Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Snapshot: Bayyo Rice Terraces in Bontoc, Mountain Province


While on our way to Banaue, Ifugao from Bontoc, Mountain Province, the jeepney made a stop due to an on-going road clearing in a landslide prone area. The timing couldn't be more perfect as the spot where stopped provides an overlooking view of the beautiful Bayyo Rice Terraces and village. Bayyo is one of the 16 barangays of Bontoc and though its rice terraces is not as popular as those in Banaue and Batad, it is still equally picturesque and stunning. I am indeed thankful for that brief stopover as it provided me glimpses of yet another beautiful rice terraces in the highlands of Cordillera.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bukidnon: 7 Tourist Attractions in Malaybalay City

Malaybalay City is the capital Bukidnon, a landlocked province in the highlands of Northern Mindanao. Owing to its high elevation, it has been known for its cold weather and is dubbed as the South Summer Capital of the Philippines. Despite not having white sand beaches and high end resorts, Malaybalay offers its rich cultural heritage and tourist attractions tailored-fit for outdoor adventure enthusiasts.

These are the seven (7) tourist attractions you may want to check out once you visit Malaybalay City.

1. Kaamulan Festival

Kaamulan comes from the Binukid word "amul" which means "to gather". The festival gathers and celebrates the culture and traditions of the Seven Hill Tribes who are recognized as the original inhabitans of the province. These are the Matigsalog, Umayamnon, Bukidnon, Manobo, Tigwahonon, Higaoonon and Talaandig . The festival is held annualy during the months of February and March. Its main highlight is the Ethnic Street Dancing Competition. Participated by real "lumads", Kaamulan Festival is dubbed as the Only Authentic Ethnic Festival in the country.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Travel Guide to Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province

Maligcong is a remote village located in the highlands of Bontoc, Mountain Province. Previously unknown to most tourists, it is now becoming a favorite destination of avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to avoid the crowd of Sagada and Banaue. I recently traveled solo to Maligcong and I certainly love its quaint setting, cold weather and warm and friendly local folks. Based on that travel experience, I made this travel guide to Maligcong--how to get there, where to stay and eat, things to do, expenses and contact numbers.

How to Get There

Bontoc via Banaue, Ifugao

Coda Bus travels straight to Bontoc from Quezon City nightly at 9 PM. Travel time is 11-12 hours and bus fare is. Coda Bus Terminal is at Quezon City and you may book you ticket in advance through Biyaheroes.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bohol: Punta Cruz Watchtower After the Earthquake

Punta Cruz, situated in the western edge of Maribojoc, is well-known for the Punta Cruz Watchtower. Built in 1796, this watchtower is said to be the only structure in the country formed in perfect isosceles triangle. Like other watchtowers built during the Spanish colonization period, its purpose was to help guards watch over the coast of Bohol strait from incoming invaders.

Punta Cruz has always been a part of every Bohol summer vacation since my childhood days. Since it is only a few kilometers from the town proper of Maribojoc where my mother hails, we often visit this place for picnic and swimming.

During our most recent vacation in Bohol, with my wife and kids in tow, I made sure to visit Punta Cruz. My main purpose is not only for my kids to see the place for the first time but also to know how it looked like after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Bohol in October 2013.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bukidnon: Kaamulan Festival 2017 Schedule of Activities

The Provincial Tourism of Bukidnon recently released the Schedule of Activites of the 2017 Kaamulan Festival. This ethnic celebration gathers the Seven Hill Tribes, acknowledged as the first inhabitans of the province. These are the tribes of Bukidnon, Higaunon, Talaanding, Matigsalug, Manobo, Tigwahonon and Umayamnon. Kaamulan comes from the word "amul" which means "to gather". The festival gathers the Seven Hill Tribes together to celebrate their colorful culture, practices and traditions. Kaamulan Festival is dubbed as the only Authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines.

Kaamulan Festival 2017 Schedule of Activities (Photo from Bukidnon Tourism Office)

Kaamulan Festival 2017 will be held from February 1 up to March 25, 2017. It is worth noting that most activities will be once again held at the Capitol Grounds in Malaybalay City. The previous two years, activities are held at the City Grandstand which drew mostly negative reactions from local residents. The Ethnic Street Dancing Competition, considered as the highlight of the festival will be held on March 25, 2017.

Visit this POST if you are searching for cheap accommodations in Malaybalay City. Do make your reservations early as hotels tend to get fully booked during the celebration.

For more Kaamulan Festival-related posts, check out this LINK.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Snapshots: Talubin Rice Terraces in Bontoc, Mountain Province

On our way to Banaue, Ifugao from Bontoc, Mountain Province, the jeepney we hired had a brief stopover in an overlooking spot along the highway. The driver purposely made the stop for us to see the beautiful view of Talubin Rice Terraces. Talubin is one of the barrios of Bontoc and is about 10 kilometers away from the town proper. The village is known as the Land of Clear Waters because of the natural spring waters which flow freely from its mountains and mossy forests.Talubin, in fact, is one of the water sources of Bontoc Central.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bohol Travel Guide: Tricycle Tour Around Panglao Island

Panglao Island is a popular tourist destination in the Province of Bohol. It has an area of 80.5 square kilometers and is divided into two municipalities, namely Dauis and Panglao. As a tourist destination, Panglao is best known for its white sand beaches, hotels and resorts, world class dive spots and small islands such as Balicasag and Virgin Island.

Aside from its fantastic beaches, Panglao also has inland attractions worthy of your visit. One option in visiting these spots if you’re in a small group (3-4 persons) is to hire a tricycle for a whole day or half-day tour.  We availed the tricycle tour around Panglao during our family vacation in Bohol last summer.

Based on our experience, here’s a travel guide with essential information on the tricycle rate, contact person, places to see and what to expect during the tour…

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pangasinan Travel Guide: Hundred Islands National Park Day Tour

Scattered in Lingayen Gulf and comprised of 124 islands and islets during low tide and 123 at high tide, the Hundred Islands National Park is the crown jewel of Pangasinan's tourism industry. A protected area located in Alaminos City, it has a total area of 16.76 square kilometers. The islands are actually ancient corals exposed to the surface due to the lowering of sea level and the distinctive shapes were formed by the eroding action of ocean waves. Operated and maintained by the City Government of Alaminos, Hundred Islands National Park is one of the Philippines' most visited tourist attractions.

I visited the Hundred Islands National Park a few months ago when I was in Dagupan City for a work-related assignment. Here's a travel guide on how to get there, entrance fees and boat rates and what to expect during a day tour at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pangasinan: The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag

Standing on top of a hill overlooking the town of Manaoag, Pangasinan is the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. It is more popularly known as Our Lady of Manaoag Church. According to folk tradition, a middle-aged farmer witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Mother and she showed her where she wanted her church to be built. 

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