If you want to explore our country, I suggest this places. I will make sure to all of you that you will enjoy your trip.
Trip To Ilocos Sur
Calle Crisologo – Mena Crisologo Street
The major attraction of Vigan is its mestizo district which is filled with Spanish-style houses that evoke a bygone era when its people lived prosperously because of the Manila-Acapulco maritime trade. For visitors who want to experience being transported back to this period in Philippine Spanish colonial time, a walk or a calesa ride through Vigan’s Calle Crisologo or Mena Crisologo Street is a must. The tour will take visitors more than a couple of hours and will cost around half a thousand pesos. You will be guided through four blocks of cobblestone streets lined with heritage houses of the families of the Filipino-Chinese traders who rose to prominence during that time of vigorous trading in abel cloth, indigo, gold, tobacco and other goods that were transported to Vigan from all over the North.
The houses are simple but lovely subjects ready for picture-perfect shots with their roofs of red tiles, thick walls, huge doors and stair cases leading to rooms of high ceilings and sliding capiz shell windows. Having survived the many natural and man-made calamities throughout the centuries, the families who own these treasures have endeavored to maintain them. Visitors can admire more closely the architecture and intricate craftsmanship employed in the grill and wood works when they step inside some of the houses that have been turned into stores and museums. They can even experience staying in a heritage house during their visit as some have been converted into inns.
Though a trip to Calle Crisologo is enjoyable during the day especially because of the opportunity to shop for Vigan’s best products (antiques, abel woven products, bags, basi wine, burnay and dimili products, chicharon, jewelry, sweets, Vigan vinegar and woodcrafts) in the inobtrusive shops located in the ground floor of some of the grand houses, a walk through it is magical at night. Since it is closed to vehicular traffic at any time of the day, the stillness and shadows that come with the night adds more to the 18th century ambience of the lamp-lit street that local and foreign visitors love. Couples can take advantage of this romantic atmosphere by having dinner in one of the old houses that has been converted to a restaurant, like Café Leona, before or after their walk.
Dancing Fountain Vigan
The Dancing Lights of Vigan is located at Plaza Salcedo. It start around 7pm in the evening. But I think it must be good if you go before 7pm to find a right place.
The plaza was renovated into a huge fountain area, dancing fountains synced with music and lights. Music varies from slow, upbeat, novelty and classic songs. While the water and lights follow the beat. The show lasted around 30-45 minutes.
Hidden Garden sells plants and clay pots they call as burnay jars. They have a chinese restaurant and a coffee shop as well. The clay pots can be used as decorations or as your plant pots. Eating in their restaurant is really awesome because of the lovely and relaxing environment. The landscape is properly designed and there are plants and flowers everywhere.
After eating or buying something, you can also stroll around the place. If you love plants or if you just want some fresh air, walking around the area would be really great. Aside from the plants and decorations, there are also animals in Hidden Garden like white cockatoos and gecko lizards.
St Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
The St. Paul’s Cathedral is also known as the metropolitan Cathedral. It is considered a major religious landmark not only of northern Luzon but the country as well. Visitors must include a visit to the cathedral when in Vigan as it has been a center of Roman Catholic devotion for centuries. The church as it stands now was completed in 1800. The original structure was built in 1574 upon the command of the Spanish founder of Vigan, Juan de Salcedo. It was a mere chapel then, made of wood and thatch. In 1641, the chapel was replaced by a church.
When the seat of the Nueva Segovia Diocese was transferred to Villa Fernandina de Vigan from Cagayan’s Lal-lo in 1758, the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral and became the center of Catholic faith in the north. Another structure was ordered by then Governor Jose de Basco to be built to replace the existing church in 1786. With the Augustinians, the cornerstone of the new church was laid in the beginning of 1790.
Overall, the cathedral follows a Baroque architectural design that has been modified by Ilocanos to strengthen the structure against earthquakes. This is now known as earthquake Baroque. Testament to the style’s effectivity is the fact that the structure’s original interior walls have remained complete.
Other influences can be observed from the architecture of St. Paul Cathedral, that of neo-Gothic, pseudo-Romanesque and Chinese craftsmanship. Facing the cathedral, visitors are greeted by the statue of St. Paul above the main opening. There are also carvings of Fu dogs or lion dogs by the outermost doors. In the alcove are scenes of Saint Paul’s conversion. Though some people may find that the façade is not as impressive as other churches, the cathedral’s interior is something to be admired. The presence of a silver-paneled main altar, three naves,
12 minor altars and brass communion handrails forged in China gives the inside of the church a feeling of grandeur. The area for the choir is located at the loft, making use of the big church’s acoustics.
Surrounding St. Paul Cathedral are the other historic buildings of the city. There are the Episcopal Palace or the bishop’s residence, the diocesan seminary and the Vigan Municipal Hall. It is also beside two plazas, one named after Vigan’s founder, Plaza Salcedo, and another named after a revolutionary hero, Plaza Burgos. It shows how central the cathedral’s role is not only in the religious life of the people, but the social, economic, educational and political aspects as well.
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, is home to Baluarte Zoo. Its about 10 minutes outside of the city, heading towards the China Sea. Its not a big budget type of zoo. Don’t expect any extravagant shows or pen areas for the animals. A lot of animals actually roam free within the walk areas as the guests.
Besides its low budget feel, I give it two thumbs up. It’s open everyday to the public for FREE. Not many things are free in the Philippines, let alone an educational place for kids to learn about animals indigenous to the Philippines as well as around the world.
Chavit Singson, the private owner of the zoo, lets people take rides and visit the zoo at no charge. You can bring the family, have a picnic lunch, and learn something new.
Some of the animals at the Baluarte Zoo include:
– Deer (I think it was a deer, haha)
– Birds: Ostriches, Parrots, Peacocks, Eagles and more
– A Butterfly Garden
– And more
There are also some Live Animal Shows and a Petting Zoo. Not only do you get to learn about the animals, they also animal care, science and conservation.
Trip To Baguio
Burnham Park is located within the heart of the city. It’s probably the city’s prime tourists spot. Here we enjoyed rowing our boat in Burnham lake, played chess with the locals, interacted with the people enjoying their early morning exercises, went biking and had our first taste of strawberry taho.
If what you seek are different kinds of plants from the flowery ones the likes of chrysanthemums, daisies, lilies and roses to herbs like thyme, rosemary, parsley and cilantro to the green leafy decorative ones like peperomia, coleus, and miura sold in a very affordable prices, then this is the perfect place for you.
Built in the 1920, this great piece of architecture with its pink exterior, stained glass and massive twin spires was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary hence the name Our Lady Of Atonement Cathedral. Located adjacent to Session Road, this is one of Baguio’s major tourist spots.
Mines View Park
Nowadays, Mines View Park is a place more famous for memorabilia and souvenir shops rather than where it was name after. This place gives a perfect view of the old gold and copper mines of the Ibaloi tribe.
Here found the much photographed Pool Of Pines, a rectangular pool of water surrounded by flowers and pine trees but it’s more famous to locals and tourists alike as the place where you can ride horses with over a hundred of them to choose from. You can also have a photo taken unlimited wearing native costumes for the price of 20 pesos per person.
Located across the Wright Park, the Mansion is the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. It’s pretty small as compared to the Malacanang Palace, but it doesn’t seem any less elegant with its white edifice fronted by a beautiful gate which would definitely grab your attention.
Botanical Garden is one of Baguio’s scenic parks which features a wide array of plants but what we love more about it is here, we got the chance to interact with friendly natives who were also ready to playfully pose for the camera.
Declared in April 2008 as a National Heritage Site, Teachers Camp has been home during summer to teachers from all parts of the country for recreational and educational purposes. Within the camp are classrooms, dormitories dining and conference halls. It also has an athletic ovals which locals can use for a minimal cost.
Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay is what made Baguio the “Little America”. During most of the 20th century, it was used as the recreational facility for the U.S. Armed Forces. Although many parts of the camp has been changed when it was converted into a privately owned resort, it is still famous to tourists for the history the Americans left within it. Among these are the Bell House & Bell Amphitheater which are the works of art of the late Governor-General James Franklin Bell. The Secret Garden which was JF Bell’s personal space is now famous as the place perfect for wedding proposals. Here also found the well visited Butterfly Sanctuary which houses over 50 different species of butterflies. If what you look for is extreme adventure, you might wanna opt for the extreme paintball center and the treetop adventure.
Panagbenga Park is a small park situated along two intersecting roads one of which is the Loakan Rd. This is just another typical park in Baguio City with potted plants, mini butterfly sanctuary and a bird cage which houses rare bird species but what I loved about it is here sold at Saleng Garden, a mini bar within the park is the delicious refillable cup of coffee and lemon grass tea which is only for 30 pesos.
Here displayed are artifacts and works of art of the native tribes of the Cordillera region namely the Ifugaos, Igorots, Ibalois, Kankanaeys and many others. They convey the early lifestyles of each tribe before the American colonization. It also depicts a brief history of the city displaying photos of its political leaders and replicas of Baguio during its early years up to the most recent in 2009.
PMA (Philippine Military Academy)
Located within Fort Del Pilar, PMA serves as the training ground for future officers of the AFP.
Tam-awan Village was built to restore the Ifugao and Kalinga villages in Baguio City to give those people who haven’t been to the Cordilleras the experience of living immersed through the cultures of these natives. It has become an artists village as it is host to several art exhibits for artists from all over the city and beyond. It has an art gallery which houses paintings and other art pieces.
Chinese Bell Church
Bell church is a beautiful place of worship. The structures of the buildings are of classic Chinese architecture. There is an intricately landscaped garden going up the hill. If you want solitude and a place where there are less crowd of people around, then you would love to pay the Bell Church a visit.
Constructed in commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this shrine is another place of meditation located in the western part of Baguio. The main altar is located at the top of the hill which can be accessed by climbing a stair consisting of 252 steps. Here you can offer flowers, light candles and lift your prayers asking for the Virgin Mother’s intercession.
After paying Lourdes Grotto a visit, this is another place you would wanna set your eyes on. Found in Dominican Hill are the Diplomat Hotel Ruins which is an old abandoned building used to be a first class hotel in the city and the World’s Largest 10 Commandments plus a panoramic view of the entire Baguio City.
This is the shortest route to Baguio City for travelers coming from Manila. Although, it has made headlines due to many vehicular accidents, it still is a favorite route going to the city as it offers breathtaking views along the way. Also along Kennon Rd., is the famous tourist attraction, the 43-feet high limestone sculpted Lion’s Head. The viewing deck at the upper end of Kennon Rd is the one famous to tourists for its spectacular view of the entire stretch of the highway and the surrounding mountains covered in greens.
Located in La Trinidad, a nearby town in the outskirts of Baguio City are the vast strawberry farms. Here you can choose the type of strawberries you want from small to big ones or from half ripened to the fully ripened ones as you are picking them yourselves. Be careful though not to be too excited to pick every strawberry you see as the cost is triple times higher than the price of strawberries sold in the market, but getting to pick your own strawberries which you can bring home to families and friends with the touch of love is priceless.
Trip To Cebu
Cebu’s Taoist Temple is a popular religious site established by the hill in Cebu City. It is not a tourism destination but it became popular due to its peculiar structure and artistic appeal even to non-believers of this religion.
It overlooks the city giving you a nice panorama of the city skyline and the blue water dividing the capital and Mactan Island.
This temple is great for anybody who wants to get some fresh air and relax from the city.
The site of the temples, religious figures, designs, dragons and paintings can help you forget and even relieve your stress. Part of the healing effect when visiting the place is the open and relaxing green scenery that enveloped the place aside from its hillside gardens.
If you believe in Taoism this is a perfect place for you to pray or meditate about your faith and life. And if you believe in something besides this religion, please make sure you show respect and behave properly within the area.
SM Seaside City Cebu
This new mall, aptly called SM Seaside City Cebu is one of the first developments in the master plan of SM Properties for their 304,100 sq. m. site, the new mall is now 40% complete! The new SM Mall, which stretches from the northern part of the SRP to the sea. Designed by Arquitectonica, an international architecture, interior design and planning firm from Miami, Florida, the grand, first-of-its-kind urban development at the SRP will dramatically change the landscape of the city with its nautilus-inspired design of expanding, concentric arcs from a central multipurpose space.
Abellana Cebu City Sports Center
Abellana Cebu City Sports Center, formerly known as the Abellana Oval, has made such a positive difference in Cebuanos’ lives. The sports center has encouraged many a Cebuano to take an interest in sports and live a healthier lifestyle. This has also inspired the development of different kinds of sports activities.
The Mactan Shrine, located on Mactan Island, just of the coast from Cebu City, is a must-see for everyone interested in Filipino history. It commemorates the Battle of Mactan that took place in 1521 between the Spanish and the Visayan (central Philippines) native people in April 1521 and, along with paintings and plaques about that battle, it also contains two other important shrines — the Lapu Lapu Shrine and the Magellan Shrine.
Cebu Happy World Museum
The Cebu Happyworld Museum is housed in a castle-like building. The structure itself invites people to open up their minds and let their imagination run wild.
Trip To Bacolod
Bantug Lake Ranch
At the outskirts of Bacolod City, Philippines, towards the upland portion at the eastern side of the city, lies the Bantug Lake Ranch – a beautiful hideaway that is suitable for weekend picnics or family getaways.
The land, which used to be a sugarcane plantation and orchard poultry, is now a lush landscape with a natural-looking lake dug to allow freshwater from a nearby creek flow through it and return to the creek. Set with Mt. Makawili in bordering Talisay City at the backdrop, Bantug Lake Ranch is owned by Abelardo Bantug, Jr. as an inheritance from his father.
There are many areas for picnics, camping and special events, like wedding receptions or team building activities. Children and their adult companions can have a wonderful day swimming in the pool area.
An eco-farm tour is also in the works. Vegetables and other plants are grown organically in the Bantug Lake Ranch. Food products from these organic produce are available for sale at the ranch.
At an entrance fee of Php 50 (almost USD 1.00) for adults and Php 40 for children, you can get inside and roam the property. However, there are additional fees for swimming (Php 120 or USD 2.55), horseback riding, and boating (Php 50 per head), separately. There is also a restaurant inside the Bantug Lake Ranch where families can dine. Picnic tables are also available for rent.
NEGROS FORESTS AND ECOLOGICAL FOUNDATION,INC.
Their mission is to protect and conserve the forests and endangered species endemic to Negros and the Philippines.
They are a non-profit organization that relies on donations and sponsors to continue their work. They also have a breeding center for some of the most threatened species of animals where the majority of them are found only in Negros and Panay and nowhere else in the world. The center has been successful in breeding these species and plan to eventually return some of these captive-bred individuals into their natural habitat in the future. Meanwhile, sites are still being evaluated to ascertain their suitability for the release of about 100 animals who call NFEFI-BCC their home.
Bacolod Baywalk is the newest attraction in the city. It was inaugurated last February 14, 2013. The 2 hectare area at the coastline of Bacolod can be a dine-out spot for foodies, an entertainment venue for music lovers and a perfect place to watch the beautiful sunset for hopeless romantics.
It’s open-air entertainment spot by the sea. It’s something new in Bacolod; a great addition to the city. Baywalk is a very promising attraction, so when all the proposed projects are done the P20 fee will be worth it.
Trip To Davao
Philippine Eagle Centre
The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) is an 8.4-hectare area located at the foothills of Mt. Apo in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and situated within the Malagos Watershed. The Philippine Eagle Center primarily operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and other birds of prey.
There are currently 7 Philippine Eagles in exhibit for education while the rest are isolated for conservation breeding and research purposes.
Although this facility is dedicated to breeding and education, the Philippine Eagle Center has grown to be an important tourist destination in Davao City as well.
The Center does not only have Philippine Eagles to show but there are a number of other birds, mammals and reptiles as well, most of which are endemic to the country and some are considered rare.
The Center is divided into different functional areas, such as:
- Conservation Breeding Area. This is where the breeding birds are found. This area is restricted to the public and only the conservation breeding personnel are allowed in its premises.
- Food Stock Area. This is where the food for the raptors and other animals are raised to ensure a disease-free stock such as rabbits, white mice, quails, and guinea pigs. These stocks are needed for the daily food requirements of every animal at the Center.
- Exhibit Area. This area is open to the general public, wherein exhibit animals are displayed. It is further divided into two parts:
- The close canopy (covered by trees) area is a natural forest adjacent to the Malagos Watershed. Here you will find large old trees and the first few cages that the Philippine Eagle Foundation ever built. Being a natural forest, this part of the Center is relatively rough compared to the rest.
- The plaza/exhibit part is an open canopy area with concrete pathways leading to every enclosure, kiosks and benches available for the guests.
- Lounge Area. At the start or at the end of their tour, guests can enjoy taking pictures at the photo wall or feeding the fishes in the pond. Guests can also unwind and take their refreshments at the canteen. Affordable snacks and drinks are available that will fill and quench our guests’ appetite after their adventure around the Center.
- Diola’s Forest. Named after one of the first captive Philippine Eagle and mother to Pag-asa and Pagkakaisa, this is the exhibit room where guests can learn more about the Philippine Eagle.
- Audio- visual room. Guests can view educational videos and documentaries that were filmed by dedicated videographers. These documentaries can touch and awaken the sense of responsibility that we hope will leave a lasting impression on our guests. Visitors with a large group can have a packaged guided- tour and film- viewing arranged for a full educational experience at the Center.
- Gift shop. Guests can buy Philippine Eagle souvenir items that they can take home to their family and friends. The income from the items sold is used to help fund the Foundation’s research, conservation, and education programs.
ADVENTURES AROUND THE CENTER:
Aside from seeing the Philippine Eagle at the Center, guests can avail of the following services:
Guided Tours. This gives a more effective educational experience for our guests. Guided tours are free of charge and are often conducted by our trained volunteers. Guests are encouraged to give their tips to the donation box.
Birdwatching. The PEC is also home to wild birds like the Silvery Kingfisher, the Philippine Hanging Parakeet, and the endemic Philippine Coucal. Prepare your binoculars before you head to the Center and get to know these amusing and colourful birds.
Wild trail. Let other people know that you have paid a visit to the Philippine Eagle and helped save its species. The Wild Trail lets you leave your mark by having your name engraved in the cemented paths of the Center for Php 500.00.
Tree of Hope. By donating Php 100. 00, you can support the growth of one seedling under the Arakan Forest Corridor Development Project.
Conservation Education activities such as Keeper Talk and Open Classroom Project.
This activity is offered at a specific time. The bird’s keeper or caretaker will talk about the bird’s biology, characteristics, interesting facts and life at the Center. This activity gives the visitors an opportunity to interact with the keeper and its ward. It also helps the visitors have a deeper understanding of the bird’s life cycle and environment.
OPEN CLASSROOM PROJECT
This is a fun way of knowing the eagles and learning about life science. With games and enjoyable activities, students will definitely take pleasure in learning. Modules and themes are specifically designed to suit the needs and interests of Pre-school, Kindergarten, Elementary and Highschool students.
Davao Crocodile Park
The Davao Crocodile Park is a major tourist destination located at the Riverfront, Corporate City Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City, and is about 15 to 30 minutes from downtown of the City.
Not only does the Park provide entertainment to visitors as its share in the City’s tourism effort, but also serve as a venue for educational tours, lectures for public awareness, field laboratory for students in Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, as well as for wildlife animal enthusiasts, and conservation of crocodiles and other wildlife animals.
While the Park is not a full-pledged zoo for crocodiles, it however features other exotic animal species such as raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and various reptiles, and is equipped with state-of-the-art crocodile farming system. It is also one of the few places in the City where one can learn and enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Davao City.
The Davao Crocodile Park is owned and operated by a group of businessmen headed by Mr. Sonny Dizon, a resident of Davao City. Mr. Dizon’s fascination with saltwater and freshwater crocodiles gave birth to the first and only of its kind in Davao City, the Davao Crocodile Park on August 18, 2006.
There are several attractions in the Park, one of the major ones is “Pangil“, the country’s second largest crocodile at 18 feet long. The word “Pangil” literally means “fangs“. The Park features a show in the afternoon (4:00 to 4:30 PM) called “The Pangil Encounter“, where caretakers enter the caged pond with a stick and probe Pangil, which prompts the giant reptile to move towards the stick, and kick its tail, splashing water to the viewing spectators.
The facilities of the Park are made up of concrete pens and welded wire screen with double security doors particularly in breeding ponds. An open and covered walk pathways with comfortable benches, and other amenities which include toilets and lavatories are provided to visitors of the Park.
The Souvenir Shop of the Davao Crocodile Park is located at the exit area of the Park, and sells a variety of crocodile leather products, such as leather wallets, bags, key chains, belts, etc, and assorted local handicrafts. It also serves snacks, refreshments, ice cream, and durian products including the Altura Mountain Arabica Coffee from the hinterlands of Mount Apo, and the local Civet Cat Coffee.
The Park makes good business supplying crocodiles to another crocodile farm in Palawan, and selling crocodile hide. The crocodiles, when farmed commercially, their meat can fetch as much as US$900, while the hide, when tanned and made into leather bags, shoes and belt products, can command a much higher price. For this purpose, the Park maintains an off-site breeding center to compliment its production.
One of the major attractions in the Davao Crocodile Park is the assembled bones of a Dugong, or also known as a Dugong-Dugon. It is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of the four living species in the order of Sirenia. This Dugong is a 6 foot, 2 year old, male, which died in a fish net in 2009. The Davao Crocodile Park has the following major facilities:
The incubation room is where crocodile eggs are hatched. It has three incubators, and is restricted to the public. It is equipped with foot bath and a lavatory for disinfection.
The nursery room is about 200 square meters where newly born crocodiles are cared for in fiberglass tubs under a controlled temperature at 32 degrees Celsius through the use of immersion heaters.
There are two yearling pens which are made of concrete smooth-finished floors, a portion of which slopes to about 12 inches. Each Pen is about 120 square meters with large hide boards, and basking which are partially covered with nets. Here, about 50 to 60 smaller crocodiles between the ages of one to three years old are contained.
The Pen is about 200 square meters with floors similar to the yearling pens, but with approximately two feet deep in the sloping area. Double security doors are provided in each grow-out pens.
The Pangil Encounter is one of the featured shows where caretakers enter the caged pond with a stick and provoke Pangil, which prompts the giant reptile to move towards the stick, and kick its tail, splashing water to the viewing spectators.
There are three breeding ponds in the Park with a total area of 600 square meters. The breeding ponds is approximately 70% dry and 30% wet. The dry area is sandy while the wet area is made up of concrete floor with drainage facility. One of the breeding ponds is shaped to provide some privacy to the crocodiles. Moreover, a viewing bridge at the center islet is provided for a clear and safe view of the crocodiles.
A fly proof feed house is about 30 square meters, containing a working table, weighing scale, meat grinder, cabinets for feed supplements and vitamins, knives and other instruments needed for feeding. Potable water is readily accessible for use.The pens are constructed following a standard requirement for the different breeds and species of snakes. The pens are provided with incandescent bulbs for heat, a water bowl, and driftwood.
The Animal Clinic and Recovery Area is equipped with an examination table, medicine cabinets, laboratory, surgical instruments, and recovery pens. This is where sick and new animals are confined for medication.
The Change Room is intended for caretakers to change their clothes before and after work to prevent possible contamination and spread of diseases.The Area for Dog Training is equipped with different obstacles, and other facilities designed for training dogs, particularly for agility.The Davao Crocodile Park is also home to other exotic animals. There are small information and description board found in most cages of the animals which give visitors some knowledge on the animals that they are viewing. The
Park also warns the general public about buying, selling and hunting of these endangered animals, such as the Leopard Cat, Blue Naped Parrot, Red Vented Cockatoo, etc.Other animals such as Monitor Lizards, Ostriches, Turkeys, Philippine Warty Pig, Oriental Civet, Goats, Owls, Eagles, Orangutan, and a wide variety of bird species can also be seen in the Park. Some of the smaller animals such as snakes, boas, lizard and turtles are in a small cage with a wall made of glass for viewing. There’s also the Philippine Sail-fin Water Dragon, a large semi-aquatic lizard, housed together with the Fishes and Turtles.Over the years, the Davao Crocodile Park has developed an educational awareness program in enduring relationships between people and wildlife with a view of creating a balance ecosystem. And, because of the popularity the program, the Davao Crocodile Park has extended it reach to include Manila as its second base outside of Davao City.
The Manila based Park which is located at the Boom na Boom Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, features a “Minds-On & Hands-On” interactive science exhibit, showcasing the Butterfly House, Insectariums, an Ostrich mini-Farm, and a mini-Petting Zoo, including Marine World and the Mini Natural History Museum.
Magsaysay Park in Davao City is a beautifully landscaped public park that sits on a huge sprawling expanse that faces the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Davao with the Samal Island in the backdrop. While there are many parks in Davao City, this park remains the favorite of the locals and is frequented by foreign tourists, families and friends alike for an afternoon of leisurely stroll, or simply hanging-out. This city landmark was built in honor of the most-loved and revered president of the Philippines, Ramon Magsaysay who, in March 17, 1957, died in a plane crash in Mount Manunggal on Cebu Island while en route to Manila. He was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines.
At the center of the Park is the 25 meter long tri-pillar obelisk-like concrete tower that contains the life-size statue of President Magsaysay which serves as the main marker of the park. The monument was built through the efforts of the Davao Chapter of the Philippine Veterans Legion and was turned over to the City Government of Davao on July 31, 1960.
Beloved and revered by the Filipinos, President Ramon Magsaysay is hailed as the “Idol of theMasses” because he was the first among the presidents to open the gates of Malacañan Palace to the common Filipinos. He was born on August 31, 1907.
The Park features several amenities such as an open-air amphitheater which serves, among other things, the regular venue for public discos during Sundays which can accommodate 2,000 persons, a restaurant, a cooling station, several food kiosks, ornamental plants stalls, souvenir and handicraft stalls, a skating rink, a children’s playground, an open-air chapel, and a secured parking area which is located south of the park. It also houses several tourism offices: the regional office of the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Tourism Authority, the Department of Foreign Affairs Regional Passport Office, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Information Agency, the Samal Island Tourism Estate Project, and the DXRP Radyo ng Bayan.
In the Philippines, Mt. Apo is the highest point with an elevation of 3144 Meters above sea level, making it the Grand Father of all Philippine Mountains and the dream mountain of every Filipino mountaineer.
Mount Apo is one of the must see and experience for every adventure tourist or backpacker who visits the country specially in the Davao Province where it lies.Mostly used trail that is why it has the widest trail of them all which starts in then Kidapawan, North Cotabato.
This trail offers a river trail , jungle trail and grassland assault upon reaching the summit. Although a little bit far the covers approximately 19 Km ,the experience in trekking this trail is also challenging.
The Boulders of Mt. Apo is one of the famous feature which would led to a breath taking experience by ascending the crater of sulfur deposits and vents. Along the boulders, picture taking and nibbling of sweet wild berries can be tried before arriving at the 87-degree cliff before leading the way to the country’s highest peak.In the foot hills of Mt. Apo, there are hot springs which would sooth relax your tired body minimize muscle aches like the Mundo Apo hot spring, Agco Hot springs in Kidapawan and Mainit hot spring in Kapatagan which is a very ideal thing to do.
Touring Davao’s ‘Bone Collector’ museum
With over 700 specimens, the museum has one of the largest collections of bones, skulls, and skeletons in the country.
DAVAO, Philippines – With over 700 specimens, D’Bone Collector Museum has one of the largest collections of bones, skulls, and skeletons in the country. It is touted to be the first of its kind in Davao City, if not in the Philippines.
“I have bones and skeletons of animals not only from the tropical rainforests, but also coming from the seas and oceans,” said American Darrell Dean Blatchley, who is the president and curator of the D’Bone Collector Museum.
Although he was born in the United States, he has spent almost half of his life living in Davao City, which he considers his second home.
Blatchley started collecting bones when he was still a teenager. His fascination with bones made him discover that there’s more to an animal than just meat. Equally important are the bones.
His collection grew as the years went by. So huge was his collection that it seemed they could already fill up a museum – and that’s what he did. For those who want to visit the place, it is located at Bucana, just a walking distance from the Davao City Hall and the San Pedro Parish Church.
“We opened the museum in 2012 with a total of 150 specimens in one-story of the building,” Blatchley recalled. “Today, the museum occupies the three-story building which houses over 700 specimens.”
From 250 square meters when it opened, the museum display area now covers 700 square meters. “Our museum continues to grow to broaden the education for the people who visit the place,” Blatchley said.
The museum has been recognized as having the largest collection of assembled skeletons of whales and dolphins in the Philippines. “So far we have 29 of them in our museum but more will be added soon,” he said.
To be added soon is a skeleton of an elephant, which stands nearly 12 feet tall. “It will be only elephant skeleton in the Philippines,” he says. “We are currently working on getting rhino, hippo, and giraffe. We have 150 specimens in our American collection and we are contemplating of bringing them here in the country.”
Collecting bones and skeletons is nothing new. But using it as a way of educating people in saving the environment is another. Davao City Council Leonardo R. Avila III, who supports Blatchley’s initiative, has this to say: “Most of us self-professed environmentalists are committed to save the environment – we plant trees, we dispose our garbage properly, we save water, we observed Earth Hour every year. But Darrell’s way of preserving the environment makes our combined efforts almost trivial.”
Throughout history, bones are the remembrance of a life’s existence. “For me, bones are the ultimate learning tool,” Blatchley said. “So much can still be learned upon death. It tells you the life of the animal; whether it had a good life (healthy bones) or a hard life (cracked and deformed bones).”
Among those being displayed are a 41-foot long sperm whale and bones of Grizzly bear. Bones and skeletons of snakes, tarsier, marine turtles, various fish species, different sizes of the mouths of sharks, and birds abound.
The museum is open from Mondays to Fridays. Entrance fee is P80 for adults and P70 for children and students.
Trip To Bicol
It was drizzling. Rain droplets randomly dropping on any surfaces: on the leaves, on the bark of trees, on my skin, on my hair, on the wet ground and on the pool of water. But I didn’t care. Malabsay Falls, one of the beautiful waterfalls in Naga City was before me. Cascading in torrents, dropping 40 feet from the rock wall’s lip, plunging into the 20 feet deep water below. I was mesmerized.
Waterfalls always refreshes the tired soul. It always lifts sagging spirits and I have always delighted in visiting one. Never mind if most of the time, it is difficult to visit. In the case of Malabsay Falls, it entails of going to the entrance of Mt. Isarog National Park which is a bit out of the way, up in Barangay Panicuason, way past the Panicuason Hot Spring Resort.
Once you enter the park, one has to register at the entrance and pay P50. But it is quite refreshing. Forested, with trees big and small, bushes and shrubs harboring interesting fauna. It sometimes can be cool but, most of the time, like any othe Philippine forests, can be humid.
There’s actually two trails, both leading to different waterfalls. As we were only visiting Malabsay Falls, we took the right path. The trail has seen better days. It was slippery and wet. Well trodden. Portions of the cement stair has broken off with some parts leading to nowhere but a steep slide down.
But at a high promontory overlooking the cascade, a beautiful sight unfolds. You see the waterfall up close. Hear its thundering plunge. Get mesmerized at its beauty. And you get energized. You walk further down, oblivious of the slippery boulders, the cool flowing water and wet bark of a cut tree blocking the way.
And when you turn facing beautiful Malabsay Falls, you just feel a bit of contentment. You ponder. You smile and take photographs. You sit on the steps and just gaze. Should I take the plunge? Should I swim at its waters? Should I try to jump from that promontory? Will it be safe? You think all these things while the thundering cascades drown out other sounds.
Famous for its “Perfect Cone”, the Mayon Volcano is the Philippines’ most active volcano and the most popular tourist destination in the Bicol Region. With a height of 2,463 meters, it is the centerpiece of the Albay province, which is about 300 kilometers southeast of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Mayon Volcano has had 49, recorded eruptions, and continues to be active. Through the years, life and property has been claimed by this wonder of nature. Its first recorded eruption was in year 1616. Even without volcanic activity, the volcano continues to be dangerous for climbers, including the more experienced ones. Its steep slope make it difficult for climbing, thus it has claimed the lives of climbers in the recent years. Rock avalanches and landslides are common. If you want to climb the volcano, you’ll have to work your way through the forest, grasslands, and deserts. The safest way is to pass on the north western slope, but you will have to register at PHILVOCS to climb. Once you reach the summit, be wary of the dangerous fumes emitted by the Volcano. A gas mask in hand will be really useful.
Apart from climbing, you can go nature hiking and marvel at the many wonderful animals such as the parakeet, red jungle fowl, owl, fruit dove just to name a few. You can also do many activities such as hiking, camping, climbing, bird watching as well as photography.
Sumlang Lake is one of the tourist attractions in Camalig, Albay. It is now being developed by the local government to simply boost the eco tourism in the area. It is a destination to have a perfect background of the prominent Mayon Volcano.
The way going to the entrance is one way. So the locals used a wireless radio to communicate to have a proper way on the parking area. The entrance is very well maintained. There is clear walkways and the staffs our very accommodating.
The first thing you need to do is to register to their logbook. Take note, that there is no registration fee being collected as of the moment. Only a bamboo raft ride that cost of 25php per head. Kayaking and pedal bikes are also available with corresponding fee.
The tourist can take a ride on a bamboo raft to get around the lake with the majestic Mount Mayon. The view is fascinating since the perfect cone itself is the background.
This view is often in our textbooks in elementary and high school and on the 100 peso bill. Seeing it in person is indeed awe inspiring.
The group chose to try the only bamboo raft where firmly fixed at the middle of the lake which has been costed for 200php per hour. Since, we’re 9 persons we already save a 25php hahaha and enjoyed the serenity of the lake.
We were awed by the unspoiled, breathtaking site. We took our heavy breakfast prepared by Sheng , Elie and Koyang (rice, breaded fried chicken, boiled egg, and fresh salad: simple but delicious!) in the middle of the lake. We stayed in the lake for about 1 hour and took in the beautiful sight and enjoyed the cool, gentle breeze. In fact, the group initiated that we were already consumed an one hour stay.
Here you can see the beautiful Mayon Volcano it just depends on the weather. When cloudy you cannot see Mayon’s perfect cone shape. The best time to have a clearer view of Mayon is early morning and we were lucky to have it. Mt. Mayon complements the view perfectly.
A small place to get a good view of Mayon. It is well maintained park with free entrance. It is a good place for family who wants to do something different rather than going to the noisy, crowded malls.
This is a ‘must see’ when visiting Albay. The Bamboo raft cruise is a leisurely affair with the friendly locals. The place is quite good, if you have heavy work for the week then this right place to spend your weekend to relax.
If you’d want something different from all the tourist destination in Albay this summer, Sumlang Lake is a good choice. The place was beautiful, cool and calm, perfect for relaxing on a lazy weekend.
Some improvements can still be made to the infrastructure though: it was sunny when we got there, and the trek between the parking lot and the dock was quite slippery. Some paving and hand rails would do a lot to improve access to the lake while still maintaining its beauty.
Trip To Zamboanga Peninsula
It was an awe-inspiring sight, well, except for the bathers who have crowded the base of Merloquet Falls in Zambaonga City but still, it is something that you can’t forget: Wide curtain, beautiful rock face and water dropping on an elevated but flat rock base that becomes a platform for bathers.
Merloquet Falls is actually a two tiered waterfalls with the upper level located around 50 meters from the main cascade. This upper tier is stunning, with an inclined rock face with five separate but low cascades. The water stream into a shallow basin then flows downstream into the main waterfall in a wide curtain.
If you’re adventurous enough, both tiers is connected with a rather difficult trail with only a thick rope for support. You can even stand above the main falls and look at the people down below. A steep trail is located at the left side.
The main cascade is really beautiful. The flow is wide but instead of a single drop, you have a varied rock face that gives the waterfall its beauty: at the left has a higher fall then a flat rock platform, the right side is another rock form that gives it volume.
Merloquet Falls is one of Zamboanga City’s well known tourist destination and one of Mindanao’s popular waterfalls. Although it is located around 2 hours from the city center, at the time of this visit, an access road was being widened.
The picnic ara is semi developed and if you visit on a weekend, you have to compete with these visitors.
Merloquet Falls is actually found in Barangay Sibulao but is accessed at the bus stop in Vitali which you can reach by riding a bus, non-air or aircon from Zamboanga City and bound for Pagadian, Dipolog or Ipil. It’s also the fastest and reliable. From this stop, hire a habal-habal if you don’t have your own vehicle. Do haggle. The driver who I got charged me P200.
If you want an easier trail to the main waterfall, it’s a stepped slope down which will bring you to the picnic area. If you feel adventurous, there’s a shorter trail from above going to the top tier then a steep path with only a thick rope for support at the side of the main cascade.
3003 Step Linabo Peak
Adventure and fun never stop in Dipolog. Anywhere you go: from the city proper to the remote barangays, the Orchid City has so much to offer.
The 3003 Step Linabo Peak is one of the favorite ecotourism destinations in Dipolog. Situated at Sitio Dinginan, Barangay Lugdungan, the Linabo Peak was constructed in the early ‘90s by the city government and quickly became one of its top tourist spots.
Standing 486 meters above sea level, the Linabo Peak is Dipolog’s highest elevation. The attraction is very popular, especially during the Holy Week. Hundreds of faithful devotees would participate in the Katkat Sakripisyo, a religious re-enactment of the suffering of Jesus Christ on His way to the Cross. The concrete steps lead the way to the peak, passing through 14 Stations of the Cross. Once on top, you get to see the breathtaking view of Dipolog, Dapitan and nearby towns.
Outdoor enthusiasts would find great adventure along the hidden wonders of Linabo. The hike to the top of the 3003 Steps takes an hour or two. However, the concrete steps only cover the Stations of the Cross and not all the way to the peak of Mt. Linabo. You will have to climb further if you want to reach the top of Mt. Linabo. You will pass through boulders but the scenery and the panoramic view of the city is worth the sweat.
If you are planning for a long hike towards the peak, get there early. The earlier, the better. And the more, the merrier. The climb is not for everyone especially those with cardiovascular problems. But for those who dare, the challenge and exciting experience make the trek memorable and worthwhile.
I wish you enjoy your trip! Have a safe trip!