caves

Ilagan Sanctuary: An Easy Nature Escape in Ilagan City, Isabela

Posted on February 6, 2014

Part of the 819-hectare Fuyot Springs National Park, bordering the town of Tumauini, Ilagan Sanctuary is a nature park located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Barangay Santa Victoria, Ilagan City in the province of Isabela. This accessible reserve makes for a quick nature escape, if you happen to pass by Ilagan City on a roadtrip to or from Tuguegarao, for example. Among the natural attractions are limestone caves, waterfall hikes, and viewing endemic and exotic animalsRead More

Death and Deliverance on Phnom Sampeau

Posted on March 22, 2012

Victims of the Khmer Rouge After our bamboo train adventure, our tuk-tuk shuttled us 18 kilometers southwest of Battambang to Phnom Sampeau (Phnom Sampou), a limestone hill shaped – as its name suggests in Khmer – like a ship, rising up from the flatlands of the countryside. The pastoral peacefulness of the place belies lingering secrets, both haunting and awe-inspiring. Phnom Sampeau is a boat-shaped hill in the Battambang countryside Even in the bucolic countryside, one cannot ignore the legacyRead More

Race Across The Terrace: Sagada (Part Three)

Posted on February 28, 2012

The Applai people of Sagada entombed their dead in hanging coffins propped along limestone cliffs  I never knew walking amidst the dead could be a pleasing experience. After all, Sagada is indeed the gateway to paradise.To get to this highland Shangri-la rediscovered by European backpackers in the 1960s, the route departing Banaue surmounted rougher terrain where pine trees soon replaced tree ferns, as it ascended higher into the Cordilleran interior. Not surprisingly, a gazillion more terraces flanked the way, butRead More

Sensational Sarangani

Posted on February 1, 2012

This unedited article is for a commissioned travelfeature in SMILE magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. By some stroke of luck, an invitation for lunch with Manny Pacquiao dropped on our laps as soon as we arrived in the seaside town of Glan, where the world boxing icon spent his early childhood. “Manny is nice, lovable, and very simpático – you should meet him!” prominent resident Luz Margarita Ruiz-Yu beamed, segueing from an intriguing preview of antiques salvaged from the RuizRead More

Bucas Grande Islands: Secrets of Sohoton National Park

Posted on January 2, 2012

Boats enter the cove through a low-hanging cave. Sohoton is Visayan for “to go under”  To exit Magkukuob Cave, one has to jump off a cliff! South of the surfing Mecca of Siargao, at the Bucas Grande Islands, is a national park that’s slowly making a name in the tourist circuit for its unique seascapes. Not to be confused with the natural bridge and cave system in Samar of the same name, Sohoton National Park of Surigao del Norte consists of severalRead More

Kabayan, Benguet – Abode of the Fire Mummies

Posted on December 12, 2011

Ever since my first visits to the Baguio Museum as a child, I’ve been fascinated by the fire mummies of the Ibaloi people in Kabayan, Benguet. More than two decades after, a spontaneous weekend hiking trip with fellow blogger Christine Fernandez of Adventures of a Jovial Wanderer and a college friend finally brought me face to face with these ancient wonders in their hometown of Kabayan, Benguet. Fire Mummies of Mt. Timbac, 500 to 1,000 years old Ten hours worthRead More