After our long motorcycle ride from Manila to my hometown Naga City in Bicol, I was all set for a few days of just chilling out at the beach. My family decided to spend Christmas Eve in Caramoan, a rugged getaway best known for being the filming location of hit reality show Survivor. To maximize our stay, we took a 3D2N package at Tugawe Cove Resort, a beautiful resort hidden in a cove.
The town of Tanay in Rizal province is one of my favorite destinations near the metro for motorcycling road trips. Its proximity to Manila, refreshing mountain scenery, cooler climate and generally uncrowded destinations makes it a good alternative to Tagaytay on any given weekend. Parts of Tanay pass through portions of the Sierra Madre mountain range, making it a great motorcycling and biking destination.
For weekend warriors and families, Tanay has lots to offer in terms of natural attractions. The resorts and leisure camps in the area also make it a popular destination for team-building activities as well.
Aside from airfare, one of the most expensive costs of travel is the accommodations. Hotel stays can easily eat up a big chunk of your travel budget, leaving you with less money to enjoy the adventures and food in the destination. I’m a big advocate of staying in hostels, homestays and hammocks as opposed to hotels. Thankfully, travelers these days have more options with sites like Airbnb, a worldwide community where people can choose to rent out their own homes or stay in unique accommodations around the world.
Lakbay2Love is a Filipino “coming of age” film set against a backdrop of the biking culture and environmental protection. Starring Solenn Heussaff and Dennis Trillo, this movie promises to take you on a ride that will make you fall in love. Dennis plays a forester and biker named JR while Solenn takes on the role of Lianne, a videographer tasked to do a feature about climate change. Kit Thompson plays Macky, Lianne’s ex-boyfriend and JR’s biking buddy.
While the movie will be shown in cinemas starting February 3, I got invited to watch a special screening on January 13. I don’t want to post any major story spoilers, but I can say that this is the first movie in the country that tackles the biking culture in the Philippines. It features unique travel and biking destinations and excellent cinematography.
Isn’t it good to know that if you ever get marooned on an island and need rope, you can always take your shoes apart? Just like a paracord survival bracelet, Uneek is a pair of open-air footwear made from two cords and a sole. It’s one of the most unique-looking outdoor shoes I’ve come across.
Uneek is one of the newest products of Keen Inc., a company based in Portland, Oregon which manufactures footwear, bags and other hybrid products for outdoor enthusiasts. In the Philippines, Keen products are available in all R.O.X. stores nationwide. I got my pair of Keen Uneek sandals from R.O.X. in BGC a couple of months ago and have used it on a few trips, everyday casual wear and biking. Here’s a quick look of the footwear’s main features.
Some people collect ref magnets or mugs when they travel. I collect beer. Or at least I try to drink as many variants of unique beer as possible when I travel to a different country. Though Japan is really known more for sake (rice wine), I was glad to be able to add a few new ones to my beer collection during our trip around Nagoya, Takayama, Gamagori and Gujo Hachiman with Cebu Pacific.
There are 4 major beer producers in Japan: Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory, who produce mostly easy to drink pale-colored light lagers with an alcohol strength of around 5.0%. While some of these beers are widely available internationally including here in the Philippines, it’s always nice to pair a great Japanese meal with the local brew. Here’s a look at of some of the beers we tried and the delicious meals we consumed them with. Continue reading
Cagayan de Oro is best known for Whitewater Rafting and kayaking adventures. This first class and capital city in the province of Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao has been dubbed the “River Rafting Capital of the Philippines.” However, this adventure activity is best experienced if you’re staying a few days in the city. I tried this years ago during pre-blogging days when waterproof digital cameras were not yet that popular. For first-time visitors, this would be the major highlight of your visit to Cagayan de Oro.
But aside from whitewater rafting, what else is there to do if you only have limited time to go around? During a familiarization tour with the Tourism Promotions Board, the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism last November 2015, I got to experience a city tour to some of the main sights around Cagayan de Oro that you can easily visit in a day. Continue reading
The island of Guam most often evokes images of pristine white beaches and turquoise waters. Located east of the Philippines in the Western Pacific Ocean, Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Island Arc. This exotic and stunning destination is rich in natural resources, and boasts of diverse colonial history and local culture.
I’m kind of a sucker for any establishment that uses retro motorcycles and bicycles as its theme. There are a few biker bars in Metro Manila, including The Roadhouse along Mall of Asia, Vintage Cafe Muvela in Marikina and Handlebar & Grill, to name a few. I heard that there was a similar bar in Legazpi City in Bicol, so during a family road trip there, I made it a point to check it out.
Did you know that the best way to dry wet gadgets is to dunk them in a bag of uncooked rice? I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago, when my SLR camera and mobile phones fell in a river (along with me) on the way to visit a waterfall. While my ancient Nokia survived, my other smartphone’s touchscreen was irreparable, and I had to pay a visit to Hidalgo in Quiapo to get my SLR and lens serviced.
Nowadays, I usually have a couple of garbage bags in my all-around convertible belt bag during weekend trips in case it rains. But it really makes sense to have a dedicated waterproof bag since a lot of the activities I like to do – like island hopping, snorkeling, kayaking, chasing waterfalls and canyoning – involve bodies of water. Continue reading