The province of Isabela in the Cagayan Valley is usually overlooked as a tourist destination. While it’s second largest province of the Philippines and the largest in Luzon in terms of land area, not many tourists would go out of their way to spend a vacation here.
It’s a humbling feeling to be right smack in the face of a waterfall, descending down its surface with just a rope supporting you. Admiring a waterfall from afar is one thing. But canyoning or canyoneering, the extreme sport of going down natural rock formations and canyons offers a heightened experience.
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.
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
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.
UPDATE: After a temporary closure, Canyoneering in Cebu has resumed operations again starting September 1, 2016 according to tour operator Kawasan Canyoneering
Canyoneering seems to be one of the most popular activities to do in South Cebu these days. While the naturally beautiful Kawasan Falls has been drawing tourists for years, the whole area has become even more popular ever since canyoneering tours were introduced. The extreme sport also known as canyoning involves walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, rappelling and swimming through a river either upstream or downstream. It’s one of the most fun and unique outdoor activities you can do in Cebu.
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.
The smell of gunpowder was thick in the air as the soldiers fired off their guns one at a time. The rapid succession of shots from the Armalite rifles felt disconcerting as we stood meters away from what felt like a firing line. We faced the soldiers dressed in full battle gear as they introduced themselves – rattling off their names, where they came from and their position in the battalion. They listed all the gear they carried with them – maps, GPS, grenades and the main weapon they carried before firing it into the air in a grand display.
On a motorcycle, the scorching heat can only be countered by movement. You feel the worst of it when you’re stuck in traffic. Even if you’re wearing a jacket or jeans, you can feel the sun just burn through layers of clothes. You wait for the light to flash from red to green flanked by rows of hulking trucks. Once it’s green, you navigate to avoid jeeps that stop without any warning or taxis that recklessly swerve and cut you off. But in the mountains, there are no traffic lights. The road is a blur and all you feel is the breeze rushing by even at the height of noon.
With its multi-tiered cascades and natural allure, it’s easy to see how Engkanto Falls got its name. The falls, named after creatures of local folklore usually characterized as forest spirits or elves, are believed to live in natural dwellings in the environment.
Unlike popular destinations in the country that dazzle you immediately with their obvious beauty and vibrant energy, the town of Mercedes in Camarines Norte is one of those quiet beauties that often gets overlooked. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find that she has so much substance. Mercedes has a serene and quiet charm that just grows on you. The longer you stay, the more you’ll realize just why the town is called “The Belle of the Pacific.”