Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sta Victoria Cave and Resort Trip

For our 5th anniversary, we were both under what you can call "busy season", so due to this reason, we decided to go someplace near.

The place that we had in mind was... Sta. Victoria Caves and Resort.

Tip:: This trip can be a half or whole day adventure.

How to get there::

If you're from Manila, you can take the bus (GV Florida or Victory Bus) and stop in Ilagan City (market near old chowking) then go to your chosen hotel first. Then take a van going Tuguegarao, van terminal is located in front of Talavera Square, embark at junction going Santa Victoria. There are billboards along the hi-way saying "Zoovic". Stop there and take a tricycle going Santa Victoria Cave and Resort. That's probably 14.3 km and might take you 15-20mins (Ilagan Van Terminal to Santa Victoria Cave and Resort).

When to go::

Best to go here in Summer, March to June. Going there on rainy season would result to the muds to be sticky, and you won't be able to enjoy the caves very much.

Where to stay::

Since there are no hotels in Santa Victoria, you can stay in hotels in Ilagan. There are plenty of hotels in Ilagan but I would recommend Marj Hotel located in Centro Ilagan where you can have a good dinner on their Club/Bar upstairs. Plus the rates are friendly.

What to do::

When you're in Santa Victoria, first stop would be the Adventure Cave.
Entrance Fee is P50.00 per head.
You can't enter here without a tour guide, they will provide your tour guide so don't worry.

There are 4 caves open to the public, it's best to enter here first and try the adventure (it's easier when you enter here first).

Tip:: Caves are not lighted by artificial spot lights so please bring your own flashlights.

After here you can go to the other three big caves. I didn't get a picture of the other cave. Anyway, there are lots of formation here that you would enjoy.

After the caves, you will exit directly to the mini zoo. Entrance and exit here on this part.

There's another zoo on the other side, the way going to the Resort and Falls.
Before going to the wet and wild area of this place, you might want to try the zip line, horseback riding and ATV first.

Fees are reasonable so enjoy!

Then after here, you can now enjoy the wet and wild area! First is the other mini zoo I'm telling you about, then the Big Birds, then you can have a picnic while chillin' in their resort.

I don't have a picture of the resort, sorry about that. After a picnic lunch at the resort, you can go to the wonderful falls of Santa Victoria. That's 10-20-minute walk, depending on your walking speed.

That's that!

Santa Victoria Trip DONE! Hope I was of help ;)
You can comment below for questions. I'll try to answer the best I can.
Happy Trip!

More pictures on my Facebook account.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sta Ana Cagayan Trip

Travel time again.

This time to the north!
Sta Ana Cagayan it is.

Tip:: First tip, this place is more fun for groups. So bring your friends or family!

How to get here::

From Manila, ride a bus going Tuguegarao (Florida Bus Line or Victory Liner). Upon arrival at Tuguegarao city proper, take a tricycle going to the terminal of Vans going Sta Ana, embark at Sta Ana then tricycle going to your chosen hotel.

When To Go::

Summer of course is the best time to go there. But for me, First week of June is the best, simply because all the bakasyonistas during this time ay ubos na, so advantage pag nag picture picture kayo sa mga tourist spots dahil walang madaming tao sa background :)

Tip:: Stay here for at least 3 days.

Where to stay::

My Number 1 recommendation is the fabulous Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Hotel. The hotel is composed of Villas so it is really better to go there in groups, since the hotel is expensive. You can check their rates on the link I've given above. But still, the hotel has a lot to offer and they have the best accommodation in town. 

We stayed on one of their Villas, it has two rooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining area and a living room. Everything to need is in there, they also have a full packed refrigerator (drinks are for a cost of course). The whole Villa is fully air conditioned.


On your first day, you need to rest because of the long trip, so this hotel is totally the right one for you to relax and unwind. They have this infinity pool with a bar in the middle. So take a good swim in the morning and then relax. You can also have Water Sports like jet ski, banana boat ride and many more. 

Where to eat::

There are actually a lot of restaurants near the hotel, so you can ride their cart (for free) and ask the driver to drive you up to the hotel gate. From there walk a bit until you reach the main hi-way, there's this humble restaurant in the corner so you can easily find it. Everything in there is fresh sea food and the menu is "paluto" style. Better try their Sinigang na Hipon and Buttered-Garlic Shrimp. Crabs is ideal too. You can also eat inside the hotel, but I'd rather not, it costs much.

Tip:: It is better to eat lunch along the road before you check in the hotel since the check in time is 12nn. Then have dinner in the restaurant I talked about.

In the evening, they have their Spa so you can try it. Oh I almost forgot, upon checking in, they'll give you complimentary stubs for the casino (yes, I forgot to say they have a Casino). 

Second Day

What we did on our second day was to check out on our hotel early in the morning and rented a much cheaper one, because for this day, you won't be able to enjoy the hotel much, you'll be out doors. There are plenty of economic hotels there, located mostly near their "Centro" and Public Market.

Where to go::

First stop, PALAUI ISLAND. You need to get here early, so at 9am you should head out to the docks so you can reserved a boat for you and your crew. The boat usually costs P1800 good for 8-12 person plus the environmental  protection fee that'll cost P50 per head (the prices may vary). You will be accompanied by one tour guide and one Bangkero. The trip is approx 1hr30mins-2hrs away.

Upon arrival, your first stop is to go up the old light house "Parola ng Cape EngaƱo". First look for the Magic Fruit, a fruit that can't be eaten according to the locals here. But I forgot what it's called.

You need to bring water, because the trip going up the light house is really exhausting. But the trail is friendly so for those who are heavy built, no need to worry. Due to the time of the year (June), there were no other people in this island except for our group and the husband and wife who are the care takers of this island.

Tip:: The View in the middle of the trail is really really fascinating! So better bring your best camera. 

You really have to stop in the middle of the trail because you'll get tired. The tour guide will tell you when you should stop to catch a breathtaking view.

Going back down, it's a very good idea to take a swim at this coral beach, it will take care of your tired feet. So you can chill there for awhile, enjoy the view corals because you can't take it home (to preserve the island).

Next stop is to the Hidden Falls. It's hidden within the heart of this Island. The way going there is a bit hard, some of the way are steep and slippery. So don't bring your kids. I don't have pictures of the way going there, because as I said, it's kinda a hard way. So here's a picture of the fountain. 

Tip:: You can drink the water here to freshen you up, just the water from the top. It's more than 6ft deep. So be careful.

One experience we can't forget is since we were a group, we were walking back to the beach from the fountain, half of our group walked in fast pace with the tour guide, while me, my boyfriend and two of our friends were walking a bit slower, together with the bangkero, because we're talking to each other. When we reached the beach, the group ahead of us were out of sight. We thought they were just hiding, so we decided to go swimming again. After 30mins or so, they come about the forest with their shirts worn inside out, they were all exhausted and laughing at the same time. So they went down to us, saying they were lost inside the forest and didn't find the way out. They were going in circles for how many times until they decided to wear their shirts inside out. Take note, they are the group with the tour guide. Creepy.
So after that, we went back to the port.

Tip:: you can buy different sea foods here in the port.

We went back to our new hotel, took a rest, then walked a little in the sea side, ate halo-halo in the market. Their halo-halo is a must try, because instead of putting leche flan on top of it, they're putting a cooked/steamed condensed milk. They also have this "unli-halo-halo" in which you can pick any ingredient that you want, unlimited.

Third Day

Again wake up early, check out from the hotel, eat breakfast somewhere there in Centro (poblacion). The head to Anguib Beach. From our hotel near the Market/Centro, it's a 10-15 minute drive. As for us, we have brought our car, to commute going Anguib you can rent a tricycle.

Food is not a problem here, you can buy fish from them and make 'paluto'. We have bought Tukmol fish and had it 'inihaw'. 

Tip:: you can bring you own kayak or rent one.

After swimming, you can now head back home sometime after lunch.

Tip:: On your way back, don't forget to stop at Alcala to buy the famous and super yummy Alcala Candy. Don't miss this!
Photo below not mine, credits to google.

Sta Ana Cagayan Trip DONE! Hope I was of help ;)
You can comment below for questions. I'll try to answer the best I can.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Baguio Trip

Well, I love travelling so I usually look for things like blogs, travel tours, etc. on the internet. This is just a quick help for those people planning a trip to Baguio City.

Tip:: Choosing a date.

~ Most of us wants to experience the Panagbenga Festival. If you are going there during this season, expect for a high rate of accommodation on every hotel, so it's best to rent a room in lodging houses. Somewhere beside the Victory Liner Station there's a booth provided by the Baguio Tourism Office where you can look for lodging houses, hotels, etc.

~ The risk of going there during panagbenga fest is that hindi na kayo makakapunta sa other tourist destinations, lalo na kung two days lang kayong mag stay don.

Where to stay::

~best place to stay is at friend's house. hehehe but if you are going to rent, madaming for rent na apartment, house, room, even transient so that's not really a problem.
Tip:: huwag sa masyadong mahal. Importante yung matutulugan at maliliguan. Because you're not going to stay indoors naman masyado. At kelangan ng budget para sa lakaran, para mas madaming mabili at magawa.

Where to eat::

~50's Diner

~50's Diner is the best place to go. They have two branches, one in Upper General Luna Road, Corner Brent Road, and the other one I forgot the location. (sorry)
~at night you can go and have a blast at Nevada Square where a set of clubs and bars are located. Bottoms Up!

Where to go::
~first stop is at PMA Fort Del Pilar.
Here you will see the remnants of war, tanks, Philippine Air Force planes and the famous tree house. Pwede rin pong mag papicture sa mga nag lalakad na army trainee. 

~next stop Camp John Hay Commissary
here you can visit shopping center sa baba sa may Commissary, imported products parang duty-free ang prices since commissary sya so worth it kung mag stop kayo don dahil puro factory outlet ang stores. Makikita nyo rin dito ang The Manor.

 ~Next sa Historical Core (yung house na ginamit sa Please be careful with my heart)
going there mas okay kung lalakarin nyo nalang para madaanan nyo yung eco park. Hndi naman mahirap maglakad pataas dahil malamig ang clima.

~Next stop, baba kayo sa likod ng house going sa park/amphitheater na puro flowers. then may way pataas (exit).

~ Tapos punta naman kayo sa TREETOP ADVENTURE. Dyan pwede kayong mag tagal. Bonding.

You can go to the Botanical Garden,too bad under renovation pa sya. I dunno kelan mag oopen, worth it puntahan. So go!

~Next stop Wright Park
Horseback riding, picture taking with our Igorots, with matching costume po yan P10.00 ang mag papicture sakanila with costumes na yun. then meron ding strawberry taho dito so try it.

~Next is The Mansion

you need to climb some stairs again, but because of the scenery hndi sya nakakapagod.

~and then to the famous Mines View.
here you can buy souvenirs, shirts, marami ding food so hndi kayo magugutom :) hndi ganon kamura ang souvenirs dito pero madaming variety. 

Tip:: Pwede nyong matapos yan ng two days.

During the first night mag bar muna kayo, then sa second night kelangan nyo nang mag punta ng Burnham Park, para sa boat ride, mangga, henna, at lalong lalo na sa UKAY UKAY. Nag start sila ng 9:00pm onwards na yan til 1:00am pag hndi peak season at hanggang umaga kapag peak season.

~in the morning of your probably third day, go visit the Baguio Cathedral.

~then go straight to Bell Church sa may La trinidad na sya.

~then from there go na kayo sa Strawberry Farm
the best ang strawberry ice cream so should try one. yung sa sorbetero kayo bibili ha. then dito medyo mas mura ang souvenir items so buy. mura din ang walis. at try buying yung wine nila made of rice, strawberry and blueberry. pwede ring mag 'strawberry picking' dito pag season.

Tip:: Dumaan ng La Trinidad Market, murang mura ang vegetables doon kesa sa ibang palengke dahil bagsakan dito ng gulay. So mas maganda kung sa pagpunta nyo dito ay may dala kayong sasakyan.

Then on your way home, don't forget to drop by sa Lion Head. A few pictures would do :)

Baguio Trip DONE! Hope I was of help ;)
You can comment below for questions. I'll try to answer the best I can.