It was a long first day for Lakbay Norte 7. From an early call time of 4AM, we rushed to Malolos in the morning for the heritage walk. In the afternoon we rolled to San Rafael for some river adventure. Evening finds us in Tarlac for a brief museum walk at the Aquino Center. Shortly we found ourselves at Kart City Tarlac. Even with my head heavy and eyelids starting to shut by itself while having dinner, who wouldn’t pass up the chance to go karting? I know I still have enough fuel to last a few more hours and channel a bit more adrenaline for the night.
Bulacan continues to unfold as we continue our Lakbay Norte 7 trip from Malolos Historic Town Center. Riding up about one and a half hour north, we reached the banks of the snaking Angat River also knows as the Bulacan River for the San Rafael River Adventure (SRRA). This lush resort by the river resort has a tranquil laid back atmosphere with facilities. The breeze was cool and comforting, the surrounding still and quiet. Yet those who want some adrenaline rush can choose a slew of activities the resort offers.
They say seven is a lucky number. If it is, I consider myself lucky to be part of the 7th edition of Lakbay Norte. The annual familiarization tour of the north Luzon is made possible by North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) under Convention and Visitors Bureau. If you have been following Ironwulf for quite sometime, I had participated in several Lakbay Norte tours including the first one which set the foundation of the succeeding tours. Lakbay Norte 7 continues the tradition of a fun whirlwind sightseeing, gustatory and adventure filled trip of the north. We didn’t have to go far from Manila to jump-start the tour. Our first stop in Bulacan has us stretching our legs to walk through the Malolos Historic Town Center and marvel at the ancestral homes, age-old churches and its history.
Iceland: the name alone conjures a landscape far removed from the tropics. It sounds paradoxical but a destination named Iceland has become one of the hottest destinations on the planet. Sparsely populated, hauntingly beautiful if not otherworldly, Iceland has captured the imagination of travelers from across the globe, including Filipinos who have been increasingly curious as to why local places such as Batanes have invited comparisons with the landscapes of faraway places such as Iceland and Ireland. It’s not exactly cheap or easy to go to, but there is flight information about Iceland available. Keflavik International Airport which is 30 minutes away from Reykjavik, the country’s capital, is the landing site for all international flights. From here, tourists can take a domestic connection to any of the incredible sights and sites that await including these 10 stunning stopovers you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Iceland.
I’m a long time fan of the TV game show Wipeout. It’s one of those shows that simply makes you laugh when contestants get wiped out off the obstacle course. The harsher the better. I’ve always imagined what’s its like to run that course. When I’ve heard of the Inflatable Island in Subic, I thought this would be a cool playground. It’s not Wipeout levels but there are obstacle course that would be a fun challenge for key attractions on the largest floating playground in Asia.
There’s a whole new different world in Boracay and they call it the Boracay Newcoast. This 150-hectare township is being groomed for upscale development. Amid the hilly greens, wide open roads and quiet white beach coves is the stylish Savoy Hotel. The six-story 559-room hotel has a distinctive modern and dynamic architecture.
You could tell if a destination is gaining ground in terms of tourism when their infrastructure starts improving. During my recent visit to Tawi-tawi, I was able to climb Bud Bongao again. I certainly noticed a new building, paved stairways and other pleasing developments. It was eight years ago when I last climbed Bud Bongao. A time when there still a heavy stigma hovering over the province. But now that stigma is slowly lifting. People are learning that Bongao, Tawi-tawi is relatively safe which resulted to a three-fold increase in tourism arrivals just this year, 2017. At the forefront of the province’s tourism project is the Bud Bongao Eco-Tourism Park. A 342-meter high sacred mountain with an imposing presence at the center of the island.