Change of plans. I love it when my companions are just ready for anything. Meeting hiking buddies Christine and Marky early Friday morning in Cubao, we were supposed to go to another mountain. As fast as the changing wind, we decided to visit another mountain at the vicinity of Daraitan – Mt Mamara. A smaller brother of Mt Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal, Mt Mamara was opened as an alternative to climbers who got cut-off from the maximum 300 pax per day limit of climbers for Mt Daraitan. It may be a minor mountain but the rewards of the climb is equally captivating.
Just a short boat ride from Tiktikan Lagoon are three caves open for exploration. The popular Crystal Cave and Bolitas Cave are easy and accessible which are often visited by tourist. The third cave, Tundan Cave sees less visitors as it is longer and requires an extra fee for exploration. Since I have only limited time to explore I picked what the guides considered the best among them, Tundan Cave. It may be more than half a kilometer long but the cave formations are remarkable.
Just checking in at Sohoton Bay Resort was already a preview of what Bucas Grande Island holds. This municipality has often been overshadowed by the nearby island of Siargao. There are even day tours from Siargao for Sohoton Cove and their stingless jellyfish which people often mistake as being part of their municipality. But Bucas Grande is a destination of its own. My tour starts at Tiktikan Lagoon (also referred to as the Tiktikan Lake), a serene body of water concealed within Sohoton Cove.
A one hour ferry ride from Dapa, Siargao to Socorro Port in a jam-packed boat. A half-hour tricycle ride cutting through the bucolic landscape of Bucas Grande. Then a thrilling half hour boat ride from Barangay Sta Cruz on a small boat to Sohoton Bay. A transit that slowly swelled my excitement for visiting this emerging gem of a destination in Surigao del Norte. And my abode is at Sohoton Bay Resort. A lovely quiet cove just a stone’s throw away to the wonders of Sohoton Cove.
Scenic drives, sumptuous Ilocano cuisines, rich heritage, awe-inspiring megastructures and stunning landscape are some of the reasons which makes Ilocos Norte an all-time favorite for travelers. Memories of Ilocos Norte goes way back to my childhood road trips with family. Even if I had been here countless times, its always a welcome visit to this northern region. The recent Lakbay Norte 7 had me revisit the familiar places again with new companions this time. In just a day, we had the exciting rides at the La Paz Sand Dunes, to marveling the gigantic windmills of Bangui and a fun swim at Saud White Beach of Pagudpud.
It was a night of the “super blue blood moon”. A rare celestial phenomenon that last happened in 1982. We were in the midst of our Lakbay Norte 7 tour in Tarlac that time that I firmly requested we hurry to our accommodation that evening to catch the “super blue blood moon”. The Farmhouse by EDL was our host that evening and I was ecstatic when we arrived on time. We hurried to capture the moon spectacle and after that I couldn’t help but look down at the attractive setting we have that evening. Inviting pool, lovely warmly lit garden and my companions starting their full moon party at the bar.
Encountering a bad airport is enough to ruin anyone’s trip before it has even started. If you are like me, traveling out of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport more than once a month, you’ll appreciate how much good airports can relieve stress. Traveling is a stressful business especially if you have to do it for a living so a little bit of luxury and comfort goes a long way.
So with this in mind, here are just some of the world’s most tourist-friendly airports.