Tag Archives: couple

Amanohashidate, Kyoto, Japan

June 20, 2016

While looking for places to visit in the Kansai region, we stumbled upon articles on this quiet, little place called Amanohashidate, which is one of the Three Scenic Views of Japan, according to Edo period literary artist and scholar Hayashi Gaho. It is located in Miyazu Bay, northern Kyoto.

From Amanohashidate Station, we had to take a ferry and a monorail to the Kasamatsu Park and do “Matanozoki“ to see the breath-taking view of the heaven’s bridge through an upside down bend. We were also able to bike the 3-km. stretch of the Amanohashidate sandbar. It was good we purchased the Amanohashidate Pass (for just 1400 yen per person!), which already covered the ferry ride, chair lift, bike, and train ride from JR Fukuchiyama station (the farthest covered by our rail pass) to Amanohashidate station.

We highly recommend visiting this place!

 

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Kyoto, Japan: Toei Kyoto Studio Park / Toei Uzumasu Eigamura

June 19, 2016

Our rainy second day in Japan was spent at the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, which is home to many anime blockbusters (Dragonball, Sailor Moon, and the original Power Rangers), and where around 200 Japanese films are produced every year. The movie theme park also functions as an Edo period film set. In fact, some scenes of Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) were shot there.

Kyoto was once known as the Hollywood of Japan. Instead of spending a day at the Universal Studios Osaka, we thought of checking this park out to learn more about Japanese film-making. We were lucky to have been there on a Sunday as there were many shows happening and mascots roaming around. Truly worth every yen ($2200/person) spent!

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Oslob: Whaleshark Watching and Sumilon Island

May 27, 2016

We started our Cebu trip by going to the Cebu South Bus Terminal at around 4A.M. to take an Oslob-bound bus. Fare costs P160 per person.

We asked the conductor to drop us off at Brgy. Tan-awan. There, we were greeted by May-Ann, our contact in Oslob, who took care of tickets for our Whale shark Watching Activity, and our day trip to the Sumilon Island sandbar.

The whale shark is the largest living fish, and swimming with them was a different kind of experience for us. From what we saw, the whale sharks are well taken care of. The municipal officers are strict with rules, and they have marine biologists overseeing everything. However, we can only wish that every visitor interacting with the whale sharks would be as responsible.

After a 30-minute encounter with the whale sharks, we had lunch and prepared for our trip to the Sumilon Island sandbar, which was just a 15-minute boat ride away from Brgy. Tan-awan. We waited until late afternoon for the sandbar to emerge but we had to leave when it was already getting dark. We were able to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Sumilon Island anyway.

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Mt. Hapunang Banoi

May 14, 2016

Whenever we want to go on a hiking trip but don’t want to travel as far, the province of Rizal is our go-to place. The town of Montalban , which is just an hour away from Cubao, Quezon City, offers different trails going up different mountains, which form part of the Sierra Madre range.

Last Saturday, we hiked Mt. Hapunang Banoi. Just like Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan, the jump-off point is at Brgy. Wawa. Entrance fee is at P25/head, while the services of tour guides are at P500/group. The trail is very challenging and would require climbing sharp rocks. It took us probably three hours to reach the summit (which was definitely worth it) and an hour to get down.

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Mt. Hapunang Banoi

 

Palm Beach, Sariaya, Quezon

May 7, 2016

If you’re looking for a private beach for that barkada/family outing, you may want to check out Palm Beach in Brgy. San Roque, Sariaya, Quezon, which is approximately 2.5 hours away from Manila (via Maharlika Highway or the newly-opened Quezon Eco-Tourism Road). In this beach, one can enjoy the calm waters of the Tayabas Bay, brown powdery sand, and a view of the Mount Banahaw.

For more information, you may contact Mr. Al Gutierrez at 09088639148.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

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Palm Beach

 

Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat & Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

December 20, 2015

We had only the afternoon to explore the historical province of Bataan, having left Manila at around noon. We headed to the Dambana ng Kagitingan, a memorial shrine dedicated to the brave Filipino and American soldiers, who fought during World War II. We were surprised to see the 92-metre high cross, which also has a viewing gallery inside.

Thereafter, we went to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a heritage park, which showcases mansions from the Spanish era, which were dismantled and subsequently reassembled.

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Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan

View from Top

View Deck

View from Mt. Samat

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Dinner at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Aparri, Iguig, Penablanca, Cagayan

November 20, 2015

This was the last leg of our 6-Day North Luzon Backpacking Adventure.

From Santa Ana, we had to get to Tuguegarao City to catch a bus going to Manila. But we decided to ride one of the night-sleeper buses so we could explore more of Cagayan Valley in one day.

In the morning, we hopped on one of the UV Express vans and went to the sleepy town of Aparri, which was two hours away from Santa Ana. We just checked out the Aparri Delta, where the Cagayan River meets the sea, the Aparri Park, a church, and had Pancit Cabagan in a local panciteria.

Then we were off to Iguig, which was another two hours from Aparri, to  check out the Calvary Hills, where life-size statues depicting the stations of the cross lie.

After spending less than an hour in Iguig, we then proceeded to Penablanca, to explore the Callao Caves. We chartered a tricycle (P1,000) because we were pressed for time already.

The beautiful Callao Caves had religious formations, and even had an altar inside. They hold Holy Masses there regularly.

Our Tour Guide also suggested we ride a boat along the Pinacanauan River and wait for the colony of bats that fly out of a cave every 5:30 in the afternoon. Our three-minute experience watching the bats was surreal.

When it was already dark, we headed to Tuguegarao City to get to a bus terminal. Buses were fully booked but after having another variant of Pancit Cagayan (Pancit Batil Patong) for dinner, we were able to ride a bus as chance passengers.

12 hours later we were back in Manila.

If you need a place to stay in Tuguegarao City, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Aparri Park

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Calvary Hills

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Church inside Callao Cave

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Palaui Island and Santa Ana, Cagayan

This is still part of our 6-Day North Luzon Backpacking Adventure.

After hopping on a bus in Claveria, Cagayan, we arrived in Santa Ana, Cagayan three hours later. We were greeted by a random tricycle driver, who offered to bring us to the Nangaramoan Beach, which has extraordinary rock formations.

In the morning, we explored the exquisite Palaui Island (Punta Verde, Cape Engano Lighthouse, Falls). Words won’t do justice to the beauty of the island so we’ll just leave you with pictures. In the evening, we were able to take a photo in front of the 642-kilometer marker (away from the Rizal monument), which is the last one up north.

If you need a place to stay in Santa Ana, click on the following link for our suggestions: Hotels/Bed and Breakfast/Inns

Nangaramoan Beach

Nangaramoan Beach

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Cape Engano Lighthouse

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Adams, Ilocos Norte

This part was the best part of our trip. We’ve never had any other experience like it before. Read until the end to know why.

We didn’t really know where to go on Day 4 of our trip until the night before. If you would recall, we allotted one whole day for Bangued, Abra but finished early (after just three hours) and was able to do the Vigan trip on Day 1, too. Thus, we had an extra day in Ilocos before heading to the Cagayan Valley.

Upon googling other places of interest in Ilocos Norte, we were intrigued by this little town called Adams.

Adams, Ilocos Norte, is a one-barangay 5th class municipality. It is the sixth smallest town in the Philippines considering population, as it has only 1500 inhabitants.  According to some writers, it was named after the Biblical character Adam, as the place is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden.

Commuting to Adams is very different. There are no buses, jeeps nor tricycles going there, as the area is mountainous, and the narrow road is rough. We got there by riding separate motorcycles, and the ride from the highway to the town proper took around 45 minutes.

When we got to the town proper, we were greeted by policemen, who were very hospitable and helpful. We found out from them that the town boasts of zero crime rate. They advised our motorcycle drivers to tour us around the town and bring us to the jump-off point of the Anuplig Falls, one of Adams’ 18 waterfalls.

After visiting the Lover’s Peak, the view deck, the hanging bridge, we checked out the winery and juicer, which sells fresh export-quality Lemon-Grass, Grapefruit, and Bugnay Juices and Wine. The fruits are of course grown in the rich town.

Then, we trekked for an hour with our guide to get to the 25ft. high, roaring Anuplig Falls. The trek was quite challenging but the view all throughout was magnificent. You could see the peaceful town and hear the birds chirping, and the wind blowing. After cliff diving (which was very scary), and swimming for an hour or so, we went back to the town proper to get our things, which we deposited with the police. Then we rode our motorcycles again to get back to the highway.

The view from Adams would make one believe that indeed there is a God. What made is believe more in God was how he helped us get through weird surprises on our way back to the highway.

During the middle of the trip back to the highway, Nikko’s motorcycle had to stop, as one of the wheels was running flat. Janna, whose motorcycle went first, didn’t know about this, so when she got to the highway, without the sight of Nikko, she got scared that something might have happened to Nikko. After 30 minutes, Nikko and his driver resurfaced at the highway, narrating that they had to borrow a motorcycle from a random town native.

Also, while it was already getting dark, we waited at the shed for a van to get us to the next town to get money from the bank/ATM, as we only had a few hundreds left.  After paying our tour guides/motorcycle driver, we were left with only P80, which we thought was enough for us to get to the next town. However, we found out that we were P20 short, as the fare getting to Claveria, Cagayan Valley, was P50 from where we were. It was just great that there was a good Samaritan, named Mang Ronnie, who overheard our problem and gave us P50. Indeed, God always makes things work.

P.S. When we got to the rural bank in Claveria, the only ATM in town was offline. Without having any money left (as we gave the last P30 we had to the tricycle driver who took us from the highway to the rural bank), and without having any Plan B, we waited for about 30 minutes and prayed hard that the ATM go online. Then, our prayer got answered, and thus had money to get us dinner and to continue the second half of our road trip.

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