DIY Travel Guide to the Land of the Howling Winds






Oh, it's been a while since my last post (missed me? lol), and this travel guide will be more of a throwback since it happened last November 11-15, 2017. The good news is, I was able to save the itinerary for this DIY travel. So no worries! I gotcha,  my friend! <3


DIY Travel Guide: Aklan + Romblon Trip


     

I had a long time plan on traveling alone in an off the beaten path island here in the Philippines. And finally, I was able to make it happen last month. It was the most memorable travel I ever had, not just because I was able to experience a solo trip, but a life-changing event happened just before we end our journey in Romblon. 

My Monkey Prize: Free Accommodation and Tour to El Nido!



I recently won in a blogging contest by Two Monkeys Travel from which I was entitled to a trip to El Nido, Palawan: Free 3 days & 2 nights stay at the Ocean Vista Inn and free Island Hopping tours (A & C) courtesy of Sealand Venture. If you would like to check my winning piece, (shameless plug he he) here's the link.

Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon Twin Day Hike



Looking for a not-so-hardcore-climb with beautiful scenery + side trip adventures which is just 2-3 hours away from Manila? :) A twin day hike to Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon is the best place to be for the newbies in mountaineering and even for those experienced ones who just want a chill climb over the weekend. Biak-na-Bato National Park boasts not just only these two mountains, but as well as some outdoor adventures like spelunking in Madlum and Bayukbok Caves, swimming at the very refreshing Madlum River or try crossing their Monkey bridge over the river! 


How to Get There?

  • Take a bus bound to Cabanatuan from Cubao or Pasay (we took the FiveStar Bus from Pasay, but Baliwag Transit and ES Transport also offers the same trip). Ask the driver first if it will pass by San Miguel, Bulacan. The signage from our bus is Gapan San Miguel. Travel time is about 2-3 hours from Pasay.
The Bus going to San Miguel Bulacan
  • Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Sibul, from there, ride a tricycle to Sitio Madlum. Travel time is around 45 mins. 
  • Go to the registration area and choose the adventures you want to take.

We took the day hike to Mt. Manalmon plus an additional 200 php for Mt. Gola
Each visitor needs to sign at the registration area and present the confirmation email of your booking. Yes, they already require everyone to send an email first to Mr. Rodrigo Florencio (rrboyflorencio@yahoo.com) for your hiking intent as they closely monitor the river to avoid tragedy to happen again during rainy days because seven students already drowned there last August 2014 during their tragic field trip in Mt. Manalmon. (read more here.

Our guide, kuya francis giving us some briefing on do's and don'ts. 
   

Trail Map of Madlum Caves


Yes, you'll be greeted with loads of warnings, do's and don't in the registration area. They strictly implement the rules so you better follow it! ;)

We started our trek to Mt. Gola at around 09:58 am, we pass through this small cave along the trail.


  
The trail going to Mt. Gola, It was February 13 when we're there, can you spot the heart-shaped cloud? <3 



It was really hot during that day so we took a dip in the refreshing river in between the Mt. Gola (left) and Mt. Manalmon. (right)

We continued the trek to Mt. Gola Summit.

We reached the Mt. Gola summit at around 11:50 am. We had our lunch there before going to Mt. Manalmon.

We continued our trek to Mt. Manalmon at 12:50 pm, there are 2 trails that you can choose from. The first one was the long easy trail but you need to endure the scorching heat of the sun, the other one was the short with trees surrounding but very steep trail. We chose the second one as it was really hard for us to endure the heat of the sun that time.




We reached the summit of Mt. Manalmon with 169 MASL at 01:55 pm. After taking some photos and rest at the summit, we continued our trek going back to registration area at 02:40 pm. We're supposed to go spelunking at the caves but our guide told us that caves 1-6 (which are the exciting but difficult ones) are currently closed by DENR as they need to explore first how safe the caves are for the guests so we just decided to return there when they open it again.


Chasing Waterfalls Series: The Famous Hulugan Falls!



I am not really a fan of mainstream tourist places, but I just couldn't stop myself from jumping into the bandwagon this time. The waterfalls in Luisiana (pronounced as Loo-sha-na)  Laguna is getting too much attention that you just couldn't ignore, so when we had the chance to witness its beauty last January 26, 2016, we grabbed the opportunity thinking that there aren't too many people on a weekday. 




DIY travel guide to Bolinao, Pangasinan



This will be my first blog post for the 2016, and my first ever travel to Pangasinan. I was invited by a friend to join them in their trip to Bolinao. We left the FiveStar Pasay Bus terminal on January 22 at 9:10 pm. The aircon bus fare is 469 php. We arrived in the Bolinao town proper at 03:00 am so we decided to eat our breakfast at a 24 hour eatery named "Adora's", you can tell the tricycle driver to bring you there if you arrived earlier as well. 

We then proceeded to Bolinao falls 2 (not so catchy, I know. hehe) to take some rest in one of their cottages, cottage rate is 200 php and and an entrance fee of 50 php.








Travel Guide: Negros Island + Siquijor


Alam mo yung feeling na may mga travel goals ka pero it did not happened the way you planned it? Yes, frustrating and nakakalungkot pero minsan yung mga failed plans pala e may redirection that you never expect will result into something better. A few months back, I organized a climb to Visayas highest mountain which is Mt. Kanlaon, but the sleeping  volcano suddenly spews ash last November 23, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology then gave an alert level 1 making the mountain temporarily closed for hikers. So yes, our event was cancelled but since we already have tickets, we pursued with our Bacolod trip.




This happened last November 27-3. Here's our slightly planned, spontaneous travel trip itinerary for Negros Island + Siquijor.

DAY 1: Strolling around Negros Municipal

Mambukal Resort Entrance



Butterfly Garden at Mambukal Resort







Mambukal Falls

DAY 1
05:25 am ETD Bacolod Airport
05:30 am Van to jollibee
06:45 am Stroll around municipal of Negros Occidental
06:57 am Walk from city hall to Libertad
07:00 am Ride yellow jeep (libertad) going to libertad terminal (7 php each)
07:24 am Arrival at libertad terminal, ride ordinary bus going to Mambukal (35 php each)
08:44 am ETA Mambukal (50 php entrance fee)
09:30 am Butterfly garden (20 php entrance fee)
11:00 am lunch (203 php for 3 persons)
12:00 nn start falls exploration
02:52 pm Finished mambukal falls exploration (69 php each donation for guide fee and 7th falls plus bottled water)
03:00 pm Hot spring (50 php entrance fee)
05:00 pm ETD Mambukal
06:00 pm ETA Bacolod (Bus35 php, jeep 7 php)
07:00 pm Dinner at manokan (173 php)
09:45 pm ETD Bacolod (van 616 sharing from Talinis group)
11:30 pm ETA Mabinay Ceres






The Majestic Niludhan Falls