A sprawling 1120 hectare of land situated on the lower part of the mighty Magat River in Cagayan Valley has been converted into an eco-park, descriptively named Lower Magat Eco Tourism Park of LMET. The eco-park is under the municipality of Diadi, north of Nueva Vizcaya, already bounded by Isabela and Ifugao provinces. This was our playground after covering the Ammungan Festival’s Street Dancing for that day. A much deserved brief respite at the heart of a forest.
I was looking forward to those oh so comfortable chiropractic beds from Microtel when I heard we’ll be staying at their new branch in General Santos City. Microtel by Wyndham is no stranger to me as I’ve already stayed at their branches Baguio, Tarlac, Puerto Princesa and Boracay. The good thing about this chain hotel is that I can expect the same comfort I’ve enjoyed all through their branches, which is the bed where I’ve always felt rejuvenated waking up even with only a few hours of sleep. Microtel General Santos is no exception.
It was the holiday season long-break and a couple of my friends (RoadworthyMan and Hapipaks) wanted to visit Fang-Od, the famed mambabatok in Buscalan Kalinga and have themselves inked. It was kind of unexpected that transportation options quickly ran out even a few days ahead before the trip. I guess gone are the days where I can easily go to Baguio, Banaue or Sagada on a whim during this season as this time, people should book way ahead. I volunteered to help and give them another option to Buscalan, not only to accompany them but partly to join them as well as I wanted to revisit Kalinga again for the holidays. What ensued was a trip of misadventures on our way to Riverside Inn, Luplupa, Kalinga.
After relatively roughing it up for a few days in Surigao del Sur for Cantilan Beach and Hinatuan Enchanted River, the Travel Mindanao team makes its way down south to Davao City. While we did stay for a night at EscapeManila’s crib when we arrived, Marco Polo Davao was our abode for two nights after. This chain hotel’s trademark elegance was a welcome comfort after a long travel.
There’s this distinctive charm I find in Cocoon Boutique Hotel that I can’t really put into words clearly. This small boutique hotel by the corner of Scout Tobias near Timog in Quezon City looks unpretentious from the outside with only about six floors (including the rooftop) and stretching wider on the Scout Rallos side. It was a different story once I got into the lobby. Like going through a rabbit hole, the high-ceiling lobby, the gorgeous vintage grand piano, the excellent woodwork on the walls, touch of color and life from the indoor plants and then there’s the genuine smile as the staff welcomed us.
I had no intention to wake up early. But hearing the aircon shut down after its rationed 5-6 hour run at night nudged me out of my sleep. I couldn’t get back the zzzs, so I looked out the window to see what’s outside and saw the sun in a good mood, painting the clouds with warm colors. I grabbed my camera and went to the patio of Hotel Maya to see the day unfolding in this little town of Culion.
I’ve always wondered how it’s like to live in a small island. Of course I imagined there would be palm trees, a nice beach, hammocks, refreshing drinks, native huts and endless view of the ocean. But when I took a project for one of the private islands in Taytay Palawan named Noa Noa Island, I never expected to be staying about 11-days in this luxurious island where I was the only guest while working on a project. It was one of my memorable escapes to a not-so-known island surrounded by one of the most astounding marine sanctuary I’ve ever swam on.