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Guimaras Island: Nueva Valencia Island Tour

Guimaras is the home for the famous sweetest and the best varieties of mango of the Philippines. Guimaras is a small island in the Visayas Region. It is also best to visit the island during summer especially in May to witness the Manggahan Festival held every May 11-22.

How to get there

From Iloilo City, we went to Ortiz Wharf and took a 20-minute pump boat ride to Jordan Wharf. From there we asked local policemen how to get to Nueva Valencia where we booked our resort. He told us to ride a jeep going to Nueva Valencia. There are multicabs in the area, but hiring one would be expensive so my friend and I opted for cheaper transportation, a jeep for only Php 45.00 for 45 minutes to one hour depending on the jeep. The jeep was full of passenger, my friend and I were already at the end of the jeep uncomfortably sitting on a piece of wood.

Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod

We told the barker to drop us going to Alubihod. We got off a gas station in an intersection going to Alubihod. From there we rode a tricycle going to Raymen Beach Resort in Alubihod. Upon checking in and since it was already almost 5 in the afternoon, we decided to check Alubihod beach and enjoyed the water with other tourists. Raymen also sumptuous food and the famous mango.

The following morning, we availed of the island hopping tour from Raymen Beach Resort and they helped us with the local boatman. It was still early in the morning and the sun was rising from the horizon. The first place we went to was our local boatman’s house where he fetched a tour guide for us. Our first island was the Ave Maria Island

It is a small island where the sand bars disappear during hightide. And since it was very early, we get to enjoy the small sand bar all by ourselves. The water was clear here and we took a short swim.

Across Ave Maria Island was the turtle sanctuary where we got to see a huge turtle. The island was surrounded by rock formations and a nice beach.

Baras Cave

Our next stop was the small cave of Baras Cave. Nice went inside the small cave with the rock formation.

Lamurawan Beach Resort

From Baras Cave, we went to Lamurawan Beach Resort. This island has a beautiful garden and is open to tourists to take pictures. We were able to talk to the caretakers of the garden. From Lamurawan, we could see the 7 small islands.

Natago Beach Resort

Our next destination was Natago Beach Resort. It was a resort and a secluded island. We tour the whole beach and were able to talk to the owner. It was my favorite beach on our tour because of the landscape, the sand bar between water with the rock formation and clear water with the visible school of fish.

Isla Naburot

 

We also check out the Fairy Castle and Isla Naburot.

Coron Island Tour

Coron has many islands tour packages to choose from. And since we were there for 3 days and 2 nights, we arranged for the basic tour. Our tour package is Island Tour A. There are upto 5 island tours to choose from.

CYC Island

We then availed the island tour that we booked and went to the tour operator.  The first island was the CYC of Coron Youth Club island, a small island with white sand beach and a mangrove.


From CYC, we went to the snorkelling area in Coral Garden. My three companions went to snorkel here and found diverse species swimming in the waters and the corals underneath.

Twin Peak Reefs

The next stop is Twin Peak Reefs, named after the two islets found in the area. I joined in for the snorkeling.

Bulungan Beach

We had our lunch in Bulungan Beach. It was included in the package where we shared the prepared lunch with the different tourist in our boat. We had grilled fish, liempo and seaweed salad. Tall limestone cliffs surrounded the area. After lunch we also enjoy the water here.

Hidden Lagoon

The fifth stop was the Hidden Lagoon with amazing rock formation and clear turquoise water. I was busy here trying to get a great picture of the limestone cliffs in a lush of green trees.

Kayangan Lake

Our final destination was the Kayangan lake. We then had a short trekked and found the most photographed spot where most of the tourist post during their island tour in Coron. It was a beautiful view from above of the cliffs in the waters.
We then went back to the muddy trail with stiffed rocks. We found the lake where there were pathways of wood at the sides. We left our things because clear water was inviting that made us jump to swim.


After the tour we head back to the Inn. We had dinner at Lolo Nonoy’s Food Station. It was not enough for a 3 days and 2 nights in Coron. There were so many islands and tourist spots that were still on my list. And I would definitely going back there.

For other post about Coron, please check: Coron: Mount Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring

Coron: Mount Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring

Coron is one of the tourist destinations in Palawan. It is one of the island on the top of Palawan. You have to take the Busuanga Airport. The Busuanga Airport was thirty minutes drive to Coron town proper. We were fetched by an airport transfer and we stayed in R2R Bayview Inn.


We then looked for a place to have lunch. We walked to the town and found La Sirenetta Bar and Restaurant. You have to walk in the bridge to get to the restaurant. The walls of the restaurant were painted and shaped into mermaids. They serve Italian and we ordered pizza and pasta. You could also see the cross of Mount Tapyas from the restaurant.

Mount Tapyas

We then ventured the Mount Tapyas. There were four of us, but there only three of us who made it on the top. We had so many stops to rest going up.

But as you go up, the spectacular scenery of the islands from Coron were viewed. We could see the restaurant from the middle part of the stairs.


We took a long rest in the area with a shade because the sun was so hot. When we were about a few steps away from the top, there were many tourists who were cheering us to finish the stairs. And voila, we were looking at the cross of Mount Tapyas.

When we were on top, we went around the area to see the different view from above. The different islands and the waters of Coron were lining up from different directions.

Maquinit Spring

When we went down and went back R2R Bayview Inn. We decided to go to Maquinit Hot Spring. It was a natural salt water hot spring. It was raining when we were already swimming in the hot.


We then had our dinner in the town.

Puerto Princesa City Tour

What are the other places we can see in Puerto Princesa City? Here are some of the places to see. Upon checking out to Sheridan Beach Resort we then had our city tour before going back to Manila. The first stop was Baker’s Hills.

Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill is one of the tourist attraction in Palawan. It is located on top of the hill and the store is also famous for Palawan’s baked goods and delicious bread. There is also a theme park on the top of the hill. The park also different stores and restaurants to accommodate tourists. The park has different character figures in a beautiful landscape. It is located at Mitra Road, Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa.

Binuatan Weaving Creations

We then went to Binuatan Weaving Creations, a manufacturer of handloom woven products utilizing Palawan’s fiber. They have placemats, wallets, slippers and other authentic Palawan products made of fibers and endemic grasses. We were able to try weaving as part of their program.

Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral and the Plaza Cuartel

Our next stop is the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral and the Plaza Cuartel. They are located at Rizal Avenue and was established as the Apostolic Prefecture in Palawan, and then became Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan. Behind the church is Plaza Cuartel, which is known for the ruins of old garrisons and tunnels.

Kahlui Restaurant

We then had our lunch in Kalui Restaurant along Rizal Avenue in Puerto Princesa. It serves a buffet lunch. The restaurant has also great decorations and paintings.

For other posts about Palawan, please check Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Tour Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Early morning we went to the rock side formation at the edge of the Sabang Beach. It was low tide during that time. From the rocky area, you will see the mountain range was Sabang Beach is nestled.
Sheridan Beach Resort is just a few minutes away from the Sabang Port. We walked from Sheridan to and we find the Palawan Bearcat along the trail.
We lined up with the other tourists who were availing the tour to the Underground River. We also waited for our permit from Palawan Subterranean River Tour Office to be able to get inside the Puerto Princesa’s pride and number one tourist destination.


After 20 minutes of boat rides, we were in National Park. We transferred at the riverside for a small boat with a tour guide to explain the tour process and to share the story about the wonderful cave.
and the river is called Puerto Princesa Underground River. It is a protected area located at the Saint Paul Mountain Range approximately 80 kilometers north of the city center of Puerto Princesa. It is the longest underground river which is navigable for 8.2 kilometers and the cave system is 24 kilometers. It was also inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999 and chosen as one of the New Seven Wonder of Natures in 2011. The river is flowing directly to the West Philippine Sea.


The opening of the cave features a lagoon and limestone karst mountain landscape. As we enter the cave, the light was only coming from the flashlight and the flash of the cameras from different tourist. The tour guide was really funny as he made us look at the different stalagmites and stalactites formation of the caves. There were different figures like mother and child, mushrooms inside the cave.
http://world.new7wonders.com/?n7wn-finalist=puerto-princessa-underground-river-philippines

Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

Sheridan Resort is dubbed as the first green resort in the Philippines. It is located in the towering mountain ranges and the clear turquoise waters of the West Philippine Sea.

The travel from Honda Bay Wharf to Sheridan Beach Resort was about one hour and thirty minutes with one-stop to a simple store along the way. The road going to the resort mostly curves and up and down. There were so many of us who were nauseated and vomiting going there. But my van mates were really cool in thinking that we were riding a roller coaster. The view of the road was limestone formations trees and green mountains.
Sheridan Resort is dubbed as the first green resort in the Philippines.

It is located in the towering mountain ranges and the clear turquoise waters of the West Philippine Sea. Upon reaching Sheridan Beach Resort we had our welcome drinks. Our room was located on the first floor with the pool view. We explored the place and found the beachfront area of Sabang Beach.


My colleagues enjoyed the different amenities and recreation of the resort-like spa, pool, Jacuzzi, gym, billiards and darts. I enjoyed swimming in the pool. Some of my colleagues were also enjoying the basketball while swimming. And others were sleeping and resting in their rooms. While enjoying the pool, you could also order in the Wet and Dry Pool’s Bar, just between the two pools of Sheridan.


We had the superior room in the Pool View. I love the private balcony in front. We had our company dinner set up in the spacious garden near the pool area.
The breakfast is always at the South Sea Restaurant.
The best part of the Resort is Sabang Beach. I love the wide sand bars and the crashing waves from the beach.
For more information please visit http://www.sheridanbeachresort.com

For other posts about Palawan, please check:

Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Tour

Honda bay is found at the east of Puerto Princesa City’s center. It was our company’s outing and the first leg of our outing was the Honda Bay Island Tour. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our tour coordinator and the welcoming party of Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa. We went to the van and our luggage was transferred to the office in the city and we changed for our tour.

Honda Bay Wharf

We stopped at the Panz Mask and Snorkeling Shop on the way to Honda Bay Wharf to rent for snorkeling mask. At the Honda Bay Wharf, we waited for the guides to have our permits to tour the islands in Honda Bay. As we waited we took pictures along the wharf. Our group in the van were the last one to get a boat, and we joined the other group for our island hopping since it was the last boat rented by our company.

Pambato Reef

After donning with lifevests, the group was ready to start the tour and we went to Pambato Reef Snorkeling, a small protected underwater reef. The staging area of the created structure just beside the reef comes with a large turtle on top. There was a briefing first before we were able to check the reef.

Luli Island

Luli island was named because of the Lulubog (floats) –Lilitaw (sinks) sand bars, the sandbars vanished during high tide and long sandbars during low tide. Thankfully it was low tide when we arrived here and the sand bars were wide and long.

Cowrie Island

Our group was really hungry after and we were asking our boatman for lunch. He said that we had to go to Cowrie island were our lunch would be served. We were all quiet but after seeing the island from a distance we were very excited and grateful to have our lunch.

We took pictures first and then head to the lunch prepared at the end of the island.
This was our first tour before going to Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa.

Discovery Shores Boracay

It is the number 1 travel destination in the Philippines. It even ranked number 1 as the best beach in the whole world. It’s in the bucket list of every Filipino who loves to travel. It will always have a special part of everyone who has seen the island. It will always be a travel destination of every “balikbayan” Filipinos. It will be a dream destination for foreigners. And yes, I’d been there for the nth time, both for leisure and for business.
I’d tried a backpacker’s lodge and some good resorts in Boracay. It was a dream for a backpacker like me to be able to try a five-star luxury resort. And I would say, I’d been able to try it one of the Top Hotels in the country, Discovery Shores Boracay, a kick-off meeting organized by our foreign counterpart.

Upon arrival at the Caticlan Airport, we were greeted by the staff of the hotel and gave us bag tags to ensure that we were the hotel’s guests. We then waited for the van to arrive and we were transferred to the lounge near the port before we boarded our boat to the island. The boat was airconditioned, snacks as served snacks and we were seated comfortably in our boat and within 15 minutes we were at Jetti Port. We took a van again that would take us to the resort.

Discovery Shores Boracay is located in Station 1, Balabag. The staffs were accommodating, friendly and courteous when we registered to get our keys and assisted us in our rooms. There were a welcoming note and snacks when we arrived at our room.
Our room was a junior suite, double sharing queen-sized bed with a veranda. The features of the room were really amazing. The amenities were excellent.
They also have a Terra Wellness Spa, Fitness Center, the Sandbox Kids room, and swimming pool. The resort beachfront gave a stunning view of the sunset.
And since we had a business meeting here, the food served during breaks were superb. The buffet breakfast was served in the Sands Restaurant. Our lunch was fused of Asian culture because our guest was from the different Southeast Asian countries. The party organized on our second day was organized in the Sandbar, which includes band, fire dancers and fireworks. Our guests from the nearby countries were astonished by the Discovery Shores, Boracay and the view of a magnificent sunset.

Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin

I always do a Do-It-Yourself trip but because of the foreseen events when I was in Camiguin, my friend and I decided to stay in the most expensive resort in the province. But well, we were very satisfied and we really enjoyed our stay in Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin.


It is a tropical resort located in Mambajao. The staff is friendly and they accommodate us very warmly when arrived during stormy weather or should I say during LPA.


The room is a nipa hut with a veranda and the room is very spacious and homey. There’s a restaurant inside the hotel to dining with all your Filipino favorite dishes and fresh kinds of seafood. There’s also a bar if you want to unwind overlooking the sea.


There’s a spa, gym facilities and a pool. They also offer an island tour around Camiguin. And we were accompanied by the staff all throughout the day (sorry I forgot his name) and he was also our tour guide explaining everything about the beautiful island of Camiguin.
And as their tagline says: Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin is a premier resort of the south. Please check their website https://bahaybakasyunan.com/
For more post about Camiguin, please check: Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island

Planning a trip and booking a flight earlier has ups and downs. It is good to plan beforehand, where do you want to go, buy a ticket during seat sales and do some research about the popular tourist destination in the place. But one of the downsides of it is the weather condition especially nowadays due to climate change, you never know when will a low-pressure area be spotted in a certain place.

How to get to Camiguin Island

We had an early flight to Cagayan de Oro. We ate our breakfast at the Agora Bus terminal and rode a bus bound for a 3 hours drive to Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental. Earlier that evening, a low-pressure area was spotted in the east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Norte according to PAG-ASA. It was not raining in Cagayan de Oro when we arrived, but as we get near Balingoan, it started to rain and had cloudy skies.
We arrived around 11AM at Balingoan Port, and we bought our ticket towards Benoni Port in Camiguin. There was a parked ferry boat in Balingoan. They told us that within thirty minutes the boat would sail to Camiguin. As passengers flocked the port, strong winds and heavy rain were seen outside the terminal. Locals of Camiguin assured as that there would be a ferry boat that would take us to our destination. Then we started to check our watches, and at 2PM, they decided to board us to the ferry amidst the strong winds and rough waters. While we were waiting for our boat to sail, a very huge wave struck us and the ferry went sideways towards the docks, slamming us to the side of the ferry. I got scared but looking at the locals, they seem calm. My friend and I decided that if ever the ferry was in its right position, we would go down and head back to Cagayan de Oro. The crew of the ferry where vigilant that they managed to turn the boat again to its docking position. We were about to go down but the ferry sailed to the waters toward Camiguin.
The boat ride was supposedly only 2 hours, but because of the LPA, we sailed at a very low paced. My worries about the weather altered when somewhere in the sea, I saw dolphins swimming. We arrived at Benoni Port at 6PM, where we don’t have a place to stay. It was supposedly a do-it-yourself trip, but due to unforeseen event and we were already tired, we decided to ride a van and told the driver to take us to Bahay Bakasyunan, an expensive resort in Mambajao.

Bahay Bakasyunan

Bahay Bakasyunan was really a very nice and cozy place to stay. The amenities were good and the staff was very friendly. We had our lunch in the bar, the room was spacious in a modern Nipa hut setting. My friend and I just laughed at what happened the whole day and decided to enjoy our stay in the resort. The following morning we availed of their van rental for the island tour.

White Island

The following day, it was still raining and cloudy. Our first stop after our breakfast was the White Island of Camiguin. We road a small boat near the famous Paras Beach Resort towards the island. The shape of the sand bar of White Island differs depending on the weather. When we got there, the waves were rough and we weren’t able to have a glimpse of the famous Mount Hibok Hibok from the island.

Katibawasan Falls

We headed to Katibawasan Falls, where raging waters were flowing from the top. It is one of the beautiful falls of the island.

We had our lunch J&A Fishpen, a fishing restaurant in Barangay Benon, Mahinog. We ordered seafood and fishes that could be seen and caught in Camiguin.

The driver asked us if we wanted to go to Mantigue Island, but because the coast was also from the side of Benoni Port, we decided not to try the rough waters there.

Santo Nino Cold Spring and Soda Water Park

Then we went to Santo Nino Cold Spring and the Soda Water Park.

After which we went to Guiob Church Ruins and view the Sunken Cemetery. The Guiob Church was damaged due to the volcanic eruption on May 13, 1871 while the cemetery was buried under water. The church was built from coral stones.

Mt. Hibok Hibok Ardent Hot Spring

We stayed in the Ardent Hot Spring for more than an hour to enjoy the benefits of the water from the hot spring coming from the mountain of Hibok Hibok.

Our last stop was the Vjandep bakeshop where we bought Camiguin’s famous pastel.
Sunday morning of February 13, the sun was up but it was time for us to head back to Cagayan de Oro, for us not to miss our flight in the evening to Manila.
For some people, it would have been a disaster trip. But not for me, I believed that it pushes me to my limits, that I can brace all the storms. I was reminded of one of the travel quotes I read somewhere..replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity. And when the time comes, I might head back to Camiguin again, to experience it with the sun, and to view the four stratovolcanoes within the island..and to get the chance to explore the Mantigue Island, the one we skipped from our island tour.
And up until now, I never stop having my adventures.