Riding the bus from Naga City in Bicol to Manila is usually just an ordinary chore for my family. I grew up in Naga City and have become used to the 10-12 hour long bus rides going back and forth to Manila. I’m based now in Manila, but still go back to my hometown several times a year. My parents who have relocated there, travel even more frequently on the bus. Because of the hassle of going to and from the airport, we prefer taking the bus from Cubao rather than taking the plane to Naga. Night rides are the most convenient. I hop on the overnight bus, just sleep and then wake up in my destination the next morning.
The beauty of the Philippines really shines in other provinces and islands. Destinations like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay are top draws for foreign tourists. However, many international travelers have to travel through Metro Manila, the capital and main gateway to many of the other destinations before they can get there.
My solo ride around Samar Island has been one of the most memorable rides I’ve done this year. I got to traverse through three provinces of (Western) Samar, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. Since it’s the third largest island in the Philippines, it’s is a bit challenging getting around by public transportation. The main cities are geographically located far from each other and vans and jeeps don’t leave regularly. Usually, you have to wait for public transport vehicles to get filled up with passengers, so getting from one place to another usually requires a lot of waiting time. Since my main purpose was sightseeing and ease of access getting around, I thought I could cover more ground on a motorbike.
For riders just after a pure straight ride minus all the activities and sightseeing, they could probably loop the whole area I covered in a day. I allotted four days for this because I prefer driving only 4-5 hrs a day in the morning, so I have more time to enjoy the place and chill out in the afternoon.
Whenever I travel, I always pick comfort over style. For the airport, city tours and general travel, I usually opt for sneakers or comfortable shoes rather than more stylish high heels or sandals. It always helps to be wearing something easy to take on and off, won’t keep your feet cramped and are easy to walk around in the whole day. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort with the fun sneaker options available from Maz Brasil Philippines.
A revolution is definitely brewing in the craft beer scene here in the Philippines. It seems that in the past few years, there’s been a boom in local microbreweries. According to the Philippine Craft Beer Community as of 2017, there are at least 36 local breweries: 12 Craft Brewpubs and 24 Nano / Microbreweries with over 250+ Craft Beer Styles in the Philippines.
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you want to try something new, here are some homegrown microbreweries and beers that you should look out for when you travel around the Philippines. Here’s where you can find them by geographical location or where they originated (NOTE: List updated as of December 1, 2017 with new beers sold during the MNL Craft Beer Festival):
Any solo traveler will tell you that one of the most painful parts of traveling alone is the fact that you have no one to share expenses with. After riding around the coastal road of Samar on the way back to Catbalogan City, I decide to squeeze in one last activity. When I passed by the local tourism office in Samar, the three main destinations being promoted were Sohoton Caves Natural Bridge in Basey, the Rock Formations in Marabut and the Ulot River Torpedo Boat Ride in Paranas. I’ve visited the province of Samar on several caving trips and have written a detailed travel guide about it, but for some reason, I haven’t been to those three main and most popular sites.
One of the things I love the most about traveling to new destinations is trying out new things, particularly beer. You could always drink the same old thing you’ve gotten used to, but why should you when there are so many other beers to try out, right? The Philippines is in the midst of a craft beer revolution and if you haven’t tried any of these local beers, you’re missing out on a lot! If you’re curious about the whole craft beer scene or are just starting to appreciate the variety of beer styles and flavors available in the country, you might want to ease in with some (or all) of Nipa Brew’s beers.
For regular travel, I usually just take photos with my SLR for print magazine features and the blog. Most of the time, I end up using photos and videos taken with my Smartphone for Instagram and social media. But for extreme adventures, motorcycling, biking trips and water-based activities, it’s essential to have an action camera. Video content and vlogs are becoming more popular these days on social media and action cameras can really really help you capture more dynamic content.
Pasig is a city in the Philippines located along the eastern border of Metro Manila. While most business and luxury tourists usually stay in the Manila / Pasay area to be near the airport and backpackers will want to stay in the Makati / Poblacion area for the nightlife, I would recommend staying in Pasig if you’re traveling with the family or if you want to enjoy a mix of active pursuits and city comforts.
As a freelance writer, I get to travel a lot on my own. However, I haven’t gone a real trip with Art since last year. Since he works regular office hours and Sundays, scheduling leaves are more difficult for him. During weekends, we usually settle for biking trips or motorcycle rides near the metro with date meals in random carinderias. But with the weather lately, we usually end up coming home either exhausted from the heat, drenched by rain or splattered with mud. Sometimes, you just kind of want to take a luxurious break for a change.