Showing posts with label travel philippines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel philippines. Show all posts

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pong Travels: Sagada - Buscalan 🌄🌳

Hello! It’s the Sagada – Buscalan coming right up. Lol. It’s been 5 months since this trip happened, pero kebs, here we go.

Sagada Homestay always feels like home

Initially, this trip is just out of frustration between me and my friend, Tec, since paragliding was cancelled for all the reasons in this world. We’ve decided to go even if it’s just the two of us. We’ve invited some folks whom we think are easy to talk to when it comes to trips like this, but they cancelled – of course they cancelled in the most politest way possible (hi, Topher, lol). Tec managed to invite his friend, Tong, and coincidentally, Erika (a blogger friend – check her page) and her friends will be on the same bus enroute to Bontoc - Sagada. Erika and her friends dropped off to Bontoc, and us 3, to Sagada. We stayed for a night and then woke up early to go to Buscalan.

Brekky at The Lemon Pie House

This is my third time in Sagada and, I might have different folks with me each time, but feels is always the same. Iba siguro hangin don, haha, one of my happy places talaga. So we arrived earlier than expected in Sagada. Travelling to Mountain Province has been so lengthy so we have to plan smart. We settled in The Sagada Homestay were I booked a room for 3 for a night. (We were given the same room from the last time I was there).Then we headed out to eat – we had brekky at The Sagada Lemon Pie House. I initially wanted to eat at Sagada Brew as their Hot Chocolate is so delish, but they were still closed when we arrived. Been craving for the wheat bread, too. Got it from the Pottery House. 
Happy kid - home made chocolate wheat bread @ PHP30
Walking around Sagada is a breeze because of the chilly weather. Sarap! But of course, we also have to consider the slopes. (Assault, Hehe) We checked the Tourism Office for the spots open for the day. First stop, Church. It’s just walking distance from the place we’re staying – St. Mary the Virgin Church – this is an Anglican Church. Was able to attend an Anglican Mass the last time I was there. We met this guy (forgot the name) when we’re headed to Bomod-Ok Falls. It’s cheaper when you have more folks in your group as the Guide Fee will be divided amongst you guys. It was so hot during our trek. We managed to be back around 3pm. We had our late lunch at The Sagada Homestay Restaurant. For only PHP150, its already a full meal – chicken, lechon kawali, veggies, lumpiang shanghai and rice.  We also went to the Danum Lake where we witnessed the Sunset. Sunsets are always beautifully anywhere in the world, agree? We had some cute convo while waiting for the sun to go down.

Tec inside St Mary's

on the way to the falls

Sunset gang

Sunset at the Danum Lake

Tong chillin'

Tec and Tong were gracious enough to help me find Sagada Pine Café. For folks who have been to Sagada, this is a super chill place where you can have a few drinks with your friends. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find it. Huhu. Guess it’s closed already. We had a few drinks at The Homestay instead. The boys recreated their photo 10 years ago, I took the photo and edited it.
We were still undecided if we were to go to Buscalan as Tong needs to be home for work reasons (want to buy a car? Ping him here) and Tec’s legs were sore. So we rested and we decided to go the next morning.

Tong and our guide having some convo

It was yet another lengthy trip, more or less 5 hours including the trek to Buscalan Village. No signal or anything, so kwentuhan gaming kami. Saya. Sobrang simple lang doon. We ate tuna, pancit canton, drink a few, kwentuhan, tulog. Kape. Ganon lang. Fate made its way for us to see Erika there – no signal kasi. Took some photos and that’s it. Hehe. There, you will realize that life can be very simple yet so beautiful. Tec and Tong had their tatts done. We weren’t able to meet Whang Od though. She was not feeling well the afternoon we arrived and somebody passed away, she had to go to the wake as their tradition and as the oldest in the community. We let it pass, as we have to work the next day. 

We made it! Pagoda!
Erika and her friends


Simple life at Buscalan Village

Tong getting inked

Poor Tong, upon arriving in Manila, only had a few hours to rest and go straight to his office. Such a hard working dude. Tec and I have known each other for so long, college days. And Tec and Tong have been friends since I don’t know. Tong and I had the chance to have a convo while waiting for our ride in Bugnay. Felt like I’ve already known him in the past.
This trip has been tagged as one of my favorites. Chill lang, the trek was so hard though as I am so fat. Hehe. Masaya lang e. Wouldn’t have it any other way. #tectongpong

Sagada Expenses:
CODA Lines – HM Transport - Cubao
Manila to Sagada (via Banaue) – if you want to go straight to Bontoc, just tell the conductor to drop you off Bontoc. More or less, travel time is 12 hours.
First trip – 8:30PM (Better book online, chance passenger is okay, but better be sure than sorry. Trip is so long)
Fare: PHP760 + PHP35 (when you book online)
     PHP980 (Deluxe, with CR)

Where to Eat in Sagada: Some famous spots include Sagada Brew, The Sagada Lemon Pie House, Yoghurt House, Salt and Pepper, Gaia Café & Crafts
Prices: PHP120/meal – PHP200/meal (x3)
*Just enjoy walking around and you will find a lot – try their famous Pinikpikan

Where to go and what to see: (there is a corresponding fee per spot)
St. Mary Church ✅ (free)
Sumaguing - Lumiang Cave
Echo Valley – Hanging Coffins
Mt. Kiltepan
Lake Danum ✅ (PHP500/group) (167/head for us 3)
Bomod-Ok Falls ✅ (PHP500/group) (167/head for us 3)
Marlboro Hills
..and a lot more..
Environmental Fee: PHP50
Note: please make sure to coordinate with The Sagada Tourism Office for fees and open spots during your visit

Total: PHP3528 (+fare)

Sagada to Buscalan

Jeep to Bontoc – PHP45
Bus to Bugnay, Tinglayan (from Bontoc) – PHP100 (x2 for Roundtrip)
1 Motorcycle Ride – PHP100 (on our way back, a good Samaritan let us ride on his pick-up, free)
Environmental Fee – PHP75
Tour Fee for 5 Pax – PHP1500
Overnight Stay: PHP350/pax
**unli rice and unli coffee
Total: PHP1270/head (for 3 pax, does not include food)
Food & Drinks say: PHP300 (Medyo pricey don because grabe ang trek dun, please understand ang hirap ng porters, help na din natin sa kanila)

Total: PHP1570

Bontoc to Manila: (Coda Lines) PHP685

Note: Having a tattoo is optional and price starts at PHP100. Whang-Od only does the 3 dots - her signature and other designs can be made by a lot of mambabatok in Buscalan. 


speak from the heart,
pong 🐢💙

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pong Travels: Bataan - Pawikan Festival 2017 - Help Save the Turtles! 🐢

Ola! 😍

How is everyone? In reference to my previous kilig invite from Bataan Tourism (First Invite Everrr!) two weeks ago, ito na, this is it! I am finally writing about it! 😍

So long, Dude! 

♫♪ "Pawikan sa Morong, Bataan, Morong Bataan, Morong Bataan; alagaan pagkaingatan, pagkaingatan, pagkaingatan. Halina't sumabay iwagayway ang kamay, tuklasin ang pawikan sa Morong, Bataan. ♫♪ - This is the oh so catchy Pawikan Festival Theme Song (pardon the video's quality - my bad) that made us LSS (Last Song Syndrome) until we reach Manila. 😂 

 A day before the event, we arrived in Bataan around dinner time and we headed straight to the Bataan Tourism Office to get our Pawikan Festival shirts and Media ID. Right after that, we headed to Bataan White Corals Beach Resort and Hotel to get settled for the night. At this time, I had the chance to have a chit-chat with my fellow bloggers and get to know them. Sweet. 💕 Bataan White Corals Beach Resort is such a beautiful place - I wish I had a drone to have a perfect view of the place - soon enough! 😉

The annual Pawikan Festival concluded last November 25th at the Pawikan Conservation Center in Brgy. Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan. 

So, what is the Pawikan Festival all about? It is basically raising awareness on how to save our endangered and beloved Pawikans. When baby Pawikans are released in the ocean, it will take them 25 years to go back via imprinting which I find so amazing that after a long time, they're able to come back, same place where they were born.  

getting ready to be released. ðŸ˜

Not only that, Pawikan Festival will also make you feel and love the rich Filipino Culture. I can indeed say that while am there, given that kind of opportunity, I just told myself, "ang sarap maging Pilipino, nakakaproud." Imagine, the people who used to get the eggs and eat them after Mommy Pawikan had laid them, now they are the ones protecting them. Sweet volunteers. 💕 And the Festival itself - the preparation, the people who put their thinking hats on, their time and their dedication and effort is just simply amazing.

Walk for a Cause started at 5AM

Mang Manolo, Chief of the Bantay Pawikan, delivers his speech about the Conservation Center's accomplishments as Gov. Abet and Sen. Villar looks on

PUP Banda Kawayan performs at The Pawikan Festival

Turtle-Inspired Body Painting

It's not only during the Pawikan Festival that we can contribute in Pawikan Conservation's Awareness. Everyday, by just simply throwing our trash in appropriate trash bins is already a big thing. Turtles are often trapped by the rubbish thrown in the ocean. We can definitely stop this, right? Easy. Just by simply being humane. This does not apply to turtles only but the entire ocean. Marine life is so beautiful and in order to maintain that, compassion and discipline are what we need. 😀

Pawikan Conservation Center has an aquarium where they keep rescued/injured turtles 

Releasing of hatchlings is done everyday (morning and by sunset time). So, if you want to witness and to learn more about it, everyone is welcome to go to Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan. 

beaches should be clean to ensure safe passage

Sunset releasing of the hatchlings. Beautiful! 

1. Take Victory Liner bound to Olongapo
2. Get off at Olongapo Bus Station then ride a baby bus or a jeepney bound to Morong.
3. Ride a tricycle going to Pawikan Conservation Center (Entrance Fee: PHP20, open from 8AM - 5PM)
         There are several beach resorts in Morong where you can stay. But you can also stay at The Pawikan Conservation Center at a minimal price (cheapest is at PHP1000).

Mang Manolo of Bantay Pawikan - 09213602842

Share this page. Blog it. Volunteer. Donate in cash or in kind (get in touch with our lovely Bataan Tourism Folks, click website above). Be humane. 

Simple take aways and hanash from this event:

1. Sarap maging Pinoy. Konting push pa, kaya nating lahat basta may disiplina. Sobrang ganda ng dagat at ng kalikasan! Yung kultura, iba, alam mo talagang may malasakit and yung bayanihan, andun talaga. 
2.  Filipinos are indeed a happy and a talented bunch! 
3It's good to meet people who has the same passion as yours. It was my first time meeting Milet, Allan, Claire, Celine, Dennis, Mujee, Kuya Vandolf, Miss Tina, Miss Danica, Mommy Jinkee and Daddy Ruel but I felt at home right away. Hope to see you again on the road or somewhere, guys. 💋

1 Bataan
Daddy Ruel, Milet, Claire, Me, Allan, Celine, Dennis, Mommy Jinkee, Mujee

speak from the heart,
pong 🐢💙