Caramoran | Palumbanes Islands and Hitoma Lake

Approaching Tignob Island of Palumbanes Islands
Approaching Tignob Island of Palumbanes Islands

Not to be mistaken by the similarly sounding Caramoan in Camarines Sur, Caramoran is a municipality, northwest of Catanduanes. The name admittedly came from the former when people would point to the former which is just on the opposite side of the strait separating the provinces. Not to be left off as a shade of its homonymic neighbor, Caramoran, one of the largest municipality in Catanduanes, boast the idyllic isles of Palumbanes Islands and languid Hitoma Lake on land. This is the second part of my return visit to the Happy Island of Catanduanes in conjunction with the 2018 Abaca Festival.

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Pattaya Sea Adventure and Koh Larn Island

At the Koh Larn island viewpoint
At the Koh Larn island viewpoint

We’re in the midst of the summer season heat and the call of the sea grows even stronger. With AirAsia Filipino introducing direct flights from Manila to Bangkok, there’s another beach or island getaway to add to your summer destination – Pattaya, Thailand. Pattaya, is the second most visited city in Thailand after Bangkok and there’s a good reason why. It’s the closest beach escape from the bustling city. For a full day of tropical island fun, Pattaya Sea Adventure handled our tour (booked via KKday) which includes parachute ride, sea walk, snorkeling and beach bumming at Koh Larn Island.

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Bataan | Aroma Beach Hideaway: Your Semi-Private Cove for a Night or Two

Approaching Aroma Beach Hideaway
Approaching Aroma Beach Hideaway

Weekend escapes usually entails some planning – from where to go, how to get there, what food to bring and where to stay. The choice for weekend trips from Manila are usually at the popular beaches of Batangas, Zambales and Quezon. What if I tell you there’s a tranquil and secluded cove only 3–4 hours away from Manila that you just have to conveniently bring yourself and not think about the food or the place to stay? Aroma Beach Hideaway is tucked in between Morong and Bagac at underrated Bataan. Managed by Bataan Nature Adventure, they emphasize on just enjoying your time at their beautiful cove and let them handle the rest.

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Finding the Perfect Philippine Beach for You and Your Companions

A luxury beach at Pangulasian El Nido
A luxury beach at Pangulasian El Nido

Vacations season is fast approaching. Whether you are looking into the mid christmas and new year break or the summer vacation months ahead, it’s that time of the year to plan ahead. Planning maximizes your budget with early bird rates. Another factor is deciding where to go on vacation. More often than not, people love the beach. With 7,107 islands, finding the perfect Philippine Beach can be an overwhelming choice. Based on the many beach and island destinations I have been to, they vary in character, quality and activities. So finding the appropriate beach destination depends on who you are with, whether traveling as a couple, as a family, a bunch of friends or with retirees. Here’s an idea how beach experience differ depending on who you’re with or the way you travel.

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Sabtang Island | Lukoy Beach: Hidden Beauty and Healing Waters

Lukoy Beach, the secret white beach of Sabtang Island
Lukoy Beach, the secret white beach of Sabtang Island

Much can be said already about Sabtang Island, Batanes. It may be the the most accessible island from Batan island and host to many day trip tours, but there are still spots that remain untouched by visitors on the tourist trail. Lukoy Beach is one of those white sand beaches that people often pass by when doing a tour in Savidug and Chavayan. Often called the Secret Beach of Sabtang, the inviting white stretch can be viewed from a cliff. My native guide Mael, knew the way though. So coming from the Savidug Idjang Fortress, we rode back to the village to borrow his improvised snorkeling gear and rode towards this pristine white beach.

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La Union | San Juan Beach Sundown

Lifeguard post at San Juan Beach
Lifeguard post at San Juan Beach

It’s easy to get lost in reverie when on the beach. The infinite swells and crashing waves has that hypnotic hook once gazed for merely seconds. This same trance-like state lingered for a moment as sundown sets upon the famed San Juan Beach of La Union. San Juan beach is a playground for both novice and veteran surfers. But for non surfers, it’s an ideal stretch to lounge or simply walk around.

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San Andres | Allure of Alibijaban Island: Sandbars, Mangroves and Clear Waters

Approaching Alibijaban Island
Approaching Alibijaban Island

We could see the long strip of the white sandy shores of Alibijaban Island from the port. We arrived just in time for the sunrise after a long six-hour drive from Manila. I was in the company of my fellow officemates from the university I currently work with and we’re on an outing trip. But it seems, we won’t be alone on the island as we were expecting. The newly built port already had a few vehicles parked, probably heading to the same island. Alibijaban Island has garnered quite a popularity in the past couple of years, and I had to blame my friends, Dong Ho and Allan of Lantaw for that somehow. I had some laughs when I recount Dong Ho’s story of being mistaken as an NPA when he first set foot on the island. He had to seek comfort and security under the baranggay captain since no tourist comes to their island. Now visitors here picked up especially on weekends. What drives people on this southern region of Quezon province?

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