Iloilo DIY Trip: After 6 Hours of Delayed Flight

Right after work with no sleep but full of excitement we took a cab around 3am to get to NAIA Terminal 4. Heavy rain started to pour as we near the airport. Remaining optimistic, we successfully checked-in at around 4am and waited for our flight scheduled to leave at 6am via Tiger Air. I bought a coffee and watched tv whilst waiting for the boarding time. 5 mins to 6am and yet no announcement of boarding. Few minutes later, flight was moved to 645am due to additional aircraft servicing. I was fine with it but then another announcement came saying 745am instead of 645am. Wow!

8am – no announcement, no nothing. Several people started approaching the one and only Tiger Air staff stationed in the boarding area. No clear picture of what is happening and what is going to happen. As time passes, more and more people were complaining and shouting then the Tiger Air staff left. No one was there to answer questions which made us more pissed off. Even the staff from the paging room started calling for any available Tiger Air personnel. When one finally came they still failed to give a definite departure time for our flight. Bacolod flight was also affected. Flights from other carriers were all leaving as scheduled.

905am – announcement of further delay was all we could hear. Departure was set to 11am this time with no guarantee. What’s going on?!

11am – still not very clear but the staff reassured us that they’ll get us boarded before noon. That’s a total of 6 hours delay. Wtf?! 6 lost hours! Anyway, at around 1130 they started giving out food ration and boarding started 1145. Finally! It was a relief for most of us. This made me think if I will ever fly again via Tiger Air. There’s too much negativity already so I decided to just check our itinerary for the day and stay positive.

We finally landed at Iloilo Airport at 110pm. We took a van going to SM City Iloilo for 50/head. On our way, heavy rain started to pour. At SM, we decided to grab a snack at TEDs hoping for a much favorable weather before heading to our chosen hotel.

Van going to SM City Iloilo

At around 3pm, we checked-in at Chito’s Hotel for 750/night. Tired and sleepy but with no time to waste, we took a cab going to Fort San Pedro. Nothing much to see here but Guimaras Island on the other side. Fort San Pedro is located along San Pedro Drive and is accessible if you take Jaro jeep. This is also close to Plaza Libertad. Cab fare from Chito’s to Fort San Pedro costs 70 pesos.

Chito’s Hotel Entrance

Fort San Pedro

We then took a Jaro jeepney that passes by along Bonifacio Drive to get to Museo Iloilo. Fare costs 7 pesos. Admission Fee is 50 pesos for adults and 20 pesos for students. They are open Monday-Saturday 9am to 5pm only.

Museo Iloilo

We got stuck near the museum because of the rain. Oh well! Finally when the rain stopped we found our way to the nearest Biscocho Haus for a quick bite located near the rotunda in front of the provincial capitol. It was almost night-time but we decided to just walk along Calle Real. This is more of like the “Escolta” of Iloilo City. Commercial establishments are here as well as the residences of the ilonggo elite. Before getting a jeepney to SM City Iloilo we bought Lanzones and Rambutan.

Biscocho Haus

Rotunda

Calle Real

Super Sweet Lanzones

At SM, we decided to watch an Indie Film titled Alagwa before heading to Promenade for dinner. It was a film about not losing hope despite all odds. It also tackles issues about child trafficking. An interesting film to watch.

Alagwa

Promenade is located along Iloilo Riverside Boardwalk. This area is now closed to vehicular traffic and was recently beautified with cobble-stone laden road perfect for jogging and biking. To get here from SM, just take any jeepney.

Riverside Boardwalk

At promenade, we had dinner at Punot. We ordered baked clams and a fish dish (sorry I forgot what it is called). The food was great! Highly recommended if you visit Iloilo.

Baked Clams

At Punot

After dinner we went back to our hotel for a much-needed rest.

This is part of our Iloilo 5 Day DIY Trip last October 12 – 17, 2013. See full Itinerary and Expenses HERE.

NOTES

Chito’s Hotel
Phone: (033)3376135 or (033)3377929
Email: chitoshotel@ymail.com
Web: http://chitoshotel.netfirms.com

*Jeepney Minimum Fare: 7 pesos

Other places you can visit here:

Jaro Cathedral – Church of St Elizabeth of Hungary. This was built in 1864. Just take a Jaro Jeepney to get here.

Molo Church – located within the plaza area of Molo district. Very accessible if you take cab from anywhere in Iloilo. By Jeepney, just take one with Molo signboard near Robinson Mall. You can also take Villa/Arevalo to get here.

Guimbal Church – One of the oldest in the Philippines. Just take a Guimbal Jeepney to get here.

Miagao Church – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iloilo. This is 30 to 45 minutes away from Iloilo City Proper. One can take a Miagao jeepney from Mohon terminal in Molo district or from Iloilo Terminal Market known as Super in downtown Iloilo.

Baguio Day Trip

With nothing to do one weekend last August, I saw a post in CS FB page from Plan B Adventure Madness about their Baguio-La Union Road Trip and decided to join. It was only the day before when we asked for details and confirmed just few hours before the trip. Lucky enough we were able to secure 2 slots.

Road to Baguio

Road to Baguio

I know most of you have been to Baguio maybe for a couple of days but a day trip?! Yes it is possible. Below are the places you can visit here in a day provided you have your own transportation. Asking around is pretty easy so don’t worry if you’re not good in directions. All you need is an amazing bunch of people and you’re ready to go. Oh don’t forget your jacket or hoodie just in case.

1. MINES VIEW PARK
This park is one of the most visited and popular park in the city. The breathtaking view of the mountains can be seen at its view deck. At the entrance, a variety of stalls sells native handicraft, jewelry, clothings, sweaters, blankets, souvenirs and food items. You can also have your picture taken with the famous St Bernard dog or simply wear the tribe costume for a small fee. You can also ride a horse and strike a pose. Just recently, 7-11 opened a branch near the food stalls.

2. BREAKFAST AT OUTLOOK DRIVE
Not your usual breakfast hub located at Brgy Outlook Drive Barangay Hall. This place offers yummy Bulalo and Charcoal Grilled Milk Fish early in the morning. Local patrons flock this place for a nice treat to start off their day. Serving is quiet hefty perfect for those with big appetite.

3. GOOD SHEPHERD
Its close proximity to Mines View Park makes this place an ideal place for a quick stop if you want to buy their products. They are popular for their fruit preservatives, ube, coco and strawberry jams, peanut brittle, and cashew nuts. They also sell organic products like coffee and ginger tea. Colorful flowers and assorted trees can also be within the compound. You can even smell the pine trees in the area.

4. THE MANSION
The Mansion is located along Leonard Wood Road and right across from Wright Park.With its elaborately designed main gate and beautiful garden, it is favourite of many for sightseeing as well as picture taking. Not to mention the jump shots.

5. WRIGHT PARK
This park features the Pool Of Pines which can be seen in front of the main gate of the Mansion. Tall pine frees can be seen around the area. At times, locate artists here sell their work of art. On the other side of the park, one can ride a pony. You can also have your picture taken wearing the local Igorot Dress or simply have your picture with the local Igorots at a certain fee (ask first before striking a pose)

6. PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY
This site was developed as a training facility for military. You’ll be asked for an identification card before you can enter the facility. At times, you’ll see cadets running around. A monument was also built in the area near where old canyons and tanks were displayed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7. BAGUIO CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL
This church located on top a hill is one of the most visited landmarks of Baguio. One can walk going here from Session Road. This is considered to be the biggest catholic church in Baguio.

Baguio Cathedral

Baguio Catholic Cathedral

8. SESSION ROAD
Session Road is one of the busiest street in Baguio where you’ll find all sorts of establishments like restaurants. banks, department stores, cafes, hotels, bakeries, bars, small boutiques and bazaars. People here seem to have good discipline as well and crosses the road only when the light is green.

Session Road

Session Road

9. TAM-AWAN VILLAGE
To find the village, take Bokawkan Road then turn left at Ferguzon Road then right to Tacay Road which is uphill. Upon reach the top take a right turn and then you’ll reach Tam-Awan. The village showcases some great artworks and how the local tribe lived before. Walking tour can be requested for group tours. They also have coffee shop where you can spend some time. They also have souvenir shop selling locate products and native handicrafts. You can also but the local wine here. One can also stay here overnight and commune with nature. Entrance fee here ranges from 20-50 pesos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you have one more day to spare in the city, you can visit any of the below places of interest

  • Burnham Park
  • Lourdes Grotto
  • Camp John Hay
  • Lion’s Head
  • Bell Church
  • Botanical Garden
  • Teacher’s Camp
  • Rizal Park

This was part of my Baguio-La Union Trip last August 24-26, 2013. You can check the continuation of the trip by clicking HERE

Baler Trip with WowTrippers

Street Sign near Aurora House

Street Sign near Aurora House

Finally after 2 months I am writing about this trip. Better late than never as they say. So what’s in Baler?

Near Town Hall

Food Stalls facing an Abandoned Hospital

If you google it, first thing you will notice are pictures of its coastline, big waves and people surfing. I am not really a surfer but I’ve been dying to try it out. With Janine of WowTrippers’ invitation we decided to join their trip to Baler.

I wet home early coming from work to make sure I make it to our meet-up time and not mess up the planned itinerary of the trip. It was our first time to be with the group again after more than a year since the last time I joined them. Nothing much has changed. Still the same cool people, full of energy and sense of humor.

We left at around 1230am and arrived in Baler just after sunrise where we had breakfast at the local food stalls near the museum and in front of the abandoned hospital.

Right after breakfast, we went straight to Diguisit Beach featuring beautiful rock formations. It was a picture perfect scene! Clear blue sky, clear view of the vast ocean. Wow! Still tired after a more than 5 hour trip to get here we stayed here and rested for around 2 hours.

Our next stop was Ermita Hill. Ermita Hill offers vast view of the Pacific Ocean, Sabang Beach and Baler Bay. This was once a witness to a devastating tsunami. It was believed that people climbed up this hill to survive. A monument was built to mark this event in Baler History.

View Decks, picnic areas and Gazebos are all over where families and friends can stay while enjoying the scenic view of the ocean. If one decides to climb all the way up, you can see a big white cross.

It was time to go back in the town are and see the Aurora House and church. The house was well maintained featuring old furnitures, antiques, paintings and the Manuel L Quezon Presidential Car. Yes you can go inside and have you picture taken. To get to the church just walk across the road.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just few meters from our last stop, we went to Museo De Baler. The museo showcases old artifacts, paintings and history about Baler. No entrance fee here however cash donations are accepted.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was time for Lunch and so the group decided to have it at Gerry Shan’s Place. Buffet here only costs 185 pesos and that includes unlimited iced tea. Pretty good deal!

Gerry Shan's Place

Gerry Shan’s Place

Inside Pacific Waves Inn

Inside Pacific Waves Inn

Pacific Waves Inn Banner

Pacific Waves Inn Banner

 

After lunch, we checked in at Pacific Waves Inn. One room can fit around 4 people. They have to locations, one near the beach and one near Iglesia Ni Cristo.

 

It was surfing time in the afternoon but we wanted to recharge a bit after check-in so instead of hitting the beach, we took a nap first only to wake up and realise they’re all back and done surfing. Haha!

Dinner was prepared for us and we had few drinks after. It was cool! We even played mental games(only the opposite if you know what I mean)

At around 12am my girlfriend and I decided to call it a day so we can catch the sunrise.

Wake up sleepyheads! It was past 6 when we woke up but we’re not lucky enough as it was a cloudy morning with no luck of a beautiful sunrise. We just walked along the shore and played in the sands.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When we arrived back in the house, breakfast was ready. We prepped up shortly after to get to our next destination. The Mother Falls. It took us roughly 30 minutes to get there via Van and another 15-20 minutes river trekking to get to the falls. The water was very cold and refreshing. They don’t allow bringing of food in the area so better leave it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a magnificent view and the water is very clear. Dare to take a dip into its cold water to appreciate it even more. Too bad we don’t have a waterproof camera to show but I think pictures below would be enough to show why I love this place.

After more than an hour, it was time to head back to the house to tidy up and check-out. We had lunch again at Gerry Shan’s Place!

Pasalubong Center

Pasalubong Center

After lunch, we dropped by at the Pasalubong Center near the Terminal. After buying some keepsakes, we went to our last stop here, Balete Tree.

It was huge! The rest of the group decided to go up the tree. Not ideal for those with fear of heights. Haha! I wanted to go up but I was discouraged to do it. Not sure why.

The trip was a success with many reason to come back. Yes! I still have not surfed! Still need to climb the Balete Tree! I want to see Dicasalarin Cove and other falls near the area.

Baler Map

Baler Map

Definitely Baler is more than just a surfing spot, it’s a haven for nature lovers and trekkers. You also get to know a bit of their history and get to experience the warmth of the people around. A place worth visiting.

Note: This trip happened last August 3 & 4 2013.