Our Top 12 Philippine Sandbars

A sandbar, technically called a shoal, is a naturally submerged ridge or bank of sand that rises to close to the water surface. It could remain hidden during high tide, therefore constituting an impediment to navigation, but could rise above the water during low tide. Here in the Philippines, many of these sandbars have become picturesque destinations.

Lake Calibato… At Long Last

Since 2014 we had been touring San Pablo, Laguna’s Seven Lakes, and ended up visiting four of them at least twice. But there was one out of the seven that we never got to visit. Not for any particular reason other than the fact that we could not locate an approach to this lake. Lake... Continue Reading →

A Misty Morning at Tanay’s Highlands

For a long time we’ve been wanting to visit the hilly sections of Tanay, Rizal and view its spectacular sunrise. We tried to drive there late last 2020 only to be turned back by local authorities who were enforcing strict lockdown rules. There was no denying us this time as Covid restrictions have been relaxed and with Leo now able to drive longer distances.

In Search of Karst Landscapes

Karst is a type of landscape formed by the weathering of rocks, typically limestone, resulting in pronounced, often dramatic topographical features such as caves, underground streams, sinkholes, cliffs and steep-sided towers. We were surprised to find out that karst landscapes cover about 10% of the country's land mass.

Our 15 Favorite Philippine Beaches

With 7,641 islands, the Philippines has plentiful sandy beaches, coves and seaside lagoons. Visiting over 50 provinces of the country has allowed us to relish a good number of these beaches but still left out a considerable number in our bucket list. Compiling lists of this sort almost certainly leaves out quite a number of other outstanding examples but we chose to confine ourselves to the beaches we've personally visited.

Waterfall Chasing in Amadeo, Dining in Silang

Leo’s continuing recovery and physical therapy means we won’t be able to do those arduous treks that some of the more spectacular cascades here normally require. But our itch to visit these attractions overcame whatever trepidations we might have.

Rainy Season Al Fresco Dampa Dining

When friends that we haven’t seen for over a year asked to dine out recently we predictably suggested a dinner al fresco date. Friends Boi and Tess proposed we head over to the Seascape Village Bay Market along Manila Bay in Pasay City. This dining destination prides itself as an upscale dampa.

Islands of the Giants

It used to go by the names Sabuluag or Salauag after a tree species endemic to these islands. During the Spanish colonial era, coffins containing oversized human bones were reportedly discovered at a cave in one of the islands.

Bohol: A Retrospect

When Category 5-super Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) hit the Philippines last Dec. 16-17, it created a wide swath of destruction over the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Palawan. Many towns in the island province of Bohol suffered catastrophic damage and dozens of deaths.

Remembering Caramoan

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.

Rediscovering Manila

Before this pandemic we would never have imagined doing a tour of the old city of Manila. Whenever visiting friends from other countries would inquire about what place to visit in the Philippines we wouldn’t dare mention Manila.

The Bicol Region in Our Thoughts

Within a span of 18 days, three powerful typhoons – one of them the strongest in the world in 2020 and among the strongest in recorded history – struck the major island of Luzon in the Philippines. Hard hit were the provinces of the Bicol region

Remembering Coron

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 →

Our Best Off the Beaten Path Beaches

It's the start of the hot and dry season — often referred to as "summer" — in the Philippines, and normally the time to go beach-bumming. Not for those of us in Metro Manila, however. Because of COVID-19 the metropolis is on quarantine status — a "softer" term for lockdown. As a result we cannot... Continue Reading →

We Keep Coming Back to Dumaguete

A 2014 Forbes Magazine article ranked it number 5 on its list of “7 Best Places to Retire Around the World,” yet few Filipinos seemed to notice. Since visiting Dumaguete in 2013 however, we’ve been continuously drawn to this central Philippines city, a clear favorite of ours. So what exactly makes it so attractive to... Continue Reading →

2019: A Look Back

Getting older by one more year and closer to our senior status hasn't slowed down our drive to travel and venture into destinations we've never never set our feet upon. Here's a review of the places we've had the privilege of visiting this year. January is well within the amihan or northeast monsoon season, a... Continue Reading →

Amadeo and Silang: An Unforeseen Visit

Perhaps there’s nothing more frustrating than hiking to a waterfall only to discover that it has completely dried up once you get to the spot. From experience, however, we learned how to adjust quickly and make the most of our circumstances. And that was how we ended up visiting the towns of Amadeo and Silang... Continue Reading →

Majayjay: Just Passing Through

Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic and vehicle number coding schemes would sometimes force us to leave early for a trip outside the metropolis. And so last Tuesday, on the way to the wake of a friend’s sister in Lucena City in Quezon province we had to leave at 5:30AM since our car was off-limits on Metro... Continue Reading →

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