Archive for Travel Guides

Unplanned Visit at Governor’s Rapids

Governor' Rapids

Governor's Rapids

Governor's Rapids

Limestones

Limestones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quirino Province was named in the honor of the sixth President of the Philippines Elpidio A. Quirino. It is composed of six municipalities offering different ecotourism; namely Cabarroguis, Diffun, Saguday, Aglipay, Maddela and Nagtipunan. It covers a total area of 2,323.47 square kilometers, located in the southeastern part of the Cagayan Valley, and bounded by Isabela on the north, Aurora Province on the east and southeast, and Nueva Vizcaya on the west and south-west. Generally, the province is mountainous and covered about 80% of mountains and highlands. Quirino Province may not have tropical beaches but it has other natural attractions to offer such as, awesome caves, clear rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, beautiful mountains, and green forests. The province is dubbed as “Where the adventure begins”.

driving Craving for Pansit Batil Patong

OTW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While searching where to eat for our cravings of Pansit Batil Patong with a friend, we decided to visit the one of the tourist attractions in Quirino Province, The Governor’s Rapids. Just a 30 minutes drive away from Santiago city.

entrance ViewEtrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, indeed, I was amaze when we reached the Governor’s Rapids at Divisoria Sur Maddela, Quirino because of its gigantic limestone and rock formations, crystal clear water surrounded by green mountains and forest.

RatesVest And head gear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the information center, the Policies of the Governor’s Rapid Nature Park posted in a canvas says, “Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints, Kill nothing but Time, and Keep nothing but Memories”. The rates were also posted.
Boating (exclusive of vest and head gear)

Short Distance: 130.00 php

Long Distance: 230.00 php

Water Tubing: 80.00 php

After everything is set, a very cheap ecotourism fee was also collected. Before boarding the boat, we are advised by the tour guide to wear a life vest and head gear. I asked to the tour guide why we need to use a head gear and answered for precaution and safety, because we were going to climb or crawl into the cave to reach the waterfalls. And then we went chasing rapids!

Things to Do:

  1. Boating

Boating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Caving

Cave entrance 2

Cave entranceWater Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refresh in the cold water from the Bisangal Waterfall inside the cave

3. Cliff Diving or Jumping

Jumping (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get there:

From Manila:

If by plane, book a 45 minutes flight either from Cebu pacific or Philippines Airlines from Manila to Cauayan but it is more expensive compared to an 8 to 10 hour bus ride from Cubao or Sampaloc to either Santiago City or Cordon, Isabela. From there, take a jeepney or passenger van to Maddela, Quirino and hire a tricycle to Barrio Bisangal, Divisoria Sur where Governor’s Rapids is located.

For more guidance please get in touch with the Provincial Tourism Office. Tel no. (078) 692-5088/Mobile no.0917-416-5945

Local Hotlines

Municipal Economic Enterprise Management & Development Office
(+63) 947-853-8035
(+63) 945-866-1375

Philippine National Police – Maddela Police Station
(+63) 905-617-2749

Bureau of Fire Protection – Maddela Station
(+63) 917-511-1429

Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (Rescue 104)
(+63) 977-851-9603
(+63) 966-259-5691

 

Spicing Up Your Palate the Bicolano Way

The Bicol Region lies on Luzon’s southern peninsula and is comprised of more than five million scattered six provinces – Sorsogon, Masbate, Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur  and Camarines Norte. There are loads of places to stay in Bicol from budget accommodations to luxury hotels and many tourist spots to offer like the world-famous, ever-active Mt. Mayon.

The beaches on the region are haven and paradise for those who love the serenity of the sea. Bicolanos are also known for being religious and the majority of the people are devout Roman Catholics and this could be seen on their annual religious festival like the Penafrancia festival.

One more thing that puts Bicol region on the map is their love of spicy food. Their culinary love affair would always include chili peppers and the native small ones (sili and siling labuyo) and coconut milk (gata) on the recipe. They love to show their hospitality by making their guests yearn for water. For the love of chilis, it can be cooked into almost anything – sautéed, with vinegar even on desserts.

Pinangat or laing is a popular dish hailing its roots from Bicol. The sumptuous dish is made from pork meat, taro leaves, coconut milk and of course lots of chili. It is traditionally served in wrapped gabi leaves and coconut leaves are used to sturdily tie it up. The Pinangat is is so embedded on their culture that a festival celebrating its rich flavor is held annually in Albay.

Another famous dish uniquely capturing the love of Bicolanos for their chilis and gata is the Bicol Express. It is stew with loads of ingredients like the long green chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, pork and loads of onion. This spicy tempting dish uniquely got its name from a joke among the locals – eating this dish would make you run for water as fast as the train itself.

If your preference would be more into the healthy side of seafood rather than getting high with cholesterol, then Kinunot is your perfect dish. This Bicolano appetizer is made out of stingray and shark meat. However, since shark catching is already prohibited, kinunot, nowadays is made up of entirely sting ray meat. Aside from the regular chilies and coconut milk, Moringa (malunggay) leaves are a nice addition to the dish making it a little bit healthier too.

Now if you want to try some culinary adventures, then go ahead and try their spicy ice cream. It’s your regular sweet creamy dessert topped with one or two spicy chilies. The confusion of the taste buds on your mouth is something everyone should look out for.

Bicol is not just a nice place to visit for its scenery as its rich culinary culture will sure heat up your palate. Just be ready with a glass of water and you’ll be fine.

“Tips for biking tours”

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Physical and Other Preparations for Bicycle Tours

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If you like biking, then now may be the right time for you to get involved in real sports yourself. With numerous ball-sports like football, basketball, volleyball, and many more, one of the sports you can get into is biking. This is considered a healthy sport that can strengthen your heart and muscles.

Preparing for a multi-day biking tour is not a joke. You need to be physically fit and mentally ready to make sure that you will finish the tour. Before you embark on your journey, there are a few things that you need to do to complete your cycling tour preparations:

Gear Up for Physical Consequences

Just like with other sports that you may have chosen, preparation is key. You may want to start biking for at least an hour everyday before the big tour.

Then, look for the following signs:

Shortness of breath – This may mean you are not in good shape. In some cases, this can mean that you have asthma or other related condition. You may want to consult your doctor before you proceed with the tour.

Pain, numbness, or tingling of your fingers or wrists – Move your hands while riding. You can get aero bars so that your handlebars will not restrict you to one position. You may also want to use padded gloves and avoid bending your wrists as you maneuver your bike.

Chafing on your bike seat – Wear biking pants or shorts. Make sure you inspect your bike seat as well. Many novice bikers think that if they buy bigger seats, they can avoid chafing. The truth is this will only make things worse. Instead, look for a seat that helps minimize skin abrasion.

Aside from the aforementioned possibilities, you should be prepared with your sunglasses, sunscreen, and helmet, which should have a visor. Also, you should not forget water or an electrolyte sports drink if you sweat too much.

To be well-prepared, you need to tune up your bike. If you intend to take your bike to a shop, make sure that you tell the person who will do the service about your bike tour. This way, he can make suggestions on how your tour can be a successful one.

Essential Things to Have

In order for the biking tour to have great results, you should have the most suitable bicycle for the job. Depending on your route though, you probably need a new bike. There are many destinations in Philippines where you can go on a bike tour. Whichever route you choose, the important thing is that you have a reliable bike that will help you get to the end of the journey. As mentioned, you will need a helmet. Any Snell or ANSI approved helmet will do and should not be too expensive.

You also need a bag that will allow you to carry your stuff. Normally, backups are not recommended, but they are acceptable. You should not bring anything fancy or huge as this will only make your ride more difficult. You may want to ride your bike to work to find out what kind of bag is most appropriate for your situation. You can always try a seat bag or a decent pannier.

Contingency clothing is a must as well. Put a raincoat or a jacket into your bag. You should not forget to bring some tools such as a spare tube, pump, and tire levers. Make sure that you know how to use them. Do not rely on shops that you may happen to pass by while on the road. If needed, you may want to bring a lock in case you want to park your bike.FB_IMG_1466558285178

Although bike tours require physical and mental preparation like other ball-sports they are definitely fun and exciting activities that you can engage in.

Where to spend your summer vacation?

Are you looking for the cheapest summer travel holidays this year?  How about taking a trip to the Philippines? Located in the Southeast Asia, Philippines is rich with a multitude of cultures due to the impact of its colorful history and being a part of empires such as Spain, Japan, and America until finally winning independence in 1945.

There are many places where to spend and enjoy your summer vacation in the country and here are some helpful summer vacation packing tips  for you to consider.

Island hopping between some of the more than seven thousand islands that are available for you to explore! You won’t be able to cover every island, but you can be guaranteed that the ones you visit will be full of excitement and adventure. Some of the islands are uninhabited, just stretches of pure white sandy beaches and an ideal way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the larger towns and cities. The Pacific Ocean is perfect for water sports such as snorkeling, diving and sailing and even swimming with whale sharks. The sea of the Calamian group of islands situated in Northern Palawan are home to Japanese ship wrecks that sunk during World War II making the area famous for wreck diving and exploring. On nearby Calauit Island you will think you have moved continents over to Africa as it is home to many safari animals such as giraffes, gazelles, impalas and deer.

Chinatown in the capital city of Manila is actually the oldest Chinatown in the world and is home to many superb authentic restaurants as well as fascinating temples and monasteries. It is a world of color and culture just waiting to be explored.

The many sightseeing attractions don’t need to break the bank either if you pay a visit to any one of the beautiful resorts to appreciate the natural beauty of nature and various attractions found here in the Philippines.

For the more adventurous out there it is worth taking a visit to Cebu and the Sky Walk Adventure. Walk along the edge of a building more than 20 stories high right in the heart of downtown Cebu to experience the Sky Walk Adventure.

The city of Sta Rosa is also famous for its theme park, the Enchanted Kingdom, which is full of thrilling rides such as the famous space shuttle, sky rides and the new world class ride “Disc-O-magic” and other attractions popular with kids and the young at heart. The total experience that this park offers turn its slogan into reality having the “magic lives on.”

There are many number of world class hotels and resorts scattered throughout the country, a wonderful place to stay for luxury holidays, but if you are looking for the cheapest holidays, then choose among available hotels or hostels.

Mount ApoFor the cheap holidays you don’t need to spend a fortune in the Philippines, hiking in such places as Mount Apo, Pinatubo , South High Hills and Mt. Pulag that boasts of its sea of clouds experience won’t cost a fortune. The experience of the waterfalls, lush hiking trails and forests that merge into jungles are quite breath taking.

Philippines Festivals1There are also many festivals in the Philippines that take place throughout the year where you can follow the same traditions as the locals of staying up, join in the festive buffets and games and share in the exchange of food, wines and spirits.

PUERTO GALERA Diving

Picture credited to:  coralgardenbeach.com

Want to have underwater fun? Try Scuba Diving in Puerto GaleraFor those with a sense of adventure wanting to try something new, scuba diving offers a unique opportunity. There is no other way to relax so completely; underwater weightlessness and tranquility are healing, liberating and exhilarating. It is a magical world of dappled light, excitement, brilliant colors and forms. Scuba diving goes way beyond one’s expectations: seeing coral reefs, vast sponges, sea plumes, turtles, dolphins and a myriad of fish and sea creatures, is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. For photographers, it is pure heaven.

PUERTO GALERA UNLEASHED

White Beach Puerto Galera

Diving holidays in exotic locations used to be an impossible goal for most people but Package and Promo Tours offered by different travel agencies nowadays turn this to possible reality. For anyone who loves to snorkel and scuba dive, head for the Philippines and you won’t be disappointed.

White Beach Puerto GaleraDubbed as “One of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World,” Puerto Galera, which is situated in the northwesternmost of Oriental Mindoro, proved its worth asPuerto Galera an exquisite tropical getaway. The fact that its coast is facing Verde Island Passage which is known as the “Center of the Marine Shorefish Biodiversity” justifies the water around Puerto Galera as among the best dive sites in the world. This tropical paradise is further defined by the resort areas surrounding it namely White Beach on the west side and Sabang Beach to the east. Each beach site has its own distinguished features ranging from ingenuous to complete elegance.

PUERTO GALERA Diving

Photo credited to http://coralgardenbeach.com/index.php

Discovering Puerto Galera won’t give you any dull moment for it extends an outstanding amount of golden experiences. You can jump-start by snorkeling in Muelle Bay that boasts of its premiere snorkeling site which is the Coral Garden.

Faith on the BoatA local “bangkero” will guide you throughout the activity by letting you hold on to outriggers suspended at the side of a small boat as the local guide maneuvers through theNel @ Puerto GalerA coral area. This lets you witness the majestic show that the undersea offers as you hover on top of the coral garden. You will see the transition of the world under from deep blankness to the explosion of colors that the huge variety of marine species present. On the other side, White Beach paves way to a wide variety of water sports activity from jet-skiing to parasailing and so much more. You can also choose from a laid-back night by experiencing a sunset dinner cruise or have it the other way around by choosing to experience its vibrant nightlife showcasing a parade of fire dancers and festive music. To further highlight the nightlife experience, you can also take a sip of their famous “Mindoro Sling” which is a locally made cocktail claiming to take you by surprise and to give you unforgettable memories.

The inland beauty of Puerto Galera does not fall flat either. You can indulge in the glamour of nature by visiting Tamaraw and Aninuan Falls where you can a freshwater swim. When you fancy a change from the water activities, you can go trek Mt. Malasimbo or immense with the unique Mangyan culture by visiting the Mangyan Village where you will be humbled by the simplicity of their life and be overwhelmed by the richness of their culture.

Truly, Puerto Galera’s charm will satisfy your wanderlust and give you more reasons to fall in love with the sun, sea, sand and the paradise itself that is Puerto Galera.


EXPLORING NORTHERN SAMAR AND SOME OF ITS BEAUTIFUL PLACES

Northern Samar is a Province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas Region. The Province is Congressional divided into two districts, and subdivided into twenty four municipalities and five hundred sixty nine barangays.

Catarman is the Provincial Capital and situated in the Northern portion of the island of Samar. Catarman is a first class municipality and the largest town in terms of land area and population. National Airport of the province is based in the center of the capital town. Most of the inhabitants of the province speak Norte Samarnon, known as the Waray-Waray dialect, although Cebuano is widely understood being spoken in some municipalities of Balicuatro area. Inabaknon is the third language and also spoken in the municipality of the island of Capul.

Samar

The province of Northern Samar has a total area of 349,800 hectares. It has a total population of 383,654 and a labor force of 308,000 (labor force participation is 67.36%). The province produces a total 14 crops in 169,325 hectares of the land while the rest are livestock and poultry productions. Just like in other provinces fishing and farming are the main source of livelihood in the province. Much of the business opportunities in Northern Samar are linked to the rich bounty found in its fishing ground. Major harvests of mackerel, tuna, shrimps, anchovy and other living products under the sea allows possible ventures in both trading and processing of marine products. The natural beauty of Northern Samar sets to for business opportunities in tourism. It has a lot of tourism potentials that are still undiscovered and unknown to many tourists.

Taking a tour of the islands is a great way to get a feel for the local history and culture. There are plenty of scenic spots to discover, such as the enchanting rock formation, incredible waterfalls and hot spring, sandy beaches and coral reefs, famous old churches, clear rivers, caves, virgin forests and many other secret places. The three secret places are the islands of Biri, Capul and Dalupiri, all off the coast of Northern Samar. Remote and desolate, and definitely off the normal tourist track, Northern Samar is a province which evokes powerful images and untouched beauty.

The Island of Biri

Biri Island in Northern Samar is a 5th class municipality. Biri rock formation is a land mark that defines the entire province of Northern Samar. Maybe it is unfamiliar place in the Philippines but it has “treasures” that can be big hits to both local and foreign visitors.

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 The rock formation on the eastern side of Biri Island is facing San Bernardino Strait appearing like a majestic palace of kings and queens constructed by the battalion of armies. The Biri rock formations are masterpiece of nature created by undersea tectonic plates that shifted and moved due to the earthquakes that, according to scientists, occurred more than five million years ago. For poets and artists, they shelter a secret paradise. For the deeply spiritual, they are architectural creations of higher being. But for the Birinon, they are part of home.

 The Island Of Capul

 Capul Island is a historic town in Northern Samar. It was named during in the late 16th century to recall and give respect during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade. Capul Island is an ideal tourist destination for traveller seeking new adventures. Most known for its white sand beach, a lighthouse, an islet and caves used by the Japanese soldiers during the World War II.

 The Island of Dalupiri

 San Antonio is an Island municipality of Northern Samar where you can find the hidden paradise of Dalupiri Island, the home of white beaches, caves, and the Lagbangan Lake, which was declared as an Ecological Tourist destination by the Philippine government in 2008. The island is an ideal ground for fishing and bird hunting.

How to get there

By Air

You can take Manila to Calbayog or catch a direct flight from Manila to Catarman National Airport. Another option is to take a plane from Manila to Tacloban City then ride a shuttle van to Catarman.

PAL Express is the only airline operating through the Catarman National Airport. From the airport you can hire a public or private car to the municipality of Victoria Port and from Victoria to San Antonio by taking a banca d motor or motor boat or pump boat.

Buying a ticket the night before you want to travel is an incredible amount more expensive than booking 6 months in advance. This is because airlines know that as the date of travel gets closer, customers will have much fewer options and will be forced to pay whatever price they charge for the flight.

By Land

If you prefer to travel by land from Manila, you can ride a bus in Pasay or Cubao bound for Catarman/Rawis. The bus trip lasts for 15-18 hours. If your accommodation is not in Catarman, you can already tell the bus driver to alight you at Lavezares. Bus companies are also operating from Manila to Tacloban or vice versa. From neighboring towns and province the means of transportation are local buses, PUJ and PUV. While inside the town tricycle and pedecabs.

Catarman to Biri

Go to the central terminal at the back of the public market and ride a jeepney bound to Allen. Tell the driver to drop you off at Lavezares. The fare is Php 50 and the travel time is 45 minutes. From Lavezares port, ride a motorboat to Biri for Php 50. The duration of the trip is 1 hour. You’ll have to wait until the passenger boat is full. You can also rent a boat for special trip of Php 500 one-way. From Biri town proper to your starting point, you have to ride a Habal-Habal for 10 minutes.

Planning Your Trip

Some explorers will be happy to travel in a group, while others will be perfectly happy experiencing different destination on their own. It makes sense to plan your trip when visiting either remote area or a big city with a good transport network. You should allow yourself sufficient time to visit the places that you plan to enjoy. By doing so, you will give yourself time to visit additional places and locations.

A handy tip when visiting Northern Samar is to employ the services of a knowledgeable local guide. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to see the sights in comfort and without the worry of straying off course. Draw up a list of places you want to see and let the guide do the rest – it’s a good way to learn about the history and culture of the city from someone in the know.

Kitesurfing Spots in the Philippines

Photo by Greenyard Funboard and Neil Pryde Center

Photo by Greenyard Funboard and Neil Pryde Center

The Philippines is a paradise for Kitesurfing: consistent trade winds, warm waters all year round, 7107 Islands, countless beaches and beautiful tropical nature. Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, and acrobatics into one extreme sport. It is a lot of fun to use the traction of a huge kite to propel yourself through the water. But you don’t just glide across the surface. You can do stunts in the air as well, such as grabs, board offs or any kind of wakeboard move. Think Iron Man Silver Surfer and Spiderman stunts combined.

Now dubbed as “the new golf” by Forbes magazine, the water sport is gaining popularity among famous personalities. There’s business magnate Richard Brandson, Hollywood stars Orlando Bloom, Adam Sandler, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Aniston. Of course, music stars can’t be left out with Avril Lavigne and Jason Mraz raving about kitesurfing. Guess who our paparazzis caught kiteboarding in Cornwall? None other than Prince William and Prince Harry. Did I mention President Barack Obrama and presidential candite John Kerry?

The kitesurfing craze in the Philippines started more than a decade ago on Boracay Island. Boracay is a little white-sand island. It has changed from an insiders’ tip kiting spot to an internationally known one, that can get crowded at times. Known as one of the best beaches in the world, and the Philippines’ claim-to-fame, Boracay has it all: white sand, turquoise water, breath-taking sunset, world-class hotels, and an exciting night life.

Aside from Boracay, there quite a few developed locations in the country with reliable trade winds that are perfect for kiteboarding. There is Mikes-Kites in Daet, Camarines Norte, Kingfisher Resort on Pagudpud Peninsula in Ilocos Norte, Union beach in Malay, Aklan, to name a few. Check www.kiteboarding-philippines.com for an overview of Kitesurfing Spots in the Philippines.

Seco Island

There are still a lot of undeveloped spots out there as well. Seco island is one of the better known ones, you can do a trip there from Boracay or get a fisherman to take you out there from Panay. Many other great spots are still undiscovered, but you need time on your hands and some adventurous spirit to go out there and explore. Do not forget: these islands are beautiful, but if you do not bring it, it’s not there.

Kite-surfing

 If it is your dream to have your own tropical paradise island where you can kitesurf, but you do not want the hassle of hauling all the camping gear and food around, the Philippines is a prime destination to treat yourself to it without spending much money. You can stay at a Kitesurf Camp on an uninhabited tropical island in the Coron area. These guys offer to stay at their eco-Resort, in native-style Bamboo Bungalows (Bahay Kubos). They provide everything you need such as food, drinks, rescue service in case you have a problem on the water, transportation to and from the island and daily trips to other kitesurf spots. On days without wind you can go with the crew for some island hopping or have them take you to a dive shop in the area for wreck diving. You can snorkel the world-class reef right in front of your doorstep, or simply laze around on the white beach and enjoy having a turquoise water, white sand beach paradise island for yourself.

Kite Boarding Philippines

 If you want to get into the sport and take some kitesurfing lessons, the Philippines is a great country to get it done. Check  www.kiteboarding-philippines.com/kitesurfing-lessons/  if you want some advice on how to choose your school for kiteboarding lessons.

Wondering about your options for a day without wind or if you want to do something different for a change? The Philippines also has a lot of other water sports options, such as snorkeling, diving, surfing and wakeboarding.

Experience the Versatile Beauty of the Philippines!

 

It's more fun in the philippines

It’s more fun in the Philippines!” is the new slogan of the Department of Tourism (DOT) which aims to attract more tourist in the country. The Philippines, with its more than 7,100 islands, is dotted with fantastic destinations.

Here are just 5 of them:

1. Boracay Island:

Boracay Island
In the 90’s and prior to that, Boracay Island was famous for the pristine, powdery white sand and the gentle, soothing waves of its beaches, but today, the destination can also be proud of its bustling nightlife. Visitors can party until the sun goes down as almost the entire beach is lined with a variety of restaurants, bars, resorts, and hotels. In the daytime, there will never be a dull moment as activities ranging from island hopping, to parasailing are available for thrill seekers to enjoy. Definitely among the top beach destinations in the world.

2. Bohol Chocolate Hills:

Chocolate Hills - Bohol
Located in Bohol, the Chocolate Hills are a geological formation whose existence boggles the mind. More than 1,000 almost perfectly shaped cone hills are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers, giving a viewer the impression of staring at a vast sea of chocolate mounds. While scientists have explained that the formations are the result of a massive geological shift in what was once a large coral reef, it is hard to imagine that nature is responsible for creating such a spectacular formation. Truly a delicious sight to behold.

3. Puerto Princesa:

Puerto Princesa
The entire Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park, with its immaculate beaches and lush forestry, is a sight to behold. However, it is the Puerto Princesa underground river that deserves the most attention. The site, which was recently adjudged as one of the “New 7 Wonders of the Nature,” features rock formations and animal life that will make visitors feel like they’re on another planet altogether. There is even a 20-million-year-old fossil of a sea cow embedded in the walls of the cave. Simply a spectacular vision to view.

4. Corregidor Island:

Corregidor Island - Bike Tour
Corregidor, a relatively small tadpole-shaped island, is historically significant in that it was used as an important fort of defense by Filipino and American forces during the Philippine/USA – Japanese battle of World War II. Despite the diminutive size of the island, it was unbelievably tough for the Japanese to capture. Today, the island features a tour of the ruins and weaponry that will certainly remind and teach visitors about both the horrors and the virtues of war. Emotionally overwhelming and educational.

5. Donsol, Sorsogon:

Donsol, Sorsogon

What makes Donsol worth visiting is that from November to June, it is in the path of the migration of the Butanding, more popularly known as “the whale shark”. These endangered creatures, the size of large buses, are truly awesome in their heft, but are actually as gentle as little puppies. Feeding on the rich plankton and krill in the surrounding waters, the Butanding love to be adored by divers who may swim with, but not touch the sensitive creatures. And you will definitely fall in love with these beautiful giants. Enormously breathtaking.

The Philippines is generally very tourist friendly. Unlike the United States that requires tourists to acquire special clearance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization ESTA, the Philippines allows visitors from many countries to visit without the need for VISAs for as long as the stay is 21 days or less. For visitors from the non-exempt countries or for longer stays, acquiring a tourist VISA is comparatively simple.

Whatever the case may be, the minimal effort exerted to be able to visit the beautiful islands of the Philippines will definitely be worth it.

The First Famous Pinilisa Festival – Jones, Isabela

Wow jones

The “Pinilisa Festival” is an acknowledgment of all Jonesian and celebrated every 17th day of March for the bountiful harvest of rice Pinilisa product, a unique organic plum colored rice known not only in the region but as well as on other country, due to its unique fragrant and unique flavor compared to other ordinary rice. Unlike other varieties that rely on synthetic commercial fertilizer to grow healthy, it is rare breed of rice thrives only rainwater and natural features to make it a favorite food for consumers.

Pinilisa Festival

Pinilisa Festival – Street Dancing

The success of the first Pinilisa Festival was conceptualized by the initiative of the administration of Hon. Florante A. Raspado, he was the first Director-General of the Pinilisa Festival. The festival was easily produced and marked the history of the town of Jones and one among the line-up of the Department of Tourism Wow! Philippines Program, making Pinilisa Festival is recognized not only in the Philippines but as well as on the world. The famous product “Pinilsa Rice” of Jones has given birth to the now famous Pinilisa Festival of Jones and is now identified and included in the list and calendar of the famous festival in the country maintained and documented by the Department of Tourism. Tourism Regional Director Blessida G. Diwa is among the patrons of the Pinilisa Festival, showing consistent support for the promotion of the Festival.

About Jones Isabela

About Jones Isabela

Jones Leisure and Recreation

Jones Leisure and Recreation

Best natural spots in the Philippines

Dubbed as the Pearl of Orient Seas, the Philippines has over 7,107 islands for visitors to enjoy. A month’s visit won’t be enough to enjoy all its wonders, so plan your stay wisely. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Puerto Princesa

Underground River

This underground river was recently declared by UNESCO as one of the world’s natural wonders “Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park“. Aside from admiring the majestic caves, you’ll never run out of exciting activities in Puerto Princesa: rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping, and zip-lining, among others.

 

2. Boracay Island

Photography by Chris Lejeune

Photography by Chris Lejeune

Boracay is not only one of the country’s claim-to-fame, but also the center for fun at the beach. Celebrities flock to the island all season not only for the white sand, turquoise waters, and sun-bathing, but also for its world-class night clubs and hotels.

 

3. Hundred Islands

Hundred Islands

Everything you can do on the said destinations, you can also do in the Hundred Islands. It’s literally composed of over a hundred islands, so you won’t run out of activities to choose from. In case you get bored, just hop to other islands with a kayak or simply swim. An entire day is not enough to explore all the islands, so plan your visit to the most popular ones. My favorite is the Marcos cave filled with bats. Hike your way into the cave’s mouth, and dive from an 10-meter rock to get out.

 

4. Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

When you’re in Manila, the smallest volcano in the world is just three to four hours away. After taking pictures or listening to geological discussions, you can fly kites, enjoy native foods in nearby restaurants, or relax in the wide selection of resorts and spas.

 

5. Mt. Apo

Mount Apo

Mt. Apo, which is 2,954 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in the Philippines. It is also referred to as the Grandfather of the mountains in the Philippines because it is the highest volcano and mountain in this country.

The aforementioned above are just some of my favorite spots here in the Philippines.