Checking up on Sagada

Sagada's new Municipal Hall Construction

Sagada’s new Municipal Hall Construction

Some people may ask why I feature destinations abroad whereas the Philippines has a lot of tourists attractions that can rival other countries as well. Why not promote what’s ours? It’s true that we have a number of world-class attractions that we can be proud of. But venturing outside our own country also gives us a wider perspective and see more potential in our country beyond our myopic vision when we are stuck here. We see practices and conditions which can help both our thriving local tourism industry as well. Our visit to Sagada recently was prompted by our recent visit to Sapa, Vietnam. These two places are quite similar with the later being more sophisticated, engulfed by modernization which had us worried about the present condition of our beloved Sagada.

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Transit: Going to Sagada

Sagada Bus Window at Halsema Highway

Sagada Bus Window at Halsema Highway

(Updated June 26, 2011) Once in a while, I miss long road trips. Riding at the bus for hours on the road. Come night you rest comfortably at your seat and let the rocking motion of the bus cradle you to sleep. That may also be one reason what drew me back in Sagada last I went there. It’s the road journey itself. And the highlands is the perfect destination for it. Even if the bus doesn’t have air conditioning, most times packed on their crammed little seats, the cool mountain air blowing from the window, the bucolic back country panoramas sliding in front of your eyes is enough to satiate my crave to hit the road and travel.

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Sagada: Morning Unwind

Sagada Morning View

Sagada Morning View

First off all, my sincerest thanks to all those who greeted me on my birthday last week. My apologies if I couldn’t reply back earlier. Braving the category four storm, Marce on the night of my birthday, September 11, was a bit of an extemporaneous decision. Somehow I wanted my birthday to be different this time around. So after dinner with my family, I called up my friend Lagal[og] and dragged him on a road trip up north to Sagada.

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Maps of Batanes Islands

Batan Island Map

Batan Island Map

(Updates: March 11,2014). The Travel eGuide Batanes now available for download here. It contains latest update with details on where to stay and eat, attractions and maps.
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Updated 2015 Batanes Islands Maps can be found here. Just a quick note, this site will be in auto mode for the next two weeks. For the mean time please enjoy these maps of Batanes Islands. I noticed that when searching for Batanes Maps, there wasn’t much information on the internet or even printed books or guides. So the idea suddenly struck me to create a visual, photographic landmark map of each of the Batanes Islands. I love Batanes so much I hope I can fill in some gaps in the future. Especially Itbayat.

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Batanes: Fundacion Pacita Abad

Fundacion Pacita Vertical

Fundacion Pacita Abad at Tukon’s Windswept Hill

One of the places I missed last time I went to Batanes was the Fundacion Pacita Abad in Tukon Hills. So after our half day stay in Sabtang Island, I asked our guide Mang Roger to take us to Pacita Abad’s place in Tukon. Tukon is one of the elevated portions of Batan Island where you can actually have a good view of the surrounding landscapes of Batan Island as well as both the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. So those who still have enough energy to tour ventured this hill, which became one of my favorite places in Batanes.

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Batanes Revisited 2008

Photo 4R Printouts of my Batanes Captures

Some of my 4R Printouts of my Batanes Captures

It’s been 4 years since I have been here and since then I’ve always wanted to go back. My first trip to Batanes has been one of my most memorable travels since then. And when the chance to go back there came knocking in, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Batanes has this long lasting charm that holds you once you have stepped up on its land. And now thanks to Epson Philippines, Geiser Maclang and fellow bloggers Juned as well for the referral, the dream of going back has been fulfilled. And the charm of Batanes is still there.

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Siquijor: From underground to the highest point of Siquijor Island

Cantabon Cave natural bath tub

Cantabon Cave natural bath tub

Apologies for the slow updates here as I’ve been caught in between some side projects and work related projects as well. Promise to do my blog rounds as soon as I’m able. For the meantime here’s one of my last few entries for Siquijor. After doing some rounds of beaches and mangrove sanctuaries surrounding the island, it’s time to go inland and go subterranean and explore some underground wonders, after which, we’ll do a short hike up to the highest point of the island.

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