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How To Travel Cheap To Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan

If my memory serves me right, I think it was two months ago before our planned escapade when I read  about Cabongaoan beach in Burgos, Panga...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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Lunad sa Balod Set on October 21-23 at Buenavista Surf Camp

Lunad sa Balod, a national surfing competition, is set on October 21-23 at the Buenavista Surf Camp in Buenavista, Gubat, Sorsogon.

In photo: Yours truly during my recent visit at the surf camp in Buenavista.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

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From Dingalan Lighthouse to Zambales to San Fernando and A Taste of Sweet Bites LU Cafe

Some of you might have noticed that I haven't updated my blog for  months - four months to be specific. Well, you've got an excellent observation! Blame it to Globe's wonky data. I swear!

Yours Truly at Dingalan Lighthouse overlooking the beautiful scenery.  
Anyway, to keep you posted I decided to "list down" some of the places that I've checked over the last four months. Here they are:

1. Dingalen Lighthouse in Dingalen, Aurora Province.  We wee the fist few to visit Dingalen Lighthouse before the local government of Dingalen issued a memorandum on a strict policy on visiting the place. I was on "solo-mode" until I met Mabel and Nok in Cabanatuan. I first met Mabel at Basekamp at Market Market.

At Ate Neng's Cottage with my new found travel buddies Mabel and Nok. 
In Dingalan, we stayed at Ate Neg's Cottage. Overnight fee is Php500.00. You may contact her at 0909-031-6060 or 0929-277-3199 (c/o Leny). You may contact also contact Kuya Boboy/Ate Lourdes at 0918-503-6080.

2. Dingalen Feeder Port. If you are planning to visit Dingalan, tell the tryke driver to bring you here and everything gonna be fine. It will only take you 15 minutes to reach Barangay Paltic from the port. Duing our visit we hired a boat for Php350 one-way.

3. Barangay Paltic Beach
. I don't really recommend swimming here. Water if a bit itchy.

4. Aureo Resort in San Francisco, San Fernando, La Union. A must-visit place when in La Union. For reservations and inquiries, please contact 072-888-0833 and 02-861-0983.

Beautiful, isn't it?
It's me again. 
5. Capayawan Beach in Botolan, Zambales. The beach has fine sand and is perfect for surfing due to high waves. Don't go too far from the shoreline when swimming.

6. Botanical Garden in San Fernando, La Union
. Our energy-draining two-hour trek was fun and memorable. Thanks Nef, Kat and Clifford!

7. Sweet Bites LU Cafe. Of course, nothing beats a refreshing lemonade break after a two-hour trek. Thanks to Sweet Bites!

With Nef, Clifford and Kat at Sweet Bites LU Cafe in San Fernando City, La Union. 
This is it for now. Stand by for more updates!
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Aris Enconado

Travelling On a Budget at Jomalig Island: Sample Itinerary and Expenses & My New Found Traveler Friends

Travelling needs not be expensive. Fact is, you’re Php2000.00 can bring you somewhere isolated yet beautiful and pristine– food (imagine fresh lobsters, fresh tuna and fresh salmon), round-trip sea and land transportation and environmental fee covered. See? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a lot just to be able to travel and explore the hidden gems of our beloved archipelago. You just need to be “smart,” spend wisely and choose the people you want to travel with.

Jomalig Island is gifted with golden powdery sand. Photo credit: Odie.

How I Met My New Found Travel Buddies
Early morning of March 24, my cousin and I agreed to drop by my Aunt’s place in Sison, Pangasinan, but past two in the afternoon she texted me and she told me that she couldn’t make it. So I came up with Plan B: I’ll backpack Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada-Baguio – same thing with what I did back in 2014. I was about to “finalize” plan B when I saw April’s post on our Facebook travel group and she asked if someone can join their group to Jomalig Island in Quezon province. As a “self-proclaimed” island-lover, I expressed my intention to join them and, fortunately, April confirmed that there are still slots available.

Dinner and bonfire. In this photo (l-r): Odie, May Ann, Criz, Yours Truly, April, Karlo (seated), Rick and Jeremiah. Not in photo: TJ, Gilbert and Adelle. Photo credit: Criz.
I confirmed that I’ll join and the initial plan was for me (yup, solo mode) to take a bus bound to Real, Quezon but around five in the afternoon (if my memory serves me right) April confirmed in our group chat that I can join them in the van. I was relieved and my dilemma of “commuting” and “waiting in queue” disappeared. We agreed to meet at 11:00 pm at Pioneer. It has always been my habit not to be late in meetings so I came “first” at the agreed “meeting place.” I waited for a few minutes, then TJ and Criz arrived followed by Rick, Jeremy and Adelle. Then came April and Cathy then Odie and May Ann and Gilbert and Karlo.

We left Cubao past one in the morning and we arrived at Real Port in Quezon province past four in the morning.

The Four-Hour Boat Ride
Prior to our trip, I made a little research about the expected sea travel time from Port of Real to Jomalig Island. I read that it could take four to five hours so I made sure I brought a lot of patience with me and a chessboard. Just in case you don’t know yet, I easily get bored on “long boat rides” primarily because all you see is water unlike when travelling by land. Anyhow, I got a chance to play chess with Karlo so my boredom was kinda “reduced.”
Yours Truly at Jomalig Port. Photo credit: Karlo. 
We arrived at Jomalig Island early four in the afternoon.

Sample Expenses and Itinerary
Here’s an overview of our expenses in our three days and two nights “survivor-themed” Jomalig Island expedition:

 Private Van Rental (Cubao – Real - Cubao) – Php600/person
 Passenger Boat Fare (Port of Real –Jomalig Island – Real Port) – Php700/person
 Boat Rental for Island Hopping at Jomalig Island (Php2000.00) – Php200/person
 Environmental fee – Php150.00  Barangay Fee – Php80.00
 Food (good for 3D2N includes fresh salmon, fresh tuna, fresh lobster, etc) – Php300/head
 Accommodation – Free (bring your own tent, pitching is free)

Sunrise at Jomalig. Photo credit: Karlo.
Reasons Why You Should Visit Jomalig Island
The list is endless but I came up with these:

 If you are an island-lover just like yours truly
 It’s isolated which is good if you want to run away or escape “city living”
 The locals are friendly and accommodating
 The island is gifted with golden powdery sand and crystal-like water
 It’s a perfect getaway to bond with Mother Nature
 It’s magnificent
Time to leave the island with my new found traveller friends. Not in photo: Adelle. Photo credit: May Ann.
Jomalig Island’s Spot in Map of the Philippines
Jomalig Island as seen from Wikimapia:

About Jomalig Island
Jomalig (pronounced as humalig) is a sixth class municipality, consisting of five barangays and with a population of 6,111 based on 2007 census. Gifted with golden powdery sand, it's an unspoiled island located on the easternmost part of Polilio Group.
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

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My First Twin Hike: From Mount Pamitinan to Mount Hapunang Banoi

Our original plan is to climb Mount Tagapo but due unexpected “events,” we ended up climbing Mount Pamintinan and Mount Hapunang Banoi. Yup, our most recent climb was a twin hike and was my first. Big thanks to Mond, Ria, Mark and Carla for the awesome adventure!

First stop at Mount Hapunang Banoi.
Here are some of the photos taken during our climb (Photo credit: Mond and Kevin):

Yours truly and my new found friends. Photo taken at the legendary mountain of Bernardo Carpio.
Arman, our guide, instructed us to "show" one to signify that we've reached Mountain #1 and we did it.  Below our spot is  where one can have "buwis-buhay" shot.
I thought I'm not gonna make it here but I did. Big thanks to my NFFs for the encouragement. Haha!
At summit #2: Mount Hapunang Banoi rockies. I survived without gloves but my hands got wounded.
With the gang from Vikings. Thanks guys for another awesome adventure.
On our way to Wawa Dam.
Our group decided to wear our dri-fit souvenir shirt at wawa dam.
It's absolutely awesome to be here! The water is refreshing!
Photo shoot with the locals and our guide (in red shirt) before we head back to Cubao. These folks are nice and accommodating.
This is it for today! More photos and additional blog update to follow. :)
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Aris Enconado

From Mount Marami to Pantihan Falls to Intramuros and How I Started My 2016 Wanders

I officially started my 2016 escapade with a climb and a sweet escape to Pantihan Falls in Cavite on January 6th and a visit to Intramuros the following day. (This is my first blog post for 2016.)

Amos and I at Intramuros.
The Mount Marami Climb 
Instead of the usual “beachcapade” that I normally do to officially commence my “wanders,” I, instead, climbed Mount Marami at Maragondon, Cavite. With my recent movement here in Makati from Baguio, climbing became favorable to me and, at the same time, I’ve met several climbers and travelers I can join anytime as long as travel dates do not conflict with my work schedule. Anyway, just like my other climbs in CALABARZON region, I was also with “stranger friends” when I climbed Mount Marami. To date, our Mount Marami climb is “the longest” climb I ever had and also the “most tiring” one. Imagine this: it took us approximately five hours to reach Mount Marami’s peak and the famous Silyang Bato.

Yours Truly at Silyang Bato. With a bit of encouragement from my new found friends, I conquered my fear, Rock on! Photo credit: Paula.
Of course, good things happen when you travel with awesome stranger friends. In this photo: BJ, Raymond, Rain, Ria, Paula and Yours Truly. Thank you guys for the company. Photo credit: Rain.

The Pantihan Falls Escapade 
After climbing Mount Marami and because we still had ample time, our group decided to visit Pantihan Falls. Our guide recommended us the place and, to date, we were the first group of travelers/climbers to visit the falls other than the locals of the place which, unfortunately, I couldn’t recall the name. Yup, we’ve made history! Pantihan Falls was absolutely amazing and it’s perfect for diving.

At Pantihan Falls.
The explorers: BJ, Raymond, Ria, Rain, Yours Truly and Paula.
"Ang lalim daw!" Hahaha! Pantihan Falls is absolutely perfect for swimming after a tiring climb.

Intramuros Escapade
Of course, I don’t want to start my 2016 escapade without my long-time travel buddies Amos and Tere, so the following day I joined them in Intramuros. That was our first ‘work-out escapade” together which I find cool because I've never "liked" travelling within NCR. I prefer a great escapade to "somewhere" isolated to highly urbanized areas.

The Manila Cathedral.
At the Manila Cathedral with some Russian back packers.

Theresa and I. This is my favorite spot in the walled city.
Watch out for the detailed blog entry for each escapade. I'm too sleepy now and internet is wonky.
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

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Preview: 2015 Mount Sembrano Year-end Climb

My initial plan for my year-end solo escapade was to visit Buntod Reef Marine Sanctuary in Masbate but, due to some confidential reasons which I've decided not to mention here on my blog, I ended up climbing Mount Sembrano with stranger backpackers. Yup, with strangers again - this time with sixteen strangers I first "met" on Facebook.

With my new found friends at the peak of Mount Sembrano, Pillia, Rizal. Photo credit: Kevin.
I'll have a detailed blog of our climb soon so, for now, enjoy some of our photos below (I'm still waiting for other photos to be uploaded by my new found traveler friends):

Our mode of transportation from Shaw to Barangay Malaya, Pililla, Rizal. Fare: Php120/head.
Registration at Ynares Multi-purpose Building at Barangay Malaya. Registration fee: Php20.00

We're all set. After a short prayer, our climb has officially commenced.
Yours truly. Smile. Every day is precious. 
At Mount Sembrano's peak. We reached the summit after three hours - if my calculation is correct.

Exhausted yet satisfied. In this photo: (l-r) Yours Truly, Altaire, Raymond, Cassandra and Bless. Photo credit: Raymond.
The deepest scars are the ones unseen. Photo credit: Raymond.
Watch out for a detailed blog about our year-end climb. Thank you Cassandra, Pao, Altaire, Ella, Mary Grace, BJ, Bless, Raymond, Michael, Kevin, Nikki and the rest for the year-end climb. Happy New Year!!!
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Aris Enconado

Isla Higantes Iloilo 2015 Year-end Escapade

I spent my 2014 year-end escapade in Banaue-Bontoc-Sagada-Baguio with newly found European friends Susan and Ian and, although I had challenges “commuting” due to the influx of both local and foreign tourists, still, it was an absolutely unforgettable experience. Fact is, it was one of the best solo escapades I ever had and undeniably one of the reasons why I love revisiting Sagada.

Yours Truly with Amos and Theresa at famous Cabugay Gamay Island.
My 2015 year-end escapade, on the other hand, was a bit different from my 2014 year-end escapade. Instead of travelling solo – which I normally do to find inner peace and adventure and pleasure – I travelled with my long time travel buddies Amos and Theresa and with my friends at work Mel and Chad and with new found friends Kelvin, Che, Regina and Len. It was absolutely the best group travel I ever had and, like I always say, the trip is undeniably worth blogging for.

I’ll have a detailed blog about our escapade soon. For now, enjoy the photos below taken from our Isla Higantes Iloilo 2015 year-end escapade.

Pre-departure groufie at Ninoy Aquino Inernational Airport 3 with Yours Truly (clockwise) , Theresa, Amos, Mel, Chad, Regina, Kelvin and Che. Missing in action: Len. We met her in Iloilo. She's from Davao,
First time to travel via motor boat at night. It was a total adventure! 
Day 2: Ready for our island hopping.
At the sand bar at Bantigue Island.

The boat ride.
At Tangke. 
Full force. In this photo: (l-r) Len, Mel, Tere, Kelvin, Regina, Chad, Che, Yours Truly and Amos.
Sunrise by the lighthouse. 
At Pawikan Cave.
Big thanks Gigantes Hideaway Resort for accommodating us! 

Watch out for the detailed blog entry about our 2015 year-end escapade. Happy New Year to all!
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