Tourism is not really the main draw in Bongao, Tawi-tawi so there aren’t that many accommodations to choose from. There are however three notable hotels there which caters to businessmen, visitors and the occasional travelers in Tawi-Tawi. We were able to stay at some of them and we can say that don’t expect any 3-5 star types here. Most of the rooms are basic and spartan. (Updated December 2014) Almost 5 years since my first visit, there are already additional options for stay in Bongao. Some though have remained the same.
The ferry cruised along a channel as we steadily approached Puerto Galera Bay. The afternoon sun was radiating its warm light on a number of parked boats and yachts along the bay, making them appear golden above the cobalt sea. As the light strikes the ocean water, the surface glinted with a playful array of shimmer, dancing along the waves and ripples as our ferry drew closer into Muelle Port. It’s been more than four years since I last stepped foot on the island of Mindoro. The signs of development were everywhere — the port facilities have improved. The colors seem more vivid and alive this time around. It was much beautiful as I remembered. No wonder this bay has been awarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.
After shooting the impressive Cathedral in Boac, we just walked down the main street and bought some arrow root pasalubong at Boac Hotel just across the church. Hired a tricycle to take us back to Gasan. The mid day ride seems long and I was dozing off through the ride. It took at least 40 minutes until we reached Barangay Pinggan. Finally we arrived in Club Marinduque Resort.
Dubbed as the “Paris of Negros“, the Town of Silay
is next to out rivals Vigan in terms of a number of well preserved Ancestral Houses. It is interesting to see how the former moniker fares and also the presence of ancestral houses that we decided to stay at one of the 31 heritage houses there, the Baldevia Pensione House.
Dayon Camo (Welcome) Coron! Talk about Living by Water. I guess it’s true that what you hold most in your mind will find itself in reality sooner or later. Our accommodation in Coron, was such. There were several options on lodging in Coron but with the long weekend, it would seem a lot have booked earlier so most of the rooms at popular lodgings were quickly snatched. When learning Krystal Lodge has a couple rooms to spare just enough for the rest of us, I immediately reserved the rooms for us. So for 3 days and two nights, this is our home in this proverbial island in Palawan.
I’ve been eying Ha Long Bay for some time now. In fact, I was supposed to go here on my first visit to Vietnam but ended up in the central area instead. But that place didn’t disappoint as well since it has 3 World Heritage sites that each yielded a unique experience: from the elaborate citadels and tomb raiding at Hue, warping back in time at the French Colonial streets of Hoi An and exploring the Ancient Kingdom of the Champas at My Son. But the natural wonder of a karst-filled bay has quite an appeal that I went fidgety with delight when my buddy Oggie informed me he was going to northern Vietnam. After much convincing and being accompanied by a
clown good friend, I just couldn’t pass this up and joined the trip.
Have you ever tried staying in an enchanted isle before? A place where people believe elemental spirits dwell on a Castle Tignaman Tree, UFOs usually stops by on a certain schedule, where a white lady would shower at night to enamor its chosen prey. These are the stories of old people from Guimaras tell of the island known as Nagarao. Whether these stories are true or not, I assure you, the natural beauty of this island will captivate those who step on its shores.