I was thinking of booking a random flight or taking a road trip somewhere just to get away during the ASEAN Summit holiday. Just based on my Facebook feed, it seemed like everyone was planning to go out of town. But with major roads being locked down for security and horrible traffic because of the special lanes, I dreaded the thought of going to the airport or getting stuck somewhere on the way to a good “out-of-town” destination.
For travelers, backpackers and province-based tourists, Manila is often just thought of as a stopover between flights on the way to another destination. The big city can be overwhelming with the heavy traffic and crowded streets. It’s often seen as gritty and chaotic, especially if you visit the areas of Quiapo and Divisoria.
I often take the tourist sights in Manila for granted because I live here. But if I were a first-time tourist in the Philippines or if I had to take around foreign tourists, balikbayans, expats or province-based friends, what would I do and where would I go? Continue reading
The mountain town of Sagada nestled in a valley in the Mountain Province is one of the most ideal places in the Philippines to enjoy the outdoors. This scenic town in the Cordillera region offers the most spectacular view of mountains, cooler climate due to its high elevation and well-preserved culture.
Tagaytay in Cavite is probably the most popular choice for a quick weekend or day trip for those coming from Metro Manila. People come here for the cooler climate, refreshing sights and the various restaurants that offer an easy escape for locals. Other towns in Cavite also offer historic spots and resorts ideal for sports and recreational activities. Here’s a look at some family-friendly activities you can do in and near Tagaytay City.
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.”
For riders, cyclists and road trippers clocking in the miles, meals on the road often just consist of quick stops at fast food joints or meet-ups at gas station convenience stores before heading out. Most riders would be satisfied with cup noodles or hot coffee to warm up along the way. A few years ago, this was pretty much all there was along the Marilaque route (also known as Marikina-Infanta or Marcos Highway), the scenic twisting road traversing Marikina, Rizal, Laguna all the way to Infanta, Quezon.
During weekend rides, I’ve noticed a lot of new places to eat and a lot of other establishments being built along the route. Below is a growing list of old favorites and new places where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the view along Marilaque. Manila East Road (specially in towns overlooking Laguna de Bay) also has a lot of interesting dining places that makes it great for road trips.
Combining Visita Iglesia, the Holy Week tradition of visiting seven churches, and the sport of biking is a unique way to mix faith and fitness. While most tourists would prefer to visit churches by motorized transport, there’s something about pedaling your way around under the heat of the sun that makes visiting churches feel like an actual sacrifice or penance rather than just sightseeing by car.
Nowadays, I’m realizing that having an action camera is a must for a lot of the activities I like to do. For the past years, I’ve been hauling a heavy-ass SLR during mountain biking, motorcycling and island-hopping trips. Ninety percent of the time, I end up just using my Smartphone, because it’s just such a hassle to take out the big camera from a bag when both your hands are occupied driving or if you’re in a water-based environment. I was really hoping to experiment more with video features for the blog this year. As luck would have it, Supremo Philippines sent me their latest action camera to test out.
Biking is one of the the best ways to get around in small towns. You get to explore at your own pace, soak in the scenery, and burn a few calories while sightseeing. During our week-long tour with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, I was itching to have any excuse to get on a bike. I always tend to overeat when I travel and by the third day of buffet breakfasts and lunch feasts featuring amazing Thai dishes, I felt like I needed some sort of workout.
Summer is here and many families and barkadas are looking for resorts for their out-of-town swimming trips and excursions. One of the places I can recommend relatively near the metro is Momarco Resort in Tanay, Rizal. Only 1.5 hours away from Quezon City, Momarco Resort has a large, clean and well-maintained swimming pool and an artificial lagoon with a waterfall.