TAPPIYA FALLS, Banaue, Ifugao - a travel guide

Tappiya Falls Batad
In the middle of the mountains of Ifugao, we found a hidden gem called Tappiya Falls situated in "Batad," a secluded village in Banaue. Getting to this majestic beauty includes 7 to 12 hours land travel and 2 hours trekking. It's a bit challenging but you will be rewarded with a breathtaking landscape that can only be found in this region, including the world famous Batad Rice Terraces. Not just artistic in creating the terraces, the people of Batad also know how to value and preserve whatever their ancestors left, such as their rituals.

BATAD RICE TERRACES, Banaue, Ifugao - a travel guide

Batad Rice Terraces
The amphitheater like rice terraces of the Cordillera region captured the eyes of the world in 1995 as it was included  in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List and Batad Rice Terraces is one of the five spectacular rice terraces of Ifugao. It was less than a thousand years when the people of Ifugao mastered the agricultural practices and than includes the creation of the terraces. This agricultural landscape is a living proof that the early civilization already had the knowledge on how to improve their crops by adapting on the natural factors through terracing.

Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Falls, Ifugao

Batad Rice Terraces
Banaue Rice Terraces, Sagada and Mt. Pulag are just three of the famous tourist spots in the Cordillera region. I usually see them on the post cards before but please don't calculate my age. Honestly, traveling to these gorgeous spots is a bit challenging because of its geographical location; seven to twelve hours are needed just for transportation. In the contrary, let's proceed to the reason why you should visit the Cordilleras, especially the Province of Ifugao. Here are a few of the photos I captured during our visit for you appreciate the magnificence of nature hidden in this region.

THE SMALLEST PLAZA, Guimaras - a travel guide

The Smallest Plaza Guimaras
The Smallest Plaza in the Philippines is located in Guimaras, the first tourist destination we visited. It was also the former Guinness Book of World Records holder of the same title. From the port of Guimaras, it's 15 to 20 minutes habal ride. The plaza is around 200 to 300 square meters area with the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal in the middle, and right beside the highway and residents houses. According to Kuya Ken, my habal driver/tour guide, during their annual fiesta, all the attendees are being fit into this small plaza. This means that this tiny plaza also witnessed most of the gigantic historical events in the province.

GUISI LIGHTHOUSE, Guimaras - a travel guide

Guisi Lighthouse
Touching the walls of Guisi Lighthouse or Faro de Punta Luzaran is the most exciting part of my backpacking in Guimaras. It is the second oldest light house in the Philippines, lighted up for the first time in 1894. This structure was erected in 18th century to guide the mariners passing by the waters of Ilo-Ilo and Guimaras. Its structure is made of metal from France, tisa from Portugal and cement from England. The floor plan, base on the ruins, is similar to Burgos Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte and the Cape EngaƱo Lighthouse in Palaui Island. Today, the thick walls covered with mosses and plants and the rusty metal lighthouse remains erected. The ambiance in the area is relaxing because of the cool sea breeze.

HOW TO GET TO GUISI LIGHTHOUSE:
The nearest airport in Guimaras is in Ilo-Ilo City. From the airport, take a cab to Parola Port (the gateway to Guimaras). In my case, since I stayed in Ong Bun Pension House Ilo-Ilo City, I followed the instructions provided by the guard. Just two blocks away, I rode in the jeepney with ARU/GPU signboard and alighted by the entrance of Parola Port, for a minimum fare. Then, bought a ferry ticket bound for Guimaras Wharf. The dock and go of the ferries are continues every 30 minutes. The travel time from the port to Guimaras is only 15 minutes.

GUIMARAS WINDMILLS - from Renewable to a tourist destination

Guimaras Windmills
My last destination in Guimaras was Guimaras Windfarm with 27 gigantic wind turbines that harness electricity from the wind. The island is surrounded by the seas, so it’s a perfect location for renewable because of its sea breeze. According to Kuya Ken, the harnessed energy is being transported to Ilo-Ilo City via cables submerged into the water. There’s a registration but no entrance fee. Also, we talked about the proposed bridge that will connect Guimaras to Ilo-Ilo, however, it was rejected because it can damage the living underwater creatures. By the way, Bangui Windmills is the most prominent wind farm in the Philippines which brought a lot of tourists in Ilocos Norte and just recently, I featured the Tanay Windmills in Tanay, Rizal.

ALUBIHOD BEACH, Guimaras - a travel guide

Alubihod Beach Guimaras
A Trappist Monastery, we headed to Alubihod Beach in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. Traveling to this gorgeous beach via habal is easy because the roads are all concrete. I was welcomed by the courteous staff of Raymen Beach Resort. Settled the entrance fee and walked to the beach area. Though the shoreline is not white as Boracay Island and Anguib Cove in Cagayan, Alubihod Beach is pretty on it's own way. The picturesque is instagram worthy because of the rock formation highlighted by the creamy white sand with corals and pebbles. The ambiance by the beach is relaxing because of the sea breeze is cool.

DANAO ADVENTURE PARK, a great place to stay, relax and FACE YOUR FEARS

Danao Adventure Park
The Extreme Adventure Tour or Danao Adventure Park is now climbing to be one of top tourist spots and destination in Bohol. Situated on the area where the longest Philippine Revolutionary Movement took place, led by Francisco Dagohoy, a Boholano hero. The boulders and limestone formation in area might have witnessed the most important stage on how these Boholano heroes plotted the revolution against the Spaniards. Today, the facility is being run by the local government of the Municipality of Danao and it is a center of Eco-tourism, recreation and adventure in the province awaiting to be discovered.

TORIS BACKPACKER'S PARADISE, the cheapest place to stay in Siquijor

Toris Backpacker's Siquijor
Toris Backpacker's Paradise is the cheapest place to stay in Siquijor. At their small reception area, the receptionist greeted with the genuine "Good Morning, Sir!" and a smile. That very moment, I thought that this place is perfect. For an overnight stay, I only paid 350 pesos, great deal, right? This resort is backpackers friendly not just of its cheap price but because they have a dormitory type room where visitors can meet other visitors from different parts of the world. I was just sad because my visit was off season and there were only three visitors in the resort. If you want privacy, that's not a problem because they also private rooms.

SIQUIJOR CHURCH, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Siquijor Church
The Siquijor Church greets all the visitors as it is situated near the port. It was established in 1783 by the seculair priests. It was built using coral stones and initially used cogon for roofing. What's unique about Siquijor Church is the bell tower which is built a few meters away from the church. Like some other old churches in the Philippines,  its convent served as the hiding place from the pirates and other invaders. Today, it is the center of Catholicism in the province but for a non-Catholic like me, this church is the living witness of the past survived by the province and its people.

SALAGDOONG BEACH, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Salagdoong Beach
Salagdoong Beach is a prominent beach destination in Siquijor, so expect for people. I can't deny that this beach has a crystal clear waters with fine white sand shoreline but there are sharp stones and corals. Want more thrilling experience? Salagdoong has two cliff jump stations that you can try. The ambiance in the area is relaxing because of the man made landscape which are also picture perfect. Your day will be ended with a stunning sunset with the cool sea breeze blowing.

NAKED ISLAND, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur

Naked Island
Experience the naked paradise of the Naked Island, one of the islets of Britania Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur. I know you're thinking of something green, don't you? You're wrong! The name of this islet is derived from its characteristic - naked, which means that nothing can be found except the stretch of fine white sand. It's very short, more or less 10 meters depending if it's high tide or low tide.

HIYOR-HIYORAN ISLAND, Britania Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur

Hiyor-hiyoran Island
 Hiyor-hiyoran is another stunning islands of the Britania Group of Islands in Surigao del Sur. It is also called the souvenir island because among islands, Hiyor-hiyoran is the only one with souvenir shops built by the beach, well' that's so far. Same as the other islands, it also has fine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and gorgeous limestone formation. Very Instagrammable.

HAGONOY ISLAND, Britania Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur

Hagonoy Island
Be transformed as you meditate at the garden of vines that heals every soul’s weary at the Hagonoy Island – that’s their slogan here. This islet is really small, just a hundred meters long or maybe less but has a fine white sand shore and surrounded by crystal clear waters. Hagonoy is an islet with few coconuts and trees, so expect for a darker skin tone after your visit because of the sun rays. It is the cutest among Britania Group of Islets.

BOSLON ISLAND, Britania Group of Islands, Surigao del Sur

Boslon Island
Walk with happiness on the fine white sand that cover on the shore of Boslon Island. This islet is like a huge boulder dropped in the water. Because of the pressured, the fine white sand exploded and became - Boslon Island. Well, that's only my own story. Anyways, this islet is circular in shape, with plants and trees hanging on top of the gigantic boulder, creating a cool atmosphere in the area. This islet is the usual "pahingahan" of the tourists. Very conyo no??

BRITANIA ISLANDS, SAN AGUSTIN, SURIGAO DEL SUR

Britania Islands Surigao del Sur
The Britania Islands are just a few of the prides of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. These are like huge boulders dropped into the water  and the fine white sand exploded from the sea bed. Every islets is surrounded by crystal clear waters and fine white sand. There are several islets but we only reached found because of the high tide. If you're in Surigao del Sur, add Britania Group of Islands in your bucket list.

LAZI CHURCH AND CONVENT, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Lazi Church
I was stunned by the appearance of Lazi Church and the convent which are the main tourist destinations in Lazi, Siquijor. The parish became independent in 1857 but the current stone structure, with neoclassical art, was completed in 1884. It was built using the sea stones, coral stones and wood. In 1972, it was declared as a national cultural heritage. Today, it is newly renovated with the walls covered with white.

GUIWANON SPRING PARK RESORT, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Guiwanon Spring Park Resort Siquijor
The Guiwanon Spring Park Resort is a man made resort situated in the middle of a mangrove forest in Luyang, Siquijor. Tourists need to walk on the pathway made of wood, passing by some of the cottages that can be rented. The picturesque in the area is good because of the greens, accentuated by the trunk and roots of the mangrove plants. The end of the park is an open hall where you can stay and relax with the cool sea breeze. Entrance fees are to be collected.

CENTURY OLD BALETE TREE, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Century Old Balete Tree
The Century Old Balete Tree is one of the faces of Siquijor and must visit in the province. A "balete"  is a fig tree family or known as the "stranger tree" because it grows beside other trees and sometimes kill the host tree by strangling them. In Philippine folklore, balete is the house of the tikbalang (horse demon), dwende (elves) and diwata (fairies). Having said that, the old balete tree of Siquijor, according to stories, is mythical like the other balete trees.

CAMBUGAHAY FALLS, Siquijor - a Travel Guide

Cambugahay Falls Siquijor
The Cambugahay Falls is one of the must visit waterfalls in Siquijor. It is a 3-tiered waterfall with a free flowing cool and crystal clear waters. The area is surrounded with luscious greens that create a relaxing ambiance. If you want a thrilling experience, why not try the prominent "tarzan swing." Get a water massage! Water raft can be rented, with a local, to go to the spot where the waters are falling. Brace yourself because the sound of the rushing water will make your day a lazy day. Also, locals are great photographers.

TIERRA ALTA LIGHTHOUSE, Valencia, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Tierra Alta Residential Resort Valencia
The TIERRA ALTA LIGHTHOUSE is part of Tierra Alta Residential Resort - one of the prime event destinations in Valencia, Negros Oriental. This place is perfect for a wedding and other type of gatherings because of its breath-taking picturesque where the natural beauty and the man made structures are combined with perfection. The lighthouse is comparable to the prominent lighthouse of Batanes surrounded by the well maintained grass and ornaments.
 

RED ROCK HOTSPRING, Valencia, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Red Rock Hot Spring
The Red Rock Hot Spring is another tourist destinations in Valencia, Negros Oriental. It started as a family private pool but was expanded due to insistent demands. Red Rock Hot Spring became prominent to tourists and locals because it's a great place to relax. The temperature of the free flowing spring water ranges from 37.5 to 39.5 degrees Celsius; perfect for tired muscles. Plus, the ambiance inside the compound is very Asian because of the cottages and plants that surround the pool.

PULANG BATO FALLS, Valencia, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Pulang Bato Falls
Pulang Bato Falls is the usual tourist destinations in Valencia, Negros Oriental. It is a 30 feet waterfalls with a unique picturesque because the limestone walls by the water is covered with red due to sulfur deposits. By the way, Pulang Bato literally translates to "red rock" in English. This waterfall is surrounded by beautiful landscape, including the man-made hanging bridge and colorful ornaments.

CATA-AL WORLD WAR II MUSEUM, Valencia, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Cata-Al Museum
The Cata-Al World War 2 Museum is a newly developed tourist spots and destinations in Valencia, Negros Oriental. It started as a private personal collection but was expanded as a museum to let the new generation see what are things used during the second World War. The collection includes ammunition such as guns, bayonets, and grenades. Not only that, there are old radios, transmitters, bags, army and navy uniforms and magazines related to the World War II. Other Japanese memorabilia such as costumes, table wares and many more.

CAMPANARIO DE DUMAGUETE, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Campanario de Dumaguete
You must include the Campanario de Dumaguete or Dumaguete Belfry in your list of the must visit places in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. It is the oldest bell tower in Visayas and one of the historical markers in the province. It was built to monitor and warn the locals of any danger. Standing beside the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and in front of the city's Rizal Park, it is very accessible from and to any points in the city. Having said that, it is one of the most visited landmark in the city.

CASARORO FALLS, Valencia, Negros Oriental - a Travel Guide

Casaroro Falls
If you're into waterfalls, the Casaroro Falls should be on top of your list to visit in Negros Oriental. Situated in the Municipality of Valencia, a 20-30 minutes travel from Dumaguete City, this Casaroro falls stands 100 feet and is surrounded by luscious greens and healthy vegetation.  Because of its height, the fresh and cool water falling creates a relaxing-rushing-sound harmonized with the birds lullabies and wind blowing the trees.

ANTWET BACKPACKER'S INN, the cheapest place to stay in Dumaguete City

Antwet Backpackers Inn
Antwet Backpacker's Inn and Rooftop Bar is the cheapest hotel or a place to stay in Dumaguete City. I found this place using Google Map and searched it on Facebook. I texted the number posted and messaged them on Facebook about their rates. The owner responded in an hour and that's the start of our normal conversation. Every time I shoot her a question, she responds like a friend. So, I thought this place is perfect. Also, it is a walking distance to the city's tourist destinations.

BOHOL: Backpacking, Itinerary, Hotels and List of tourist spots and destinations

Tourist Spots in Bohol
Bohol is one of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas region because of the stunning "chocolate hills" and the weird-looking primate called "tarsier;" these are just two of those in the limelight. As we dig deeper, there are a lot of gems that the province of Bohol can offer. Historical landmarks and old churches are always part of the itinerary, but during summer or even rainy season, the fine white sand beaches and the beauty of the flora and fauna underwater became top of the list of the must seen. In addition to that, there are extreme activities that can be tried, like the Top 1 on my list - THE PLUNGE of Danao Adventure Camp, situated in the  Municipality of Danao.

SIQUIJOR: Backpacking, Itinerary, Hotels and List of tourist spots and destinations.

Tourist Spots in Siquijor
Siquijor is a mystical province! As you visit the different destinations, you will be under a spell of its beauty. This island province is known as the "Esla del Fuego" or the "island of fire" because of the mystical fireflies. It is believed that if you see these luminous lights, it is an indication that a magic is taking place. By the way, if the province of Capiz is known for their "aswang" and "manananggal," Siquijor is commonly known as "Siquihorror" because of the shamanism and witchcraft. Regardless if it's true or not, I was enchanted by this mystical province.

NEGROS ORIENTAL: Backpacking, Itinerary, Hotels and List of tourist spots and destinations

Tourist spots in Negros Oriental
Creating a travel itinerary for Negros Oriental is not complicated and this province has a lot of gorgeous and stunning tourist destinations. Dumaguete City, its capital, is highly urbanized and it is the center of commerce and transportation to the different parts of the province. Also, finding a high class hotel or a cheap backpackers lodge online or Google Map is also easy. The province of Negros Oriental was my first destination of my recent solo-backpacking in Region 7.

NEGROS ORIENTAL, SIQUIJOR, BOHOL: Solo-Backpacking, Itinerary, List of Tourist Spots and Destinations, Budget

ITINERARY: Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Bohol

TOURIST SPOTS, ATTRACTIONS, DESTINATIONS AND IN NEGROS ORIENTAL, SIQUIJOR AND BOHOL:


MONEY ON HAND: 10,424.00
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR THIS SOLO-BACKPACKING: 11,015.84 PESOS
TOTAL EXPENSES WITHOUT AIRFARE: 9,175.4 PESOS
Flights via Cebu Pacific: MNL-DGT - 627.84 Pesos. TAG-MNL: 1,212.60 Pesos