Boracay

Travelling is an exciting journey for many, may it be for people doing it for the first time or someone who has been doing it for a long time. The world is a beautiful place to explore, with lots of distinct cultures to discover, food to taste, and people to meet. For millennials such as myself, we ought to find that specific location to take aesthetically beautiful photos to post on our Instagram accounts.

beautiful white sands

When thinking of a place to visit, one would usually consider the most popular destinations like Japan, Korea, and France, to name a few. But if you’re one who wants to experience the tropical country with a plethora of the most stunning beaches you’ll ever see, then the Philippines is for you. It is home to approximately 7,197 islands, so that in itself is not only amazing, but it makes it hard for one to decide which ones to visit.

In this article, I am going to recommend one of the most beautiful islands in the country that is widely-known not only to the locals but also to people around the globe.

To most people who have ever been to Boracay, the first thing they’ll probably tell you is about the stunning white sand beaches and clear blue waters that surrounds it. It became even better after the six months rehabilitation process it underwent to protect the island from over-development and to resolve certain issues that’s damaging the beauty of the island.

Boracay can be a safe haven to everyone who visits it. You’ll feel the serenity the calming waves bring and meet the warm and friendly locals who treasure the island. Not to mention that you get to enjoy the different water sports and activities that will take up most of your time, which is a good thing since you’re there to enjoy the beach. Afterwards, you’ll realize that the fun doesn’t end when the sun sets. The nightlife is colorful with many restaurants and bars for you to chill and cool down after a tiring but exciting day.

If you’re planning on going there either alone or with your friends or family, you’ll surely enjoy Boracay not just as an island for one to visit, but also to feel like it is your home away from home.

Masskara Festival, City of Smiles

Happiest and most colorful festival

It said that Filipinos are one of the happiest people around the world. Be it in the face of tragedies and calamities, Filipinos are resilient who could still put a smile on their faces.

And speaking of smiling faces, Bacolod City is famous for its MassKara Festival known as the “happiest and most colorful festival in the Philippines.”

To lift the spirits of the locals and bring back the smiles on their faces amidst the tragedy they are facing, MassKara Festival was then created.  The MassKara Festival which is a month-long celebration highlights colorful costumes and masks.

What is Masskara mean?

The term Masskara is coined from two words: mass, meaning  many or multitude of people, and the Spanish word cara, for face; It was how MassKara came to mean “face of the masses or a multitude of smiling faces”.

Aside from this, Bacolod has also top tourist spots they could offer. The Ruins of Mariano Lacson’s Mansion or also known as “The Ruins”.

Don Mariano decided to build the magnificent architectural structure in memory of Maria Braga, Don Mariano Lacson’s beloved wife. The story is similar to the Taj Mahal of India. To forget the sadness and sorrow of losing the love of his life,

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”8″ gal_title=”Masskara Festival in Bacolod, City of Smiles”]

Highlight events you could enjoy such:

  • Electric MassKara is a parade with music, lights and floats.
  • Street dancing is a dance style that divided into two categories the school division, and the barangay division
  • Beauty pageant is a local beauty pageant in Bacolod, begun in 1981.
  • MassKara float parade is a decorated platform, it decorated entirely in flowers or other plant material.

Motif of the Festival

Masks influenced by native Filipinos to those influenced by the Carnival of Venice and the Rio Carnival.

Earlier masks made by hand-painted and adorned with feathers, flowers and native beads. While contemporary masks feature plastic beads and sequins.

The MassKara Festival not only brings pleasure and smiles to local people but as well to the tourists who want to experience the happiest and most colorful festival in the Philippines.

From being the source of happiness after tragedies to be one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines.

Exploring Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines 

Exploring Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines

Start your new year with eye-catching colors and lively dance performances from the Sinulog Festival or the Santo Nino Festival in Cebu City.

The Sinulog Festival is celebrated during the third Sunday of the month of January. It is an annual and cultural festival in Cebu which celebrates one of the country’s most famous historic relics: the Santo Niño de Cebú. The word Sinulog is a Visayan term for a dance that imitates the rhythm of the river which depicts the forward-backward step of Sinulog dance.

This grand festival is filled with colorful procession bearing the basilica’s venerated image of Santo Niño. Aside from the religious celebration, Sinulog also has street parties accompanied bypyromusical shows and colorful displays of fireworks. Additionally, people attending the street parties could also enjoy face painting and beer showers. This festival definitely brings joy and pleasure to tourists and local people.

Another thing to watch out for is the Kaplag Festival which is a smaller festival but part of Sinulog celebration. The highlight of this festival is play where in the actors and actresses re-enact the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon as Catholics. Includes the scenes when Ferdinand Magellan gave the image of the Santo Niño as a baptismal gift to the Queen.

Furthermore, apart from the Sinulog Festival, Cebu City also known for its rich history which tourists could add up in their bucket list. They could take part on a sightseeing tour, pilgrimage visit to old churches and a tour to those historical places.  Cebu City has many undiscovered gems hidden through and you just have to explore it to experience its magnificence. A tour would not be completed without having those souvenir products made by the local people to bring at home for family and friends.

Experience Nature in Sevilla Hanging Bridge, Bohol

The bamboo hanging of Sevilla, Bohol located at Loboc, Bohol. Entrance fee is Php35. 00 per person and the income is used for the maintenance of the bridge. Open 24/7 for children under 9 years old is free. How to go to Sipatan Hanging Bridge. From Tagbilaran City, go to the municipality of Sevilla. It is 36 kilometres away from the city through the Loay-Interior road. Ask the driver to drop you off at barangay Poblacion, where you can walk your way to the bridge.

Bamboo Hanging Bridge Brief Description

The Bamboo Hanging Bridge crossing the Sipatan River in the Municipality of Sevilla, Bohol, is a fun tourist attraction. Originally constructed using just bamboo and rope, today the rope has made way to steel cables, giving added safety and stability. The deck of the bridge is formed out of woven bamboo slats. In places some of these appear broken but it’s still sturdy enough to take the weight of tourists, locals and even small motorcycles. The bridge spans around 40 meters and offers a great view of the emerald Sipatan River below. There are actually two bridges now, so foot traffic is reduced somewhat with I believe a one-way system in place, you cross on one bridge and come back on the other. (https://bohollifetours.com)

Our experience there was a little bit scary because I’m not into crossing bridges with deep river below. We had to cross the first bridge and the movement of the bridge make us feel uneasy, as it will bend and sway more than normal. When we reach at end of the first bridge there are stores for souvenirs and buko juice. For the second time around we had to cross the second bridge and fighting again our fear to fall off but for you to relax, take your time and enjoy every movement or the sway of the bridge. Overall, we had a great time and experience together with my family.

Hinagdanan Cave in Bingag, Dauis, Bohol

Hinagdanan Cave is located specifically at Bingag, Dauis, Bohol with an entrance fee of Php50.00 and additional Php20.00 for parking fee . Hinagdanan Cave is open Monday to Sunday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. It is a naturally lighted cavern with a deep lagoon and many large stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is lit by sunlight which filters through holes in the ceiling. If you are from Tagbilaran (Bohol’s capital), going there is easy. In my estimation, you can reach the cave in around five to ten minutes. If you’re commuting, you can get there by a tricycle or a rented motorcycle.

Hinagdanan Cave Brief History

Hinagdanan Cave was accidentally discovered when the owner of the area was clearing the decaying branches of the land when he found the hole. The owner threw a stone into the hole, then he heard a splash. Then he built a ladder to get into the cave. They named it Hinagdanan, means “laddered” used to get into the cave’s interior. The cave is about 100 metres long of beautiful rock formations. The stalactites and stalagmites stick out from the ceiling and floor of the cave as though trying to meet each other. Inside the cave, there’s also a lagoon with a greenish surface produced by the green limestone at the bottom of the pool, where people used to bath in the lagoon, however, it has been advised to not go dip into the lagoon because of the karst pollutants present in the water.

My experience in Hinagdanan Cave was very amazing. I didn’t expect that there are hidden beautiful creation made by nature. It was very challenging to us because it has a narrow space and stairs going down to reach the lagoon. The water was very cool and fresh and the depth is up to 10 to 12 meters deep but if you are afraid of deep water you can swim on the side of the lagoon. Overall, it was the best experience and the best cave I’ve been to.

Famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol

Chocolate Hills is the government-owned Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen, Bohol, -are a geological formation in the Bohol province of the Philippines. The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are not only two but more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills – a very strange geological formation that has baffled a lot of geologists. The hills are spread over an area of 50 square kilometres or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height. The Chocolate Hills appear to be seemingly endless when viewed atop the hill in Carmen town. The viewing deck there gives you a 360° view of the hills “as far as the eyes can see”. It is more majestic when viewed from a plane – them appearing to be thousands of mole hills dotting out from verdant surroundings. They are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season. (Wikipedia)

Personal experience

I grew up in Bohol and I’ve been there 3 times even though it is far away from our home.  For an entrance fee Php50 per person you can see a wonderful landscape of hundreds truffle looking hills. This is my most favorite spot in our place I swear! Why? Because this is one of the most picturesque places in the world, the hills are perfect, all I can say it is really amazing and a beautiful creation made by nature, a nature that was very relaxing view when you see it personally, good for pictures for those who likes taking/collecting pictures for memories. To reach the viewing deck my family and I have to climb 214 steps but don’t worry there are rest areas along the way, which we can rest and catch our breath. I could recommend you that entire if want to visit there, it’s better to go or visit there early in the morning like 6 o’clock, to avoid much heat from the sun. How to Get to Chocolate Hills from Tagbilaran? Just take a bus to Carmen city at a bus station near island City Mall and ask the driver to take you off at Chocolate Hills. There is a billboard on the road, so you will not miss it. Opening times are between 9 to 4 pm and cost around Php50 for an hour.

Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area in Bohol

Unique attraction featuring close-up views of tarsiers, with tours & a souvenir shop. Located at Loay Interior Road, Loboc, Bohol. To get here, if you’re from Tagbilaran you can take a bus bound to Sikatuna. From there, you just need to walk in until you see their ticketing office.Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area is open every day between 8 am to 5 pm (Google)

Why visit Bohol Tarsier Conservation Area ?

Such an informative and one of my favorite tourist spot in my place why? Because for an entrance fee of Php80.00 you can experience them up close in their natural habitat. With attendants closely observing every tourist ensuring they are not stressed by touching or making loud noise and have to be silent on this tour, as the attendants introduce us that tarsiers are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day. When we arrived the staff/attendants guide us where to go. The centre for the Tarsiers has been built very well and accurate for the tarsier to survive. The place is a little bit cold because they are surrounded with lots of trees. It’s nice to see tarsiers for the first time in person, they are really cute and sensitive and fascinating to see. The tarsiers are strategically placed throughout the walk through at their sanctuary. We can find a number of Philippine Tarsier in this place for conserving them as we all know that they are endangered species here in our country. Salute to my Co-Boholanos/Boholanas for taking care of these one of a kind creatures and also to our tourism. As they maintained it and preserved well our natural resources. I am hoping that our next generation will still get a chance to see these cute and cool endangered creatures at our place.

My overall experienced here was very good, and happy to have a close up views of tarsiers, which was one of my wishes before, when I was young. I thought they are big as what I have seen in many posters or pictures but when I saw it personally, it was like (WOW) shocking reaction that they are just smaller than I thought and super cute.

Man-made Forest, Bilar, Bohol

The Bohol Forest is a man-made mahogany forest stretching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. This rainforest is about 20 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. Plying the interior road from the capital, one passes the town of Loboc and what the Boholanos call the “tina-i sa manok” (chicken’s intestines) which refers to the winding road up the mountain of Loboc going towards Bilar. Opens 24 hours. No entrance fee.

Man-made forest History

The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves. What you see are only the Mahogany trees that look like thousands of sentinels guarding the road, standing erect. One only sees the brown trunks stretching forth from the earth and the green canopy above. And that’s what makes them look so attractive! Looking at them gives you the creeps. Like tentacles of a giant octopus, the roots seem to reach out and grasp the unwary passers-by. When you enter the forest, one will feel the abrupt change in temperature, especially during summer or hot season. The Loboc-Bilar man-made forest plays host to many visitors, locals and foreigners alike who take time to view it from the road and take pictures. The Metro Manila filmmakers often use the forest as a backdrop for some of their action films. Some groups go hiking thru the woods and up the mountain. Mountain bikers often use the wide asphalt road that traverse the forest aside from the day-to-day buses and public transport that ply between the towns (https://www.bohol-philippines.com/mahogany-man-made-forest.html).

Our experience there was nice and relaxing, we ate lunch at their park like place where you can bond there with your friends and family. We enjoy the cold breeze air, taking pictures and roaming around the beautiful formation of the man made forest. Bohol Forest has no entrance fee, you can enjoy there freely and inhale fresh air.

EL NIDO PALAWAN THINGS TO DO – BE MY MUSE

EL NIDO PALAWAN

Have you ever thought of traveling to El Nido, Palawan? If you love to travel and give yourself a break, give a little space from the tiring days and weeks. Traveling is a time to relax and enjoy and it imparts a fresh outlook, a new zeal into your life.

There are so many places in the Philippines where you can spend your vacations. The country can offer you a lot of new things to experience that will surely surprise you. The street foods, the native dishes, beaches, and natural resources that we’d love to introduce you. Tourist loves to spend their times enjoying the heat of the sun for a change, sun bathing and exploring beaches. Philippines are very rich when we talk about natural resources and tourist spots. The most exciting experience in Philippines are the Filipinos who will love to welcome you for your stay.

One of the country’s paradises is Palawan, an island province of the Philippines that is located in the MIMAROPA region. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, but it is governed independently from the province. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island.

Where is El Nido?

El Nido is a first-class municipality and managed resource protected area in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is about 420 kilometers (260 mi) southwest of Manila, and about 238 kilometers (148 mi) northeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital.

El Nido Palawan is the ultimate place for diving, island hopping, snorkeling, and kayaking. This piece of paradise is renowned for its mangroves and tall limestone cliffs that are about 250 million years old. It has 4 archaeological sites, 45 islands, and around 888 varieties of fish are found in Bacuit Bay.

The unique beauty of El Nido has had a lasting appeal on the nature fans. It has the most distinct ecosystems in the country and is safeguarded by the foremost institutions in the Philippines. Its exceptional magnetism and out of sight escapades will leave you spellbound and make you travel to the place all over again.

How to get there

To reach El Nido, it is recommended traveling by air as it is the fastest mode of transportation. The flight from Manila takes only one hour and fifteen minutes to reach Lio airport. Aieswift is the only airline that flies to El Nido (+63) 915 5097024, (+632) 318 5941, (+632) 318 5942, (+632) 318 5943.

You can also fly to El Nido from Clark, Davao, and Cebu via Airswift.

Travel Tips and Reminders
  • Make sure your tour guide is licensed, Licensed tour guides have been trained to minimize the damage to the environment. They are also trained in how to do first aid and they can provide you with interesting facts and information about each island or destinations you are visiting.
  • Always wear a life jacket – A life vest protects both of you and the coral from damage.
  • Be careful not to step on the coral – Dangerous organisms sometimes live on the surface of the coral and it is unsafe for you to step there. Touching or stepping on corals also damages the habitat of other marine species.
  • Be aware of your waste – Help El Nido to stay clean by using environment-friendly/reusable containers. Refrain from littering and lastly, segregate biodegradable from non-biodegradable wastes and put them in proper waste containers.
Important Things you need to know
  • El Nido is now collecting Eco-Tourism Development Fee (Php200 valid for 10 days)
  • Waste Segregation is practiced in the town proper. The penalty for littering at any public place is Php100.
  • Swimming attire is not allowed in the town streets.
  • Taking shells and sands from the beach is prohibited.
To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live 🙂

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