[PHILIPPINES] ▬ 2015 TRAVEL SUMMARY
[BAGUIO] ▬ BURNHAM PARK (JANUARY 02)
[CAPAS] ▬ THIS TOWN IN TARLAC SPICED THE heart month for me. Dang! How about a Valentine's Day 4X4 ride in Capas Eco-trail with the stunning view of the lava floodway?
[CAPAS] ▬ THE CAPAS ECO-TRAIL (FEBRUARY 14)
[BOTOLAN] ▬ The Capas Eco-trail won't be perfect without crossing the border to Zambales for the Mount Pinatubo crater lake as part of the adventure package.
Valentines Day volcano trekking has never been this lovely. It's so "Crazy-Beautiful-You-ish."
[CAPAS] ▬ THE CAPAS ECO-TRAIL (FEBRUARY 14)
I didn't expect Mount Pinatubo could be this chilly. Photos of it look like a hot place perfect for summer. So I left my sweater. I shivered but I swear I liked it.
MY MARCH WAS FILLED WITH ADVENTURES, HARDCORE adventures. With the help of the present Vice Governor of Abra (Hon Chari Bersamin) this time, I (together with fellow travel blogger Estan Cabigas) joined Abra's Kawayan Festival celebration with hardcore adventure side trips.
[BANGUED] ▬ TRIBAL ACCESSORIES IN ABRA'S PADAYA TRADE FAIR IN BANGUED (MARCH 06)
[BANGUED] ▬ My First Midnight in the Hill of Cassamata via Oval Era_________________
TEASER ► ...as the sun sets down with the silhouette of Mt Bullagao, west of the river valley, I leave the place. I never attempted to stay there after dark.
Estan and I visited the PADAYA TRADE FAIR
[BANGUED] ▬ Padaya Trade Fair: Abra Local Industries' Heart & Soul_________________
TEASER ► I thought it would be another ordinary trade fair but I was wrong. The padaya gave me many answers on my search for truth and knowledge: reasons why I love traveling. and we both loved what we saw and learned. We even purchased an original decades-old traditionally woven Itneg (Tinguian) fabric because we were just so fascinated on the stories behind those fabrics. For me, the fabric I purchased is priceless (museum-worthy) and I was a lucky lad to have acquired one.
We also joined their SILNAG ELECTRIC FLOAT PARADE
[BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride_________________
TEASER ► Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages., WATCHED A CULTURAL SHOW
[BANGUED] ▬ A Night of Traditional Dances and Cultural Rites_________________
TEASER ► I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care., ATE A FAMOUS ABRA MIKI
[BANGUED] ▬ Brgy Patucannay: of Waking Up Early and a Soup Dish_________________
TEASER ► I observed how they prepare this popular soup dish. They just prepare everything right before your eyes. I saw bones, mainly skulls, in a stainless basin. in the break of dawn, watched the KAWAYAN FESTIVAL STREET DANCING
[BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival: The Biggest Cultural Show in Abra_________________
TEASER ► No million-dollar dance show can ever fathom the depth of the meaning of the dances their ancestors wanted them to execute. and the iconic BAMBOO FLOAT PARADE
[BANGUED] ▬ Bamboo Float Parade and the Cool Mountain Tribes_________________
TEASER ► They have proven that the province of Abra is a sterling destination for mountain culture lovers.. We also tried the mouthwatering ABRA HOME-COOKED DISHES
[ABRA] ▬ Home-Cooked Food Dishes to Die for_________________
TEASER ► The Ilocanos and the Itneg tribes are the two groups of people that make Abra a culturally enchanting destination. On food, the landscape, heritage and culture of the province are also deliciously present. prepared no other than the Vice Governor herself.
[BANGUED] ▬ SELFIE-ING IN FRONT OF THE ABRA CAPITOL (MARCH 06)
[BANGUED] ▬ BECAUSE THEY DARED ME TO SHOW THE TUMMY - HAPPY KAWAYAN FESTIVAL FOLKS! (MARCH 06)
[TINEG] ▬ The very rare opportunity to revisit the remote town of Tineg came and we grabbed it immediately. We explored the virgin forests of the town and tasted its exotic dishes. We also mingled with the amazing tribesmen from Adasen tribe (a sub-group of the Itneg tribal people).
I had so many unforgettable experiences here that are hard to express in words. I'm afraid I may not justify the experiences in words. Right now, I'll just keep it with me and hopefully soon I'll have the balls to blog about those.
[TINEG] ▬ GUITUP FALLS IN AGSIMAO, TINEG (MARCH 07)
[TINEG] ▬ BACKRIDING ALL THE WAY TO AGSIMAO (MARCH 07)
[TINEG] ▬ MOUNT LAYA TRAVERSE, I WAS LOST HERE, SERIOUSLY. (MARCH 07)
[TINEG] ▬ MANAMBOR FALLS - PLAYS A ROLE IN TINEG'S LOCAL FOLKLORE (MARCH 07)
[TANAY] ▬ Giant Virgin Mary Statue on a Hilltop: For Tourists, Pilgrims
TEASER ► It seemed like I really can't move on with the beautiful surrounding as I joined the queue. This sanctuary is a tourist destination itself. It's as comely as a beautiful virgin lady.
and ten thousand mahogany trees.
[BAGUIO] ▬ PANAGBENGA FLOAT PARADE (MARCH 2015)
[TANAY] ▬ VISITED REGINA RICA FOR THE FIRST TIME (MARCH 14)
[TANAY] ▬ SEA AND SKY HOTEL IN LA UNION (MARCH 21)
[VIGAN] ▬ WITH SANDY DAZA, A CELEBRITY CHEF AND TV HOST (MARCH 27)
[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ STRAWBERRY FARM (APRIL 17)
[BAGUIO] ▬ LAPERAL HOUSE (APRIL 17)
[BAGUIO] ▬ PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY (APRIL 17)
[SANTA MARIA] ▬ I also revisited Pinsal Falls in Baballasioan, Santa Maria town in Ilocos Sur two (2) days after Baguio.
[SANTA MARIA] ▬ PINSAL FALLS BOULDERS (APRIL 19)
[TV APPEARANCE] ▬ My Blogs Featured in News Program Teledyaryo Ylocos_________________
TEASER ► For the second time, my blogs got an exposure in the mainstream media through PTV - People's Television.
[BAGUIO] ▬ VIP Treatment Vacation the Azalea Way
TEASER ► Inside the room, I felt like I'm a VIP again. This is probably one of the best rooms in Azalea. I felt privileged. This staycation kicks ass.
hosted me (together with some other bloggers). We visited the NIGHT MARKET
[BAGUIO] ▬ Night Market at Harrison Road: What to See and Expect?
TEASER ► The foot traffic is huge. Merchants shout to encourage passersby to purchase their products. But some are just hawkers.
and dined in KALAPAW RESTAURANT
[BAGUIO] ▬ Ilocano Food Reigns at Kalapaw Restaurant
TEASER ► This restaurant highlights the Ilocos heritage and culture in spite of the fact that it's located in Baguio City.
. We played an AMAZING RACE
[BAGUIO] ▬ Discovering More of Baguio the Amazing Race Way
TEASER ► We've explored the city under time pressure yet we were awed by these destinations that are truly timeless.
and visited Cam John Hay for the SUPERMAN ZIPLINE
[BAGUIO] ▬ Superman Zipline Ride Over the Pine Trees
TEASER ► ... the feeling of getting amazed is more powerful than fear. For this emotional battle, fear is defeated. The amazing feeling wins.
[BAGUIO] ▬ Trekking Camp John Hay: Seeing the City's Old, True Face
TEASER ► ...this is the real image of Baguio its ancestors wanted her to be known. It is the City of Pines after all—and I felt the very essence of her tag when I trekked into its pine forest.
. We also had a great night in 2600 GASTROPUB
[BAGUIO] ▬ 2600 Gastropub: When Zip Code Turns Into Night Life
TEASER ► Then, the playlist went on and it made me wild, almost shedding tears, remembering the good old days in favor of nostalgia.
as well as an awesome day in TAM-AWAN VILLAGE
[BAGUIO] ▬ Tam-awan Village: Old-School Igorot Living of Today
TEASER ► The present has almost erased all the things of the past but some individuals have always been interested in bringing the old back to present.
, the garden in the sky. It was so fun!
[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Bahong Flower Farm: Rose Capital of the Philippines
TEASER ► ...they will transform into beautiful, fully-bloomed flowers and that will be the end of their life because they will be cut and head straight to the flower shop.
—a breath of fresh air from the Strawberry Farm cliché. We also dined in JEWEL IGOROT RESTAURANT
[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Jewel Igorot Restaurant: Non-Igorots Should Eat Here!
TEASER ► Say anything you want to say and this cool restaurant along the main road in La Trinidad will still find its way to become superior.
and saw for myself the JEWEL IGOROT MUSEUM
[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ Jewel Igorot Museum and the Maid-to-Millionaire Story
TEASER ► Greatness does not only come from huge quantities and fat funds. My conviction is something is already great when you are able to put up that something from scratch with a purpose to educate and inspire.
[BAGUIO] ▬ MY ROOM IN AZALEA BAGUIO (MAY 15)
[LA TRINIDAD] ▬ BAHONG FLOWER FARM/ROSE FARM (MAY 16)
[BAGUIO] ▬ SUPERMAN RIDE IN CAMP JOHN HAY'S TREETOP ADVENTURE (MAY 17)
[TUBA] ▬ THE BENCAB MUSEUM GARDEN (MAY 17)
[DOLORES] ▬ Sakuting Festival gained fame when it hit Aliwan Festival by storm in Manila. Because of the deserved hype, I was curious to witness the festival by myself right where it came from—Dolores, Abra.
[KABAYAN] ▬ Sitio Babalak: Picturesque High Village in Benguet
TEASER ► The beautiful landscape just let me think of positive things... I was blinded by the beauty of the village—blinded to see the not-so-good side.
, Two (2) hiking hours away to the peak of Mount Pulag.
[DOLORES] ▬ SAKUTING FESTIVAL (MAY 03)
[DAGUPAN] ▬ NIGHT MARKET, AB FERNANDEZ AVENUE (MAY 23)
[DAGUPAN] ▬ CHILLIN' IN A DAGUPAN COFFEE SHOP (MAY 23)
[MANAOAG] ▬ MANAOAG BASILICA (MAY 23)
[BINALONAN] ▬ BINALONAN CHURCH (MAY 23)
[BOKOD] ▬ AMBUKLAO LAKE VIEW DECK (MAY 25)
[KABAYAN] ▬ MOUNT PULAG NATIONAL PARK (MAY 26)
[KABAYAN] ▬ SITIO BABALAK (MAY 26)
[PIAT] ▬ The town of Piat pulled a surprise and I loved it. It's more than the Lady of Piat visited by pilgrims. Its culture is immensely inspiring. This town is a cultural paradise for my taste.
[PAGUDPUD] ▬ BLUE LAGOON IN MAYRA-IRA POINT (JUNE 27)
[PIAT] ▬ OUR LADY OF PIAT CHURCH (JUNE 27)
[PEÑABLANCA] ▬ CALLAO CAVES (JUNE 28)
I also visited the province of Cebu for the first time doing a 5-day solobackpacking there. I snorkeled and swam with the whale sharks, climbed the highest mountain of Cebu and did a lot of walking tour from Carcar, Cebu City to Mandaue.
[CEBU] ▬ FORT SAN PEDRO (JULY 03)
[CARCAR] ▬ OLD HOUSE IN CARCAR CITY (JULY 04)
[BOLJOON] ▬ BOLJOON HERITAGE PARK (JULY 04)
[DALAGUETE] ▬ OSMEÑA PEAK (JULY 04)
[OSLOB] ▬ SWIMMING WITH THE WHALE SHARKS (JULY 04)
[SAN FERNANDO] ▬ PAMPANGA SKYRANCH (JULY 25)
[ANTIPOLO] ▬ ANTIPOLO CHURCH (JULY 25)
MY FRIEND EDGAR ALAN ZETA-YAP AND I planned to visit Whang-od in Kalinga when we met in Cebu last July. My August should be in the mountains but due to the strong typhoon that hit our province, I have to cancel this trip. It should have been my third time to visit Whang-od and might have been inked again if I made it. Below is a photo of my previous visit to Whang-od's abode.
[TINGLAYAN] ▬ BUSCALAN VILLAGE WITH WHANG-OD
SEPTEMBER WAS LIKE A STAYCATION. I WAS invited by the owner of VIGAN AIRPORT VIEW HOTEL
[VIGAN] ▬ Airport View Hotel: Cheap as Low as PhP300/pax
TEASER ► While most hotels in Vigan allow you to experience the Vigan culture and heritage, this one features the peaceful charm and quiet side of the heritage city.
when it was officially opened and I was one of the first people to see it.
I just stayed in Vigan the whole month and explored some places nearby and it was nice to discover new restaurants, fusion dishes and more history in our place.
[VIGAN] ▬ AIRPORT VIEW HOTEL (SEPTEMBER 20)
OCTOBER WAS A TYPHOON MONTH IN OUR province so planning a trip is so awful and uneasy. I've chosen to stay with my family during hard times like this.
[VIGAN] ▬ RANIAG TWILIGHT FESTIVAL 2015 (OCTOBER 27)
However, this didn't stop me to tour my own city. I checked some restaurants, witnessed the UNVEILING OF THE VIGAN CHRISTMAS TREE
[VIGAN] ▬ Unveiling of Christmas Tree, an Annual Bigueño Tradition
TEASER ► Our Bigueño culture is so rich that it is not enough to express it in words—we need to express them in festivities and manifest it in our intangible good traditions for other people to understand.
and covered the Raniag Festival FLOAT PARADE
[VIGAN] ▬ Blog Coverage: 133 Photos from Raniag Electric FLoat Parade 2015 + Insights
TEASER ► Festival dancers dressed themselves with both luminescence and heat-based light. They have to stand out in the dark—that is the very essence of this artful cultural event.
and STREET DANCING
[VIGAN] ▬ 34 Photos from Raniag Twilight Festival 2015 Street Dancing
TEASER ► The Raniag Twilight Festival basically preludes the All Souls' Day in Vigan where a mass homecoming and reunion of the Ilocanos happen as a tradition.
happening every last week of October.
THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER WAS A BLAST! I visited the World's Best Island called Palawan! I went down south of the island to see for myself the place considered as the cradle of Filipino civilization—the Tabon Caves Complex in Lipuun Point, Quezon.
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ Blog Coverage: PPUR Day's Bonggang Bakasyon
TEASER ► ...for us to appreciate the conservation efforts we are doing, we must first become knowledgeable and aware of the reason why we are doing such effort.
. For a span of three days, we experienced the best things this beautiful city has to offer. I tasted CHAO LONG FOR THE FIRST TIME
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ Chao Long Beef Stew: My First Taste of Vietnam, I Tried It in Palawan
TEASER ► The noodles taste unfamiliar. Deymn! Bagnet-loving tongue, you need to learn more food and grow up!
and was amazed by the AWESOME SYSTEM
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ A Perfect Example of a Community-Based Sustainable Tourism
TEASER ► They live with the glory of their natural heritage—sustainable tourism at its finest.
they use for their tourism industry.
[QUEZON] ▬ TABON CAVES COMPLEX (NOVEMBER 09)
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ IWAHIG PENAL FARM (NOVEMBER 12)
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ SNORKELING PAMBATO REEF (NOVEMBER 12)
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ▬ COWRIE ISLAND (NOVEMBER 12)
[SARRAT] ▬ SARRAT CHURCH RUINS (DECEMBER 10)
 All maps I used on this post are the works of Eugene Alvin Villar and Mike Gonzalez published on Wikipedia.
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[PUERTO PRINCESA] ► Blog Coverage: PPUR Day's Bonggang Bakasyon__________________
TEASER ▬ ...for us to appreciate the conservation efforts we are doing, we must first become knowledgeable and aware of the reason why we are doing such effort.
[PUERTO PRINCESA] ► A Perfect Example of a Community-Based Sustainable Tourism_________________
TEASER ▬ They live with the glory of their natural heritage—sustainable tourism at its finest.
[VIGAN] ► What to See and Expect on Halloween, All Saints/Souls' Day?_________________
TEASER ▬ ...this is just the surface of what you should know and for you to understand the details of the tradition, you need to become a Bigueño and practice it with us—the intangible heritage is for us to keep.
[VIGAN] ► Cheapest Hotel Accommodation in the City is Born!_________________
TEASER ▬ While tourists love experiencing the old mansions by checking-in to ancestral houses converted into hotels, this one is a bit adventurous to offer something new.
[VIGAN] ► Tres de Mayo: Vigan's Iconic Day for Culture and Heritage_________________
TEASER ▬ ...this day is Vigan's most iconic day. It's jam-packed with cultural activities that have been present in Vigan for centuries with cultural substance you cannot see anywhere else in the world.
[BANTAY] ► Kannawidan Festival: Where the Countryside Superlatives Convene_________________
TEASER ▬ The superlatives in the agriculture world are here!
[FEATURE] ► This 2016: New Changes and Features for Edmaration.com_________________
TEASER ▬ ...these are the things you should expect this 2016. I'm already 5 years in the blogosphere...
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Thank you for visiting my travel blog!EDMAR GUQUIB, Travel Blogger