I think the world already knows what happened to Tacloban, Leyte more than three years ago (November 2013). Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated Tacloban and the surrounding areas putting the region on a global spotlight. Pre-Haiyan, one of the fanciest seaside resorts stood in Palo, The Oriental Leyte. It received the brunt of devastation being located by the beach. But three years would be more than enough to pick up the pieces. Along with the province and the city getting back at their feet, the Oriental Leyte was rebuilt. Last November 2016, the hotel opened its doors again, softly to the public.
I think there was a time in Philippine tourism when we had a “Zipline Craze”. After a few successful ziplines in Davao, Bukidnon and my favorite, Lake Sebu, suddenly, a lot of province I had visited to wants to add a zipline as their attraction. In my head I was screaming “Not another zipline!” as a tourism officer enthusiastically shares their plan on site. In Pangasinan, there’s Balungao Hilltop Adventure view that claims to have the longest zipline in the country at 1.4km long. Honestly, it’s the first time I’ve heard of the municipality of Balungao. If not for Lakbay Norte 5, this would remain out of my radar. And guess what? We get to try their zipline and more.
“I don’t think that it’s possible to have a truly rewarding experience in travel if it’s simple” – Paul Theroux
Thinking about what Paul said, 2016 is filled with complications and challenges that made it quite eventful. It feels like everything was a spaghetti dream, a collage of moments in ramble but intertwined. Emotions like a roller coaster. Of failures and rising up. 2016 finds me living in different cities for a time and trying to find my place in this world of ours. It is never without a challenge. But there’s always one thing for certain, the warmth of coming home to my family is always a comfort wherever I’ve been. Bruised ego or of heightened rush of satisfaction, there’s always a place to go back to.
“I know what you are doing!” exclaimed an old man I crossed paths on the narrow paved road amidst a vegetable field in Buguias. “I’m taking pictures!” I replied with a smile. “No! You are looking for gold!” he answered with a grin on his face. He walked away slowly as I was a bit surprised by the conversation. What I do know is I have long been fascinated by Buguias that I finally had the chance to stop by this municipality where the marvelous Halsema Highway cuts through.
Leviticus 20:24 in the Bible refers to a promise land called Canaan where milk and honey flows. In Biliran province, Eastern Visayas, a six-hectare uphill organic farm named Canaan Hill Farms and Honey Garden hopes to recreate this promise land on Earth. Found at the southeast side of Biliran Island, we paid a visit to this promising attraction that promotes wellness by going back to natural way of farming and simplicity of life.
Vacations season is fast approaching. Whether you are looking into the mid christmas and new year break or the summer vacation months ahead, it’s that time of the year to plan ahead. Planning maximizes your budget with early bird rates. Another factor is deciding where to go on vacation. More often than not, people love the beach. With 7,107 islands, finding the perfect Philippine Beach can be an overwhelming choice. Based on the many beach and island destinations I have been to, they vary in character, quality and activities. So finding the appropriate beach destination depends on who you are with, whether traveling as a couple, as a family, a bunch of friends or with retirees. Here’s an idea how beach experience differ depending on who you’re with or the way you travel.
Sometimes, nature’s beauty just have to speak for itself. In an island of 30 waterfalls, Biliran Tinago Falls is just one of the nature beauties in the small island that’s hard to conceal for so long. Tucked in the forest of Caibiran, near the heart of the island, the falls (Tinago in Tagalog means hidden), no longer hidden, is probably the most popular falls in the province. The inner Naval-Caibiran road is well paved, passing through a series of low rice terraces towards the jump-off known as the Tinago Falls Eco Tourism Park. It’s accessibility makes it a local favorite for both tourist and island natives.