Malapasqua, a paradise for divers

Posted on Mar.30, 2012, under Philippines Island, Visayas

After not having a lot of time the last few weeks I went to my neighbor island Malapascua in order to have a nice meal at the Maldito Grill. Usually I wouldn’t visit Malapascua that often but the food there is so good that I just can’t help avoid it. Besides that you can snorkel really nice in the water around the island, at least when you have your own boat. After eating a nice lunch (fish Paella) I went to the back of the island. There you can see fantastic looking blue water, so of course I explored this area with my boat. For about two ours we explored the underwater world, the water was about two to four meters deep. We saw dreamy looking coral banks that regenerated pretty well in the last couple of years, it used to be not that nice in the past. Especially when the weather is good it looks like in heaven. There was just one flaw: There were just a few fish, not that huge swarms that used to be there, just a few single fishes. At this point I have to say the state should take action and stop the overfishing!

In the evening we went to Maldito´s again and enjoyed the fantastic looking sunset. Everybody who visits this place during a vacation should relax in a lounger in the evening and shoot some photos, it’s worth it.

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First class resort Plantation Bay in Cebu / Mactan

Posted on Mar.21, 2012, under Cebu

Every few months my wife, me and our children spend some time in a first class resort in the Philippines. The last time I was there is some time ago but I just didn’t have any time to report about it earlier. But I will do so right now: This time we were near Cebu City in the first class hotel Plantation Bay. It was a dreamlike but not really cheap hotel about 15 minutes away from the airport. Those of you who love being in a nice hotel pool will just love this place. They have a really huge pool, in fact it’s supposed to be the biggest pool in the Philippines. Around the pools and in between are really nice pool villas and beach houses that are just a few steps away from the water. The cheapest room in this great hotel costs about 150 Dollar a day but what you get for that money is really outstanding. Especially families with children will be happy there. There is a pretty big SPA section, a shooting ranch and a lot of restaurants where you get really good food and can relax.

A highlight in this hotel are the live shows that you can see every Saturday and Monday Evening. On Saturday you can see the “Sahara Night” live show at the moment, this includes a huge Arabic buffet and a belly dance show. The last time I saw the Sahara Night show I didn’t have my camera with but but I did shoot some photos at another show, the “Brazil Nights”, I want to show them to you now. I hope you like them, the camera is pretty new and I still have to get used to it.

Brazil Night – Click on the photos for a higher resolution.

The Brazil Night live show in Plantation Bay is often overbooked, so if you want to see this great show you should consider getting a reservation at least one or two days in advance. Another show that is really good is the folklore show. There you get a wide range of Brazilian food and it costs 1000 Peso for one person. In my opinion this show is just awesome! What I like most about those shows is of course the food and also the shows from the Philippians.

You can get a reservation here:

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island
Cebu, Philippines 6015
Tel. + 63 – 32 – 505 9800
Fax + 63 – 32 – 340 5988

http://plantationbay.com/

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Jeepneys, a part of the Philippine culture

Posted on Mar.13, 2012, under Cebu, Manila

I love the Jeepneys; in the Philippines, although I have to admit that this is nothing for me because I have a little too much bodyweight for that. Every tourist should drive at least once with a colorful Jeepney during his vacation on the Philippines, it’s really fun!

In the last 60 years the streets of the bigger cities in the Philippines were characterized by those really nice Jeepneys, more than by any other automobile. Most of the Philippines love Jeepneys because it does not cost much do use them to get somewhere and it’s fun (my wife tells me at least once a month nice stories about her rides in Jeepneys when she was young) but some Philippine people don’t like those neat little buses because they need a lot of gas and they pollute the air in the cities. The motors of those automobiles are really old and will eventually take them off the streets. The Philippine government has strict rules concerning fumes and while you can barley make tests outside the cities they do test the air i the bigger cities.

Today they still color the Jeepney really nice and if you look closely you will notice two different kind of motives. One motive is, of course, something that has to do with religion and the other motive is often a figure or figures from Disney / Looney cartoons. But you will also see their favorite brands like Coca Cola and also commercial for bigger car companies. I think you will notice a Mercedes and Ferrari commercial on nearly every Jeepney if you look closely.

I will miss those cute little automobiles, which actually are transformed military jeeps a lot if the Philippine government takes them off the streets because they are so bad for the air and very old. It in some way belongs to the culture in the Philippines though, so I hope they somehow find a way to keep them. Almost every Philippine book that I know has a Jeepney on it’s cover. Often, after my wife and me come back from traveling in another country, my wife complains about the lacking culture in the Philippines. I say a very important component of the culture in the Philippines is currently vanishing….

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Sexy Filipinas or why we marry Philippine women

Posted on Mar.13, 2012, under Philippines Island

Sexy Young FilippinasAll the time my friends accuse me of living on the Philippines only because of those sexy Filipinas. Well, to be honest, those hot Philippine women are amazing but in a different way than you’d think.

It’s the easygoingness and freshness of these stunning babes that I like so much. Most of them don’t care about politics, society problems or something like that. They learned to love each day and enjoy life without being pessimistic about the future.

A good friend of mine once said it’s easy to get them but it’s extremely hard to win their heart forever. That is something I wouldn’t say because everybody who treats those mesmerizing women with respect has the same chances to have a nice relationship than for example in America. But of course there are some differences.

Living together without being married

Well, that is not that easy and it only works if the woman you like really wants to. Because if they don’t want to be together with you without being married at the same time it won’t work out. Sooner or later they will want you to marry them. Often their parents will take care of the situation in order to protect their daughter from living together with a foreigner. Don’t forget that sex before marriage is everything but normal in the Philippines. It always helps to show respect by visiting the parents and introduce yourself to them nicely. This can really help, especially poor families are often happy because this means some money for them in future.

Jealousness of Filipinas

In my eyes the jealousness of Filipinas is almost legendary. I’ve had these experiences not only with my current wife but also with my three Philippine ex-girlfriends. They literary count the seconds you look at other women and have a problem with you going downtown alone because of the evil bars and the even more evil women inside the bars. I hate traveling alone somewhere anyway, so I have no problem taking my wife with me but I’m sure other men might have problems with such kind of situations.

Marrying a Filipina

When you get married in the Philippines you should always keep in mind that getting married is different here than for example in USA or other countries . You can’t just divorce if it doesn’t work out. An official divorce is not possible! There is a possibility of an annulment but that is very expensive and you have to pay money to your ex-wife. I’ve heard that an annulment costs about one million Peso and about 5000-15000 Peso monthly for the ex-wife. That is a lot of money so before you plan getting married to a Filipina you should be really sure about it.

Cheating

Everybody who has a married sex partner is breaking the law in the Philippines and it’s not unusual that you go to jail because of that. This is something a lot of American guys realize too late after being in a Philippine bar to have fun. Of course it is a bit different if you are a “rich foreigner”, then they might ask you for a lot of money. So think twice before you flirt with a nice sexy Filipina while being drunk in a bar or so…

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The Philippine first class hotel Boracay Regency

Posted on Mar.04, 2012, under Hotels & Restaurants, Visayas

Since we didn’t plan our vacation on Boracay Island we arrived without knowing in which hotel we would be staying. Since we went there in August we were pretty sure though that we would get a room easily and even cheaper than it is usually. In case you didn’t know, August is an off season month on Boracay Island. We did a quick research and found out that the best hotel is supposed to be between Station 1 and Station 3, the Boracay Regency. When we were there we asked them to show us their rooms and stayed at a really, really nice room (Room NR. 161 and 162 are the best) after asking them for a good deal since it’s the off season. We managed to only pay 75% of the usual price (20% off season sale and 5% because we asked so nicely). You get an off season sale in this hotel between June and September. Usually the rooms we booked cost about 13800 Pesos and we payed around 10500. The room there in Boracay Regency was the money worth!

What is really special about those rooms is the direct access to the pool, which is just great when you have children. Besides that you have the best and newest equipment in the room, I think hardly any other first class hotel can beat that. Usually I don’t care too much if a hotel room has a bathtub or not but they had a really nice one and it was even usable for a big European guy like me. We also had free internet access but in a hotel room that costs more than 3000 Peso this is mostly the case. Sometimes in other Boracay Hotels they charge you with 200 Peso just for using the internet access. A very nice breakfast is included for VIP guests in the hotel restaurant Christina´s. It was much better than most breakfast buffets that I saw before but again, we paid a lot of money for the stay in this fantastic hotel so it didn’t surprise me too much that the breakfast was outstanding. You can choose out of ten different dainties, so everybody should find something he or she likes.

For all of you guys and girls who are interested and want more information about the Boracay Regency first class hotel:

Telephone (63) (36) 288 6111
Fax (63) (36) 288 6777

http://www.boracayregency.com/

If you can afford staying in this first class hotel I can really just recommend it. Especially the rooms I described before to you are outstanding and very special. I’m sure this was not the last time I stayed in Boracay Regency. It’s really easy to relax there, for that reason alone I’d stay there again.

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Poverty in the Philippines

Posted on Mar.04, 2012, under Cebu

If you visit the Philippines as a tourist you will notice the grinding poverty which can be seen almost everywhere. In the last couple of years I saw a lot of things like little children begging for money, poor old people that were almost blind and ask for a few pennies and childcare’s homes that were too poor to send the children to school. But everybody who visits this nice country can do something about that. Of course it is nice to have a really cheap vacation since the flight alone is really expensive but mostly because of that stinginess things got worse in the Philippines in the last few years. In almost every better hotel there are money collecting container that can be fed with a few Peso. In order to sent one child to school just 5000 peso are needed (with everything they need for school like books, writing material and school uniforms). They are already happy with a few Peso, it’s not like in Germany where they look strange at you when you just spend a few coins. They like every single benefactor.

Well, some of you guys may ask yourself what the guy writing the stuff on this Philippine Blog does about the poorness in the Philippine. I help a Orphanage with about 7000 Peso a month and I hire every beggar I see collecting food rests on the street for a job on my own farm. Like this they don’t have to sleep on the street anymore can have a meal three times a day and live a normal life again. I always have to think about my parents… How would we be doing without a perfect retirement security. I don’t really like thinking about that and would be happy if this was a matter for reflection for you.

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The place of Masbate

Posted on Jan.05, 2011, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Masbate
Masbate
is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of the three major islands; Masbate, Ticao and Burias.
The province of Masbate is classified as a first class province. Masbate is endowed with rich natural resources. In line with its agriculture are other industries such as large farming, livestock and poultry raising. Along its coastal areas, fishing industry predominates. Agricultural lands are planted with rice, corn, root crops and coconut. Masbate ranks second only to Bukidnon in raising cattle. Farming is the main source of livelihood. Copra is the leading product followed by corn, rice and root crops. Fishing is the major industry along the coast. The province is one of the richest on the country in terms of mineral resources that include copper, silver, iron. Manganese and chromite. Manufacturing firms are in the copra industry, handicrafts, furniture making and fish processing. The province is surrounded with rich fishing areas where all kinds of commercial species of fish teemed in great abundance. Rich minerals are found in the province. Masbate is described by geologist as a province sitting on a pot of gold. Cottage industry is likewise another source of livelihood. They are furniture and cabinet making, ceramics, garments, handicrafts and metal crafts.

Festivals and Events
Rodeo Masbateño also known as the Rodeo Filipino is usually held in April or May each year. This five day event attracts cowpokes from all over the Philippines and features men’s and women’s lassoing, barehanded cattle wrestling and bull riding.

Sleeping and Eating

MG Hotel and Restaurant the classiest place in the province for eating or sleeping. It has the feel of a friendly and the large tiled rooms with small private balconies are modern and lovingly cared for.
Masbate Lodge offers the best value accommodation on Quezon St. the 2nd storey rooms are large and clean and the polished wooden floorboards are an attractive change of pace from the usual concrete or tile.
St. Anthony Hotel is clean and bright, furnished with fish tanks and a lounge. The rooms are dark and bowlike.
Rancher’s Hotel have harbor views while those without are decidedly dim and unwelcoming.

Bacagay
Bacagay is about 14 km from Masbate town; Bituon Beach Resort is a popular weekend getaway for locals and the only beachside accommodation on Masbate. The restaurant also serves good Filipino and international cuisine.

Mandaon

Mandaon is about 64 km from Masbate town.
Bantongan Cave is about half hour by bus that is near in the main road between Mandaon and Masbate town.

Ticao Island
On Ticao west coast, Costa Rica is a lonely fishing village with a long brown sand beach. In this place you cam watch on your way to go here a dolphins and flying fish.
Halea Island Resort is nestled in a beautiful cove on San Miguel just off the northern tip of the Ticao.

Burias Island
In the town of Claveria on Burias, is a cave of truly cathedral like dimensions. Burias Island is the one of the three major islands of Masbate province in the Philippines. This island has two municipalities the Claveria and the San Pascual.

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Sibuyan Island

Posted on Dec.30, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Sibuyan Island
Sibuyan Island is the Galapagos Islands of the region. Sibuyan is a crescent shaped of Romblon province. The island has two prominent peaks, Mount Guiting –guiting with a height of 2, 058 m and Mount Nailog with a height of 789 m.
The people speak the Sibuyan dialect of Romblomanon, a Visayan language.
Sibuyan has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Sibuyan has been proclaimed as one of the world’s most diverse forest.

San Fernando
This town is near the banks of the mighty Cantingas River is one of the three entry points onto the islands.
On the coastal side of the town Sea Breeze Inn is a family run affair, bamboo huts with verandas face out to sea. There is a common kitchen can make use of the attached café which opens for visitors.
There are three small inexpensive eateries in the market area with irregular opening hours.

Magdiwang
The gateway to Mt. guiting-guiting. Magdiwang is a friendly, no-frills port town.
Its pier, 2km from the town is lined with picture perfect little houses silts decorated with flowering pot plants.

Sleeping and Eating
Vicky’s Place is officially a home stay just off National road opposite the school. There are homely timber floored rooms on the 2nd floor with an immaculate shared bathroom.
Roger’s Place has simple rooms with wonderful mountain views and there’s a communal sitting area with cable TV.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting Natural Park
This 15, 000m plus hectare natural park is one of the Philippine’s natural treasures. The island has been cited s one of the centers of both plant and animal diversity in Asia and the Pacific. It’s home to an estimated 700 plant species some of which are only found on the island and 130 bird species and long list of rare and endangered mammals and reptiles.

Cajidiocan and Around
Cajidiocan is Sibuyan Island’s access point for boats to and from Masbate. It’s also an alternative base to Magdiwang for trips into Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park.
Cawa Cawa Falls an excellent swimming spot are 8km from the town.
On the town’s main street you’ll find the Marble House it has no signposting but is known by all locals-with rooms with fan and large windows onto the street ot towards the mountains. The shared bathroom is large and of course marble.

Banton Island
Banton Island is a small rock island with some good white sand beaches, a cone shaped mountain, plenty of coconut palms, a crumbling 18th century Spanish Port and some great diving.

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Romblon Island

Posted on Dec.28, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Romblon Island
Romblon is a deal destination for those with patience, time and a taste for beautiful remote places. It’s famous domestically for its marble, which graces the floors of churches and homes all over the country.

Beautiful historic Romblon town surrounded by lush, green hills, is a delight to approach by sea, and offers an even greater pleasure to those with time to wander its charming streets. The capital of the province of the same name, this town boasts the 17th century Fort San Andres, Fort Santiago and the fantastically solid San Joseph’ Cathedral and belfry. There is also the Fuente de Belen fountain in front of the municipal building and some bridges and a cemetery thought to have been built around the time of the 17th century churches. There are good views from the Sabang and Apunan lighthouse.

Sleeping and Eating
Romblon Plaza Hotel the rooms are big clean and bright and more expensive rooms have cable TV and beautiful views.
Parc Bay Mansion this is not exactly mansion but it is excellent accommodation. All rooms are very clean and have million dollar harbor views, and the hallways are decorated with artwork.
Blue Ridge Hotel is another good value option. Rooms are simple but kept perfectly cleaned there’s a comfortable kitchen and dining room on the top floor to prepare your own food and the mini nipa hut on the rooftop is great for hanging out and gawking at the views.
Jak’s Restaurant and Bar this is a well run place offering a regularly updated menu, cool tunes and friendly service.
Romblon Shopping Center Eatery it has average Filipino fare but its good place to sit and watch the world go by.

West Coast
San Pedro Beach Resort this idyllic resort is set on a little white sand beach in Ginablan about 10km south of Romblon town. Several spotless bamboo cottages with balconies and marble floors are perched over the beach which has good snorkeling when it’s high tide.
Marble Beach Resort has several basic bamboo cottages with fan and cold water bathroom.
Tiamban Aqua Club Beach Resort is the closet to town off coastal road and is set on a nice secluded section of beach. There is a shady garden good for dining.

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Romblon

Posted on Dec.27, 2010, under Hotels & Restaurants, Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Romblon
Romblon
is an island province of the Philippines located in MIMAROPA region in Luzon. The province consists of numerous islands sitting in the Sibuyan Sea. The three major islands are Romblon Island, Tablas Island and Sibuyan Island.
Its capital is the municipality also named Romblon.
Romblon is the country’s leading producer of high quality marble comparable to that of Italy.
The province of Romblon was formerly called Lomlon and later corrupted to the word Domblon. Romblon’s early inhabitants were the Negritos from Panay and Mangyan tribes from Mindoro.
Romblon is endowed with lush vegetation and mineral resources. Aside from marble, the islands are rich in granite, nickel, silica, mercury, zinc, copper, silver, limestone, sulfide, ores, kaolin, clay, magnesium and quartz. Romblon is a rich fishing ground.
The province of Romblon is classified as a third class province.
Romblon is subdivided into 17 municipalities.

Carabao Island
Carabao Island is known as Hambil by locals. This is primarily because of a lack of accommodation but its quite streets, white beaches and surroundings reefs offer the chance for a vacation from your vacation on Boracay.
Carabao is a home to about 12, 000 residents, and 5000 of who live in the main town of San Jose on the east coast.

San Jose
San Jose has a little more than a municipal hall, plaza, church, school, district hospital, public long distance calling office and basic shops. The market has meager supplies of fruit and vegetables and when fish and meat arrive a bell is sounded, summoning people onto the street.
The narrow streets of the island are so quite that on a long walk past rice fields, over hills and through shady coconut and nipa stands.

Tablas Island
Tablas is the largest of the Romblon Islands, is a three hour boat ride from Mindoro’s east coast. Its largest town is Odiongan.
The best beaches are in Ferrol in between Odiongan and Looc and also at Alcantara. There are waterfalls at San Andres and near San Agustin and mangroves at Roda Beach near Looc. There is also a marine sanctuary near Looc.
Odiongan is connected to Mindoro and Luzon.

Looc
Looc is primarily the first stop on a journey from Boracay to Romblon and the Sibuyan Islands. There’s a town plaza surrounded by what passes for commercial buildings and several blocks worth of charming flower and tree lined residential streets.
The main attraction and what makes Looc worth a stopover is the Looc Bay Marine Refuge and Sanctuary it’s a 48 hectare coral reef protected area.
Buenavista Marine Sanctuary a little further north is only 2 hectares but is located around an islet where tourist can wander about.
In late April they celebrate a Fiesta Sa Dagat or Festival of the Sea that includes a boat parades, boat races and a fishing competition.
The Talabukon Festival the town fiesta which celebrates the legend of the giant who defended the area from pirates by strangling them, giving the town its name Looc.

Sleeping
Marduke Hotel the friendly Marduke is the best place to stay in town. It has five large rooms with air-con and private bathrooms, and free brewed coffee and fresh fruit in the mornings.
Roda Beach Resort and Gishelle’s Beach Resort there are several big, plain motel style rooms in a concrete building with air-con and other basic native rooms with fans.

Eating
Pacific Garden Restaurant offering good Filipino and Chinese noodle dishes and burgers. It also has a well stocked bar and no videoke.
Roberto’s Bar a friendly night time oasis two blocks from the town plaza. This place is one long deep and green garden furnished with rock slab benches and tables with an open air, native style bar and restaurant.
Tirol’s Restaurant this is simple eatery serving light snacks and basic Filipino dishes like rice and veggies.

Alcantara
Alcantara is only 9km from Looc on the east coast of Tablas, is a small town with an OK beach. There is accommodation here and the jeepney from Looc to San Agustin.
Aglicay Beach Resort has several modern concrete bungalows, some with air-con others with fan. It’s set in a grassy compound back from a wide white sand beach shaded by a line of tall palm trees.

Odiongan
Odiongan’s fiesta is held in early April. Odiongan is a port town but also a charming mix of brightly colored houses and neatly trimmed hedges.

Sleeping
Rencios Resort has seven very nice air-con rooms with cable TV in the main building. Several cheaper fan and air-con rooms are in little bamboo annex. There’s a restaurant and bar, and karaoke in a big pavilion.
Odiongan Plaza Lodge it has small well kept air-con rooms with cable TV and tiled floors and windows that get good sunlight.
Haliwood Inn it’s an attractive building and well staffed however the big and fairly drab marble floored rooms.

Eating
Star Place Chinese Restaurant is a friendly Chinese restaurant serving Cantonese dishes noodles and seafood.
Lyn’s Snack Bar and Restaurant this is a little air-conditioned diner serving simple Filipino dishes like pansit burgers and hot dogs.
Haliwood Inn Restaurant serving well priced Filipino and Chinese dishes such as sizzling chicken with rice.

San Agustin
With a backdrop of high rugged mountain and a deep, palm fringed harbor, the serene town of San Agustin is a picturesque stop on the way to or from the island of Romblon.
August Inn has extremely clean, small. Tiled rooms on the 2nd floor, private bathrooms are well maintained. Rooms in the grey building of Kamilla Lodge are not as bright or spotless as those in the August Inn.

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Boracay

Posted on Dec.26, 2010, under Hotels & Restaurants, Information, Places, Resorts, Visayas

Boracay
Boracay is an island of the Philippines; the island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag and Yapak and is under the administrative control of the Philippine Tourism Authority in coordination with the Provincial Government of Aklan.
Boracay Island was originally home to the Ati tribe. Boracay is part of Aklan Province.

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island and belongs to the Western Visayas island group or Region VI of the Philippines.
Boracay’s two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach are located on opposite sides of the island’s narrow central area. White Beach faces westward and Bulabog faces eastward. The island also has several other beaches.

White Beach is the main tourism beach. It is about four a kilometer long is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurant and other tourism related businesses.
Bulabog Beach across the island from White Beach is a secondary tourism beach and Boracay’s main windsurfing and kite boarding area.

Boracay is divided for land use and conservation purposes into 400 hectares of presented forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.

Boracay is served by two airports in aklan province: Kalibo International Airport in Kalibo and Godofredo P. Ramos Airport commonly referred to as Caticlan Airport in Caticlan.

Sleeping

Dave’s Straw Hat Inn has modern cottages with nipa roofs and sliding glass doors around a neat little garden.
Melinda’s Garden is set in a leafy garden down the same path as Orchids Resort and is highly recommended. Simple nipa huts have porches with hammocks and clean modern bathrooms.
Orchids Resort is another popular budget choice with well maintained rooms in a two storey nipa building, several stand alone native cottages and a small bar set around a quite little garden.
B and B Beach Resort is a white concrete building with nipa roofs, thatched bamboo interiors with modern bathrooms and small porches are set on a long tree and flower lined walkway.
Blue Lily Villa was under renovation at the time of posting.
Villa Camilla this is friendly resort, rooms are set back from the beach path and there’s a little pool in the back with a swim up bar. The deluxe rooms with kitchenettes and fancy TV’s are good deals and sleep up to four.
Surfside Boracay Resort some of the rooms here have four poster beds with brightly colored linens; the large wood floored suite with small dining area is especially attractive.
Frendz Resort a backpacker friendly resort down a long narrow dirt road off the beach. There are 15 well kept native style cottages with marble floored bathrooms, cable TV and hot water upon request.
Saigon Beach Resort cozy bamboo cottages with small porches all on one side of a palm tree lined path off the beach road.
Angol Point Beach Resort this resort has large, leafy, slightly unkempt grounds, with eight octagonal bamboo cottages.
Casa Pilar Beach Resort has several categories of rooms; the cheapest are rustic and basic, the more expensive deluxe rooms are spotless bamboo huts with nice balconies.
Villa de Oro it’s worth selling out for the higher priced Indonesian inspired cottages with porches and stone and bamboo bathrooms set in nicely landscaped garden.
Sunset Beach Resort this place is 20 m down the lane north of Villa de Oro has both native style and tiled rooms with a small terrace.
Acanthus Resort it’s certainly the most private and exclusive resort with only six rooms, perfect for honeymooners. Each suite combines high end modern amenities with traditional Balinese inspired design and art.
Mandala Spa has several gorgeous villas made of teak bamboo with cogon grass roofs. Each has a beautiful bathtub and out doors shower with stone walls.
Friday’s Boracay is simultaneously quaint and luxurious, charming and extremely well run. The cottages with private verandas and hammocks look like tree houses.
Sea Wind the rooms are some of the nicest on the island especially the beautiful designed suites, full of antiques, wood carvings and paintings.
Nigi Nigi Nu Noos Beach Resort the Balinese style bamboo and nipa cottages have huge rooms and balconies with benches; they are easily the most elegant fan cooled rooms on the island.
Escondido Resort the rooms in this low slung peach colored buildings have character though with dark wood floors and seashell filled lamps.
Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel this boutique style hotel brings a little bit of the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia.
3-5-7 Boracay rooms at this small boutiques resort have wood floors and modern tiled bathrooms. The nicest rooms have four poster bamboo canopy beds.
Hey Jude is this three storey attractive white building. Each tastefully done room has nice wood beds and a private porch as well as little touches like flowers on the beds that make it an especially attractive choice.
Waling-Waling Beach Hotel Boracay rooms are less than spectacular generally more motel than luxury resort though each does have a few wood details.
Tonglen Beach Resort the well kept grounds of this peaceful resort extend far back from the entrance. The bright two storey concrete buildings with nipa roof contain modern nicely furnished rooms and the pool area is particularly pleasant.
Nami Boracay offers privacy and breathtaking views. All of the luxury top floor rooms have their own outdoor Jacuzzis and the restaurant has an electric menu serving everything from Filipino to Italian to Asian fusion and burgers and burritos.
Boracay Terraces has an enviable location tucked against a rocky point at the far northern end of the beach with almost zero traffic.

Eating
White beach path is one big food court half the fun of dining is taking a walk around sunset and checking out the sites, smells, menus and other people along the path.
La Capinnina Italian Restaurant Café and wine Bar specializes in creative Italian cooking with regularly updated specials and pastas, pizza and desserts.
Restaurant Banza serves the freshest seafood, with an emphasis on quality, flavor oil and garlic.
Pizzeria Floremar this place at the very southern end of the beach does fantastic pizza probably the best in Boracay.
Sulu Thai Restaurant is an unassuming eatery with a thick menu with helpful photos of all the dishes, including seafood entrees.
La Reserve Restaurant is to be the best restaurant in Boracay, it is certainly the priciest. It serves continental cuisine and seafood such as green lobster and royal crabs.
Friday’s Boracay has a different set menu every night of the week but perhaps the best night of all is appropriately enough the Friday barbecue which is a feast of sushi, sashimi and grilled meats and fish.
Mañana Mexican Cuisine serves big tasty dishes such as burritos, tortillas and top of the line fruit shake.
Pomodoro Italian Cuisine this restaurant is nothing more than a few tables set out on a sandy platform in front of the Blue Lilly Villa.
Steakhouse Boracay the service is good as are the imported steaks and Californian, German and Australian wines.
Aria Restaurant has a prime people watching location on the beach path at D’Mall entrance; it has a stylish and modern dining room and cooks Italian and continental cuisine dishes.
Summer Place keeps all ingredients fresh and quickly replenished.
Boracay Regency Restaurant this stylish hotel restaurant has outdoor seating and a large menu where you can choose from Korean or Japanese specialties like bibimbap.

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Kalibo

Posted on Dec.23, 2010, under Information, Places, Resorts, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Kalibo is primarily an alternative port of entry to Boracay and the site of raucous Ati-Atihan Festival. The city is thought to have been founded around 1250 by Malay settlers from Borneo.

Bakhawan Eco-tourism Center and mangrove Park the base for a 70 hectare mangrove reforestation area. The area was originally mangrove but due to bad land use it deteriorated to mudflats which have since been naturally reclaimed by the land. It’s a thriving ecosystem providing the community with many valuable dietary and economic resources.

Kalibo is the center for many types of weaving such as pinya cloth weaving an 8th century tradition that produces fine cloth from silk and pineapple leaf fibers; abaca weaving from banana seeds, producing a stiff cloth and nito weaving a sturdy vine that is woven into stiff baskets and mats. The pinya cloth is still used for producing barong the traditional formal wear for man but all methods are employed for producing modern designs popular with the European market.

In January the fantastic Ati-Atihan Festival is held. The nation’s biggest and best mardi grass it possibly dates back to the days o the Borneo setters. Its week long street party raging from sun up to sun down and peaking on the third Sunday of January.

Sleeping

Beachcomber Inn Kalibo walking distance of shops and the mall, the Beachcomber is a friendly and professional place that will help with ticketing. Rooms are small, marble floored and furnished with wicker and bamboo.
La Esperanza Hotel this is a good choice for those desiring a little quite and professional service. More expensive room has hot water and bath tub.
B@H Traveller’s Inn and Garcia Legaspi Mansion both have clean modern accommodation near the city center.

Eating and Entertainment
Nakon Thai Restaurant this place serving up good Thai cuisine on the road past the capital building.
Mezzanine Café and Restaurant has up tempo décor and a permanently set-up stage for the Friday night live music. The dishes are good and cheap and include noodles, burgers, pizza and Filipino and Chinese dishes.
Everyday’s Friday Bistro a good place for a drink and a game pool.
New Peking House Restaurant an unassuming eatery serving fine Chinese food.
MM’s Pizza is little hole in the wall pizzeria across from the gaisano Mall and PAlmeros does good sizzling meat rest easy since there’s Jollibee fans will rest easy since there’s near Pastrana Park.

Tangalan
Near the town of tangalan between kalibo and Caticlan is a 375 hectare marine sanctuary established in 2o003 through the efforts of a locally inspired ecotourism project. Colorful species of coral and fish, sea snakes, turtles and dolphins are once again thriving near Pungtod reef which has not long ago decimated by dynamite and cyanide fishing, a 10 hectare area within the marine sanctuary is due to open for diving and snorkeling in May 2006.

All accommodation is on the tranquil white sand beach nearby barangay of Jawili. The resorts will prepare food upon request.
Modern Wassenaar Beach Resort is 3km west of town proper and plans to open up a dive facility.

Caticlan
Caticlan is little more than a departure port for Boracay. Busses arriving here carry passengers straight to the wharf and guides lead through a smart pavilion onto outrigger boats.

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Panay Roxas (Capiz)

Posted on Dec.22, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

The capital of Capiz province and the commercial capital of northern Panay, Roxas claims to be the seafood capital of the Philippines. The home town of the Commonwealth’s first president Manuel Roxas, the city central business district is based around the metropolitan cathedral and belfry on Rizal St, which is on the bank of the Panay River.

Near the cathedral is Ang Panublion originally built as a water storage tank, this 1910 heritage building nowadays houses an assortment of period furniture, local artifacts and a shell collection.
Baybay Beach is around 3 kilometers north of downtown Roxas, towards Culasi Port is popular 7 kilometers long, brown sand beach lined with eateries and picnic shelters. This is the best place to pick up fresh and cheap seafood which can also be brought at the city’s wet market at teodoro Arcenas trade center.

The largest bell in Asia is found in a church in the town of pan-ay, a 20 minutes ride from Roxas. The beautiful Pan-ay Bell made entirely of coins during the Spanish period is more than 2 meters tall.

The Sinadya Fiesta is a raucous, colorful, four day event held in early December. It culminates in the celebration of the Immaculate Concepcion of the Virgin Mary.

Sleeping
Roxas President’s Inn is a mix of old world charm and modern amenities, the president is the best place to stay in Roxas. Each stylish furnished room has timber floors, quite air-con and cable TV, and the wrought iron railings are a nice touch.
La Hacienda Hotel is a two storey Mediterranean style La Hacienda, it may feel lonely but rooms are spacious and modern with cable TV, air-con, hot water marble bathroom, fridge and coffee bar.
Plaza Central Inn is a small step up in quality from halaran Plaza a few doors down, the plaza Central has bright and modern well-kept rooms with polished wood floors.
Julieta’s Hotel is a modest green hotel with big, slightly drab but clean, tiled rooms with hot water, cable TV and air-con. Rooms here tend to be quitter than those of the center of the town.
Halaran Plaza Hotel is long standing place beginning to show some wear, though its riverside location and large rooms with timber floors go some way to make up.

Eating
Eight Dragons serves Chinese food and Nestas Restaurant serves Filipino food and western standards.
The best dining is in Baybay where resorts comprising a string of nipa barbecue huts line in the beach.

Gaisano Mall is the city’s shopping plaza and the best place to head for fast food, cinema, internet access, groceries and general shopping.

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Panay’s Southwest Coast

Posted on Dec.21, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Panay’s south west coast is dotted with small towns and low key resorts. The brown sand beaches are generally unspectacular, there are plenty of choices.

Tigbauan

Only 22 kilometers from Iloilo City, the small town of Tigbauan is an unassuming place centered on the baroque fronted Tigbauan Church the site of the country’s first Jesuit School for boys that was established in 1592.

Guimbal and Around
Guimbal is 29 kilometers from Iloilo City. It has one of the prettiest town plazas in the region and on the western side mark known as the Guimbal Roman Catholic Church.
Shamrock Beach Resort offers big, clean hotel style cottages with private cold water bathroom and breezy restaurant.
Racso’s Woodland is a large property with a miniature and fish zoo, more humane accommodation with private hot-water bathrooms is available for guests and there’s a huge pool and poolside restaurant.

Miagao
The town Miagao occupies a hill 40 kilometers from Iloilo City. Taking pride of place at the top of this hill is the imposing Miagao Church, one of four Philippines churches to have made Unesco’s World Heritage list.
On the west side of the town is the Visayan Campus of the University of the Philippines which explains the presence of a good number of students.
There are plenty of destinations for day trips from Miagao including Sinuhutan cave, and Danao Cave., interesting rock formations and cool fern forest all which surround the Miagao.

Tiolas and Around
The pretty town of Tiolas, 60kilometers from Iloilo, is where the coast road forks. The main road to San Jose heads inland through some spectacular mountain country and rice terracing while a rough mostly unsealed road follows the rugged coast to the remote town of Anini-y on Panay’s southwestern tip.
San Bernadino Mountain Resort and Restaurant is about 10 kilometers from Tiolas at the top of a steep hill, just before the Iloilo- Antique border offers well-kept rooms, a restaurant and gardens all with views over the nearby valley.

Anini-y and Nogas Island
About 80 kilometers from Iloilo, Anini-y is a lonely little place with sulphur hot springs in the town itself, and Nogas Island is a marine sanctuary and one of Panay’s best and most pristine coral reefs just offshore.

San Jose (Antique)
On the west coast where the mountains meet the sea about 96kilometers from Iloilo, this is largish port town is one of several places in the Philippines called San Jose.
Regina’s Restaurant is a clean, modern restaurant serving seafood, sandwiches, steaks and Chinese, Filipino and Indonesian dishes.
D’Reyeses Batchoy and Restaurant and Pizza House is a low key, airy restaurant opposite the city plaza.

Tibiao and Around
Near the town of Tibiao, north of San Jose the mighty Tibiao River has plenty of white water and some excellent kayaking spots. There’s no commercial accommodation in Tibiao but the municipal tourist office in the center of town can organize home stays.
Bugtong Bato Falls is a 6km walk from Tibiao. Head off from the main road near the municipal tourist office. Altogether there are seven levels of waterfalls sprawled across a steep, 14km stretch of river. The first and second falls are the only safe swimming areas.

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Guimaras

Posted on Dec.20, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Guimaras

Guimaras just a short boat ride from urban Iloilo and Panay, Guimaras is an example of what a divide of only a few kilometers of water can mean in terms of development. Guimaras is an island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. It capital is Jordan. The island is located in the Panay Gulf between the islands of Panay and Negros.

Guimaras was a sub-province of Iloilo until it was made an independent province on May 22, 1992. The people of Guimaras are considered as Guimarasnon and their languages are Hiligaynon and Kinaray-a as it was once a sub-province of Iloilo. The province is basically agricultural with palay, coconut, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry and fishing as major products. Its major industries are tourism, fruit processing, coconut processing, fish farming, handicrafts making, mining, quarrying and lime production.

The Guimaras Island is famous for producing the sweetest mangoes in the world. Guimaras mangoes are reportedly served at the White House and Buckingham Palace.

Guimaras largest event of the year is the Manggahan Festival or the Mango Festival. The varieties of mangoes produced are also best for making dried mangoes, jam, and other delicacies. Festivals and Events Ang Pagtaltal Sa Guimaras this festival draws big crowds to Jordan every Good Friday to watch the re-enactment of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Unlike re-enactment in other parts of the country, the Guimaras presentation usually sees an amateur Christ roped rather than nailed to his crossed.

Manggahan Sa Guimaras fiesta the island much admired mangoes are honored just after harvest time each year on the lawns in front of the provincial Capital Building in San Miguel.

Sleeping and Eating

Valle Verde Mountain Spring Resort this resort peers over the valley rainforest and nearby reefs of lawi Bay.

Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery rooms is available for reverent guest but you’ll have to book in advance.

Alubihod Beach Puerto del Mar room have private bathrooms and balconies and above all privacy.

Raymen Beach Resort this is small compound of concrete buildings with basic tiled rooms.

Offshore Island

Isla Naburot Resort the resort sheltered in a pretty little cove is made from natural materials including pebbles, shells, tree trunks and the discarded parts of other houses. The furnishings are antique and the stone and wooden cottages are rustically comfortable, some rooms have private balconies.

Costa Agunda Island Resort this resort on Inampulugan, a large island off the south east coast of Guimaras is less rustic rooms have intercoms.

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The Iloilo City

Posted on Dec.18, 2010, under Information, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Iloilo City
Iloilo (ee-lo-ee-lo) City
, the hub of Panay once known as the Queen City of the South, is the mostly cosmopolitan city in the Visayas after Cebu. It has a compact, walk able down town, a relatively vibrant nightlife and music scene fuelled by the student population, and excellent choice of accommodation and restaurants.
Iloilo City the last capital of the Spanish empire in Asia was surrendered to the Filipino Revolutionary Army in 1898 after Manila had already fallen to invading American forces.
The large Museo Iloilo has some interesting permanent displays including prehistoric relics of Panay, treasure plucked from sunken ships and jewelry unearthed from Spanish burial sites.
Just west of the city center is the area known as Molo. Once separate town, its now more less part of Iloilo City proper but it retains its independence with a large central plaza.
Overlooking the plaza is St, Anne’s Church a 19th century. Gothic renaissance coral stone structure with tall twin spires and a domed roof.
North of the Iloilo proper, over the Forbes Bridge are the suburbs of La Paz and Jaro both are home to a number of ancestral houses and impressive churches.
The plaza is dominated by the Belfry Tower a lonely old figured standing high and handsome on the edge of the square.
Across the road is the huge Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral the seat of the Catholic diocese in the western Visayas.
Iloilo has a welcoming community of adventures ready and willing to take you scuba diving, rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, kayaking and caving. Some of the possibilities on offer are climbing Mt. Madja-as, rock climbing and caving in Bulabog Puti-an National Park and scuba diving and mountain biking around Guimaras.

Festivals and Events
Dinagyang Festival celebrating Santo Niño with outrageous costumes and dances, this three day mardi grass style party place in the fourth week of January.
Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria feast of Our Lady of Candles, as much a religious ritual as it is a good old fashioned street party, this event includes the blessing of all sorts of candles and a spangly procession headed by the year’s Jaro fiesta queen.
Paraw Regatta a race from Iloilo City over to Guimaras in tradition sailing outriggers called paraw. Dating back to the 16th century, this is a high speed version of the trip supposedly taken by Panay’s ancient. Malay settlers on their journey to the island from Borneo. It’s held in late February or early March depending on the weather.
Spanish Filipino Friendship Day celebrated the last week of June for the first time in 2005 in an attempt to revitalize relations between the two countries.

Sleeping
Highway 21 Pension House this is more a hotel than a pension house, with small, efficiently designed rooms that are kept immaculate. The professional staff will help store baggage if you want to spend a few nights in Guimaras or further afield.
Pensione Del Carmen there’s a large communal guest balcony and guest can make use of Carmen’s kitchen.
Charter House Pension House has large rooms surrounding a sunny courtyard and garden. The furnishings are beginning to age and TV’s are small and channel challenged.
City Corporate Inn this hotel has a bright cheerful lobby and small well-kept rooms.
Residence Hotel the glass and concrete façade of this hotel isn’t exactly residential looking but the river view rooms with cable TV and wooden floors are good value. There’s a riverfront restaurant.
Iloilo Grand Hotel is in the center of the old business district near the port of Bacolod and Guimaras.
Eon Centennial Hotel it is on a relatively quite block and little perks such as complimentary breakfast, free newspapers and coffee and tea add to the Eon appeal. Some of the large carpeted rooms have goods views and it has three restaurants.
Iloilo Midtown Hotel all have modern amenities and are well kept.
Four-Season Hotel this is a friendly centrally located hotel with standard modern rooms.
Iloilo Business Hotel upper floor have good views in this, the newest hotel and one of the tallest building in the city, part of the Small Ville bar and restaurant complex.
Hotel Del Rio the room furnishings are a little dated but comfortable. Behind the main building complex is one of the nicer outdoor spots on the river with pool, bar, live music nightly and Ohana a good Japanese restaurant.
Barceló Sarabia Manor Hotel this large complex has a gym, hair salon, swimming pool, business and travel center and the excellent AI Dente Restaurant; rooms are large and have all modern amenities.

Eating
AI Dente this classy Italian bistro with big city panache and a connoisseur’s attention to detail. The Italian and European dishes such as deep fried squid, tagliatelle and pizzas.
Café Tijuana a Mexican restaurant that hits the standard design clichés, sombreros, cacti ect- and has a large attractive outdoor dining area in the back.
Krua Thai a beautifully and tastefully designed Thai restaurant in the Small Ville complex with uniformed waiters, traditional Thai art and teak walls.
Taza a hip modern Italian bistro with outdoor seating serving pastas, Panini sandwiches and specials such as a stuffed chicken schnitzel and Spanish chorizo.
As Mixx Restaurant the mix extra x is silent refers to the combo of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines while décor is all hip and modern.
Kim’s Bob a Korean grocery cum restaurant with a few tables and a few aisles of groceries.
Calzada Grill a popular place for Filipino food lives music and 24 hour pool tables.
Coffee Break an inexpensive Starbucks imitator and newspapers rack, frappuccino like drinks and sandwiches but with better music.

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The Panay Island

Posted on Dec.14, 2010, under Information, Places, Visayas

Panay
Panay is a microcosm of everything the Visayas has to offer; the long white-sand beach at Boracay is all that many visitors to the region or for that matter the country ever see. The rest of the region keeps a low tourism profile which helps explain the appeal of tropical Guimaras just a short commute from the pleasant and lively regional capital of Iloilo City. Panay’s little explored interior is ringed by a rugged coastline to the south and west and a more domesticated one, dotted with impressive Spanish churches to the north and east. The amazing Ati-atihan Festival held in Kalibo in January is the most fiestas of its kind in the Philippines. Much Panay’s festival tradition can be traced back to its indigenous tribal groups, namely the Ati and Ata.
Panay is politically divided into five provinces; Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras, all in the western Visayas Region.
The island has many rivers, including Akean, Banica, Iloilo and Panay. Panay is the setting of the famous legend of Maragtas, which chronicled the arrival of the Malay race to the Philippine islands.

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Siquijor and Around

Posted on Dec.12, 2010, under Information, Places, Visayas

Siquijor Town
Only about 8kmfrom the main port town of Larena, Siquijor town the pleasant little capital of Siquijor has a lively market selling fresh fish and the usual selection of small shops. A short walk from the pier, the town’s coral stone church was built in 1783 and dedicated to St, Francis of Assisi.

Sleeping and Eating

Norwegian Dream Beach Resort a bunch of tall palm tree provide minimal shade on the sparsely landscaped grounds of this resort, where the 2nd floor rooms in the large main building are more utilitarian than dreamlike.
Swiss Stars Guest House there are several large comfortable rooms with stone floors and satellite TV at Swiss Stars which hidden in a lush garden behind the charming little roadside restaurant.
Calalinan Beach Garden Mini-Hotel and Restaurant it has a pokey little rooms in beachside villa. The place is run by a hefty Dutch bloke who dishes up equally hefty American dishes curries, homemade bread and other hearty dishes.
Samyz Pizza Bar and Restaurant is a refuge with a wide ranging menu, even if the cheese on the pizza seems suspiciously unnatural.

Bandila-an Nature Center and the Caves
Sitting atop Siquijor highest peak at 557m is the Bandila-an Nature Center, the start of a walk past natural springs, fluttering butterflies, birds and an enormous variety of floral species. The nature center itself is really nothing more than a desk and chair in an otherwise empty concrete room in the mountain village of Cantabon.

Paliton Beach
About 1km from the main road along a dirt track, is this stunning white sand beach. The water is clear as glass and there are wonderful views of Apo Island.

San Juan
The little town is blessed with its own natural spring swimming pool. The main road takes a scenic dog-leg around the pool; set in a landscaped enclosure known as Calipay’s Spring Park.

Sleeping and Eating
Royal Cliff Resort a low key resort between San Juan and Tubod, Royal Cliff has five small homey cottages with big porches and quaint furniture. It’s set in a garden overlooking the water and has a tiny beach.
Coral Cay Resort is on lovely stretch of beach at Solangon, about 3km from San Juan. The charming wood-floored rooms set in garden with coconut trees and orchids; have bamboo and pebble walls and sliding panel separating the bedroom and terrace.
Coco Grove Beach Resort this resort at Tubod about 3km southeast of San Juan has several cottages set back from the beach. Each is made from wood and bamboo, furnished in wicker and has a small private terrace over looking the leafy landscaped property.

Lazi and Around
The quite southeastern town of Lazi is bisected by the island’s only major river; the town is home to the stylishly timeworn, coral stone San Antonio de Padua Church, built in 1857. Over the road is the oldest convent in the Philippines, a magnificent timber villa, creaky with age and eerily serene.
Between the towns of Lazi and Maria, Kagusua beach is reached via the pretty village of Minalolan look for the turn off for barangay of Nabutay and travel past the old limestone mine.
Between Kagusua and Salagdoong is the large horseshoe shaped Maria Bay where you’ll find Princessa Bulakna Resort.

Salagdoong and Talingting
Billed as the islands’ most picturesque beach, Salagdoong a few kilometers past Maria has pristine white sand coves and a rocky outcrop with a pagoda. There are several picnic shelters and barbecues.
The sleepy town of Talingting has a beautiful sweeping boulevard skirting the beach and some magnificent old trees.

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Siquijor

Posted on Dec.11, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Siquijor
The Spaniards called it Isla Del Fuego or Island of Fire because of the soft glow generated by the island’s abundant firefly population. To Filipino’s Siquijor has an aura of mystery and magic, its mountainous interior is home to a number of mangkukulam or healers who practice not with spooky incantations but with smelly herbs and soothing oils.
This little island, the smallest of the four Central Visayas Provinces is dotted with laidback beach resorts. Sealed 72km coastal road circumnavigates the island affording unity to pause and take in truly low-key village life.

Sleeping
Luisa and Son’s Lodge peace and quit is hard to come by in the no frills rooms with fan on the 2nd floor, with noise not only from the port but from your neighbors in the cell to either side of you.
Sandugan Beach and Around
Three resort share Sandugan beach, 6km north of Larena. Sandugan is the popular tourist destination.
Kiwi Dive Resort it’s a lovely walk down a trellis-covered pathway from the simple and clean hillside rooms to the beach, sitting area and small bar with satellite TV. There’s also a large wooden cottage with big private porch at this welcoming resort and dive center.
Casa de la Playa the Mediterranean style beachside cottage is charming as are several others of the individually designed rooms in the lush hilltop garden
Islander’s Paradise Beach and Restaurant this laid back resort has several basic stand alone nipa huts set in grass lawn next to the beach with porches and hammocks for lounging. Local seafood is served.

Eating
La Costa Café has indoor dining and a more pleasant outdoor garden festooned with lights. Large menu with Filipino standards and seafood’s.
Café Larena a large open air pavilion on the road from Larena to the resort at Sandugan, serving standard Filipino dishes such as pork adobo and beef curry.

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Around Negros Occidental

Posted on Dec.05, 2010, under Information, Resorts, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Around Negros Occidental
The sugar plantation surround Silay have their own colorful histories.
The Hawaiian Philippine Sugar Company is only 15 minute ride by jeepney north of Silay.
There’s also historical paraphernalia on display at the huge Victorias Milling Company in the town of Victorias was the worlds biggest mill during the 60’s and 70’s and is the site of the Church of St Joseph the worker which features a claustrophobically dense liturgical mural by Alfonso Ossorio a contemporary of Jackson Pollock. No shorts, sandals or cameras are allowed at the Victorias.
Patag National Park about 32km east of Silay was the site of a horrendous battle during World War II.

Cadiz
About 65km from Bacolod, Cadiz is a rough and ready fishing port and exit point for all that Negros sugar. The city’s annual Ati-atihan Festival is honor of patron saint Santo Niño is held on the weekend nearest 26 January.
There is good accommodation at Hotel Cadiz; it has large well kept rooms, a restaurant and even tennis courts.

Sagay
Sagay City is a combination of Old Sagay on the coast, and new Sagay on the national highway.
Sagay is the period guardian of the 32, 000 hectare Sagay Marine Reserve established in 1999 to protect one of the only areas on Negros still teeming with marine life. The sanctuary is centered on Carbin Reef, about 15 km northeast of old Sagay.
Also here is Maca Reef where flocks of migratory birds are a common sight.

Escalante and Around
Like neighboring Sagay, Escalante is a city of two parts- with Old Escalante on the coast and New Escalante on the highway. City hall, town plaza, the bus terminal and Equitable PCI bank are all in New Escalante; Danao Port, from where the boats to Cebu leave is in Old Escalante.

Sights and Activities
The hills around Escalante abound with caves-more than 50 at last count many of which were used by the Japanese as hide outs in World War II.
In Old Escalante two minutes past the turnoff to port Danao are ruins of Escalante’s old church, St Francis of Assisi Parish. Built of coral stone by the Spanish in 1850, its roof was destroyed by a typhoon in the 1960’s.
The little Isla Puti is a 20 minute pump boat ride from Escalante approachable from Vito Port, Old Sagay and has attractive white sand beaches.

Festivals and Events
Escalante celebrates two major festivals; one on 30 of May when the town celebrates its patron, Santa Cruz with a colorful street party; and the other, on 20 of September to remember the massacre of 20 sugarcane workers by soldiers during an industrial dispute.
Sleeping and eating
Rodeway Inn opposite the pretty town plaza, the rodeway is a friendly and efficient family run operation with comfortable and secure accommodation.
There is accommodation on Isla Puti at Jamabo Island Paradise Beach Resort which also has a restaurant tennis court and water sports facilities. The resort has no food.

San Carlos
San Carlos is the main port city connecting Negros and Cebu. The place is not overflowing with charm, but its fine for an overnight stay.
Cyber print Internet Café on a street off the plaza, is cool and quite and has a fast connection
The city is famed for its annual Pintaflores Festival held from 3 to 5 of November. This particularly frenetic street festival harks back to the days when Filipinos would welcome foreign visitors by dancing en masse.
Sipaway Island is white sand and coral outcrop about 4km off the coast of San Carlos. About 7 km long and about 1.5km wide, the island has a couple of basic stores a free public swimming pool and some good walking trails.
Whispering Palms Island Resort on Sipaway Island has a fairly characteristics collection of apartment style rooms, a Filipino restaurant and the usual assortment of beachside diversions.
Skyland hotel and Restaurant halfway between the pier and the bus terminal has spotless rooms and decent food.

Sipalay and Around
About 200km from both Bacolod and Dumaguete, the remote seaside town of Sipalay is surrounded by spectacular white sand beaches, secluded coves, scattered islets, dive reefs and waters teeming with marlin, trevally and tuna.
The diving around Sipalay is some of the best in Negros. It’s particularly suited to inexperienced or learner drivers.

Sipalay Proper
The sprawling town of Sipalay services surrounding farming communities and the fisherman whose bats pull up on its vast, white sand beach.
The main street of Sipalay proper is Alvarez St, which runs east-west. At the far end of Alvarez St are the markets the bus stop and Poblacion Beach.
Sipalay’s annual Sacred Heart of Jesus Fiesta is held in late in December.
Driftwood City Restaurant is affiliated with Driftwood Village Resort in Sugar Beach and serves up tasty Italian treats by the sea.

Punta Ballo
The barangay of Punta Ballo is on a promontory 6km southwest of Sipalay proper. The turn off for Punt Ballo is at the town plaza, on the left as you come into town.
Around the headland to the south Campomanes Bay is a spectacular steep sided natural harbor with as yet no resorts or accommodation.

Sleeping and Eating
Artistic Diving Beach Resort the original and still the best. Artistic has large, comfortable row cottages set in well tended garden by the beach. The resort has the longest running dive center in Sipalay.
Easy Diving Beach Resort artistic near neighbor is trying to carve out a niche for itself by going for a more unmarked crowd, with a swish, native style terrace bar and air-con in all rooms.
Nataasan Beach Resort perched high on the point at the northern end of the beach. Sea views cabins are definitely worth the extra. Buildings are plush native style with all modern amenities.

Sugar Beach
Sugar beach is just north of Sipalay proper beside the village of Lauhang. It is a handful of electric, home spun resorts, a beach that really does rival Boracay’s and a western orientation that makes every sunset one to remember. Sugar Beach has to be the Philippines best kept secret.

Bermuda Resort rooms are not as wacky as those at Takatuka but there still eccentric by any normal standard.

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Around Bacolod City

Posted on Dec.04, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Around Bacolod

La Carlota
La Carlota lies about 45 km south of the Bacolod at the base of Mt. Kanlaon. The city is famous for fiesta and is well known among nature lovers as an alternative to mambucal as a starting point fro hikes into Mt. Kanlaon National Park.
La Carlota’s annual Kabankalan Sinulog is a wild street party held on the second Sunday in January. Dancers are daubed in black in imitation of the island’s Negrito people and a feast is held in honor of the child Jesus. On Sunday nearest 1 May the city holds its annual Pasalamat Festival or Festival of Light.
The imposing fortress style Church of Our Lady of Peace in the town center is one of the country’s best examples of Romanesque architecture. Another attraction is the La Carlota Sugar Central sugar mill.

Mt. Kanlaon National Park
Mt. Kanlaon National Park is popular with hikers and bird watchers. The park’s central highlands are bleeding heart pigeon and Philippine spotted deer and several species of orchid.

Guintubdan

High on the slopes of Mt. Kanlaon the wonderfully cool, ferny barangay of Guintubdan is home to numerous rooster farms and two resorts owned by la Carlota and Bago cities.
Guintubdan Visitor’s Center this impressive stone building has basic clean rooms with cold water bathroom and a communal area with magnificent views.
Raphael Salas Nature Park the accommodation is a little more Spartan but the views are a little better.

Ma-ao
The forested hillsides around Ma-ao contain two lush mountain resorts.
Buenos Aires Mountain Resort built in the 1930’s this gorgeous mountain resort situated by a river is famous for having housed President Quezon when he hid from the Japanese during World War II.
Kipot Summer Resort more humble and scheduled than neighboring Buenos Aires resort. Kipot which takes its name from the nearby Kipot twin Falls has four simple native style cottages.

Mambucal

Mambucal is the popular resort village of Mambucal makes for a diverting day trip out of town.
Mambucal Mountain Resort is a 24 hectare pleasure park popular with family groups; it has sulphur springs, short trails, a flying fox, an artificial lagoon and swimming pools. Accommodation is a choice between family cottages that judging from the people lounging on their verandas.

Silay
Silay first tasted sweet success when a French resident planted sugarcane in the 1850’s and its pier swiftly became an international port of call.
Silay’s golden age was between 1880 and 1930 when its 31 recognized ancestral homes were built. The haciendas of Silay were bastions of refinement and privilege and in the early 1900’s the town became the place for European musicians and artist to hang out.
Silay’s past has been preserved in the form of three grand ancestral homes, providing a glimpse of vanished splendor. Two are run as museums and one is still occupied.

Built in 1908 Bernardino Jalandoni Ancestral House is affectionately known as The Pink House. Apart from the paint job, the building is said to be virtually unchanged from the days when it was home to Jalandoni family. On display Japanese government banknotes from the days of occupation a 1907 Steinway piano and historical costumes. The furniture and ob jets d’art on the 2nd floor are the best preserved and most tastefully displayed of the historical items in two museums.

Balay Negrenese Museum also known as the Victor Gaston Ancestral Home is a beautiful house built of layong hardwood in 1901. The house has been painstakingly restored and furnished with period pieces donated by locals. The beveled glass windows and Chinese carved lattice work are original.

Hofileña Ancestral Home contains one of the Philippines’ finest art collections as well as antiques belonging to one of Silay’s principal families, the Hofileña family. The house is now owned by the charismatic and loquacious Ramon Hofileña, a tireless preserver of Negros’ cultural heritage.

On the min road through town the silver domed Church of San Diego was designed by an Italian called Verasconi. It was built in Romanesque style in 1925 and is topped by a crucifix that, when lit at night is visible far out to sea.

Sleeping and Eating
Fortuna Pension House one of 31 recognized ancestral houses; it has been converted with minimal alteration, to accommodate guests. This wooden home set in farmlands offers a glimpse of hacienda living but with a friendly homely feel. There’s range of accommodations from simple rooms to entire floors but most have a hot water bathroom.
Baldevia Pension House conveniently positioned off the main drag just near the bus and jeepney terminals. It has comfortable tiled rooms with spotless hot water bathrooms. Fan rooms are often booked up. Attached to the hotel is the Food Stuff café.
Ang Kalubihan this is a breezy outdoor eatery under a stand of coconut palms. On a warm clear night it’s a great place for a barbecue and a beer.
El deal Bakery is one of the home and birthplace of many of the delicacies for which Silay has become famous. The bakery was set up in 1935 during Silay’s heyday, to provide snacks for the wealthy gamblers who couldn’t drag themselves away from the table.

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Negros Occidental

Posted on Dec.03, 2010, under Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the western Visayas region. Its capital is Bacolod City and occupies at the northwestern half of Negros Island. Negros Occidental is known as the Sugar bowl of the Philippines. Negros Occidental has long been a center of culture and arts, the wealth brought about by the sugar industry made sure that the Negrense principalia enjoyed the very best. Negros Occidental is located in the western side of Negros Island the fourth largest in the Philippines. Negros Occidental is predominantly a Hiligaynon speaking province. However the cities and towns facing the Tañon Strait are Cebuano speaking due to their proximity to the island province of Cebu. English is widely spoken on both sides of the island.

Negros Occidental is the second largest province in terms of population after Cebu, with the second largest number of congressional district.

Negros Occidental is rich in structures and building that are remnants of a once affluent lifestyle. Negros Occidental is the chief of attraction of the Occident are the resort on the flanks of Mt. Kanlaon, the living museums’ of Silay and the stunning white sand retreats around Silay. The north of the province is the heartland of Negros’ sugar growing industry.

Bacolod City

Bacolod City is a highly urbanized midsize Philippine city. It is the capital of the province of Negros Occidental. It is part of a metropolitan area called Metro Bacolod which includes the cities of Silay and Talisay. It is notable for its famous MassKara Festival held during the 3rd week of October. Known for being a relatively friendly city, it bears the nicknames “City of Smiles” and “Football City of the Philippines.

Bacolod is derived from bakolod old spelling the old Hiligaynon or old Ilonggo word for a hill, mound, and rise, hill rock, down any small eminence or elevation. Sights Provincial Capitol Building which has a forecourt that features modern sculptures and a large fish pond. Negros Museum displays that focus on the island’s rich history from Spanish missions to cane plantations and revolution. Dominating the main exhibition hall are the sugar hauling Iron Dinosaur steam engine and a lorcha, a traditional boat, which is laden with a cargo of historical artifacts. The museum also has a small art gallery and café. Biodiversity Conservation Center is a wildlife rescue and captive breeding center that seeks to preserve endangered animals endemic to Negros.

On the weekend nearest to 19 October each year, the city goes joyful crazy with the MassKara Festival with participants wearing elaborate smiley masks and dancing in the streets.

Sleeping

Pension Bacolod quite and peaceful 11th St., this well run place offers excellent value for money with 76 reasonably sized well kept rooms. Little wonder that it’s often fully booked.

Las Rocas Hotel accessed from the street by a flight of wooden stairs, a quaintly charming Las Rocas Hotel is a friendly, family running place with reasonably clean, good value rooms.

Check Inn this is the modest downtown chain hotel offers affordable comforts and free use of a gym.

Bascon Hotel a grimy part of a clinically spotless, bottom-range business hotel. Rooms have cable TV and hot water.

Royal Inn Rei designed like a minimal with rooms facing into a central atrium, it has rooms that are tarted up with lace and chiffon.

Bacolod Pension Plaza has comfy rooms and a handy downtown location. It lacks the executive slick of other midranges but the 4th floor budget saver room is excellent value. King’s Hotel has smallish rooms that are otherwise reasonable value for a central location.

L’Fisher Hotel rooms are plush motel with all usual trappings. The hotel’s 24 hour Café Marinero looks out over a small swimming pool. Bacolod Convention Plaza Hotel it has a huge lobby reminiscent of an arrivals terminal, as well as an international restaurant, tennis courts and two swimming pools on a big lawn. Slightly careworn rooms are really only midrange quality.

Eating

El Camino a chain of hawker style restaurant and a favorite with locals. It’s a noisy busy open air, barbecue o Rama. The second branch is on the corner Burgosand Gatuslao Sts. Plaza Mart Food Court a busy place dishing out all varieties of meals, shakes and cakes all day. Inaka Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar the smaller and more intimate of Bacolod’s two Japanese offerings, Inaka has excellent food and is well worth the extra pesos.

Kaisei Japanese Restaurant a popular, hangar sized Japanese eatery, it has well priced set menus and very good a la carte.

Entertainment

The area from 21st St to LA Salle Ave is a university precinct the street are full of Internet cafes, cheap eateries and humble little bars. 21 Bar a hardy perennial in the ever changing 21st St scene. It’s one of more stylish and adult bars in the university district, though San Migs are still reasonable value at P35. There are DJ’s most nights and live music on weekends. At the other end of the town the seedy Golden field Commercial Complex. Is aimed at a more mature make that older crowd. a

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The places in Negros Oriental

Posted on Dec.01, 2010, under Hotels & Restaurants, Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Places in Negros Oriental
Bais City
Bais City is a 2nd class city in the province of Negros Oriental. Bais City is politically subdivided into 35 barangays. Bais City is the largest producer of raw sugar in Negros Oriental. There are two sugar mills in the city. Bais City’s bays are widely known to have one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the area.
Bais City is about 40km north of Dumaguete; Bais is one of the country’s top spots for dolphins and whale watching.
One of the finest hotels in Negros is the historical La Planta Hotel this 1910 landmark has large, bright, luxury twins and doubles with air-con, hot water. Telephone and cable TV. The hotel has a wonderful antique international restaurant.

Guihulngan
The municipality of Guihulngan is a municipality in the province of Negros Oriental. Guihulngan is politically subdivided into 33 barangays. Guihulngan was already the largest municipality in Negros Oriental.

Valencia
Valencia is a first class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental. It is located 9.4 kilometers west of Dumaguete, the largest city and capital of the province. The municipality was voted as the cleanest and greenest town in Negros Oriental in 2007.
The economy of Valencia is largely based on agriculture. Major products include abaca, copra, corn, flowers, vegetables, root crops, and exotic fruits such as lanzones and rambutan.
Valencia is generally hilly and has a cool climate. Cebuano is the common vernacular in Valencia. English is widely spoken.
Valencia was originally named Ermita which means a secluded place due to its being a refuge from marauding Muslim pirates.
Valencia is a clean and leafy town with a large, grassed central square. About 2km from the town center in baryo called Tejeros is Banica Valley a richly forested area ideal for swimming, hiking and overnight stays.
Four kilometers from Valencia are the glorious 30m Casaroro Falls which are most refreshing after the climb down the 335 steps to get to them.

Sleeping and Eating

Forest Camp has three landscaped pools and one natural one. The stylish native style huts have fan and private cold water bathroom and Filipino food including delicious native chicken is available at a small restaurant.

Dauin
Dauin is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Negros Oriental. It is boarded on the north by Bacong on the south by Zamboanguita, and on the west a mountain range separates it from Santa Catalina. Dauin hosts several popular beach resorts with both local and foreign tourist.
Another tourist attraction of Dauin is the Baslay Hot Spring. The hot spring is located in barangay Baslay. The water from the hot spring contains natural sulphur which is known to have health benefits.
Dauin is the largest of the southern towns and the administrative guardian of the beautiful diver’s haven of Apo. There are pleasant brown sand beach and good snorkeling over the drop off about 20m out from shore. About 11 km south of dauin is the Marine Reserve of Masaplod Norte.

Sleeping and Eating

Pura Vida Beach and Dive Resort this top quality dive resort and health spa.
Atlantis Dive Resort the sister resort of the luxurious Atlantis Beach Resort in Puerto Galera. It has particularly lush gardens and a world class kitchen.
El Dorado Beach Resort stock-standard dive resort on a deep lot with comfortable, Spanish mission style rooms.

Malatapay
Malatapay is best known by tourist for huge and lively market where every villager, fishermen and Bukidnon tribe’s people can be found loudly bartering their goods and feasting on lechon.
Malatapay is also known for being the departure point for Apo Island.

Apo Island
Rugged and volcanic the little 72 hectare island of Apo is fast becoming known for having some of the best diving in the Philippines. The island fiesta is held 4 to 5 April.
The Apo Island Marine Reserve and Fish Sanctuary is a 15, 000 sq-m protected area in the southeastern corner, is one of the most successful and best run marine reserves in the Philippines. It contains a vital marine breeding ground and is a favorite site among the divers.

Sleeping and Eating
Liberty’s perched high above the beach and village, this is the place that most divers head for.
Apo Island Beach Resort the best white sandy beach and completes the package with a quite resort atmosphere. Stylish Spanish mission rooms and cottages have fan and private cold water bathroom. The simple menu has good Filipino food with some international additions.

Bonbonon
South west of Malatapay and accessed by a 9km dirt road and 108 steps.
Kookoo’s Nest Beach Cottages the most isolated resort in Negros. It is run by an entertaining English couple and situated on a tiny white sand cove with four simple bamboo huts perched above the water’s edge. The restaurant and dive center are equally simple and idyllic.

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Negros Oriental

Posted on Nov.30, 2010, under Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Negros Island
Negros is an island of the Philippine located in the Visayas. It is the fourth largest island in the country. Inhabitants of the island are called Negrenses.
Negros is divided into two provinces: Negros Oriental in the Central Visayas region and Negros Occidental part of the Western Visayas region. This division of the island which roughly follows the mountain range in the center of the island corresponds to the two ethnoliguistic groups in this part of the country. The western part Occidental is where the Ilonggo or Hiligaynon speaking Negrenses are located and the eastern portion Oriental is home to the Cebuano speaking population. The chief cities on this island are Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

Kanlaon Volcano in the northern part of the island is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and overlooks Bacolod City. It is the highest peak on the island as well as of the entire Visayas region. Other notable peaks on the island are Mt. Silay and Mt. Mandalagan in Negros Occidental and Cuernos de Negros in Negros Oriental.

Negros Island was originally called Buglas- an old native word thought to mean cut off. It is believed that Negros was once part of a grater mass of land but was cut off either by what geologist call continental drift or by rising waters during the Ice age. Negros is a place we’d unhesitatingly recommended to any traveler.

Negros Oriental
Negros Oriental is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. It occupies the south eastern half of the island of Negros. It also includes Central Island a popular dive sites for both local and foreign tourist. Negros Oriental faces Cebu to east across the Tañon Strait and Siquijor to the south east. The primary spoken language is Cebuano and the predominant religious domination is Roman Catholicism. Dumaguete City is the capital, seat of government and most populous city.

Dumaguete
Dumaguete City
the provincial capital is known as a university town due to the existence of many universities and colleges in the city. Dumaguete was coined from the Visayan word daggit which means to snatch, because of the frequent marauding attacks of the Muslim pirates on this once coastal town. And the power to attract and keep her visitors for good, the word dumaguet was coined meaning to swoop.

Sights
The Anthropology Museum and Center for the Study of Philippine Living Culture has displays including artifacts from Siquijor and ancient Chinese bits and pieces dug on variety of Philippine islands.
Bell Tower is the coral stone that built 1754 to 1776 and the large lively market on Real St.
Twin Lakes National Park is about 20km northwest of Dumaguete the twin crater lakes of Balinsasayao and Danao offer some of the most scenic hiking in the Visayas. The area is virgin forest and full of wildlife from monkeys to rare orchids. It’s traditional home of the indigenous Bukidnon people.

Sleeping
Vintage Inn this is excellent budget option. It has basic clean rooms is a short walk from Rizal Blvd, and feels safe and well set up.
OK Pensionnne House it has an enormous variety of rooms the more expensive are a big step up from the cheapies in terms of quality.
Harold’s Mansion Tourist Inn it’s a 10 minutes walk from the main shopping area. But it does have very clean well priced rooms and free airport pick up.
La Residencia al Mar a cozy and tastefully renovated Spanish building has all original timbers and fittings. Rooms come with all the mod-cons and the dearer rooms have balconies and great water views.
Honeycomb Tourist Inn this is renovated Spanish villa. Though not as plush it still has spotless rooms the ones with views are superb.
Plaza Maria Luisa this very well located business hotel is often full. Staffs are polite and very helpful though the fawn and mint green color scheme looks like it was inspired by an ice cream.

Eating
Chin Loong Restaurant offers big, cheap servings of tasty Filipino-Chinese food and great service.
Coco Amigos coco’s combination of a harbourfront location, festive color scheme and tame Mexican food has seen it rival; it has a good vegetarian selection.
Café Memento a humble, bohemian café serving coffee and light meals, outside tables have glimpse of the harbour.

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The Bohol’s Interior

Posted on Nov.29, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Bohol Interior
Chocolate Hills are an unusual geological formation in Bohol. According to the latest accurate survey done there is 1, 776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers. They are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season hence the name. The Chocolate Hills are a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province. The Chocolates Hills is a rolling terrain of haycock hills- mounds of general shape which are conical and almost symmetrical. During the dry season the grass covered dry up and turn chocolate brown. This transforms the area into seemingly endless rows of chocolate kisses. The branded confection is the inspiration behind the name Chocolate Hills.

Sleeping and Eating
Chocolate Hills Complex this is the only option if you want to sleep among the hills themselves. Unfortunately the solid concrete structure does nothing but detract from the beauty of the setting, higher priced accommodation has hot water, air-con and double beds but lacks views of the very sight that visitors have came to see. The restaurant looks like cafeteria and has uninspired standard Filipino sandwiches and dishes.

Loboc
A floating restaurant blasting Frank Sinatra tunes and other oldies cruise a stretch of Loboc River north of the town of the same name.
San Pedro Church (1608) the second oldest church on Bohol. Cruises take you upriver to the Tontonan Falls and the Visayas oldest hydroelectric plant. Along the bank of the Loboc there are several souvenir shops and illegally run tarsier cages where loads of visitors queue for snapshots with the cuddly creatures.
In late May to June, Loboc hosts the Balibong Kingking Festival which honors Our of Guadalupe.
Nuts Huts is a truly unique place ensconced in the jungle on the edge of the Loboc River 3km north of Loboc town. Nuts huts are completely integrated into the environment to the point that the 16 separate cottages are difficult to spot from the river. All have balconies, sweeping views and the occasional eight legged roommate. The friendly Belgian couple who run the place offer excellent travel advice and great food lots of vegetarian and Euro-Asian delights served up in the wonderful dining room.

Loboc is about 24km from Tagbilaran.

Tarsier Visitors Center
Located beyond the attractive jungle fringed town of Corella near the village of Sikatuna. This simultaneously crazy and cuddly-looking little primate can fit in the palm of your hand. The tarsier is not only one in the world’s smallest primates and the oldest surviving member of the primate group at 45 million years young, it is also an endangered species. The visitor’s center includes information boards and audiovisual displays, a captive breeding programmed, a wildlife sanctuary and hiking trail.

Bilar and Rajah Sikatuna National Park
Bilar is popular for Logarita Spring a public swimming hole over looking rice fields. The town was about 40 kilometers of Tagbilaran, holds its annual fiesta in the middle of May.
About 500m past the Bilar town hall on the right hand side is the turn off for Logarita Spring and the poorly maintained Rajah Sikatuna National Park, an immense 9000 hectares native molave forest and grasslands, kilometers of haphazardly marked trails more than 100 caves and a dubious camping area.

Sagbayan Peak this is the place for those who like their nature with side helping of 3m-high replicas of dinosaurs and cartoon characters and loud disco music.

Antequera
Antequera is about 20km from Tagbilaran. Mag-aso and Inambacan Falls the largest falls on the island as well as some of Bohol’s best caves. Cave guides can be tracked down in Antequera. The town has its annual fiesta in early October but comes alive every Sunday, when basket weavers from nearby hills bring their woven creations to market.

Albuquerque
This small coastal town is well known for its magnificent church and belfry, built in 1886. There are also several waterfalls on the edge of the town. Fiesta time is early May.

Baclayon
Baclayon is about 6km from Tagbilaran. Baclayon was founded by a pair of Spanish Jesuit priest in 1595. Baclayon church the countries oldest built from the stone was built a year later. The town fiesta is in early December and boats go from here to nearby Pamilacan Island.

Bool
At Bo-oll about 3km east of tagbilaran, you’ll find a monument to a blood compact mateship ritual known as sanduguan. This is where on 16 March 1565 Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Boholano chieftain Rajah Sikatuna downed a cup of each other’s blood in one of the first symbolic gestures of Western- Eastern accord in the Philippines.

Bohol’s Coastal Road
Tubigon
The ramshackle fishing town of Tubigon in the middle of Bohol’s lush northwestern coast is well served by daily fast craft to and from Cebu City.
Tinagnan Beach Resort and Lodging House is set upon stilts and has a rickety bamboo floor. It’s among the intertidal mangroves, a five minute tricycle north from the central bus and market area.

Buenavista
Buenavista has a friendly and picturesque market on a mangrove inlet. From here or at the river crossing 3km south on the main road you can buy the local delicacy-urchin gonads.
For something more special you can go on a Cambuhat Village Ecotour a cruise up the mangrove lined Daet River from Buenavista to the village of Cambuhat where you’ll see an oyster farm and raffia weaving.

Talibon
Talibon on the north coast is one of Bohol’s busiest centers.
Sea view Lodge on the main street is probably the best accommodation in town. It’s not well signposted- the entrance is to the right of behind Chelsea’s bakery.
Petong’s Place a couple of doors up from Sea View Lodge, has a cheap and decent seafood meals.

Ubay
At the opposite end of Bohol to Tagbilaran remote overgrown Ubay is the island’s largest metropolis after the capital. It has a lively market on the sea, just near the wharf, selling everything from woven goods to ice cream. There are plenty of cheap Filipino eateries on the water’s edge. Ubay offers uncharted tourism territory around nearby Lapinig Island.

Guindalman, Anda, Candijay and Jagna
Through the coastal road from Guindalman to Candijay is almost completely sealed, it’s still in bad shape making this remote mountainous headland out of the way for most tourist. At Guindalman there are healthy coral reefs good for snorkeling or diving.
Anda is a blink and you’ll miss it town situated on a stretch of sandy beach. As surrounding hilly land is suitable for rice, corn is the staple food amd you’ll see copious quantities growing and drying on the roadside.
On the top of the headland at Candijay there are 32 species of mangrove here and a thriving ecosystem full of mud crabs, oysters and birds.
Jagna is a largish fishing village on Bohol southern coast about 63km east of Tagbilaran. It has vaguely sandy beaches and a colorful flower filled Market. Jagna’s fiesta kick’s off on 29 of September.

Sleeping
Coco White Beach Resort landscaped complex has nipa hut and larger brick and thatched bamboo cottages, suitable for families or group, with large bamboo bed and modern bathrooms. A bar and restaurant set on a cliff overlook a narrow beach. There’s a diving facility on the ground.
Flower Beach Resort set on a beautiful white sandy beach good for snorkeling. The concrete and thatched bamboo rooms have clean tiled floors and wooden furniture. There’s a full service dive center which takes advantage of the 14 km offshore reef.



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Cabilao Island

Posted on Nov.28, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Places, Visayas

Cabilao Island
Like Balicasag and Pamilacan Islands to the south, the island of Cabilao in the waters off loon, (low-on) is an impressive dive site.
Cabilao’s water are home to seven species of shark and are full of micro-life including the high profile pygmy sea horse (hippocampus bargibanti) which at only 8mm long may be easier to spot in a diving magazine than in the wild, where it’s camouflaged among the surrounding red coral. The celebrity sea horse is found on the house reef but there is diving, the island‘s top reef is off the northwestern point, near the lighthouse

Sleeping
Cabilao Beach Club the German and Swiss managed Cabilao Beach Club on the north eastern tip of the island has simple and clean concrete and thatched cottages with tiled modern bathrooms. The restaurant has therapeutic sea views.
Polaris Resort the accommodation at the Polaris ranges from simple tree house to more modern concrete cottages though all are sparsely furnished. Most expensive rooms have hot water.
La Estrella several basic bungalows some A-frame with cold water bathrooms and electricity from 6pm to midnight.

Loon is 27 kilometers from Tagbilaran. To get Cabilao Island you must head several kilometers north from Loon to Macpoc.

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The Pamilacan Island

Posted on Nov.27, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Pamilacan Island
Pamilacan Island is a small island which is part of the municipality of Baclayon. It is between the deep sea of Bohol and Mindanao. It is only a 1 hour pump or outrigger boat ride from the town of Baclayon. The tiny island of Pamilacan is about 23 km east of Balicasag is cetacean central; home to whales and dolphins. Since the 1992 ban on capturing these creatures, Pamilacan’s descendants of three generations of whalers, have had to find other ways to earn a living. Many locals are willing to take you to see them there are 12 species known to visits this water.
Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours which uses old converted whaling boats and local crews. The best time for spotting whales is from February to July.

Sleeping
There are several sets of nipa huts offered on Pamilacan, all providing basic meals.
Nita’s Nipa Huts the cheapest and most well establish. Huts range from double to family sized- the double with views on the water’s edge is the best positioned. All have fan and shared bathroom.

Their livelihood is fishing and in the past has gone after whale’s manta rays and dolphins. Their houses are often decorated with large whale jaws and bones and these relics add to the interesting facet of the island. In the local dialect Pamilacan means resting place of the mantas though some local folks say that the name of the island was derived from the word pamilac or harpoon a common fishing implement used to capture the whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins.

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The Balicasag Island

Posted on Nov.27, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Visayas

Balicasag Island Balicasag Island is a 1.5 acre island that is famous as a marine sanctuary and place for snorkeling and diving. Balicasag Island is a bout 30 to 45 minute boat trips from Alona beach.

One perimeter diving spots in the Philippines, Balicasag is a bout 6km southwest of Panglao, is ringed by a pristine reef that has been declared a marine sanctuary. It drops away to impressive submarine cliffs as deep as 50m. Soft and hard corals can be found around the cliffs as can travelly, barracuda, wrasse, and the occasional white-tip shark.

Balicasag Island Dive Resort has large cottages with a fan, bathroom and veranda in duplex nipas. It has a friendly staff, a good restaurant and a coral sand island all to itself.

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Panglao Island

Posted on Nov.26, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Places, Visayas

Panglao Island
Panglao Island is an island in the Philippines that located in the Central Visayas. It is divided into two municipalities: Dauis and Panglao, part of the Bohol province. Panglao is located in southwest of the island of Bohol and east of Cebu. Panglao is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, famous for its beautiful dive spots and its coral reef as well as many several islet ideal for beach bathing like the islets of Gak-ang and Pontod. Panglao was known to Chinese, Malay, Siamese and Indonesian traders.
Panglao Island is generally associated with Alona Beach, a congested strip of resorts and dive centers on the far west side. There are several other pricey resorts scattered along the coastal strip surrounding this mostly flat island which is separated from Bohol by a narrow channel.

Diving is what draws the tourist to Panglao. Snorkelers can experience the refreshingly cold waters of Hinagdanan Cave at Bingag on the islands northern coast.

Sleeping

Alona Beach is just about all the beachside resorts either has dive centers or is closely affiliated with one and most have restaurant and bars. The resorts are so closely packed together that shopping around for food or diving deals is no problem. Most resorts have cold water bathrooms.
Peter’s House a nipa hut complex with a friendly and laid back communal vibe. A few rooms especially the top floor attic are airy and have a nice view, all rooms share a well kept cold water bathrooms.
Alonaville Beach Resort a good budget deal. Rooms are small and rundown and noise form the restaurant and bar scene might keep you awake but you won’t find a place much cheaper to the action.
Alona Pyramid has two storey huts with two double beds.
Alonaland is a better budget option for those who cope with a 50 m walk into the beach. Alona Tropical at the quieter eastern end of the beach, this is a good choice if you want something a cut above budget accommodations. It also has a popular restaurant with lunch and dinner buffets.
Alona Kew White Beach a prominent hotel, the first one you approach from the access road. Alona Kew has a range of accommodation from small, basic rooms in a thatched bamboo and concrete building to larger stand alone cottages to beachfront rooms with balconies.
Bohol Divers Resort this is popular resort is set just off the beach around a nice freshwater swimming pool. There’s a wide range of accommodation from inexpensive nipa huts to pricier concrete villas. There’s a pleasant open air restaurant and tennis court.
Charlotte Dive Resort anchoring the northern end of the beach is this white two storey building with several cavernous, airy rooms with balconies and large tiled bathrooms.
Tierra Azul has a large clean midrange rooms on the western end of the beach away from the scene bar. The restaurant doesn’t serve evening meals but has a lovely view and the home style management is very friendly.
Mondsee Land Resort a pleasant peace and quite. Has a pleasant swimming pool with coffee and drinks bar and large rooms with private bathrooms.

Eating and Drinking
Most of the resorts and hotels have restaurant and bars along the beach.
Trudi’s Place a lovely open bar restaurant where you can dine on the beach and enjoy cheap food.
Kamalig on the road that runs up between Alona Kew and Sunshine Travel.
Flying Fish Bar, Safety Stop bar and Oops Bar have live music and drinking.

Around the island
Anna Yana a remote Duljo Beach, has a stylish Filipino rooms on 3km of white sandy beach. It has swimming pool diving and good Italian influenced restaurant add to the luxury.
Panglao Island Nature Resort one of the more beautifully integrated resorts on the island. All have wooden floors bamboo furniture and private verandas. A pool and Jacuzzi front the beach and there’s an open pavilion restaurant serving European and Filipino dishes, Wi-Fi is available.
Dumaluan Beach Resort has a large range of accommodation meets the needs of most visitors and swimming pool, spa, diving and good restaurant are available to all.

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The place of Bohol

Posted on Nov.25, 2010, under Cebu, Hotels & Restaurants, Information, Places, Visayas

Bohol
Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. It is consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. The Chocolate Hills, numerous mounds of limestone formation is the most popular attraction.
Bohol is derived fro the word Bo-ho or Bo-ol. The island was seat of the first international treaty of peace and unity between the native king Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact alliance known today by many Filipinos as the Sandugo.

Tagbilaran
Crossing the street in the port of Tagbilaran, the name is derived from two words meaning to hide from the Moros is like playing a real life vision of the video arcade game Frogger. In the heart of town have a look at huge St., Joseph the Worker Cathedral that is also known more simply as Tagbilaran Cathedral. It was built in 1767, burnt to the ground in 1798 and rebuilt and enlarged in 1855.

Festivals and Events
Bohol Fiesta, Tagbilaran is the headquarters of this giant festival celebrating St, Joseph. The town’s own fiesta kicks off proceeding on May 1 with led-ups from April 22.
Sandugo Festival this festival held in the first week of July celebrates the March 1565 blood compact. It is followed by a string of other festival that turned the whole of July into party month.

Sleeping
Everglory Lodge and Restaurant is a short walk from the wharf. The rooms are clean but the furniture is old, while all have bathrooms, the toilets are seat free and street noise can be an issue. The wharf facing rooms and the 4th floor restaurant have a good view.
Nisa Travellers Inn is popular because of its central location and cheap rates however the fan rooms are nothing are only bare cells and their air-con rooms are slightly more appealing. The vibe is friendly and familiar and there’s a spacious and clean balcony area and restaurant.
Via Bohol Tourist Inn a modern hotel close to the ferry terminal with spick and span tiled rooms and bathrooms that are especially nice. Fancy TV’s are in each room some with videoke.
Villa Alzhun Tourist Inn and Restaurant an old style villa 2km south of the town overlooking the Tagbilaran Strait. Wood floored rooms are heavy on the chintz but are well kept and have nice sunset views.
Hotel La Roca the longstanding La Roca at the quite northern end of the town that has large and light rooms with big windows and a mix of wicker and wood furniture. The restaurant and pool area out back are especially nice when lit up at night.
Taver’s Pension House this pension house is business like and professional, rooms resemble the cabins. Each room has a bathroom with hot water and cable TV.
Chriscent Ville Pension House located in the heart of the city, it has tiled rooms that are generally clean and tear. All have hot water bathrooms and cable TV and staff will assist with ticketing tours and transfers. There is a restaurant and bar on the 4th floor.
Bohol Tropics Resort it is the closet seaside resort to the city. There’s no beachfront and standard rooms are surprisingly basic and ill kempt for a resort with luxurious pretensions. The newer rooms are much nicer and more expensive, with modern amenities and sea view balconies and sea pools, three restaurants and dive facilities.
Metro Center Hotel the tasteful at this ritzy eight storey hotel are more luxurious and the service more attentive than at Bohol Tropics.

Eating
Garden Café this place with a country and western theme and it serve up juicy steaks from Australia and New Zealand. Chili, pizza and other American meals can be dialed into the kitchen from the tableside phone.
Odysseus Steak Haus and Restaurant a small family run restaurant, is good choice it while away for a ferry. Alternatively try a full course meal of Filipino or European food.
Asiatika with its white tables and uniform waiters, this restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Metro Center Hotel qualifies as fancy in Tagbilaran. It has a large menu of Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes.

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The Camotes Island

Posted on Nov.24, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Places, Visayas

Camotes Island
The Camotes Island is a group of island that forms part of the province of Cebu in the Philippines. The island group is located east of Cebu Island, southwest of Leyte Island and north of Bohol Island. The Camotes is composed of the following four islands and their municipalities:
Poro; the municipalities of Poro and Tudela.
Pacijan; the sole municipality is San Francisco.
Ponson; the sole municipality is Pilar.
Tulang; is part of the barangay Esperanza, which is part of San Francisco.
The island of Pacijan and Poro are connected by a paved road called a causeway. Ponson is separated by the Camotes Sea lying about four kilometers northeast of Poro. Tulang is located of the northern tip of Pacijan.

Pacijan Island

Pacijan has the only white sand beaches on the Camotes and is where most of the places to stay are located.
San Francisco the main town on Pacijan Island stands at one end of the long land bridge and mangrove forest that runs all way across to Poro Island. San Fran has a lively market, a church, a giant basketball complex, a pretty little town square and plenty of colorful murals.

Lake Danao and Danao Fisheries
The Carmen Lake Danao Fisheries Complex is on the southern bank of Lake Danao behind the town of Union (oon-yon). The fishery performs research different water fish. The fish are farmed in floating pens by the lake’s edge, where there are nice views to be had.

Esperanza
Esperanza is Pacijan second largest town and has a main street lined with yellow painted pot plants. The town runs along a white sand beach strewn with fishing boats. Esperanza has a school, a church, shops and a basketball court.

Sleeping and Eating
Santiago Bay Garden and Resort has a cheerful family atmosphere with lots of locals and music. Basic rooms are on the hillside overlooking a vast, crescent shaped bay with a white beach. The water in the bay is very shallow and tides are consequently massive. The resort is fronted by a terraced restaurant with wonderful views.
Mangodlong Rock Resort it occupies a postcard perfect, private cove with a small beach and good snorkeling. it is also comprises deluxe, native style rooms, a thatched-roof bar and restaurant and cute mushroom cottages that have been built on the rocky outcrops at the water edge.
Green Lake Park and Restaurant is a friendly place with nice views of the lake and has a good Filipino food.

Poro Island
Poro is the best lesser of the two main island. It lacks the beaches of Pacijan and there’s nowhere really to stay or eat, though if you have an off road bike its forested hills have better touring.

AltaVista and Mount Three Peaks
Is the serene plateau that has a comfort room, a small treehouse and three other open cottages, that make up the Camotes highest region are Elijan, Kaban-kaban and Kantomaro.

Ponson Island
There are two towns in Ponson; Pilar and Kawit. Kawit is the more picturesque of the two, lovely long, white sand beach.

The predominant industries on the Camotes Island are farming fishing and tourism. The word camotes is Mexican for sweet potatoes. Porohanon or Camotes Visayan is spoken in the town of Poro only. The dialect is very similar to the dialect of Cebuano which is spoken in the rest of Camotes islands and throughout the province of Cebu.

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The place of Moalboal

Posted on Nov.23, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Resorts, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Moalboal
Moalboal
is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Cebu. Moalboal is located 89 kilometers from Cebu City. Moalboal is nestled between the towns of Alcantara and Badian. The dominant language of the town is Cebuano. Moalboal is a peninsula and such as it is a town almost entirely surrounded by water. Majority of the people who live in the flat lands engage in fishing as their main mode of livelihood.
Moalboal has a spring where many of the locals get their water. Moalboal is administratively subdivided into 15 barangays; Agbalanga, Bala, Balabagon, Basdiot, Batadbatad, Bugho, Buguil, Busay, Lanao, Poblacion East, Poblacion West, Saavedra, Tomonoy, Tuble, Tunga.

The 20m high Kawasan Falls lies about 20km south of Moalboal, inland from Badian.
Most of the dive centers on Moalboal are affiliated with resorts. Like the following dive canters Savedra Dive Center, Sea Explorers, and Visaya Divers. A couple of dive centers that are unaffiliated are Blue Abyss Dive Shop and Neptune Diving.

Sleeping in Moalboal
The accommodation on Panagsama beach ranges from budget to midrange. The bigger resorts all have dive centers on site that may be contracted through the resort.
Quo Vadis Beach Resort is situated on a large lot with great beach access. Spacious and well appointed twin rooms and cottages have queen-sized beds and rattan furnishings. Top-of the range rooms have Arista Restaurant and dive center Visaya Divers.
Love’s Lodge is excellent positioning on the quite southern end of the beach. it is motel style standard rooms have hot-water bathroom and windows larger deluxe rooms have air-con. This place is affiliated with Sea Explores dive center.
Savedra Beach Resort it is bright and cherry, Spanish mansion style rooms all have starched, linen. Fridge, coffee facilities, hot water bathrooms and private balconies over the water. It’s affiliated with Savedra Dive Center.
Coral’s Palm Court it has plain, white rooms that are bit rough the edges but there’s no going past the lovely beachfront balcony with its prime views.
Sunshine Pension House is a big resort style place with large excellent value rooms and cottages.
Mollie’s Place is fronted by a relaxed little bar. It is cheap, liveable fan rooms and slightly better air-con rooms in run down concrete complex.
Pacita’s Resort is occupying a huge beachfront lot in the middle of Panagsama Beach. Pacita’s is a sprawling concrete eyesore though which you must pass to get to southern end of the beach.
Marina Beach Club Resort has cheap huts with fan and cold water bathroom and pricier ones with air-con. Big, plain, tiled rooms with hot water, fridge and coffee facilities.
Sumisid Lodge is a cozy, homely place with native-style rooms and all have views. Air-con rooms front the lobby.
Eve’s Kiosk is away from the beach. The rooms are small and plain and token pool is very small.
Asian Belgian Resort and Dive Center this is a quite, family run that has a great view, the native rooms have cold water bathrooms. The dive center has very good value open water diving course and with have an experienced instructor.
Most place to stay have restaurant, and most are open for all meals at the Panagsama beach, Hannah’s Place has the finest seaside terrace in Moalboal and easily the best seafood.
Filling Station is famous for its breakfast, the muesli with fruit and creamy natural yogurt is perfect balance restorer after a lechon overdose.
Italian Corner has good, traditional Italian pizzas.

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The tropical place of Bantayan Island

Posted on Nov.22, 2010, under Cebu, Hotels & Restaurants, Information, Places, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island
is an island in the Philippines located at the western portion of the northern tip of Cebu. It is politically a part of the province of Cebu. The Bantayan Island busy administrative center was the bantayan town. The town centers on the large plaza, close which is the market, a pier and the care-worn, coral stone Peter and Paul Church which is every Easter is the focus religious processions that attracts the faithful from all over the Philippines.
This island is composed of three municipalities: Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe.
Bantayan is a 2nd class municipality on Bantayan Island in the province of Cebu. It is the island’s most populous town. It is bordered to the north by Madridejos and to the southeast by the Santa Fe. Bantayan Island is geographically in the center of the Philippines. It is located at the northwestern side of Cebu and northeastern of Negros Oriental. It is a town of Cebu and is about 80 miles from Cebu City. The Bantayan dialect is a mixture of native Cebuano, Ilonggo, Waray, Masbateño and Boholano, but it has words it can call its own such as “kakyop, sara, kag buwas” means yesterday, today and tomorrow. Bantayan Island is considered as Cebu’s fishing ground where shiploads and boatloads of the fish are transported daily to Cebu City and Negros. Bantayan is administratively subdivided into 25 barangays; atop-atop, Baigad, Baod, Binaobao, Balidbid, Kabac, Doong, Hilotongan, Guiwanon, Kabangbang, Kampingganon, Kangkaibe, Lipayran, Luyongbaybay, Mojon, Obo-ob, Patao, Putian, Sillon, Sungko, Suba, Sulangan, Tamiao, Bantigue, and Ticad.
Madridejos is a 4th class municipality in the province of Cebu. It is one of the three municipalities that make up the island of bantayan located on the western [portion of the northern tip of mainland Cebu. It is bounded on the south by the municipality of Bantayan and on all other side by the Visayan Sea. Lawis was the old name of Madridejos. The town feast day is celebrated annually on December 8. The main industries of madridejos are fishing, poultry and tourism. Madridejos earned the name of Little Alaska of the Philippines and as the matter of fact the first canning factory in the country was established in Madridejos. Madridejos is associated with the name Bantayan being a part of Bantayan Island as it shares only more eight square miles of the total land area of Bantayan Island. Madridejos is administratively subdivided into 14 barangays; Bunakan, Kangyawan, Kaongkod, Kodia, Maalat, Malbago, Mancilang, Pili, Poblacion, San Agustin, Tabagak, Talangnan, Tarong, Tugas.
Santa Fe is a 5th class municipality on Bantayan Island province of Cebu. The town can be reached by ferry from Hagnaya Wharf in San Remegio Cebu. Santa Fe is one of the most crowded municipalities during Holy Week; it caters to a number of tourist and locals that spends their holiday in the island of bantayan. Santa Fe is administratively subdivided into 10 barangays; Hagdan, Hilantagaan, Kinatarkan, Langub, Maricaban, Okoy, Poblacion, Balidbid, Pooc, Talisay. People will come to relaxed, bucolic little town of Santa Fe on the southern coast of Bantayan Island, for its exquisite white sand beaches and low key resorts.
There is no decent snorkeling around Bantayan Island although you will go to the Virgin Island.

Places of sleeping and eating in Santa Fe
St. Bernard Beach Resort on a narrow lot in the middle of Ocoy village. This resort has wonderfully eccentric, circular thatched-roofed cottages with polished wood, throw rugs and lace curtains. The view across to Hilantagaan is superb.
Joy Beach Resort a little out of town this is the Robinson Crusoe option it has four very simple and rudimentary cottages and a rickety tree house are right smack on a lovely stretch of beach.
Hoyohoy Villas it is six rice granary inspired stilt houses combine traditional design principals, a Japanese aesthetic, antique, furnishing and modern comforts.
Marlin Beach Resort has a terrific location, a great stretch of sand and luxe rooms but lack real character. Air-con rooms have cable TV and sea view balcony.
Kota Beach this is mixed bag. Rooms as opposed to cottages are in a drab. The cottages are plain but well kept, the front row have air-con and beach views while the back row are set in a lush, green garden. The restaurant serves reasonable Filipino dishes.
Budyong Beach Resort has a pleasant nipa huts under the palm trees on the sand, with balconies facing the water. It is very popular with local tourist and groups.
Yooneek Beach Resort it is next to Budyong this is a flash newcomer has two blocks of motel like rooms with cold water bathrooms and balconies that face the opposite block rather than the beach.
Sugar Beach Resort it has basic beach shacks in the shade, set back from the beach on a vast allotment. There is no restaurant.
Ogtong Cave Resort is a semi-exclusive resort with guard on the gate and a high perimeter fence. The crowd puller here is the Ogtong cave a small subterranean cave with fresh water bathing has standard cottages vary in size, but all are well appointed and have a hot water bathroom. The air-con rooms have sea view. The ambience is slightly diminished by a rubbish heap in clear view restaurant.
Fairview Resort known by locals as Far view because it sits inland on a hill in the southern fringes of the town, this is not a place for beach lovers or the gregarious the value proposition here is great views, cheap, super-sized rooms and free use of a motorbike.
Bantayan Cottages is a newly established cottage. It has five cottages, four cottages that good for two and one cottage for good in family and group. It is surrounded by the tropical plants and different kind of plants and orchids. It is 1 minute walking into the beach and 5 minutes walking into the market. The rooms are well maintain clean and has air con and has ordinary water in each bathroom. It good for relaxing due to the quite ambience and wonderful surroundings. You can also bring food and can cook in the main building for free.
Balikbayan Restaurant probably the best food in the town center at the best prices, balikbayan has a good range of salads, pastas and pizza and cozy booths for dining.
Marisquera O’ Portuguese Bar and Restaurant on the main street opposite in the Blue Ice, this is a cheery restobar decked out with Christmas lights and flags.
Blue Ice is in the main street, it is a Scandinavian owned. This restaurant has a decent seafood and a pleasant shaded courtyard for drinking.

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Malapascua Island

Posted on Nov.21, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Resorts, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island is situated in the Visayan Sea located across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island. The island was first known for its wide sand beach.
This little island off Cebu’s northern tip has been growing steadily more famous over the years for its long white beaches, has great food and low key approach to tourism. Divers are spoilt with three wreck dives, the marine sanctuary of Gato Island a famous sea snake breeding ground and almost daily appearances of the otherwise rarely sighted thresher’s shark off Monad Shoal. The simple villages of malapascua blend seamlessly with resort and are big factor in the island charm. The people of the town are almost invariably friendly and welcoming.
There are two main beaches on Malapascua both are located at the southern end of the island on the southern and western flanks of the main town of Logon and both have beautiful, long stretches of white sand.
Bounty beach is where the majority of resorts and dive centers are located.
Poblacion beach has only one resort and a couple of restobars. A couple of resorts occupy the rock coves between the two beaches.
The most popular dive off in Malapascua is Monad Shoal here you can see the thresher sharks. The plateau where the sharks congregate is at 25m depth, 15 minutes by pump boat from Bounty Beach and the best time for sightings is early in the morning.

Sleeping in Malapascua and Beach Resorts
Logon Beach Resort it is located on a high rocky point overlooking a private cove. This is an ideal honeymooners resort. Balconied huts face the sunset and have a wonderful view.
Blue Corals Resort it is tiled monster with bright flashing lights that is completely out of sympathy with its surroundings but it views over the water. It could be a foretaste of things to come.
Malapascua Blue water Resort situated in a large lot stretching a long way back, Blue water Resort has stale-smelling cottages on the beach and generator infused cheaper rooms out the back. It has 24 hour electricity.
Cocobana Beach Resort is in the middle of Bounty Beach it has comfy cottages, 24 hour electricity, a bar and a decent restaurant.
Hippocampus Beach Resort has a rather crowded conglomeration of cottages just off the beach as well as 2nd storey rooms out of the front is a little bar with a lovely pergola that’s a perfect place for watching the boats come in.
Malapascua Exotic Dive and Beach Resort it is located in the quite easterly beach, exotic is very much a self contained resort and as luxurious as it gets on Malapascua.
It houses is the oldest and probably the dive centers on the island. A beach front is a restobar and a 24 hour generator.
Mangrove Oriental is a handful luxurious Mediterranean style cottages spaced out on a lovely terraced hillside. The hillside is planted with lush, tropical garden and affords a good view over the water. On one side of the property is a modest beach; on the other is a tiny lagoon of mangrove trees.
Los Bamboos this is a simple place, cheerful, largely bamboo resort is on promontory on the northern tip of the island.
Sunsplash Resort is also into the hotel business, it is comfy, Spanish mission style rooms are back from the beach and are a bit pricey as such but are not a bad option if you like your comforts. Rooms have TV and hot water.
Eating and Drinking in Malapascua
La Isla Bonita the food here are rated the best on the island. It serves up a range of fresh, quality ingredients cooked in a variety of styles but always in care.
Ging-ging’s Garden Restaurant set in the pretty garden in Logon village. It is offers the very best economy dining in the island.
Coco Maldito it is a loungy, tropical style restobar the size of z barn that sticks to the tried-and true formula of pizza, beer and shooters, loud music, sports telecast, pool tables and skimpily dressed bar staff.

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The Olango Island

Posted on Nov.20, 2010, under Cebu, Information, Sightseeing Spots, Visayas

Olango Island
The story of Olango Island is a familiar one in the Philippines: a fragile and diverse ecosystem under very enormous pressure from human predation. Much of the reef on the western side of Olango was buried by a typhoon in 1993. Dynamite and cyanide fishing is never gave it a chance to regenerate. The Province of Olango Island is the marine sanctuary off neighboring Hilotongan Island. South of the Hilotongan Island is the private resort island of Nalusuan has the best preserved coral in the Olango Reef.
The Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary has the Chinese egret Egrette eulophotes and Asiatic dowitcher Limmodromus semipalmatus.
Sleeping
Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary a tiny island in the southern reaches of the Olango Reef, a private marine sanctuary has achieved the miraculous and preserved a stunning coral outcrop. This wonderfully relaxed island resort has seven native style cottages on stilts, each furnished with fan, bathtub and freshwater shower. There is also an open air restaurant specializing in freshly caught fish, and activities include island hopping, diving and kayaking.

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