Danjugan Island: Dive, Trek, Discover

by Pauline Pama

Danjugan Island is a marine reserve and wildlife sanctuary. It is not the usual resort with many people and sometimes, party atmosphere. It is the perfect place if you seek nature adventure and peaceful environment at the same time. A limited number of guests are allowed per day. If you’re lucky, your group may happen to have the place all to yourselves. Overnight at Moray Lagoon Camp is 2,950php/person while an overnight stay at Typhoon Beach is 3,950php/person.

Overnight packages of Danjugan include everything you need: accommodation, meals, boat transfers, boat tour, trekking & snorkeling guide, unlimited use of kayaks, free use of snorkeling gear, conservation fee and accident insurance. Therefore, you can focus on your stay and not with unexpected expenses. If you choose to have a day trip only, they also offer it at 1,950php/person. It includes meals, boat transfers, trekking & snorkeling guide, unlimited use of kayaks, free use of snorkeling gear and conservation fee.

Note: Be prepared with power banks since there is no electricity. Also, be mindful of your water usage because running water in the island is also limited. The island’s amenities are solar-powered, and water is maximized carefully. Remember that guests are encouraged to be open-minded. Though it may be a little inconvenient to some, the island promotes environmental preservation and counts on our willingness to cooperate.

How to get there:

From Manila, take an hour flight to Bacolod-Silay Airport. From the airport, you Continue reading Danjugan Island: Dive, Trek, Discover

Experience the Old and Untouched Palawan in Port Barton

Between Coron in danger of being destroyed and El Nido slowly getting overrun, Palawan purists are in search of the good old days. Before the jostling crowds and the badly-planned theme parks, there was just paradise. Now that Palawan is approaching a tipping point, one of the small lights glimmering in the distance is Port Barton.

Port Barton, in San Vicente, Palawan, is a small, sleepy village with little to no commercial developments. This isn’t the place for luxury hotels or buzzing bars for those tropical nights (it only has electricity about 6 hours a day). It’s the perfect place for intrepid travelers and brave adventurers who truly relish in the purity of a place. In return, you get Palawan for what it is: a natural wonder and the Philippines’ last frontier, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Snorkeling in untouched reefs


The great thing about snorkeling in Port Barton is how many of the reefs are right off the town. Whether you decide to go far, or just explore off the beach, you’re sure to see a lot. Manta Ray Reef is a highlight, being 150 hectares in size. Its steady healing is apparent despite the damages that severe coral bleaching and typhoons it caused. Reefs near Double Island, like Fantastic Reef and Small Lagoon Reef, are also a great spot for corals and different fish species. Meanwhile, Aquarium Four and Oyster Point are right in the middle of the water and are perhaps the busiest when it comes underwater marine activity. Continue reading Experience the Old and Untouched Palawan in Port Barton

Discover Aurora Province with These Fun Side Trips from Baler

We all love Baler. The long stretch of Sabang Beach, mountain-cool waters of Mother Falls, and laid-back vibes of the town has long enticed surfers and non-surfers alike. But it turns out that Baler is only one gem in Aurora province’s crown. Just a few hours away are several activities near Baler you can take while you’re in the area. They’re just as scenic, maybe even more exciting, and a unique glimpse into a place we all know and love.

Diguisit Falls rappel


Adrenaline junkies have more than just Baler’s famous waves to get them stoked. Rappelling down the 40-foot high cascade of Diguisit Falls is a worthy source of a rush as well. Located just off of the highway, about 10 minutes from Baler town proper, Diguisit Falls is composed of two sets of multi-tiered cascades sitting a few meters apart. It takes some effort to get to the bigger cascade, with a hike up slippery rocks and trickling water. And to get down, you can strap yourself onto some ropes and meet the ultimate challenge. There are few things cooler (literally Continue reading Discover Aurora Province with These Fun Side Trips from Baler

Volunteer Diving Expeditions in the Philippines with Marine Conservationists

by Julia Escaño

A few months ago, in October 2016, nature conservation groups World Wildlife Fund and Fondation Segré added over a million hectares of offshore and coastal waters to the Philippines’ Marine Protected Areas. These are found within 2 barangays in Palawan: Cagayancillo and Aborlan. They flank the Tubbataha Reefs in the Coral Triangle and are meant to bolster fish stocks.

The residents of Cagayancillo welcomed this news, after clamoring to be declared a Marine Protected Area for years. They claim that the conservation efforts being done in the Coral Triangle result in a better livelihood. Though it’s still a long way before all of the Philippines’ 1557 MPA’s become as successful as Cagayancillo, it’s still a step in the right direction.

If you are passionate about our oceans, and the riches beneath them, you can be a part of these efforts, too. By volunteering in marine conservation projects in the Philippines, you can take part in protecting the seas with these group of conservationists:

Marine Conservation Philippines

If you’re an avid scuba diver and you want to give back to the habitat you so enjoy, check out Marine Conservation Philippines. This non-profit organization works to preserve, protect, and enrich the country’s underwater resources. Marine Conservation Philippines’ has a range of projects with different durations. Some projects such as the creation of artificial reefs are one-offs. Meanwhile, others are continuous, such as research and documentation.

Website | Facebook

Coral Cay Conservation

volunteer-diving-coral-cay
Image source

Coral Cay Conservation or CCC is an international NGO that’s been running since 1986. They entered the Philippine marine conservation scene in 1996, and until Continue reading Volunteer Diving Expeditions in the Philippines with Marine Conservationists

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

best-spots-for-watersports-kingfisher
Image source

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

Got Skills? Stay for Free at These Lodgings When Traveling Around the Philippines

by Julia Escaño

You’ve booked your flights. You’ve searched through every digital nook and cranny of your destination. You’ve outlined your Must-See and Must-Do lists. You might have even created a special playlist for the trip. All that’s left to tick is finding your home away from home.

Finding cheap accommodations anywhere in the country should be easy enough, but why settle for cheap when you can get it for free? If you’re willing to sweat it out and share your skills, the Philippines has free accommodations for serious travelers who want more bang for their buck.

From the city to the countryside, from the land to the sea, here is a list of free accommodations in the Philippines that allow you to travel while giving something back to the community!

Share your skills for a bed in this Tacloban hostel

free-lodgings-philippines-yellow-doors-hostel

What would you do for a free bed? In this hostel, talent and skill are the currency.  Yellow Doors Hostel, an award-winning hostel in post-Yolanda Tacloban, offers a stay-for-free program for skilled guests. By imparting your knowledge through different kinds of workshops, sharing your music by joining jam sessions at their rooftop bar, or offering any other talent that might be handy, you can stay in the hostel for free. It’s not just about saving money,  you get to help enrich the experiences of others while fostering community and Continue reading Got Skills? Stay for Free at These Lodgings When Traveling Around the Philippines

Be An Explorer! Circumnavigate These Islands In A Day

By Claire Marie Algarme

These tiny islands in the Philippines abound with various tourist attractions. Not only they have breathtaking beaches, but they also have other natural and historical spots that travelers will find interesting. These Philippine islands are so small (ranging from 9 to about 605 sq km) that you can circumnavigate them in just a day while stopping to visit some the attractions they offer to travelers.

But to travel to these islands in one day, you must start early, to make the most of your experience. Or, explore these Philippine Islands the day or night before to make the most of your exploits from sunrise to sunset.

Corregidor Island: A World War II Stronghold

Philippine Islands to explore in one day features the Corregidor Island Map
Image Source
Philippine Islands to explore in one day: Corregidor Island
Image Source

Only about an hour or less away from Manila, Corregidor is the nearest where one can easily venture, and it is so small, this island can be toured in one day. The easiest way is to take the tour package via the Sun Cruises, where you are ferried to and from the island, take you to the various sights around Corregidor on a tram, have a sumptuous lunch at the Corregidor Inn, and enter the Malinta Tunnel. But Continue reading Be An Explorer! Circumnavigate These Islands In A Day

Find Paradise Near Manila with These Secluded Beaches in Quezon

by Julia Escano

Sure, the -ber months are upon us, which makes it the least ideal time to be going to the beach. Right? Not really. Before we feel the full force of the stormy season, we must enjoy to the fullest whatever sunshine comes our way!

Dips in the sea are cooling, calming, and fun, making them the perfect escape, whatever the season may be. But when half the city is sunbathing and swimming right beside you, it makes being in the beach feel more like a mall sale, less like a relaxing hideaway. Wouldn’t it be better to have a beach all to yourself, so you can laze around in peace while enjoying your buko? There are many secluded beaches near Manila that can give you just that.

Quezon province alone boasts of beaches less overrun by tourists than the busy shores of Batangas, Zambales, and Subic. Accessible, relatively secluded, definitely beautiful — here are 5 handpicked beach destinations you can go to. Enjoy them (and your buko) to the fullest!

Lukang Beach, Pagbilao

secluded beaches near manila: Quezon
Image Source

Lukang Beach, more popularly known as Puting Buhangin, is a neighboring beach of Dampalitan. In spite of the proximity, many say that it is the more excellent beach because of its finer sands, more blue waters, and fewer tourists. Apart from being a fine beach perfect for picnics and sunbathing, Lukang Beach also has Kuwebang Continue reading Find Paradise Near Manila with These Secluded Beaches in Quezon

Malalison: A Secluded Island in Antique

by Shayne Zalameda

Antique is a destination often set aside by travelers due to its more famous neighbors in the Western Visayas region. It’s not easily accessible; currently has no direct flights, no direct land transfer from Luzon, nor Mindanao, and has no direct ferry routes. It is not your ordinary tourist spot because of its location, which makes it deserving of a place on your bucket list.

One of Antique’s pride is Malalison Island, an emerging tourist destination located in the municipality of Culasi. Here, you get a piece of the island that is just as beautiful as its neighbors, but only with a promise of being away from the bustling crowds.

There are no bars, restaurants, or hotels in this 54-hectare piece of land —only clear waters, powdery white sand, a 360-degree view of rolling hills, and some locals who are eager to show you their hospitality.

malalison island beach
Photo by Victor Villanueva/ CC BY

An unspoiled getaway that detaches you from your urban ways of living, Malalison Continue reading Malalison: A Secluded Island in Antique