Experiences and Stories of Biyaheng Palos

Experiences and Stories of  Biyaheng Palos
A Personal Travel Journal

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Underneath the Moonlight

I put in mind that to travel is to educate one's self and be happily peaceful about everything.
It's not always the amount in my pocket that matters when going out for a trip.
Sometimes it is the inclination, if I focused my mind whether to pursue or just stay.
Traveling changed me in the sense that I enjoy the field more than at home.
I don't care if I walked for hours or travel for days as long as I feel like really going. 

"'Home' isn't necessarily where we were born", it could be some place genuinely comforting.
Traveling opened my eyes in the reality that nothing lasts forever.
People come and go, just like the scenes I saw while on the bus. 
A person's character varies according to culture, experience, perspective and approach.
The enjoyment of one traveling is more than experience and more than treasure.

The story of a wanderer don't just end when he wrote of his travels or when he had posted his pictures.
It's when he got back home, to his crib, in his comfortable bed and yet wanted to be out there in the grassy field, covered by branches of the trees, under the starry skies, beneath the moonlight.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Crappy Thoughts

Traveling made me irresponsible for other things at home.
Though I like everything cleaned and organized, there are just things I am a slob at. 
Yes, no one's perfect, we cannot plan everything, but we can always try, as I always believe.
Someone out there might be saying things I should have done first.
Yes, I failed to adhere to the needs of my child.
There might be a rational explanation to everything, but it's better I kept the reasoning to myself.

And for those people who don't get excited about traveling...

..I don't know what will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Panagbenga Festival 2015

 2015 will mark the 20th Panagbenga Festival, this will be a big event not only for the City of Baguio but also for the nearby municipalities and provinces.

Activities to start on February 1st and will last until the 8th of March 2015.

February 1, 2015 - Opening Ceremony with street dancing (Panagbenga Park to Baguio Athletic Bowl)

February 1 - 15, 2015 - Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition (Lake Drive)

February 15, 2015 - Variety Show and Kite Flying (Melvin Jones)

February 19, 2015 - Chinese Spring Festival (City Wide)

February 20 - 22, 2015 - PMA Grand Alumni Homecoming (PMA Loakan Road)

February 23 - 27, 2015 - Landscaping Competition 

February 28, 2015 - Grand Street Dancing Parade

March 1, 2015 - Grand Float Parade

March 1 - 8, 2015 - Session Road in Bloom

March 7, 2015 - Pony Boys' Day (Baguio Athletic Bowl)

March 8, 2015 - Closing Ceremony and Grand Fireworks Display (Baguio Athletic Bowl)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket

According to the legend - Once upon a time, there was a family who made fortune by fishing, and then one day came an old tramp who begged for food from Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket. Since they are like the "fishing magnate" in the village, they acted high and mighty that they pay no attention to the lament of the pitiful, old beggar, no matter what. Swollen with greed the couple were, the strange, old tramp foredoomed their family. As the strange, old tramp vanish into thin air, the couple became uneasy and hurriedly looked for their child who happened to be playing on the other side of the coast. Slowly, their child turned to a mass of rock. Baket-Baket gradually turned to rock as well, and before Lakay-Lakay  realized he's sorry, he himself was turned. This is why Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket stood each at other in Taggat while their child, Ubing-Ubing was on Sentinela Cove. 

These extraordinary rock formations in Claveria are dubbed as the sentinel of the fisher folks of the town, it symbolizes the great morals of sharing and compassion, despite the fact that Lakay-Lakay, Baket-Baket and Ubing-Ubing was given a harsh anecdote.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Happening every November 1, just before sundown, the people from the town of Sagada in the Mountain Province gather in the cemetery at the hill and would ignite a "saeng" near the graves of their departed kin. This custom is also known as the Sagada Festival of Fire as Panag-Apoy literally means "to produce fire".

Instead of the conventional candle, the populace of Sagada made a bonfire from pine wood, which is very locally available. The blaze would light the burial ground as dusk enveloped the community. This tradition is an acceptable church activity of the Anglicans in the town. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa Ruins are what left of the church that was destroyed by the eruption of Mayon volcano in 1814. Now, developed into a park and one of the most visited landmark in the province of Albay.

The bell tower became the symbol of vigor for the Bicolanos, since it stood the test of time for 2 centuries.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Malabrigo Point Lighthouse

The stories of the olden lighthouses are music to my ears. There is this "force" in their architecture that enchants me, they are like the long lost "loves" of my life.

I traveled approximately 300 km to reach Lobo, Batangas to meet the beautiful Faro de Punta Malabrigo.

Situated atop the hill of Malabrigo village, the lighthouse was adopted by the family of the swimmer, Akiko Thomson, protected and maintained to conserve its charm.

Every lighthouse and settlements have their ghastly stories to tell, but despite of the eerie tales, their magnificence and charisma always stands out.

Wishing  every lighthouses we inherited from the past will be preserved too. They don't just serve as a guiding light but a symbol of courage and hope, for a brighter future.

Bus to Batangas City (via Calabarzon for speedy travel time)
Alight at Balagtas Terminal
Ride a jeepney bound SM Batangas City (2 rides)
From SM, walk the route of Ayala/Libjo bound PUJs or ride a jeepney with signboard Libjo and tell the driver to drop you off at the jeepney terminal going to Lobo.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Only a handful of tourists can be spotted in the island of Calayan, since the visit to this island is already an adventure. Enduring the 5 hour outrigger boat ride, called 'lampitaw", while watching flying fishes and dolphins following the trail of the motorized boat.

Its name according to the locals was derived from the word "laya", which means ginger in Ibanag language. The place was surrounded by ginger in the early times.

Once you've stepped in the soil of Calayan, you'll feel like transported to the days of the old. Calayan is not just the rolling hills, the cliffs, the beautiful beaches and the extraordinary landscapes. The food especially seafoods are cooked fresh, lobsters can be in a complete meal of less than P180.00.

The island offers hiking, beach hopping, camping and stargazing. Most spots and the beaches are virgin in their own definition- no loud partying, no huts, its just you, the beach and the sky.

The simplicity of Calayan Island make it one of the the most picturesque. Growth may be inevitable but hoping this Island will retain its humbling environment. There is real beauty in being simple.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lampitaw, the Ride

From dolphins to the flying fishes of the Babuyan Channel.
Dancing with the wild waves and getting wet all along.  
This is the fun and excitement of the Lampitaw Ride.
It's more fun in Calayan Island!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chance to be better..

People have different approach to what happens in their lives. 

Some talk of their problems, and some don’t. Being quiet doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to talk about anything, but there’s so much peace in stillness. Let’s just say I talk more of my happiness more than my down moments. When I feel like wanting to lay low, I hide in my cave and kept my silence. If difficulties persist and I can no longer carry the burden, it’s the only time I talk about it and ask for a hand. Life is too short to waste a minute for those negative thoughts. 

Live without regrets. Live without stress. 
They’re just problems, everyone has it. I don’t want to own it. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chocolate Hills and the Fog

It was a gloomy morning, the bus has left the Integrated Bus Terminal or IBT bound to Carmen via the interior route. I seated behind the driver's seat and ate the "bibingka" I bought from the vendor while the mini bus is at halt. 

It was an uneasy journey knowing most of the olden churches that we passed through are destroyed by the earthquake that shook the island. I cannot remember how long the trip went, it was like dirt road all along,  but I  remember descending at the Chocolate Hills complex intersection.

From the intersection, I rode the habal-habal to the Chocolate Hills complex. Pay the necessary fees and walked the stairs to the viewing deck.

I waited longer to see if the fog would evaporate to see the Chocolate Hills in its true ID but that never happened. But there's no reason for me to frown or feel disappointed. On the brighter side, I had my camera on and had a picture of the famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol on one foggy morning. 

Friday, May 09, 2014


You may forget time while on travel.
Traveling makes you fail to adhere to the needs of your family.
Traveling might change your attitude.
Traveling makes you wander more.
Wandering  might leave you without savings.

Have you given something to someone
and brought smile to their face?
Have you tried reaching out to people whom you never knew
and yet you felt their attachment to you?
Or have you helped a community and experienced their well being?

These are some of the unforgettable and explicit memories of my travels.
I extended my hand not because I have more, but of gratitude.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse of Burgos

After the disappointments in Batac, I headed to Laoag and took Daxxel Bus going to Pagudpud.I dropped off at the Bojeador Lighthouse intersection. From there I walked about 15 minutes uphill to reach the carpark of Burgos Lighthouse. It's only the crazy and the adventurous walk uphill and I am all sweat. Haha. So before taking the stairs to the lighthouse, I ate ice cream to cool myself down. 

This is the 3rd time I'll be meeting with the Burgos lighthouse and I am always enthralled by their magnificence and their good old tales.

Cape Bojeador or Burgos Lighthouse was declared a National Historical Landmark and National Cultural Treasure by the government. This Spanish Colonial Lighthouse was first lit in March of 1892.

The present caretaker is the 4th generation warden of Cape Bojeador lighthouse.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vigan City and the old world charm

In Vigan, the birds are chirping as early as 3 in the morning. 

Vigan city was established in the 16th century and became an important trading post in the early times. When Juan de Salcedo founded this town, he named it Villa Fernandina in honor of the son of King Philip II and later on renamed Ciudad Fernandina de Bigan. Vigan's name was derived from the river called Bigan. 

The city of Vigan is on UNESCO world heritage list. 

The good thing about Vigan is knowing you're safe to roam the streets even at night, but walking the calle Crisologo all by yourself when the whole town is asleep can be hair-raising, watching the street light flicker as you pass by the antiquated houses. 

From the Heritage city, every spot is just a walk away. It's almost sunrise and the Vigan church opened its side doors so I sneaked in. Then walked the Ilocos Sur Capitol grounds to the national highway and hiked to Bantay church nearby before heading to my next destination. 

Non-airconditioned buses ply the route bound Laoag on regular basis, but if you wish to go to Pagudpud or Cagayan, check GMW transit stationed in the gasoline station, very near the Vigan arch. 

*CLICK on thumbnails to show larger picture

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Taggat Lagoon and the Tale of the Rocks

 Claveria at the north tip of mainland Luzon is mysteriously lovable place. 
From the mini waterfalls, to lagoon, to cove and to everything simple and nice.

The village of Taggat is where a lagoon can be found, a preferred swimming and beach bumming destination. The place is shielded from the immense waves by natural boulders of rock, trapping the composed sea water in a basin-like enclosure, calling it a lagoon. 

During the summer months, the coast of Taggat are filled with people immersing themselves in  the lagoon to beat the heat. Children can swim safely in the lagoon, with adults supervision, without worrying to a great extent that they might be carried by the waves away into the open sea. Just extra precaution stepping on the rocks, they are at times slippery.

Taggat is where the renowned rock formations can be witnessed and was even made distinct and illustrious by its legend, the Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Flowers and Dancers

Aside from the cold weather and the scenic landmarks, Baguio City's huge crowd drawer is the Panagbenga Festival. "Panagbenga", meaning "the season of blooming" in Kankanaey language, is a must see festival in the country.

Highlight of the festival is the Street Dance where performers from competing schools in Baguio would dance to the beat of lyres and drums, entertaining the spectators with their performances. Also performing are ethnic groups from other parts of the Cordilleras.

Also, main feature of the festival is the Grand Float Parade, where every participating floats are adorned with flowers and street dancers and familiar faces in the Philippine showbiz and other celebrities.

Panagbenga is a month-long celebration in Baguio City.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Boracay and the Adventures

 If there is a place worth visiting despite of the noise, the partying crowd, and the too commercialized establishments around, that would be the island of Boracay. This is a piece of heaven on earth where fun, food, booze and excitement never cease.

It is a wrong notion that visiting this island paradise would cost you a fortune. Just take extra precautions on what you wish to buy and the services you wish to avail. Haggle like a pro. Leave when ignored. 

You may want to go on with the water adventures. Most tour coordinators around are under the same operator, so before making a deal, be sure it won't hurt your pocket. Haggling is island-wide, be smart enough on how to lower their rates especially if you're on a group.

 Since I've tried helmet diving, parasailing is one super fun venture.  

  The next day, you may want to pursue on island hopping to see the other side of Boracay Island, from beach hopping to snorkeling to another adventure of "flyfish-ING".

 Before sunset, you can go on ziplining in the island's highest spot.

Just some of "What To Do's" while in the Philippines famous beach. 
If you just wish to relax and enjoy the beach, the island is big enough to accommodate everyone even on peak season.