Tag Archives: adventure

Last Leg: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 5)

So, we are now in the final segment of our Luzon to Visayas adventure trip — and what a ride it has been! Yes, just one more sea travel and two land trips then finally, we’re back to Cebu City; but not after a few memorable days in Bacolod City, of course.

Anyway, while traveling by plane is cool — as you get to your destination faster and thus have more free time when you arrive — traveling by land and sea are simply much better. After all, if it’s adventure you really seek, then long land and (at times rough?) sea travels would get really your juices flowing right off the bat — yep, whether locally or internationally!

Okay, okay, adventure is out there in your intended destination — whatever part of the world it may be — but really, aren’t they just mostly beaches or slices of nature? See?? Then why not make the Philippines part of that experience? Yeah, especially if you’re a local, otherwise, a foreigner who is already in the country or planning a vacation somewhere on earth. See for one, the Philippines’ got thousands of islands to hop around and consequently beautiful sceneries and beaches to relax and enjoy! So.

Last Leg: Bacolod to San Carlos to Toledo.. then eventually Cebu City

Bacolod City to San Carlos City. Bus. 2h 20m. P153. Now while San Carlos is still part of Negros Occidental, understand that it is almost 80 kilometers away from Bacolod, so you got to get to South Ceres Bus Terminal first which is in Luzuriaga Street for that bus ride.

In this trip, you would be passing by the towns of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto before reaching San Carlos. There are actually some nice sceneries and tourist spots (like the Negros Chocolate Hills, mountain resorts and some man-made forest of sorts) along the way that if you are traveling by car and got some spare time, you could actually stop first and make some memories. I was in a bus, so the most I could do was take pictures on the go. Not bad.

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Rich sugarcane fields of Murcia, Negros Occidental

San Carlos City to Toledo City. Fastcat. 1h 10m. P150 + P20 terminal fee. It was about 4:10PM when the bus arrived at the San Carlos bus terminal. And I found out that there were still two trips scheduled for Toledo City, 5PM (Fastcat) and 6PM (Lite Ferries) — and so, I started asking around about the place like accommodation, malls, places of interest and stuff. You know, maybe I could spend even a night or two first before boarding the ship to Cebu. Haha.

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Gaisano San Carlos City

Then again, I’ve just been away too long and it’s already a new year so okay, better next time since I am also planning to climb Mount Canlaon (2,435 meters in Negros Occidental) anyway. Yeah, hopefully sometime this year I’d be at its peak. Hopefully.

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Port of Toledo City, Cebu

Toledo City to Cebu City. Van. 2h. P100. Here I took the 5PM trip to Toledo and arrived after an hour. Yeah, it’s nighttime once again. And they say there are only two Ceres buses that ply Toledo that by the time I arrived, only vans remain for trips to Cebu City. And so, after taking some pictures, I then joined some of the ship’s passengers in the tricycle (P10 per head) to the van’s terminal.

20 minutes later, our van left Toledo for Cebu City.

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Bacolod City: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 4)

After more than a couple of days in Iloilo, I could not really say anything negative except for how I wish I could stay there a little longer? Haha. Indeed, I liked the place. Urbanized yet still maintains that cozy atmosphere.

Still, if I would extend my stay, I’d just end up getting behind my schedules so it was simply time for me to pack up and head for Bacolod City, yes, another of those key cities in the country.

Iloilo Fastcraft & Roro Terminal

Iloilo City to Bacolod City. Fastcraft. 2h 20m. P200 + P30 terminal fee. With maximizing time in mind, I took the 10:30AM trip to the City of Bacolod and after a little over two hours, our ferry safely arrived at the port of Bacolod, Negros Occidental. Hmm. Looking at the map, it’s actually like just a stone’s throw away from Iloilo City, however, since we were coming from the river of Iloilo plus we need to navigate around Guimaras Island province, such explains why these fast ferries take over two hours of travel. Right.

Iloilo City to Bacolod City route

Anyway, unlike my earlier trips, I’m fresher here having had a few days of rest and leisure in Iloilo — that in fact, right after I arrived in Bacolod, I just dropped off my luggages in my hotel room and left for “The Ruins” right away. Yeah, The Ruins! And that landmark is even like outside of Bacolod City already!

Of course, I needed to eat lunch first. And so after having Bacolod’s specialty in Chicken Inasal, I was ready and off to The Ruins!

Leaving The Ruins though is more of a challenge since it’s isolated and there are not many tricycles that ply the road out there, so do not be surprised if you are asked for a P50 fare going back to Bata terminal — yeah, even with somebody else on board. I was.

Anyway, we’ll be having a special blog about The Ruins — in pictures!

TRIVIA. Did you know that it was in this tourist spot that I had the most “selfies”? And would you believe that I literally had a thousand photographs in all of this 2-week travel escapade?? Unbelievable, that if I do not be selective and just post each one of these pictures daily, that’s good for like a 3-year spread in social media! Wow!

Coming up, the last leg of our holiday travel spree!

The Boracay Enigma: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 2)

Well, we still got a long ways of travel to go but for this issue, we bring you a sort of a funny conundrum in “to go or not to go” to Boracay. Whaaatt!?

Now to continue.. and picking up from Roxas, Oriental Mindoro.

The long line at Roxas’ ticketing booth, pier

Roxas to Caticlan (Aklan). Roro ship. P408 fare + 30 terminal fee. The ship fare here actually varies from shipping line to shipping line and this is around P400-500 per head. I was just lucky to get some sort of discount that time since I traveled on a rainy midnight (with so many other passengers on a holiday rush) as I was thinking of going to Boracay first before continuing my travels.

But lo, the ship was just so full (I even reminded the ship’s crews of overloading) that we had to sleep at the ship’s cafeteria while many others were just on the ship’s floor — yeah, you know, like even near the stairs and where we walk! I bet nobody really had a good rest that time. Hey, I only slept about an hour at most in this four-hour trip or in fact, for the next 12 hours!

Caticlan to Boracay is a mere 15-minute boat ride

Anyway, by the time we arrived in Caticlan at around 4AM or so, we were just exhausted. And this made me ponder about my plan to go to Boracay. And so, I thought about it for two hours while having a meal and talking to the locals as Boracay Island is just a 15-minute boat ride from Caticlan! Should I go or not??

Possible Expenses (Boracay): Boat one-way P175 (for Filipinos, but just P30 for Aklanons, haha wow!) and P250 (for foreigners) — well, it’s their livelihood so. Anyhow, hotels or lodging costs P4,000 to P40,000 or so per day — though if you are lucky, you might find some vacancy in their around 1,000/day rooms. Meals cost P270 on hotel buffets or you could find eateries outside with about a P70 complete meal package. These not counting other expenses like souvenirs, snacks, drinks, supplies and so on, so having some extra cash (or if you brought your card) would be helpful.

Caticlan, Aklan

Still, while I could stay for 2-3 days out there, I simply wanted every penny to count. Like, I won’t sleep at all if I could. Haha. You know, just roam and explore. But because of circumstances, I would, like, just squander a day in Boracay just sleeping. So, whatta waste!

In the end, I said, “Okay, next time. I am just beat that all I’d probably do there is sleep — though if I even could.” And surely that won’t do since I love staying up late when I’m in a new place and especially since it’s Boracay, who wouldn’t??

Stay tuned for the third part of our continuing travels!

Travel Philippines: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 1)

The holidays inarguably gives most of us more free time not to mention a little more funds at hand; and so encouraging us to do something a little more adventurous as well. And perhaps that’s exactly what happened this Christmas season of 2017 to many of us..

With a business trip to the north, Luzon that is, I felt that it was time for a different kind of experience — at least after my purpose has been done, of course. And so, a two-week adventure!

MY ROUTE: Cebu City to Manila to Batangas City to Calapan City to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro to Caticlan to Iloilo City to Bacolod City to San Carlos City to Toledo City and back to Cebu City!

Luzon to Visayas travelogue: 5 land and 4 sea travels. Actual travel routes are not straight paths

Wow, I could have just flown back again to Cebu! But yeah, this time it was a mix of air, rough seas and long hours of land travel that even included night and dawn trips, most of which you could not imagine how exhausting they actually were — but in the end, just all worth it.

For your reference and in case you plan to do such an adventurous trip, oh connecting trips, as well — guess there’s no real need to tell you the exact days of my travel (since you may want to cut it short or prolong your stay in one or several places depending on your time, interest and budget) but just the costs (as of December 2017), the time it took and some comments. Take note that these are basically my travel expenses and not counting the hotel stay, laundry, meals, snacks, supplies, souvenirs, in-city fares, tourist spot fees and some emergency money. And so, without further adieu..

Air Travel: Cebu City to Manila

Cebu City to Manila. AirAsia. 1h 20m. P2,300. The plane trip left as scheduled but was actually 20 minutes ahead of its ETA (estimated time of arrival) which has sort of become a signature for AirAsia as this has always been the case whenever I fly the airline. Hmm, that’s good. The airfare, on the other hand, varies depending on when and where you booked and when you wish to fly. Frequent flyers know this. The nearer your flight date, the more expensive it becomes. On the contrary, the farther your flight date, the lower the airfare would be, of course with consideration to the airline’s price threshold.

Manila to Batangas City. Bus at Taft Ave. cor. Buendia. 1h 40m. P168. When in Manila, be mindful of the traffic so watch your sked. Anyhow, considering the distance (103 km) and traffic, my long-time friend informed me that the trip could take 3-4 hours. But to my pleasant surprise, it only took less than two hours. So yes, great!

Port of Batangas

Batangas City to Calapan City (Mindoro Oriental). Roro ship. 2h 30m. P200 fare + P30 terminal fee. I actually got to the pier at about mid-morning in hope that I could leave by lunchtime at least — but the rains just had so many passengers caught in disarray that even with several shipping lines open for booking, I was only able to secure mine for the 3PM trip that only left at around 3:30PM.

Calapan City to Roxas (Mindoro Oriental). Van. P200. While both places are in the same province, the distance was really quite far (119.3 km) so it took the van 2h 30m to reach Roxas in this north to south trip. What’s tough in riding a van though is the placement of your luggages. With most everybody having at least a backpack or two and no real compartment in the van, you would be forced to just let your baggages sit on your lap for the trip. At least, initially.

Port of Calapan

Mindoro’s basic disadvantage: No buses. So, consider your itinerary.

Watch out for our second part, The Boracay Enigma!

Summertime: Your Camping Essentials

What is summer without camping, uh? Yep, especially when beaches are full?! Yet of course, camping is by all means not a second choice for fun and adventure — as the wilderness is always a refreshing way to energize and bond!

But just like any other activity, preparation is needed. Especially in camping when you would spend at least a night outdoors. And altho you could bring just about anything, it’s certainly practical to travel and go light. The less, the better.

Here now are your Basic Camping Essentials. Just Click the Images.

WATERPROOF TENT (5-6 persons)

Ideally, you should put a 1-2 person allowance in your tent check list — for extra valuable space. This means, if there are 4 of you who’s planning to go camping, try to bring a 5-6 person waterproof tent.

SLEEPING MAT

You wouldn’t want to feel itchy while you sleep, that is if you could even sleep with the grass tickling you. So if you couldn’t afford an inflatable pad yet, just make sure you get a mat that is waterproof.

SLEEPING BAG

Even during summer, you know it’s cold when you’re outdoors — thus, having a sleeping bag could keep you warm and safe.

SOLAR LAMP

We guarantee you, it’s gonna be dark at night and you would not want to get lost in the woods. Therefore, a solar lamp is a must.

CAMPING KNIFE

One can’t imagine the importance of having a knife (even a multi tool) on hand — from preparing food to fixing your tent to opening bottles to what have you.

PORTABLE CAMPING BURNER

While you could cook with firewood and really feel that you are camping, it wouldn’t hurt if you bring a little portable stove.

WINDPROOF & WATERPROOF MATCH

If you got a lighter or even a match, you could bring ’em; then again, could it handle even a slight breeze without being extinguished?

CAMPING COOKWARE

Hey, we can’t always eat canned goods, you know. And burners are not only for heating up coffee water — so, try to take along a couple of pots and pans including a bowl or so.

HOT COLD TUMBLER

Now speaking of hot and cold beverages for your mornings and throughout the day, a nice vacuum flask would do.

WATER PURIFICATION FILTER

Would you rather bring several containers of water, or invest in a water filtration system? Having the latter is more than welcome.

WINDPROOF JACKET

Camping doesn’t mean you’d always hole up in your tent, thus having a windproof jacket to roam around would surely do you good.

FIRST AID KIT

Finally, when outdoors, it’s always good to be ‘first aid’ ready.

At the end of the day, camping is really like living outdoors, so others might even bring coolers, portable tables and chairs — but for us, we travel light. The less, the better.  However you travel, just do not forget to bring extra clothing, slippers, hygienic set (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc), and extra food unless you would fish.

Summertime: Your Snorkeling Essentials

Ready to dip?? Wait. Got to prepare yourself first for the adventure to have more fun and protection in the experience. And t’is ’bout investing in equipments.

Okay, you could borrow; then again, more than the possibility of not having that ‘perfect fit’ — you could also risk damaging ’em, and t’is somethin’ that’s not yours?! So, here now are  snorkeling essentials that you would or could be needing. Just Click the Images.

FULL WETSUIT
HALF WETSUIT
SPORTS SWIMWEAR

Okay we need a swimwear, and if our chosen attire is other than the full wetsuit then we would especially need a sunscreen.

SNORKEL MASK: Good for beginners to advanced swimmers
DIVING MASK: Ideal for competent swimmers

For the mask, it is important to note the kinds of masks there is since it would be your aid to seeing and breathing underwater.

FLOATING VEST

And remember, more than just fun, keep safe with a vest.

GOPRO HERO4
ETCAM C5

Then of course, what is fun without memories — don’t forget your underwater camera! GoPro or more affordable ones will do.

SNORKELING BAG

Now if you don’t have a snorkeling belt to tag along your camera (and your kitchen sink hehe) underwater then bring a bag.

FLIPPERS
SNORKEL SHOES

For your footwear, you could either have flippers to speed up your swimming, or just shoes to protect your feet. Your choice.

WATERPROOF WRISTWATCH

Finally, it’s paramount to know time — even during ’em fun times and especially underwater — lest before you know it, it’s already dark.

DIVING FLASHLIGHT

Well, worry not though if you got a diving flashlight with you.

Oh so much to explore, so little time! Till next time!

In Pictures: The Canyoneering Rush at Alegria (Cebu, 2017)

If you love hiking and nature, if you like jumping off cliffs and swimming — then we got something for ya’. Canyoneering! And in Cebu, there are basically two towns where you could do it — Badian and Alegria — both at the southern part of the province.

You know, Badian, where Kawasan Falls is as well? Yeah, they got canyoneering there, too. Level 1 that is. However, if you want a little more challenge then go to Level 2, that’s in Alegria — the town after Badian. And that’s where we took our thirst for some adventure..

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The bridge to adventure
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Photo from the bridge to where we’d swim to.. After the jump
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1st jump right off the bat

Don’t be surprised when after wearing your gears and crossing the bridge — you’d be making your first jump right off the bat. It’s just how the trail starts, and perhaps to get your adrenaline going.

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Watch your step. Some stones are slippery.

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Adventure is not for the fainthearted. Can’t keep thinking, just roll.

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Hike. Jump. Swim. That’s what ‘canyoneering’ is all about — so, go!

Alegria’s trail is a 4-kilometer stretch of rocks and water in the midst of nature; plus, a kilometer or so of dry land and hill hiking..

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Which would actually leave you starving after completing the entire course! This is why it’d be good to get a nice deal from your provider. That’s at the canyoneering headquarters, or contact 0943 5247120.

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In the end, t’is just a good therapy for your mind and body.