Tag Archive | "Cebu"

Baler Surf & Music Festival

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Long Story – it’s Short!

Posted on 21 March 2012 by Dreidel Regala

When I went to Taiwan some weeks back I knew I had to go back. It was only a week long trip and I was busy running around a couple of cities, jumping on buses, and catching trains. I knew very much it’s considered a big no-no for travelers to do it this way – I mean there’s just no way experiences will be deep more so it ain’t relaxing at all. But for a corporate worker like me, this is the only way I know I can. I know that already, accepted it, and tossed all my complaining at the back… after all I still need to work it so I can make the dreaming into reality even for just a tiny sip of the cup.

In these short trips we are bound to miss some things. Just like me missing Taipei Zoo and seeing the cute Panda bears when I was in Taiwan. Pandas are not native to Taiwan, they came in from China but even so these huggable creatures are definitely an interesting sight.

Another I consider a “miss” are Yehliu and Jiufen Old Street, technically I did not miss these two because I did pay a visit to these places but due to the awful weather the stop was not fun. Rain and cloud hampered my view but these two are a definite must. Yehliu’s unique rock formation is remarkable and picture perfect so next time I’ll make sure the sun is high and winds are kept to a minimum.

Yehliu on upper right corner

Yehliu on upper right corner

While I was able to get a few snapshots of Yehliu, Jiufen on the other hand had none when I was there. I wasn’t aware of the impending Taiwan holiday when I planned my trip to which resulted in an overcrowded Jiufen. It was awful that I could barely enjoy the food because every stall was busy. On other news the overlooking view of Jiufen was caught M.I.A. too due to the heavy cloud… yeah I thought the cool February is perfect but I guess not. My timing was not right but Jiufen’s Old Street looked really nice. Sometimes though it’s the itinerary that’s too busy…. ahhh I remember going to Kamotes Island in Cebu wherein I never got to try the beach when I was there!

Kamotes Island, Cebu

Kamotes Island, Cebu

On a different angle missing out is not all about the not so good first time. Sometimes when something so nice happened you just want to prolong it… well that’s the case when I was in Krabi Thailand. Known for its great beaches (yes “beaches” not just one).

Maya Bay, Krabi

Maya Bay, Krabi

We were able to see the beautiful islands under the good sun but time flies so fast on the good ones. Just like my stay in Bantayan, Cebu where quiet beautiful white beach lies.

Bantayan Island, Cebu

Bantayan Island, Cebu

Or when you are in a music festival that you never want to stop!

Baler Surf & Music Festival

Baler Surf & Music Festival

So if we can’t have those long trips we’ll just have to keep coming back.

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Philippines: Entry Points

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Dreidel Regala

For a country with many islands that offers a lot of varying attractions, figuring your best entry point is a BIG puzzle. Most travelers come in via the capital city Manila which has most airplane access to popular provinces. On the other hand, some like to avoid it because of the crowd, pollution etc – this is of course the best strategy especially if it brings you nearer to your stop. With that in mind I tried researching on where are the other possible entry points to the archipelago. Do note that some of these will have lesser to possibly no direct access to some of your choice destinations but don’t worry you can still get to them using a ferry, train, bus, jeep or van although availability of such still depends (yup it may not be one easy ride but could be adventurously fun!).

  1. Province: Clark, Pampanga (Luzon)
    Airport: Clark International Airport
    *Local flights to: Cebu, Caticlan
    *Point of Origin: Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore
  2. Province: Davao City (Mindanao)
    Airport: Francisco Bangoy International Airport
    *Local flights to: Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Manila, Zamboanga
    *Point of Origin: Singapore
  3. Province: Kalibo, Aklan (Visayas)
    Airport: Kalibo International Airport 
    *Local flights to
    : Manila
    *Point of Origin: Beijing-Capital, Busan, Hangzhou, Shanghai-Pudong, Seoul-Incheon, Taipei-Taoyuan
  4. Province: Cebu City (Visayas)
    Airport: Mactan-Cebu International Airport
    *Local flights to:
    Bacolod, Bantayan, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Caticlan, Clark, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Legazpi, Manila, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Siargao, Surigao, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga
    *Point of Origin: Busan, Doha, Guangzhou-Baiyun, Hong Kong, Shanghai-Pudong, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Tokyo-Narita
  5. Province: Bataan (Luzon)
    Airport: Subic Bay International Airport
    *Local flights to: Cebu, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa
    *Point of Origin: Seoul-Incheon
  6. Province: Manila (Luzon) 
    AirportNinoy Aquino International Airport
    *Local flights to: Bacolod, Baguio, Basco, Busuanga, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Catarman, Caticlan, Cauayan, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, El Nido, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Marinduque, Masbate, Naga, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Roxas City, San Fernando, San Jose (Mindoro), Surigao, Tablas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Taytay, Tuguegarao, Vigan, Virac, Zamboanga
    *Point of Origin: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bahrain, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Busan, Dammam, Darwin, Delhi, Detroit, Doha, Dubai, Fukuoka, Guam, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta, Jeddah, Kaohsiung, Koror, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Macau, Melbourne, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Port Moresby, Riyadh, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita, Vancouver, Xiamen

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airports_in_the_Philippines

*Airlines may change/update their route map

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Philippines: What to do when it’s raining?

Posted on 15 August 2011 by Dreidel Regala

Philippines is a tropical country. It’s hot and humid most of the time which makes beaches and sun activies a popular retreat. But the country also gets the other side of the weather wheel. Rainy season in The Philippines happens between June to September (but could sometimes go until November) which is exactly the opposite to Europe’s and America’s summer time (and vacation time).

So is there anything to do during the rainy season of Philippines? Answer, absolutely! You won’t have to soak yourself up at the sofa at home or skip your vacation time until next season because there are still tons of things to do.

For a certain group of people the rainy season is their favorite. They pack their gears and boards then head to the nearest (or maybe biggest) wave they can find. Yup, the stoked surfers wish there’d be massive sea rumblings to create their ride. Beginners prefer the La Union and Zambales coasts then eventually head on to Baler, Aurora Province or the monster Siargao island.

Another great water activity that feeds on massive flow is white water rafting. You get splashed and thrown as you maneuver your way through the rapids. Visit Kalinga or Cagayan de Oro and get your adventure. And when your at it do check other possible activities in the area (like in CamSur) where you could also find a place to wakeboard, jetski etc.

Did you know that The Philippines is made up of a lot of Islands (7,107!)? And like having different tongue dialects is not enough, the food also varies! Every province has their own specialty to offer and to which a stranger must try. Go food tripping to the province of Bacolod and taste their Inasal chicken, have a hot La Paz Batchoy soup in Iloilo, eat the sweetest Mangoes from Guimaras, divulge yourself with the tastiest Lechon from Cebu, or head to the culinary capital Pampanga. Whichever it is you prefer just don’t forget to grab a balut!

There are several festivals going on around the country all throughout the year, and fortunately some do fall on the rainy months! The Pintados festival happening on June 29 in Leyte is one of the most colorful ones with participants decorating themselves with body art. Another popular one is the August Kadayawan festival of Davao. Food feast, souvenirs and a lot of performances happening so it will be everything fun. Bacolod also has its own version with the MassKara festival in October. This is a great opportunity to eat the yummy Inasal chicken while you’re watching the entertaining performances of masked dancers. And if you want to see giant “higantes” paper-made puppets head to the Higantes festival in Angono Rizal on November 23.

And finally take a plane to the northernmost tip of the archipelago – Batanes. While the rest of the country is raining, the people in Batanes consider the rainy months as their summer. See beautiful hill landscapes, stone houses and a different culture in this interesting part of The Philippines.

Well there you go. The rainy season isn’t so bad after all. Get yourself up and make your adventure count under the rain.

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Kapeng Barako

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Must-try food in The Philippines

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Dreidel Regala

Cebu Lechon

Cebu Lechon

It’s found all over the country but the best ones are said to be in Cebu. It’s basically roasted pig.

Mangoes

Ripe mango

Philippines mangoes are sweet and the best ones are from Guimaras island in Iloilo.

Halayang Ube

Halayang ube

Made from mashed purple yam, ube is a Filipino dessert.

Kaldereta

Kaldereta

Another Spanish inspired dish, Kaldereta is a beef stewed in tomato paste with potatoes, carrots, and pepper.

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