Cebu is one of the most developed provinces of the Philippines and one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Over the years I’ve traveled back and forth here for various work trips, media tours and solo backpacking trips. While I was familiar with the main tourist spots within Cebu City, it wasn’t until I had to complete tasks while exploring the island on my own on a motorbike as a finalist for Wrangler’s #TrueWanderer campaign in 2016 that I really fell in love with the place.
UPDATE January 2018: The Querocep Bridge along the Marifanta Highway was damaged by a landslide in December 2015 and is still being reconstructed. As of January 2018, what used to be a makeshift wooden bridge is now a steel bridge and is passable to all types of vehicles. The alternate route to get to Infanta is to pass through Real and Famy.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Clemente of Glorious Ride Bike Shop Continue reading
Kaybiang Tunnel is the Philippines’ longest subterranean road tunnel. This tunnel links the towns of Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas through a hole under Mount Palay-Palay (aka Mt. Pico de Loro). It’s a very popular landmark for cyclists and riders based in Manila for weekend rides. This 300-meter tunnel is part of the 6-kilometer Tourism Road in Cavite that cuts travel time from Manila to Nasugbu and Calatagan, Batangas from the usual 4 hours via Tagaytay to just a little over one hour.
Dubbed the “Adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island blew us away with its breathtaking landscapes and extreme adventures. Everyone who heard I was going to New Zealand said I had to go to Queenstown. And while it was roughly more than 1,500 km away from our original entry point in Auckland in the North Island, the long journey going to the South Island was so worth it.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve probably tried camping out in different places around the country. There’s always something peaceful about sleeping outdoors whether you’ve pitched a tent, hung up a hammock, or just decided to sleep out in the open by the beach, beside a lake, up in the mountains or in a forest campsite. But it’s going to be very hard to top sleeping under the stars on a two-meter wide cliff ledge 400 feet above the ground
For those who want to take their outdoor adventures to greater heights, the Vertical Bivouac extreme adventure in Bukidnon is one of the most bucketlist-worthy camping experiences you can try in the Philippines. Think of it as cliff-camping minus the tent!
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.
Atburan Rockies is a very raw and unknown site with caverns and towering limestone rock formations hidden in the mountainous region of General Nakar, Quezon. Aside from locals who call it “Kulungang Bato,” the site has only been explored by a handful of outdoor enthusiasts and mountaineers from the UP Outdoor Recreation Group (ORG). In fact, when I was researching about the place, I couldn’t find any existing write-up or background information about the area.
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.
We got to the summit of Mt. Daraitan right after sunrise, that magical golden hour when early morning daylight bathes the landscape in a soft glow. The rays cast a hazy orange hue on one side of the jagged limestone rock formations. As I clambered to the top of one rock facing the East, I got a silhouette view of mountain peaks in the distance. The view of the snaking river below was obscured by a sea of clouds blanketing the rest of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
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.