Nagpatong Rock Hike with UNHCR and Atom Araullo

Standing proud atop the famous Nagpatong Rock in Tanay, Rizal
Standing proud atop the famous Nagpatong Rock in Tanay, Rizal

Tanay is becoming a hiking haven near Manila with several climbing destinations in close proximity with each other. One destination which has fascinated me for a time is the unique looking limestone platform of Nagpatong Rock at Barangay Cuyambay. When I got an invite for a day climb, I quickly jumped-in. Not only to satisfy my curiosity of the place but to support a cause. I joined United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and their ambassador Atom Araullo in climbing Nagpatong rock to spread awareness on their campaign “2 Billion Kilometers to Safety”.

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Stay | Apsaras Tribe Siargao

Star trail night at Apsaras Tribe Resort
Star trail night at Apsaras Tribe Resort

Hearing the word apsaras readily reminded me of the elegant female figures carved at the Khmer temples in Cambodia. Generally, apsaras are celestial maidens represented in different interpretations depending of the places. As for Apsaras Tribe Siargao, this is the newest seaside hotel in the surfing capital of the country. An appealing container-type style accommodation with direct view of the Pacific Seas.

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Enchanting Isla de Gigantes Day Tour

Antonia;s Beach at Isla de Gigantes
Antonia;s Beach at Isla de Gigantes

It took Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation to bring this beautiful archipelago in Northern Iloilo to light. Carles, Northern Iloilo was one of the hard hit areas. Rescue aids and volunteers went out of their way to find remote communities that needed assistance. Their perseverance paid off as they found these communities. At the same time, they also found the islands of Isla de Gigantes. An enchanting set of islands that was once solely enjoyed by the locals. Gradually, photos of the stunning white beach and captivating rock formations became viral online. Isla de Gigantes name came big. Every body wants to experience this piece of paradise and that includes me.

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Luzon Datum of 1911 : At the Geodetic Center of the Philippines

Birds eye view of Luzon Datum of 1911 site
Birds eye view of Luzon Datum of 1911 site

If you’ve ever wondered how the shapes of the islands, the elevation of peaks, the depths of seas are measured and translated into easy readable maps that common people can understand, it’s all about the science of geodesy and datums. Even before Google Maps ever existed, surveyors and scientist uses datums or geodetic reference points to collectively gather information on the lay of the land and sea in longitude and latitudes. That is why I had much appreciation to finally visit the Luzon Datum of 1911 site in Marinduque . A pivotal refernce point used to triangulate networks of different datums in the country. It is, literally the center of the Philippines in a geodetic sense.

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A Short Scenic Bike Ride Along Sun Moon Lake

Cycling at Sun Moon Lake
Cycling at Sun Moon Lake

CNN listed the bikeways at Sun Moon Lake as one of the “10 Cycling Routes in the world that will take your breath away”. I get to find out for myself if this isn’t just a hype. During our luxury stay at Fleur de Chine, I made sure to wake up early and maximize my morning by the lake. We have a biking activity in the morning but there were still hours to spare for quick morning stroll. After seeing the star studded sky, placid lake and mountain gradients from my room balcony I was just too eager to get close to the lake.

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Stay | Fleur De Chine: 5-Star Elegance at Sun Moon Lake

Balcony view from my room at Fleur de Chine
Balcony view from my room at Fleur de Chine

As beautiful and serene Sun Moon Lake is, a fitting complement on a visit here is a luxurious stay at Fleur De Chine. A 5-star resort at the northern shores of Sun Moon Lake. Home of the first ever hotel built on the site in 1975 under a different name. After a major Taiwan earthquake in 1999 where the original hotel crumbled, the hotel was reborn as “Fleur de Chine (Flower of China)”. Along with the renovation is a discovery of a natural hot-spring in the area. A high quality “sodium bicarbonate” hot spring which is colorless, odorless and potable. It became the spring board attraction of the hotel aside from its key location views of Sun Moon Lake.

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Nantou County | Sun Moon Lake Afternoon Cruise and Sunset Walk

Sunset at Sun Moon Lake
Sunset at Sun Moon Lake

The landlocked county of Nantou in central Taiwan has 41 mountains, including the country’s highest, Mt Yu (or Yushan) at 3,952 meters. At the heart of the county, (and even the country) is the largest, natural lake in Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake. Located approximately at elevation of 748 meters above sea level, the area is a popular weekend destination from Taichung due to its serene environment, picturesque lake and cool surroundings.

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