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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Identical Twin Lagoons

The Twin Lagoons are one of the must-see destinations in the Coron Island Hopping Tour.

The first lagoon is where the boats dock, while the second lagoon is hidden, the only access of which is a small crevice underneath the rock, or during high tide, a ladder over the rock.

One may notice that the waters in the twin lagoons may sometimes be blurry, this is caused by the meeting of the salt water and fresh water.

The temperature of the waters in the Twin Lagoons also alternates between warm and cold (similar to Lake Barracuda), where the cold freshwater meets the hot salt water.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pinsal Falls

Pinsal Falls is a Philippine waterfall that is located in the town of Santa Maria in the province of Ilocos Sur. With a height of approximately 85 feet, it is known for being the largest waterfall in the Ilocos Region as well as for its natural beauty. With its romantic atmosphere, Pinsal Falls is a popular location for filming Philippine movies as well as a favorite spot for swimming and for picnicking. The pools at the top of the falls are famous as well. The biggest of these pools figures in a local legend as it is said to be the footprint that was left by an Ilocano giant who was running off in search of his wife. There is also a famous spring with boiling-hot water at the top of the falls.

The waterfall lies among the shady hills and mountains of Barangay Babal-lasioan in the town of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, which also famous for its parish church which dates back to the Spanish era. Pinsal Falls is about 45 minutes away by car from Sta. Maria’s municipal hall. The falls may also be reached by foot from the nearby town of Pilar, Abra, through a set of stone steps in the mountain by the falls. These steps are regularly used by the residents of Pilar to travel to and from the town of Sta. Maria.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sandugo festival

Sandugo Festival is a yearly historical event that takes place every year on the month of March, in the island of Bohol. This festival honors the celebration of a local Philippine leader Datu Sikatuna's blood compact and association or treaty of friendship with the Spanish king conquistador, Captain General Miguel López de Legazpi in March 16, 1565. 


 It began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi in the shores of Tagbilaran, Bohol in 1565 and the swearing of commitment of Datu Sikatuna to the Spanish crown. The two people were believed to have made a cut on their left arms with a dagger and sprinkled their blood into a cup filled with wine, which both drunk in honor of their friendship and brotherhood. The treaty was signed on the SW coast of Bohol Island in March of 1565. This was 44 years after Ferdinand Magellan was killed attacking a Philippine village on Mactan Island about 50 miles north of here.

 The Sandugo treaty is called a blood compact because the participants each drink a small amount of the other's blood. ("Dugo" means blood in the Visayan language.) This was a traditional way to formalize treaties of friendship in the Philippines. Magellan himself took part in several of these ceremonies before attacking Mactan Island.

 The Blood Compact preserved the ties of friendship between two people once different in religion, nationality, culture and civilization. The Tagbilaran native chieftain who swore by his ancestral Anito and Bathala, and the Spanish courageous explorer and colonizer, who sought New World with the sword and the cross, drank to the common cause - friendship. It was the first international treaty of friendship and comity between the Filipinos and Spaniards.

The Festival

 The annual celebration of the Sandugo Festivities begins in the month of March. However the street dancing competitions have been changed to July to coincide with the annual TBTK (Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan) translated into English, literally or otherwise - a gathering of Boholanos (the people of Bohol) from around the world. Tagbilaran City not only rejoices its Charter Day on the month of July but also the Province of Bohol which became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854, thereby creating a festive mood for the whole month.

 Hundreds and thousands of People from around the Philippines and the world gather for this special event which involves colorful costumes and loud drum beats, street parades, church services, fireworks, beauty pageants, cockfighting tournaments and sport tournaments.

 Today, the highlight of the Sandugo Festival is a street dancing competition held in Tagbilaran City. Each local high school develops its own dance custom with special costumes and choreography. A small marching band follows each group of dancers to provide the music. The bands consist only of xylophones, drums, and trumpets. Some of the dancing was very good, and the costumes were very colorful. The parade also integrated the customary entourage of local officials, police department, local businesses and associations - and, of course, the local beauty queens, Miss Bohol and Miss Tagbilaran.

 A big surprise to us was the last parade entry, which was a large flat bed truck carrying 9 or 10 very flamboyant and attractive transvestites. There were no banners on the truck, just a few white ballons attached to the cab and printed, "Miss Gay 2001". This entry was a real crowd pleaser and received more of a reaction than any other parade event. They were met with howls and hollers and cheers all along the parade route. We were told that the transvestites traditionally work as beauticians in the local beauty parlors, and are readily accepted in the community.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kalsangi, Dole Philippines

The Kalsangi Clubhouse in Polomolok, South Cotabato is only intended for DOLE Philippines' employees and expats. Aside from this exlusive privilege, its secluded location makes itself relatively inaccessible to the general public as well. One has to take a private vehicle in getting to the clubhouse and also make a prior arrangement with a DOLE employee for access to the place.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Seco Island

TIBIAO, ANTIQUE – Seco Island is becoming a popular adventure destination thanks to kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing or kiteboarding originated from Germany in the 1970s but gained popularity in many countries, including the Philippines, in recent years. Kitesurfing allows a surfer to use a huge kite to propel him and his board across the waves.

Seco Island is a1.5-kilometer stretch of sand and shallow clear water popular for game fishing activities, white water kayaking, and river rafting.

But the habagat hitting Seco Island made it into a popular kitesurfing destination with the strong, consistent wind taking kitesurfers as high as 50 to 150 feet in the air while on their surfboards.

Bloggers describe Seco Island as a sanctuary and a safe zone for kitesurfing.
Kite safaris are now becoming a hit among kitesurfers who intend to hop from one island to another and weigh the winds to see where best to kitesurf.

Kitesurfer Dane, in her blog Trust me, it’s Paradise, wrote of the appeal of the island because of its simplicity.

Kitesurfer Carlos wrote in that the sport is more than just gearing up and with a board and kite and riding the winds – it’s about experiencing the elements, particularly when one is kitesurfing in gusty winds

However, beginners need to take kitesurfing lessons. gives tips and basic lessons for kitesurfing from the professionals themselves. Of course, one can be creative after knowing the basic fundamentals of the sport.

One can also readily take up lessons in some kitesurfing schools like Isla KiteSurfing in Boracay  which is just a two hour ride from Tibiao town. But for beginners, Seco Island is an ideal location.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mudpack Festival

The Mudpack Festival held every third (3rd) week of June. It is celebrated by Mambukal Resort annually for its continuous advocacy in promoting the preservation of our environment. The festival is popular to local and foreign tourists alike.

The celebration features Mambukal's distinct multi-colored clay to stir people's awareness of the importance of our environment, and centers on the harmony of man and nature.

The festival also serves as a venue for artists all over Negros Occidental to gather and exhibit their artistic talents in ethnic music, dance and crafts. It is a festival of arts.

Artists from nearby provinces flock to Mambukal to show support and also celebrate love for nature.

Highlights of the festival are the Tribal Dance Competition, Clay Body Painting Competition, Solo Dance Improvisation and the Miss Earth Mambukal Pageant.

How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum Php400) going to Bacolod City.

You can also go to Bacolod via ferry (estimated cost of Php2700++ with meal, round trip, 20-22 hours) from Manila.

Buses, taxis, jeepneys and tricycles are the main mode of transport within the city. Murcia is only a twenty-minute drive by private car from Bacolod city. Going to Murcia, public utility vehicles plying this route can reach the municipality in about 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

8 Waves Water Park and Hotel

The project started with a dream of the owners way back in 1998 to offer to the community a place where the family could get together more often while having leisure and fun. The concept of a leisure park that would be very affordable to all people of different walks of life which its facilities would be at par with the international standards of providing recreation to the family.

Indeed from the very beginning, the management has been very optimistic on providing every guest an "experience"- such experience to be noted as "unique" in the sense that he/she would feel not only satisfied but as well as delighted everytime he or she leaves the place.

8 Waves Waterpark and Hotel is approx. 53 kms and about an hour and a half drive from Manila through the North Expressway and Sta. Rita or Pulilan exit tollgates, towards Doña Remedios Trinidad Highway in Bulacan. It can be reached by all types of vehicle.

Through the extensive study and shared ideas of the board members which are also the owners, 8 Waves Hotel was launched last October 2003, offering a wide experience for every guest. It has thirty-four (34) lavish home-like rooms, comfortable luxurious beds, air conditioned units and good viewing balconies.
• Standard Room
- Pamper yourself at the 27 sq.m. standard room with a choice of queen-size bed or twin beds with individual air-con unit, telephone PABX, electronic doorlock system, hot & cold shower and balcony.
• Superior and Suite Room
- Pamper yourself at the 27 sq.m. standard room with a choice of queen-size bed or twin beds with individual air-con unit, telephone PABX, electronic doorlock system, hot & cold shower and balcony.

8 Waves Waterpark and Hotel offers different amenities and features for guests satisfaction. These are the following:
* 2, 788.52 Sq. m. Wave pool
* 469.87 Sq. m. Kiddie pool with Noah’s Ark slide
* Lap pool
* Three (3) Hydro-jet Bubble pools
* Foodcourt (Neptune’s Diner)
* Function Hall
* 9-hole Mini-golf * Volleyball Court
* 2 Hectares of parking area
* Billiards
* Playground
* Souvenir Shop
* Clinic
* Spacious Bamboo huts, steel cottages & Pool umbrellas

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Aquamarine Park, Misamis Occidental

Another “must-see” in Northern Mindanao is the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP), located in Libertad Bajo, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental. The place has two attractions: the mini zoo and the dolphin island. 

There is an entrance fee of PhP 10.00 per head. The zoo is different from any other zoos. Apart that it is situated in a mangrove forest, the pathway of the mini zoo formed like a rectangle and it is made of bamboos which is quite unique. Whoever planned the bamboo pathways must be creative. The animals are caged and are put beside the pathway. Everyone who passes by the pathway should be able to see and observe all the animals in the zoo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Misibis Bay Resort and Casino

Misibis Bay is a private tropical hideaway built on a pristine stretch of beach along the southern tip of Cagraray island in Bacacay, Albay. This breathtaking, 5-hectare island resort may be reached via a 50-minute flight from Manila to Legazpi, then a scenic travel by land (45-minutes), by a private helicopter (15 minutes), or by a fast watercraft (30 minutes).
Experience the diversity of Misibis Bay, where exquisite adventures arise from a treasure trove of infinite possibilities. Discover Misibis Bay, your luxury island playground in the Philippines. For inquiries, please call (63 2) 6618888,(63 917) 5991590, or email 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sampaguita Gardens, Kalibo

SAMPAGUITA GARDENS is a 2.6- hectare boutique resort located in Aklan of Sam Butcher, the artist and creator of the Precious Moments doll with its signature teardrop loving eyes.

The center of the gardens is Jojo's Christmas Cottage which is a Victorian cottage that offers Christmas Everyday Experience. It has a Precious Moments store in the ground floor and the JCC Museum of Christmas in the upper floors showcasing Precious Moments collectibles.

It is 15 minutes away from the Kalibo Airport and most families that travel to Boracay would make it a point to stay one more night in this Resort before flying out of Kalibo.

Some of the areas of the Resort are a bit dilapidated, but still functional. It is best to go as a side-trip during the Ati-Atihan festival or during the cold BER season in time for Christmas.

Monday, March 18, 2013

De Leonor Inland Resort, Davao City

A new resort in Davao City is going to give you the thrill and fun that can surely suffice your adrenaline cravings. D’ Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool offers exciting amenities such as their clubhouse, foodcourt, park, badminton and basketball court, a 600 steps walk section, zipline, surf package, hanging bridge, trekking section and a mini zoo. The newly constructed wavepool is the main attraction of the resort and it is a great place to have that dip and plunge you want. Their Raging river section is a must-try since you’ll truly enjoy the wrath of waves in this part of the pool. They also have Jacuzzi and pool slides that will unquestionably hype you further. D’ Leonor is an impeccable choice for corporate parties and family picnic because of its bigger space compared to other Davao water parks. The place is not as crowded as the other resorts thus you can have that exclusive-feel you need for your party activities. Also witness the resort’s ploy and entertaining events that add amusement on your visit.

The resort is located at Communal, Purok 5, Cabantian, Davao City, just a 15-30 min. drive from the city.

Rates and fees of the resort are quite expensive but reasonable. Entrance fee is just Php50  and wavepool usage is charged Php250. Additional fees are also collected if you prefer to enjoy their other facilities. D’ Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool is surely another attraction to hit in your next planned getaway.