10 Extreme Adventures in Pangasinan

The province of Pangasinan has a lot to offer. Located on the western area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf and South China Sea, it’s best known as being the home of the Hundred Islands National Park. But that’s not all it has. As the biggest province of the Ilocos Region in terms of land area, Pangasinan has lots of natural attractions that will appeal adventure-seekers looking for a getaway relatively near Manila. Here are 10 exciting activities you can do here.

northbound-magazine-pangasinan-zipline

Cover of North Bound Magazine Issue 15. Photo by Martin San Diego.

Continue reading

Spelunking in Samar: Lobo Cave

Just like exploring a new dungeon in a video game, there’s something so fulfilling about spelunking or exploring caves in real life.

You have to navigate through small tunnels and chambers, find the best route so that you don’t hurt yourself, come face to face with creatures like bats and snakes and overcome all the obstacles in the dark to find the cave exit. It’s not as glamorous as Lara Croft makes it look, but it’s one of the most fun and exhilarating adventures you can do. Particularly if you’re in Samar, the Caving Capital of the Philippines.

01-lobo-cave-jiabong-samar-crawling-travelup

Continue reading

The Crystal Paradise: Central Cave, Samar

Exploring Central Cave in Samar made me feel like an action star. There’s just something so innately bad-ass about descending 18 meters or 60 feet down a hole in the ground into a cavern below with ropes anchored on tree trunks. One moment you’re on solid ground, the next you’re just hanging there lowering yourself inch by inch to the rocky surface below. You look up and a ray of light shines from the ground above.

central cave samar entrance rappelling travelup Continue reading

10 Extreme Adventures in Camarines Sur

My hometown Naga City, the capital of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region is commonly associated with religious pilgrimage sites. Most people who stop by Naga usually do a Visita Iglesia tour of the historic churches or come to witness the festivities in September during the Penafrancia Fiesta, one of the biggest and most popular religious events in the Philippines. 

caramoan island hopping catanaguan island limestone 1

But for adventure-seekers, it’s good to know that there’s a lot more to do any time of the year. From scaling down waterfalls to biking down mountain trails, adventure-packed activities await. Here’s a look at some of the fun and exciting activities that you can do around Naga City and the rest of Camarines Sur. Continue reading

Travel Guide: Antique

Antique is a province of the Philippines located in the region of Western Visayas. Just a couple of hours away from the gateway to Boracay, the country’s most famous beach party destination, Antique offers a different kind of getaway.

kawa inn tibiao antique jungle hot bath travelup 2

Continue reading

Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal

Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and karst rock garden hidden in the rainforests of Baras, Rizal. Its name comes from the local term “masungki” which translates to “spiked” – describing the jagged limestone landscape found here. The discovery trail offers a unique outdoor experience where visitors get to hike through karst landscape, with limestone formations, sinkholes, caves and natural trails and forests. The geological park has eco-friendly conservation areas, rest stations and obstacles including hanging bridges, rope ladder descents, view decks, and a giant hammock where you can enjoy views of the amazing natural landscape.

masungi-georeserve-travelup-hammock-cover

Continue reading

Travel Guide: Tanay, Rizal

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.

tanay rizal masungi rock georeserve sierra madre mountains motorcycling travelup

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.

Continue reading

Adventure in Aglipay Caves, Quirino

The jeepney’s wheels spewed out chunks of mud as the driver floored the engine, determined to get the jeep out of the rut. We sat at a distance, drenched in the rain, our feet caked in mud, but still in high spirits. A little rain never hurt anybody.

aglipay caves quirino 01

Continue reading

Ride to Daraitan River & Tinipak Rocks

Outdoor enthusiasts know Daraitan as a village nestled in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges somewhere between Rizal and Quezon. After visiting the place during a trail run and on a mountain bike ride, Art of Outside Slacker likened it to Rivendell, the Elven realm in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. After finally seeing the place first-hand, I have to agree. The scenery wouldn’t look out of place in a fantasy film. You get that sense of wonder just walking through the white rock formations and crossing the clear streams snaking through the mountains.

01. tinipak rocks rizal

Continue reading

Exploring the Underworld: Calbiga Caves, Samar

Encompassing and immense, Langun-Gobingob Caves in the town of Calbiga (more popularly known as Calbiga Cave) in Samar province is the largest cave system in the Philippines. It’s reputed to be the second largest in Asia and the world’s third largest karst formation, measuring 7 km. long with an area of 900 square km. But that doesn’t even begin to describe its vastness.

01. calbiga cave samar photo by trexplore

With chambers upon chambers as large as coliseums, the light from our headlamps barely made a dent in the dark. The surreal underground landscapes brought images of the Underworld to mind. If you want a glimpse of mysterious underground realms, head to Samar. Calbiga is just one of the many cave systems you can explore in this rugged province, dubbed the Caving Capital of the country. Continue reading