Weekend Wandering In La Union

La Union is one of the go to’s of most travelers who wants to go surfing, but Elyu is not only about riding the waves and getting stoked. Just over the weekend, you can experience trekking to the waterfalls, museum hopping, grape picking, and many more. So, here are some activities and places you might want to explore when you visit the beautiful province of La Union.

1. Riding The Waves at Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

Urbiztondo is one of the most famous spots in Elyu where you can find nice waves to ride on. There are a lot of surf school that offer surf lessons for newbies and allows rental of boards ranging from the beginner ones to pro level. Surfing lesson rates ranges from Php 300.00 to Php 400.00 an hour with instructor, if you already know how to surf, you can just rent a board and hit the waves, and it will be a lot cheaper.

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2. Go Trekking to the Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union

One of the most famous attraction here in La Union is the Tangadan Falls, a two tiered waterfall which is about 50ft high and 30ft deep. Most of the visitors of here are either jumping to its cliff or riding the bamboo raft to get nearer to the drop.

Getting here is a breeze, from San Juan, catch a jeepney going to San Gabriel or hail a tricycle going to the registration area. Fare ranges from Php 15.00 to Php 250.00 depending on which transportation you’ll choose. Once you’re done with the registration and acquiring guides, you’ll start your trek at the trail head and will start walking going to the waterfalls for 1 to 2 hours.

There are actually two trail heads going to the waterfalls, one which is just few minutes walk away from the main waterfalls, and the other one (the way we took) which requires 1 to 2 hours of trekking. We suggest doing it the long way, its more fun!

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3. Visit the Bahay na Bato in Brgy. Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union

From the name itself, most part of this museum is made out of stones and pebbles found along the beaches of the municipality. Showcasing various wooden artworks and handy crafts, this spot in La Union has generated jobs for its residents.

The place is open for all occasions, and people are welcome to enjoy the place daily at 6 AM to 8 AM with admission fee of Php 20.00. Children below 4 years old are free of charge. One can enjoy the view of the ocean and listen to its crashing waves to the pebbles at the shore. Swimming is not allowed for safety reasons.

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4. Indulge With the Grapes at the Vineyard in Bauang, La Union

When in La Union, your trip will not be completed if you will not drop by to the grape farms at Bauang, La Union. One of the famous ones is the Lomboy Grape Farm which was founded in 1972 by Avelino Lomboy, who was dubbed as the Philippines’s King of Grapes.

The entrance fee is Php 100.00, and if you want to do some grape picking, that would be Php 150.00. They are open from Monday to Saturday, at 7AM to 4PM and on Sundays at 7AM to 3PM.

© @youreverydayjoy

5. Pay A Visit to the Ma-Cho Taoist Temple in San Fernando, La Union

Your La Union trip will also not be complete without visiting the Ma-Cho Temple, a Chinese temple located in downtown San Fernando, La Union that has an overlooking view of the South China Sea.

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© @glenjohn

These are just some of the places you can visit in La Union, you just need to explore more and research as you go. 🙂

Book your hostels or hotels at TravelBook.ph for more a affordable rate. Click here to check out all the hotels in all areas in La Union. Btw, we stayed at The Circle Hostel, which is just few minutes to the surfing spot in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. You can also consider the Flotsam and Jetsam as an option.

The Circle Hostel La Union Facade
Book at The Circle Hostel here: travelbook.ph/ciclehostel

Mt. Daguldol — A Summit To Sea Experience

Itching to hike on a busy work week. me and my friend went a on summit to sea adventure to the coastal part of San Juan, Batangas and hiked the not so popular peak of Mt. Daguldol in Brgy. Hugom. It’s a two to three hours travel from Manila with various transfers to different types of vehicles.

We rode a bus bound to San Juan, Batangas from Alps Bus Terminal Buendia station. On a weekend, they usually leave at around 3AM but because it’s at the middle of the work week, there are few passengers going to San Juan so the bus left the station at 4AM. It’s a 2-hour bus ride from Buendia to San Juan. If you’ll be sitting on the left side of the bus, you’ll be able to see the view of Mt. Banahaw.

We reached San Juan by 6AM, we want to start our hike as early as possible, we hailed a tricycle going to Brgy. Hugom, fare is around Php350.00 and is good for 4-5 persons, but since there’s only the two of us, we decided to split expenses with other passengers going to the barangay. Along the way, there’s a mandatory stop over for tourist where you’ll pay Php 20.00 each a ecological fee for the town of San Juan. It’s a 20+ minutes tricycle ride, and once you’ve reached Brgy. Hugom, you’ll be transferring to another tricycle going to the trail head of Mt. Daguldol where you will be acquiring your guide and pay a registration fee of Php 35.00 each, the trike ride from barangay to trail head is Php 100.00 per trike which is good for 3-5 persons.

After a multiple ride transfer, acquiring guides, registration, and hike preparation, we started hiking the mountain at around 7:30 AM. Most part of the trail is consist of gradual assaults and rocky terrain. We passed by a number of houses and mini-stores, which are active mostly on weekends, when there are hikers visiting the mountain.

During a conversation with our local guide, he mentioned that the number of hikers drop a percentage when some parts of Batangas were struck by an earthquakes, which made visitors worried. If you are planning to hike Mt. Daguldol, and there’s an earthquake experienced nearby San Juan and/or Laiya, you better contact a local to know the conditions and if it is safe to hike the mountain.

Moving forward, we reached Mang Lizardo’s place at around 9:30 AM, they are offering meals that cost Php 40.00 to Php 50.00 per meal. We ordered 3 sets of sinampalukang baboy which we will be eating once we got back from the summit.

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Mang Lizardo’s Place

Trekking to the summit, we passed by huge sets of boulders, this can be your landmark that you are 10 to 20 minutes away from the summit. We then reach the summit of Mt. Daguldol at around 10 AM, took some quick rest, ate some snacks, enjoyed the view, photo ops, and then went back to Mang Lizardo’s place for our sinampalukang baboy. The summit of Mt. Daguldol is a grassy slope where you will see its neighboring mountains like Mt. Nanguiling, Mt. Lobo, Mt. Banoi, a view of Mt. Maculot can be seen from a far.

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At the summit of Mt. Daguldol, with views of Mt. Nanguiling and Mt. Banoi at the background.

After 15 to 20 minutes of downhill trek, we reached Mang Lizardo’s place and munch in with the meal they prepared for us, I must say that it is one of the most delicious meal I eaten after trekking a mountain on a warm summer day.

We reached the trail head by 11:30 AM, since we still have some spare time, we decided to take a dip at the beach which is just 5 minutes away from the trail head. We did not pay the Php 100.00 entrance fee since we were backed by our local guide, Kuya Ireneo, and we are not getting a cottage.

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Some rock formations at the beach.

It was a pebble beach with nice clear water with number of fishes swimming with you. But the care taker of the resorts should really conduct a beach clean up along the area to preserve and/or improve the condition of the place. There are a lot of floating trash near the shore which are total eyesore to the visitors of the place. When I come back to this place, I’ll be organizing a mountain and beach clean up and let the locals know how important it is to keep the are clean.

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We trekked to this cliff and was surprised with the amazing view on the other side.

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We explored the long stretch of the beach, and found some interesting areas to swim. There’s even a spot there that seems to have some similarities with the sardine run activity in Moalboal, Cebu. There are also rock formations where you can enjoy solemnity and nice ig worthy backgrounds.

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Things That I Like

  • The hike was good and can be recommended to beginner hikers.
    • The trek is considerably beginner friendly with gradual assaults. It’s a 3/9 hike and can be hike 2 to 3 hours going to summit and 2 hours back to the trail head.
  • A beach side trip.
    • With its proximity to the beach, you can enjoy swimming with your hike buddies on a day tour, or go on a beach camp to enjoy more of the beach.
    • There are number of beach resorts where you can stay overnight. Most of them asks for entrance fees which starts from Php 100.00.
  • Friendly local.
    • Our guide was friendly, the locals up the mountain are friendly, and the people at Mang Lizardo’s Place are friendly.

Things That I Don’t Like

  • Expensive shower fee!
    • A shower fee at the resorts near the beach will ask for Php 70.00 shower fee which is absurd, and the nearby houses’ shower fee’s cost Php 50.00 which will get you a nice meal at Mang Lizardo’s place.
    • Good thing, we went back to the barangay where we found a cheaper price for the shower. It is at the front of the trike terminal, a house selling ukay-ukay stuff. They are collecting Php 35.00 for a shower fee. They literally have a nice bathroom with toilet bowl with bidet, and a shower, which I think compensates with the price they are asking compared to the not so nice shower area near in some resorts near the beach.
  • Some rude beach resort staff.
    • Since we were looking for cheaper shower are, we asked some of the resorts staff on how much they will charge us for a quick bath, and when we showed them that we are somehow disappointed with the overpriced fee they are asking, they replied to us on a rude manner. Totally not good for tourism.
  • Beach Trash
    • Beach resort owners should have the initiative to make their place clean, to make it more presentable to visitors. You know, clean beach attracts many visitors, and if your resort is full of rubbish, less tourist will be visiting your place.

How To Get To Mt. Daguldol

  • Ride a bus going to San Juan, Batangas, in our case we rode a bus from Alps Bus Liner, they have terminals from Buendia (Php 191.00) and Cubao (Php 198), bus leaves at 3AM earliest but can leave at 4AM if there are less passengers, especially on a weekday.
  • From San Juan, ride a jeep going to Brgy, Hugom which cost around Php 35.00 to Php 40.00. They are usually around at 5AM earlies. If you are on a hurry and there are no jeepneys around, you can opt to ride a trike going to Brgy. Hugom for Php 350.00 up to the barangay, they can also bring you to the trail head for Php 400.00 to Php 450.00. The trike can accommodate 3 to 5 persons.
  • From Brgy. Hugom, there are trikes that will bring you to Mt. Daguldol trailhead for Php 100.00 per trike, can also accommodate 3 to 5 persons.

Alternate Route

Buendia — Lipa — San Juan — Hugom
Alabang — Lipa — San Juan — Hugom

Day Hike Itinerary

02:30 AM — Meetup at the bus terminal
03:00 AM — ETD to San Juan, Batangas
05:00 AM — ETA to San Juan, Batangas
05:45 AM — ETA to Barangay Hugom
06:00 AM — ETA to Trail Head, register
06:30 AM — Start Trek
09:00 AM — ETA to Mang Lizardo’s Place
10:30 AM — ETA Summit
11:00 AM — Start Descent
01:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, explore the beach, swim, enjoy
04:00 PM — Back to San Juan
09:00 PM — ETA Manila

Overnight Itinerary

DAY 1
02:30 AM — Meetup at the bus terminal
03:00 AM — ETD to San Juan, Batangas
05:00 AM — ETA to San Juan, Batangas
05:45 AM — ETA to Barangay Hugom
06:00 AM — ETA to Trail Head, register
06:30 AM — Start Trek
09:00 AM — ETA to Mang Lizardo’s Place
10:30 AM — ETA Summit
11:00 AM — Start Descent
01:00 PM — ETA Trail Head, explore the beach, swim, enjoy
04:00 PM — Set Camp or rent cottage
07:00 PM — Dinner/Socials
10:00 PM — Lights off

DAY 2
05:00 AM — Wake Up, watch sunrise
05:45 AM — Prepare breakfast
06:00 AM — Free time, swim, enjoy
10:00 AM — Back to San Juan
03:00 PM — ETA Manila

Expenses

Php 191.00 — (Bus) Buendia to San Juan
Php 350.00 — Trike to Brgy. Hugom, good for 5 persons for Php 70.00 each
Php 20.00 — San Juan ecological fee
Php 100.00 — (Trike) Barangay Hugom to Trail Head
Php 400.00 — Guide fee
Php 35.00 — Barangay Registration
Php 50.00 — Meal at Mang Lizardo’s place
Php 198.00 — San Juan to Cubao

Total budget per person for a group with 5 members — Php 630.00 to Php 665.00
Safe Budget — Php 1,000.00

Hiking Notes

  • Last trip of bus from San Juan is at 6PM, so better leave Brgy. Hugom as early as 3PM to 4PM to catch the last trip.
  • Have your clean up bath at the barangay for a cheaper shower fee, look for the house with ukay ukay stuff. They charge Php 35.00 for a shower.
  • There’s a water fall called Naambon Falls, but it only sheds water on rainy seasons.
  • Summer hikes may dehydrate you, bring at least 2L of water with you.
  • Contact Tatay Ireneo if you are planning to hike Mt. Daguldol (0905 836 5708)

So there you go, it was a really nice escape in a middle of a stressful week. We will surely explore the neighboring mountains of Mt. Daguldol and also visit the beaches nearby.

#Featured: Crystal Beach Resort — San Narciso, Zambales

Our featured travel guide for this month is from Edgar Eduardo, they spend their weekend ina beautiful beach resort in San Narciso, Zambales, the Crystal Beach Resort. For a budget under Php 800.00, they have weekend well spent in a beautiful paradise.

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© Edgar Eduardo

Crystal Beach is just 3-4 hours away from Manila. It has been a quick weekend getaway for most travelers and surfers. There are some fun activities you can enjoy together with your friends and family.

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© Edgar Eduardo
© Edgard Eduardo
© Edgard Eduardo

Here’s how Edgar reached Crystal Beach Resort

  • From Cubao, ride a Victory Liner bus going to Iba, Zambales or Olongapo
    • The Iba, Zambales route has a daily trip until 9:30PM
    • His groupd took the Ologapo route.
    • Cubao to Olongapo cost them Php 207.00 per person
  • From Olongapo Terminal, they took a bus going to Iba, Zambales. Just tell the conductor to drop you off to San Narciso, Zambales. It will take around an hour before you reach the town proper.
    • Ordinary – Php 53.00 per person
    • Air-conditioned bus – Php 70.00 per person
  • From San Narciso, ride a trike going to the resort.
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© Edgar Eduardo


Notes:

  • You can bring your own tent, there are tents available for rent if you don’t have one.
    • Php 290.00 – if you have your own tent
    • Tent rental costs Php 500.00++ which includes pillows and blankets
  • They sometimes have acoustic sessions on Saturday nights.
  • You can also enjoy surfing.
  • There are bonfire that are already set up at the Camp Site
  • Free grilling utilities, with coal
  • If you don’t have a powerbank, you can ask the front-desk to let you charge your gadgets for Php 20.00 until it gets fully charged.
© Edgar Eduardo
© Edgar Eduardo

Read More: [Source]


Itinerary Philippines Team will be visiting this place for a more detailed itinerary. 🙂 But anyway, thanks to Sir Edgar for letting us share his experience to the Crystal Beach Resort. Hope this helps our fellow travelers have an idea on what to expect and how to get to this beautiful place.

If you have itineraries, travel guides, and stories you want to share that can help our fellow travelers plan their next adventure, you can send those to contribute@itinerary.ph.

#OnTheList: 5 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k!

First off, this post has nothing against Coldplay or people who are willing to pay for the VIP price ticket to watch their concert. We too are fans of the band, we’re just listing at least 5 travel destinations that you can visit with that amount of money, so cheers and let’s get started!

1. Mt. Pulag, Benguet

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Mt. Pulag
View of the Sea Of Clouds from the summit of Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag, the highest peak of Luzon at 2,992 MASL. It is one of the most popular weekend destination of most hiking enthusiasts and mountaineers because of the majestic view if offers. One of the main reason why hikers flock to this mountain is because of its magnificent sunrise plus a view of the sea of clouds. It is also coined as the “Playground of the Gods” by most hikers.

There are a lot of travel groups and organizers who offers a two to three day tour/hike to Mt. Pulag ranging from Php 2,000 to Php 3,000 depending on the trail you want to take. But if you want to do it as DIY, you must at least form a group of 10 for a less expensive trip. Budget for DIY trips from Baguio city ranges from Php 1,500 to Php 2,000 depending on the number of members in your group.

Hiking Mt. Pulag is via reservation basis, allowing only 500 hikers per day for all of the trails. So you might want to call the tourism office to reserve your slots before going there.

Budget:

  • Php 2,000.00 – Php 3,000.00


Contact Number:

  • DENR – 09196315402


Expenses:

  • Guide Fee – Php 500.00/guide good for 1-5 persons, additional person is Php 100.00. Maximum of 10 persons per guide.
  • Registration Fee and Orientation – Php 225.00 per person
  • Monster Jeep Renta – Php 7,000 to Php 8,000 and can accommodate upto 18 persons. You can ask the DENR personnel for contact numbers of their accredited jeepney rentals.


Organized Event:

We are having our Mt. Pulag Year-End Climb this coming December 28-29, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 2,799 inclusive of transportation, all fees, dinner and breakfast. You can find more details by clicking this link: Year Ender — Experience Mt. Pulag


2. Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Nagsasa Cove
A less than 30 minute trek in Nagsasa Cove where you can see a really nice view of the Island. Best for sunrise and sunset watching. Entrance fee here is Php 40.00

One of the best beach getaway my friends and I have been to is the Nagsasa Cove in Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. It’s just a chill and laid back getaway for the weekend just to be far away from the stress in the city. For a budget for Php 1,800.00 ALL-IN, we get to enjoy a relaxing and fun weekend getaway.

There’s not much to do here but to just relax, swim, play with the waves, cliff jump, and visit Capones and Camara Islands. If you are a more adventurous type of traveler, you can hike Mt. Balingkilat traversing to Nagsasa Cove.

Budget:

  • Php 1,500.00 – Php 1,800.00


Contact Number:

  • Jesus Bansales III – 0920 274 4651 | 0977 321 7900
    You can contact Sir Jess if you want to visit and camp in Nagsasa Cove. You can also choose among the other two coves, the Anawangin Cove (the more crowded and commercialized one) and Talisayen Cove.
  • Van rental – 09063395064 | 09178618672
    In all of our trips, we are renting vans from them. If you want a convenient transfer from your place to Zambales, you can contact them for van rentals.


Expenses:

  • Van rentals can range from Php 8,000.00 to Php 9,000.00
  • Nagsasa Tour ranges from Php 500.00 to Php 650.00 per person inclusive of everything you need in the island, entrance fees, round trip boat transfer and island hopping.
  • Food sharing is up to you, our group shared Php 300.00 to Php 500.00 per person for supplies and cooking materials.

3. Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal

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The famous rock formation on top of the summit where most hikers take a selfie.

A popular day hike destination in Tanay, Rizal which is just 2-3 hours away from Manila. A quick escape from the busy streets of the city. On top of the summit, you’ll see a wide view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and a bonus sea of clouds if you’ll do a night trek and if you are lucky enough to witness it.

Tinipak River is also one the main attraction in this places, usually made as a side trip of most hikers by doing a traverse from the summit of Mt. Daraitan. You’ll also get a chance to see the beautiful rock formation in the river, you just have to pay Php 25.00 as entrance fee which is used to maintain the place. If the weather condition is good, and the current is not that bad, you can also take a dip at the natural pool inside the Tinipak Cave. Though they are limiting the amount of time to stay here for 15 minutes due to the number of people who wants to experience it.

You can check our travel guide to Mt. Daraitan for a more detailed blog: Travel Guide: Mt. Daraitan

Budget:

  • Php 500.00 – Php 700.00 for a day hike

Contact Number: 

  • Head Guide (Willy): 0906 953 3470


Expenses:

  • Guide fee – Php 500.00 good for 1-5 persons
  • Registration fee – Php 20.00
  • Entrance fee to see the Rock Formation – Php 25.00
  • Van Shaw to Tanay – Php 70.00 to Php 90.00 (1.5 hours of travel)
  • Jeep from Tanay to Sampaloc – Php 26.00 (45 minutes)
  • Trike from Sampaloc to Extraction point – Php 100.00 per person (30 minutes)
  • Raft to cross the river (Optional) – Php 10.00


Organized Event:

We are having a day hike to Mt. Daraitan this coming December 04, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 700.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Dayhike — Mt. Daraitan


4. Mt. Ulap in Itogon, Benguet

#OnTheList: 10 Travel Destinations You Can Visit With Php 22k! Mt. Ulap
Parallax view along the trail of Mt. Ulap

A fun chill day hike in Benguet which offers a picturesque view the Cordillera’s mountain range. A relatively easy hike which can be recommended for first time hikers. You will get to experience a breath taking view while trekking to the summit and a chance to see the sea of clouds.

One of the main attraction in this mountain is the Gungal Rock which serves as the landmark of this mountain.

Budget:

  • Php 400.00 to Php 500.00 from Baguio

Contact Number:

  • Brgy. Ampucao Tourism – 09989589549

Expenses:

  • Registration Fee – Php 100.00 per person
  • Guide fee – Php 400.00 good for 10 persons Php 800.00 overnight
  • If you are going to camp, you’ll need to pay addition Php 500.00 for the camping fee


Organized Event:

We are having a day hike to Mt. Ulap this coming December 17, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 1,200.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Dayhike — Mt. Ulap


5. Buscalan Village in Tinglayan Kalinga

Apo Whang-od

Experience a traditional culture of the Butbut tribe in Kalinga. Relax and enjoy the company of the villagers and learn new things from their cultures and tradition. Wake up to the wonderful view of the mountains. Take a dip to the chilling waters of the water falls. All that for a budget of Php 3,000.00 for a ground of 5!

Buscalan is almost a 19 hour travel from Manila, so if you love long commutes and enjoys transferring from one mode of transportation to another for almost one whole day, this destination is for you.

One of the main reason why people from different parts of the globe visits Buscalan is  because of the living legend, soon to be a National Artist (hopefully), Apo Whang-od. Believed to be the last “Mambabatok” (traditional tattoo artist) of her generation. She offers traditional tattoos to visitors for a price ranging from Php 200.00 to Php 1,000+ depending on the size of the tattoo. She is accompanied by here grand daughters/nieces Grace and Elyang.

Budget:

  • Php 2,000 to Php 3,000 group of 3 to 5 persons


Contact Person

  • Guide Gilbert – 09084792012
  • Guide Oliver – 09397741477
  • Guide Raffy – 09279853681


Expenses:

  • Manila to Baguio – Php 455.00
  • Baguio to Manila – Php 455.00
  • Baguio to Bontoc – Php 195.00
  • Bontoc to Baguio – Php 195.00
  • Bontoc to Buscalan – Php 100.00
  • Buscalan to Bontoc – Php 100.00
  • Homestay – Php 250.00
  • Registration Fee – Php 75.00
  • Guide – Php 1,000


Organized Event:

We are having a tour to Buscalan next year January 13-15, 2016. If you are interested to join, we are offering it for only Php 1,200.00 inclusive of transportation and all fees. You can find more details by clicking this link: Year Starter — Experience Buscalan


So there you go! These are some of the destinations you can visit if you are thinking twice on whether you should buy a VIP ticket to Coldplay’s concert, or just go to places you’ve never been before, explore and learn new things from you adventure.

It’s up to you, just do the things that makes you happy and don’t let other people dictate you on your own happiness. Live the life you want to live and be happy on whatever the result may be.

We’ll be adding more destinations in this list in the coming days so stay tuned for our updates. Cheers!

Baler, Aurora: Solo Travel Guide

Baler is a second class municipality in Aurora Province, about 6 hours away from Manila can offer you scenic and relaxing beauty of nature.

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Sabang Beach stretch

There are a lot of things to do in Baler and its nearby municipalities. You can go surfing, waterfalls chasing, trekking, beach bumming and many more.

So I started my Baler adventure by booking a ticket going to Baler with Joy Bus, a deluxe bus service by Genesis. For only Php 700, you’ll experience a comfy 4+ hour travel to baler with complimentary snacks. My scheduled trip was at 1:30 AM and I arrived in Baler at around 5:30 AM. If you are going to choose the ordinary bus service going to Baler, that would cost you only Php 450.00 but the travel time is much longer (6+ hours). So if you want a short travel time, go with Joy Bus. But if you want to travel on a budget, go with the ordinary bus service.

Upon arriving to Baler, I immediately looked for breakfast. There are a lot of stores and restaurants near the bus terminal so you won’t have any trouble looking for food to eat. The market is also nearby if you are planning to buy your own food to cook.

After eating breakfast, I walked my way to Sabang Beach, it was a 20-minute walk from the terminal. You can also ride a tricycle going to the beach for around Php 20.00. I want to explore more around baler so I chose to walk ahahah!

I explored the stretch of the beach and found out that there are so many resorts being built. That’s is why you’ll notice that there are a lot of cements along the way. There are also a lot of scattered rubbish along the sea side that is because Aurora was hit by typhoon last December 2015, but the residents are already cleaning up the surroundings and will be ready for the next few months.

At 9AM, I planned to return back to the terminal to look for vans or trike which can bring me to Dipaculao, a municipality near Baler. And then there’s this trike driver who asked me if there are already many people along the beach, and then I said there are few. So from there, I asked him how to get to Ditumabo Falls and asked him if he can tour me around Baler. Luckily, he offered me a budgetarian trip for Php 650.00 for a tour in Baler. This guy is so awesome and friendly!

ditumabo

We kicked off our tour and went to Ditumabo Falls or Mother falls as our first stop. It is a 1+ hour trike trip from Baler, and it is located in San Luis, Aurora. Upon arriving the jump off point of Ditumabo Falls, we registered and paid the Php 30.00 DENR fee per person. It is a legit fee collection because they have an official receipt from the Municipal Office. It is a 20-minute trek from JOP to the Falls and it is an easy trail.

Ditumabo Falls or the Mother Falls stands around 140+ feet and has chill cold water flowing from the mountains of Sierra Madre. A lot of tourist enjoys swimming at this falls because of its relaxing feel and can destress your mind and body. Cliché as it may sound, but it can really make you feel relaxed.

Our next stop is the Caunayan Falls, a place where only few trike tours can offer because of the rocky road which can pop the tires of your ride hahaha! Luckily, Kuya Wendell, the trike tour guide, still brought me to this cute waterfalls! I say cute because it is just a mini waterfall at aroung 15+ feet, but still worth visiting. Its cold water can also relax your body and there are also few tourists around. There is a n entrance fee of Php 20.00, but because of the charismatic charm of Kuya Wendell, I managed to enter the resort for free! The surrounding place of Caunayan Falls has also been struck by the typhoon last December so you can see fallen electric post and boulders around the area.

Next stop, Ermita Hills which is just 20 minutes away from the main streets of Baler. From here you can view the panoramic beauty of the Sabang Beach and the side of the Philippine Sea. I think there’s also an entrance fee here, but we entered for free!

There’s a beach resort around Baler where you can relax and chill around with less tourists and more picturesque view. This is the Diquisit Beach, claimed to be the most beautiful beach around Baler. Just a 30-minute tricycle ride from Baler. And as a bonus, there’s a clean and beautiful falls just few minutes across the street, the Diquisit Falls!

After dipping my body to the cold water of the Diquisit Falls, we headed straight to Dicasalarin Cove. This beach resort is a private property of the Angara’s. Our tricycle can proceed to the area because of the steep road going the beach, so we chose to hike for around 40 minutes up to the entrance gate, and another 30 minutes down to the resort. Hiking up to the gate is not a joke, we took several fives until we reach the gate where Kuya Wendell arranged the pass for the Dicasalarin Cove.

6

Dicasalarin Cove has been the hightlight of my day trip here in Baler. It is I think the most beautiful part of the municipality that I’ve visited. The Php 300.00 entrance fee is worth it because of the blue ocean water and scenic view on top of the light house. You must see it for yourself to appreciate the real beauty of this place.

On our way back to Diquisit where we parked our tricycle, we hired 2 habal-habals for Php 75.00 each because we can’t hike back hahaha!

And that concludes my day trip to Baler.

So, how to get to Baler:

  • From Cubao, ride a bus going to Baler. In my case that would be the Joy Bus of Genesis Transport. That costs me Php 700.00 for a deluxe bus service. You can also choose to ride the normal bus for Php 450.00 and enjoy the 6-hour land travel.
    Touring around Baler:
  • There are tricycle drivers who offer tours around Baler. Which includes: Ditumabo Falls, Baler Museum, Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon House, Baler Church and Plaza, Ermita Hill, Fish Port, Lukso-lukso Islet, Añao Islet, Diquisit Falls and Old Balete Tree. Only few tricycle operators offer a tour to Dicasalarin Cove because it is a far desitination than usual and trikes are not allowed to enter the place. So, one should hike in order to reach the place. Lucky me, Kuya Wendell is so accommodating, he accompanies me all throughout the trip!

My expenses for my Baler Day Trip

  • Joy Bus (MNL-Baler): Php 700
  • Genesis Bus (Baler-MNL): Php 450.00
  • Trike Tour: Php 650.00 + 100 (consideration for Dicasalarin Cove Tour)
  • Habal-Habal: Php 75.00 x 2 = Php 150.00 (I paid for Kuya Wendell’s habal-habal)
  • Entrance Fee Ditumabo Falls: Php 30.00
  • Parking Fee Ditumabo Falls: Php 10.00

Miscellaneous:

  • Footlong Hotdog: Php 40.00
  • Mountain Dew: Php 25.00
  • Aroz Caldo: Php 25.00
  • Water: Php 20.00 x 4 = Php 80.00
  • Pancit (Dicasalarin Cove) = Php 175.00 (Good for 3 persons)
  • Coke: Php 13.00
  • Total Expenses: Php 2,448.00

PS: I entered Dicasalarin Cove for free so I saved Php 300.00 for the gate pass! I am recommending Kuya Wendell to be your Tricycle Tour Guide because I know that he will not take advantage of you and he will help you enjoy your tour and you can also help him though availing his service. He can accommodate 3 passengers for a tour, but he can also ask his friend for the same rate he gave to me.

You can contact Kuya Wendell by sending him a message and let him know that I recommended him to you guys. His contact number is (+63) 909 928 3851
So, Baler is a nice get away not only for surfing but also for beach bumming and waterfall chasing and soul searching.

Next Stop! Upper town in Aurora! Wooohoo!!

Alibijaban Island: Paradise In The Heart Of Quezon Province, Philippines

Alibijaban Island is very nice and serene place located in the Quezon Province. If you are looking for a place or a getaway to unwind and relax, this place should definitely be one on your list.

Alibijaban Island is 9 hours away from Manila, so you should leave at your starting point by 10PM or 11PM so that you would arrive at the island by 7-8AM. It’s a long ride so prepare yourselves to be comfortable during the travel.

The island is so beautiful in my opinion, the water is so clear. There’s a friendly community where you can borrow some stuff that you need. Some boatman can also give you a tour around the island or even go to the further part of the sea to swim around.

These are some of the photos I’ve captured during my stay at Alibijaban Island.