More Fun in the Philippines

Cruising Waves, Hopping Islands: Islas de Gigantes

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Another year has passed and my itch for new thrills is still in effect. I was in for another unforgettable birthday it seems. I wished for thrills for my 28th year, and boy did we get the thrill of our lives during our recent trip at Islas de Gigantes.

Gigantes Island Hopping (17)

For those who are not yet familiar with the place, Gigantes Islands is located in Panay Island (particularly in Northern Iloilo).  The place has garnered a lot of attention lately with the emergence of travel sites and blogs that feature the place coupled with breath-taking island photos that will really piqué your interest. Being the curious and adventurous tourists we are, we just had to confirm for sure if the hype was real. Well, one piece of advice: don’t get hyped, STAY HYPED!

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Rod Recommends: Jesa Gigantes Beach Resort

OK, so I just want to give a shoutout and recommend staying at Jesa Gigantes Beach Resort, our resort of choice when we were at Gigantes Islands. I came knowing about Jesa Resort when I was researching for places to stay during the planning stage of our Gigantes trip. When googling about Gigantes Islands, I noticed that most of the arrangements made by other travel bloggers (even Drew Arellano on “Byahe ni Drew”) have been with Gigantes Hideaway Inn and Resort.How to get to Gigantes - Jesa~08

However, after stumbling across many blogs featuring Hideaway, I was discouraged with some of the comments of other bloggers or reviewers about their experiences at Hideaway. Feedback noted by some reviewers include poor location (beachfront filled with scallop shells, no sunset view in the afternoon, etc.), lack of cellular signal for any network (you have to go to this placed known as the “call center” to text or call loved ones) and other stuff (Google is your friend). With that information in mind, I began searching for alternative places of accommodation in Gigantes Norte. Enter Jesa Gigantes Beach Resort. (more…)

Voyage to Paradise: How to Get to Islas de Gigantes

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A few months ago, Kaye and I embarked on another thrilling adventure to celebrate my 28th birthday. After braving North Cotabato’s Asik-Asik Falls the previous year, we were set on to visit another up and coming Philippine tourist destination that will surely whet the appetite of thrill-seeking travelers around the world. Hailing from the humble province of Northern Iloilo, I present to you: Islas de Gigantes.

Islas de Gigantes

Islas de Gigantes

As with my other travel blog posts, this will be an instructional guide on how to get to Gigantes Islands. But, before I proceed with the step-by-step guide, below is the TL;DR version of this post:

Your Destination -to- Iloilo City -to- Gigantes Norte
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Manila Weekend: Hole in the Wall, Third Wave Cafes and One Badass Dimsum House

It’s been years since I’ve roamed around the streets of Metro Manila so when the work opportunity came for me to travel to the nation’s capital for a week, Kaye and I decided to dedicate the weekend for some food and coffee spotting around the metro. Since we are fond of reading food and lifestyle blogs, we already had a few places in mind to visit.  (more…)

North Cotabato’s Pride: The Majestic Asik-Asik Falls

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A year ago, Kaye and I were contemplating on where to celebrate my 27th birthday. Surely, it wasn’t an easy decision given the 2 previous birthday celebrations I had (my 25th was in Singapore and my 26th was in Hong Kong) but since we haven’t planned on going to an international destination, at least for this year, we decided to go local instead. Then we had the green light for my 27th birthday: to stay at Midsayap, my ever beloved hometown, and a visit to one of the most fascinating tourist destinations the Philippines has seen in the last decade, Asik-Asik falls.

How to get to Asik-Asik Falls

Before we delve into the details of our buwis-buhay adventure, let met give you key points when going to Asik-Asik falls. Bear in mind that since I’m a proud son of Midsayap, I will be using Midsayap as the starting point. If you have questions on how to reach Midsayap, you can ask in the comments section.

Type of Payment

Amount

Double-tire Jeep (Midsayap to Alamada proper)* – 45-minute travel

 Php70/head

Habal-habal (Alamada proper to Upper Dado and vice versa) – 1-hour (super bumpy) travel

 Php300/head

Tourist Registration Fee (Upper Dado Brgy. Hall)

 Php30/head

For an audio-visual perspective, check out Tim & Glo’s Asik-Asik Youtube Vlog. They went to Asik-Asik Falls last January 2015 with this blog as their reference.

*This information is based on what I know is the current prevailing rate as we did not experience the double tire jeepney ride first-hand. We rode a private vehicle from Midsayap to Alamada. The actual rate may vary.

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Boracay 2011 (Part 2)

For Part 1 of our Boracay adventure (arrival, parasailing, white beach, etc.), check out https://rodifiedopinion.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/oh-my-boracay-part-1/

Due to the tiring activities we did (and the cocktails consumed) the previous day, waking up early in the morning seemed very challenging. We started the day with the complimentary breakfast by Hey! Jude Hotel. We also had coffee to counter the strong urge to sleep. We wouldn’t want to waste our time sleeping in freakin’ Boracay, would we?

A choice of the usual meat viand (bacon, ham, etc.), egg and rice or bread.

By 9am, we wandered again to white beach. The morning view of the coast was beautiful as ever. The sunny weather really added to the beauty of the scenery, not to mention the rather few tourists roaming around (possibly due to the late-night partying).

White Beach by day

We contacted Ron again for our planned activity that morning, helmet diving (a.k.a. reef walking). Since Ron had other clients to attend to, he referred us to his partner, Nino, for the booking assistance. He led us to Red Coral, one of the companies providing helmet diving activities in Boracay. (more…)

Boracay 2011 (Part 1)

I have been fantasizing about going to Boracay since I was in college. From what I have read and heard, the island seemed to have it all: white sand beaches, great food, crazy night life and a distinct culture only experienced there. On paper, the island more than deserves the moniker as the Philippines’ top tourist destination. But then when I was still a student, some factors didn’t permit my travel aspirations. Priorities had to be set and unfortunately, travelling was a luxury a mere student couldn’t afford. Fast forward a few years later, I was a student no more. And while the landscape may have changed, my desire to visit Boracay was still alive and burning. Last August 2011, Kaye and I finally pushed through our daring travel dream: to explore the island of Boracay for the first time.

The Island of Boracay

To read more about my recent Boracay trip last June 2013, check out the links below:

Return to Boracay: How to Get to White Beach from Kalibo

Return to Boracay: Parasailing and Flyfish

Return to Boracay: Cliff Diving at Ariel’s Point

Since we are from Davao City, going to Boracay isn’t that easy or cheap. Affordable, yes, but not cheap. Davao has no direct flights to Kalibo or Caticlan and we thought passing by Iloilo would be too time consuming (*UPDATE* There are now direct Davao-Kalibo  Cebu Pacific flights. I’ll be going back to Boracay this June via this route). We settled on the Davao-Cebu route and booked another flight going to Caticlan (through seat sales of course). We scheduled our trip last August (off-peak season) as it’s also my birth month. (more…)

It’s More Fun in the Philippines: Camiguin Island

Located at the tip of Nothern Mindanao is Camiguin Island, one of the top tourist destinations this side of the country. It boasts various bodies of water ranging from white sand beaches, waterfalls and cold and hot springs, making it a perfect swimming haven. Historical spots are also scattered all over the laid back province. Last May marked my 3rd time in Camiguin. My first time was in 2007 with my aunt and her graduate school students; the 2nd time was in 2009 together with my SGV batch mates while this trip was with Tal, Louie and Kaye. Since they were all first-timers, I became their tour guide by default.

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