Isla Gigantes: Nature’s Amazing Creations

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Iloilo is truly a rich destination to visit. NO! We are not talking about the internal revenue allotment or the fiscal standing of the province but the wealth in culture and folklore, natural resources and tourist destinations.

One of the not-so-widely known tourist destinations in the province is the “Isla Gigantes” which is located north of the province near Carles and Estancia. Isla Gigantes (Spanish term for “giant islands”) consists of many islands both privately and publicly owned.

The municipality of Carles is vigilant of the blooming tourism in the area thus they assure the travelling folks that more means of transportation will be provided, problems with electricity be solved, and the development and maintenance of the islands be strictly regarded.

When I was invited by my pal Dexter for a summer adventure with his family in Carles, I immediately said a booming “yes.” I prepared all my things straightaway because it was a shotgun invitation and I didn’t want to miss this valuable chance of a lifetime.

It takes an approximate amount of 2.5-3 hours worth of travel time from Iloilo City to Carles via private car but if via bus it can take more likely 3-hours. When we arrived at the Carles Port, immediately we loaded the ferry boat and made ourselves comfortable. Then we were off!

Our first stop was the well-known hidden salt water lagoon popularly known as “Tangke.” Watch out though since some rocks are slippery and pointy. You can hear birds chirping beautifully and there were also monkeys hiding in the shadows but alas they were too afraid to come down and be fed because of our noises. Swimming in the cool waters of the lagoon was a great experience and while floating and looking at big rock formations and the big blue sky, you can imagine how beautiful this planet really is especially with all its natural wonders and creations.

big rocks

entrance

guardian

near entrance

whole plae

pool 2 pool rock swimming

Our next stop was the Kabugaw Island. It is a small island with white sand, clear waters, and beautiful corals and pebbles. Photographers are able to take a full shot of the island once they climb the rocky formations up to its peak.

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Next destination, we made a quick stop in Pasil Island where we witnessed a trail of sand. Ferry boats can drop off tourists from the end of the trail and let them walk the sandy path to the island.

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Next, we made a stop at Atoneya Island where we were able to discover a cave that residents say may be a tunnel that leads to Pillar (an area in Capiz popularly known for its big statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary n top of a hill). We were not able to go deep inside the cave though because we didn’t have a tour guide to assist us.

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Thereafter, we arrived at Granada Island. In the island, tourists can visit the lighthouse and another cave that is said to be a tunnel network to Negros Occidental. Being at the top of the lighthouse is breath-taking and inside the cave gives you goose bumps all over.

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We were able to visit those islands in approximately 8 hours and we had our lunch and snacks inside the ferry boat while sailing. This strategy conserved a lot of precious time to be used for adventure time. I give my Isla Gigantes two thumbs up for the awesome scenery and amazing adventure. If I was only able to explore the caves then I would have given it 4 thumbs up (including my toes).

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Baguio City: A Cool Adventure!

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Introduction

Baguio City is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. If you love the warm climate and beach ambiance in Boracay then you will surely love the cool breeze and a touch of nature feeling in the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Brief History
Baguio City was not a known destination until the American colonial period. The Americans were the ones who declared Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines on July 1, 1903. They were also the ones who contributed to the architectural designs and landscapes that you can see today when you visit the place. You will know eventually when you reach spots like Burnham Park and Wright Park, both named after recognized icons in Baguio History.
The Chaotic Travel
Baguio City has its own airport, the Loakan Airport, but it does not cater domestic flights like any other domestic airports of other regions because of its limited runway length. Therefore, it is more of an adventure to base your starting point in Manila then just take a bus-ride to Baguio City. It would typically take about 5-8hours worth of travel time depending on weather conditions and traffic.
Buses bound for Baguio:

I went to Baguio with my buddies, we traveled somewhere around 10-PM so that we can just sleep the long travel time and then reach the beautiful city early morning, somewhere 6-AM. We rode the JoyBus of Genesis Transport, which was truly a comfortable experience, and I really recommend this one instead of the Victory Liner. Although, first-come-first-serve basis, you need to call them for reservations. For a fare of 650PHP, it already came with comfortable seats, free snacks, free WIFI, a comfort room, and a blanket (surrendered after the trip).
This trip was not specifically as planned yet having no specific plans is a lot more exciting, LOL. We arrived somewhere around 5-AM, with no hotels or inns reserved. We walked the inner city, shivering, looking for vacant rooms but to no avail. We were tired and sleepy yet the cool breeze kept us awake until we were able to find a transient home to rest until the sun rises. It was not a good move not to have a reserved accommodation, we learned and I found out that there are many posted affordable transient homes for rent in the internet especially at AyosDito.ph.
A Wonderful Sight and Feeling
It is true that Baguio City was not what it look liked 10-years ago but its tourist destinations are still intact and still there are plenty of trees to look at. Upon refreshing up for the morning, we rented a taxi for our endeavors (for noobs), and it cost as much as 2,500PHP for a whole day of travel needs. We went to places like:
Philippine Military Academy
Camp John Hay

Lourdes Grotto

Strawberry Farm

Mines View Park

We were no longer able to go to other tourist spots because we only gave ourselves a whole day’s worth of adventure. I know that you would need more time than just that. Some say that a whole week is still not enough. Anyways, I’ll come back soon to fully experience the beauty of Baguio City.

Here is a website that contains more information if you want to visit the Summer Capital: Go Baguio!

See ya!

Adventure & Tranquility at Mila’s Hill Inland Beach Resort

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Summer has finally ended thus say hello to cold and rainy days. There are others who want to stay at home and recollect those fun and enjoyable memories during their summer vacation. While it’s perfectly clear that the rainy season has finally come due to several days of strong winds and dark clouds with a chance of frightening lightning strikes, I still wanted to maximize my remaining time with my family relatives. When they asked me if I wanted to come with them for an outing at Mila’s Hill Inland Resort, I immediately said YES with a big smile on my face.

The day of the outing was not what I had expected. The weather was bad due to heavy rain and strong winds and I thought to myself, this trip will surely be cancelled. Yet, I was wrong. My family relatives, regardless of the bad weather condition, still went on with the plan. We went to the resort riding a private car to Mila’s Hill Inland Resort, located at Pasil, New Lucena, Iloilo. It took a 30-45min. worth of travel time via private car from Jaro Plaza as our starting point to the resort.
Upon arriving at the resort, most of the things you will see are green and land. Less big buildings and developed pavements. For those who want to go to the resort in the near future, you should truly consider either renting a van or securing a private car. Travelling via public utility vehicle is troublesome. The resort is not yet fully developed because I can still see a lot of construction and renovations being done in the area. Besides that, witness a peaceful and exciting spot loaded with many pleasurable and thrilling activities to execute.
They had five different pools for different people. There was one that looks like a big tub, another one that was small with a pool depth of 5-ft., good for barkada swimming. The other two are for the kiddies that looked like bowls, and finally the big pool that increases depth as you go nearer the area of the slide. YES people, there is a BIG SLIDE!

I tried all five but mostly stayed in the small pool with my cousins. It was truly a cold swimming experience due to heavy rain and chilly gusty winds. Yet, I enjoyed it like its still summer.
There are lots of cool things which you can do, as well, in the resort. You can try taking a small hike and take photos of different animals. You can go inside the aviary to see the many different types of pigeons and rabbits. You can also ride the breathtaking Zipline, 100-m. in length. You may also want to try out horseback riding for a couple of minutes or so.
Ostrich
Aviary at the back
Golden Pheasant
Peacock
Persian Cat
Phil. Eagle
Sea Eagle
Guinea Fowl
Dear
Parrot
Civet Cat
Crocodile
Me holding an Ostrich Egg
Me with a Parrot
Python
Me holding the python
In conclusion, this resort is an awesome place to relax and have some fun with family, friends and loved ones. It is a thumbs-up travel destination for adventurers.

Such a lovely place, such a lovely face!


Contact details of Mila’s Hill Inland Resort:

  •         Landline: (033) 396-9698
  •         Mobile: 0999-7797-387 / 0919-9310-260
  •         Website: http://milashill.blogspot.com/
  •         E-mail add.: milashill.inlandresort@gmail.com

Guisi Clearwater Beach Resort

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A person who’s fond of swimming on clear waters will surely love this place. This marvelous destination is located in Guisi, Dolores, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. It will only take you about 30-45min. worth of travel time via boat and public utility vehicle.
Brgy. Ortiz Port Terminal to Guimaras.
Approaching the Port of Jordan, Guimaras.
Guisi is well-known to be as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Guimaras due to the pre-war built Guisi Parola Lighthouse. As a result, the Guisi Clearwater Beach Resort was established to further seize the attention of visiting tourists, both local and foreign.

What you’ll find in this fun and relaxing place are clear waters, pebble-like particles on the beach front and corals of different sizes. This destination is perfect for family get-aways, barkada trips, and other occasions. Recreational activities within the area are boating, swimming, fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
What are you waiting for? Add this on your next list of adventure trips with family and friends and enjoy memorable events with them in this tranquil site. It is surely more fun in the Philippines!
Curious endeavors!

MIAG-AO: A POINT OF CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL WEALTH

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Located in Western Visayas – Region VI, specifically Iloilo, and considered as one of the biggest municipalities of the Philippines consisting of 119 barangays (also known as a village or district which originated from the Malay term “balangay” which meant sailboat) and just about 40-km. southwest from the city. A 45 min. to 1 hour travel from Iloilo Terminal Market “Super” (near Robinson’s Place), Molo Bus Terminal or Mohon Terminal.
Long ago, this distant village and its neighboring towns were most often invaded by Moro Pirates thus it lead to the migration of some of its inhabitants and relocation of most settlements closer to the city to avoid the scourge of Moro Pirates which resulted to the difficulty of its progression and of becoming a significant location to the outside world.
Today, it is a recognized travel destination wealthy of cultural and historical inheritances. It is in here where one of four Baroque Churches of the Philippines enlisted under the UNESCO World Heritage List can be located and home of one of the most outstanding educational institutions in the Southern Philippines, the University of the Philippines Visayas – Miag-ao Campus.
HOME OF A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church, a Baroque Church of the Philippines built by the Spanish Augustinian missionaries in 1786 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site proclaimed in 1993.  This structure is a collection of four Spanish period churches in the Philippines. Its architecture dates back during the Spanish colonial period when Christianity was introduced to the people of the country and seemingly the only period when the Church and the State were considered as one entity.
Because of many conflicts regarding this idealism and with other religions, specifically the Muslims, most of these churches were mostly invaded by its enemies thus these structures were garrisoned and transformed into a defensive structure therefore mostly represents a defensive fortress rather than a remarkable building of worship.

Gazing upon the front view of the Sto. Tomas de Villanueve Church, you will notice that it is bordered with two belfries (a form of medieval siege tower) and outwardly designs such as a coconut tree at the top, a statue of the Sto. Niño at the center and with flora and fauna figures in some parts. The whole façade reveals the past way of life of the Miagaowanons and for them the coconut tree was considered as the tree of life and one of their most important native products.

SALAKAYAN FESTIVAL: EMPOWERING THE LEGACY

Weeks after the Kasadyahan and the Dinagyang festival of Iloilo City, there’s still another recognized festival within the province limits known as the Salakayan Festival of Miag-ao. This festival dates back to May 7, 1754, a recorded battle when Moro pirate invaders, coming from the shores, “salakay” or attacked the natives to steal their goods and belongings. Village defenders came to the rescue and fought bravely to protect its people and livelihood.
Today, to commemorate such historical event, the Miag-ao government organized the Salakayan Festival, a week-long festival every first week of February. The festival is composed of various activities such as Food Fairs, Trade Fairs, Fluvial Parades, Visual Presentations and so much more. One of the highlights of the festival was the re-enactment of the historical event via a street dance competition, depicting artistic and creative choreography and direction of how the event transpired. The festivity was meant to empower the rich history and culture of the municipality and attract tourists, letting them realize that after the city’s big celebration, the party is not yet over and that its still more fun in Iloilo especially in Miag-ao.
Parade of Volkswagen Beetle Cars
A RENOWNED INSTITUTION OF HONOR AND EXCELLENCE


With regards to the University of the Philippines school campus in Iloilo City, there’s another campus found in Miag-ao, built during the time of UP President Emil Q Javier. A renowned campus that mainly focuses on educating students on the fields of aquaculture, marine science, fish processing, food science and many other arts and sciences.

Statue of the Nymph of the Sea

An outstanding school for fresh high school graduates who have passions and aspirations with respect to Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. You will really love the place because at one thing, the school is built very close to the shores thus not only will you be able to study scientific facts and ideas indoors but also appreciate the outdoor beauties that nature offers.