Experiences and Stories of Biyaheng Palos

Experiences and Stories of  Biyaheng Palos
A Personal Travel Journal

Friday, December 04, 2015

Panagbenga 2016 Schedule of Events

February 1, 2016
Grand Opening Parade

February 2 – March 6, 2016
Baguio Blooms Exhibition and Exposition

February 8, 2016
Chinese Spring Festival

February 14, 2016
 Let a thousand Flowers Bloom
Panagbenga 2016 Kite-Flying Challenge
Panagbenga Variety Show

February 15 – 17, 2016
PMA Grand Alumni Homecoming

February 19 – 21, 2016
Floral Arrangement Competition
Barangay Clean and Green Landscaping Competition
School Based Landscaping Competition 

February 27, 2016
Grand Street Dancing Parade

February 28, 2016
Grand Float Parade

February 29 – March 4, 2016
Session Road in Bloom

March 5, 2016
Pony Boys Day

March 6, 2016
Panagbenga Closing Ceremonies and Grand Fireworks Display

Monday, October 12, 2015

The White House of Baguio City

The Laperal White House, was built in the 1920s. Located near the Teachers Camp, along Leonard Wood Road.

Rumors of paranormal presence began circulating even before the untimely death of Don Roberto Laperal, the head of the family.

History has it that the house became a garrison of the Japanese forces where they raped women, tortured and killed those who they thought were spies.

Ghost stories can be heard anywhere. Laperal House is indeed in the hall of famer as one of the most haunted place in the Philippines aside from the Diplomat Hotel, also located in Baguio City.

Presence of the white lady, the running child, the sound of chain tinkling and the lament of a lady are some of the so called supernatural occurrences at the property. Taxis and cars would honk when passing through the White House when the dark falls.

Though tagged "haunted", I say it is captivating. I am just a fan of the ghost stories. I can sometimes get goosebumps hearing the stories, but I actually roamed the house to the attic alone and stayed in the "sala" for about an hour recharging my phone. We were only 3 visitors at that time, the ladies were just sitting in the sofa. I had a small talk with them, I remember them saying, "naghihintay kami ng madaming aakyat".

I remember a friend. She haven't been to the house, even though the house was turned to a gallery of art because of the supposedly "strong presence" of the unseen. 

I once roamed the Diplomat Hotel and only found beautiful architecture from the past. If our thoughts are set for the more positive imagining, no place is too creepy, we just need to learn to teach one's self to be receptive to new ideas.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

To Mountain Province

Schedule of GL buses bound Sagada and Bontoc 
from Old Dangwa Terminal in Baguio City.

As of September 20, 2015

No Reservations.
Tickets are on First Come, First Served Basis.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Racuh-a-Idi Spring of Youth

Sitio Diura is a fishing village in Mahatao. But this trip is not in the common itinerary of South Batan Tour. Curiosity landed us there- to the legend of the Spring of Youth.  

The story goes like this: "Once there was a mother with 2 sick children, she brought them to different healers and still couldn't cure them. The children's situation are getting severe that the mom is hopeless of any cure. While they were on a strange place, an enchanted voice told the mother to let her children be soaked and drink water from the nearby stream. And she followed what the mysterious voice said. Just like where everything is possible, the children are back on their feet in a day. News scattered in various directions. Amazed by the healing property of the spring water, the community call it "Spring of Youth".

Today, the spring was enclosed in a manmade basin. The view of Mt. Iraya and the Pacific Ocean, enjoined by the trees sheltering the area added tranquility to the setting. Racuh-a-Idi (Racuaydi) spring is said to be visited by people believing in its healing potential..

Disclaimer: The story of Racuh-a-Idi Spring of Youth was based on what I understand from the story of our Guide. However, the story derived from the known tour operator in Batanes as we talked, is more elaborate. According to Ryan, the legend of the Spring of youth came from the old folks of Mahatao. Thank You Ryan Lara Cardona for the additional pieces of information, the story is now at the back of my head! Again, Thank you!

Sabtang, Batanes

Sabtang Island is about 30 minutes away from Ivana Port. Most tourists arrived at the port at around 7:00 in the morning. Locals said that there is an earlier boat to Sabtang at 6:00AM. 7:00AM are usually booked by the tour operators for their guests.

Sabtang comprises of 6 barangays or villages. But for a half day tour of the island, only the 4 neighboring villages can be rounded. Boat leave Sabtang for Ivana at noon time (depends on the tide). Lunch are prepared on the seaside in an open air shade. Have yourself a treat of coconut crab sold by the locals. Coconut crab garnering is a way of livelihood of the community in Sabtang. 

The Malakdang Lighthouse  aka Sabtang Lighthouse was under renovation and off limits to tourists, but I am persistent to see it, so I asked the guide to bring us nearer to see the lighthouse even from a fair distance.

Next stop is the famed Stone Arch of Sabtang and the Morong Beach. Here, I took my shirt off and bathed in the beach for like 5 minutes before having my shot at the arch to somehow lessen the people having their time of selfies and groupies with the arch. The beach is so inviting!

The sky is clear and the scenery of the Chamantad-Tinyan viewpoint is admirable, another paradise for picture addicts like me. 

I am covered in sweat, and out of extra shirt, I refreshed myself by sipping a fresh coconut juice for P20.00 from the vendors at the nipa hut stalls in the area, And I bought another shirt to replace my wet top. Also, I ate "lugaw" with egg for P12.00.

Next stop is Chavayan Village, a living museum of olden structures and cultures. The place is famed for its antiquated stone houses from over 100 years ago. I visited the home of the late Marcelo Hostallero, the then recognized oldest Ivatan (not in the picture)

Also from Chavayan Village in Sabtang, this place of worship is a memorable one.
To really experience what Sabtang Island has to offer, one has to stay overnight.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Batanes: South Tour

The sun is up and summer has just kissed Batanes, though the weather is unpredictable in this island, their dry season starts in June, as told.

South Batan Island Tour is about 7 hours, depends on how you or your group ponder the moment with the vividness of the surroundings. It is recommended to get a guided tour for this sightseeing. 

South Batan Island Tour as for my experience is not the typical "biking distance" trip. Though touring the island on a bike is more enjoyable and entirely different from touring on a motorized vehicle. I remember the night I can't feel my legs, from biking 3 hours just around Basco. But I did bike again the next morning and in the afternoon, and the next day, and the next. 

 Mahatao is an uphill-downhill terrain with zigzags, making that 6 kilometers from Basco beyond normal for biking. Ivana and Uyugan are farther with unpaved roads.

Among the tourist spots in Mahatao are, of course the Chawa View Deck, the Mahatao Boat Shelter Port, the Tayid Lighthouse aka Mahatao Lighthouse, the church of San Carlos Borromeo, the evergreen Racuh-a-Payaman and Racuh-a-Idi Spring of Youth.

Boats bound Sabtang is situated in Ivana, across the San Jose de Obrero church. 

The famous Honesty Coffee Shop is also placed near Ivana port.

Uyugan is the least populated municipality in Batan Island. The ruins of Song Song can be seen in this municipality. The Itbud Idjang or the "ancient fortress" can also be spotted.  

The village of  Imnajbu, according to history, is where the first mass in Batanes was held. 

Everywhere is picture worthy, From time to time, I have to tell the driver to stop to a certain area to savor the view and take pictures. 

Batanes is such a lovely place from all angles. I have no words to describe what it feels to be in this dreamy place. I was overwhelmed by the exquisiteness of the island. "Sleeping Beauty" is here sleeping still.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that biking the South is not possible. I just want to give a thought to those who would wish to just bike the entire Batan Island the possibility of exhaustion. Actually, I made an arrangement to just bike the entire Batan Island like what I read in blogs, but I'm glad I did not.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Batanes: North Tour

I am not a staycation person when it is nature, eco adventure or the beach. And I didn't pay to fly just to stay indoors on a sunshiny day. You can stay in your hotel or in your room  if you don't want to be entertained by the view. 

 Batanes comprises of 6 municipalities, out of the 6, 4 are located in Batan Island, the most populated Island of Batanes. 

 North Batan Island tour is a half day tour covered mostly biking distance from Basco town proper, but that "biking distance" doesn't necessarily mean anyone can bike around, 

Tukon church and Valugan Boulder beach are manageable to a certain level but I had to carry the bike at times, especially on the uphill trail.

It takes courage and stamina especially when you lost your way, like I did, while chasing the trail to Vayang Rolling Hills.

But getting lost brought me to another unplanned but favorable place like the Chadpidan Boulder beach 

Batanes is the manifestation that heaven and earth can, sometimes, trade over.

Disclaimer: I did not bike around the first time. I observed, mapped and get used to the streets before I did bike the town. It is better to have a knowledgeable guide to assist you or your group while on strange routes.