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Showing posts with label Ulikba Diaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ulikba Diaries. Show all posts

Punta Fuego quick getaway

We supposed to go north but because unforeseen circumstances we end up going south.

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Batanes : North Batan

After monstrous underwater volcanic activities millions of years ago, a group of islands was formed and it is now called Batanes. Basco is the capital of the province located in the north of Batan island in the shadow of Mt. Iraya, an active stratovolcano which last erupted in 1454.

If you have a good stamina and has an active lifestyle you can explore the whole island using a bicycle. Believe me when I say that It will be challenging. Most tourist opt for tricycle or van tours depend on how big is your group. For small group or 3 or less a tricycle tour is much recommended. It's cheaper plus you can immerse more is the beauty of Batanes and the Ivatan culture. Tourist spots in Batanes is divided into two the North Batan tour and South Batan tour.

The North Batan tour is the shortest tour which is ideal for your first day in Batanes. It covers the capital Basco and it give you a sneak peak of what to expect about your following tours and Batanes itself.

Vayang Rolling Hills

The seascape of seemingly infinite endless waives is jaw-dropping and refreshing to the eye. The cool sight of deep blue sea and hills covered with green grass plus the refreshing breeze of the strong wind coming from the ocean will make you relax and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Welcome to Basco Arch

It is a long the road and has a viewing deck with spectacular views of the ocean.

PAGASA Radar Station

From Basco it’s a 1½-hour walk, a tough 30-minute bike ride or an easy tricycle jaunt up to Radar Tukon, a weather station on a hilltop with great 360-degree views. The radar station is sitting on top of a hill, giving you a beautiful landscape of Mahatao’s hedgerows (liveng), Basco town proper, the Pacific Ocean, and the West Philippine Sea. It is the northernmost station of PAGASA serving as the reference point for weather forecasts. 

Fundacion Pacita

It is one of the best hotels/homestays in Batanes which a home studio of Pacita Abad, an international Filipino artist.

Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
Popularly known as Basco Cathedral, it was the first and the oldest Catholic Church in Batanes.

Nakamaya Burial Grounds

A Burial Ground in shaped like a boat and faces the water. Human skeletons discovered here date back to AD 1600.

Basco Lighthouse at Naidi Hills

Basco Lighthouse offers a panoramic view of the ocean and perfect spot for sunset viewing.

Tukon Church

Inspired by the Ivatan stone houses, Mt. Carmel Church (or popularly known as Tukon Church) is one of the most iconic structures in Batanes as it sits on top of a hill overlooking Mt. Iraya and the town of Basco.

Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel

This Japanese Tunnel served as a shelter for Japanese soldiers during World War II. 

Valugan Boulder Beach

This is not your typical beach where you can swim). There is no white nor fine sand here. However you will find incredible landscape framed by almost vertical cliffs and rolling hills formed from countless boulders.

Basco Town Proper

Since the North Batan tour is short you will have ample time to go around the town center. Try the many restaurants (some require advance reservation) and street food in the streets.


Giving and Bending Yapak Travelers 5th Community Outreach

In the Philippines February is known as the month of love – the time for valentine's day and remembering and emphasizing the importance of love in our lives.

Team Yapak - Yapak Travelers have also chosen the month of February to exhibit their love to the Dumagat Remontado  community of Sitio Magata, Laiban, in Tanay, Rizal as they celebrate their 2nd anniversary through their 5th outreach program.

The theme of the outreach program is  "Giving and Bending" - Reaching out with a calm and healthy soul of kindness". Which aims not just to share love though typical  gift giving and feeding program to the local community but also to introduce a physical, mental and spiritual discipline or practice to the members known as Yoga.

On February 16, 2019 at 11:00 PM Team Yapak started to gather in a fastfood chain in a Cubao. You will definitely won’t get lost as they were all wearing their legacy shirt with a clearly “Team Yapak” printed  in their backs. By 12:15 am we started walking  going to Aurora boulevard carrying bags loaded of gift, toys and supplies for Dumagats. You can see in the  faces of everyone that though some of them were tired from work or from the preparation, they are full of energy and excitement while throwing  jokes at each other.

We went on commute using “Patok” jeepney from Aurora boulevard going to Cogeo, Rizal where our service is going to pick us up.  “Patok” jeepneys are jeepneys playing loud music while plying their routes. Typically the travel time from Cubao to Cogeo takes roughly 45 mins but since it was early in the morning and there’s no traffic it only took us roughly 30 mins of travel time going to out pick up point.

Since we early some of us had  coffee and snack at Mcdonald while waiting for the rest and to the Monster jeeps that will bring us to jump-off point. Monster jeeps, unlike the ordinary jeeps that we ride on well-paved roads, are supposed to withstand the uninviting route to Barangay Laiban which includes a series of rough roads that we will pass along the way. Another thing that you can try on a monster jeep is Top loading. It is one of the ways in riding a jeep. Instead of getting inside of the vehicle, you will go up to the roof the jeepney with no comfortable chair.

It was a long 5 hour challenging ride I must say  going to Barangay Laiban because of the rough roads and the cold breeze of the wind. It was still dark when we get to the jump off and the whole place was covered with fog. Team Yapak doesn’t seems to dire the cold weather and fatigue as their energy and liveliness overflows.

When the sun started to rise around 6:00 am, some of the locals fetch us to help us in bringing the goods and gifts to the school where we will conduct the program. There’s a small unfinished  bridge but we are unable to use it that time, so some of us have to take a boat to bring the supplies while some have to cross the knee deep river just to get to the other side. As the sun lightens up the whole  place, it slowly revealed the beauty of -the nature hiding from the thick fog of the dawn.  The long journey was all worth it as we were welcomed by the cool clear water from the river and the green forest.
It was roughly 15 mins treck from the jump-off going to the school. We rested for a few minutes and the team started to change for their Yoga outfits.Then we went down again  to the river side where the Yoga class was held. The white noise from the humming of birds and flowing water from the river is just so soothing to our ears. The whole place will definitely help you relax, unwind and recharged your soul.

We were welcomed by Ms. Lea  Arnosa, our Yoga teacher, who led the yoga class. Everyone was asked to remove their sandals and slippers as we will be doing the yoga bare footed over the fine sand near the river. The roughly an hour of Yoga class was a perfect way to start the day and conditioned the volunteers for  a whole day of work as we serve the Dumagat Remontado tribe of Sitio Magata. 

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. It uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation that helps to improve health and happiness. It is believed that the relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis and  headaches. It can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Aside  from physical benefits, it also helps a person manage stress.

After the relaxing Yoga class we went  back to the school to start  preparing for the program. The food committee started preparing for our breakfast while the rest were actively involved in setting up the venue and  the props that we will be using for the games  and for the whole program. It nice to see that everyone in enjoying what they were doing. The place started to get warm but you will never miss a  single smile in the faces of the volunteers. It was an environment filled with joy and overflowing happiness.

Before the  program proper have started we enjoyed the creamy macaroni chicken soup together with locals that the food committee have prepared.  After everyone was able to rest, the program started at 9:45 am. Jojo,  the leader of the group gave a quick introduction about who Team Yapak is, and introduced its officers to the locals. Ms. Lea was also given a chance to deliver her opening remarks as she is the key on how Team Yapak found about the Dumagat Remontado  tribe of Sitio Magata.

The ancestral origin of Dumagat is traced from Negrito's which is one of the earliest inhabitants in the Philippines. Dumagat can be found in the hillsides and mountains of Quezon, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna provinces. The term "Dumagat " was believed to be derived from the word "rumakat", "lumakat" or  "lumakad" which signifies the migration of early Negritos in Philippines by walking in land and not by the sea. They used to be nomadic people, who stays in one place for awhile then move to another place once their resources depleted. Dumagat Remontados are shy people but they have a lot stories to tell when they get comfortable with you.

The Dumagat kids and parents enjoyed from different games such as “pabitin”, “basagan ng palayok”, “hanapan ng itlog”, longest line and tag of war. The young talented  Dumagat kids also showcased their talents through a small dance contest. Under the heat of the sun the whole venue was filled of warm laughters and smiles as the locals and the volunteers enjoyed each activities together.

The lunch was served to the locals at noon while the gift giving activity continued. It was a heart-melting moment seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they cheerfully and gratefully received the gifts. The 64 families and 56 children were the beneficiaries of the outreach program who received grocery items, toys, candies and different items from the generous sponsors and volunteers of Team Yapak. It was already past noon and the gift giving activity is not yet over. You can easily noticed in the volunteers faces that their energy have sapped a bit but the passion and smile continue to lingers in everyone's faces. It was a beautiful thing to witness—the kids receiving their gifts and their faces lighting up as they opened their presents. We are happy that in our own little way, we were able to bring joy to the Dumagat Remontados community.

Team Yapak wrap up the the activity with a boodle fight lunch. The unremitting laughters and throwing  of jokes made our lunch more enjoyable. There was never a  dull moment since everyone are so cooperative and concerted. After the great lunch we went for a short trek to visit a small falls near the area then went swimming and enjoyed the cool flowing water from the river. It was the time for photo ops, more bonding time and time to rest before going back to busy lives.

The feeding program and gift-giving activity are Team Yapak’s way of letting the indigent rural communities feel that there are people who cares and love them. Activities such as this are a great way to bring people together, to serve and share blessings, and to give hope. Through feeding programs and gifts, we know that, in our own little way, we are providing hope and new opportunities for our less-fortunate communities.

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You took my breathe a way Batanes!

Batenes is truly a paradise.
A once in a life time experience.
A dream come true.
A reason to be grateful.

Please Consider liking Ulikba Diaries for updates of our travel adventures, tips and recommendations. Please also consider donating for the maintenance of this website.

Follow my social meadia accounts using the handle @NocturnalSaint

Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel in San Salvador Island

Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel is the only resort located in San Salvador Island Masinloc, Zambales. A four hour drive via private vehicle or six hours commute via public transportation  from Manila.

I got the chance to visit the place when Judith (Punch & Judy)  invited me to join their team building.

We left   Manila by 2:30 in the afternoon and got to the Port of Masinloc at 9:00 PM. Roughly 20 mins of boat ride going to the island of San Salvador.

When we arrived at the resort we were welcome with a peaceful cozy ambiance.  It is tranquil hideaway for someone who is looking for a quick escape from the stressful busy city life.

With very accomodating host and owner Miss Merly Maru.

When we were greeted warmly by the resort owner Miss Merly . Even though we arrived  late at night she was still there and waited for us. She gave us a  quick orientation and set proper expectation about the resort before lead us to our rooms. The hosts of the resort are very courteous and attentive to our needs.


The food was great. While you are having our meal we felt so at home. The host never left us and made sure that we enjoyed our meals and very attentive to what we need. We really felt that we are valued guests.

The ambiance and t he soft music is just perfect to make you feel relax especially coming from a long road trip. The place was surrounded by art pieces that was personally made by the owner. From colorful lampshades, painted shells and   more.



The relaxing sound of waves and wind will surely help you unwind. The place is so  quiet, not to mention that the we were the only one in the place. It looks like it was exclusively for us.

Perfect getaway for a stay-con, family outing, barkada getaway and team-building.

In the  morning we visited the Bacala rest house and sand bar. The Bacala rest house is a house in the middle of the sand bar. Shallow waters are in some parts of the sandbar where you can lie and enjoy the waive gently massaging your body. You will also be teased with the school of tiny fishes all over the sand bar. Be careful as you walk to the sand bar cover with shallow waters so that you won;t step on bunch of starfish scattered allover the place.

Our Itenerrary

Jan 29 2019 Tuesday
02:00 PM Meet up at Waltermart Muńoz, QC.
02:30 PM Departure
03:30 PM First stopover at Shell station Tabang Exit
06:30 PM Second Stopover at Iba Zambales
09:00 PM Masinloc Port
09:20 PM Arrival at Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel  
09:45 PM Dinner
10:00 PM Socials

Jan 30 2019 Wednesday
07:00 AM Wake up time
07:30 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Arrival at Bacala Sandbar and Rest House
11:00 AM Back to the Resort
11:30 AM Wash Up
12:30 PM Lunch
03:00 PM  Departure from Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel  
03:00 PM Arrival at Port of Masinloc
07:30 PM Dinner at Rico's Fastfood and Restaurant, Olongapo City

Jan 30 2019 Thursday
01:30 AM Arrival in Manila

How to go to Masinloc via Private Vehicle.
From  Manila take North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) heading north and Exit at NLEX Dau Toll Plaza (Exit 50) that leads to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
Proceed along this highway towards SCTEX Toll entrance. Watch for the Hi-way Sign to SUBIC to your LEFT after the SCTEX toll.
Take the SUBIC TIPO Expressway to SBMA.Inside SBMA watch for the road signs to ZAMBALES.
You can  refer to the Zambales map and take advantage of the short cuts (map triangles) in Zambales particularly in San Marcelino and Iba. You can bypass several towns like San Antonio, Palauig and Masinloc town proper and save several minutes look for Masinloc Mall and park your car within the area. And walk to Masinloc Port which is at The back of the Mall. Please follow our departure time for Free Boat Transfers.

How to reach Masinloc via Commute:
  1. Ride a Victory Liner bus at Caloocan Terminal to Sta Cruz Zambales and ask for the Bus to Drop you off Masinloc. 
  2. Walk to Masinloc Port which is at The back of the Mall. Please follow our departure time for Free Boat Transfers.
  • From Subic: Take the SCTEX Olongapo Station bus for fast travel and hop on a Van to Sta. Cruz.
Notes about the resort
  • Resort provide a promo of complimentary boat transfer from port of Masinloc going to San Salvador island for group of 10 persons above.
  • Corkage fee applies for bringing in foods & drinks that are not coming from the resort’s restaurant & bar.
  • Practice ClayGo. You may be fine of P1000.00 for each violation
  • Electricity is available but please conserve power. San Salvador Island is an eco-protected island and its electricity is minimal and powered by wires and cables directing from the town of Masinloc. In case of power outage generators are available for limited time.

How to contact Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel?
·         Cell: +09453902462
·         Facebook : Raimer's Beach Resort & Hotel
·         Contact Number :  09453902462 /09088385314 from 10 AM to 7PM

Things to visit of Masinloc, Zambales

If you have spare time and  if you are into nature, don;t forget to visit this palces.You can include this to your itinerary to make your whole travel experience worth it.

  • San Salvador Island - This island, locally known as “Pulo”, is one of the largest among the strips of small islands in Masinloc.
  • Bacala Guest House and Sandbar - another small islands in Masinloc, you will see this structure that sits in the middle of the sea. It also have a white sandbar that you Can explore during low-tide.
  • “Tridacna Gigas” - known as Giant Clam Farm or “Taclobo”. It is an eco reserve system has been a destination spot for adventurers . Perfect place for snorkeling. It caters the giant clams, different species of marine life and corals .
  • The Giant Mangrove Farm - This giant Mangrove-formed island known as “Yaha” in San Lorenzo, Masinloc is one of the two sites in the Philippines where rare hybrid mangroves can be found.
  • Coto Waterfalls and Kidz Pool - A nature designed swimming pool that lies within a mountain terrain in Coto, Masinloc. A good destination for camping and picnic in groups.
  • Pawikan and other Marine Species – For nature and marine seekers, you can have a sight of some of the endangered sea turtles abound in Sitio Longos, Brgy. Bani where these sea creatures freely lay their eggs. Among other marine species abundant in the area include yellow fin, skip jack, squid, octopus, lapu-lapu, Spanish mackerel, and seaweeds.

  • Masinloc is known for its abundant harvest of premium quality “Carabao” mangoes. Its quality mangoes are globally known for their sweetness.
  • The municipality of Masinloc is a smoke-free town making everyone who stays and visits the place enjoy fresh and clean air.
  • You to inform the tourism office for your visit. Echo tour package should have a minimum of 10 participants. They also discourage solo backpackers/travelers because of the expenses and environmental impact.

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Forgotten My Worth

I'm in the point of my life where I no longer have time to chase pavements. 
I've learned to be thankful to the real people who are around me. 
I got tired and exhausted for searching for 'the one'.In my search, I have lost myself, to the point where I no longer recognize who I am. 
I thought I was giving love, but how can I give the things that I have deprived even for myself? 
How can I love if I forgot to love myself? 
Who will value myself if I have forgotten my worth? 
Because of my stubbornness, it took a while for things to sink in. 
When the realization came, it punched me so hard in the face and there is nothing I can do but cry.
Now that I was able to fix all my shit and find my way again, I will never let anyone mislead me.
Forgive me if I ask you to try harder this time.
Precious things are hard to earn and find.

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Tangadan Water Falls

If you are not that fan of the beach Tangadan Falls is a great option for you.Take a dip in it's cool water. This waterfall in San Gabriel is just few minutes away from San Juan. It has spacious plunge pool that is perfect for swimming. You can ride and have photo ops in a bamboo raft then enjoy a cool waterfalls shower massage

How to get there

  1. If you are from Manila click her on how to get to La Union.
  2. From San Juan, ride a jeep bound for San Gabriel (Php19/person). Drop off at the town proper.
  3. Ride a tricycle to the jump-off point (Php50/tricycle to the first jump-off point). Total travel time should take 30 to 45 minutes. 
    • There are two jump-off points to Tangadan Falls. The first trail is closer from the town proper and requires an hour hike.
    • The second requires a 20 to 30-minute hike, on a steeper trail downstream. You can also charter a tricycle directly from San Juan to get to San Gabriel (Php500/tricycle).
  4. All visitors are required to pay the entrance fee (Php30/person) and get a local guide (Php500/guide per three persons). Life jackets are available for rent, for PHP50 per piece.

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Travel Guide : La Union (ELYU)

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La Union is a province in the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region in the island of Luzon. Its capital is the city of San Fernando, which also serves as the regional center of the whole Ilocos Region.

The province is bordered by Ilocos Sur to the north, Benguet to the east, Pangasinan to the south and to the west by the shores of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

La Union, which translates to “The Union”, was formed in 1850 by merging towns from the neighboring Provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Benguet.

La Union Official Seal*

Description In Heraldical Technical Laguage

Parted per saltire azure and gules. On chief point between motto, LOVE, UNION, CONCORD, three hands firmly clasped; on base point, ship’s steering wheel; on dexter point, three cotton balls, and a tobacco plant; on sinister, a spinning wheel.

The shield with seven points is divided into four parts by two diagonal lines crossing each other.

The upper and lower triangles are blue while the side triangles are red. On the upper triangle on a blue field are three hands firmly clasped together. They represent the people which were created from portions of the Provinces of Pangasinan, Ilocos and Benguet. The Province came to existence by virtue of a “Superior Decreto” on March 2, 1850 of Governor-General Antonio Maria Blanco. Four years later on April 18, 1854, the decree was approved by Queen Isabella II of Spain.

The words, LOVE, UNION, CONCORD from an apt motto of the province. LOVE is the Christian law. The Holy Bible admonishes that “He who does not love does not know God for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) But people, even if they love one another cannot accomplish mush if they are poles apart. They must be united together. Such is UNION. The Psalmist rhapsodizes: He sings, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” (Ps 133:1) And if people are of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord, and gathered together in God’s name, then He is their midst.” (Phil 2:2) That is CONCORD.

On the right side of the shield, left of the beholder, on red background are three cotton balls and a tobacco plant symbolizing farming and agriculture and the province’s principal “cash” products.

On the left side of the shield, right of the beholder, likewise on a red background, is a native spinning wheel representing a developed weaving industry in the province.

On the bottom blue field is a ship’s steering wheel representing sailing, fishing, and other sea based industry and the port of San Fernando City which serves as a major link of the Province with international commerce.

It's Colors

BLUE represents peace, justice, equanimity, tranquility and calmness; RED symbolizes industry, initiative, activity and aggressiveness; GOLDEN YELLOW represents richness in aims and fullness of mind and heart.

How to get there?

Via bus (Public transportation)

  • From Manila Take a bus going to Vigan or Laoag. There are different bus lines to choose from. There's Partas, Dominion and Florida that has terminal is Cubao.
  • Fare is 490 pesos Travel time : 5 to 6 hours

Car or Private vehicle: 

  • From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) then connect through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and then connect to the new Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), exit at Carmen Temporary Toll Plaza under the Carmen overpass in Pangasinan and turn left following Carmen-Poblacion Rosales Road (Tumana, Rosales), turn right to Teofilo Sison Bridge going to Villasis, Pangasinan, and follow the National Highway (MacArthur Highway) through Pangasinan and then La Union.
  • Another option after Carmen TPLEX Exit is through the Magilas Trail in Sta. Maria and exit at Binalonan, Pangasinan bypassing the busy towns of Villasis and Urdaneta going through La Union.
  • When you reach Rosario - the first town of La Union, turn left at the Rosario junction. (The road on the right is the way up to Baguio City). You will be passing by the following towns; Sto. Tomas, Agoo, Aringay, Caba, Bauang and then San Fernando City. After passing by downtown San Fernando, you will see Lorma Medical Center/College to your right, you are now about 5 minutes away. Upon entering Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, you will then see the National Food Authority (NFA)building to your right and a blind sharp curve ahead.

Place to visit when in La Union

(Click on each link on how to get there.)
  • Tangadan Falls
  • Stone Gallery / Bahay na Bato (Stone House)
  • Balwarte Watch Tower
  • Urbiztondo Beach
  • Lomboy Farms
    • 68 MacArthur Highway, Bauang, La Union
    • (072) 705 2105 Mondays to Saturdays, 7AM – 4PM Sundays, 7AM – 3PM
    • Fees: P100 entrance fee P150 for grape pickin
  • Ma-Cho Temple
  • Luna Church
  • Thunderbird Resort
  • Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
  • Camp Ave

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