A Different World Awaits in These Lakes Near Manila

by Julia Escano

When you cross out all the mountains and hiking trails nearby, and had your fill with food trips, where do you go next? Sure, there’s always something to discover in the dozens of towns and cities surrounding Manila. But at some point all of them start to look the same and you crave for something different. What then?

One yet-to-be habitual destination for city dwellers are the lakes near Manila. While some are already famous, there are others waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. These lakes near Manila are perfect for weekend getaways and daytrips; where you and your family or barkada can while away the day swimming or having picnics.

So if your gang is looking for a different escape, check out these scenic lakes near Manila for your next weekend getaway.

Taal Lake, Batangas  

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With the ever-increasing traffic jams going to Tagaytay these days, the thought of relaxing in the scenic ridge city is becoming more and more stressful. Instead of getting caught with the throng, why not escape to nearby Taal Lake and the smaller Crater Lake. While the rest merely enjoy the view, you can enjoy everything else this famous destination has to offer.

Resorts like Club Balai Isabel and Taal Lake Yacht Club offer tours to these spots. Packages usually start with a boat ride through Taal Lake to Volcano Island. Once on the island, you can have an easy trek or a short ride on horseback to the peak, Continue reading A Different World Awaits in These Lakes Near Manila

Visit These Unspoiled Spots for Your Next Watersport Adventure

by Julia Escaño

With 7,107 islands locked by dozens of seas and one vast ocean, it’s no surprise we have a bounty of destinations for every kind of water activity. Our love for all things water even led to man-made sites just to provide space for our favorite recreations. Despite this abundance, there are still areas in the Philippines that are considered the best destinations for water sports. And we’re not talking about the famous ones where hordes of people flock to at every opportunity. These travel spots may be less popular and less crowded, but they offer conditions that are just as good – if not better – than their more famous counterparts.

Check out these Philippine hidden water sports spots if you think it’s something you want to get into. You may just find your next weekend destination.

Wind-surfing

Kingfisher Beach, Pagudpud

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Kingfisher Beach is exclusively manned by the Kingfisher Resort, located in the remote barangay of Caparispisan, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Getting here is serious business since it’s far-removed from the town center, which takes about 14-16 hours from Manila by land. But for those willing to take on the journey, great rewards await. Kingfisher Kite and Wind Surf Center are equipped with first- Continue reading Visit These Unspoiled Spots for Your Next Watersport Adventure

Discover Biliran: The Waterfall Capital of the Philippines

by Dov Weinman

Please quit complaining about your coworkers bragging about their off-the-beaten-path visit to a remote island you’ve never even heard of. Finding those getaways isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s one: Nestled in the water between Leyte, Samar, and Masbate lies Biliran — a mountainous, rice-terraced, and waterfall-filled island spot that will make you want to update your travel bucket list.

If you haven’t heard of Biliran, maybe it’s because you see that little island on the map and think it’s a part of Leyte. Up until 1992, you would’ve been right. In 1992, Biliran became one of one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines at just over 200 square miles. Biliran affords plenty of opportunities to get lost in true island life regardless of its small size. With provincial charm and no tourist traps that plague other well-known island destinations, Biliran is one of the country’s best kept secrets, and it’s waiting for anyone adventurous enough to unlock its hidden gems.  

To jumpstart your journey, here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this magical province:

1. Biliran is the waterfall capital of the Philippines.

Outdoor adventure junkies will love Biliran’s legendary waterfalls. The province has such a high concentration of waterfalls (a total of 30!), that the Department of Tourism brands it as the “waterfall capital of the Philippines” in their promotional materials.

WaterfallCapital, Biliran

Just north of Naval, the Municipality of Almeria is home to some of the island’s more impressive falls. Take a short hike uphill from mountain-based Barangay Caucab and follow the trail to the cliff-sided Bagongbong Falls. While you swim in the refreshing pool, you can stare up at the cliffs to see trees leaning out for the sun and vines cascading down the lush walls.

Photo by Reyn Tancio

An even taller waterfall awaits near Barangay Sampao. There, the Ulan-Ulan falls cascades 90 feet down, and you can witness the water break apart and fall from the sky like the rain it’s named after. A bonus for making this trip is the nearby Recoletos Falls, located directly above Ulan-Ulan, which isn’t quite as impressive but flows into a refreshing and swimmable pool with great rocks for relaxing and enjoying the view. Continue reading Discover Biliran: The Waterfall Capital of the Philippines

These Extreme Sports Destinations around PH are the Ultimate Bucket List

by Julia Escaño

There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of extreme sports. Once you get a taste of it, it’s something you end up looking for again and again. However, people have this notion that extreme sports require advanced skills and are hard to come by, which is why they don’t bother pursuing it at all. While sports like rock climbing need hours of training, others such as skydiving need only the presence of a licensed individual.  All you have to do is show up, bring a healthy dose of courage, and go for it.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the best spots in the Philippines for extreme sports and give yourself a thrill you will never forget.

Bungee-swing: Danao, Bohol

extreme-sports-bungee-danao extreme-sports-bungee-danao2If you’re looking for a few seconds of pure exhilaration (or sheer terror) and a lifetime’s worth of bragging rights, bungee jumping is probably for you. Unfortunately the Philippines has yet to have a full-on bungee jump like the ones in Macau or Abu Dhabi. What we do have though may just be better. The bungee jump/canyon swing offered by E.A.T. Danao, aptly called The Plunge, includes a 75-meter drop from a 200-meter high platform sitting over a scenic gorge. You can choose to free-fall upright or head-first, because why not. And instead of just Continue reading These Extreme Sports Destinations around PH are the Ultimate Bucket List

10 Exciting Detours on Your SCTEX Road Trip

Ever since the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) was opened in 2005, traveling to this part of the country and to its surrounding areas has become a breeze. Not only does it cut down travel time, but taking a road trip through SCTEX can also take you to a lot of exciting detours.

We’ve handpicked 10 fun-packed activities you can do with your gang or the whole family next time you’re on this expressway. Roll your windows down, cue the Eraserheads playlist, and rev up for an unforgettable road trip!

1.) Whitewater Kayaking at Camiling and Bulsa Rivers

Rapid Stream
Image Source by Rapid Stream.

Let the adrenaline rush through your veins as you brave the waters of Camiling or Bulsa Rivers. When you take a road trip through SCTEX and exit towards Tarlac City, your jump off point where you can experience this adventure. And now that the rainy season is here, you are in luck because this is the best time when water levels in the river rise, the current goes rough, and the ride gets crazy. You and your friends can have this fun escapade in San Jose, Tarlac but you can arrange for Continue reading 10 Exciting Detours on Your SCTEX Road Trip

Isabela Province Revealed: An Untouched Nature Sanctuary

If you’re constantly looking for new places to explore; if getting lost in a forest is your kind of adventure; if your idea of paradise is to bask in nature’s beauty without a crowd of tourists behind you, then Isabela is the destination for you.

The province sits atop picture-perfect Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in this archipelago of 7, 507 islands. It has the second largest land area in the Philippines, bursting with lush forests, dreamy valleys and pristine beaches.  Much of the province’s rustic charm is also still there, devoid of unhealthy doses of commercialism and tourism traps. It is relatively far from Metro Manila, but if you’re willing to rough it out and take the road less traversed, Isabela could be your new favorite destination. Here’s how:

Get lost in the vast Bonsai Forest

 

 

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Continue reading Isabela Province Revealed: An Untouched Nature Sanctuary

Breathtaking Philippine Honeymoon Getaways for Adventurous Couples

By Claire Marie Algarme

That time together after the wedding is one of the most awaited event in a newly married couple’s life. They call it as the “honeymoon.”  And for adventurous couples who want to have a mix of romance and adrenaline rush, your honeymoon in the Philippines can be extra special as countless honeymoon destinations offer exciting activities with a touch of romantic escapes.

Wouldn’t you want to spend your honeymoon where you can bond with your partner in the most exhilarating way? Make this moment memorable by taking the road less traveled. Spend your days doing a few thrilling activities and cap them with a quiet interlude in a magnificent hotel or resort while sharing a toast for this beautiful union. If you’re looking for the best places where you can spend your exciting honeymoon in the Philippines, consider these breathtaking honeymoon destinations for a romantic getaway while satiating your adventurous spirits as a couple.

Camiguin Island: Snorkel at the giant clam sanctuary, cap the day with a dip in the hot springs, and stay at the Volcano House overlooking the island

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Continue reading Breathtaking Philippine Honeymoon Getaways for Adventurous Couples

8 Epic Daytrip Destinations Near Manila You Can Reach by Bus

Living everyday to the fullest is our philosophy here at Ellry. And what better way to do that than by going on memorable adventures? They don’t have to be far and exotic to be exciting either. There’s a ton of day trip destinations near Manila waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Just hop on a bus and you’re there!

If you’re looking for a thrill, cultural immersion, or just plain chillaxing, these spots have got you covered. The best part is, they’re all only a few hours away with multiple buses plying their routes daily. Whether it’s a weekend, a holiday, or just your day off, there’s no more excuse! It’s time to fill your Saturdays and free days with these awesome day trip destinations near Manila.

Biak-na-Bato National Park, Bulacan

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Located in San Miguel, the Biak-na-Bato National Park isn’t only rich historically, but also ecologically. This is the spot where the first Philippine government was founded under Emilio Aguinaldo, and where many meetings of the Katipunan were held. These days, it’s where families and barkadas converge to do some nature tripping. Most adventurers come here to climb Mt. Manalmon and its twin peak, Mt. Gola. But its tens of caves, including the Madlum and Bayukbok Caves, and the Madlum River and its giant rock formations are not to be missed either. It’s considered by many to be an easy and scenic hike, perfect for those looking for some outdoor fun without difficulty.

How to get there: From Cubao, take a Baliwag Transit or Five Star bus bound for Cabanatuan. Get off at Brgy. Kamias, San Miguel. From here take a tricycle to the jump off point.

Travel time: 2 hours Continue reading 8 Epic Daytrip Destinations Near Manila You Can Reach by Bus

This Remote Island in The Philippines is The Galapagos of Asia

by: Claire Marie Algarme

Accessible only by sea via pump boats, Sibuyan Island is one of the remote places in the Philippines. The Sibuyan Island ecotourism and rich biodiversity, such as the flora and fauna which have grown abundantly over the years when the island remained isolated from the rest of the world, has earned Sibuyan the moniker as the “Galapagos of Asia”.

Sibuyan is one of the seven islands in the province of Romblon, considered as the heart of the Philippines, geographically speaking. It is covered by forests, which made it a favorite place for exploration and study by scientists who are mapping the various species endemic in the island. It has the densest forest in the country.

The National Museum once conducted a study in Sibuyan and found 1,551 trees within one hectare which contained 123 tree species, 54 of which is unique in this island. There are hundreds and thousands of plant and animal species that are still up for cataloguing. Among the animals that were identified were the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker, Philippine Pygmy-woodpecker, Colasisi Loriculus philippensis bournsi, fruit bat species, and rodents. The pitcher plant, or the Nepenthes sibuyanensis, is one of the popular vascular plants that are endemic to Sibuyan Island.

  1. Guiting-Guiting: hike towards its jagged peaks
Sibuyan Island landscape, plants, and birds
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Mountaineers were able to conquer Mt. Guiting-Guiting’s summit for the first time Continue reading This Remote Island in The Philippines is The Galapagos of Asia

Have the Most Thrilling Trek of Your Life in This CDO Park

by Julia Escano

A visit to Cagayan de Oro almost certainly entails the outdoors. With white water rafting as one of its main draws and with the Dahilayan Adventure Park so close in Bukidnon, most tourists to this progressive Mindanao city come prepared to get their hearts beating and their adrenaline rushing. But these aren’t all the blood-pumping action CDO has in store. Mapawa Nature Park lies a mere 30 minutes from the city center, and it holds adventure, not for the faint of heart.

Initially opened as a place that caters to team building activities, Mapawa Nature Park offers a unique canyoneering experience open to groups of all sizes. They are done under the supervision of expert local guides who coach and even cheer you on every step of the way. Mapawa’s river course is 100% all-natural, meaning none of its 4 main activities are man-made. It’s very much a man vs. nature thing, which eventually becomes a mind-over-matter thing. It takes an average of 5 hours to complete the trail though the guides say it could last well beyond that depending on how quickly people can complete the activities.

Going through the river course not only takes people through a slew of physical challenges, but it also has the ability to take you through a whole spectrum of emotions. Curious? Tantalized? Read on!

Stage 1: Why did I agree to this? Is this safe? Am I going to die?

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The first activity is a 20 ft. high natural waterslide that drops into a pool below. First, you have to sit at the top of the slide, giving you a perfect view Continue reading Have the Most Thrilling Trek of Your Life in This CDO Park