Green Adventure at Bojo River Alouguinsan Cebu

April 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

Bojo_River_aloguinsanYour great green adventure starts here at Bojo River in Aloguinsan Cebu. Aloguinsan has a town population of about 27,000 residents. It is located on the western seaboard of Cebu, facing the the island of Negros. From Cebu City, it is 72 kilometers (via Toledo City) and 58 kilometers via Carcar City.

Experience a slice of authentic Cebuano culture in Bojo, a river village two kilometers from the town center. Local fishermen anf their families are protecting the Bojo River Nature Reserve, which includes the 1.4 kilometer-long Bojo river and its riparian zone – home to about 61 bird species and remarkable native flora. Local guides will padlle you down the river in a traditional baroto, while they interpret the river’s rich natural and cultural heritage. If you want to trek, a 400 meter long boardwalk cutting across a mangrove forest and a 150 step natural trail carved on a hillside will bring you to a gazebo overlooking the river landscape.

How to go to get there:

Transport and tours are available in Cebu City.
1. You can take a V-hire (van for hire)
2. Rent-a-car, or a bus, going to Toledo City (Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City)
3. Public Buses (Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City)
4. Bring your own transportation and take the Pinamungajan or Toledo City or the Awayan, Carcar routes via Valencia route with the same estimated travel time.

Travel time: approximately 1 to 2 hours

Vehicle Rates:

Citilink to Toledo Terminal
V-Hire
Php100.00

Toledo to Aloguinsan
PUJ
Php 35.00

Citilink to Pinamungajan
V-Hire
Php 100.00

Pinamungahan to Aloguinsan
Tricycle
php15.00

South Bus Terminal to Carcar
Bus
Php 50.00

Carcar to Aloguinsan
Habal-habal
Php 150.00

Tour Packages for the Bojo River Eco-Cultural Tour

Duration
: 3 hours
Rates:
5 persons – Php800.00/head
6-10persons – Php550.00/head
11-15pax – Php530.00/head
16-20pax – Php500.00/head
20-30pax – Php480.00/head
30-50pax – Php450.00/head

Package includes orientation and lecture on mangroves,  ecology and bird wildlife lecture, handicraft (mat-weaving) demo, a buffet lunch and a snack (cool drink and freshly-baked salvaro, a native pastry) and a cruise down the river. The tour is organized by the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS).

Schedule: Daily and depends on the tide.

The money you paid goes directly to the local communities who run the tours. It funds environmental protection projects, income for the families, subsidy for their children’s education and funding for basic services in the community. Thus, it will help communities to be sustaining and self reliant.

Available Accomodation:

Al Maxi Apartelle
- It is a pension house with 3 units.
- Every unitn has its own living room, kitchen, toilet and bath.
- Rate is 1,200 per unit per day (4 persons max per unit)
- Contact number: 0910 429 9687

Blue House
- Located in a leafy street
- Two-story house has 4 rooms with a common living room, dining room, kitchen and toilet and bath
- Rates: P2,800 per day for entire house

Volare
- A native house-inspired building a few minutes from the town center
- 3 bedrooms with a common living room, dining room, kitchen and toilet and bath
- Rates: 1,200 pesos per day for entire house or P350 per room per day (2 persons max per room)
- Contact no.: +63 32 4699066

Hidden Beach
- room: 600 pesos good for two
- you can cook outside the room, common CR and no running water but beach and location is nice.

They have other beaches but it’s reachable by bangka only, remote and secluded and NO facilities even bed.  You have to bring your own tents and other stuff. If you are up for adventure then this place is for you.


Tour Packages for the Bojo River Eco-Cultural Tour
Duration: 3 hours
Rate:
5 persons – Php800.00/head
6-10persons – Php550.00/head
11-15pax – Php530.00/head
16-20pax – Php500.00/head
20-30pax – Php480.00/head
30-50pax – Php450.00/head
Schedule: Daily and depends on the tide.

The Beautiful Island of Camiguin

May 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

Located at the northern part of Mindanao, the island-province of Camiguin is a picturesque of a calm and peaceful place that is abundant with natural resources. This charming province in Mindanao is a perfect getaway for those who want to keep in touch with Mother Earth as well as those who want to spend romantic moments with their loved ones. Camiguin is a pear-shaped island that is also well known as the Volcanic Island of the Philippines because it has seven volcanoes, the famous for which is the Mt. Hibok-hibok.  According to experts, Camiguin Island was formed out by these volcanic eruptions and land mass movements. This also explains why the province is rich in natural springs and has very fertile soil.

Meanwhile, Camiguin has a total land area of 238-sq kilometers and is located at the northwestern part of Mindanao in the Philippines.  It is one of the provinces of Northern Mindanao Region or also known as the Philippines’ Region 10.  It is 90 kilometers away from Cagayan De Oro City to its south while it is surrounded by bodies of waters from its other sides – Butuan Bay to its east, Macajalar Bay to the west and the Bohol Sea to its north.

What to do in Camiguin?

Camiguin has many places to offer that do not only speak of Camiguin’s natural richness in water, land and air – but, it also speaks of Camiguin’s beautiful and hospitable locales.

tusan_falls_camiguin

Tuasan Falls. This waterfall at Barrio Mainit is one of the many waterfalls in Camiguin that tourists always visit whenever in Camiguin. Tuasan has a 25-meter high waterfall which serves as the main attraction of the place. People can take a swim under the falls after a short trek. One can have a glimpse of Camiguin’s luscious greeneries and calm streams while trekking towards Tuasan Falls.

hibuk-hibuk-camiguin

Mt. Hibok-hibok. A Camiguin’s famous fixation, Mt. Hibok-Hibok is the only volcano in Camiguin that has remained active.  It is also one of the preferred destinations of the adventurous wherein the volcano’s 1,250 meters slope is a challenge in mountaineering.  When on top, one can have a splendid view of nearby islands Negros, Bohol and Cebu.

camiguin-white-sands

White Island.   One of Camiguin’s famous attractions, the White Island is best known for its white sand bar. Aside from basking under the sun, one can also swim around and snorkel at the surrounding seas of White Island. From the White Island, one can have a view of the Mt. Hibok-hibok.

Ardent-camiguin

Ardent Hot Spring. This place is good for those who want to dip into a hot spring and relaxes the body as well as the mind. The Ardent Hot Spring in Mambajao is a natural hot pool with 40 degrees centigrade temperature. Surrounding the hot spring are cottages, restaurants and accommodation facilities, which make it ideal for overnight stay. Most of the visitors opt for a night swimming.

hibuk-hibuk-camiguin

Old Volcano.  Another famous attraction in Camiguin is the Old Volcano. In here, one can appreciate Mother Nature’s exemplary work wherein an underwater formation of lava, which rises from more than 80-ft down bottom, can be seen.  Corals are covered with molten rocks as the underwater is also habituated by various kinds of fishes.    

Where to stay in Camiguin?

Because of the increasing number of tourists coming into Camiguin, billeting areas and hotels are cropping in the province. The following are some of Camiguin’s best hotels and beach resorts.

Bahay Bakasyunan. A resort hotel, Bahay Bakasyunan depicts a Filipino-style of accommodation wherein native cottages are surrounding the area. The place has also an outdoor restaurant and bar, heated swimming pool and a conference room for those who are coming into the place for conventions/seminars. Rented motorboats are available in the resort for those who want to explore some of Camiguin’s islets.

Paras Beach Resort. Originally, as a private haven among the Paras family, the Paras Beach Resort takes pride of its native motif that makes the place more relaxing and homey for its urban visitors.  All of its guest rooms have air conditioners with hot-and-cold shower and cable TV.  Cottages and dormitory-type accommodations are also available for guests who come in a larger group.

Camiguin Highland Resort. A luxurious high-end hotel, Camiguin Highland Resort is a three-storey building that houses guest rooms that are complete with air conditioners, cabled TV sets, refrigerators and intercom. The resort’s Mediterranean interior design makes it appealing for guests who do not only prefer comfort but elegance as well. Guests can choose whether they opt for a guest room that has a view of the sea or a room that has a mountain view.

How to go to Camiguin?

Camiguin can be reached through regular sea and air trips from Cebu. Also, for hourly scheduled ferry boats, one has to take Cagayan de Oro City in going to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental. From there, one can ride a ferry boat in going to Camiguin.

Cebu Province: Home to a Myriad of Town Festivals

May 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

Cebu is known for its fun-loving, and sometimes happy-go-lucky, people. However, if you think Cebu only has the Sinulog Festival, then clearly you still know very little about the province. This is because Cebu has more than forty festivals celebrated in its many towns and municipalities at different times of the year. After all, Cebuanos love merry-making, dances, and, of course, food.
However, a lot of these festivals were born just recently. These festivals are in response to incumbent Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia’s call for each town in the province to hold an annual festival as a way of enriching Cebuano culture and promoting tourism.  In that, each town and municipality brainstormed and came up with their festivals that reflect their area’s culture, products or values.

Here are some of Cebu’s most popular town festivals:

1. Kadaugan sa Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City

mactanThe Kadaugan sa Mactan is probably the most famous of Cebu’s “minor” festivals. This is a yearly reenactment of the Battle of Mactan, which is known in world history as the battle that killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the hands of the native chieftain Lapu-lapu. These event honors local chieftain Lapu-Lapu, who stood up against the Spaniards when they landed on the shores of Mactan Island, now called Lapu-Lapu City, in 1521. This festival is a week-long affair, with the reenactment as the highlight. Usually, they get popular actors or celebrities to play the parts of Lapu-Lapu, his wife Bulakna, and Magellan.  One of the recent stars included boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and actor Dennis Trillo.  Other activities during this event include band concerts, a food fair, and a bazaar.

2. Lechon Festival, Talisay City

lechon4Lechon or roast pig is always a part of any special event or major gathering among Filipinos. No Filipino wedding, baptism, fiesta, and even birthday will ever be complete without this delicacy. And Cebu is known throughout the country as having the tastiest and most crispy-skinned lechon. When it is from Cebu, it is bound to be yummy. However, Cebuanos know that when it comes to lechon, the ones from Talisay City are the best, with golden brown and crackling skin and with tender, juicy and delicious meat. This is why on October 15 of each year, the feast of Talisay’s patron saint – Saint Teresa of Avila, the Talisaynons hold the Inasal (Cebuano term for lechon) Festival, where there is a good supply of lechon for everybody.

3. Kabkaban Festival, Carcar City

The Kabkaban Festival is the highlight of Carcar’s annual fiesta in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandria, who is the town’s patron saint. The Kabkaban Festival is celebrated with street dancing and gay and colorful parades. There is also a religious procession with carrozas (carriages) holding life-size statues of characters that make up Saint Catherine’s life and martyrdom.

4. Mantawi Festival, Mandaue City

The Mantawi Festival is celebrated in May of each year in the city of Mandaue. The festival’s name came from a kind of tree that grew abundantly on the shores of Cebu at the time the Spaniards came to visit the area in 1521. The festival is held to celebrate the founding of the historical Spanish settlement in Mandawe. The highlight of the Mantawi festival is a parade of street dancers and dioramas that showcase Mandaue’s history and culture. There are also food fests, floats, a trade fair, and some sporting events.

5. Kinsan Festival, Aloguinsan

The Kinsan Festival is held in the southern Cebu municipality of Aloguinsan every second Sunday of June, during the Kinsan season. Kinsan is the local term for a big, gray-colored fish believed to be abundant only in Aloguinsan waters. The festival features dances by colorfully clad contingents and showcasing original dance steps imitating the movement of the Kinsan fish.

Other noteworthy festivals in Cebu include:

* Bodbod Festival in Catmon

* Bonga Festival in Sibonga

* Caballo Festival in Compostela

* Camotes Cassava Festival in Tudela, Camotes Island

* Dinagat Bakasi Festival in Cordova

* Haladaya Festival in Daan Bantayan

* Kabanhawan Festival in Minglanilla

* Kabayo Festival in Mandaue City

* Kabuhian Festival in Ronda

* Karansa Festival in Danao City

* Kawayan Festival in Alegria

* Kuyayang Festival in Bogo City

* Palawod Festival in Bantayan, Bantayan Island

* Pitlagong Festival in Argao

* Sadsad Festival in Oslob

* Sarok Festival in Consolacion

* Semana Santa sa Bantayan, Bantayan, Bantayan Island

* Silmugi Festival in Borbon

* Siloy Festival in Alcoy

* Sinanggiyaw Festival in Dumanjug

* Soli-Soli Festival in San Francisco, Camotes Island

* Tagbo Festival in Poro, Camotes Island

* Tartanilla Festival in Cebu City

* Tostado Festival in Santander

Indeed, Cebu province is home to colorful festivals celebrated with high spirits and great excitement. Visitors can fill up a year’s calendar visiting various places and at the same time witnessing all these festivals.

Siargao Island: The Surfing Capital of the Philippines

May 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

Big waves coming from the Pacific Ocean and a strip of surfing enthusiasts braving these waves, Siargao Island is a picturesque of a charming sun-bask island at the northeast tip of Mindanao.  Ideal for summer escapades, Siargao is known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines where annual surfing competitions, both local and international, are preferably held in this tear-drop shaped island. Aside from the high clean waves that the place is best known for, other main attractions in Siargao include its wide array of white sand beaches, rich marine resources, seafood restaurants, mangrove rivers, unspoiled islets, and the warm hospitable locals of Siargao.

Surfing Capital of the Philippines

Facing the vast Pacific Ocean, Siargao’s shores are always a reflection of great waves, which are considered by many as an ideal place for surfing competitions, both for local and international events. Siargao Island is dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines as the locals and foreigners flock in this small island in Mindanao just to beat the waves and enjoy the sparkling bluewaters of Siargao.  One of the best surfing destinations in Siargao is the Cloud 9 wherein mounted hollow tubes of waves are considered by international surfers as perfect for ultimate surfing. Among surfing competitions annually held in Siargao are the Cloud 9 National Surfing Competition, Billabong Surfing Competition, and Siargao International Surfing Competition. Local surfers and foreign surfers from the different parts of the world are fixations in the island during this kind of events.

Location

Siargao Island is located at the eastern part of the Surigao del Norte, a province situated at the northeastern tip of Mindanao. To its east is the Pacific Ocean, while its western and southern areas are surrounded with mangrove forests. Aside from being the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao has also the largest mangrove forest in Mindanao.  The total land mass of Siargao was estimated at around 437 kilometers.  It has seven municipalities – Santa Monica, San Isidro, Burgos, Dapa, General Luna, Del Carmen and General Luna.

Meanwhile, Siargao Island can be reached through sea and air travels. Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific Airlines have flights from Manila to Surigao City and Cebu to Surigao City. From Surigao City, one can just simply take the fast craft vessels in going to Siargao Island. For sea travels, shipping lines such as Cokaliong, Super Ferry and Sulpicio Lines have trips from Manila-Surigao City and Cebu-Surigao City.  Philtranco Bus Liners have also land trips in going to Surigao City from Manila.

Where to Stay

Due to the growing number of tourists flocking in the island, various beach resorts have also been cropped-in to meet these needs. The following are some of the many beach resorts in Siargao Island where one can relax during the entire stay:

Jadestar Beach Resort. Located near the Cloud 9, this beach resort offers various package accommodations.  There are accommodation cottages that are equipped with air conditioners, while other cottages have fans.  Cottages also have TV sets with cable channels. Surf board rentals and laundry services are also offered in Jadestar. Island hopping activities and island tours are also available in Jadestar; however, these are mostly not included in the package accommodation fees.

Ocean 101 Resort. Facing the idyllic view of Siargao waters, Ocean 101 is just within walking distance from Siargao’s famous surfing destinations such as the Cloud 9.  Located at Catangnan, General Luna, Ocean 101 has air conditioned and non air conditioned rooms.  Its second floor accommodation rooms have a common bathroom.  Among the amenities in Ocean 101 are DVD player, surf boards for rent, cable TV system, surfing trainer, massage services, and videoke and pool facilities. Ocean 101 has also its in-house bar and restaurants that offer local delicacies as well as international cuisine.

White Sands Paradise Beach Resort. Located at Baybay, Burgos, White Sands Paradise Beach Resort has a view of the beach and just within walking distance to the surfing destinations of Siargao. Bathroom and TV with DVD player are available. Food and drinks are available at the resort’s bar; however, to those who wish to cook their own food, the resort’s kitchen can be used by guests. Van rentals are also available for island tours.

DAKAK: Mindanao’s Famous Diving Spot

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

Known as the Diving Mecca of Mindanao, Dakak Beach Resort is one of the most preferred destinations in the Philippines because of its white sand beaches and rich marine resources. Aside from local tourists who prefer more the peaceful ambience in this place than the party nightlife of other beach resorts, foreign tourists from different corners of the world have also considered Dakak Beach Resort as a good haven for retreat and complete relaxation. The different water sports in Dakak also make it as a world-class site for water sports enthusiasts whose adventurous spirits are satisfied by sports such as scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing and the likes.

Location

Dakak Beach Resort is located at Zamboanga del Norte at the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is exactly located at Barangay Taguilon, Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte. On its west is the rich marine water of Sulu Sea, while on its east is the mountain ranges of Zamboanga del Norte. Although Philippines is frequented by typhoons every year, the strategic location of Dakak, which is in between large islands, make it less prone to these typhoons. Aside from the amenities and activities one can find in Dakak Beach Resort, other shops and restaurants can also be found within the place of Dapitan wherein tourists can further appreciate the local setting of the place.

Going to Dakak Beach Resort

Dakak Beach Resort can be reached either through sea vessel or airplane. The main entry point to Dakak is through nearby Dipolog City. Air Philippines has five times a week flight to Dipolog City from Manila. Flight from Manila to Dipolog City usually takes one hour. Asian Spirit has also a daily flight to Dipolog City from Cebu through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.  Flight to Dipolog City from Cebu usually takes around forty-five minutes.  Shipping vessels have also trips from Manila to Dipolog City, and fast sea vessels such as Super Cat have trips from Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental to Dipolog City.

Amenities, Accommodations and Activities in Dakak

This 15-hectare wooded land resort has room facilities that include air condition, cable TV, in-house movies and hot/cold shower bath.  For those who want to come in groups, Dakak has also facilities that suit for conferences and team buildings. Guests can enjoy the tranquil environment as they relax in the resort’s natural spring water of its pool.  Swimming pools are also available for kids. Outdoor Jacuzzi adds-up to the complete relaxation one can get in the resort as well as its sauna and fitness center.  For outdoor activities, Dakak is equipped with a mini golf course, tennis court, billiard center, horseback riding facilities, and basketball court. Its in-house restaurant offers seafood cuisine and Filipino food. For a nightlife party, its Fusion Disco is packed with entertainment where guests can unwind during the night.

Aqua Sports

Dakak is one of the best diving spots in the world. From its fine white sand beach-line to the deep waters, the place is endowed with natural wonders. The Liuay Rock diving spot in the area is the most frequented area among divers of Dakak.  Liuay Rock is a soft slope where a variety of marine resources can be found.  Various corals also inhabit the area. According to many, the Liuay Rock spot is ideal for amateur divers.  Another famous diving spot is the Cesar’s Reef wherein rich coral formations engulf the area.  Ideal for experienced divers, the Cesar’s Reef is home of many different kinds of fish such as barracuda, snappers, and surgeon fishes.

Aside from scuba diving, guests can also enjoy other water sports such as water skiing, snorkeling, kayaking and parasailing.

Going Around Dapitan

Dakak is located in the historically rich place of Dapitan.  To those who want to explore the areas outside of the resort, Dapitan has many spots worth visiting.  For one, the Rizal Shrine in Dapitan is a must-visit place. The place reflects well on the life and works of Jose Rizal, Philippines’ National Hero, during his 4-year exile in Dapitan. In the museum, one can see the things used by Rizal in his writings as well as the equipment he used when he practiced his being a doctor in the place. The Rizal Shrine is located at Talisay, Dapitan City.  The St. James Church in Dapitan is another historical spot that the city boasts of.  According to many, St. James was the most frequented church by Jose Rizal during the latter’s stay in Dapitan. The pew where Rizal always seated is being highlighted differently nowadays to put emphasis on that historical spot. To those who want to shop and dine, the Gloria de Dapitan is a commercial complex that houses various restaurants, shops, bowling center, resto pubs, video arcades, and other recreational spots.  A 5-star deluxe cockpit is also found inside this commercial complex. Outside Gloria de Dapitan is the Outdoor Mobile Amusement Rides where carnival rides can be found.

Pagudpud Island Philippines – More than worth the Trip

Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte is one of the most popular destinations for urban dwellers especially those coming from Metro Manila. Whether on a long road trip with friends or a back pack adventure through public buses, the journey is an adventure by itself and the destination, all worth the effort.

On a good day, Pagudpud is 10 hours drive from Metro Manila, if you go through the more scenic through the North Luzon Express Way – Pangasinan – Ilocos corridor in the west of Luzon island. The town of 17,000 people is known for its breathtaking beaches which are still inconsiderably unaduletarted and its closeness to nature. A great escape indeed from the hectic life and the smog of the metropolis.

Most people go to Pagudpud bringing tents, but there is already a sprawling line of decent pension houses, inns and family hotels run by local folks like the popular Saud beach resort. If you want five-star accommodations, there is none in Pagudpud, but if want to sit back and blend into the rural laid-back charm of a community of friendly Ilocanos then this place is for you.

Unlike other beach destinations, Pagudpud ius more than the beach. Yeah, there is swimming, boarding even kayaking but the town offers more than a tan. It brings out the warmth of the local people seen through the rows of towering coconut trees, humble nipa hut homes and the local sari-sari stores when you can have a small barn talk with the locals.

The trip to Pagudpud is not uneventful. A road trek through the Ilocos provinces will bring you to historic towns like in Tarlac or in Vigan, Laoag and the land of the Marcoses, Batac. You can even drop by the world-famous Bangui wind turbines, the town just before Pagudpud. For public commuters Farinas Lines or Philippine Rabbit buses from Cubao can bring you to Laoag or Tugegarao in Cagayan, which is just a tricycle ride away from the paradise of Pagudpud.

Ilocos means great food so do not forget to drop by popular restaurants like Preciosa in Laoag or even the common pop and pop eateries you pass by along the highway.

Pagudpud is indeed an escape. And, along with the towns and the people around it, become a wonderful paradise for the weary urbanite.

Bantayan Cebu Philippines – An island Like no Other

Few beach destinations in the country offer more than the crystal-clear water and the sand. There is only one island perhaps than can transport one from the tropical paradise of the beach and into a time-warp right into the heart of Spanish Catholic Philippines. That island is Bantayan.

Bantayan got its name ater its role in during the Spanish time, a guard post for marauding Moros attacking Christian towns in the Visayas. Aging watchtowers can still be seen especially in some parts of the island.

Now sitting peacefully surrounded by progress and modernity, Bantayan continues to lay back to its old Philippine charm and the embrace of the warm people of the island, while welcoming the throng of tourists out to experience the unique offering of its one-of-a-kind island.

These days, perhaps Bantayan is known for its “fiesta” during Good Friday – a traditional solemn day for pious and mourning for Christians. It is not actually a celebration. Not in this solidly Catholic island. Pope Leo XII gave a special exemption for the people of Bantayan so they can eat pork on Good Friday at the end of the traditional religious procession. As fishermen refuse to go out to sea for religious considerations, there is no fish and therefore nothing else to eat but pork. Known for his conservatism, Pope Leo XII did this one thing right. In fact, a copy of the order can still be seen inside the museum in the Peter and Paul Church in the heart of Bantayan town.

The procession on Good Friday is an event on itself. Old families from the island own one carriage depicting a point in the life of Jesus Christ and on Good Friday, this old neighborhood rivalry comes out into the open (in a good way, of course) as families try to outdo each other for the brightest, most colorful (and most followed by the crowd) carriage. Children are also dressed by their parents into the traditional garb of saints, to ask the saint to watch over the child. This is a sight to see indeed. The feast follows after the procession.

Economically, Bantayan is known as the egg basket of Cebu with its huge poultry farms. The famous danggit (dried fish) of Cebu is also produced en masse in the island.

For many travelers and beach lovers, Bantayan is a special island where relaxation, culture and history are rolled into one.

Bohol Philippines and its Wonders

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations, Travel

bohol_chocolate_hillsOne of the most popular destinations in the Philippines is the island of Bohol. For year 2009,   Bohol had a 13.08 percent growth rate with 238,745 tourist arrivals, making it as one of the most visited places in Central Visayas Region of the Philippines.  The accessibility of Bohol from Cebu (Philippines’ major point of destination after Manila) through hourly trips of various sea vessels make Bohol as a major side trip of travelling visitors in Central Visayas. Also, the existence of an airport in its capital, Tagbilaran City, makes Bohol as easy access for vacation trips from travelers across the globe.

Bohol is located at the center of the Philippines as one of the provinces of the Central Visayas Region (the tourist capital of the country). Aside from Bohol, the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor complete the entire Central Visayas Region. Its land area of 4117.3 square kilometers makes this island province as the tenth largest island of the Philippines. Tagbilaran City is the capital of Bohol where almost all commercial establishments and business centers are found in this city.

Meanwhile, Bohol takes pride of its abundant natural resources, rich culture and history, and warmth of its people, the Boholanos.  With this, it is no wonder that Bohol is now one of Philippines’ major tourist destinations.

Places to Visit in Bohol

Chocolate Hills. Considered as one of the natural wonders of the world, Chocolate Hills is an spot in Carmen, Bohol characterized by dome-land formations (hills) which turn color brown during summer season. On rainy season, the hills are covered with green color as vegetation replaces the dry land of summer. The view of more than a thousand chocolate hills, which look like chocolate kisses, in one setting is considered by many tourists and even locals as simply breathtaking.   It takes an hour drive from Tagbilaran City to reach Chocolate Hills through vans-for-hire.

Loboc River Cruise. Another popular tourist destination in Bohol is its Loboc River Cruise where floating restaurants offer buffet lunch and dinner with musical entertainment during the 45-minute trip. Motor bancas, with a capacity of 100 persons, are used in the river cruise. In this trip, people can experience the tranquil and clean Loboc River with its rich vegetations around it.  During the trip, the cruise makes some stopovers in river banks where awaiting group of children sing and dance to entertain the guests.  During night time cruise, the ambience is romantic where subdued lights in the surroundings give a reflection of the river.

Tarsier Watching.  Another highlight during a Bohol tour is a visit to Bohol’s tarsiers. These endangered small creatures can be seen live as tourists can also take pictures of it. As most of the sayings in Bohol go – a trip to Bohol will not be completed without an encounter with the tarsiers.

Island and Balicasag Adventure. The white sand beaches in Panglao speak of Bohol’s rich marine resources and water adventures. Tourists always frequent the various beach resorts in Panglao because of the “uncorrupted” natural resources and waters in the area. Also, whale watching in nearby Balicasag Island is another famous tourist spot in Bohol where people can enjoy not just the sparkling Bohol bluewaters but also the site of whales frolicking in the ocean. Whale watching is made possible through motorized boats for hire.

Danao Adventure Park. Located 72-km away from Tagbilaran City, the Danao Adventure Park is the newest tourism spot in Bohol. The place takes pride on the various eco-adventures that do not only showcase the rich forests of Danao, but also the world-class equipment and skills of the adventure park that can compete internationally when it comes to extreme sports.  The Danao Adventure Park includes zip line adventure (the tallest and longest in the Philippines), cliff plunge, river trekking, sky riding, kayaking, and many more.

Going To Bohol

Bohol can be reached through a two-hour fast craft ride from Cebu City. Roll-on and Roll-off boats are also available for those who prefer the slow trip in waters. Local flights are also available from Manila to Tagbilaran City.

The abovementioned tourist destinations are just few of the many spots in Bohol where people can appreciate the natural wonders of Mother Earth. The Chocolate Hills is enough proof how blessed this province when it comes to natural wonders.  Meanwhile, what truly make Bohol now as one of Philippines’ tourist havens is the Boholanos themselves whose cooperation with their local government unit is exemplary.  The involvement of its people in making their province a world-class destination is very evident. Also, as a former insurgency stricken province, Bohol now is an insurgency free province which further makes it as a preferred tourist destination. With its peaceful environment as well as its “uncorrupted” natural resources and a  touch of rural rawness in its urban centers, Bohol is indeed worth travelling.

The Palawan Island

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations

palawan

In MIMAROPA region, in an island province of Philippines, the Palawan Island resides. The beautiful Puerto Princesa City is Palwan’s capital and the largest province in the Philippine country covering 1.5 million hectares. Palawan is known for rainforests, mountains and has the world’s longest underground river. It has also been recognized as “HAVEN of the PHILIPPINE WILDLIFE”.



LOCATION AND ORIGIN OF PALAWAN NAME

Palawan is located between Mindoro Island and North Borneo. The Palawan name came from the Chinese people during the 9th century calling it PA-LAO-YU which means land of beautiful safe harbor. Some also believe that Palawan name came from the Indian word PALAWANS meaning territory. However, the most popular belief of Palawan’s origin of its name is from the Spanish word PARA AGUA which means the main island’s shape look likes a closed umbrella.

Palawan TOURIST SPOTS and DESTINATIONS in Palawan

1.    Palawan rainforests

2.    White sandy beaches

3.    Crystal clear water with colored fishes and corals – Seven lakes surrounded by rocky limestone cliffs attract hundreds of nature lovers to Coron Reefs in Northern Palawan, near the town of Coron. Busuanga Island, whose main town is Coron, is the jump-off point for numerous dive operators. The principal dive sites are 12 World War II Japanese shipwrecks sunk on September 24, 1944 by US Navy action. They range in depth from the surface to 40 meters. This large range offers exciting wreck exploration for enthusiasts, from beginner divers and snorkelers and recreational divers to experienced TEC divers. Dive operators offer PADI dive courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Assistant Instructor, Technical and Enriched Air Diving, as well as other specialty courses. Dive operators offer day diving, snorkeling trips, and overnight dive safaris. Live-aboard and charter boats also offer diving in the area. The aquatic views from the sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island are listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s top 10 best scuba sites in the world.

4.    Palawan historical and archeological treasures

5.    Variety of tropical fauna and flora, Palawan orchid species and Palawan cherry blossoms

6.   Palawan monkeys, Palawan Parrots, Palawan bear cats, Palawan metallic-colored peacock pheasant, mongoose, scaly anteater, porcupine and mouse deer, endangered sea turtles.

7.    Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary located at northern Calamianes islands – home to unusual and endemic species of animals that roam freely in its luxuriant hills and plains. A game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and endangered endemic animals of Palawan. The reserve was established on August 31, 1976 by virtue of the Presidential Decree No.1578, this started in response to the appeal of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife when former President Ferdinand Marcos attended the 3rd World Conference in Kenya. By virtue of the Republic Act 7611 (SEP), administrative jurisdiction of DENR was given to the local government of Palawan, effective December 31, 1993. Management of the area is the responsibility of the Office of the Palawan Council of Sustainable Development (PCSD). It is located in Calauit Island in Busuanga.

8.    El Nido Marine Reserve located at the northern coastline – known for edible birds’ nests and limestone cliffs. The January 2008 issue of international magazine Travel + Leisure, published by the American Express Co. (which partnered with Conservation International) listed El Nido’s sister hotel resorts El Nido Lagen Island and El Nido Miniloc Island in Miniloc and Lagen Islands as “conservation-minded places on a mission to protect the local environment.” Travel + Leisure’s 20 Favorite Green Hotels scored El Nido Resort’s protection of Palawan’s giant clam gardens and the re-introduction of endangered Philippine cockatoos: “8. El Nido Resorts, Philippines: Guest cottages on stilts are set above the crystalline ocean. The resorts are active in both reef and island conservation.

9.    Tubbataha reefs located in the middle of the Sulu Sea – a pair of coral coral reefs newly named as a World Heritage Site for its highly distinct collection of fishes and other marine life. The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 332 km², including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

10.    The St. Paul Subterranean National Park located along the west coast – has old-growth forests, cathedral caves, white sand beaches, and one of the longest underground rivers in the world.

11.    Ursula Island located at the South - a sanctuary for migratory and resident birds.

12.    Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area – Located in the Municipality of Taytay, this important ecological and economic zone is a watershed and fishing ground, and the habitat of Bottle-nosed and Irrawaddy dolphins.

13.    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

14.    Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park – This park features a large limestone karst landscape with an underground river. One of the river’s unique features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full ‘mountain-to-sea’ ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.

15.    Ursula Island - This game asylum and bird sanctuary is located near the Municipality of Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan. The islet is a migratory and wintering ground for shorebirds and seabirds.

LANGUAGE

There are 52 languages and dialects in the province, with Tagalog being spoken by 28 percent of the people. Other languages are Cuyonon (26.27 percent), Palawano (11.08 percent), and Ilonggo (9.6 percent). English is also widely spoken.

CLIMATE

The east coast has 4 months of dry season with rain possibility during the other 8 months. In Palawan, November and December are the wettest months. The west coast has 6 months dry and 6 months wet season. The island of Palawan is mostly typhoon free, not including the northern part. The two most common winds are the softer northeast monsoon which blows from October to April and the stronger northwest monsoon which blows from June to September. Sea travel between the islands is best between April to June. Then the ocean is calm and flat as a mirror.

Palawan Highly-urbanized city

-    Puerto Princesa

Palawan Mainland Municipalities
-  Aborlan
- Bataraza
- Brooke’s Point
- Dumaran
- El Nido (Bacuit)
- Narra
- Quezon
- Rizal (Marcos)
- Roxas
-  San Vicente
- Sofronio Española
- Taytay

Palawan Island Municipalities
- Agutaya
- Araceli
- Balabac
- Busuanga
- Cagayancillo
- Coron
- Culion
- Cuyo
- Kalayaan
- Linapacan
- Magsaysay

Traveling Boracay Philippines

June 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Tourist Destinations

boracayBoracay in Aklan Philippines has now been considered one of the World’s popular beaches and favorite tourist destination. It has also been a popular spot for some important and big events. Like the Asian Windsurfing Tour and with the week-long Boracay International Funboard Cup competition generally being held on Bulabog Beach every month of January. The two popular Boracay beaches are White Beach (main tourism Beach) and the Bulabog Beach (windsurfing and kite boarding area).

Area: 10.32 square kilometers (400 hectares is for preserved forest land;; 628.96 hectares is for agricultural land)

Location: Aklan Philippines, region 6. 315 kilometers south of Manila; 2 kilometers off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas

Barangays (Villages, Districs or Wards): Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay)

Boracay Beach Resorts:

There are more than 300 beach resorts, restaurants, hotels and bars to choose from in Boracay Island as it has been known as a perfect getaway place. It already has everything you need on a perfect spot for relaxation, enjoying, partying and having a perfect vacation. There are also choices to choose from in terms of the accommodation; from luxurious to budget type.

Boracay Airlines Going to Caticlan Airport (Godofredo P. Ramos Airport)
Recommended Airport/route because it is only 2-5 minutes land transfer from Airport going to the Boat Jetty

  1. SOUTH EAST ASIAN AIRLINES (SEAIR), 35 Minutes Flight to Boracay, newest airplanes with one of the lowest prices for Boracay flights.
  2. ASIAN SPIRIT AIRLINES, 1 hour flights to Boracay, flights going to Caticlan daily.
  3. INTERISLAND AIRLINES, 1 hour flight to Caticlan Boracay, Only jet aircraft to Boracay

Boracay Airlines Going to Kalibo Airport

2 hour land transfer from Airport to Boat Jetty by bus

  1. CEBU PACIFIC AIRLINES, 1 hour flights to Kalibo Airport, 150 passenger jet aircraft
  2. Philippines Airlines, 1 hour flights to Kalibo Airport, 150 passenger jet aircraft
  3. AIR PHILIPPINES AIRLINES, 1 hour flights to Kalibo Airport, 150 passenger jet aircraft

Boat Transportation

Manila to Caticlan – 12 to 16 hours of travel time.

  1. MBRS Lines
  2. Negros Navigation
  3. Super Ferry

Land Transportation

Philtranco and Bachelor Express which is from Cubao or Pasay of Manila. 2 hours travel; south of Manila.

*When you arrive at Caticlan Airport, motorized boats (banca) will be there to be of service. Cagban Jetty Port is the disembarking point.

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