Archive | November 2011

Camiguin White Island

Looking for a white beach getaway with friends, family, and love one?Don’t miss out this one of the best known white beach island in Philippines, Camiguin.It’s white crystal clear water surrounding the island is irresistible to plunge into.The island-province of Camiguin is a pear-shaped volcanic island in the northern tip of Mindanao. It is approximately 90 kilometers north of the City of Cagayan de Oro. It is bounded to the north by Bohol Sea, to the west by Macajalar Bay, to the southeast by Gingoog Bay and to the east by Butuan Bay.

White Island is an uninhabited white sandbar located off shore in the volcanic island of Camiguin in the Philippines. It is generally horseshoe shaped, although the tides constantly reshape its exact form. There are no trees or shelter of any kind and it is composed solely of white sands.
White Island attracts thousands of tourists every year. It can be accessed by riding a small boat from any of the beach front resorts that face the island.

Scuba diving, Snorkelling, Boating, Swimming, Photograpy
Bahay-Bakasyunan sa Camiguin,Cabua-an Beach Resort, Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Beach Resort, Camiguin Highland Resort, Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach Club

From Manila / Cebu you could try SEAir, but the flights are seasonal, so call them beforehand as they don’t always update their website SEAir Call Center – +63 2 849 0100
The other option is to fly into Cagayan De Oro city, and take a short ferry ride from there, details below
Or, leave from Bohol Island on a ferry.


Malapascua Island Resort – Cebu, Philippines

Malapascua is a tiny island located across a shallow strait from the northmost tip of mainland Cebu island. Its about 2.5 kilometers long and 1 km wide. It’s extraordinary long white beach stretches around the south-east coast of the island facing Cebu, Leyte and Biliran. Malapascua Island is popular to tourists who love to swim and snorkel. This has also become a major dive center (long familiar among the international dive society) because of the thresher sharks that can be seen daily at Monad Shaul (a soft coral habitat). This Island has been noted to be one of the few places where one can have a sight of these harmless sharks at only 23 meters distance downward.

Malapascua Island, one of the favorite island getaways of island vacations enthusiasts and among the best vacation spots in the world and best family vacation destinations suitable for family beach vacation goers and host of a number of couples resorts and best family resorts especially if you are looking for a white sand beach resort fronting crystal clear water suitable for island water sports, is situated off the coast of the town of Daanbantayan in the southern part of Cebu, Philippines. The tiny island can be reached via a four-hour public utility bus ride from the Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City to Maya Port within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Daanbantayan, Cebu for a Php 165.00 fare and, afterwards, riding on a passenger boat for a 30-minute voyage to the island at a fare of PhP 80.00

Toaist Temple – Cebu City, Philippines

Aside from the Minor Basilica of the Santo Nino, Magellan’s Cross, and Fort San Pedro; another tourist spot that could be visited in Cebu City is the Taoist Temple. The temple is located on the outskirts of Cebu City and on a much higher ground than the metropolis.

The Taoist Temple is the center of Taoism in Cebu City, which is mostly practiced by the Filipino Chinese living in the area. The temple is large in terms of area and there are many interesting things that could be found there. Aside from that, the view of Cebu City from the temple is good.

taoist temple cebu

It was built in 1972 with the help of Cebu’s prominent Chinese community. The Taoist Temple is constructed in a highly ornate with a pagoda style roof and of course prominent oriental Chinese architecture. The temple is the a center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze. You can see Taoist devotees following their rituals on Wednesdays and Sundays, as they climb the 99 steps of the temple to light joss sticks and have their fortunes read by the monks.

How to Go to Taoist Temple
There are no regular passenger jeepneys going to the Taoist Cebu Temple. The temple can only be reached by hiring a taxicab or by your own vehicle. Taking you own or rented vehicle to the temple is not a problem since the temple has a large parking space.

Taxi drivers do not usually go to Taoist Cebu Temple and will try to negotiate with the passengers so as to jack up the taxi fare. Try to haggle with the taxi drivers until you get a reasonable fare for your trip to Taoist Temple.

It is advisable to ask the taxi driver to wait for you while you are visiting the temple since it will be hard to get a taxi back to downtown Cebu City.

The reasonable price is around 300 pesos. That is already good for both going to the Taoist Cebu Temple and going back to Cebu City.

What to Find Inside Taoist Temple
There are many things that could be seen inside the temple. An example of this is the architecture of the temple which reflects the Chinese origin of Taoism. The layout of the temple, the motifs and the design elements that are inside the temple mirrors the architecture that could be found in the Taoist and Buddhist temples in China. One notable Chinese design element that is present in the temple is the dragon. There are dragons that are painted on the ceilings. Statues of dragons are also present from the rooftop to a giant dragon statue on one of the temple gardens.

Getting up this Cebu temple is tiresome because you have to climb a stairway with scores of steps just to reach the temple proper.

Rice Terraces – Banaue, Ifugao

Banaue rice terraces has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. Carved out of the hillside by Ifugao tribes people 2000 to 3000 years ago without the aid of machinery to provide level steps where the natives plant rice. And they are still in use today.

banaue rice terraces

Banaue rice terraces stretch like stepping stones to the sky – some reaching an altitude of 1500m (4920ft). It is considered as one of mankind’s greatest engineering feat. If the terraces were laid end to end, they would stretch half way around the world.

One of the major appeal of Banaue rice terraces to the local and international tourist are the many hiking trails in the area. There are many young locals, mostly college students who serve as guides. But with or without a guide, you will find the friendliness and warmth of the Ifugao people endearing. The Banaue Rice Terraces are now showing signs of erosion. Some areas needs maintenance as some of the new generation Ifugaos are migrating to the cities looking for better opportunities. That given, the terraces still never fails to awe the traveller.

Aside from Banaue rice terraces, nearby are other similar Ifugao terraces in the Cordilleras region:

BATAD rice terraces. Also located in Banaue, it is home to the spectacular tiered, amphitheatre-shaped terraces.

MAYOYAO rice terraces is similarly situated in Banaue. The organic Ifugao rice called Tinawon, in red and white variety, is harvested here in abundance.

banaue rice terraces

HAPAO rice terraces. Its stone-walled rice terraces date back to 650 AD and is located in Hungduan, where Napulawan terraces can also to be found.

KIANGAN rice terraces. It is home to two famous rice terraces sites namely: Nagacadan and Julungan, known for their size and visual impact.

Banaue rice terraces, although a bit far from Manila is one of the most awesome destinations in the Philippines. Visitors never regret spending time and resources to see its beauty and grandeur. One cannot but ponder how the Ifugaos made it all using just their bare hands…

In 1995, the clusters of terraces at Bangaan, Batad, Mayoyao, Nagacadan & Hungduan, in Ifugao were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

How to get to Banaue Rice Terraces:

From Manila there are air-conditioned buses that go straight to Banaue, The trip takes about 9 hours. The Dangwa Transit have daily trips to Banaue Rice Terraces. Their terminals are located along Dimasalang St., Sampaloc, Manila and Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, Q.C. (Tel# 731-2879 & 410-1991). Also plying the Banaue route is Auto Bus (Tel# 735-8098) with terminals at España Blvd corner G. Tolentino St., Manila. The bus leaves at 10 PM daily and arrives at about 7AM. From Baguio City, there are also buses going to the Banaue Rice Terraces.

The trip will pass through the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya then to Ifugao. Accommodation is no problem, there are several inns in town like the Banaue View Inn, People’s Lodge, the Banaue Hotel and other lodging houses with reasonable rates. Some private homes also accept tourist and transients for a lesser charge during peak season.

So what are waiting for visit the Banaue Rice Terraces now and experienced the amazing terraces over the mountain.

Palawan: Underground River

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. It features a spectacular limestone or karst landscape that contains an 8.2 km long underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower half portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influence. The area also represents significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.

The PPPSRNP is designated a core area for the Palawan Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program. In recognition of its globally significant natural properties, it was inscribed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s of (UNESCO) List of Natural World Heritage Sites. Inscription to the list confirms the exceptional and universal value of the Site that deserves to be protected for the benefit of all humanity.

The PPSRNP is managed by the City Government of Puerto Princesa based on a program centered on environmental conservation and sustainable development. It has the distinction of being the first national park devolved and successfully managed by a Local Government Unit. It has been cited as an example of best practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism in the Philippines.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the World. It is one of the few such rivers which the public can easily experience and appreciate. It is the official entry of the Philippines and is 1 of the 28 finalists to the Search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

It is a source of pride and a key element in the identity of the people of Puerto Princesa in particular, and of the Philippines as a whole.

Underground River Fees, van and Tour rates

From Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Entrance Fee Prices updated Mar. 7, 2011

General Entrance to Underground River beach area
Adult – 75.00 php
Minor – 50.00 Php

Cave Entrance Fee
Adults 21 and above – P200
Filipino Senior Citizens – FREE Not many know this, but as of March 7, 2011, it’s published in the office PPC Brochure for the Underground River available at the tourism office at PPC airport)
Age 18 to 20 – 100.00 Php
Age 13 to 17- P 75.00
Age 6 to 12 – P50.00

Filipino Senior Citizens and Children below 6 years years old and below, and the handicapped are exempted from paying entrance for the Underground River Tour.

Boat to Underground River Beach
P700.00 for 6 persons – two way

Van Rental from the City Proper
P 3,500.00 – two way (average van rental price) This is a private hire. You can go and come back at your own pace.

Packaged tours P 1,500 per person. Best Deal
Includes van- round trip, Underground River tour and permits, boat ride, lunch and other things depending on the tour operator. You will be with other random persons and this is a full day tour. Most of the reputable hotels have tour packages. There are many tour agencies on Rizal Avenue near the airport as well.

Chocolate Hills – Bohol, Philippines

bohol chocolate hills

The Chocolate Hills are probably Bohol’s most famous tourist attraction and one of the most famous attraction in Philippines. They are cone-shaped hills, women’s breasts. People who first see the photos of this hills can hardly believe that these hills exists and are not man-made artifact. The chocolate hills consist of more or less than 1268 hills. They are very uniform in shape with the height of 30 to 50 meters high. These hills are covered with green grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. Thats why it is so called Chocolate Hills. At some other times, these hills are green, and the association may be a bit difficult to make.

Legend has it that the hills exists when two giants man threw stones and sand at each other in a fight that lasted for days. When they were finally exhausted, they decided to become friends and left, but left behind the mess they made is the hills. For the more romantically inclined is the tale of Arogo, a young and very strong giant man who fell in love with an ordinary girl called Aloya. After she died, the giant Arogo cried. His tears then turned into hills, as a lasting proof of his grief.

However, up to this day, even geologists have not reached on how hills was formed. The most commonly accepted theory is that the hills are the weathered formations of a kind of marine limestone on top of a impermeable layer of clay. You can read this explanation on a bronze plaque if you climb the 214 steps to the top of the observation hill near the complex.

How to get there

The hills encompass an area over 20 sq mi (50 sq km). The 1,776 hills are concentrated around the municipalities of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan. They can also be found around Valencia, Sierra Bullones and Bilar.

From Bohol’s capital Tagbilaran, head to the bus terminal at Dao. Board a bus headed to Carmen. Kindly ask the driver to take you to the hills’ complex. This is four km before Carmen is reached. Now you just have to take a 10 minute walk leading to the site. There are also jeepneys and other motorized vehicles that can take you to the hills’ complex.