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.
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?
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.
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.”
Like a lost planet right here on the earth, Biri Island’s amazing natural rock formations will astound you. The island’s dramatic landscape carved by the fury of Mother Nature are as beautiful as they are surreal. These gigantic limestone rock formations were formed by pounding winds, raging storms and ruthless waves that battered the coast. If there’s one iconic place you need to visit in Northern Samar, Biri Island would be your best bet.
Technology has really changed the way people travel. Traveling these days no longer means going off the grid. In fact, for many tech-savvy travelers, staying connected while traveling abroad is essential. How else can we book those last-minute flights and hotels, navigate around unfamiliar streets, find out the best places to eat, and keep our Instagram and Facebook social media accounts updated, right?
If you’re a frequent traveler, here are 10 handy applications that you might want to install on your smartphone or tablet with before traveling locally and abroad.
Tagaytay is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. For those coming from the metro, this is a favorite weekend getaway because of the refreshing scenery, cooler climate and the variety of restaurants for food tripping. While you can visit Tagaytay on day trips, it’s better to spend a night or two to really enjoy the place and have more excuses to eat. Last weekend, I found myself with a bunch of travel bloggers on a major food-trip staycation courtesy of Taal Vista Hotel.
When it comes to quick weekend or day trip getaways, Tagaytay City is always a top choice for those coming from the metro. The refreshing view of Taal Lake and the variety of restaurants always makes Tagaytay a favorite foodie destination. One of the best places for dining with a view is the historic Taal Vista Hotel. After enjoying several buffet meals at Cafe Veranda and dinners by the fireplace at the Lobby Lounge, our hosts saved the best for last with a heavy breakfast/brunch at Taza Fresh Table.
I always feel like I’m in a different country whenever I go around the neighborhood of Poblacion in Makati. Barangay Poblacion in the old downtown area feels like a backpacker red light district, similar to Bangkok’s Khaosan Road or Cambodia’s Pub Street. The food choices in the neighborhood have wide international appeal, from small Korean joints to biker bars serving Indian cuisine.
We’ve all heard of the saying: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” While that is true to some extent, it can also make you poorer by draining your savings if you’re not careful.
Frequent travelers use various techniques to save money when they travel. For flights, this can mean waiting patiently for seat sales and promo fares, saving up miles and points to be able to redeem free flights or maximizing sponsored trips and extending so that you don’t have to shell out cash for flights.