Luzon

Balabac, Palawan: An Island-Hopping Guide

Posted on March 30, 2017

Looking for deserted islands to play out your Survivor fantasies? Off the southernmost tip of Palawan is Balabac, a remote municipality comprised of 31 islands and islets, dotting the Sulu Sea between mainland Palawan and Borneo. This faraway corner of the archipelago, which can be reached in 10 hours by van and boat from the nearest commercial airport in Puerto Princesa, remains untouched by mainstream tourism – a paradise for those looking for a truly off-the-grid adventure. The island group isRead More

Camalaniugan, Cagayan: Home of the Oldest Church Bell in Southeast Asia

Posted on March 8, 2017

After dropping by the pottery town of Iguig, we continued northeast of Cagayan province. Just off the national highway en route to the busy trading town of Aparri is the riverside municipality of Camalaniugan, which – as proudly heralded on the town’s welcome arch – is the home of the oldest Catholic church bell not only in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia! After having seen the largest church bell in Asia at Pan-ay, Capiz, I was looking forwardRead More

Discovering Iguig, The Pottery Center of Cagayan

Posted on March 6, 2017

Along the highway running north from Tuguegarao City lies a small riverside town that continues to shape its unique heritage. Like many municipalities across the province of Cagayan, Iguig centers around an impressive Spanish church which – unlike others built from adobe or coral stone elsewhere in the country – is otherwise constructed from red bricks. Noted for its flying buttresses, the 18th century San Antonio de Galicia Church sits imposingly on rolling hills with open-air tableaus of the Stations of theRead More

Scenic Hiking on Palaui Island, Cagayan

Posted on March 3, 2017

With a name echoing that of a Pacific island nation, Palaui Island in Cagayan province is a tropical paradise in its own right. Lush, roughhewn and deserted, it exudes an ends-of-the-earth beauty reminiscent of faraway Batanes, despite being only a swimming distance away from the Luzon mainland. It is refreshingly devoid of commercialization and home to no more than a humble fishing village of 600 people. Here, raw beauty is the major drawcard, especially for those who love hiking andRead More

6 Amazing Agritourism Attractions in Nueva Ecija

Posted on March 3, 2017

Do you want to be haciendero for a day? Overlooked by travelers heading north along the national highway from Manila to Tuguegarao, the province of Nueva Ecija is more often than not only a mere stopover, if not simply bypassed altogether.  Characterized by the vast open plains hemmed in by the Sierra Madre mountain range to the east, Nueva Ecija is nonetheless an agricultural goldmine, making it one of the country’s wealthiest provinces. It’s principal crops are rice, corn and onions,Read More

Pan Pacific Manila: The Philippines’ First and Finest Butler Hotel in Malate

Posted on January 27, 2017

The moment I received the email confirming my stay at Pan Pacific Manila, a 236-room five-star luxury hotel in the entertainment district of Malate in the city of Manila, I knew they took their customer service seriously as they boast to be the “first and finest butler hotel” in the Philippines. The booking confirmation arrived with a guest preference form which queried me about my room preferences in careful detail down to my choice of fruit and room scent. AmongRead More