Puerto del Sol Beach Resort in Bolinao

November 26, 2010
I must admit that I am not the typical "beach resort" kind of person. I don't see the need to stay in a fancy beach resort because I tend to explore more than lie around the pool. However, last weekend was an exception when I found myself together with some friends on a trip to Bolinao in Pangasinan.

Mica Rodriguez

Rediscovering Hundred Islands in Alaminos | Pangasinan

November 24, 2010
I first visited the Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan when I was about 8 years old. The memories of that trip has become blurred, fuzzy and like a handwritten note kept for so long in one's pocket, the details have slowly faded. I've forgotten the formations of the islands, how white was the sand and how clear are the waters. It's like that infatuation in highschool that you don't bother to include when asked how many lovers you had before. So, technically, yes I've been to Hundred Islands, but memory-wise, I've yet to visit the place. So, when an invite from a fellow travel blogger Myca reached my facebook inbox I hurriedly took the opportunity of tagging along.

Marky Ramone Go, Darwin Cayetano, Gael Hilotin, Cai Abass, Ada Lajara, Josh Uy, Mica Rodriguez

Bolinao Falls | Pangasinan

November 22, 2010

Bolinao falls is located in Brgy. Samang Norte in Bolinao, Pangasinan. If my memory serves me right, its about 30 minutes from the town center of Bolinao and the path leading to the falls is a stretch of rough road a kilometer off the main highway. We went there on a van arranged by the resort where we stayed in, but one could always rent a tricycle going there.

Salt Farm Bolinao

Baler, Aurora Part II: The "Apocalypse Now" Surfing Scene

November 10, 2010
I'd be the first to admit I suck at surfing. I still believe I'm 15 pounds overweight and I'll have more success if I get a bit lighter. Anyway, It was inspiring watching the residents of Baler twist and turn up in the air riding shotgun on the waves, some are big enough to swallow em, you'd think they've crashed into the water then bam you see them still zooming across the wave gliding into the water with uncanny balance and grace.

Levy Amosin

Baler, Aurora Province: Part 1

November 10, 2010
My friend Belle who is starting to get the hang of surfing invited me to travel to Baler, Aurora. We were supposed to leave the weekend of Nov. 1 but it did not pushed through so we rescheduled it the next weekend. Soon, Gretz came on board to join us on the trip. I have traveled with her to Caramoan way back in 2008. Yolanda, a facebook friend also joined us. It was my first time to meet her in person at the Genesis Bus Terminal in Cubao, on the eve of our departure. Belle, Gretz and Yolanda all met each other for the first time.

Lakbay Norte

The Best Place I've Been to in the Philippines as of 2010

November 09, 2010
I've been asked this question many times by friends of mine before. I always struggle to find an answer, first I have not made it yet to all the provinces of the Philippines. I've been to a number of places that are really beautiful and has its own charms and things that one would describe as "best". Choosing the best of em all is like looking at my bookshelf and selecting the best book I'd want to take with me to an island for a prolonged time.

On any given day my choices would vary, some days I'd pick the Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" novel, some days I'd either pick "Crash" by J.G. Ballard or Albert Camus' "The Stranger", or "A Clockwork Orange", "Neverwhere", HST's "The Rum Diary" or even Alex Garland's "The Beach".

It's the same with the few places I'm fortunate to have traveled in the past. Since 2007 when I told myself that I should get out on the road as often as I could and afford I've set out to places I could easily pick as the best of em all. However, just like the case of picking up my favorite book, the answer I might give will vary from day to day.

From the sweeping landscape of Sagada and Banaue Rice Terraces to the charming town setting of Tagbilaran, Bohol, the Manila-like but more laid back Cebu, the marvelous Calamian group of islands in Coron, Palawan, Mount Apo in Davao, the rush of river rafting in Cagayan de Oro, the Mardi gras like Masskara Festival in Bacolod, the butt numbing ride to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Caramoan Peninsula and Calaguas in Bicol region, passing by Sierra Madre region on the way to learn surfing in Baler, Aurora, the historic fortress island of Corregidor, the Moriones Festival, friends who were like families and over flowing rum and beer in the town of Mogpog, Marinduque, visiting my mother's hometown in Dumangas, Iloilo, the beautiful crater lake of Mount Pinatubo which was once a source of violent eruption is now a paradise-like place. The heritage districts of Vigan, Silay in Negros that takes you back in time.

Not to mention, the urban jungle of Manila - a city which I have a love-hate kind of relationship, at some days its this awesome lover that takes your breathe away and at times its this place I longed to escape. My 'bipolar' attitude towards Manila makes it "best" even at its worst times.

How can I choose one, its almost unfair to single out one best place. And I have just started, try asking me that question 3 or 5 years from now and by that time I will probably have set foot on all the provinces of the Philippines maybe I can name one that stands out, but now that I still have a long way to go in terms of personal journey and getting to know more of my country. All I can think of is set out for more and possibly retire in the place I'd consider the best of em all.

Right now, if you point a gun on my head and asks for an answer, my reply would be simply "Home"

And "Home" is composed of more than 7,107 islands, with abundant knowledge to gain, culture and tradition to fully digest and unlimited things to explore and do. It's always good waking up in the morning knowing that home is out there for me to explore and wander in the coming days. It gives me the urge to live my daily existence no matter how mundane it can be, but knowing that in between all of these struggles, the opportunity to travel around my home is right there in front of me and I'll have to do is move my funky ass and stinking feet and carry my dirty backpack and tag along a few friends.