Thursday, March 30, 2017

If you are already in the Bicol Region and you want to visit Catanduanes, you may go to Tabaco, Albay and take a ferry from there to Virac or San Andres in the province of Catanduanes. The ferry schedule is not 24 hours so you must take note of the trips so you will have less waiting time in the port. (Read: 10 Things to Do in Catanduanes)

Here are the ferry schedule and fare from Tabaco, Albay to Catanduanes and vice-versa:

Tabaco Port to Virac Port:
Eugenia Ferry: 6:00AM - 11:40AM

Tabaco Port to San Andres Port:
Calixta Ferry: 7:00AM to 11:00PM
Silangan Fast Craft: 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Virac Port to Tabaco:
Eugenia Ferry: 1:00PM to 5:00PM

San Adres Port to Tabaco Port:
Calixta Ferry: 1:00PM - 4:30PM
Silangan Fast Craft: 7:00AM - 8:30AM

Fare varies from P150-P300 for the RORO. The fare for the FastCraft is at P320.

Schedule may change sometimes without prior notice so it's better to be early at the port. Travel time to and from San Andres is shorter than in Virac. If you are in a hurry, I suggest you take the San Andres route. There are a lot of vans and jeepneys from the port to Virac, Pandan and other parts of Catanduanes.

Have you been to these ports lately and saw some changes in the fare and schedule? Please let us know by commenting below. Thanks.

El Nido and Coron are two of the most popular places to visit in the Province of Palawan. Coron is relatively far from El Nido but it can be reached by a boat / ferry. You don't have to go back to Manila from Coron just to go to El Nido. Here are three options on how to get to El Nido from Coron and vice-versa.

Coron to El Nido / El Nido to Coron via Large Outrigger Boats
Bunso and Jessabel boats can bring you to El Nido from Coron in about 5-9 hours depending on the weather condition and the boat. Fare is P1,400.
Coron to El Nido Boat Schedule: Departs Coron between 7:30-8:30AM
El Nido to Coron Boat Schedule: Departs El Nido between 7:30-8:30AM

Coron to El Nido / El Nido to Coron via FastCraft
Starting last year, Montenegro Shipping Lines started offering ferry services from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa. It only takes about 3.5 hours to reach El Nido from Coron. The fare is P1,760.
Coron to El Nido Ferry Schedule: Departs Coron at 12NN
El Nido to Coron Ferry Schedule: Departs El Nido at 6AM

Coron to El Nido / El Nido to Coron via Passenger/Cargo Ship
MV May Lillies has a weekly schedule from Coron to El Nido and vice-versa. Travel time is about 8 hours and fare is P1,150.
Coron to El Nido Ship Schedule: Departs Coron on Mondays: 7:00 am
El Nido to Coron Ship Schedule: Departs El Nido on Wednesdays: 7:30 am

Have you been to these ports lately and saw some changes in the fare and schedule? Please let us know by commenting below. Thanks.

Traveling from Luzon to Visayas by land is made easy by the Roll-on Roll-off stations in Matnog, Sorsogon and Allen, Northern Samar. The operations of these ports are 24/7 so you can cross any time except when there are weather disturbances like a typhoon. All operations are suspended when PAGASA declares a typhoon signal. 

There are several ports in Allen that you can choose from to depart or arrive. Depending on the ferry that you are taking you may arrive/depart in Hubasan, Dapdap and Looc. Travel time from Matnog to Allen and vice-versa is approximately two hours. Sometimes, ports in Allen can really get crowded so another option is to depart from San Isidro via FastCat. Here's the Ferry Schedule of trips from San Isidro to Matnog and Vice-Versa.

Santa Clara Shipping
Santa Clara operates 24 hours from Matnog to Allen. Their ferry schedule is every 2-3 hours. They have a morning trip departing Matnog at 6AM and arrives in Allen at 8AM. As mentioned earlier, frequency is about 2-3 hours. Passenger Fare is P120 for adults.

Montenegro Shipping Lines
Montenegro Shipping Lines also operates 24 hours but their schedule varies from time to time. Normally, the morning trips are more reliable than the afternoon trips, according to their hotline. They have trips from Matnog at 2AM, 6AM, and 10AM. Other schedules vary. Passenger fare is P120.

There are other ferries that cross between Matnog and Allen like Star Ferry and 2Go, will update about their schedule as soon as I have them.

Have you been to these ports lately and saw some changes in the fare and schedule? Please let us know by commenting below. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

More and more tourist spots are becoming popular in the Bicol Province including the Land of the Howling Wind Catanduanes. This island is fresh, fascinating, and full of life wherein you will witness a lot of attractions that only here can be seen. Barreling waves caused by strong winds will surely excite you as you stroll along the shore. But what are the 10 best things to do in Catanduanes? (Read: Achievement Unlocked: Visited All 81 Provinces in PH)

Binurong Point. This place will make you feel like you’re in Batanes. After a 30-minute trek, there’s more time to spend in exploring Binurong Point. You’ll see rugged cliffs, mesmerizing views, and undulating green hills from this spot.

Nahulugan, Hicming, and Maribina Falls. Before you enjoy the freshness and clearness of these waterfalls, you’ll first endure an exciting trek in the mountains. These falls are a few meters high and are surrounded by verdant trees.

Bato Church. Originally called St. John the Baptist Church, Bato Church is literally made of stones and bricks. This is a historical building in Catanduanes with its century-old and Baroque-style cathedral that offers a lot of life-learning stories.

Museo de Catanduanes. If you want to discover the rich history and culture of Catanduanes, this is the right place to be. There are so many antique materials and artifacts to see inside the building.

Puraran Beach. This beach is a paradise for surfers and swimmers. If you want a little bit of excitement, Puraran Beach can give you barreling waves and stronger current for more adventurous activities.

Twin Rock Resort. Got its name from the iconic rocks located in the shoreline. This resort offers breathtaking views for tourists as they explore the boulders and giant rocks with floating huts in the sea.

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Luyang Cave. For those who want some mysterious effect while they experience Catanduanes’ beauty, Luyang Cave is another must-see attraction. You’ll also get a glimpse of Mount Cagmasoso from this point.

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Fiat House Cave-Inspired Chapel. This chapel is formed into a cave so it’s more dramatic during pilgrims and soul searching. You can find peace and serenity here, so don’t forget to check out this spot.

Balacay Point. Another spot for nature tripping and sightseeing. The stunning views offered from this point will give you unforgettable memories. You’ll see the Pacific horizon with islets and hills around it.

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Food trip. And before you end your Catanduanes trip, you deserve some delicious treats from local restaurants and food shops in the island. Seafood is rich in the place along with vegetables and fruits.

How to Get There
Catanduanes is reachable via air, water, or land. But the popular transporation is a bus ride from Manila going to Tabaco City. From Tabaco, ride a RO-RO ferry to get to Catanduanes Island via Virac seaport or San Andres. But if you don’t like road tripping, you can simply book a flight with Cebu Pacific and arrive at Virac airport fresh. However, taking a plane will cost you much. For buses, you can ride DLTB, Alps, or Cagsawa bus from Cubao Station to Tabaco.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Siquijor is one of the Philippines' emerging tourist destinations. Formerly known as “Isla Del Fuego” (Island of fire), Siquijor is an island province located in Central Visayas. It is accessible by ferry from Dumaguete, Cebu and Tagbilaran, Bohol.

Here's the schedule of Ferry and Fare Rates from Dumaguete to Siquijor and vice-versa via OceanJet:

Schedule of Ferry and Fare Rates from Dumaguete to Siquijor via Montenegro Lines (Travel time 1 hr 30 mins)

7:00 AM
10:30 AM
2:00 PM

Montenegro Lines Fare (Dumaguete to Siquijor, Siquijor)
Regular fare 130 Php

Montenegro Lines Fare (Dumaguete to Larena, Siquijor)
Regular fare 170 php

Schedule of Ferry and Fare Rates from Dumaguete to Siquijor via Aleson Shipping Lines(Travel time 1 hr 30 mins)

Aleson Shipping Lines Fare

Regular 120 Php

Schedule of Ferry and Fare Rates from Tagbilaran, Bolhol to Siquijor and vice-versa via OceanJet:

Have you been to these ports lately and saw some changes in the fare and schedule? Please let us know by commenting below. Thanks.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

When you hear about Abra, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Perhaps, you’re thinking of the “unsafe” reputation of this province. But come to think of it, those “dangers” were all in the past. The place is now secure especially for travelers. So, if you’re planning for another adventure here in the Philippines particularly in Luzon, Abra is one of the top picks that travelers choose because of its mysterious image and hidden gems that can only be seen here. (Read: Achievement Unlocked : Visited All 81 Provinces in PH)

Here are the 15 best things you can do in Abra:

Piwek Rock Formation. This is probably one of the highlights when you visit Abra. It’s a natural rock formation located in Tineg River. The challenge of going here includes hiking, river crossing, walking down the rough rocks, and a long jeepney ride.

Victoria Park. Located in Cassamata Hill, Victoria Park gives you an overlooking view of the province of Abra.

Don Mariano Marcos Bridge. This bridge is one of the steel bridges you will pass by when you take the Abra to Kalinga national road. The towns you can visit are Dolores, Langangilang, and Tayum.

Tangadan Tunnel. One of the famous landmarks in Abra where in you can experience an adventure down the 40 meters tunnel.

Abra Provincial Capitol. Abra's Provincial Capitol is not as grand the other capitols you see around the Philippines but it is something you should see when you visit Abra. It is located in the town of Bangued.

Apao Rolling Hills. From Tineg River, you will pass along this mountainous area in Apao where you’ll see the beautiful rolling hills. It’s a breathtaking spot with high elevation and foggy atmosphere.

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Kaparkan Falls. This is a must-see attraction in Abra that showcases terraced water falls within Tineg. However, you would want to check out the place during rainy seasons for a more impressive look.

Pagting Falls. If you can’t visit Kaparkan Falls, this is the best alternative. Pagting Falls is a two tiered waterfall located in Bangued. The fun experience is climbing the sides of the waterfall to reach the upper level.

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Calaba Bridge. This 900-meter long bridge extends through the popular Abra River. It’s one of the longest bridges in the Philippines where you can witness the rocky side of the province.

Gabriela Silang Shrine. After Tangadan Tunnel, this is the place to visit. Gabriela Silang, a Philippine revolution’s heroine, is actually a local of Abra.

Bangued Cathedral. The cathedral sits just a few feet away from the Provincial Capitol. Beside the cathedral is its old convento which has now been converted into a school.

Tayum Church. The Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church, populary known as the Tayum Church is a 19th Century Baroque church located in the town of Tayum in Abra Province. It is about 10-15 minutes away by tricycle from the town of Bangued.

Our Lady of Peace Church. Located in the town of La Paz, west of Abra River, is a cetury-old Our Lady of Peace Church. It is about 20-30 minutes travel by tricycle from Bangued.

San Lorenzo Ruiz Shrine. This cemetery chapel of Bangued was built during the 19th century. It is a brick chapel with twin belfries and triangular pediment.

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Food trip. A must-try when in the province is Abra's pancit miki. It is made of miki noodles flavored with pork broth and annatto seeds (atsuete).

How to Get There

From Manila, you can ride Dominion or Partas bus to reach Abra’s capital, Bangued. Once you’re there, you can ride a tricycle to visit nearby towns and tourists attractions. But if you’re using a private vehicle, you can reach Bangued within 7-8 hours from Rizal Park/Kilometer Zero. Use the Manila North Road, TPLEX, SCTEX, or NLEX when going to Abra. You can follow the road signs if you’re not familiar with the area or study the directions via Google Map. Enjoy the sceneries as you take a long road trip to the beautiful city of Abra.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Queen City of the South, Cebu is a wonderful pick for a vacation. There’s nothing that can disappoint you when you reach Cebu. The people are friendly and the city and resorts have all the commodities that you need. There are also many destinations to choose from in the island, all of them rich in culture, history and natural beauty. (Read: 10 Things to do in Cebu City)

1. Magellan’s Cross
What is a trip to Cebu without a visit to Magellan’s cross near Basilica del Sto. Nino. It is the cross that started the largest Catholic congregation in all of Asia. Drop by to say a short prayer or just marvel at its history.

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2. Simala Shrine
You can’t quite put the inspiration towards the architecture of this shrine. Is it Gothic? Baroque? But you’re quite sure that it’s breathtaking and majestic. The Simala shrine is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a perfect destination whether or not you’re a devout Catholic. It is only a bus ride away from Cebu City, so make sure to pay a visit.

3. Taoist Temple
Just as the Catholic churches and shrines are breathtakingly beautiful, so too is the Taoist temple in Cebu city. It is perched high above Cebu, and gives visitors a view of the city below. The Taoist temple is accessible via a short taxi ride from the city.

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4. Taboan Public Market
They say that it’s in the marketplace there that you can see what the people eat, what they buy for their everyday needs, and what’s popular among them. It’s like a little pantry of the city. Taboan is full of Cebu’s dried fish produce, as well as their sweets and other delicacies. It’s accessible by jeep from almost anywhere in Cebu City. (Read: 10 Must-Try Food in Cebu)
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5. Museo Sugbo
If you want a crash course on Cebuano history, then Museo Sugbo is a recommended stop.It houses artifacts, statues, art, and other historical items.  Fun fact, the building where it is now was the old carcel or city jail of Cebu.

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6. Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro is one of the few surviving Spanish forts in the country. Imagine it as a small Intramuros, with old stone walls and old cannons displayed here and there. It is now a small park that is worthy of exploring for those afternoons when you just want to experience history.
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7. Lapu-lapu Shrine

Everyone knows Lapu-lapu, the first Filipino hero who valiantly fought Magellan. No wonder Cebuanos are brave, they have Lapu-lapu’s blood in their veins. Know more about him when you visit the shrine of Lapu-lapu in Mactan.
8. Oslob Whale Shark Watching

These gentle giants were discovered in the waters of Oslob in 2011. Since then, tourists have been flocking to the town to catch a glimpse of the biggest fish in the world. Hop on a bus to Oslob from Cebu city and pack your snorkel and fins to catch a swim with them.

9. Alegre Guitar Factory

Cebuanos are known for their inclination towards music. It’s no wonder then, that they should also produce the best musical instruments. The Alegre Guitar Factory has been making guitars for decades and you can witness some being made in their factory in Mactan. It’s only a jeepney ride away from the resort town of Maribago. 

10. Bantayan island
There are many beaches in Cebu, but by far, Bantayan Island takes the crown for being picturesque and unforgettable. It offers everything a beach could offer. Diving, snorkeling, and island hopping are popular activities. It is accessible via a boat ride from the main island and is a fitting way to cap off your Cebu experience.

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11. Canyoning / Canyoneering in Badian  / Kawasan Falls
Canyoneering in Badian is one of Cebu's must-do activities. It is also one most adrenaline pumping adventures in the province.