hiking

Marveling at Rafflesia schadenbergiana – one of the world’s largest flowers – in Lantapan, Bukidnon

Posted on August 29, 2022

Ever since I read about Rafflesia in science books as a child, I’ve been fascinated by this strange and uncommon genus of parasitic plants found only in Southeast Asia. Over the years, I’ve hiked to see different Rafflesia species in the rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Lacking leaves, stems and roots, these alien-looking plants infect and thrive within woody jungle vines. It takes several months for their cabbage-like buds to mature, before bursting open into vibrant, leathery bloomsRead More

Mount Magarwak: Stunning Sunrise Hike in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Posted on August 21, 2022

When plans for a Mt. Victoria hike fell through, I decided to look for easy yet rewarding day hikes in Puerto Princesa City, the provincial capital of Palawan. Situated only 17 km north of the city center, Mount Magarwak is one of the most accessible hiking trails. Popular among local hikers and off-road bikers, this row of forested hills in Barangay Bacungan rises only a little over 300 masl but offers impressive views overlooking Honda Bay and the lush mountainsRead More

Liloan, Cebu: Hiking the Cotcot River in Barangay Mulao

Posted on February 27, 2022

What comes to mind when you hear of the Cebu town of Liloan? To most people, it’s rosquillos cookies and the historic Bagacay Point Lighthouse. But this town has so much more to offer if you venture farther inland. The Cotcot River, for example, which separates Liloan from the municipality of Compostela to the north, is a river trekking destination. It is one of the major rivers on Cebu island, running for around 40 km from the highlands of CebuRead 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

Hiking the Blue Fire Crater of Ijen Volcano in Banyuwangi, East Java

Posted on September 13, 2016

Oh, volcanoes. Nothing gets me excited about visiting Indonesia as much as its mountains of fire. Volcanoes create the most dramatic landscapes, a living testimony to how volatile our planet Earth can be. The country’s rugged arc of islands were formed by a chain of volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Presently, the archipelago has more than 120 active volcanoes. On previous trips, I’ve climbed some of the most popular fiery peaks like Bromo, Rinjani and Sibayak. But I’ve always gotRead More

6 Incredible Things to Do in the 130-Million-Year-Old Rainforests of Taman Negara National Park

Posted on June 22, 2016

When it comes to nature trips in Peninsular Malaysia, Taman Negara – Bahasa Malaysia for “National Park” – often tops the list. Covering the states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, this premier national park (presently also known as Kuala Tahan National Park) was established in 1938 as King George V National Park, making it the first and oldest protected area in the country. The vast rainforest sanctuary covers more than 4,300 square kilometers, including Gunung Tahan (Mount Tahan), the highest peak in PeninsularRead More