March 2011
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"It actually has low-rise mountains and hills placed with narrow network of roads to tone you leg muscles while biking."


The town of San Juan is well-known for its Buri, and its beaches are also gaining fame along the coastline of the pristine Lapog Bay. However, there is a hidden paradise people will still have to know regarding the town of San Juan - its mountains. Mountains may be so common in Ilocos Sur but San Juan has been proving that its upland area is a place for party, fun and excitement compared to others. Its upland areas cover several hectares of reforestation projects suitable for biking enthusiasts offering you roads which goes up and down. I am not saying that San Juan is an extremely mountainous town.

Biking or Riding

Sitio Tapao, Camanggaan, San Juan, Ilocos Sur



It actually has low-rise mountains and hills placed with narrow network of roads to tone you leg muscles while biking. The bonus here is that, you will be able to experience the cool mountain breeze and the lush green hills and mountains of San Juan together with some hectares of reforestation projects.



Road going to Tapao Mountain Resort


Hideous Watermark, lol!



Road to Barbar


There you have it. Sorry guys but if you don't mind, the two photos above are  two of my earliest photos when I was still starting to love photography. I was still learning photography then.



Nurses on the go!

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Even now, still learning. I'm not so good at all, just an amateur shots. I didn't have any camera before. 

I used to borrow my friend's camera just to pursue a goal. I still had hideous and disgusting icon back then. Haha. Photos taken about 5 years ago. 

If I had a camera before, I may have collected more photos and shared to you more places and experiences. Sadly, some beautiful experiences and memorable adventures I have been through weren't captured into photos. 

And maybe, if I had a camera before, I may have been blogging for a long time. I used to blog before but it was so dissatisfying knowing that most readers don't appreciate the article without photos to illustrate the place.

Tapao Mountain Resort Snapshots


The group, one is dry :p


My girl friends


Nurse Joanna


The Team


Stop Over


Finale


San Juan is a town north of Vigan about 30 minutes by land.
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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"The afternoon delight starts in this beach. Party goers can just sit back and relax, or simply, dip your feet to the gentle cool waters of the beach!"

Puerto Beach is a hidden asset of the town of Santo Domingo in Ilocos Sur province, Philippines. This is a secret haven for me and the sunset vista at the South China Sea reveals the magnificent creations of God!

Puerto Beach

Central Sunset


Puerto Beach has been one of the best places for hanging out and party in Sto Domingo town situated at the western coast of the Luzon Island. It's spectacular sunset is really inviting.


"PERFECT BLEND"


The calm waters and the spectacular sunset of Puerto Beach is a perfect blend for travelers and hang-outers!

"DARK SAND"



Setting Sun



Silhouette



Bamboo Cottages


Last na 'to promise :p


How to go to Puerto Beach? with travel tips

BY LAND: For commuters

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1. Make Vigan City as your base. If you are from Manila, you can reach Puerto Beach by land. I suggest the following bus companies: Partas, Dominion, Aniceto and Viron. All this three are Vigan-based bus companies.


So from those bus lines which are located at Cubao [the long array of bus terminals there] except for Aniceto which is based in Sampaloc, Manila, take an 8-hour drive. It might be a long drive but many travel reviews have been saying that the long drive is "worth it" because of the beautiful sceneries you will see as you enter Ilocos Sur province. For all tourists coming from Visayas and Mindanao, make Manila as your base then as I said, go to Cubao Bus Terminal and look for those bus liners. The cheapest of them is Aniceto Bus but it is based in Sampaloc. The range for fare is from 500-700 depending on the bus class. But definitely, Aniceto is way cheaper. Upon reaching Vigan, look first for a place to stay and have a rest to plan what time of the day you're going to utilize.

2. After reaching Vigan, the best option is go to the Vigan City Bus and Jeepney Terminal. After reaching this Bus terminal, ask any person there what bus is bound up north. If you see the bus, you may now go in but please wait for the bus to go because there is a certain time a bus will wait for more passengers, unless, you were able to go there at the moment the time is done, you will no longer wait.

3. After being able to see the next bus going up north, tell the bus conductor to unload you at Sto Domingo Public Market. That's about 15 minutes.  From Sto. Domingo Public Market, ride in a trike and tell the driver to lead you to Puerto Beach for about another 15 minutes. Regarding the fare, negotiate first because some may overcharge. 40-60 pesos is a good bid.

4. Trikes that will lead you back to Sto. Domingo Public Market [which is along the National Highway] from the beach are not always present. If you plan to stay overnight, it is important to get the contact number of the trike you have just ride on to fetch you back to the National Highway or you can just hire another trike parked near the beach if available. Just negotiate with the driver regarding the fare for that night trip. Please leave the beach on or before 7 by reason of transportation availability unless if you have your own service vehicles, staying overnight can be feasible.

5. After the driver has lead you back to the National highway in Sto Domingo, wait for buses to pass bound for Manila or Cubao. All this bus companies will pass through Vigan. But for your convenience, especially if you're hotel is in Vigan, take a Partas Bus because this bus will have a stop-over with their terminal inside the city proper of Vigan.
The rest of the buses will just pass through the national highway in the town of Bantay which is a town before entering Vigan city proper. However, you may take another trike from Bantay to your hotel in Vigan as your base. 250 pesos is already enough for your fare per head round trip for Vigan-Puerto Beach route. I think it can even be cheaper.

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Tags: Puerto Beach | Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur | Beach in Sto. Domingo Ilocos Sur | Tourist Spot/Spots in Sto. Domingo Ilocos Sur | Place/Places to Visit in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur
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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"They go to the busy cities like Baguio for livelihood: not farming nor hunting but to harness the  great deals tourism industry could give them."

NOTE: All the opinions and views published in this article are personal interpretations of the author. The author has no intention of slander, defame or to destroy the image of an individual, group, corporation or any entity.

The Igorot people, is I think the most popular indigenous people group in the Philippines. According to some sources, the Igorots carry a "headhunting" culture. A brutal mode of searching a person to kill by reasons known to them.




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Whatever negative publicities people might attach to the Igorot culture, I can safely say that their culture is still one of the most distinct, unique and richest in the Philippines.

Everywhere you go in the Philippines people know about the Igorot people. However, as I was discovering Benguet in a day trip I made with two friends, I discovered a personal issue with this people that has affected me a lot. How I love the culture of the Igorot people because their unique identity is the one of the few things we could present in the world to recognize that we are Asians too.

Asian countries have something in common: with regards to architecture, their small narrow eyes, and their culture. But in the Philippines, our culture is different. We are more to be like a Western country than Asian. Thank God the Igorot culture is surviving! They are a great help in maintaining the Filipino people as part of Asia. Simply, we are Asian but our culture is unique and distinct from others.

 The Igorots are our pride. Sadly, to my big surprise, I discovered that now, the Igorot culture is now a commodity. Yes, tourism helps our economy, but the sad thing is, do we need to sell the Igorot culture for profit? 

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I went in Benguet and in my day tour, I went to a park. In front of that park is a group of our very own Igorot brothers. They were joined in one area, compressed and closed. I wondered what they were doing. I approached them and I learned that they were eating their lunch.

Suddenly, some of them run toward us dragging us to have picture with them. Of course we did. It was our joy to experience the Igorot culture, to appreciate their culture and to know more about their culture. As a fun-traveler, it is my goal to search for the unusual, for a different culture, to meet people, to enjoy. Taking pictures with them will surely be a great opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of the Philippines.

As my two friends had a picture with the Igorot people, we were surprised. They asked money in exchange with our cultural experience with them. It inserted in my mind. This is no good. There are bad effects of tourism.

Because of my eagerness to be immersed with their culture, I captured these two Igorot elders. The surprising thing is, I had no absolute opportunity to experience and appreciate our very own Filipino culture in the person of these two Igorot brothers because I need to pay them first before capturing them in photos. 

The Igorot people's culture is now changing a lot. They go to the busy cities like Baguio for livelihood: not farming nor hunting but to harness the  great deals tourism industry could give them.

Try to notice the female Igorot in photo. She is doing a wacky shot known to our contemporary culture by raising her index and middle finger together or simply the "peace sign." Of course, without the influence of media, this Igorot woman will never learn this thing. 

The Igorot people usually live with their crops and livestocks in the mountains of Cordillera and Caraballo with their tribal leaders in their villages. But now, the trend is changing. The modernization of the world, especially the Philippines, a developing country has penetrated the unique customs and traditions of our indigenous people. Sadly, the rich culture and traditions of the Igorot people are in danger of extinction.


The younger generations already wear the modern clothes they see in the television. Their traditional attire has been put into shame themselves. Now, only the elder true-blooded Igorots now use their traditional clothes called "bahag." Although some younger Igorots use that clothing, surely, still more of them prefer to use modern clothes. Sometimes, they now only use those clothes during festivals or as a "costume" for dance competitions and cultural presentations and not merely using it as part of their daily culture.

Baguio Exploration Series

What to Eat in Baguio | The Fruits of FragariaWhat a Wacky Igorot!ABaguio City | Lady Horsie GagaBaguio City | Stolen at BaguioBaguio City | Baguio Botanical Garden in Full BloomBaguio City | Romance at the Burnham ParkBurnham Lake | Man-Made Lake Within a City in the MountainsMines View Park, Baguio | Becoming an Igorot for 30 minutesBaguio Cathedral | The Low-Degree AmbianceThe Mansion, Baguio | For Your Eyes Only

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Tags: Igorot People | Igorot Tribe | Cultural Issues | Issues about the Igorot People | Culture of the Philippines | Culture of Cordillera | Culture of Baguio | Culture of Benguet | Philippine Cultural Issues
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Those smile on their faces really looked enlightening seeing our indigenous brothers enjoying their time. But, behind those smiles, is an issue I have seen. "

I never thought these Igorot brothers are going to pose in a camera with their two fingers positioned in a "peace" sign. What a wacky shot out there folks!

Wacky Igorot Shot


Of course, this elderly Igorots [not the new generation] for sure have no idea about wacky shots because they just live with their culture and tradition. 

But the changing world has taught them to do these things and embrace a behavior not in consonant with their unique culture because of the influence of mass media. I did not tell them to pose like that, they did it themselves. 



Lilong ken Lilang

Those smile on their faces really looked enlightening seeing our indigenous brothers enjoying their time. 

But, behind those smiles, is an issue I have seen.  If you think, taking their pictures are free, it's not. 

I paid them just to be able to capture them with my point and shoot. It felt so sad seeing that their unique and beautiful culture has turned into business. This is an issue for me. 

Well, I made a commentary regarding this and I'll be posting it next. Really, I was so affected and gloomy. This culture should be as it is. It should not be for business. It should remain free so that other people will appreciate it. 




This culture must be free: free to be appreciated, free to embrace, free to be experienced. Oh no. What's happening with us? Don't get me wrong. 

With my next post, I will reveal all my opinions and the reason why I am so affected like this. 

Thanks for viewing. Keep in touch, my heartfelt commentary regarding this encounter I've seen is coming next, click here.

Baguio #TownExploration Series

ABaguio City | Lady Horsie GagaBaguio City | Exclusive Igorot Fashion ExperienceBaguio City | Stolen at BaguioBaguio City | Baguio Botanical Garden in Full BloomBaguio City | Romance at the Burnham ParkBurnham Lake | Man-Made Lake Within a City in the MountainsMines View Park, Baguio | Becoming an Igorot for 30 minutesBaguio Cathedral | The Low-Degree AmbianceThe Mansion, Baguio | For Your Eyes OnlyWhat to Eat in Baguio | The Fruits of FragariaWhat a Wacky Igorot!

Map Showing the Location of #Baguio

Click this map to view all posts for BENGUET PROVINCE

NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.