Over the years, I’ve gone back and forth from Manila to my hometown Naga City in Camarines Sur. I’ve also gone on road trips with the family to nearby provinces of mainland Bicol: Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon. The Manila to Bicol route passing the Asian Highway 26 (AH26) (also known as the Pan-Philippine Highway or Maharlika Highway) is a major road trip route on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. After traversing from Manila to Bicol, you can cross all the way to Visayas via the Roll-on Roll-Off Ferry from the Matnog Port in Sorsogon to reach Allen in Samar and head towards Mindanao.
I’ve been getting inquiries from people planning to drive this route whether by car or motorcycle (and even a few long-distance bikepackers), so I’ve decided to compile a suggested itinerary covering the essentials and some travel tips. Continue reading →
The province of Cebu in Central Visayas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Most tourists associate Cebu with religious and historic sights and dining and entertainment establishments in the city. But those aren’t the only things you can do there. Just a couple of hours from the city, you can access dive sites and beach resorts, trek to waterfalls and mountains, and visit many beautiful natural attractions.
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.
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.
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.”
When it comes to quick getaways from Manila, La Union is a good choice for barkadas and weekend warriors. This laid-back coastal town in the Ilocos region is easily accessible from Manila, has a wide range of accommodations to fit any budget and lots of restaurants to choose from for all your food trip needs. Most people come to La Union to enjoy the beach and the waves, but that’s not the only thing you can do there. For first-timers planning a trip to La Union, here are a few of the fun and unique activities you can do in La Union.
Villa Escudero is one of the oldest and most famous resorts in the Philippines. This coconut plantation and resort in Tiaong, Quezon has been around for decades, having opened to the public in the 1980s. It’s a top tourist destination for foreigners and balikbayans who want to experience traditional Filipino culture and heritage. I’ve always been curious about the place because of its famous restaurant by the waterfalls, but I never got around to checking it out during previous road trips to and from Bicol because of time constraints.
Whenever people ask me what the best destination I’ve been to in the Philippines is, it’s easy for me to say Batanes. In terms of raw landscapes, the northernmost province of the Philippines is really a dream destination. Though I love a lot of places I’ve been to around the country, Batanes is really special. It offers a unique blend of breathtaking scenery, natural attractions and well-preserved culture. Plus the locals here are just the most hospitable and kind people I’ve ever met. Everyone and everything here just feels so pure and good.
Tarak Ridge. The name alone (a combination of the words “tarik” which means steep and “tabak” or hunting knife) should have given me a clue of what to expect. Standing 1,130 meters above sea level, this mountain in Mariveles, Bataan offers a scenic view of Bataan, Corregidor and neighboring islands. On clear days, you can see Manila Bay all the way up to Cavite. But to enjoy the stunning view, you first have to go through a moderately challenging hike through dense grasslands and steep trails that involves clambering over roots and holding on to branches for support.