Feeling A Sense of Calm in Apuao Pequeña Island| Camarines Norte

June 02, 2024

 

The scene was reminiscent of a disaster movie, with gloomy skies, heavy rain, and dozens of us huddled together on a floating jetty made of plastic pontoon cubes, waiting for our boat. Everything I imagined from experiencing a pleasant morning on the island seemed to have a near-zero chance of happening.


The island covered by towering Agoho trees and surrounded by snaking sandbars

Guide to Lake Holon Hiking and Camping | South Cotabato

April 23, 2024

 

Lake Holon, with its picture-perfect backdrop and spectacular natural features carved by Mother Nature over millions of years, is without a doubt one of Mindanao's, if not the Philippines', most beautiful destinations.


Ayi Del Rosario
On a sunny and bright day, the view of Lake Holon becomes clearer here on the viewdeck coming from Kule trail

Tainan, Another Southern Surprise | Taiwan

April 02, 2024

 

Having celebrated its 400th anniversary this year, Tainan continues to hold dear the ancient culture of Taiwan. It is the country's oldest city and once served as the capital of Formosa, the previous name of Taiwan, for 260 years spanning the rule of the Dutch, the Kingdom of Tungning, and finally, the Qing Dynasty.


Marla Espina
The mountains of Guanziling in Tainan is known for their many mud hot springs

Discovering Kaohsiung's Many Charms | Taiwan

March 29, 2024

 

Imagine Taipei, but more relaxed. That is how I would describe Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second-largest city. Despite being laid-back, the city has evolved into a thriving metropolis brimming with modern living necessities such as charming cafes, walking paths, cycling routes, outdoor parks, museums, jazz bars, art districts, and more, all surrounded by adjacent beaches and expansive, lush, forested mountains.


Alexa Pajarillo
Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Cagayan Travel Guide: Nature Spots and Other Places of Interest

March 21, 2024

 

Cagayan, situated on the northern tip of Luzon, typically gives visitors second thoughts due to the 12-hour or longer land journey from Manila. Doubt no more, wanderers; there are daily direct flights from Manila to Tuguegarao, the province's capital city, and the plethora of attractions — natural, cultural, and cultural landmarks — make a long-distance trip to Cagayan well worthwhile for those who choose to drive.


Ayi del rosario
View from the Cape Engaño lighthouse

Taiwan’s Lantern Festival Transforms Tainan into a Wonderland of Lights to Welcome the Year of the Dragon

February 28, 2024

 

When one mentions the word lanterns, understandable concerns about the environment usually follow. Where would the lanterns land? Who would clean up the debris? Questions regarding the environmental impact of the recent Lantern Festival in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan, should be put to rest. The festival is now in its 35th year and is staged as part of the sustainable tourism program run by the Taiwan Tourism Administration (TTA). Instead of sending lanterns soaring into the sky, the Lantern Festival features a variety of colorful, designed, and LED-lit lanterns that remain fixed on land — and displayed throughout the festival's duration from February 24 to March 10, 2024.


Ayi Del Rosario
Colorful lanterns of various figures, designs and sizes wow'ed the crowd.

To sum it up, it's one glittery, eye-catching extravaganza.

Little-Known Candle Festival in Candelaria, Quezon Wows Crowd

February 10, 2024

 

As Philippine festivals go, the bigger and brighter, the better. That rings true for popular ones like the Sinulog in Cebu, Dinagyang in Iloilo, Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Pahiyas in Lucena, and Panagbenga in Baguio, just to name a few. Unbeknownst to most, several locations across the archipelago are staging their own little-known festivals that are equally well worth the effort to witness.


Festivals in the Philippines
The street dance competition was held on a stage set up in front of the San Pedro Bautista Parish Church

Ati-Atihan in Kalibo: Boogey-ing and Rocking to its Raucous Beat Once Again

February 05, 2024

 

It was an eye-opener to experience the Ati-Atihan for the first time. That was the case back in 2012. The second time in 2015 was a glorious return, capped off by drinking a Red Horse beer poured over a still-unused toilet bowl plunger (thank God). The third one in 2018 was, without a doubt, a charm, celebrating it with my friends Karla and Erica. When the opportunity to attend the Ati-Atihan for another time came about, I expected it to be a toss-up between me experiencing a case of the "same-same" or having a great time.


Things to do in Kalibo
The  Santo Niño is the centerpiece of the Ati-Atihan Festival

Discovering Caraga’s Bounteous Nature Sights and Fascinating Culture| Davao Oriental

January 31, 2024

 

When I signed up for this trip, I expected to explore the Caraga region that includes the five provinces of the Sur and Norte parts of Surigao and Agusan, as well as Dinagat Island. Little did I know that in the province of Davao Oriental, there is a municipality also called Caraga that claims its name from the word kalagan, which in native language refers to a "spirited person.”


Fen Valentino
A typical shoreline in Caraga. 

Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR) Expands with Maldives-Inspired Salepan Villas | Palawan

January 16, 2024

 

A few years ago, when typhoon Odette pummeled southern Philippines but luckily spared parts of Northern Palawan, we found a pleasant refuge and downtime at Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort (SETIR) on Culion Island during the tail end of our Coron, Palawan trip. We eventually made it to Culion after two days of island hopping and getting holed up in another Sunlight property in Coron town hotel while weathering the storm.


Mishi Magno
The new Salepan Villas of SETIR numbers around 30