Daranak Falls, Tanay: Nature at Our Doorstep

A bit wary about visiting any waterfall within two hours from Metro Manila, it was therefore with a bit of trepidation that we embarked on a visit to Daranak Falls in Barangay Tandang Kudyo, Tanay, Rizal. Although tucked away in a forested area at the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range, its proximity to the big city made us wonder whether it might have suffered the same fate as Antipolo’s Hinulugang Taktak falls. Continue reading Daranak Falls, Tanay: Nature at Our Doorstep

Solitude at Kagusuan Beach

You won’t find this beach on the itinerary of most tours being offered in Siquijor. But after observing a few pictures of it online we were determined to see Kagusuan Beach for ourselves. Our chance came during our visit to Siquijor two years ago. Apparently not all locals know the way to this beach but fortunately Dondon, the driver of our rented tricycle, knew the route. As we detoured from the main highway into the interior and finally down a narrow, unpaved track through a wooded area, we realized just how secluded Kagusuan Beach is.

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Paliton and the Beaches of San Juan, Siquijor

It’s a destination so notorious for witchcraft and sorcery that many friends wondered aloud why we would ever want to visit the island in the first place. Travel shows highlighting folk healing further added to the mystique about the island province of Siquijor but we were after other attractions here. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) almost put a stop to our travel plans but before 2013 was over we hopped aboard a ferry at Dumaguete City on our way to the island Spanish colonizers called “Isla del Fuego” (Island of Fire).

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On the Narrow, Twisting Road to Dicasalarin Cove

We had our apprehensions before proceeding on the drive to our major destination for the day. Already we had to dodge some rocks resting on the side of the coastal road from Diguisit Beach, reminders of landslides that occur in this area. Soon we were headed up a steep and twisting road so narrow that it can only accommodate a single vehicle at a time. Fortunately it was not raining this morning or the road might get too slippery. A single mistake could send the car careening off the road into the sea a few hundred feet below. Fortunately too, the people here have a system in place to ensure that only one car or a single line of vehicles going in one direction will be on the road at any given time.

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Gone Birdwatching

On our travels and even just at home we’ve often come across various species of Philippine birds beyond the all-too-common maya or  Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Many of them are endemic or native to the country while the bird we often call maya is not. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow was actually introduced to the Philippines from Europe, an invasive species that later became so common in urban areas that people think is is the only species called maya. Continue reading Gone Birdwatching