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.

La Union: Chasing Waterfalls

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.

After the success of our Baguio Day Trip, we went straight to a small town somewhere in La Union which took us around 3 hours where we spent the night sleeping in our tents. Another opportunity for a social gathering before calling it a day.

The next morning, almost everyone managed to wake up early except for one. I think he was too drunk. Haha.

After a light breakfast, we went to Luna Ruins on the beach of Barangay Victoria. The old Spanish watch tower is locally named as Baluarte. It was intended to guard the shores of the town primarily from muslim and pirate attacks during the Spanish period. Right now it stands in ruin due to stone quarrying at the beach and efforts by the locals have been put in place by adding cement block support to avoid further destruction of the watchtower.

Our next stop was Occalong Falls in Brgy Cabalitucan Luna La Union. Once you reach downtown Luna take a tricycle ride going to barangay Occalong until the nearest area to the falls then walk some few meters to the falls. I am not quite sure but I think there is a minimal fee here. You can also have picnic here as tables and chairs are readily available. It’s best to go here during rainy season and the water is very refreshing. At the top it works like a mini jacuzzi just be careful as it gets slippery at times.

After a refreshing swim, we had lunch and quick siesta. We then went straight to another falls in San Gabriel La Union known as Tangadan Falls. Going here is a bit of a challenge due to the steep road and perilous curves but its all worth it. Upon reaching Brgy Amontoc we thought we’re almost there. The view of the mountains from here is magnificent. We decided to walk somewhere around Sitio Kilat because the roads were very slippery. It appears that the road gets rarely passed by. It took us an hour or so. You’ll also see mini falls along the way. It’s a very steep road so one must take extra precautions. Once you reach the end of the road, just follow the trail to get to the falls. Couple of houses are around so better ask if not sure or if you don’t have a guide. You are drawing near once you get to the cemented path and stairs leading to the falls. It was tiring but worth the effort. Amazing!!! The water flow was overpowering. It was a great sight.

After spending few minutes in the area, we decided to head back before nightfall. We didn’t have any flashlight so walked double time. We also saw a rare sight of the sunset on our way back. Wow! We reached the sitio proper at around 7pm I think and arrived back in our campsite at around 8pm.

Sunset at Brgy Amontoc

Sunset at Brgy Amontoc

See the next leg of our trip here by clicking this LINK.

This was part of my Baguio-La Union Trip last August 24-26, 2013.

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.

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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.

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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

Cagayan Trip: Visit to Our Lady of Piat & Exploring Callao Cave

After the memorable experience in Palaui Island and seeing the majestic beauty of Nangaramoan Beach, we arrived back in Tuguegarao after more than 3 hours of travel. We were picked up at the van terminal and went back to Brgy Bagay to freshen up a bit.

Around half past 10, we’re back on the road. We went to Central Terminal along Buntuan Highway to catch a van going to Piat. It was an hour ride. Note: It’s an ordinary van, No airconditioning. Fare Cost: 60 Pesos.

Since most vans just stop at the terminal, you need to walk to get to Our Lady of Piat. It can easily be recognised by a marker along the road. Turn left going up to get to the basilica. If you go straight you’ll reach the local market.

For more than 400 years the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat has been a significant event in the lives of devotees of the people in the Cagayan Valley.

Feeling hungry and tired, we decided to look for a place where we could eat Pancit Cabagan. Instead of walking, we took a tricycle going to the market area because it was too hot. We went to Carmela’s Panciteria. You won’t get lost on your way here because most people know this place. Simply ask for directions or ask where to get Pancit Cabagan.

It was a delicious treat! Not bad if you imagine us travelling all the way here just to try an authentic Pancit Cabagan. You’ll get a Super Special Pancit Cabagan for just 50 pesos. Yummy!

With no time to waste after lunch, we immediately went to the van terminal to catch a ride going back to Tuguegarao.

This time it took us less than an hour to get back to Central Terminal.

Just before 3PM we rode a tricycle going to Callao Cave. Callao is pronounced as “Kalaw”. It is a cave with seven chambers located on the Province of Cagayan. It is one of the best known tourist attractions of the province. It is located in Barangays Magdalo and Quibal, Peñablanca, near Tuguegarao City, the capital city of the Province of Cagayan. It has a natural cathedral located at the first chamber, which was turned into a chapel by the local people.

Turn Right to get to Callao Cave.

Once you arrive in the place, you have to few along this road to get to the registration area.

There’s a 20 pesos charge to get in.

It takes 184 Steps to get to the Cave Entrance.

Finally Inside Callao Cave.

After Caving and before heading back home, we decide to treat ourselves with a yummy HaloHalo.

It was almost sundown so we decided to get closer to Cagayan River and witness yet another beautiful sunset.

An hour after leaving Callao, we’re back in Tuguegarao. Before going back to Brgy Bagay, we stopped at the nearest Alcala Carabao’s Milk Candy.

Back in Brgy Bagay, we washed up and packed all our stuff and went straight to Florida Bus Terminal. Luckily there were few bus still offering seats for 3. Only to realise we’re 4. Haha. Since seats available are only at the back, we took it. Lex who joined us in the trip decided to squeeze in but not all the way to Manila. He was able to book a flight from Cauayan to Manila. I didn’t even notice him leaving. Haha. It was a quick bus ride. We reached manila around 5 in the morning.

 

Cagayan Trip: Palaui Island + Cape Engano

Few months before this trip I applied for a 3 day leave so I could attend a friend’s wedding only to find out it was moved after my leave got approved. Not wasting any change, SimangGala and I decided to look for an interesting place to go until we came across a blog about Palaui Island. Right then and there we agreed to go and started planning. Since it wasn’t really well planned, only 3 of us went. It was early Thursday morning when we went to Florida Bus Terminal to catch the 3AM bus going to Tuguegarao. For some reason the bus left 4AM since the 5AM bus was cancelled.

We were supposed to look for the cheapest place to stay, fortunately SimangGala’s half brother lives in Tuguegarao. That’s few hundred pesos off of our expenses. It took us 13 long hours to get to our destination. Next time I would take the plane. Haha!

In Tuguegarao, we were picked up by SimangGala’s relative in the terminal.

We were brought to a well known panciteria serving Batil Patong. Excited as always when it comes to food, not knowing how big the portion is we immediately asked for the Special one.

Batil Patong is Tuguegarao’s own version of stir-fried noodles served with an egg topping and a side serving of egg drop soup. This is also served with loads of onions, chicharon, sliced pork, cabbage and beef strips. This dish won’t be complete without soy sauce, chilli and Calamansi.

We were surprised that you have to make your own mix to top off the dish. Clueless of what to do, we watched how the locals did it and voila we now have our very own Pancit Batil Patong. Delicious! Devine!

We couldn’t move after finishing the entire dish. So after eating, we decided to call it a day and went straight to Brgy Bagay where we stayed for a night. And yes it’s FREE!

Since we need to leave early the following day, we decided to rest. To no avail, we couldn’t sleep. We decided to just play cards while drinking coffee and chitchatting.

While playing, one of my friends commented on my foursquare post telling me that his friend who I also know was in Tuguegarao. I immediately sent him a message telling him of our whereabouts and our plan for the next couple of days. Luckily he decided to join us. From 3 we’re now up to 4. Yey!

It was 3 in the morning when we woke up. After drinking coffee and taking a bath, we went to the van terminal going to Sta Ana Cagayan.

Still very early, we decided to buy Hot Pandesal. Yummy!

The van left at exactly 5 am. It took us 3 hours to get to our destination; we were sleeping almost the entire time.

In Sta Ana Cagayan, a friend who was suppose to join us asked us to go straight to Dampa Seafoods and Restaurant to ask for his Aunt and Uncle to ask for help to get to Palaui.

We were surprised to be given free breakfast. After breakfast, some of us decided to go to the market to get some supplies. Since there is no electricity/market in the island, it’s best if you buy or bring anything you need and make a checklist to avoid missing anything.

Before leaving Sta Ana, we were offered yet another FREE treat, this time, Lunch.

Colorful way of getting around the town. This is what they call Quadcycle.

The sun was out so we thought it would be a calm and smooth ride going to the island. Apparently not, this reminds me of the boat ride going to Calaguas. Rough! To add to that, we don’t have life jackets. Haha! This explains why we don’t have many pictures taken while on the boat.

It took us almost an hour to get to Engano Cove. Due to its shape, the water facing Engano Cove is generally calm. Right after setting foot on the island, we went straight to the island marker and took some photos.

With Simang Gala

Not ready yet to set camp, we left our stuff near the camping area and went to Cape Engano Lighthouse.

View of Palaui Island on our way up

More Pictures

Ate Maya, a local resident.

View of Dos Hermanas from the Light House

More Pictures taken from the Cape Engano Light House

After making some few conversations with Maya, she offered to bring us to the waterfalls. We never saw any blog post about the waterfalls so out of curiosity we decided to go. To get there we passed by Leonardo’s Trail.

The rain started to fall on our way there which according to Maya is better so we could enjoy the water. It was refreshing and at the same time relaxing.

Maya offered to show us where they are staying and to show us some of the souvenir she created herself.

Back in the campsite, we pitched our tent and prepared for an early dinner.

We had Bicol Express and Adobong Pusit. Yumyum!

After dinner, even before sunset, we then had some few tequila shots.

Colorful Sunset at Cape Engano.

We slept really early because of the heavy rain. We just couldn’t imagine how we survived the long cold night waking up all drenched in rain water the following day. It was such an experience. We somehow managed to secure all our important belongings dry and safe.

Very early in the morning, we tried to dry up all our wet clothes while preparing breakfast. Thinking about the heavy rain last night, we thought we won’t be picked up by our boat. With all smiles we saw the boat from the horizon moving closer. We offered them food but they seem to just ignore us.

730 AM, till we meet again. We rode the boat going back to Sta Ana.

This is yet another memorable backpacking/camping experience.

Follow the story on my next entry as we visit the beautiful NANGARAMOAN BEACH.