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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Ride & Hike to Daraitan

If you’ve ever played an RPG, you know that sometimes you just have to go back to a place you’ve already visited because you missed something very important. Maybe your skill level wasn’t enough yet to handle the obstacles or maybe the time just wasn’t right to visit a certain destination. Or maybe you just like the place so much that you want to visit it again. That’s the case for me with Daraitan, the scenic village nestled in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges between Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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