CATANDUANES: Tourist Spots (with Hotel)

Catanduanes tourist spots
During our backpacking in Bicol, Catanduanes is the hardest province to penetrate because it's an island province. Dubbed as "The Happy Island," Catanduanes hides a few spectacular and breathtaking tourist spots and destinations which can make you "happy" and stunned. Lately, the province is getting more attention in social media sites because of stunning photos of Binurong Point, Puraran Beach, and the other attractions.

CEBU CITY Tourist Spots (with hotels)

cebu city tourist spots
Cebu City is the capital city of the Province of Cebu, situated on the eastern shore of Cebu Island. Cebu is one of the largest islands in the Philippine Archipelago.  It is considered as the “Queen City of the South” because of its economic stability and other economic factors. Of course, in Philippine history, Cebu has a gigantic contribute, especially in Christianity.

THE RUINS: A mansion in Talisay City

The RUINS in Talisay City
I was at the entrance The Ruins, in Talisay City, when I saw its amazing and gigantic shadow. With my backpack, of course on my back, that’s why it’s called backpack because it’s really on my back, right? Anyways, going back to The RUINS, upon paying the entrance fee, I directly went to the fountain area, sat on the bench and was staring at The Ruins for 20 minutes. The ambiance was relaxing because the area is surrounded by greens designed with the gorgeous landscape. Below are the facts written on the printed materials on the wall - courtesy of The RUINS Management.


Negros and Ilo-Ilo travel itinerary
After my successful Cebu Solo-Backpacking, another solo-backpacking in the Visayas was planned - this is it, a solo-backpacking in Western Visayas. Language barrier wasn't a problem because Hiligaynon has similarity to our native language in Romblon. During my travel, I found out that the Negrenses are really accommodating and has a good sense of direction. In a simple question like: "where is it located?" they provided me a detailed instruction. In general, Negros Occidental and the province of Ilo-Ilo are Must Visit provinces in the Philippines. Sorted according to my itinerary, historical, heritage and tourist spots below were my destinations.

SAMAL ISLAND: Travel Guide to Isla Reta

Samal Island
Samal Island is an island city in Davao del Norte but our destination is located at the back - an island called Talicud which literally translates to "sa likod." This is one of the island paradise in Davao region that bears white sand beaches, and island that is surrounded with emerald and crystal clear water. And, underwater is a sanctuary of colorful flora and fauna. Isla Reta Beach Resort in Talicud Island is a perfect island for retreat and relaxation - well, if you're just looking for a relaxing ambiance by the beach.

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL: Tourist Spots (with hotels)

Negros Occidental tourist spots
Negros Occidental or Western Negros holds most historical sites of the region. Here is the list of what to do and list of tourist spots in the province. VISIT THE RUINS IN TALISAY CITY (Photo Above) | This mansion was owned by the sugar baron Don Mariano “Anoy” Ledesma Lacson (1865-1948). The construction of this mansion was non stop until the entire structure is completed. It was the largest mansion built during that time, however, was burnt to prevent the Japanese forces making it as their headquarter during World War II. Because of the A-Grade mixture of concrete that were used, its ruins remains until today. READ: THE RUINS

SURIGAO DEL SUR: Tourist Spots (with Hotels)

Surigao del Sur tourist spots
Surigao del Sur is a promising province in Region 13 because of its beautiful tourist spots and destinations. What are the best thing to do in Surigao del Sur? ISLAND HOPPING ON BRITANIA GROUP OF ISLANDS: The stunning islets of Britania is situated in the municipality of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. Composed of Hagonoy  (photo above), Naked, Boslon, and Hiyor-Hiyoran islands, these islets have the same features, there's a white sand shoreline surrounded by crystal clear and emerald waters, artistic rock and limestone formations, there's a big picture of a golden and beautiful sunset. Plus, there's a wealthy flora and fauna underwater. READ: BRITANIA GROUP OF ISLETS

ILOCOS SUR: Tourist Spots (with Hotels)

Ilocos Sur tourist spots
WALK ALONG CALLE CRISOLOGO IN VIGAN CITY: Vigan City is the capital of Ilocos Sur established in the 16th century. Vigan City captured the eyes of the world because it was listed by UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999 as one of the best preserved Spanish colonial town in Asia. Calle Crisologo, in Vigan city, has a combination of the past and the current; from the Spanish colonial and ancestral houses, streets paved with cobblestone, and the calesa drawned by the horses. Today, some old establishments are converted into shops and hotels to accommodate the thousands of tourists. READ: VIGAN CITY

ILOCOS NORTE: Tourist Spots (with hotels)

Ilocos Norte tourist spots
ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF PAGUDPUD: Situated at the Northern tip Luzon, Pagudpud is one of top tourist attractions and destinations in Ilocos Norte. It also claims the title: "Boracay of the North" - that's according to the tourists and travelers who experienced its beauty. Pagudpud has a similarity with Boracay from the white sand shoreline, to the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, to the relaxing and cool sea breeze, to the golden sunset, up to the remarkable activities during the day and parties in the evening.


Anguib Cove
Less an hour boat travel from Palaui Island is a cove that hides a breathtaking beauty - they call it Anguib Cove. Anguib has a long-curvy-stretch of fine white sand landscaped with greens on the side. The sand has a mixture of colorful shells, pebbles in different shapes and living crustaceans running back and forth. From the quiant cottages by the beach, the crystal clear water and emerald seas are visible separated by the horizon from the blue sky. Its preserved tranquility can definitely make your day a lazy day.


Palaui Island
Cagayan is not just about the beauty of the Callao Cave and the historical impact of the Callao Man, this province has hidden spots where the magnificence of nature can be found - two of these are the world famous Palaui Island and the almost perfect Anguib Cove. The province of Cagayan is situated on the North East side of Luzon and due to its topographical location, the serenity and the breathtaking beauty of Palaui and Anguib are well preserved.

ANTIQUE PROVINCE: Tourist Spots (with hotel)

Mararison Island
The province of Antique is situated in Western Visayas and is part of Region 6 with its neighboring provinces Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Ilo-Ilo and Negros Occidental. Antique has a lot to offer, from the breathtaking beauty on top of the mountains, wealthy underwater creatures and magnificent beaches. Below are just two of the must visit in destinations in Antique.

CAGAYAN PROVINCE: Guide to the Hidden Spots

Cagayan tourist spots
Palaui Island is one of the virgin islands situated in the municipality of Sta. Ana, Cagayan province. It became prominent because it was the location where the two seasons of Survivor, a hit US TV reality show,  was held. Palaui is a small island but has a lot to offer such as the historical Cape Engaño Lighthouse, artistic rock formation of Dos Hermanas Island, fine white sand of Mabolbol Shore and the flora and fauna along Siwangag and Lagunzad trails. Of course, the serenity and the breathtaking beauty is well preserved - less visitor due to its topographical location.

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Travel Guide (with Hotel)

Zamboanga City
"The Latin City of Asia" - the title given to Zamboanga City because of their language called "chavacano," which is very similar to Spanish. This city is situated on the Southern side of the Zamboanga Peninsula and on the Northern side of Basilan. Aside from their language, Zamboanga City is also prominent with their "vinta," a colorful and stunning sailboat or watercraft that is usually used by the locals. During my Solo-Backpacking in this city, without proper itinerary and only used Google Map, I did a walking tour to their top tourist spots and destinations.

Explore Intramuros for less than 100 Pesos

Intramuros Manila
I visited Intramuros and Binondo several times but I thinking am missing something in and outside The Walled City in Manila. Inspired by the question: “Hanggang saan aabot ang isan daang piso mo?” Our journey today explains that budget is not a problem to see the gorgeous artifacts erected centuries ago. Without a formal itinerary, we walked on the streets in Intramuros Manila.

SOMBRERO ISLAND, Burias, Masbate

Sombrero Island
Sombrero Island is one of the islets of Burias Group of Islets. Crossing the waters of Burias Passage from Tinalisayan to Sombrero was a heart pounding experience. Not only that, as we were getting nearer to the shoreline,  coral ecosystems and underwater flora and fauna are visible because of its clear waters. I took off my pink sando while on the boat because my skin hurts, a sign that, for sure, I will have sun kissed skin due to sun burn but it's fine, am positive that my skin will still recover after a week. Instead of covering myself or applying Belo sun block before jumping off the boat to the shallow water, we just grabbed our cameras and proceeded walking by the shore.


Tinalisayan Island
Tinalisayan Island was our second destination during our adventure from the Alibijaban Island to Burias Islands. Traveling from Animasola Island to Tinalisayan takes an hour, but among the three islands we visited (with Animasola and Sombrero Islands) this is irrevocably number one. When I jumped off the boat and landed on the shallow crystal clear water, I easily felt the relaxing feeling because the water was really cool, a contrary to the heat and UV rays from the sun. Our boat was parked by the tip of the sandbar, so walking on the long stretch of a fine and powdery  white sand, with the other visitors on their colorful swimming attire, was just awesome! This long sandbar always greet the visitors with breathtaking beauty.


Must Visit in Cordillera
There's too much chaos on the roads of the Metro, so searching for deserted places with a picture perfect landscape is now a norm. With the gorgeous and stunning photos scattered on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is now easy to promote, search and catch a glimpse of places to visit in the Philippines. If I would suggest places in Luzon, the provinces in the Cordillera region are on the top. Been here a few times and I noticed that it is one of the favorite destinations of countless international and local tourists. Who says no to a place with a big picture of a so called paradise. There's healthy forest with fresh air, cool and relaxing ambiance, pristine lagoons, colorful flora and fauna, and has a cool weather with no heavy traffic and no cellular signal perfect for bonding. Here are 3 of the Top Must Visit Places in the Cordilleras:


Azure Urban Resort Residences
Azure Urban Resort Residences is one of the newly developed vertical residential structure in Parañaque City. It gotten the attention of social media and Filipinos because it is designed by Paris Hilton, a world famous socialite and a hotel heiress. She has great sense of art and class as it appears on the outcome of Azure Urban Resort Residences, from its details, facilities, pool side, residential units and the white sand beach by the pool. Through an invite by one of the unit owners, had a chance to enter and enjoy what's inside Azure Urban Resort Residences, photos below will describe:


Butuan National Museum
Butuan National Museum is one of the historical structures in Butuan City that houses and protects the relics discovered in the region. It also holds several objects used by the locals for their daily life such as jars, ceramic and earthenwares, hand woven clothe, and many more. Photos below are just some of items inside the museum:


Balangay Shrine
In Butuan City, Agusan del Norte | The Filipino word Baranggay came from the word: Balangay or Balanghai which is watercraft used by the ancient people in the Philippines for transportation and for barter and trade. If I am not mistaken, it was discussed when I was in the fifth grade, in HEKASI. I am happy that today, it’s time to see the actual relics of Balangay, discovered in Butuan. Since the guard did not allow me to use my DSLR or even my digital camera, photos below were captured using my mobile camera:


Butuan City
Backpacking in Butuan City is easy because all the historical sites are located just within the vicinity, accessible using the local's public utility vehicles such as jeepney and tricycle. During our visit in Butuan, at the intersection of the Narra Road (where Jollibee, McDonalds and KFC are located), we chartered a tricycle to visit two museums in the city. Below are two of the museums in Butuan City.


International Doll House
The International Doll House was mentioned by John, our guide. Somehow familiar because we already saw it on TV. John encouraged us to visit this doll house by giving us details of what are displayed inside. According to him, there’s a doll with gold on the head, there’s a doll with a hair from the original Rose of Titanic, there’s a toy motorcycle with a value of 2.5 million pesos and many more. So there, we were all curios about these and here are photos:


Libuacan Cold Spring
Libuacan Cold Spring is a river system with cold and crystalline water, free flowing, and surrounded by relaxing greens. Since the area is surrounded by trees, the ambiance is really cool and relaxing; everything seemed to be fresh. It was our second option because the famous Enchanted River was closed due to its renovations but its fine, there will always be a perfect time for us.

TINUY-AN FALLS, Surigao del Sur

Tinuy-an Falls
Tinuy-an Falls is the top tourist spots, attractions, and destinations that Surigao del Sur can offer. Tinuy-an is a huge waterfalls with cool and crystal clear waters and is surrounded by greens that creates the area a gorgeous and relaxing landscape. The ambiance is so cool, with the fresh air blowing. By the way, most part of the Tinuy-an falls is accessible, including the pool area. Water rafts, with a guide, can be rented.

List of places to visit in Bataan

Tourist Spots in Bataan
Historically speaking, Bataan is one of the provinces in the Philippines that has a huge contribution to Philippine history, political or not. Bataan belongs to Region 3 or commonly known as the Central Luzon provinces. This province is separated by Manila de Bay from the NCR and province of Cavite. During my visit in the province, I noticed that the people are accommodating and are living in simple way. Aside from that, Bataan also has a lot to offer in terms of tourist destinations. Let’s start with:

MANLAWI SANDBAR, Caramoan - 2020 Travel Guide

Manlawi Sandbar
Manlawi Sandbar is one of the “must visit” in Caramoan group of islands. This sandbar has an amazing shape, sometimes forming a heart, that captures most of the eyes of the tourists worldwide. However, visiting Manlawi sandbar is very crucial because it disappears during high-tide. Our bangkero knows the accurate time (12NN), so we experienced its beauty for thirty minutes.


Minalahos Island
Minalahos Island is a small islet in Caramoan group of islands. It has a limited space for visitors due to its undersized shore line but the shape and rock formations are stunningly gorgeous. The plants and hanging on the rocks also added a beautiful landscape. If you’re fond of rock scrambling, I highly suggest to bring outdoor sandals for the sharp edges of the boulders.


Sabitang Laya Island
The island of Sabitang Laya is one of the Caramoan group of islands. It is almost the same with the other islets with a crystal clear waters, amazing rock formation, but the only difference is that it has longer stretch of fine white sand. Aside from that, by the shoreline, there’s a wide and long stretch of trees and grasses. Of course, the wind is cool and fresh.


Lahos Island
The Lahos island is one of the prominent islet among the Caramoan group of islands because of its amazing rock formation, fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. On the top view, it appears like two boulders on the waters linked by the white sand. Don't mind the dried sea weeds because we visited this island after or while the typhoon Marce is still inside Philippine Area of Responsibility, so the water wasn't calm but we owned the island during our visit.


Mt. Lubog
The Mt. Hapunang Banoi is situated beside Mt. Pamitinan and separated by Wawa Dam from Mt. Binacayan. This mountain is now famous to the mountaineering world because it is surrounded by luscious green trees, making the area looks so relaxing and the wind is cool, clean and fresh. Plus, the exhilarating terrains added an adventure to hikers; a perfect place to relax and Instagram worthy.


Matukad Island
The Matukad Island is special among the other islands of Caramoan group of islets because it is guarded by a majestic creature; plus it has a long stretch of fine white sand, crystalline water, surrounded by greeneries and the wind is delicate, cool and fresh. Instead of renting an air-conditioned room at Brgy. Paniman, we camped by the beach and stayed here for about twelve hours, enjoying its goodness.

TAC ATTACK 5 | Tanay Adventure Camp

Tanay Adventure Camp
If you’re looking for an adventure, Tanay Adventure Camp is one perfect places you can visit, just two to three hours near Manila. In 2014, I was invited to join the TAC Attack, an annual anniversary celebration held at the camp. This year, a lot of activities were added to their itinerary, such as the ultra-marathon and outdoor cook fest. Since we a had problem with our availability, we opt to travel by 7 in the evening to Tanay and we arrived at the camp around midnight. Travel itinerary listed below.

BAKUN, BENGUET | Trapped by its Beauty

Bakun, Benguet
This event was an urgent decision. We met at Victory Liner Bus Terminal in Cubao and rode in a bus bound for Baguio. From Baguio City, we chartered a jeep to Bakun, Benguet. Travel time was within 4-5 hours. But before reaching our destination, we passed by different landmarks of the North, one of these was the Highest Point (photo above). The entire travel period was an adjustment period for our group and other participants.


National Museum of the Philippines
After seeing on Facebook that the National Museum of the Philippines has FREE admission for the whole month of May 2016, we chose spending the whole day inside the museum than watching TV, with the hot election in the mainstream. It is better to be in front of the historical artifacts than listening to some people for their political agenda. 


National Museum of Fine Arts
A few days after my solo-backpacking at the Museum of the Filipino People, it is the second part for Oktubre ang Buwan ng mga Museo. These two buildings of the National Museum of the Philippines are just a few steps away from each other. Also, they both have historical values in the country and played a huge part in preserving and restoring the ancient and modern artifacts of the Philippines.


Marikina Shoe Museum
The Marikina Shoe Museum was conceived in 1998 under Mayor Bayani F. Fernando on the assumption that the City, being the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, can be a significant venue for nurturing the historical and cultural values of its shoe industry. It was opened in February 16, 2001 and was initially called the Footwear Museum of Marikina. Information courtesy: Marikina City Website

BORACAY ISLAND: Backpacking and commuting tips

Boracay Island
From the NAIA International Airport, take a flight bound for Kalibo International Airport, the travel time is about an hour. Beside Kalibo International Airport, there are different modes of transportation that you can choose to go to Boracay Island via Jetty Port. Instead of booking a private transport, I asked the guards or sales ladies at the airport about the public utility vehicles to Jetty Port. As instructed, I rode in a van bound for Jetty Port for 200 pesos and the travel time is about 2 hours. On the other hand,another option is via Batangas Port where you can board with 2Go Ferry to Caticlan, travel time is within 7-9 hours.

The Sound of Las Piñas Bamboo Organ

Las Piñas Bamboo Organ
If I am not mistaken, the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ was our topic when I was a in grade four in Sibika at Kultura. The subject was interesting, so the history of the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ remains fresh in my memory, even the long name of man who created this majestic organ. Fray Diego Cera Dela Vergin del Carmen, a Spanish missionary born on July 26, 1762 and was the first parish priest in Las Piñas during the Spanish era. He is the man behind this national treasure - Las Piñas Bamboo Organ. He actually came from Graus, now Huesca, a town in Spain, but still his heart loves the Philippines. F. Diego Cera is also a man of titles; he is a Musician, Architect, Organ Builder, Botanist, Physician, Painter and Geologist.


Fort San Pedro
The Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro situated inside the Plaza Independencia, Cebu City. It is is a military defense structure built by the Spaniards and the locals of Cebu under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a Spanish conquistador. The date of its construction wasn't sure but there are claims that Jesuit Antonio Campioni built the fort in 1630. Like the other century old churches in the Philippines, there are a lot of major renovations in the 19th century for the structural improvements of Cebu.


Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino
The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño or Minor Basilica of the Holy Child is one of the minor basilicas in Cebu City. It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the country. Its current structure is situated on the same spot where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565 by the Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The said statue is the same with the statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon, 44 years later, as a gift during their baptism on April 14, 1521 at the exact location of Magellan's Cross today.


Magellans Cross
Magellans Cross is Christian cross made up of wood erected by Ferdinand Magellan (a Portuguese explorer) during his exploration in Cebu, Philippines on April 21, 1521. This cross can be found inside an octagonal chapel in front of Cebu City Hall and beside Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.  This one of the most prominent tourist spot in Cebu and Philippines.  But, the cross that you can see today is a tindalo wood where the splinters of the original Magellan's Cross were encased.  The wood of the original cross were deteriorated because the people were chipping some parts and making it as a souvenir in the belief that it's miraculous.


Casa Gorordo Museum
The Casa Gorordo House shows how a prominent family lives during their generations. From the floor, artistic walls, windows up to the roof top - it's really gorgeous. At the main entrance of this house, its historical background was written and here's what it says: "This house was built in the mid-19th century by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales and was bought by Juan Isidro de Gorordo, a spanish merchant, in 1863.  Four generations of the Gorordo family lived in this house, including Juan Gorordo, first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, 1910-1932."


Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House was originally owned by Chinese merchant, Don Juan Yap and Doña Maria Florido.  It is one of the oldest residential house in the Philippines.  It was built between 1675-1700 and was made from Coral stones, used egg whites as glue and "Tigas" or clay for the roof. The wooden pats of the house were made of "balayong" and "tugas" or molave which is the hardest woods in the country.


Heritage of Cebu Monument
Heritage of Cebu Monument is situated at the original Plaza Parian.  It occupies a triangular portion near the end of Colon Street. This Monument showcases the significance and symbolic events in history of Cebu during the reign of Rajah Humabon.  It was a work of art by the National Artist Edgardo Castrillo on July 1997 in cooperation with Mayor Alvin Garcia and was inaugurated in December 8, 2000.


Cebu Cathedral Museum
Cebu Cathedral Museum is an ecclesiastical museum of the Archdiocese of Cebu. The building itself doesn't have an exact information when it was constructed because the archdiocesan archives were burned along with the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace during the trial bombing of the U.S. forces in September 1944. But according to some historian, it was built by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon during mid-1800s.  Bishop Marañon was known as a church builder.  He designed the Metropolitan Cathedral and other religious structures in the province of Cebu.


Rajah Humabon
Rajah Humabon, also known as Rajah Hamabar, was the Rajah or a leader of Zubu (now Cebu) during Ferdinand Magellan's exploration in the Philippines in 1521. According to the writings on the marble plate that can be found in Plaza Hamabar Marker: Rajah Humabon was the first Filipino chieftain to embrace Christianity.  Regraded as the wisest and bravest man in the island.  When Ferdinand Magellan landed on Cebu on Sunday, April 7, 1521, Rajah Humabon made a blood compact with Magellan as a symbol of their new found friendship.  Captivated by its noble teachings, Rajah Humabon was converted into Christianity.


Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the center of the Archdiocese of Cebu City.  It was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595 and became the metropolitan archdiocese on April, 28, 1934, with its first archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes. The construction of the structure was interrupted due to the lack of funds and other circumstances. The facade features a trefoil-shaped pediment decorated with floral carves.

TRAVEL GUIDE: Zamboanga Sibugay (with Hotel)

Zamboanga Sibugay
My first destination in Region 9 was Zamboanga Sibugay, a 3.5 hours land travel from Zamboanga City. Ipil, it's capital, is the usual stop over of the buses heading to the cities of Dipolog, Pagadian and even Cagayan de Oro City. Since it's a center, like other municipalities, there are big business establishments and the streets are busy. Ipil, as a busy area, hides something unique and a very Instagram worthy tourist spots and attractions.

ZAMBASULTA, Zamboanga Provinces and Misamis Occidental

ZamBaSulta is an acronym given to Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi - the normal route, however, I made a twist and created ZamTaSuBa. Let me make it more extreme, my solo-backpacking includes Region 9: Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Misamis Occidental part of Region 10. Details below is my actual itinerary for 9 days that cover 7 Provinces and the independent City of Zamboanga.