Exploring Talisay

I honestly don’t know how and where to begin other than the fact that this trip was unplanned. I was literally counting my remaining days here in Cebu until I heard from a former colleague who is from the area.

Its easy to get to Talisay. All you need to do is to hail a cab and ask the driver to take you there. So what’s in Talisay?

Crocolandia!! If you are into pythons, huge crocodiles and evil talking birds that are trained to call you crazy and ugly, yes this is where you should go. Spending 3 hours max should be enough to tour the park then you can make a side trip to Talisay City hall in the afternoon. Sundays would be the most ideal day to go to the city hall. Dog owners from various places in Talisay normally get together on a Sunday to socialize.

Then complete your Talisay experience by trying the famous halo-halo of Minglanilia. I had fun and this trip is pocket friendly. I spent 800 pesos only.

Have fun with the pics!

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Bojo River

Life has been busy and yes I have missed a lot. It has been a while since my last travel.

Bojo River actually isn’t in the plan until April or May of this year. My friend had a trip planned to Cebu so I suggested Bojo River and Olango. People go here for the beautiful beaches. I just didn’t like the thought of undermining what this province has to offer. There’s a wide variety of choices. Bojo River and Olango to name a few are also good tourist destinations.

Getting there is easy. From Cebu City take a cab going to Cebu South Bus Terminal. From there take the bus going to Toledo. From Toledo take a PUJ going to Aloguinsan. From there, rent a motorcycle via habal-habal to Bojo River. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

The entrance fee which includes a banca ride to tour Bojo River is only 300 pesos.

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Calvary Hills Iguig Cagayan Valley

People have this impression about me that I always equate travels & vacations with beaches. I can’t blame them. I rarely post pictures of my “non-beach” travels in Facebook.

Well, there’s more to this than meets the eye. I always infuse my travels with something that is out of the ordinary unless I am bounded by time and budget.

So as a part of our “Conquering the North” adventure, I added Calvary Hills on my list. Before the Babuyan Channel and Palaui Island itinerary, there was this. Iguig by the way is known as the Holy Land of the North. Calvary Hills is a testament to this.

Adventures, travels, sight-seeing and the like, normally appeal to my senses. This journey however calmed my mind as if I was destined to find comfort, happiness, contentment and peace in my heart here.

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This is one of my favorite pictures. Cagayan river as the backdrop to me is just amazing. I was tempted to go down and swim to be honest but I didn’t bring extra clothes.

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The perks of bringing your own car when traveling. You can always stop anytime and appreciate beauty on the way.

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Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes when you visit here. There are 13 stations and each station is far from each other. Calvary Hills is situated in an 11-hectare property afterall.

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By the “tomb raider” tree. I called it that because it reminded me of the trees that they grew in Cambodia. Take a closer look.

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Pin hole effect shot of Jesus Christ's giant statue of resurrection and by giant I mean, really really big.

B I C O L A N D I A

So how do I begin? This trip was unplanned to be honest. It is one of those spur of the moment over a cup of coffee decisions that we make once in awhile.

It all started when a friend asked, “Saan kaya tayo pwedeng pumunta?” (Where can we go?). I was clueless and didn’t know how to respond because this girl is a known wanderer. She’s been to too many places and I didn’t want to start a conversation where she’d end up saying “Nope, I have been there” anyways then another traveller who was seated at a different table shouted, “Donsol!!!” and yes she was eavesdropping from afar. Were we that loud? No, I don’t think so. She probably has rabbit ears.

“Gusto ko pumunta dun! Tara!” (I want to go there! Let’s go!) she said. “When are we going?” I asked. She responded with an evil grin followed by “Later in the afternoon.” And so I headed home and started packing.

We were supposed to take the bus from Manila going to Bicol but we decided to take the PNR train since neither of us have experienced it. The travel was long but we slept comfortably! Take a look!

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Try their sleeper coaches! If you decide to take the PNR train, make sure you check their schedules online. http://www.pnr.gov.ph/schedules.htm

We left Manila in the evening and as soon as we arrived in Donsol we scheduled a trip to see the whale sharks right away!!

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Whale shark watching is a must do by day then fireflies by night.

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After Bicol, we headed to Sorsogon. We didn’t have an itinerary in Sorsogon either but our day was packed with hot and cold springs, Bulusan Lake, beach and karaoke! Travel will never be complete without this. LOL. The last pic you see below is where we spent the night.

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Plantation Bay – A trip to Remember

You don’t need to have an itinerary when you go to Plantation Bay. You will never run out of things to do there. So what can you do there? Tennis, wall climbing, snorkeling, island hopping, parasailing, diving? Name it and you will have it! If you want to play golf, they can arrange a trip going to a golf course nearby – Alta Vista baby!

Other than the activities mentioned above, if the beach nearby doesn’t meet your expectations, arrange a trip going to Pandanon and Hilutungan Islands. Pandanon is known for its beautiful sandbar while Hilutungan is very much ideal for a friendly encounter with our friends underneath.

Plantation Bay is in Mactan. So how will you get there? From Cebu City, hail a cab and ask the driver to take you to Plantation Bay of course. You should be there in 30 minutes and the fare should be no more than 300 pesos. Amazing isn’t it?

The resort is nice and a camera magnet! See it for yourself. 🙂

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Mount Pinatubo

When this volcano awakened in 1991, the entire country mourned as the death toll rose to almost a thousand. The aftermath brought nothing but sorrow with the exception of this – Crater Lake.

I won’t speak so much of this wonder as the pictures alone are enough.

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There are trips going to Zambales from Manila although I highly suggest that you book and travel in groups. It is hassle free and less expensive. Renting a 4WD alone can be costly. There are so many great deals that are available for you online. Make sure that you do your research prior to planning your trip. The deal I got was inclusive of everything – food, transportation and tour guides.
The 4WD you see below took us to the trekking site. I must say, it takes an expert to drive a truck this big in a rough, rocky and steep road.

Although my friends complained about the long walk, my head was focused on the prize.

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The beauty has awakened!

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“I-Bantayan mo ako – Bring me to Paradise whether you like it or not”

Let me first take this opportunity to thank my best friend for capturing these beautiful photos. I edited some to reduce the noise but it takes a good eye to get a great shot.

Homesickness started to get into me and there was not a day that I did not weep. The first 3 months were the hardest to be honest. Nothing, except for my little conversations with God and the phone calls from my folks would ease the pain. Being alone however is a choice so I have to embrace it. Thank God for the beautiful province of Cebu. I wouldn’t have done it if not for the beautiful places that helped me regain those endorphins back. The first few happy hormones were triggered by Bantayan Island. Let me give credit to my best friend once again. She suggested this upon hearing my little sorry-sad-depressing litany. It was a great choice and the beauty of this trip was, I went with my 2 favorite girls, my best friend and mom.

From Cebu City, we headed to the North Bus terminal and took the Ceres bus going to Hagnaya. The trip almost killed me! 4 hours on the road is no fun! Upon reaching the Hagnaya port, we went to the booth and bought our tickets going to Bantayan right away. Again, four hours of travel is no fun with butt and cankle-sore so I was getting impatient to see our early treat.

After an hour, we were there!! If you plan to go to Bantayan, make sure that you check the ferry schedules ahead of time. I purposely did not include the schedules here as it may change. The information on the link below however should be accurate so check it before planning that trip.

http://bantayan.gov.ph/tourism/transport-schedule

We were booked at the Budyong Resort. It is cheap but comfort isn’t compromised. You will find a wealth of information in google. They also have a facebook page so you can look it up there also.

Thanks again Medora for these awesome photos. Till our next trip my friend.

At the Hagnaya port while waiting for our ferry to arrive

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Where we docked upon arriving at Bantayan

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Our very early treat! What a lovely sight.

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With my endorphins back.

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