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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Six years ago, on a 2-day tour around Siquijor by trike, we asked our tour guide and driver to take us to a secluded beach in the northern coast of San Juan town. Paliton Beach was mentioned by only a handful of blogs back then and was almost unknown compared to the popular destinations of... Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
Quezon used to be one of the provinces that were last on our list of tour destinations close to Metro Manila. Sure there were beaches all over the place and some hilly or mountainous areas but the few rare occasions when we visited left us feeling unimpressed about the province. Time, however, would prove us... Continue Reading →
As our boat cut its engine and slowly glided inside the tranquil, jewel-like, turquoise waters of Babas Cove our sights turned towards the white sand beach in front of us and the towering karst formations on both sides of the cove. But the gorgeous scene wasn’t our primary destination for visiting this side of Dinagat.... Continue Reading →
We had originally planned to trek to the waterfalls in Luisiana town as a side trip on our visit to a relative at Tiaong, Quezon. But when Leo’s back acted up we had to give up that trek reluctantly. It was then that our sights turned to Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas. Not exactly a... Continue Reading →
It was a sunny April morning with an almost cloudless blue sky. Just the perfect weather for exploring the islands lying south of the port of Coron town in Busuanga, Palawan. Hopping aboard our motorized outrigger, we were eagerly looking forward to a whole day of island-hopping and beach bumming. But then, just 15 minutes... 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 →
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 →
2017 is almost over. Some heartaches. Sad moments too. But also plenty to rejoice about. And a good deal of memorable travels as well. Here's a visual rundown of our travel adventures this 2017: The start of the year led to a return trip to Potipot Island in Zambales. We've visited this island before in... Continue Reading →
It was a cloudy Wednesday morning when our trike made its way out of Kota Beach Resort and Santa Fe town proper via the main highway and into a narrower road towards Maricaban. After a few minutes of driving down this paved track, our trike stopped on the side of a field and our driver... Continue Reading →