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NATURE UNLTD IN SAGADA

Trekking. Hiking. Spelunking. Food. That's Sagada.

WIND AND MORE IN ILOCOS

Life is a wind. Get that in Ilocos Region.

BOLINAO FALLS

If you think golden sand beaches are the only tourist spots, think again. Bolinao is falls too.

AMBUKLAO WATER RESERVOIR

If you just want to see a sky-mountain-lake landscape, then head to Bokod, Benguet.

DASOL HIDEAWAY

In this simple town of Dasol, Pangasinan lies an unspoiled island paradise sprinkled with white sands and a total half of mysteriously formed rock formations.

HUNDRED ISLANDS, PANGASINAN

The Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan is one of the many tourist attractions in Luzon Island. Give yourself a summer treat; enjoy island hopping, kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Feb 28, 2012

Clark Zoo & Gravity Go Karts

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Get your adrenalin rush in this first ever gravity race karts in the Philippines--only in Clark. (Photo taken at Zoocobia Fun Zoo, Clark, Pampanga)
 Part 5 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

Clark is an economic zone (and a former military base) located at the heart of Angeles City in Pampanga. It houses the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (which was planned to become the new NAIA 1 Terminal in a matter of years). Clark also hosts the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta usually held in February (second week).

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How to Go to Camiling, Tarlac


Tree on top of the church ruins.

Part 4 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

How to go to Camiling from Baguio:
·         Ride a van directly bound to Camiling (terminal at the back of UC Annex). This will cost you P200 and three-hour travel time.
·         Ride a bus bound to Pasay/Cubao/Mariveles/Olongapo and drop at Paniqui in Tarlac (around P150 more or less for student). From there, ride a tricycle (P10/head) to terminal of jeep bound to Camiling (P30 more or less).
·         Ride a bus bound to Pasay/Cubao/Mariveles/Olongapo and drop at Tarlac City Siesta (around P240 more or less). From there, ride another bus bound to Bolinao/Anda/Alaminos/Agno/San Carlos via Camiling and drop at the market in Camiling (P45-P60).
·         Ride a van/bus bound to Dagupan. From Dagupan, ride the mini bus bound to Bayambang. Their terminal is near the Victory Liner/Five Star Bus terminal. Get down to Malasiqui and then wait for a bus bound to Pasay/Cubao then drop at the market in Camiling.



How to go to Camiling from Manila:
·         Ride a bus bound to Bolinao/Alaminos/Anda/Agno/San Carlos via Camiling and drop at the market in Camiling.

Feb 26, 2012

Camiling on the Spot!


Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of Camiling, Tarlac.

Part 3 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

Camiling is a first class municipality located at the north tip of Tarlac, adjacent to Bayambang in Pangasinan. Most of the locals here speak Ilocano, so if you know how to speak in Ilocano, you are good enough to go. Though if you will be able to figure out, Ilocano accent here is different from the accent of Ilocano in Baguio. Life in Camiling is simple, just like any other towns, but is very accessible and houses some cheap hotels and establishments like Jollibee and Chowking. There are no big malls, only supermarkets which can cater enough your basic needs. If you want to experience the best of Camiling, go here by third/fourth week of October, when the annual Chicharon and Iniruban Festival (iniruban = green sticky rice) is being held. Or go to Camiling on May 6-8 for fiesta. :)

Feb 24, 2012

Planning 102: Booking Tickets & Hotel in Olongapo


Geese in a Clark zoo.

Part 2 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway
We were looking forward on this trip before it happened. This trip was planned weeks before the final date. The first thing that we did is to discuss about our itinerary, and as soon as I knew that there was a promo from Zoomanity on eBay Kuponan, I told my friends about it. After a day or two, we finally decided to buy the tickets on eBay (P800 each ticket, all season pass for one year). After I bought the tickets, I actually called up Zoomanity Group if ever that their promo ticket on eBay covers also the Night Safari in Zoobic Safari. Unfortunately, only the day tour is covered by the promo. I called them up with regards to that matter because we were planning to do the safari at night. You can actually use and search for hotels via Travex Travels, just hit our live search located at the bottom of the post (or at the right side bar).

Photo op inside a yacht in Subic Yacht Club area of SBMA (Subic), Olongapo.

It was summer of 2011 when we did our getaway, right after our final exams. So our trip date was May 20-22, 2011. The next thing that we did prior to our trip was to book our night stay. And man, I called some of the cheap (as in P150 per night in Olongapo City) transients, and the owners told me that they were already fully booked!

Feb 23, 2012

Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

Zoobic Safari Ride in SBMA, Zambales

Before we did our “The Pangasinan Escapade”, we had been to Central Luzon (some places) to see what this region can offer. Well, I am from Central Luzon, particularly in the town of Camiling in Tarlac, and I have already toured Subic so many times already. My friends though haven’t been there once, not until we planned to visit Subic.

Our "nayon" in Camiling.

"Taep" (tä-əp) in Ilocano, or "ipa" in Tagalog.


Our main destination in this trip is Subic in Zambales (where The Ocean Adventure is located together with the only safari ride in the country, which is the Zoobic Safari). But because I am from Camiling, we also took the chance to tour around other places in Central Luzon. Finally, we decided to see Clark (and Camiling where my friends stayed for one night in our house there).


Peacocks and peahen in Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Clark, Pampanga.

For this trip, we had not been to the beach, but much of the zoos (yeah we visited Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Clark, another zoo-themed ranch in Clark also, and Zoobic Safari in Subic). It’s fun actually. But after that trip, it’s like we were already avoiding zoos and animals (if somebody will invite us a trip to a zoo, we would love to scream “Again!”)
Both Clark and Subic have enough to offer. And definitely, you’ll love animals. :)

Reminders for Baguio Flower Fest (Panagbenga) Spectators

Thirsty, anyone?
A Rundown of Things
HELLO. ARE YOU already excited going here in Baguio for the annual Panagbenga Festival (or Baguio Flower Festival)? If so, let us list down the things you should be expecting, you shouldn’t miss and you shouldn’t do while watching the grand float parade and shopping during the Session in Bloom.

1. This is a big event. Well, you must already know that. Panagbenga Festival draws in millions of both local and foreign tourists to witness thousands of flowers in bloom. This festival is as big as Sinulog Festival in Cebu. And since you are going to Baguio to check out all those floats adorned with so many flowers, never, never forget to bring camera (or a camcorder). And never ever run out of battery. You will be witnessing both float parade and street parade.
2. Come early (this Saturday, February 25, 2012 or February 24 if you want to witness the dance parade of the schools in Baguio). Book a night stay in Baguio, and be the early bird on Sunday. Or you can always take a bus to Baguio at night and arrive in Baguio by as early as 5 A.M. (earlier than this is better). Secure a slot in Session Road, and be sure there are no obstacles in your widescreen view! Would you love to have a lot of people’s heads in your photos? Of course not! You are there to witness flowers, not hairs! So better be the early bird or you will go home with no nice photos at all (well I already experienced this during the recent Hot Air Balloon Festival).


Feb 19, 2012

Back to Baguio from Bolinao + Rundown of Expenses

Rock formations in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

Part 10 of The Pangasinan Escapade

After that unforgettable escape to Bolinao, it’s time to be back to Baguio again. It’s been already past five in the evening when we were waiting in the shed. Buses bound to both Pasay and Dagupan are scarce. We waited for an hour for a bus heading to Dagupan but nothing passed by. So we decided to ride in a Five Star bus heading to Pasay when it came passing by. We went to Alaminos again instead and hunt for a bus bound to Dagupan. By the way, the bus ride from Bgy. Samang Norte to Alaminos City Proper is almost an hour for a student fare of P24. Luckily after waiting at the Five Star terminal in Alaminos, an ordinary Victory Liner bound to Dagupan dropped by to pick us up. Student fare to Dagupan is P52.




Feb 18, 2012

How to Go to Bolinao



Bolinao Falls

Part 9 of The Pangasinan Escapade
How to Go to Bolinao from Baguio:

·         Take an ordinary Victory Liner bus bound to Dagupan, or a Genesis Bus at Gov. Pack Road. It takes around more than 2 and a half hours before you reach the terminal in Dagupan. In the Victory Liner Bus Terminal, look for a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales and drop by the bus stop in Alaminos City. Ride a bus bound to Bolinao (either Five Star or Victory Liner).
·         Take van bound to Dagupan at Pines Garage. It takes around 2 hours before you reach the van terminal in Dagupan. In Pines Garage in Dagupan, look for a van bound to Alaminos City. Travel time is around 1 hour. Ride a bus bound to Bolinao (either Five Star or Victory Liner)..
·         Or you can ride an ordinary VL Bus bound to Bolinao and drop at the terminal in Bolinao. Bus leaves from Baguio at around 11 A.M. to noontime or so. Just verify the schedule before your departure.




Inside the underground cave.

Feb 15, 2012

Bolinao Lighthouse, Cave, Falls, Rock and Roll


THE CAPE BOLINAO LIGHTHOUSE. The second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines.
Part 8 of The Pangasinan Escapade
 
We didn’t spend the whole day at the beach even if we wanted to. We still had more places to visit. After that awesome experience, we went to take some pictures at the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is currently the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines after Cape Bojeador in Ilocos. It was built by the Filipino and American engineers in 1905. There is no entrance fee at this lighthouse.
 Eager to see Bolinao lighthouse.

UP TO THE SKY. The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse was built in 1905 by both American and Filipino Engineers.
ROCK IT. Rock formations at the Rockview Resorts in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

The Golden Patar Beach in Bolinao

Patar Beach in Bolinao is just one of the many tourist spots in Pangasinan.
Part 7 of The Pangasinan Escapade

If you want to see the most wonderful and awesome beach in Bolinao, go to the public beach located at the tip of Bgy. Patar, and not at Puerto Del Sol or Punta Riviera Resort. The transient room that we rented for a night is only meters adjacent to the two resorts, and believe me, the sand there is not as fine as that one in Patar. The two resorts are located at Bgy. Ilog-Malino, and not in Patar. Unless you are looking for a pool or kayaking in a river, then you can choose either of the two (P500 for pool + kayak in Punta Riviera for one day inclusive of cottage).

It was 12 noon when we were in the beach, but the sand is cool that you won't get hurt when you walk on it.

Indulge swimming in the vivid aqua color of Patar Beach.

Just be careful though, sea waves are engulfing! (Photo at Patar Beach, Bolinao)

Feb 14, 2012

Escape to Bolinao

Patar Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

WHAT TO SEE: Low tide seas of Bgy. Ilog-Malino, golden beach of Patar, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse (the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines), rock formations, underground caves, falls, rivers, resorts

WHAT TO EXPECT: nature trip, unspoiled beaches, rural settings, natural wonders, accommodating Ilocanos, rough roads

Part 6 of The Pangasinan Escapade
 We waited for a bus bound to Bolinao across the Five Star Bus station in Alaminos. After about five minutes, an ordinary Victory Liner bus arrived and stopped by the road and we got inside it. It was already 7 PM when we rodein the bus for another-hour-and-a-few-minute drive to the terminal. The individual student fare was P38. When we reached the terminal, we got out of the bus and looked for a trike to hire. 

THE COCONUTS. These coconut fruits were taken from the coco trees in the backyard of our transient room in Bgy. Ilog-Malino.

SHALLOW SEAS. Beaches in Bgy. Ilog-Malino, Bolinao are shallow in the morning. The low tide will let you "walk until you meet the horizon" perhaps. Just be careful though of the rough stones and sea grass underwater.

See the sea waves from afar?

Feb 13, 2012

P1 Fare Only from Airphil!






Love is truly in the air with Airphil's One-Peso Fare Promo!



Feb 12, 2012

How to Go to Hundred Islands


 
Part 5 of The Pangasinan Escapade

How to go to Hundred Islands from Baguio:
·         Take an ordinary Victory Liner bus bound to Dagupan, or a Genesis Bus at Gov. Pack Road. It takes around more than 2 and a half hours before you reach the terminal in Dagupan. In the Victory Liner Bus Terminal, look for a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales and drop by the bus stop in Alaminos City. Hail a tricycle to Hundred Islands.
·         Take van bound to Dagupan at Pines Garage. It takes around 2 hours before you reach the van terminal in Dagupan. In Pines Garage in Dagupan, look for a van bound to Alaminos City. Travel time is around 1 hour.Hail a tricycle to Hundred Islands.
     Or you can ride an ordinary VL Bus bound to Bolinao and drop at the terminal in Alaminos. Bus leaves from Baguio at around 11 A.M. to noontime or so. Just verify the schedule before your departure.

The banca ride.





How to go to Hundred Islands from Manila:

·         Ride a Victory Liner Bus or a Five Star Bus bound to Bolinao, Anda or Alaminos. Get out of the bus at the terminal in Alaminos then call a tricycle to Hundred Islands.

·         For private vehicles, the road must be the one that passes Camiling town in Tarlac, and then track the signs that lead to Hundred Islands.

Feb 10, 2012

Hop to Hundred Islands! Snorkeling Unltd

SNORKELING. More fun in Hundred Islands.
Part 4 of The Pangasinan Escapade
Hundred Islands National Park (or Hundred Islands but not 100 islands because they're more than 100 islands actually) is a good site for island hopping since it is composed of 123 islands and islets. You will see different islands including the three main islands where you can camp (Quezon, Children’s and Governor’s Island) and see some rock formations. We ate our packed lunch in Governor’s Island then we proceeded in our island hopping. You cannot stand by all of the islands; however, most of them are a good subject for your photograph souvenirs. Most of the islands are “rocky at the bottom part and plants vs. zombies on top”. 

Rocky white sand beach in Marcos Island in Hundred Islands.
Snorkeling



AN ISLAND OR A STONE? Well both! It is just one of the many "islets" of the Hundred Islands National Park.

ROCKY AT THE BOTTOM, PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES ON TOP. That is how I describe most of the islands in this popular national park in the Philippines.
There is an island which they call “Cathedral Island” because of its resemblance to a cathedral. You can also enjoy jumping from a cliff then plunge under seawater in Marcos Island. There is also an underwater cave where you can go to, but just be sure you know how to swim (and you wear your life vest) because it is deep underneath the surface water. And don’t be surprised when you get wounds and bruises because rocks underneath the water are not advisable for an underwater sea walk. Well, you can actually rent aqua shoes so those feet won’t be hurt anymore.

The Cathedral Island

Snorkeling is a good activity although flora and fauna under the sea is not bounty enough unlike those of Palawan and Bohol. You will see different types of fish and corals when you snorkel, particularly when you snorkel in their Coral Gardens. We saw a lot of Nemos there (or relatives of Nemo), together with ‘zebra’ fish, clown fish, dotted fish and a fish that mimics the corals. That’s awesome! I have never seen one in my entire life before. I didn’t notice that camouflaging when I snorkeled there but I eventually discovered it when the rock was moving! Oh you might as well visit Hundred Islands for that fish.

Snorkeling at the Coral Gardens (down below the surface water).

White sand beaches are also scattered in the different islands where you can enjoy swimming. But do not expect a pristine fine sand beach (as compared to beaches in Palawan) along the shore. The white isn’t white but is dirty white. Puzzled? The white sand shorelines of some of the islands look white from afar. You can also sight a big tower from afar (we thought it was the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse but it was the Power Plant in Sual as said by our guide).

Quezon Island, Hundred Islands
 There are also caves where you can wander for a while. But you are not for spelunking, are you? Caves here do not boast of stalactites or stalagmites. Only a hangout though. But there is an underwater cave in Marcos Island (I tried to swim there but I didn’t pursue going so far because the water really gets deep). You will also be brought to the Giant Clams Center, where giant clams are cultured. You are not allowed though to swim or snorkel in this area. During our visit, we spent most of our time enjoying swimming and snorkeling the sea.

A giant clam at the Giant Clams Center near Children's Island.

We took a clean bath at the public restroom in Lucap Wharf after our island hopping. If you forgot to bring shampoo, don’t worry, shampoo sachets are available in the restroom for small amount of money. Fee for using the restroom is P10. After bathing, we took some last snapshots and bought souvenir key chains in the wharf. Then we bade goodbye to the park and rode a trike (P80) to the city proper to wait for a bus heading to Bolinao.

Sun starting to set under the horizons covered by some of the hundred islands.
 What I really enjoyed in Hundred Islands National Park is the island hopping activity. It’s endless! We took the chance to set foot in most of the islands just to feel the spirit of the activity. It’s like hopping from one stone to another. Stones that were scattered long time ago, way before you did your first hop ever—with your own feet.