The island of Basilan is surrounded by the Moro Gulf on the northeast, Basilan Strait on the north, the Sulu Sea on the northwest and west, and the Celebes Sea on the south, southeast and east.
A week before I went to Basilan, a bomb exploded in a restaurant in downtown Isabela City and left two persons dead and at least 15 others wounded. I was advised by my friends not to push through with my plan, but I didn't mind them. I didn't even bother to tell my family as I don't want them to worry too much. I must admit, I'm a bit scared, but that didn't hinder me in pursuing my goal - to set foot in Basilan.
If you've been following my site for some time now, you probably have noticed that I'm quite fascinated with heritage houses. I've seen heritage houses in my previous trips to Vigan, Ilocos Sur (2005), Silay City, Negros Occidental (2010) and Taal, Batangas (2011). From then on, I feel certain awe when I see the houses - especially when they are well preserved. But sometimes, reality bites when some of these ancestral houses are not taken cared of. It's disheartening to see old houses being torn down or left until its dying days.
Travel Guide : Coron Palawan - How To Get There, Accommodations, Transportation, Travel Expenses, Contact Details and Itinerary
HOW TO GET THERE
Coron is easily accessible by air from Manila, travel time is about 1 hour. You may check AirPhil Express and other local airlines for the fares and schedules. Another 40-minute trip by land will take you to the town proper of Coron. By sea, it's a 12-hour trip from Manila. Check out WG&A Super Ferry for the fares and trip schedules.
I never thought that a trip to Coron Palawan would be this affordable. I’ve always had this perception that going to this world-famous tourist destination is expensive, not until I went there last June 19-21, 2011. If you've been following this series, you definitely know now that it wasn't an easy journey for me reaching Palawan - but all that hardships were paved off as it was an awesome 3D/2N Coron adventure.
On my last and final day in Coron, I just went with my friends to the port and waited for them until they leave for another day of island hopping adventure. Too bad I cannot join them this time, since my flight back to Manila is at 1:00 PM. Nonetheless, I enjoyed having some "time alone" and roamed around to check on what the town proper has to offer.
I think, everyone will agree when I say that “the highlight of every trip to Coron would be the island hopping activity”. As mentioned by a local, "the beauty of Coron cannot be found in the mainland but on the islands surrounding it". Yes indeed! We witnessed these stunning lakes, breathtaking islands, awesome corals gardens, and pristine white sand beaches on one of the best island hopping adventures I've had so far.
I was nominated by Renevic of Mandaragat. Mamumundok. Lagalag. to take part in My 7 Links Project of Tripbase. This project aims “to unite bloggers in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.” Here are my 7 links:
MOST BEAUTIFUL POST - I've Fallen In Love with Aurora
Aurora province doesn't just have awesome natural wonders, it also has wonderful people and offers endless adventurous activities. That's why I quickly have fallen in love with the beauty and the warm people of Aurora province.
It's my first time in Palawan. And I'm so excited to explore this most talked about and world famous tourist destination in the Philippines. So, upon checking-in at Rudy's place in Coron, we unpacked our things and had our very late lunch. Then, we prepared for the "day 1 activities" in our itinerary.
At the hostel, we met new friends who are from Davao City - Kuya Odie and Ate Bait. Together with my friends, Ricky and Jay-ann, we took the tricycle provided by our tour organizer and went to our first destination, Mount Tapyas.
It was the day when typhoon Falcon is ravishing the northern part of Luzon. Before going to the airport, I was actually expecting our flight to be cancelled, but (good thing) it wasn't. We were delayed for more than an hour, and there were some late routine checks on the aircraft before we're able to board and took off. We’re finally airborne at around 11:00 AM and after about 40 minutes, I got a glimpse of the amazing islands in the northern part of Busuanga. It's truly breathtaking!
Travel Guide : Aurora - How to Get There, Accommodation, Transportation, Travel Expenses, Contact Details and Itinerary
HOW TO GET THERE
How to get to Baler from Manila
Option #1 : Genesis Transport, Inc. is the only bus company that provides direct trips to Baler, Aurora from Cubao. The first trip is at 2:00 AM with subsequent trips at one hour intervals, last trip leaves Cubao at 7:30 AM. From Baler to Pasay, the first bus leaves at 4:30 AM, also with subsequent trips every hour. The last trip is at 3:00 PM. Travel time is approximately 7 hours. For more information, visit their website or you may call +(632)709-0803/+(632)421-1425.
I must admit, I am not as Adventurista that you might think when it comes to food. Shame on me! Hahaha! I'm not just comfortable eating dishes that I am not accustomed to. Hehehe! But my recent trip to Aurora province changed it all when my friends from Baler introduced me to their “Ensaladang Pako”.
I’m not sure if this is native to the town or to the province, but I’m certain that the others also have their own version of this – perhaps, with a different name.
Certainly, Aurora province is rich in natural resources. So rich, you'll never run out of things to explore. So, for my 3rd and supposedly last day in Baler, I was brought by my friends to Ditumabo waterfalls, locally referred to as the Mother falls. Located in Brgy. Ditumabo in the town of San Luis, it's one of the major attractions of the province. According to some locals, it's the biggest waterfalls in the province so it gets the name mother falls.
Illegal logging has been a perennial problem in the province of Aurora. A reality that we have to face despite the implementation of President Aquino's Executive Order No. 23 declaring an indefinite log ban all over the country.
It’s good to know that there are environmental groups such as the Noble Blue Falcons International (NBFI) - environmentalists, peace crusaders. A pro-environment non-government organization with a membership of at least 2 million worldwide, of which more than 400,000 members are in the Philippines. The group organizes environmental awareness campaigns, forest watch and monitoring as well as reforestation under its diverse environmental programs.
Baler is considered as the "birthplace of surfing in the Philippines. It started when Francis Ford Coppola's cult movie classic "Apocalypse Now" was filmed in this quaint town way back in
When the rain had stopped, we went out again of the hostel and rented a tricycle that brought us to Diguisit Beach. Only after 15 minutes, an awesome view of the Baler Bay welcomed us, as we enter Brgy. Zabali. I must say that Baler (and Aurora as a whole) is synonymous with serenity. It’s a place that will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of city life. A haven for reflection and a place for great relaxation.