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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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