 animals.
You can also stroll around their beaches but only Morong beach in Sabtang Island can offer a good beach bumming and glamping because of its white pure sand and pristine blue waters. Along with it is the natural arc formation–Ahau.
There is also an alternative option if you go on swimming. Spring of Youth or Fountain of Youth is also a popular spot in Mahatao, Batanes. Its local term is Rakuh-a-idi Spring, a man-made pool where its cold water is flowing from the hills of Imnajbu. Going here needs trekking so get ready if you wish to encounter the spring that gives a youthful face (a superstitious belief). About 45 minutes just to get there via Cogon Trike (a traditional tricycle that can be rented by tourists) and alight at Diura Village and start another 20-30 minutes of trekking. By the way, this is a separate tour since it has a different way. It will cost you at P500 vise versa if you are a solo vagabond.
(Photos credit to Ms. Kristine Fronda)

I had my two nights at Ivatan Lodge administered by the local government led by Ms. Marissa. For contact details, feel free to inbox me at maykExplores@yahoo.com or message me on my Fb page here. I got it at P600 for 3D2N and so far I feel home like there are 4 beds suited for family and friends. (3 single beds and 1 king bed). The room has also an installed comfort room inside plus a view to the seascapes. You will no longer enjoy a P300 every night since there was a price-hike ordinance effective August 1 of 2018 so better contact them first.

Here are some of the must-see and must-try in Batanes.

North Batan

  • Vayang Rolling Hills
  •  Chadpidan Boulder Beach
  • Tukon (Hill) Church or Mount Carmel Chapel, opened in Public in 2008
  • Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel
  • PAGASA Weather Station (it views Mt. Iraya and Mt. Matarem)
  • Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hills
  • Valugan Boulder Beach
South Batan
  • Alapad Pass
  • Spanish Bridge
  • Chawa Viewdeck
  • Mahatao Boat Shelter, here this is actually a home for their tataya (fishing boats) and faluwa (passengers boat) a place in case typhoon hits them.
  • Homoron Blue Lagoon
  • San Carlos Borromeo Church, here there is a special activity that can be done. Visit their bookstore and write anything on their empty books exclusive for first-time visitors.
  • Tayid Lighthouse
  • Racuh-a-Payaman or Big pasture land (Marlboro Country)
  • Motchong Viewpoint
  • San Jose El Obrero Church
  • House of Dakay, an old traditional Ivatan stone house.
  • Honesty Store
  • Songsong Ruins, now it was already renovated only to find out that this is one of the tourist spots.
  • Imnajbu Beach and Nat’l Museum
  • Maydangeb White Beach
Sabtang
  • Sinakan Village Stone Houses
  • Savidug Village Stone Houses
  • St. Thomas de Aquinas Chapel
  • Lime Kiln & Savidug Idjang
  • Chamantad-Tiñan Viewpoint
  • The Old Beaterio
  • Sabtang Weavers Association, where vakul, kanayi, kalapay, and alat are crafted by elders.
  • Morong Beach and Ahau Arch Formation, a natural arch.
  • Sabtang Lighthouse (P50)
  • Chavayan Stone Houses
Below is the sample itinerary for 3D2N.

DAY 1 : NORTH and SOUTH BATAN TOUR
0620 : Departure at NAIA T4
0835 : Arrival in Basco Airport
0835 – 0900 : Freshen up
0900 – 1700 : North and South Batan Tour

DAY 2 : SABTANG TOUR
0500 : wake up call
0530 : Bound for Ivana port
0530 – 0600 : Ivana port to Sabtang port
0600 – 1130 : Sabtang Tour
1130 – 1210 : Lunch
1210 – 1230 : Canteen to Sabtang Port
PM : Spring of Youth

DAY 3 : Flight Back to Manila
0915 : Departure in Basco Airport
1155 : Arrival at NAIA T4

I booked my tour through Ms. Jhing for only P6500, all in 3D2N except for breakfast and dinner. Contact her at 0949-144-9765 for details.

If you wish to travel by contacting a private Cogon trike refer to details as follow:

For North and South Batan tour, contact
Kuya Omar at 0920-572-2829

For Sabtang tour, contact
Kuya Jo at 0946-486-3052

For Itbayat tour, to be announced. I’ll be back next year for this island.
Below photo shows the expected basic expenses for Batan and Sabtang Islands tour.
Oops! There’s more… Always remember to “Blow Ur Horn” whenever you take the roads of Batanes.
It leaves me breathless! Soon be right back.
Dios mamajes!

Patar and Cabongaoan Beach, Pangasinan | #MaykExplores

TREASURES!The hidden beaches are now discovered in the western part of Pangasinan. Year after year, tourists come and visit the white beach Patar in Bolinao and the Cabongaoan white beach in Burgos also featuring “death pool” of about 22 feet in depth. Both of these two destinations can be enjoyed for two days and one night by public transport or private. A weekend gala!

Bolinao, the first class town in the westernmost of Pangasinan. The famous white beach Patar is the top visiting escape along with the nearby spots namely, the 1903 Cape Lighthouse overlooking the white sand of Bolinao; the Wonderful cave, Nalsoc cave, and Enchanted cave; the Bolinao falls 1, 2, and 3 (yaaaas! they are all connected); and the Saint James Parish in the main town. A one-stop destination near the hustling metro for a very short trip of about 5-6 hours by land. From Manila, board a bus from Pasay terminal, Cubao, or even in Caloocan heading to Bolinao.

As you get off in the town proper of Bolinao, the tricycle drivers will offer you a tour around the above-mentioned spots from P1200 to P1500 (rate for each person) per tricy and a maximum of 4 pax (haggling is your key). Most of the accommodation offers tour as well so as you send them inquiries, ask about Bolinao tour at the same time.

For accommodation, try the Traditional Filipino Cottages situated along the long stretch of white sand and contact Ms. Alona. It’s a total relaxation, a home away from home can be felt at their all-fave Kubo style or nipa hut, a classic way of life back in the province. She also offering villas available for a group of four. Each comes with a private comfort room and a common kitchen with utensils. Guests are also exclusive for free use of cottages. For room rates, contact her at 09985308056 or visit their Fb page and click Traditional Filipino Cottages. Luckily, she let us use her car and have toured around for the whole day (by chance and a hassle-free touring, a big thanks to her benevolence!)

And now as it featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, a primetime TV show in GMA7, the so-called “death pool” is naturally gives enchanting deep pool as waves hit atop of it whenever high tide occurs.

We had a very short encounter here since it will take you 2 hrs to get to Cabo Beach from Burgos proper. Yes way, accommodations are also starting to add up at the beachfront, in fact, you can now book online like Booking.com for you to check available Kubos and villas.

From Bolinao proper, we board a bus heading to Cubao, Manila. We drop off at the Bani intersection passing through Santo Rosario Highway and ride another jeep bound for Burgos town.

You can hire a tricycle going to Cabo beach at P300 each way. In case of stay quite long, get the tricy contact details so he can come back to pick you up. This is a long travel for almost 2 hrs so better to get ready and experience the fresh air along your way! During our visit, Burgos town is celebrating its Bayog Festival creating an artistic work out of “Kawayan” or Bamboo. Sample photos below. Of course, one of the lists that should be present in all itineraries is visiting old churches.

So what we did for about 2 hrs of stay is just feel the harmonic sounds of the wave. A 10-15-minute walk on a rocky and bumpy path going to “death pool”. We requested the tricycle driver to stay with us since we opted for a couple of hours.

Burgos town does not have terminal bound for Manila so we board a bus that passes along the main road nearing the public market heading to Alaminos where a various terminal is located.

The itinerary below includes both Patar and Cabo Beach.

DAY1 : PATAR BEACH, BOLINAO
2401 : ETD Manila
0600 : ETA Bolinao Town Proper
0600 – 0645 : Bolinao proper to Accommodation
0645 – 0800 : Freshen up
0800 – 1700 : Tour includes St. James Parish, Patar White Beach, Bolinao Falls 1-2-3, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
1700 – 1800 : freshen up
1800 – 1900 : dinner at the nipa-hut

DAY 2 : CABO BEACH, BURGOS
0600 : Wake up call
0700 : ETD Traditional Fil. Cottages
0745 : ETA Bolinao town proper
0745 – 0900 : Bolinao to Bani Intersection
0900 – 0930 : Bani Intersection to Burgos town proper
0930 – 1100 : Burgos proper to Cabo Beach
1100 – 1300 : Picture Ops at the beach and at the “Death Pool”
1300 – 1430 : Cabo beach to Burgos
1430 – 1500 : Burgos to Alaminos
1500 – 1600 : lunch at Alaminos town proper
1600 : ETD Alaminos Terminal
2200 : ETA Manila

Breakdown of major expenses as follows:
P496.00 – Mla. to Bolinao (per way)
P150.00 – Bolinao proper to Accommodation (per way)
P2500.00 – Accommodation for 4pax
P20.00 – entrance to each falls
P66.00 – Bolinao Town to Bani Intersection
P9.00 – Bani Intersection to Burgos proper
P300.00 – Burgos town to Cabo Beach (per way)
P300.00 – tricy rent from Burgos Public market to Alaminos (opted to rent since we are in a rush, but you can wait until a bus breaks down every 30mins)

Roughly, you can spend P2,500.00 each for a group of four.

Plan your trip ahead for Northbound!

Related posts:
Lingayen, Pangasinan
Tubuan Beach and Cabalitian Beach

Anawangin Cove, Zambales | #MaykExplores

SCAPES!
This all-time favorite and real quick getaway is truly a tourist destination for many. Among coves in Zambales, the stretch of Anawangin views clear waters as well as grey fine sand and it is among featured by bloggers throughout social media and other channels on the internet that makes the cove more popular and for my recent visit in April, travelers flock under the agoho trees breathing the cool breeze of summer. Pitching tent is advisable since only cottages for dining and cooking are available.

Just wondering what makes the Anawangin cove stands out but to my surprise, I love seeing agoho trees which are abundantly present along the shoreline. It is refreshing to pitch a tent and take a rest under a tree where it seems like the place is untouched or secluded. The lake behind those trees is an instagrammable where you can also pitch a tent at the foremost back.

The campsite is portion by portion owned by private individuals with their flat rate of P75.00 for a day tour or P100.00 overnight as entrance fee. We stayed at Magsayon Beach Resort.

Cottage rent is priced ranging from P200.00 to P350.00 overnight. Rest rooms are also available in every campsite without any charges.

In addition to the water activities like snorkeling, island hopping to Capones Island, site seeing in Camara Island, banana boat is also a must-try for P300.00 (I was not able to get the name of the resort located at the most right side fronting the beach). Head over to that campsite for inquiries.

It’s pretty obvious that each of the coves in Zambales features trekking for beginners. Yes, the terrain is not that difficult so good to burn fats. Prepare to bring out extra P20.00 as entrance fee.

I’ll take you there, how?
From the bustling metro, look for a bus terminal in Pasay City, Cubao, or Caloocan  preferably Victory Liner heading to Iba Zambales. Alight at the municipality of San Antonio for P265.00 and board a tricycle bound for Pundaquit (jump-off point going to any point of coves) at P30.00 each while P60.00 for solo. Let me refer you again Kuya Jake at +639266753120 who will assist you once you reach Purok 3 in Pundaquit. We took a package of 7pax at P550.00 each including tents, monoblock table (blockbuster summer where all cottages were used up), charcoal for cooking, utensils, iced cubes, and woods for the bonfire. But before you leave San Antonio municipality, the public market is located beside where you plan to buy and bring all your commodities before going to Pundaquit.

You will experience the basic living in a tent so as friendly reminders, bring some hand-carry or portable pillow, insect repellant, powerbank, and extra light or flashlight. Electricity is not available, expect to get zero bar signal of your phone, you can survive though! A total relaxation without hearing any beeps of a cellular phone.

Here’s a simplified itinerary:
DAY 1: ANAWANGIN BEACH
0330: Assembly time
0400: ETD Manila
0800: ETA San Antonio public market
0800 – 1000: Trolls around the public market
1000 – 1030: Public market to Pundaquit
1030 – 1115: Pundaquit to Anawangin
1115 – 1200: Pitch tent and prep for lunch
1200 onwards: Beach bum and trekking

DAY 2: ISLAND HOPPING
1100: ETD Anawangin
1200: ETA Capones Island
1200 – 1400: Capones beach bum
1400 – 1430: Camara Island
1430 – 1500: Camara to Pundaquit
1500 – 1530: freshen up
1530 – 1600: Pundaquit to San Antonio public market
1600 – 1700: San Antonio to Olongapo
1700 – 2100: Olongapo to Manila

Basic expenses:
P550 – package for each person
P265 – Manila to San Antonio
P60 – San Antonio to Punaquit, vv.
P44 – San Antonio to Olongapo
P198 – Olongapo to Manila
P300 – each for shared food

A less than P1,500.00 will be your expected budget for the Anawangin escapade. Pack up and get going!
Related post:

Lingayen Beach, Pangasinan | #MaykExplores

Beach Feast!
This historical long stretch of sand where Gen. Mc Arthur landed in January 1945 during the American-Japanese World War II had become one of the significance in the province of Pangasinan. Lingayen is the capital of the province where the provincial Capitol Buildings are also located, it is known of its product called ‘bagoong’ or fish paste and the likes include bangus coming from nearby municipalities like Binmaley and Dagupan.

The 2018 summer begins early April as it was declared by the national government weather enthusiasts. Let me share with you what Lingayen offers in terms of tourism. Aside from the long shoreline powdery-grey-sand, water activities, and good spot for sunset encounter, you can witness to attend the prestige celebration on Labor Day starting from April and ending on the second week of May featuring different products of every municipalities of the province called “Pangasinan Expo”, commemorating its 438th this year through “Agew Na Pangasinan” (The Day of Pangasinan), the “Limgas Na Pangasinan” is also one of the most awaiting event searching a gorgeous lady among candidates, the “Banca Parada” or Boat Parade along the river of Bugallon municipality is part of the celebration, sandsculpting competition will be witnessed too and many more. These jam-packed events are expected annually within the Capitol grounds and nearby places.

Check out the schedule, arrange your trip and start the summer celeb!

Source: Pangasinan Tourism FB Page

If you opt to enjoy beach bumming, it would be more save because the cottages are free of use located after the capitol buildings. It is purely a nipa hut with table and chairs made of bamboo. You are not allowed to grill and throw any garbages, it’s prohibited and cost you a fine so please be responsible enough to clean up your own mess before and after your stay. So, plan to bring preferred food before your car breaks down in Lingayen. You can drop off at the Lingayen public market since it is jump-off point heading to the Capitol grounds and the beach. You can also pitch a tent without any charges. But there are some privately owned cottages that collect minimal fee during day tour at P500-P700.

Where to check in for an overnight stay?
Hotel Consuelo and Chinese Restau
Alvear St., corner Maramba Blvd., Lingayen

It is considered by many since its location is nearing major spots in Lingayen like the beach, the Capitol building, the provincial library, museum, and even the production of the fish sauce by JP Boneless Bagoong can be reached thru tricycle and will cost you P10 per way. You can also use their amenities like the pool.

Book a room online, by a phone call at (075) 542-8135, or through Fb Page. The room starts at P700 per night.

Here’s how to get in Lingayen.
For those coming from Manila or South, take a bus at Cubao or Pasay terminal bound for Bolinao or Alaminos and alight at Socony in the town of Bugallon. Ride a jeepney bound for Lingayen or the usual mini-bus heading for Dagupan City and drop off at Lingayen proper. Take a tricycle and tell your driver to send you to Capitol or Lingayen beach.

In general for North or Ilocos Region, look a transportation bound for Dagupan City and drop off at Downtown or Junction then take a jeepney bound for Lingayen or mini-bus heading for Camiling or Mangatarem and/or Alaminos, Bani or Bolinao which certainly pass through at the Lingayen town.

Whenever you reach the town of Lingayen, transportation is always available so nothing to worry about going to the Capitol and beach.

In celebration of the Lingayen Pista’y Dayat 2018, the Bangus Festival in Dagupan City can be one of your bucket lists to visit and experience a fun-filled “Kalutan Ed Dalan” or Grilling Along the Way and many more. Check out their 2018 schedule in photo.
Source: Bangus Festival FB Page
Expo is still going on until May 12 this year, visit different booths showcasing the product of each of the municipalities around Pangasinan, Bugallon is awarded as Top 1 by OTOP featuring its product–Duhat Wine and Bulaney Wine which are abundant in town.
Take a look at one of the booths by the municipality of Bani with their products ‘Pakwan’ or watermelon and of course the ‘Pak wine’ (witty wine name, love it!).
Photos are taken end of April 2018 for the ‘Panag-ARTe  La Lamet’ displaying various collections of art gallery priced from P1,000-P50,000.
Boat Painting is also part of the celebration of Pista’y Dayat 2018.

Bonsai Exhibit and Competition is also an attraction at the Expo.

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