Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dumaguete, Negros Oriental - August 2010

Date of Travel: August 27 to 31, 2010

A little background.
Holding the map we bought from national book store, I told my wife, Dumaguete seem like a small city. And I was not wrong. We hardly took any tricycle from point A to point B. And almost 80% of vehicles in the City proper consist of either tricycles or motorcycle/scooters.  Now, what to do in Dumaguete? A friend said that Dumagueteños’ past time is… drinking. Seriously? A question I exaggeratedly asked as well. Where I grew up, liquor is most often associated with good times and yeah… trouble; an irony that they are termed “The Gentle People”.
 A friend also told me about Rizal Avenue, much like Baywalk here in Manila. Other than Siquijor and Apo Islands, there’s also the internationally known Silliman University… Founded 1901, we were fortunate enough to be there during its 109th founder’s celebration.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mt. Maculot- Cuenca, Batangas - October 2011

Disclaimer: Im not an experienced climber and to that matter, with handicaps. I’m overweight and is coping up with a knee injury I’ve inflicted on myself doing a first 10K run a few years back. Bottom line, use this info as reference but don’t take it from a noob hiking enthusiast.

I have done Mt. Manabu twice and twice learned a lot of lessons the hard way, even when I came mostly prepared the second time. I must admit that Mt. Maculot was a relief of some sort, given that it wasn’t raining unlike the 2 times I climbed Manabu.

7:30AM. Our two man group, Gerald and I, met at Robinsons Lipa.
To get there, I took the bus at Buendia Taft-going to Batangas, boarded off Star Toll exit (Tambo exit) and took the jeep to Robinsons. There are jeeps going to Cuenca in front of the mall which we took and boarded off at the Cuenca Municipal town hall. We loaded up at the nearby eatery and took the tricycle to the jumpoff. There is a mountaineers stop (Ka Manuel) a few meters before the area to load and clean up as well.

  • ·         The trail is more or less a 2hour assault.
  • ·         Hardcore tip is to progress slow but non stop. You’ll be there in more or less an hour.
  • ·         There are lots of mini stops as well to sit and catch breath.
  • ·         Expect your heart rate to near max.
  • ·         Cover up, there are mosquitos, ants and blade grasses, especially near the summit camp.
  • ·         Dont get lost. It is to your physical and psychological advantage to be with someone who knows the trail as even those who previously climbed Maculot, take the wrong fork.
  • ·         Pick up garbage along the way and don't add up to the pollution, please.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte - September 2011

Date of Travel : 18 - 21 September 2011

Bad Vibes.

After about 3 weeks of split offs, the taste of the long awaited vacation seem heavenly orgasmic (for the lack of a meaningful superlative adjective, blah!) Hardly feeling rest days, on the side I was tipping Gian not to break hell lose as is the problem with group vacations... How to get them organized, ..a general term. Under which, means, constantly communicating; confirming attendance, bank deposits as payment, conceptualizing plan B's, reiterating itineraries and what to brings and all those stuff commonly neglected by the herd. Shout outs to Gian for bearing that heavy dope. We were also pressured to meet the necessary headcount the TOUR requires. The pack of 13 ended up in 8 that of which consisted of a lot of back outs, uberly lame alibis, head substitutions and another Tour service.

End tag, Bad vibes.

We were fortunate enough, with some hardcore research from Gian, to have found Sir Melvic Briñas' Calaguas tour service. Our small group of 8, was a go- so we rid ourselves the head count requirement from the previous tour we were eyeing.

Turned out, it still is the Cagbalete group and 1+1 of Gians' friends which made the group complete.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bacolod, Negros Occidental - July 2011

Date of Travel: 24 - 27 July 2011

Silay, now what?
Early morning chills. The magnificent open fields of sugar canes and mahogany trees and the view of the mountain regions and not to forget the cold baguio like air brought by the pending typhoon in the horizon, somehow fills  me and my wife’s lungs a new sense of adventure as we step out of the new Silay airport. Parang commercial lang ng Listerine... “Ah...”
So we made our way pass the people offering van rides to the city, dodging offers and blocking our ears off, not because we’re rude but because we have a different method in mind. Commute. Our Day 1 plan is to:
Take the tricycle out of the airport, eat, roam and enjoy the laid back scenes of old Silay.
Commute to Bacolod and check in L Fisher Chalet.
It was fortunate that 2passengers are already waiting at the tricycle so we didn’t have to privatize the entire ride.
 It’s a short 20minute ride or so to the main road of Silay (Rizal Avenue) also termed Hiway. Tricycle leaves full with 4 to 6 passengers, but you can also pay for the whole trip.  Fare as of July 2011 is P20 each. Ideal if you plan to wander in Silay before going to Bacolod.
To compare DIY vs Vans, P20(tricycle out of Silay Airport)+P15 (multicab to Bacolod)+P7.50(jeep from Bacolod to your hotel)+inconvenience of transporting huge bags, I say it’s fair enough to take the Airport Transpo priced at P100. But anyway...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Puerto Princesa, Palawan-February 2011

Date of Travel: 8 - 12 February 2011

Itinerary and Reservations:
City tour, Places to visit:
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
  • Plaza Cuartel
  • Baker’s Hill
  • Mitra’s Ranch
  • Iwahig Penal Farm
  • Baywalk
  • Firefly watching
  • Underground River
  • Honda bay
Must try:
  • Kinabuch Grill
  • Ka Lui's
  • Sans Rival of Divine Sweets
  • Heavenly Desserts
  • Viet Ville Resto
  • Itoy’s coffee haus
  • Badjao Seafront Resto
  • Balinsasayaw 
*I've crossed out those that we werent able to go to or try out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PANSACOLA BEACH RESORT – Cagbalete Island, Mauban Quezon.

Date of Travel: 19 - 21 May 2011

How to Get there.
Cubao to Lucena - Jac Liner Bus (FREE WIFI Baby!) – P209.50
Travel time: About 3hrs, if you travel during the wee hours. About 4 to 5 hrs going home.
Expect the Bus to pick up passengers along the way especially when home bound.
*Drop off is at Lucena Grand Terminal where you can board the bus to Mauban as well. If you boarded the bus hungry, there are food stalls and fastfoods here you can replenish in, oh and buy pasalubongs too. Public comfort rooms are also available, just ready your P5.

Lucena to Mauban – NCR Lines – P54
Travel time: about an hour.
*Ordinary bus, expect smoking locals every now and then.
*Tell the Bus Conductor that you’re headed Cagbalete Island and ask to be dropped off where nearest. We got off walking distance to the port.
*If you plan to buy stuffs from the local market, he can arrange a farther drop off , but then you’ll have to take a tricycle to get to the port.

Mauban to Cagbalete Island – 60ish seater boat – P40
Travel time: about an hour and since the tide is usually low, another small-boat transfer is required to draw near Cagbalete’s shore (Sabang Port).
*Prepare to drench your feet as early as your first contact with the island so fold your trekking pants and expect wet feet.
*Mauban to Cagbalete Boats leave at 10AM and 3:30PM daily.
*Cagbalete to Mauban Boats leave at 7:30AM and 1PM.
*Be sure to alot time to have your pictures taken with the statue of Gat Uban.
*The Cagbalete boat Departure location  is different from where it Arrives coming from the island.
You’ll figure it out when you return from the island.