I could still remember the last time I traveled to Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos, Pangasinan.
I was a newbie TV producer then for a major network. I did a story about a coastal clean-up and mangrove planting in Alaminos, and we had a sidetrip to the Hundred Islands. It was my first time and I would love to enjoy the islands and the beach, but I was too focused with work. I had so many things to do and coordinate that I almost forgot the beauty that surrounded me. Read More
It’s hard to be a travel blogger, then be on travel hiatus for a few months.
What I can I do? I have a lot of “adulting” to do. I have a new job that I wanted to focus on. Don’t get me wrong I am happier with my work now. Fund is also a consideration. I am still slowly rising up from a recent financial blow that hit me hard when my father passed away, but I am getting better now. So if you see a travel blogger who’s saying that you can travel with no money? Don’t believe him. You can travel on a budget and I have lots of tips for you. But to travel with no money? Come on! Unless you are a travel blogger (like me) and got invited to a press trip, that’s all-expense paid.
It’s a good thing that I still have a lot of previous trips that I haven’t been able to write on my blog. So though I was on a travel hiatus, I still have some materials to write about. Read More
A few hundred meters more before I arrive at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, I received a text from a fellow travel blogger and friend.
“Jon, where are you?”
Apparently, they were already at the Freedom Park, our rendezvous for that morning. I was invited to take part of a heritage tour organized by Fundacion Santiago and Cavite el Viejo Heritage Tourism Association (CVHTA), I’ve been living in Cavite for a few years now but I’ve never been able explore the historical towns of the province, such as Kawit, so when I received an invite, I did not hesitate to say yes.
All other participants are from Manila, and since I am from Cavite, I just told them to meet me in Kawit. It was my first time in Aguinaldo Shrine. I would love to explore it more, but the organizers told us that we would all have a chance to explore it later. So the tour started and here are just the highlights and tourist spots that we visited. Read More
I will never forget the moment I stepped out of the van once we arrived in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
I liked the peace that this Cordillera town has brought me, and also its cold weather. It was a perfect way for me to disconnect and ponder on some things. I was contemplating of resigning from work that time, thinking and searching for what I really wanted to do with my life.
Eventually, I was able to find it. But if I am to look back to the process, Maligcong was a big part of it. Now I just want to share with you my experience with Maligcong. Read More
It was one of those moments when you haven’t had enough sleep, and you reported for work. Then after office, you went straight to travel.
Of course, I am not recommending this to anyone. But in case this happens to you, find time to sneak in some nap, and still enjoy your trip. This happened to me when we traveled to Bolinao, Pangasinan, a town in the northern part of Luzon where you can find great beaches, falls and other awesome attractions.
We traveled for about 6 hours until we arrived in Bolinao early in the morning. We had our breakfast first while waiting for our van to tour us around the town. Read More
Sadly, it was our last day in Zamboanga.
But the DOT Region 9 team was not yet done with letting us experience the culinary heritage of the city. Before heading to our hotel, they brought us to Dennis Coffee Garden, a local coffee shop that serves pastries and delicacies from Sulu.
Upon arriving Jomalig island, I noticed this glistening golden sand from afar.
That’s Salibungot beach, considered as the main beach of the island where more travelers enjoy swimming and beach bumming. But we weren’t able to experience that by the time we arrived. It was already 11am, and we went straight to the resort, which is a motorcycle ride away or habal-habal.
We had our lunch at SPIR, the resort that we stayed in Jomalig. They served fresh seafood there that we really enjoyed for an affordable amount of 100 pesos per person.
They were all busy.
They decorated the house with this nice pink and pastel colors. I saw some girl outfit, gowns and make-up on the sofa. We didn’t know who to talk to. We just arrived at RNV House, the transient house that we contacted a few days before our trip to Masasa beach in Tingloy, Batangas.
When one of the household saw us, she immediately talked to us with her warmth and smile.
“Ay kayo po ba ng guest, ay sige po pasok po. Dito po kayo sa room. Pasensya na po ah fiesta po kasi ngayon. Eh magku-queen po kasi ang anak ni ate Neneth yung may-ari ng bahay. Kayo lang po ang tinanggap namin guest ngayon kasi po fiesta.”
She was too apologetic. I told her that’s okay. There was a parade that morning and they were all preparing for their queen’s gown and make-up. It’s nice to see how the entire household prepare, and how they treated us like we were part of them. Chill lang.
It was already late at night when I arrived in Cebu.
I didn’t realize that it was hard to get a cab at the airport, so I used Grab. It was actually my first time to use the app. Yes, after years of making waves in the Philippines, it was only a few months ago that I’ve tried it. I didn’t even download the app on my phone. I sought the assistance of a Grab personnel at the airport to book a car for me. I know, I am so oldies. Hahaha!
So that’s it. I got on the car and told the driver my hostel and the address.
When I arrived at the hostel, it was already like a few minutes before 11PM. With all my huge backpack and all, I went straight to the reception.
I told them that I booked online. While the reception dude was looking for my booking, he asked for my ID. So I gave him my company ID because my driver’s license is already expired and left it at home. You know, I wasn’t able to renew it since I don’t have a car anymore.
To my surprise, he told me about their policy of requiring 3 valid ID’s for guests availing the dorm type room. Oh my, they’re even worse than banks for requiring identification. Aside from my company ID, I only had another one which is invalid because it’s an ID for a membership.
I noticed Victor, our habal-habal driver, was smiling when asked about our next destination.
He just said, “Dun tayo sa puno ng walang poreber.”
Apparently, he was. There is a tree in Jomalig that is named as “puno ng walang forever.” Hahaha
On the way to the location, I was thinking, asking where did they get this idea? Then I remember, this was popularized by a love team on a TV show. Walang Poreber means that there’s no forever in love. That if you have a better half, you’re gonna break up soon. Hahaha! Too much bitterness, right? I don’t know but the younger generation always use this phrase a lot. So even after the TV show ended, the walang forever mania continued.
If someone asks me for a recommendation of a weekend getaway destination, I would always include Batangas.
You know the usual beach like Laiya and Nasugbu. But if you want a complete experience like having to ride a boat and experience the island life, I highly recommend Tingloy, Batangas. It’s the only island town in the province. Here, you could find the island’s most popular beach which is Masasa.
I’ve been to Masasa years ago. When I was still in college, we had to shoot a travel show for a production project. Since, we have a friend who knows someone from the island, and we really wanted to shoot an island destination, we decided to go to Tingloy.
That time, Tingloy was not yet a tourist destination so I was able to experience Masasa beach in its fine and unspoiled glory.
We toured Zamboanga city the whole day. Yes, we were tired but still excited for our dinner, especially me!
After staying in our hotel for a few minutes to freshen up (naks!), we headed to one of the city’s popular restaurant, the Palmeras Restaurant which offers wide array of Filipino dishes.
Food was served, one dish after another. If you were as hungry like us, you would expect us to feast on the food immediately. But you’re wrong, we are bloggers remember? So we still took some photos, lots of them before anyone could touch the food. Hahaha!
For me, I simply snapped a photo and then that’s it. But you don’t have any idea how my fellow bloggers took some shots. There was lighting, proper plating. Just like in a studio photoshoot.