Thursday, June 28, 2012

Viaje Camarines Norte | Isla Calaguas

Day 1 - April 21, 2012

In less than 2 hours, our boat finally reached Mahabang Buhangin beach.... my initial reaction, "Wow, andaming tents."
Expectation: A pristine beach with few tents and few people. Just pure serenity and sound of nature.

Reality: A seemingly tent city - more than 20 red uniform tents - was set to dominate the middle of Mahabang Buhangin beach, and the people (tolerable naman ang dami nila) are everywhere.
Well, to tell you honestly, I was a bit disappointed with what came to my sight, it's quite too different from what I really expect on a "virgin island". The tents and the music on the beach, they create a vibe similar to Puerto Galera and Boracay. It's a saddening truth really, but what should we expect on an island getting more and more popular nowadays. The once "virgin island" was raped by the growing number of tourists and tour organizers.

So to all my readers, ngayon pa lang sinasabihan ko na kayo, DON'T EXPECT anymore a VIRGIN ISLAND VIBE in CALAGUAS ISLANDS if you don't want to get disappointed. Maybe you have to go there on the leanest season (weekdays and rainy days??) to somehow still feel the virgin island. To give you a hint on how Calagauas Island currently looks like, visit my friend's post: Nasa Calaguas Parin Ba Ako?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Subic Homes

After spending a whole weekend at Subic Bay, here's another homestay review to make...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Viaje Camarines Norte | Calaguas Islands via Paracale

Saturday - April 21, 2012

05:10 in the morning, the bus just dropped us at Talobatib junction in Camarines Norte. Our butts were still numb from the 8-hour road trip from Manila.

Superlines Bus: Manila-Talobatib Junction
Our fare was cheaper(P450.00) because the bus line was offering an Anniversary Discount by the time we traveled to Camarines Norte. On regular days, fare is P510.00

Talobatib Junction at 6 in the morning

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mt. Makiling | MakTrav For The 3rd Time

It's very nice to be back again on the trails of Mt. Makiling just after 2 months. Everything still seemed so much familiar, as if I did my last climb here only yesterday. Some hiking friends who are all "MakTrav Virgins" asked me a simple request which I find very hard to turn down - to guide them.

It was my third time to do Mt. Makiling Traverse (my first and second time here happened consecutively in the first and second Saturdays of March 2012). I took the Palanggana Trail via Brgy. San Bartolome jump-off on all of my previous climbs, so syempre dito ko rin dinala ang aking mga gina-guide.   

I already wrote a detailed MakTrav post and I don't want to write the same details all over again. So basically, I will just post here a list of some new things I encountered on my 3rd MakTrav. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Travel History: College Life

From D class traveler to C.

As I entered the college phase of my life, the traveler in me exploded like a bomb. I became unstoppable after the travel bug bit me. 

Actually it was only during my 3rd year in college when my interest to move on all the corners of the Philippines heightened. I was able to explore Ilocandia in the north, visited its famous attractions such as Old Town Vigan, Paoay Church, Pagudpud, Bangui Windmills and Patapat Viaduct. For me, it was a life changing trip as it was my first no-parental-guidance trip.

Then by November 2010, there came the birth of this blog, Batang Lakwatsero, which was soon affiliated to Pinoy Travel Bloggers (PTB), a group of Filipino travel bloggers who actively inspire others to travel the Philippines and other countries. In fact, it is the people from PTB who influenced me to travel more this beautiful country.

I went to Sagada, Bolinao, towns of Quezon, and Zambales. I even braved the island province of Marinduque on solo. I also had my first flight experience to my first Visayan province which is Cebu.

By the end of my college years, I was again introduced into a new addicting activity - mountaineering. This outdoor sports which is becoming more popular nowadays has paved more opportunities for me to visit the roads that only the adventure buffs of extreme level would dare to go.

I climbed mountains like there's no tomorrow, within just 4 months, I conquered 13 Luzon mountains. Among these mountains, my top choice are Mt. Makiling (Batangas-Laguna), Mt. Maculot (Batangas) and Mt. Ugo (Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet). Oh, there's even an instance that I stood on the border of three different provinces coming from three different regions (Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya), this was located at the summit of Mt. Ugo.

Many told me that I am lucky that I started traveling at a young age, which means I have plenty of time to cover all the 80 Philippine provinces. At the age of 20, I already have 22 on the record, 58 more to go to completely fill my Lakbayan Map with dark blue.  

Previous: Travel History 1992-2008
Next update: end of 2013.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Marikina Shoe Museum

Other than being the extravagant first lady of the late dictator, Imelda Marcos is known for her grand collection of shoes, and I really mean a GRAND COLLECTION OF SHOES. This old dame possessed hundreds if not thousands pair of shoes from simple leather ones to luxurious ones ornamented with precious stones and metals. If Cruella De Vil is dying to get those dalmatians' fur, and Jinky Pacquio has a growing collection of Hermes Bags, then I guess shoes are Imelda's greatest addiction. In fact, her name is quite synonymous to extravagance and SHOES.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mt. Marami | Stormed And Clouded

02:00 AM at Mt. Marami camp site

Situation critical! (Typhoon Ambo was striking). Wind blowing wild, rain pouring hard, and lightning striking badly. There's a flood of about 3 inches deep inside our tent. I wished it was just a nightmare, but no, it was all real. We want to sleep but we can't, aargghh, it is my worstest camping experience ever!


We [me and 2 other climbing buddies] were alone at the campsite of Mt. Marami on the night of June 1st when we experienced this traumatizing typhoon battery. It was really a terrifying experience (talagang mapapa-promise ka never to do it again). We felt so helpless. But what the heck are we doing on this mountain in the first place at this terrible time? Blame it to our undying lust for adventure!

It was Thursday night when I decided to join Josh and Christian in their exciting quest on Mt. Marami, the mountain famous for its handsome rocky summit. Mt. Marami also has a history of mountaineers getting lost on its labyrinth of confusing trails, hence, many mountaineers jokingly call it "Mt. Maraming Ligaw." Getting a guide here is highly recommended (pero hindi kami kumuha ng guide).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mt. Pulag (Ambangeg Trail) | The Trail, The Campsite, And The Jaw-dropping Summit View

It was raining bad along the famous Ambangeg Trail. I checked the view to my right but it was all white, almost completely covered by thick layers of fog/clouds. 'sighs'. Will I see my Pulag Dream?

The Trail

Most of my hiking buddies used their raincoats, I got no raincoat. What I have is this large orange umbrella (na pang limahan ang capacity). Thanks to it, me and my backpack got the full protection we very much needed.


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