In our travels we’ve had various encounters with natural phenomena some by design, others by accident. Some of these encounters should be approached with caution. Most of these were with members of the animal kingdom but experiences with uncooperative weather made for some memorable circumstances as well.
When it was still largely unknown to local tourists, the Caramoan peninsula was featured in the 2004 edition of an international travel guide book. It was described as a rugged, pristine and beautiful landscape only accessible by boat. Caramoan burst into the scene in 2008 when the French version of the TV series Survivor featured the place. It soon began attracting local and international visitors.
Burial grounds rarely make for tourist destinations in the Philippines but in one of the highland towns of the Cordillera Region, a burial tradition of the indigenous population has made it a major attraction alongside majestic mountain scenery and more.
Long famous for the whale sharks of Donsol Bay, Sorsogon is finally getting recognition for its treasure trove of natural wonders spread out over 14 towns.
We woke up the other morning to the sound of heavy rain outside. As we stared from our bedroom window at the sight of grey clouds disgorging copious sheets of rain we realized it has been almost 5 months that our city has been placed under continuous quarantine with no end in sight.
One of our favorite photography subjects during our travels are sunsets and sunrises. The different hues and color intensities produced by the sun and the sky have fascinated us no end. Particularly interesting are those scenes that involve bodies of water. Here are some of our shots over the years. We’ve also included some of... Continue Reading →
After a 9-hour bus ride from Metro Manila, a one-hour bumpy ride by jeepney and nearly an hour of trekking up and down a pathway among the hills we found ourselves standing at the rim of amphitheater-like terraced rice fields carved from the mountainside. These terraces in the upland village of Batad, now almost golden... Continue Reading →
Whenever we wanted a short encounter with nature we found out long ago that a short 2 to 3- hour ride – short by Metro Manila traffic standards that is – was all we needed to get to the waterfalls in Laguna province. Or to the highlands of Tanay town in Rizal which was even... Continue Reading →
As the ferry slowly glided into a channel towards our destination, primeval towers of limestone rising out of aquamarine and turquoise waters greeted our eyes that cold June morning. It was our first visit to Coron in northern Palawan 18 years ago. Soon we were talking to a Danish woman who rented her boat to... Continue Reading →
After years and years of seeing it in postcards, travel guide books and school textbooks, we were finally gazing down at the rows of terraces looming out of the morning fog. Still somewhat tired from the whole day trek to and around the Batad Rice Terraces the previous day and the hike back to the... Continue Reading →
The first time we visited this group of 123 limestone islets in Lingayen Gulf it was a disappointment. The major islands were choking with visitors (albeit it was during a weekend holiday), many of them were unkempt and the corals were mostly dead and denuded of fish. But because it was relatively accessible we kept... Continue Reading →
It was popularly known to Spanish colonizers as “Isla del Fuego” (Island of Fire) for the glow given off by multitudes of fireflies at night. In the last several decades however, Siquijor became more popular for folk healing while stories about witchcraft and sorcery added to its mystique. But it was Siquijor’s relatively off-the-beaten path... Continue Reading →
Six years ago it was a relatively unknown travel destination. But with its white sand beaches, turquoise waters brimming with marine life, pristine waterfalls tucked away in tropical rainforests and verdant rice terraces carved from gently rolling hills, the island province of Biliran could not be hidden forever. So when a chance came to visit... Continue Reading →
“We talked the matter over and could have settled the war in thirty minutes had it been left to us.” So said a Confederate soldier referring to a meeting he had with a Union soldier between the lines. But it wasn’t left to them and consequently 620,000 American soldiers from both sides – more than... Continue Reading →
Western Pangasinan is well-known for its beach destinations especially those in Dasol and Burgos, Bolinao, and Alaminos (site of the Hundred Islands). A few years back, a popular blogger mentioned that he had encountered what might be the best beach in the province. The beach is located in Cabarruyan Island (also known as Anda Island)... Continue Reading →
It has menacing looks and a huge frame to match, but also exhibits a graceful and majestic form in flight. A large and powerful bird of prey, it used to be called the monkey-eating eagle because macaques formed part of its diet. Some have even fed on small deer weighing as much as 14 kilos... Continue Reading →
A day after arriving back from our trip to Bantayan Island earlier this month, we were greeted by sad news. A long-time friend, leader and mentor passed away after his battle with leukemia. Fel Yturralde, who hails from San Diego, California, had been our team leader for several years in the Philippines. Fel and his... Continue Reading →
When we first heard about a friend’s ailing condition on social media our hearts sank. The symptoms were very identical to that of Nina’s high school classmate who was suffering from leukemia. Later, a battery of tests confirmed our worst fears. Our friend was indeed suffering from the disease. Fel had been a long-time colleague... Continue Reading →
We first saw a picture of this group of islands in a postcard in the early 2000s but it would take more than 10 years before we finally got to visit the Cuatro Islas. Two years ago we visited a friend in Ormoc City, Leyte and together with him and other friends did a 3-day... Continue Reading →
After a nerve-wracking morning boat ride from Coron town in Palawan and an exhilarating stint at Bulog Dos Island, it was time to slow down and take our lunch. Just 10 minutes away by boat from Bulog Dos, Banana Island was our lunch stopover and second island destination for the day. Also known as Dicalabuan... Continue Reading →