We stepped out of Pochentong Airport and walked the hot and dusty distance to our waiting host and his car. Soon we were driving through a city that would be our home for the next two months. As we sat, silently gazing out of the car windows, we realized we were in a different world. Phnom Penh’s surroundings stood in stark contrast to a modern and progressive Bangkok where we had stopped briefly on our way here. Continue reading Two Months in Phnom Penh
Everything had gone smoothly during our visit to Guimaras. Until this time. We had just boarded a boat at Alubihod Beach for our island-hopping trip. Despite having rained the previous days – it was the southwest monsoon or habagat season – the sun was up and the waters of the Panay Gulf unusually calm. Our first destination was easily visible on the horizon and, from what we knew, just 15 minutes away. Our motorized outrigger started its engine and we waited for the boat to speed up. So far, so good. We waited… and waited… and waited. Continue reading Island-Hopping at Guimaras
Sometimes you just have to go with the most popular place in town. We usually favor off-the-beaten-path destinations, especially when it comes to beaches, because they’re usually pristine and devoid of the tourist crowd. But with limited time on our hands – we were on a side-trip after a series of meetings at Iloilo – we chose to stay at Alubihod Beach on Guimaras Island. Continue reading Alubihod Beach, Guimaras
Our visit to little Potipot Island in Zambales was supposed to be just a side trip on our way back from our stint at Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan. We were not even supposed to spend a night at Zambales but originally planned to stay at Cabo Beach for two nights before proceeding to Zambales and on to Metro Manila and home the following day. We’ve been to Potipot Island in 2012 so we weren’t exactly dying to see the place. But since our friends haven’t been there we offered to accompany them to the island.
We were looking forward to this trip after a pretty hectic week. A relatively under-the-radar beach destination in the western seaboard of Pangasinan on a weekday would surely bring very few visitors. And during the off-peak tourist season to boot. Along with three other friends, we had everything geared up for a two-night stay and were looking forward to enjoying moments of solitude underneath the shade of coconut palms. Or so we thought.
Leo likes to do a lot of research before going on a trip but no amount of scrutiny will cover everything there is to discover about any given destination. Many of the highlights we’ve had in our travels over the years belong to the categories of the unplanned and the unsought. Those are some of the things that make a journey truly exciting, pleasurable and meaningful.
While visiting Nina’s uncle at Hacienda Escudero in Tiaong, Quezon along with some friends, we thought about hiking to a waterfall in that region of Laguna and Quezon. It was tempting to try Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna or the lesser known Hangga Falls in Sampaloc, Quezon but both would require more than a leisurely stroll so we opted instead for Aliw Falls in Luisiana.