Road Trip Itinerary: Bicol Highlights

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Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth from Manila to my hometown Naga City in Camarines Sur. I’ve also gone on road trips with the family to nearby provinces of mainland Bicol: Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon. The Manila to Bicol route passing AH26 or the Asian Highway 26 is a major road trip route on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. After passing this route, you can cross all the way to Visayas via the Roll-on Roll-Off Ferry from the Matnog Port in Sorsogon to reach Allen in Samar and head towards Mindanao.

I’ve been getting inquiries from people planning to drive this route whether by car or motorcycle, so I’ve decided to compile a suggested itinerary covering the essentials and some travel tips.  Continue reading

Endless Samar Part 3: Borongan, Eastern Samar

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Everything looks better when the sun is out. The same roads and structures which I found scary the previous night look perfectly ordinary in the daylight. It’s like watching a horror movie with a particularly tense nail-biting scene set at night. Then the scene shifts to a sunny day and you breathe a sigh of relief because you feel the worst is over.

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How to Book Cheap Flights with the Traveloka App

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For someone who loves to travel, I hate booking flights and hotels. I’m not one of those organized people who likes planning trips way in advance. I know some people who have excel templates of their daily itineraries with expected time of departure and arrivals and neat lists of all the activities they want to do complete with budget breakdowns. I just tend to wing it whenever I travel solo, which usually means spur of the moment flight bookings when some free time comes up.

The main reason I don’t like booking flights on airline’s websites is that it’s so time consuming and flights always seem so expensive. You have to scan several websites, compare the fares and then log all your details. Sometimes when doing this, you get logged off due to inactivity and have to start all over again only to see that the flight you were eyeing is no longer available. Or the final price seems to jump astronomically from the initial price once you finalize the payment. Continue reading

10 Things to Do in Cebu

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The province of Cebu in Central Visayas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Most tourists associate Cebu with religious and historic sights and dining and entertainment establishments in the city. But those aren’t the only things you can do there. Just a couple of hours from the city, you can access dive sites and beach resorts, trek to waterfalls and mountains, and visit many beautiful natural attractions.

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Brewery Gastropub in Iloilo

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Iloilo is one of the best destination for foodies in Visayas. For most people, a trip here isn’t complete without having Ilonggo favorites like La Paz Batchoy, Pancit Molo and Lechon Manok. But if you’re a craft beer lover, Brewery Gastropub should definitely be at the top of your list of places to visit. Brewery Gastropub is the first bar and gastropub in Iloilo City that offers a wide selection of both imported and local craft beers from all over the world. They feature over 100 different varieties of bottled beer that you can choose from including 15 fresh beers in draft form.

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Endless Samar Part 1: Biri Island

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Ang laki pala ng Samar, I thought to myself as I drove along the highway on my way from Catbalogan City to Lavezares in Northern Samar. When I ride a van or a bus, I usually just sleep and wake up near my destination, so I don’t really feel how far I’ve gone. I get an inkling of distances when I plan my route on Googlemaps, but the kilometers on Samar island just felt longer than usual.

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The Cave Beyond a Waterfall: Sulpan Cave in San Jorge, Samar

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Caves do not have mass appeal. Given a choice between a beach and a cave, most tourists I know would probably be packing their Instagram-worthy swimwear and flip-flops to bask on the sunny shores of a tropical island before you can even say “spelunking.”

I mean, why would anyone want to dangle hundreds of meters in the air to enter a hole in the ground leading to an unknown chamber, stumble around on slippery boulders in complete darkness, crawl through muddy passageways and swim through the frigid inky waters of underground canyons where who knows what could be lurking, waiting to reach up with their gigantic tentacles or venomous fangs to drag you down to the depths below?

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Pinipisakan Falls in San Jorge, Samar

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Otherwordly. Ethereal, Magical. Like a scene from a children’s fairy-tale storybook, the two tiers of the waterfall cascade like a white curtain into a basin of clear blue water. From where we stand, the massive boulder formations carpeted with moss, wild ferns and tiny purple flowers provide a postcard-perfect viewing deck.

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Travel Guide: Samar (province)

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Samar (formerly named Western Samar), is one of the three provinces of Samar Island in Eastern Visayas in the Philippines. Home to a network of amazing caves hidden beneath the region’s lush jungles, including the biggest cave system in the country, Samar is a rugged destination where adventure seekers can experience something out of the ordinary. Though most of Samar Island remains off-the-radar for local tourists, many international spelunkers have been drawn here since it’s been dubbed the “Caving Capital of the Philippines.”


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Craft Beers in the Philippines

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Updated August 2017

A revolution is definitely brewing in the craft beer scene here in the Philippines. It seems that in the past few years, there’s been a boom in local microbreweries. According to the Philippine Craft Beer Community as of 2017, there are now 36 local breweries: 12 Craft Brewpubs and 24 Nano / Microbreweries with over 200+ Craft Beer Styles in the Philippines. (Whew. It’s getting hard to keep track of all these beers and keep this post updated!)

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While guzzling down 99 bottles of beer for a self-imposed sidequest, I was glad to come across some great craft beers which are brewed right here in the country. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you want to try something new, here are some homegrown microbreweries and beers that you should look out for when you travel around the Philippines.

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Adventure Bucketlist: Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii is just one of those places that we all have on our bucketlists. The gorgeous year-round weather, breathtaking locations and ocean views have made Hawaii a Hollywood favorite. Most of us are familiar with the scenic spots because of movies like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and scores of other movies filmed there. But it wasn’t until I watched the animated short film by Pixar Lava that I became really interested in the islands of Hawaii.

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Chase Wonders in Iloilo with AirAsia

The province of Iloilo is known for its rich heritage and churches, vibrant festivals, friendly people and excellent cuisine. Iloilo City, the capital is a major urban center in the Philippines, and the gateway to the Panay island in Western Visayas.

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Endless Samar Part 2: Laoang Island & Mapanas

Desolate. The empty highway seems to stretch on for miles. Except for the occasional habal-habal or van going in the opposite direction, most of the main road in Northern Samar just feels so empty. There are hardly any establishments or houses on either side of the road. Just mountains on the horizon, coconut trees and fields.

While driving from Lavezares to Laoang Island, the only fairly large town I pass that has an actual mall and big gas stations is Catarman. After that, I only encounter small villages with their poblacions made up of a few streets punctuated by a handful of sari-sari stores selling gas in litro bottles. Then it’s back to deserted roads after driving for five minutes. Continue reading

Top 10 Mainstream Beers in the Philippines

Whenever I travel abroad, I always make it a point to try the most popular beer from other countries. I’ve been documenting the growth of the craft beer in the Philippines, but I’ve never written about the country’s mainstream or commercial brands. Mainly, it’s because I feel like all Pinoys know these beers already. I mean, beer drinking is considered a national pastime! But I realize that foreign backpackers and first-time visitors to the country may not be familiar with these beers yet, so am listing them down just for reference.

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Top Beer Brands in Southeast Asia

If you follow this blog, you know I have a thing for beer. I’ve been compiling all the different beers I’ve tried here in the country and during trips abroad. Each country has its own signature brew, which I look for and try whenever I travel to a new place. For me, travel and beer really go together. Nothing ends a great day of sightseeing than relaxing with a bottle of ice-cold beer and a good meal. Here are just a few of the most popular and iconic beers I’ve sampled around Southeast Asia.


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