PAMPANGA: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Pampanga

Bacolor Church or the San Guillermo Church in Pampanga is considered as the Cagsawa of the North. More then twenty years ago, Mt. Pinatubo erupted and many municipalities were left devastated, including Bacolor, Pampanga. This church was built in 1576 and was named after Bacolor's patron saint San Guillermo ErmitaƱo. Destroyed by earthquakes and fire then was rebuilt in 1886. READ: BACOLOR CHURCH

tourist destinations in Pampanga
We were heading back to Manila when we passed by the Angeles Church, Pampanga. It was evening and we thought that this church is stunningly beautiful. So, we parked and explored the area. According to history, the first chapel of Angeles Church was established in 1812, however, the current Renaissance-style structure was built through "polos y servicios" or forced and unpaid labor under the supervision of the Spanish government from 1877 to 1896. Dubbed as "Pisamban Maragul," kapampangan phrase for "big church" because it was the tallest church in Pampanga during that time. READ: ANGELES CHURCH

tourist attractions in Pampanga
The first Giant Lantern festival was held to honor President Manuel L. Quezon. At that time, Quezon made Arayat his rest area and converted Mount Arayat into a tourist resort. As a show of gratitude to Quezon, the people of San Fernando held a Christmas lantern contest to honor the first family. Quezon himself donated the prize for his lantern contest, which was personally awarded to the winner by First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon -WikiPedia.org


BULACAN: TOURIST SPOTS (UPDATED 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

In Philippine history, Bulacan is one of those provinces with a lot of happenings and until today, the historical sites are still standing. Let's start with Barasoain Church, also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, a Roman Catholic church built in 1630 in Malolos City, Bulacan. From Bulacan Provincial Capitol, we rode in a tricycle to and alighted in front of the church. It was early in the morning so we had time taking photos without people on the background. Disadvantage? The church was open but the museum was closed. I was stunned by its structure, thus, standing in front of the facade was remarkable. READ: BARASOAIN CHURCH

SIQUIJOR: TOURIST SPOTS (UPDATED 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

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: TOURIST SPOTS AND 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE (Dumaguete and Valencia)

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.

APO WHANG OD: Still Hurts on the Second Time

Apo Whang Od
If you are a tattoo lover and even not, I am positive that you know who "Apo Whang Od" is. She is the oldest, a living legend and the last "mambabatok" from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga province who uses an old style of tattooing, called "batok" or a traditional hand-tapped tattooing. She became prominent because she has been featured on some local TV shows, international documentaries, magazines and others. Photos below will show the beauty of Buscalan, Kalinga and their traditional "batok."

LIST OF MUSEUMS IN METRO MANILA (2020): A Tour of Elegance

List of museums in Metro Manila
Today is a boring day! Question is: "Anu ang magandang gawin kapag wala kang magawa?" Sagot: " Pinturahan ang buong bahay gamit ang cutix." Pero wala akong cutix. So, after washing my clothes, without itinerary, my initial plan was to visit all the museums in Metro Manila including, Ayala Museum in Makati City, but the plan ended up visiting Marikina Shoe Museum (with 50 pesos entrance) and the two buildings of the National Museum of the Philippines with FREE Admission. Libre, aarte kapa?? Tara na!!

LEYTE: 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE (TOURIST SPOTS)

tourist spots in Leyte
The McArthur Landing Memorial Park in Palo, Leyte is one of the most visited landmarks in Leyte or even in the Philippines; this is to commemorate the historical landing of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte. The actual landing in October of 1944 was the start of the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese occupation – the Second World War. The statues were created by Anastacio Caedo The significance of this park is can be read on the historical markers placed in front of the park.

PALAWAN: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Palawan
Palawan is the longest and one of the biggest provinces in the Philippines in terms of land area. This land area is gifted with beautiful tourist spots, must visit tourist attractions, amazing tourist destinations, mouth water delicacies and great people. The beauty of  Palawan has a combination of white beaches with calm crystal clear water, gorgeous islands (Palawan is the best island in the world), world class dive sites, caves, mountains and many more. Few of these are Puerto Princesa Subterranean river, artistic rock formations of Coron and El Nido, colorful marine lifeforms of Tubbataha reef, Mt. Mantalingajan in Rizal and the rich culture of the Taw't Batu tribes. Photo by Cheng Santos.

ORIENTAL MINDORO: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Oriental Mindoro
Mindoro Island is divided into two provinces, Oriental and Occidental. Its main products are mostly agricultural but they also have beautiful and stunning tourist destinations that they can be proud of. From the historical sites to the beautiful white beaches, underwater richness, rain-forest from the mountains, and the people. I have tried solo-backpacking to Mindoro several times and I can say that the people here are one of the hospitable and friendly in the country.

QUEZON PROVINCE: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Quezon Province
Quezon is one of the provinces near Manila with a lot of tourist destinations to offer, either mountains, water and historical landmarks. It is very accessible because transportation is much easier and travel period is 2 to 3 hours. It is still part of southern Luzon region.

LAGUNA: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Laguna
Laguna is one of the tourist destinations in southern Luzon because it is just a two hour travel from Manila. This province has the great combination of historical sites and nature that attract tourist from the Metro and other nearby provinces. First, Bunga falls located in Nagarlan, Laguna. According to the residents, there were plenty of bettle nut (bunga in local dialect) in the area,  so they derived  the name of this water falls from this vine.

ZAMBALES: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

tourist spots in Zambales
Again, the province of Zambales became more popular because of the issue about the West Philippine Sea with China. The long stretch of shoreline, facing the West Philippine Sea, has fine white sand, the water is crystal clear, the ambiance is absolutely refreshing, and more to offer. Having said that, since it is already considered as tourist destinations, beach resorts created variety of water activities like scuba diving. Here are just some of the famous beaches in Zambales:

TARLAC: TOURIST SPOTS (2020 TRAVEL GUIDE)

Camiling Parish Church
The province of Tarlac is situated in Central Luzon, surrounded by the provinces of Zambales, Pangasinan, and Nueva Ecija; a 2 to 3 hours travel from Metro Manila. Tarlac is also one of the provinces that hold a huge part in Philippine history. When I visited part of this province, the wide rice fields and mountainous areas are very noticeable. The entire area, even the city, is surrounded by the relaxing green colors. Photo above is the St. Michael The Archangel Parish Church or the Camiling Parish Church.

PROJECT 81 PH: ALL PROVINCES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Project 81
Aim for 81 is my personal agenda for the next few years; other's call it Project81 or Project81PH. Its main purpose is to save money to be used for visiting and discovering the hidden treasures in 81 Provinces in the Philippines. I totally understand that it will not be as easy as my previous backpacking but, I know, I CAN DO IT! As of August 2020, I have 6 remaining in Luzon, done with all the provinces in the Visayas and one remaining in Mindanao.

2020 BEST DISHES IN BICOL (MUST TRIED)

Laing Recipe
When we visited Caramoan islands in Camarines Sur, tasting their very own and authentic dishes as part of our itinerary. I am not a chef or a cook but according to some friends, I have good and active taste buds. Taray diba??? For the first time I will be a food critic. First is the famous Laing. This is a spicy dish with dried taro leaves, siling labuyo, and coconut milk as the main ingredients.There's a linamanam factor and the texture is smooth inside my mouth.

ILO-ILO: TOURIST SPOTS (CENTURY-OLD CHURCHES AND HISTORY)

Miag-Ao Church UNESCO World Heritage Site
Miag-Ao Church - the construction of this church began in 1787 while Fray Francisco M. Gonzales. O.S.A. was the parish priest of Miag-ao and Domingo Libo-on  was the Gobernadorcillo. The Church was completed in 1797 and it served as the fortress against Muslim Raiders. In 1898, during the revolution, this church was destroyed but then it was rebuilt. In 1910, it was damaged by fine, and then it was badly damaged by earthquake in 1948. Restoration work began in 1960 and was completed in 1962. During the term of office of the Most Rev. Dr. Jose Ma. Cuenco, D.D. Metropolitan Archbishop of Jaro, of Msgr. Fernando S. Javillo, D.P., Parish Priest of this town and Dioscoro Mueda, Municipal Mayor.

SILAY CITY: TOURIST SPOTS AND TRAVEL GUIDE (2020)

tourist spots in Silay City
Balay Negrense is one of the century old houses along Cinco de Noviembre Street, Silay City. This street is remarkable because of the historical value that transpires to the people. Balay Negrense is a Hiligaynon phrase which means: Balay or a house and Negrense refers to the people living in the province of Negros. It is a century old house in Silay City owned by Victor Fernandez Gaston, the eldest son of a prominent sugar baron Yves Leopold Germain Gaston and Prudencia Fernandez. It was built between 1897 to 1901, then abandoned in the mid-1970’s, repaired by the government and was inaugurated on October 6, 1990. CONTINUE READING

BORACAY ISLAND: 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE (ITINERARY, HOTELS, AND BUDGET)

2020 Image of Boracay Island
The Philippines is composed of thousands of islands and surrounded by waters but one island stand out among the others - that's Boracay Island. This island is really one of the prides of the Philippines in terms of outstanding beaches across the globe. Just recently, I received inquiries from foreign readers of Sirang Lente on how to get to Boracay, what are the activities that can be tried, and asking for recommendations for hotels in this gorgeous island. Now, I am re-posting these amazing photos captured from the worlds finest island – Boracay Island.

BIR: CHANGING/UPDATING RDO

2020 Changing BIR RDO
I processed my employment documents that include Pag-Ibig and my tax updates (RDO and Tax Exemp). I am working for more than five years now and it's my first time to process these documents and it's not a good experience.Since I previously worked for a BPO in Mandaluyong City (RDO: 041,) I headed to BIR Office in Boni to have my BIR Form 1905 stamped. Upon submitting to the clerk, he informed me that my record was already with RDO: 43A in Shaw (near SSS and Pag-Ibig), so I rode on MRT from Boni to MRT Shaw, then on Shaw boulevard, I rode in a jeepney with “Pasig, Palengke” signboard. Get off in front of Pag-Ibig Bldg. (second Stop Light). Crossed the footbridge where BIR is located. Got queue number from the guard and waited for my turn. 

2020 NBI CLEARANCE RENEWAL GUIDE (Updated)

2020 NBI Clearance Renewal
I processed my  NBI Clearance yesterday and change just came! My original plan yesterday was just to make payment at LBC in Robinsons Metro East. But since NBI transaction was OFFLINE, I proceeded to the NBI at the 4th Floor and ask if what are the other payment channels that I can choose for payment and the polite guards said that I can make a payment at the NBI Counter - Step 1, which I did.

PHILIPPINE TRAVEL MART (SMX Convention Center)

2020 Philippine Travel Mart
Just got home from a biggest Travel Mart at SM Mall of Asia Convention Center. I brought everything, like water and food, because already expected that this event will be a challenging one. I saw thousand of attendees at this travel convention because it will only last for three days (September 2-4, 2016).

2020 BEST KOREAN RAMYUN

Korean Ramyun Noodle
BER months are almost here, meaning holiday is coming to town. Since it's holiday, I will be now posting foods on Sirang Lente, starting with the famous Ramyun. I was influenced by the Korean dramas I've watched, from Descendants of the Sun, Doctors, W, Cinderella and the Four Knights and many more. Kimchi, Korean noodles and Soju are always part of their eating and drinking scenes, so I tried this.

2020 FIVE BEGINNER-FRIENDLY MOUNTAINS (near Manila)

beginner-friendly mountain
Here are Five of the mountains near Manila recommended for beginners. First, Mount Batulao is one of the famous destinations for the hikers and adventurer seekers. This mountain lies on Southern Luzon and 2-3 hours travel from the Manila; very accessible to both private and public vehicles.  Batulao has a gorgeous ranges and slopes; its amazing shape is covered with luscious green grasses and trees making it so relaxing in the eyes. Its  trail is simple to moderate. READ: MOUNT BATULAO HIKING GUIDE

2020 FATHER'S DAY CELEBRATION: Sa Photo Collage Lang Nakasama si Tatay

2020 Fathers Day celebration
Lingid sa kaalaman ng karamihan, nagmula ako sa isang pamilya na puno na pag-mamahal na binubuo ng anim na magkakapatid at mga magulang. Ang aming pamilya ay may malakas na pundasyon na sa kahit anung aspeto ng buhay ay napag-tatagumpayan sa pamamagitan nang pag-tutulungan. Ang aming tahanan bagamat hindi marangya, ang pundasyon nito ay ginawa, pinanday, at hinulma ng taong tatawagin kong Tatay – ang Haligi  ng aming Tahanan at isang Karpentero.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES Offers FREE Admission

National Museum of the Philippines 2020
National Museum of the Philippines Offers FREE Admission on selected month as part of the Heritage Month celebration. For update, please check the National Museum Facebook Page. The National Museum has the collection of relics, artifacts, and antiques discovered in the Philippines and abroad, combined for the Filipino viewing. Some of these are the following:

MY HAIR TO A PROGERIA PATIENT (Philippines)

Progeria Patient in Philippines
Almost 1 year ago, one of the remarkable events in my life was cutting my long and beautiful hair. I donated my hair to a young and beautiful lady turning 18. She is Rochelle.


MINDANAO 2020: TRAVEL GUIDE AND LIST OF TOURIST SPOTS

tourist spots in Mindanao
Mindanao is second largest island in Philippine Archipelago, composed of 27 provinces, and situated in the southern part of the country. Since I was a young, if I hear Mindanao, my mind automatically gives negative description: such as fear, battle, chaos, abduction, NPA, MILF, MNLF, political problem and etc. No one taught me those but, news coverage is a huge factor.

2020 ISLAND HOPPING: DAMPALITAN, BORAWAN AND PUTING BUHANGIN (Quezon)

tourist spots in Quezon Province
The Province of Quezon is one of my favorite provinces in the Philippines because of its gorgeous and stunning beaches that can be considered as on of the top tourist attractions and destinations in the region. Aside from that, they also have the colorful Pahiyas Festival and sumptuous pancit hab-hab. A few of the gems can also be found on higher altitude of Mt. Banahaw – the Holy Mountain and Mt. Cristobalthe Devils Mountain. Now, for the third time, I am visiting the three of the fine-looking islets of Padre Burgos, Quezon.

Hiking Mount Tarak (Bataan) with Couch Surfing

Mt. Tarak
Mount Tarak is one of the mountains in the Philippines which is in debate if it’s a major or a minor climb; major because of its long trail and altitude and minor because of its trail class. Tarak is situated in Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan, three hours travel from Manila. This mountain has an amazing and cool ambiance because of its rich forest areas.

ROMBLON: Revisiting my Hometown

tourist spots in Romblon
Mountain Spring Resort is located in Brgy. Rizal, Odiongan, Tablas Island, Province of Romblon, Philippines. It is one of the top resorts in the town of Odiongan that has an amazing ambiance. Covered with green flowering plants and trees that is really refreshing to everyone’s eyes. The cool wind that blows the branches and leaves creates relaxing sounds.

BACPACKING 2020: How to Get to NAIA Terminal 3

NAIA Terminal 3
Our airplanes are the flag carrier of the Philippines and the airports serve as the main gate where locals and tourists checks in and out. These places should have extensive security protocols to protect thousands of people. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT or NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (NAIA) is one of the famous gates in the country. But, how to get to the airport?

I am living in Cainta, Rizal; since my destination is NAIA which is located in Pasay City, if I travel via taxi, it will cost me more than 500 pesos and for me that amount is too high. NOTE: This is the fastest vehicle to the airport. Please note of your luggage during rush hours. Here’s what I always do:

If you are from Manila, Valenzuela, Quezon City and other places near MRT 3 or LRT 1, here’s what you need to do: Take MRT/LRT and alight at EDSA-Taft station. Then, cross EDSA using the footbridge. Below the North bound station, ride in a jeepney with "Airport" signboard. Get off at the parking gate of Terminal 3. Or, take a taxi to NAIA terminals (tried and test to Terminal 4, I only spent 110 pesos).

FROM NAIA TERMINAL 3 TO EDSA: At the exit, there are buses bound for different parts of Metro Manila, Clark Airport and inter terminals (1,2,3,4) but for a limited time. If you're heading to EDSA, from Terminal 3 parking, take the exit gate and cross the highway.


ORCHIDS RESORT: 2020 Cheapest Resort/Hotel in Boracay Island (Backpacker's Haven)

Orchids Resort Boracay 2020
At first, when I booked my flight for Boracay Island on a piso sale, I was hesitant because am not sure about my schedule in the office and no idea about budget. As part of that nerve wracking feeling, a week before my trip, I posted on Facebook and asked my friends about the cheapest resort in Boracay Island and the result was positive. A friend of mine referred her friend who works in Orchids Resort in Boracay. And there, my mind was at peace!

2020 HIKING GUIDE: MOUNT UGO Traverse

Mt. Ugo
Traversing Mount Ugo is a bit long because it is one of the giants in Luzon. Our traverse was a two-day hiking itinerary from Brgy. Kayapa, Nueva Vizacaya to Itogon, Benguet. The terrain has a relaxing and cool ambiance, surrounded by stunning greens. Ugo, others call it Mt. Ugu, bears colorful ornaments spread on the trails and hanging on the trees. Of course, there are birds singing their lullabies. Definitely one of the must visit attractions and destinations in Benguet.
 

MOUNT SAMAT: 2020 TRAVEL GUIDE (History and Itinerary)

2002 Image of Mt. Samat
The Shrine of Valor was built on the summit of Mt. Samat because of its huge contribution in Philippine history during the World War II. Also, the province of Bataan holds the record of Battle of Bataan including the controversial Death March. Anyways, from Bagac, we traveled to Pilar just to discover and to know more about the significance of the Cross on top of the mountain.
 

2020 TRAVEL GUIDE: Bataan White Corals Resort

Bataan White Corals Resort
We finally found Bataan White Corals Resort, suggested by Google Search and Google Maps. We judged the public photos shared on Facebook and we thought that it's a YES for us! This resort offers a relaxing accommodation with full access to their amazing facilities, such as the cool and artistic swimming pools, picture perfect landscape, cool ambiance, sumptuous delicacies, and many more. Plus, very friendly and polite employees.
 

2020 TRAVEL GUIDE: Biak na Bato National Park, Bulacan

2020 image of Biak na Bato National Park
The Biak na Bato National Park, in San Miguel, Bulacan, is one of top travel destinations in the province because of its historical contribution in the Philippine republic. "Biak na Bato" or split of boulder is where Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the Malolos Republic (first Constitution of the Philippines). Aside from its historical background, tourist and students visit this park to relax, breath some fresh air, and witness the beauty inside the caves, especially the stunning Bahay Paniki Cave, the highlight of the area. By the way, it was declared as national park in 1937 by the former president Manuel L. Quezon.

2020 HIKING GUIDE: Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Sombrero Island

Mt. Gulugod Baboy
After Batulao, I consider Mt. Gulugod Baboy as one of the mountains in Southern Luzon that possess a gorgeous slopes and relaxing ambiance on the summit. Situated in Mabini, Batangas, a 2-3 hours land travel from Manila, it became famous because of its proximity and beauty. The name "Gulugod Baboy," or pig's spine English, was given because of its slopes and shapes that is similar to the pigs' spine. If you’re starting to explore the  richness of the Philippines on the higher altitude, then this mountain is your perfect start.
 

2020 HIKING GUIDE: Mt. Pundaquit, Zambales

Mt. Pundaquit
Hiking Mt. Pundaquit is the perfect way to visit Anawangin Cove, well for  trekking enthusiasts. While walking on the flat surface at the entrance of the mountain, you can see its gorgeous scenery that awaits to be discovered. The mountain's entrance is just ten minutes from the shoreline of Brgy. Pundaquit and its trail starts by passing across the grass and shrub lands.
 

2020 HIKING GUIDE: Mt. Damas, Tarlac

Mt. Damas
Until now, Mt. Damas, the pride of Tarlac, is in debate if it’s really a minor or a major hike. Others would say it’s minor because of its elevation but others would say its major because of its trail type and technicalities. During our ascent, they are both correct, the entire journey was composed of an uphill and downhill trek with river crossing.  That doesn't end there, since it was wet season, the muddy and slippery terrains made our journey remarkable. By the way, this mountain is the home of the eatas who protect the forest from illegal activities.