Manila and its Southern Outskirts

Summer is almost here, and you just can’t wait to bathe under the scorching sun. Coron, Cebu, and Boracay are some of the famous destinations in the Philippines where you can enjoy the tropical weather. Comprised of more than 7,641 islands, it might be hard to move from one place to another unless you have the time and the resources. Good thing there are world-class destinations a few hours from Manila. Go down South Luzon and experience accessible world-class destinations without spending too much of your time!

Laguna

Located Southeast of Metro Manila, Laguna is engulfed in rich culture, nature and plenty of attractions you could discover yourself. The promising destination is home to Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Paete – the wood carvers’ town, and Los Baños Hot Springs. If you’re fond of a serene atmosphere where you could contemplate about life, Lake Pandin in San Pablo offers a calm adventure and you may even dine in the middle of the lake with your special someone. Make sure not to miss Villa Escudero, a resort plantation, reputed as a showcase for the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, offering a charming glimpse of history, cuisine, dress, customs and nature.  The villa has become famous for its restaurant at the foot of a man-made waterfall which is truly a unique dining experience.

Tagaytay

Tagaytay is the most popular choice among locals looking for a cooler climate. Its chilly atmosphere, refreshing sights and outstanding restaurants offer an easy escape from a buzzling city life. People who are in dire need of a quiet time alone deserves this haven called Tagaytay. One can drop by Palace in the Sky, situated on top of Mt. Sungay where you could overlook and enjoy the interesting landscapes. Another noteworthy spot is Tierra de Maria which is an ideal place for spiritual contemplation and healing. It is famous for its 50-foot tall statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a replica of the Virgin of Manaoag. Several vantage points are available for you to visit and be amazed with the overlooking views that can be seen in Tagaytay.

Batangas

Having one of the longest coastlines in Southern Luzon, Batangas offers a variety of beaches perfect for your travel adventure. Batangas is known to have it all –historical structures, a volcano within a lake, pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and everyone’s favorite, irresistible delicacies. Tourist activities in Batangas include overnight stays in resorts in Nasugbu, Calatagan, Mabini, and San Juan, hike to Taal Volcano island, pilgrimage to the numerous churches in the Archdiocese of Lipa, and visits to well-preserved ancestral houses in the Heritage Town of Taal. If you are an underwater adventure enthusiast, a trip to Anilao is a must. It is a world class diving destination belonging to the waters of the Verde Island Passage labeled as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity”.

Enjoy the beauty of the Philippines with these provinces and secure yourself with the best tropical vacation without the expense of your time! Contact our travel experts and embark on another meaningful journey.

What to do in Bohol

Home of the cute Tarsiers, Bohol is serene but adventurous version of the entire archipelago. The endless possibilities found in Bohol will not only calm your screaming tired soul but also awaken the sleeping adrenaline junkie within. Listed below are four things you must not miss when in Bohol.

1. Exploring Loboc River

Surrounded by captivating rainforests, Loboc River is a jaw-dropping turquoise-colored river that Bohol takes pride in. While most people opt for a cruise along the impressive river, adventurous people can take an extra mile by stand-up paddle boarding along the river. It is a lot easier to paddle board in Loboc due to tranquil waters which involves less friction and smooth-sailing. Stand Up Paddling offers a quiet time and re-connecting with nature. You paddle at your own pace, meditatively as you cruise down this river paradise in Loboc. You’ll get to see the ruined 17th-century coral stone San Pedro Apostol Parish Church which was destroyed by consecutive natural disasters. Watching the colors of the sky change as the night time approaches is an added bonus to end your relaxing day at Loboc River.

2. Island Hopping in Panglao, Bohol

What would a vacation mean without getting a luxurious time at a beach? But in Bohol, you should not stay at just one beach. Known to have a lot of beaches with light blue waters and defined sandbars, it would be hard to discover them all. There are plenty of activities you can do depending on the island you are about to encounter. Passing by fish pens can be arranged so you could feed the tiny schools of fish., you can also check snorkeling off your list in an island called Gak-ang or scuba dive in the neighboring island of Balicasag. Immeasurably protected and preserved by the government, you will only find unspoiled beaches with clear waters free from litter and any kind of trash. Since they are strict with implementing rules, you must enjoy the lovely sceneries while abiding the rules. Leave nothing but memories, good friend!

3. Getting cozy with tarsiers

Traveling around Bohol without visiting the tarsiers in their sanctuaries would be incomplete. These cute googly-eyed mammals are most active at night and lives on a diet of insects. One of the smallest primates in the world, Tarsiers even have a special adaptation in the neck which allows its head to be rotated 180 degrees. While visiting these shy lemur-like animals, always move in with caution. As they are extremely introverted, flashes of cameras and loud sounds can startle them in an instant. Make sure to ask your guide for any questions to fill up those tarsier trivia you’ve been dreaming of learning.

4. Sight-seeing the Chocolate Hills

Last but not the least, the essence of Bohol, Chocolate Hills. Spread in a wide area of 50 square kilometers, the majestic hills are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown making it one of Bohol’s main attraction. One travel tip would be to ask locals or your tour guide on famous folklore about the chocolate hills that you could brag and pass on to your friends. Make sure you have eaten before watching over the symmetrical chocolate-colored hills as it would just make you crave more for Hershey’s kisses.

Convinced of the ultimate Bohol getaway? Contact our travel partners and we’ll arrange everything according to your taste. See you soon!

5 must-try delicacies in Vigan

One of UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities, Vigan is acclaimed for being an intact example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia that features 233 historical structures built during the mid 18th to the late 19th century lined up in a grid of 25 streets.   The famous cobble-stoned Calle Crisologo is definitely one of the highlights but roaming around the rustic but elegant streets of Vigan would definitely tire you out. Worry not, here are 5 of the most sumptuous foods from the city of Vigan that will boost your energy fuel.

Pakbet

Pakbet or more known as Pinakbet for people in the South, is also one of Ilocos’s preserved dishes. Vigan’s style of pakbet sets its difference from the Southern’s through adding bitter gourd and excluding squash which is a key ingredient of Southerns. Ilocanos customarily uses vegetables which can be grown from their backyards such as eggplants, okra, string beans, chili peppers, and bitter gourd. If you’re feeling a bit conscious about your health, this is the perfect meal to try out in Vigan.

Royal Bibingka

A sweet tooth must-try, the royal bibingka also made its mark as one of Vigan’s specialties. If compared with the ordinary “Christmas bibingka”, Vigan’s royal bibingka falls short if size were the basis. But, what they say is true, small is terrible. In this case, terribly delicious! The crusty top and the sticky but soft cupcaked-sized body makes up the crowd favorite bibingka. Topped with cheese and butter, you can never go wrong with a Royal Bibingka.

Longganisang Iloko

If you’re a breakfast geek, Longganisang Iloko which is also branded as Vigan Longganisa among locals is the town’s own traditional version of a sausage. A bit plump, full of garlic, and seen as a bit yellowish compared to usual sausages but one small bite can change your life. Filipinos cook them in a pan with a bit of water. After the water evaporates, the longganisa is fried using its own fat and is further fried until it turns slightly brown. It brings out its best flavor when dipped in vinegar.

Empanada

Of course, if you’re in town, you shouldn’t miss out on this one. Found almost anywhere within the crowded plazas of Vigan, Empanada is something Vigan takes pride in. Combining the aforementioned Longganisang Iloko, beans, shredded cabbages, grated unripe papayas, onion, garlic and egg makes up the core of orange-colored Empanada. Sellers make it right before your very eyes which is also another interesting sight.

Bagnet

Traditionally dried under the sun, marinated then deep-fried to make it crisp and tender, Bagnet is recognized as the region’s delicacy symbol. This huge chunk of meat with crunchy golden skin that was fried to perfection can be eaten at any time of the day which is convenient for travelers as it is available basically everywhere. One bite and you’ll get hooked so be wary of this cholesterol-rich slice of heaven.

So, if you’re going to give in on the Filipino-Spanish nostalgia that comes with visiting beautiful Vigan, then we suggest you try these delicacies before packing up your bags to go back home! To learn more about Vigan, just click here!