Iligan City is known as the "City of Majestic Waterfalls". I will not let this visit pass without checking on how majestic these waterfalls are. So, on my 2nd day in the city, I was accompanied by my friend, Jerwin in exploring the waterfalls around the city. Our first destination is the Tinago Waterfalls. Literally means "hidden", the falls is concealed within a deep ravine. One should go through a little bit of trekking of approximately 500 descending steps to reach this hidden jewel.
After exploring Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, I went back to Iligan City to find a hostel where I could spend a night. Since it was already dark when I reached the city, I had a hard time finding one that fits my budget. The cheapest that I was able to find is at 400 pesos per night. I took it! So, after settling in, I went out to have dinner with my friend. He suggested that we meet at the night cafe set up in the city plaza. Good thing, it's just a few steps away from where I'm staying.
A mosque is a Muslim place for prayer and worship. It comes from the Arabic word masjid which means "a place of prostration" to God. Being an Islamic City, Marawi has a lot of Mosques. I'm glad that even with a limited time, I was able to visit at least one of Marawi City's mosques.
It is my privilege to personally witness how rich Maranao and the Muslim culture in general is, by visiting the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts. Originally opened in 1962, it is located inside Mindanao State University Main Campus in the Islamic City of Marawi. It was named in honor of His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV who greatly contributed to the realization of the museum.
Midanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City is the flagship and the biggest campus of the MSU System. It was founded in 1961 with a vision of being the “Premier Supra-Regional University in the MINSUPALA (Mindanao, Sulu Archipelago, and Palawan) region”. Under Republic Act 1387, MSU was created and opened with 282 students and 12 faculty members.
I arrived early morning of September 16, 2011 in Ozamiz City Airport. From there, I took a tricycle going to the Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal where I will take a bus going to Iligan City. To my surprise, the 10-minute ride from the airport to the transport terminal costs 60 pesos. Huwhat??? Considering that we are four in the tricycle and all of us paid the same amount? It's too expensive huh!
Aside from the spectacular and majestic view of the Mayon Volcano that Ligñon Hill offers, there are various fun-filled and thrilling outdoor activities that can be done here. One is the zip line which I promised myself to do if I will be given the chance to visit Legazpi City again. I finally had the chance to ride Ligñon Hill's zip line on my 2nd visit to City last September 15, 2011. Regardless of the gloomy weather, I am just so excited and ready to try it out.
There will be another long weekend holiday throughout Philippines next month. As President Noynoy Aquino had declared November 7, 2011 as a Regular Holiday under Proclamation 276. As stated in the proclamation "PROCLAMATION NO. 276, DECLARING MONDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2011, AS A REGULAR HOLIDAY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, IN OBSERVANCE OFEIDUL ADHA (FEAST OF SACRIFICE)".
Almost a year ago when I first saw the lovely Mayon Volcano. It was a dream come true! I never thought that I would see her again this soon. Last September 15, 2011, I found my self travelling to Legazpi City again, this time with my mom. Not for a vacation though, we went there to pay our last respect to a departed relative.
Travel Guide : Biliran - How To Get There, Accommodations, Transportation, Expenses, Itinerary and Contact Details
HOW TO GET THERE
Tacloban City is the gateway to Biliran Island. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirPhilExpress and Zest Air has several flights daily from Manila to Tacloban City. From there, you could take a passenger van (Duptours, Van-Van's) going to Naval (130 PHP), the capital municipality of Biliran. Travel time from Tacloban to Biliran is around 2.5 hours.
If you're coming from Cebu, you could ride a ferry boat going to Ormoc City, Leyte (several departures daily, 3 to 5 hours travel time), then take an aircon shuttle van that connects the trip to Naval, Biliran. You can also take a direct ferry ride from Cebu to Naval (travel time is around 8 hours, 2 times per week only).
After chasing the waterfalls in Biliran, I went back to Tacloban City for my late afternoon flight back to Manila. Since I still have an hour to burn, I decided to have a side trip to one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. The Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum is one of the 29 presidential rest houses that the late President Ferdinand Marcos built during his term. It is said that former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos had it constructed as the first family’s residence in Tacloban City.
Aside from the beaches and waterfalls, Biliran has more to offer. On our way to chase the waterfalls, we passed by some interesting land formations that the local farmers here use for planting rice. The Iyusan Rice Terraces can be found in Barangay Iyusan in the municipality of Almeria, just 20 minutes away from the capital town of Naval. We pass through these rice terraces on our way to Bagongbong waterfalls.
The "undiscovered paradise" of Biliran boasts to have a number of magnificent and jaw-dropping waterfalls. Even with a limited time, I was lucky to visit three of them. So, after paying a visit to the Nuestra Señora dela Paz y Buenviaje Shrine in Almeria, we were off to literally chase waterfalls in this island.
Despite being sick, I woke up early on my 2nd day in Biliran to explore this "undiscovered paradise". I went out of the hostel to find a habal-habal (single motorcycle) that could bring me to the town of Almeria. I heard, there’s a nice beach there, so I have to check it out. Not knowing which resort should I go, I just told the driver to bring me to Agta Beach. He suggested VRC Resort, I agreed. Fare is 30 pesos and travel time is about 20 minutes.
Biliran is an island province located north of Leyte, about 123 kilometers from Tacloban City. It was formerly a sub-province of Leyte until it was converted into a province in 1992. With a total land area of 555.4 square kilometers, Biliran is the fourth smallest province in the Philippines. It is composed of two major islands, Biliran and Maripipi Islands. Other islands include Higatangan and the inhabited Dalutan islands.
Dark Tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which have real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme (as mentioned by thepinaysolobackpacker.com). Honestly, I didn't know that there's such a term not until she posted an article about it on her blog. In my previous travels, I have been visiting remarkable cemeteries in different parts of our country. I have acquired a fascination not only on heritage houses but also with old and interesting cemeteries that are rich in history and has a lot of "out of the ordinary" story to tell.
There will be a 4-day long weekend holiday throughout Philippines from October 29 to November 1, 2011. Yesterday, Malacañang Palace issued Proclamation 265 declaring October 31 as a special (non-working) holiday. As stated, the proclamation is "to give full opportunity to our people to properly observe the day with all its religious fervor which invariably requires them to travel to and from different regions of the country. Monday, 31 October 2011, may be declared as a special (non-working) day without detriment to public interest".
Climbing Tip : Mt. Gulugod Baboy - How To Get There, Itinerary, Side Trips, Expenses and Contact Details
HOW TO GET THERE
From Manila to Anilao
Take any Batangas City bound bus and get off at Bauan diversion (fare is around 140 PHP). From there, you can take a jeepney going to Mabini (30 PHP) and tell the driver to drop you at the corner going to Philpan Dive Resort in Anilao. From there, you can take a tricycle going to Philpan (90 PHP/tricycle), which is the jump-off point. Alternatively, you may opt to charter a jeepney (1,200 PHP) from Bauan diversion going to the jump-off point to avoid transferring from one jeepney to another. Accross Philpan resort, you will see a cemented path going up, this is the start of the hike.
I'm done with the mountaineering part of this trip. Let me now bring you to the more relaxing part of it. Post-climb swimming!!! Woohoo!!! So, when we reached the jump-off point of the climb, we checked on Philpan Dive Resort to freshen up with a good swim. But the beach's waves are "un-swim-able" due to the big waves at that time, we opted to find a resort nearby with a swimming pool.
Thank God! The sun was bright and shining on our 2nd day in Mt. Gulugod Baboy. It's still early and cold outside, but some of my friends were already up and preparing breakfast for everyone. Yes, I'm wide awake, but my body is aching from the not so comfortable sleep on rocky, uneven soil where we pitch our tent. And I had to convince myself a couple of times before I decided to get up. Hahaha!!!
Time really flies so fast, we never thought that it has been 2 years already. We're now celebrating our mountaineering group’s 2nd Anniversary. It was in 2009 when a group of young, energetic, adventurous individuals climbed Mt. Gulugod Baboy. It was my 2nd climb and it inflamed my love for mountaineering and the outdoors.
Time flies so fast when you're having a great time. It’s already our last day at Thundebird Resorts in Poro Point, La Union. Sigh! Anyway, since we've already finished all the team building activities set for us, it's now time for more recreation, fun and excitement. Despite not having enough sleep because of last night's party, me and some friends still managed to wake up early to experience the beach and some of the resort’s aqua-adventure activities.
Working in the IT industry is quite stressful. That's why, weekend getaways organized by our company is what we’re always waiting for. This gives us a time to relax, have fun and enjoy nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Last August, we were able to experience an overnight stay in Thunderbird Resorts, a world-class resort located in Poro Point La Union. It felt like spending a vacation in Santorini, Greece with your friends just to relax and enjoy the blissfulness of a happy life.