Tag Archives: Places to visit in the Philippines

Puerto Princesa Underground River: indeed a Nature’s Wonder!

I heard a lot about the underground river in Palawan ever since I was a little kid, and to all honesty, I’m not a bit excited to go to the underground river since I always thought of it as a mere cave and that nothing is special about it, especially since I’ve been to a cave before (Hoyophoyopan Cave in Albay). But, there is something deep in my heart that tells me that the place is a a beautiful place with scenic views and will surely make me realize that Philippines is amazing! Moreover, it’s been crowned as part of the new 7 wonders of nature, so my curiosity had reached another level, from all these hype–tourism campaign, ads etc made me rethought things out.. so in the end I decided to go to Puerto Princesa.

The Underground River is 2 hours away from the city center, so it is quite a travel going there, but the only thing I will tell you is that the ride itself is an amazing one. You will be greeted by limestone mountains, by tall trees and amazing greenness– you will indeed feel that you are in a forest, so the city’s tagline being a CITY IN A FOREST– is not a bluff!

After that 2 hour van ride, you should go directly to the tourism office (near the port) to pay for the environmental fee which is (P40) and to ask them to check your entry permit. upon checking your id and permit they will lead you to a tent area near the port where you will wait and pay for your boat which costs (P700.00 with a capacity of 6 persons). Or if they told you to come back after a few hours, I suggest you go strolling in the nearby Sabang beach (a 3 minute walk from the port) and you can eat your lunch/breakfast or even dinner there.

the facade of the puerto princesa underground river tourism office in Sabang

Office in Sabang Port where you present your permits

My group went to the Sabang Port at around 8:00 am although our permit says 2:00 pm… such a misunderstanding among my mom’s friends (haha!) anyway, it’s such a long story to tell. So, what we did is to stroll around Sabang beach and wait for our turn. Then when 2 pm arrived we waited again for at least 30 minutes for the tourist boats to pick us up going to the Underground River.

 

scenic view while driving towards sabang port to see the puerto princesa underground river
puerto princesa underground river boat dock (look at the tent in the right, it is where you will wait and ride your boat going to the underground river) I took this after our tour so the sun is already setting
Here are the boats going to the underground river

The boat ride going to the underground river is as smooth as silk (so no problem at all) and what I loved the most was the amazing scenery while traveling towards the underground river.

the views after you get into your boat, look at that tall limestone mountains

The skyscraper tall limestone mountains are so amazing that it made a tear (or may I say tears) came out of my eye. I’m definitely crying, and tears just kept flowing. I maybe overreacting, but I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight. I feel that I’m not inside my own country– I always tell myself before that Philippines has nothing to offer (that is why I always satisfy my travel cravings in other countries and not in my own beautiful country). A travel in my own land, looking at its beauty, is definitely a different and worthwhile experience!

look at those limestone mountains… so scenic. and look at the waves that crashes in the rocks during low tide.. so scenic.. so beautiful.. my camera cannot capture how beautiful the real place is.
going to the underground river will let you see the waves crashing to the rocks during low tide

Moreover,the limestone mountains are really tall making those I’ve seen in Caramoan as a miniature version of what I saw during my palawan trip. The view is just breathtaking!

other limestone rocks in the puerto princesa underground river

And lemme tell you that what you see in pictures here are not even a pinch of everything you will see in Puerto Princesa. The place is just a wonderful place. Nothing beats this, I really love it.

limestones in puerto princesa underground river
limestone rocks while going to the puerto princesa underground river

There are also hidden coves with white sand beach that is sandwiched with beautiful and tall limestone mountains. The beach somehow waves at you and invites you to visit and swim to its pristine waters–if only the boat can stop there, I will definitely plunge to the waters of that beautiful secret cove

limestone rocks along the way towards underground river puerto princesa palawan

The boat ride is almost 30 minutes, but you will definitely enjoy that ride because of what you will see. It’s a scenic ride and I loved it!

You will disembark on a white and fine sand beach while on your right you can see a majestic and tall limestone which seems to be protecting the island from big waves and such.

the beautiful rocks 🙂

And after you walked to the white sand beach you will then enter the forest where big trees surround the area. There you can find huts. You can rest while you wait for your turn to enter the underground river, and it is also where you will show again your permit to the officer-in-charge of the city tourism office. After showing your permit he will then put a number in the upper corner of your papers/receipts which means that you will be queuing again to finally enter the underground river–which is the last leg of your journey.

the huts where you can sit and relax

tall trees awaits you

The officer then told us to enjoy the scenery before going to the opening of the cave. We then headed north east and found a ranger house and of course the well known and photogenic monitor lizard.

What’s funny is that I saw it walking across the path that we should be taking. Then I started shouting “Lizard! Lizard! Lizard” and the people in my group started looking up and they said “Saan? Saan?” “Where? Where?” and my hand is pointing towards the ground and they are still asking where! and then I said “bayawak!” “Monitor lizard” and they said “Ahhh!” This might not be funny for others but for us its funny! ako na ang corny! haha

Heading towards the monitor lizards’ lair 🙂

We are actually lucky to see one because the officer said that these lizards already went away.

The monitor lizard in puerto princesa

Then, after satisfying are “kodak” or camera moments with the monitor lizard we went directly to the waiting area where you can see the underground river opening. The place is indeed amazing.

I then roamed around the area and found a big tree lying in the sand. It might be struck by lighting or was made that way due to a storm or maybe its just cannot support its weight that’s why it fell.

the fallen tree where people sit while waiting.

I then saw the place where the saltwater and the water from the river meets. It’s an amazing sight.

the merging 🙂 such a view!!!

The beach has fine white sand which makes you wanna swim in the blue and crystal clear waters, however there is a sign that says no swimming, marine preservation 😦

The waiting time before you enter the infamous cave will take you almost 2 hours, so you need to stand and wait in the shady area  for about an hour or two.

There are two (2) kinds of boats being used in the underground river tour, the other one is a 6-7 person capacity while the other one is 10 seater capacity. Sometimes, if you are traveling alone or by two’s or if you wanna go ahead than your own group, you can volunteer yourself and join other groups, even though your schedule is later.

You will be equipped with lifevest and helmets — but I should tell you, especially if your tour is on the late afternoon– you should get ready for the smell of these yucky things–It smells of sweat and bat shit 🙂

The boat, life vests and boatman
the opening of the underground river palawan

After waiting, we then entered the underground river– sorry, no pics, my dslr cannot take pictures of pitch black darkness… my picture is until here. Let me just narrate you my experience and what I saw in the place.


And let me say that the tour guide/boatman in the cave, named Kenneth, made our journey in that long and winding tour a very funny and enjoyable trip, although he didn’t explain a lot of historical or factual things about the cave, he just stated different rock formations such as angels, mushroom, jellyfish, sexy woman, vegetables, the Three Kings, Mama Mary, Jesus and many more. The formations with a help of your imagination will make you really amazed on how the hands of nature molded such amazing formations.

another view 🙂

What made me very amazed was the cathedral. The tall high ceiling which is really tall that even the beam of the flash light cannot reach. By that time I’m really asking myself on how nature made it to look that way.

The karst is 11 km long, averages 3-5 km wide and covers an area of around 35 sq. /km. It is estimated to be between 16 – 20 million years old (puerto-undergroundriver.com)

The underground river tour only lasted for 45 minutes. We toured the 1 km out of the 8.2 kilometer long Puerto Princesa Underground River. Since the other 7.2 you need a special permit to gain entry. But as a whole it consists of 24km cave with 8.2 km of which has underground section of the river (Wikipedia).

The underground river is called as St. Paul’s subterranean river national park since it is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range (which include The three main peaks are Cleopatra’s Needle (1,500m), Mt. St. Paul (1,028m) and Mt. Bloomfield (870m) puerto-undergroundriver.com) all are located on the northern part of Puerto Princesa.

And also according to wikipedia, “the area also represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999” (Wikipedia).

After that time, we are all tired, took pictures, claimed our pictures from the photo booth which the tourism office took for us–which is definitely overpriced for P550.00 for the big one and P250 or P350 for the small one.

After that we saw a bunch of monkeys seemingly waving us their goodbyes.and then we sailed towards the sabang port while the beautiful sun also says goodbye.

the free roaming monkeys of the underground river, palawan

We ended the whole journey at around 8pm, and traversed again the limestone mountains which we learned that beneath those is where the underground river is located.

HOW TO GET HERE:

1. Riding a lexus van in Puerto Princesa city center if you wanted to commute for a fare of P250-500.00

2. Hire a van if your are a group for P3500.00

3. Hire a tricycle (some of the tourist uses tricycle to get here, but take note that it will take a lot of time)

For a group of 6, we decided to hire a van. We used the services of Kuya Boy. I will post his number here as soon as I get a copy of such from my mom’s office mate.

TIPS WHEN YOU VISIT THE PPUR:

1. Travel in group and you will save a lot. The van and boat rentals will be able to carry at most 6 passengers. If you are 6 using the boat and van you will be able to save much since you will divide the expenses among your colleagues.

2. You need to bring ID’s for verification in the Sabang Tourism office. Moreover, there is discount for the elderly and minor for the entrance fees, so the minor and elderly just needs to present Id’s (school i.d. or senior citizen’s card).

To see my expenses for my palawan trip, click here.

3. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring extra clothes as you want to change your clothes after using the smelly lifejackets that you are required to wear for your underground river tour (maybe the life jackets smells bad because we are one of the last few who had our tour in the UG. And also you can have a dip in Sabang Beach. Click here to see my post about Sabang Beach.

4. Have your permits ready for your underground river visit. Make sure to book in advance (about 2-3 months) before your travel date especially if you wanna travel during the summer months (March to May) since those times are the peak season.

5. Book in an early time so that the smell of the life jackets won’t affect you.

6. Visit the place during the summer months since during this time typhoons or low pressure areas are rarely seen. since if you chanced upon a stormy day during your visit, for sure the underground river tour you booked will be cancelled.

7. You can also hike through the monkey trail towards the underground river or you can just hire a boat. Hiking will be for almost 2 hours but there was said to be a magnificent view. If I’ll go back there, I will try this

WHAT TO SEE NEARBY:

1. If you wanna stay in Sabang Beach there are various accommodations nearby that offers competitive pricing. Click here to see my post about Sabang Beach.

2. You can also visit the Mangroves nearby where they offer a mangrove river tour. Unfortunately we weren’t able to experience this since we are too captivated by Sabang Beach

3. A few kilometers away is a cave

HOW TO GET A PERMIT:

I suggest you call these numbers. I was not the one to book this trip. That’s why I didn’t know the procedure:

Anyway, here is the contact details.

Contact details to get underground river permit

REMINDERS:

1. Other blogs states that permits can be gathered in the Sabang Port Office, as of April 2012, the Sabang Port Office does not issue permits anymore, walk-ins are not allowed. Permits are only available in the main office in Rizal Avenue.

2. Other blogs also states that when you stay overnight in Sabang you can get a permit without the hustle, before this is practiced/allowed but as of April 2012, it was changed and only in the main office in Rizal Avenue you can get the permit.

3. The only thing you will pay here is the boat ride and the environmental fee. There are discounts given to senior citizens and minor students.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT PUERTO PRINCESA

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Mitra Ranch–Simply Breathtaking!

The Sta. Monica Ranch or most commonly known as Mitra Ranch is located uphill of Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa, it is basically a ranch with cows and horses, with vast land and a beautiful view deck. This is owned by the Philippine Senator Ramon Mitra.

The sign that says Sta. Monica Ranch
A place with cows and beautiful scenery

You might think that there’s nothing going on in this place, but I should tell you now, that the place has indeed a good location where you can ponder and wonder about your personal life or even allow yourself to be “emo” emotional.

A scenic view… this looks like as if it is painted. mountains, trees, grass = wonderful place.

What makes this place different is its location. The location gives you a beautiful view of the sea, the mountains and the city. Sta. Monica offers the most breathtaking view of Palawan. It is a  hundred feet above the rest of the city, giving you the nicest view of Puerto Princesa.

Traversing this uphill road towards the top— it is just a few distance away to a more scenic view 🙂

The place made me relax, inhale the fresh air, enjoy the very moment where I see green landscape amid blue background.The place is really beautiful because of the view, it is just breathtaking.

Breathtaking scenery!
another beautiful view, you can see here the zipline facility

Inside the Ranch, you can either 1.) savor the panoramic view 2.) zipline 3.) picture taking with the horses. I just did #1 since I was easily captivated by the beautiful and serene landscape.

some of the horses in Mitra ranch

What is also appealing in this place is that there is no entrance fee so people can come and go as they like, although you cannot enter the view deck or the house as I call it but you can explore the grounds.

beautiful view deck
tables in the view deck of Mitra Ranch

How to get here:

1. I suggest you hire a van/trike/multicab in going here, especially if you are in a group, since you might want to tour this together with the Crocodile Farm and Baker’s Hill

2. If commuting, ride an “Irawan” jeep from Rizal St. and tell the driver to drop you off the intersection going to Baker’s Mill / Mitra’s Ranch (P7.50 fare). From the intersection, ride a tricycle going to Mitra’s Rangce (P15 fare)  (From Puerto Princesa Tourism Office)
CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR MY PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN TRIP!

HAPPY WANDERING!

Manila’s Intramuros: A City Within Walls– A brief historic background

In some ancient cities in the world, high walls were created to provide protection for their territories and for their people. Such idea was also incorporated by the Spaniards– the longest colonizers of the Philippines–and made a city which is kept within a wall– This creation is called Intramuros.

Map of Intramuros from Wikipedia (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manila_1851.jpg)

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi is one of the persons who initiated the transfer of the Philippines’ capital from Cebu to Manila. As such, he created a city which is strategically located near the Pasig River– which is the only ingress and egress of water from the lake called Laguna de Bai—Pasig River had also became the passage of various merchants and even military intelligence even before the Spaniards’ 333 years period of colonization since there are tribes ruled by Rajah’s that are already settling near what we call as Intramuros.

From that city, Intramuros which literally translate as a city within a wall. Intra means “within” while muros means “city/cities” became the capital of trade, industry, religion and even military. More importantly it became the seat of the colonial government.

Santa Lucia Gate in Intramuros: One of the entrances. Source (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santa-lucia-gate-intramuros.jpg)

However, most of the people who live within its walls are the Spaniards themselves and only a minuscule number of Filipinos who were rich and famous during that time are allowed entry. Filipinos are considered 2nd or even 3rd class citizens by the Spaniards, they see Filipinos as savages, so as much as possible they wanted these “low class” people to be outside the city walls, they even lock the walls at night for security– from this discrimination that Filipinos rebelled against them… however, it took the Filipinos 3 centuries before they got tired of the discriminatory character that the Spaniards showed them.

Some Info about Jose Rizal:

Only until the National hero Jose Rizal wrote various novels that definitely strikes down the blatant abuse of the Spaniards to the Filipinos— abuses such as rape of women, discrimination, torture– as well as its utter disregard of the problems in the society during that time–especially corruption and poverty. These subversive novels became the lifeblood of rebels, it became the inspiration for an upcoming massive rebellion. However, these rebellion did not become successful or grand/national in scale until Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards– and after that time, the long patience of all Filipinos were shattered into pieces; and it started the nationwide rebellion which made the Spaniards had a difficult time pacifying…

FAST FORWARD….

Intramuros suffered a lot of fires and bombings throughout history. It became a place where a lot of bloodshed happened– from Filipino rebellions during the Spanish era, Philippine American liberation to World War II…

Destruction of Intramuros during WWII. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Manila_Walled_City_Destruction_May_1945.jpg)

However, from all this things that happened, most of its original walls stood ground–and remains of some of the destroyed walls and structures are still there for you to see…

And what is interesting is that some of the structures therein are still intact– the cobbled streets and a Church that lived longer than all of us– a 16th Century Church which survived all of the things that happened during the past— even the bombings during the World War II– this Church is called San Agustin Church– A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the preserved houses in Intramuros/ newly painted/ look at the cobbled streets

Within Intramuros there are a lot of places of interest, Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral and the old residence of the Governor-general (President) during the Spanish era–which is now the head office of Land Bank of the Philippines.

Preserved houses which is now a school

Governor General's residence

How to Get Here?

1. Ride LRT-1 and get off Central Station.

2. Walk towards the City Hall and you will see the entrance/gate to Intramuros

or

1. Ride a taxi! taxi is cheap in the Philippines..

Entrance Fee: No entrance fee in Intramuros itself except museums and Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago — P75.00 for adults, P50-students and children

San Agustin Church Museum — P100.00 for adults

 

 

Manila, Philippines: An Introduction and a Historical background

It is one of the cities with the oldest history dated. A City full of battles, bloodshed and tears–A city that we now call Manila.

Manila has long been the capital of the Philippines. It started being the center of trade and industry centuries ago during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines.

A Quick Historic View On the Creation of Manila:

Before the existence of the country we call as Philippines, and before the foreign Spaniards discovered the whole archipelago, the people of this “country” were living in the mountains with different kinds of life and leadership. Filipinos during those times have their own tribes; they are not addressed as Filipinos but only with their tribe names.. They are divided in thought, belief and manner– they thought that they are different with other tribes… So war always ensue…

However, when Spain saw the potential of this rich-in-natural resources chunk of land… Spain become the motherland while the Philippines became a colony. A bittersweet relationship between two countries had lead to the centralization and civilization of the Philippines.

The centralization lead to the creation of Manila, a city in the heart of chaos and misery. Cebu was the first city created and the first capital, but after some time the government decided to transfer it to Manila.

The Spanish government had set up Intramuros  (walled city)  in Manila itself and there they settled down while the rest of Manila suffers from various discrimination and other governmental problems…

During the 333 years of Spaniards hold in the Philippines, the Filipinos adopted the way of life of their conquerors… and became Spanish in way and in life.

Religion is one of the most well-engraved in the hearts of the Filipinos. Most of the population of the Philippines are Roman Catholics— this explains the existence of various century-old Churches in the Philippines

Manila as it is Now:

Nowadays, Manila or the Philippines as a whole became a flourishing city/country amidst the governmental problems due to various corruption made by public officials.

Manila might not be the same as Singapore or other beautiful cities in Asia, but always take note that the beauty of the Philippines lies within its natural wonders… Manila is just a gateway to see the beautiful hands of nature— the wonderful beaches, unexplored coves and jaw-dropping terrains..

However, if you are dropping-by the Philippines to jump-start your tour with nature, don’t forget that Manila also offers some historical places you might wanna visit, and you might like the busy night life and the big shopping malls that it offers 🙂

Manila Skyline — Photo from nairaland.com
Manila Skyline — Nairaland.com

Manila is a thriving city where huge shopping malls are located. You can opt to mall-hop or view the historical side of the city…

Mall of Asia– photo from Nairaland.com

Manila has also its fair share of beauty…. And stay with me as I present to you the beauty of Manila.

This will be my 1st post for my new series about Metro Manila 🙂

TO VIEW MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT METRO MANILA CLICK HERE FOR ITINERARY, REVIEWS, ETC.

CLICK HERE TO SEE 3-DAY ITINERARY IN MANILA

Mayon Volcano, Philippines: Truly Wonderful

I was born and raised in Legazpi City where a perfectly amazing landmark is located– The Mayon Volcano.

Being used in seeing this Volcano since I was young, I wasn’t really that amazed on how unique and beautiful it is. I always say to myself– “It’s no big deal, It’s just a freaking Volcano”

I went to Manila to pursue my studies thus, I’ve never seen this wonderful volcano for a long time.. Since I am far from it, I’m kind of missing seeing this volcano..And the real deal is that every time I go back to Legazpi for a vacation, and upon deplaning… There’s always a realization which always runs in my head……

I realized how beautifully crafted it is…

How different it is from other volcanoes out there…

and how  it made my heart flutter when I see it…

And every time I see this natural wonder I really feel that I’m finally home…

I realized that It’s something important in my life. In other sense, it witnessed my life.. from being toddler to a full-grown lady… and being away from it makes me feel incomplete….

Mayon Volcano (taken in Embarcadero sept. 2011)

This Volcano is always in your periphery when you are in Legazpi, it sits perfectly in your line of sight… Just sit down somewhere (where no buildings will kept the view out) and you can savor the beauty of this beautiful Mayon Volcano. One of the places where you can really savor the beauty of Mayon is in Cagsawa Ruins, Embarcadero (during sunset) and in Mayon International Hotel (Now, named as The Oriental Hotel), Lignon Hill and the Legazpi City Airport.

Mayon Volcano before I ride the plane going back to Manila (Taken in Legazpi Airport)

The name of this volcano is “Mayon” a shortcut for “Magayon” which means Beautiful in Bicol’s dialect. The name suits it very well because it has an almost perfect cone…and its beautifully laden landscape in rice paddies.. and also, you will be amazed on how it kept its natural beauty for centuries.

And… That’s not it; Mayon Volcano is part of the 7 Natural Wonders in the Philippines, so It’s really a MUST-SEE!

However, Mayon is quite shy and always cover herself with Clouds, so some unlucky visitors in Albay can only see her wonderfully shaped figure only once or sometimes not even once…There’s a legend that explains why Mayon is always covered with Clouds

Mayon covered in clouds in Cagsawa Park

THE LEGEND SURROUNDING MAYON:

The Legend of Mayon Volcano is that once upon a time, there lived a beautiful young maiden named as Daragang Magayon (Beautiful Lady), she is the daughter of a tribe leader of Rawis (a place in Albay, which is still called as it is until now). Since Magayon is really beautiful, a lot of young men from different tribes likes her and one of her very daring suitor is Pagtuga (in english, Eruption), he is really in love with Magayon… But Magayon doesn’t like him because of his boastful attitude and unkind heart.

Magayon was playing in the Yawa River (A river in Rawis, Legazpi City which is still existing until today) when she suddenly slipped and unfortunately she doesn’t know how to swim. Luckily a young man named Ulap (Cloud) was walking near the river and he saw the damsel in distress and helped her. Magayon was shocked on how and why Ulap saved her, knowing that Ulap is from a rival tribe. But Ulap was also shocked on how beautiful Magayon was and fell in love with her in an instant. Magayon also fell in love with Ulap upon knowing how kind and loving he can be.

When Pagtuga learned about the relationship of Magayon and Ulap, he kidnapped Magayon’s father and told her that if she doesn’t marry him, he will kill her father; Magayon told this dilemma to Ulap, then Ulap being the prince of another tribe went towards Pagtuga’s lair and killed him… Magayon saw how victorious her love is and went towards Ulap when she was suddenly hit by an arrow from Pagtuga’s warriors; Ulap went towards her not knowing what to do and suddenly he was also pierced by a spear which caused his untimely death…

Magayon’s father decided to bury the two together, and in shock, the people realized that the grave became higher and higher until it formed what it is today…

It was said by my teachers when I was in grade school that once Mayon is covered with clouds… Ulap and Magayon are kissing each other and their love is being reconciled… while when it errupts… they say that Pagtuga can’t still rest in peace and still harasses Magayon… While others says that it is Magayon’s own wrath about how she was killed and her beloved… and how their love untimely ended.

Beautiful Mayon Volcano 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES (ITINERARY, HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES ETC.)

Sabitang-Laya, Caramoan: Philippines’ Hidden Gem

This place is a hidden gem unknown to most individuals and has a beauty that will surely captivate you.

This island will also be found in Caramoan, Philippines south of Manila.

This island has a twin beach.. the Sabitang-Laya and Bag-ing beach, both beach has long stretch of fine sand. Although the sand here is not as white as the one in Matukad  but the sand texture rivals that of Boracay and Matukad. The sand is really soft to touch and it’s like baby powder! You will love rolling in the sand– just like what I did!

There’s also no lodging houses, hotels or any sign of development near the area.. you will notice that the only litters that you can see are from nature itself… seaweeds and seaweeds alone! Nothing else.. This is nature in its finest!

Sabitang Laya

What makes this a lot more different than the others? It is because of how long the beach is.. Moreover, there are 2 beaches, one in the left and the other from the right. Here is a picture for your reference (take note: I didn’t take this photo below:)

Sabitang Laya ang Bag-ing Beach: the twin beaches

Again, as you can notice in my previous posts, you can always see beautiful limestone formation while you traverses the sea to go to your island of destination.

While going to Sabitang-Laya we saw this beautiful limestone formation
Limestones
Limestones once again

Another characteristic of this island is on how wonderful the limestone and other rock formations found in this place. You will surely be captivated!

Limestones in the island itself

It may not be the whitest sand you can see, but it also has its own fair share of beauty--its sand is powdery as milk!

the Beach

Again, I have no words to describe the place, and I will let the photos speak for itself. All I can say is Sabitang Laya is definitely a feast for the eyes when you witness its rugged beauty.

That’s all I can say.. No words can tell how much beautiful this place and how lovely the whole Caramoan is! Everything is simply captivating!

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC. 

Caramoan, Philippines: How to Get To Caramoan?

UPDATED: APRIL 20, 2016. ive been to caramoan 3x including the time that I went last 2011.

I traveled to this place last September 2011. It is located in Camarines Sur, south of Manila. It is touted to be as the next Boracay.

Simply Amazing (photo from Caramoan Haven)

If you’ve been to Boracay with its fine white sandy beach then this place also has its own fair share of beaches. And also… the beaches here is also fine, white, and sandy…. less the crowd and all-night partying in Boracay. This place is yet to develop… and the Camarines Sur government promised that this nature’s wonder will not be abused and that they will preserve the place.

Limestone Formations

Moreover, what makes this place unique is that it also has amazing limestone formations which rivals that of Palawan. So, coming here is like going to Boracay and Palawan at the same time.

The place is not that popular before, until one Survivor TV Show made this place as the setting of their series…

Now, Caramoan is slowly becoming a tourist spot in the country…

CLICK HERE FOR CARAMOAN ITINERARY 

How to get here?

FROM MANILA

  1. You have two choices either ride the plane (45 minutes) or ride the bus (8-11 hours)
  • Plane going to Naga, Camarines Sur costs aroung (P3,000 round trip ticket or $70USD. The plane will land in Pili, Camarines Sur, 30-40 minutes to downtown Naga City. And also, the plane they are using is a small plane, so expect a longer ride (than in legazpi, where they use airbus a319-20).
    • So after arriving in pili, there are vans and taxis where you can ride to get where your hotel is located.
    • the airport is quite near the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) around 15 minutes van or taxi ride.
  • Bus going to Naga (P500-900.00 one way, $11-21USD for one way trip). I prefer that you will use the ever so trusted Cagsawa Travel and Tours.
    • the whole bus ride is around 8 hours, with one stop for weewee break (lol)
    • If you don’t need rest and go directly from manila to Caramoan, just ride a tricycle towards the Naga Van Terminal upon alighting from the Naga Bus Central Terminal and then ride a van towards Sabang. The trip starts as early as 6:00am.

2. Then go to Sabang Port (45 minutes to 1 hour travel) 

  • Ride the van or jeep going to Sabang Port (P120.00 or $3USD). The van terminal is in front of SM City Naga
    • The ride will more or less last for 1 to 2 hours depending on how fast the van is.

3. Then Ride the Ferry going to Caramoan (Guijalo Port)

  • The ride will take 2 hours
  • The ferry fee (this is a big outrigger boat) is (P120.00 or $3USD)
  • The first ferry leaves Sabang Port by 5:30 am and the last ferry leaves by 11:30 am. They have travel schedule every hour during that time frame.

FROM LEGAZPI

  1.  Ride a bus or shuttle bus in Satellite or Legazpi City Central Terminal going to Naga (180.00 or 4USD). The travel time will be 2 hours
  2. Then alight to the Naga Terminal and then ride a jeep or van going to Sabang Port (P120 or $3USD).
    1. please be reminded that the Naga Bus terminal is different from the Naga Van Terminal, so if you ride a bus going to Naga, then you still need to ride a trike or a tricycle to go to the Naga Van Terminal.
  3.  Ride the Ferry

OTHER WAYS TO GO TO CARAMOAN WITHOUT RIDING A BOAT/FERRY

My last time to go to Caramaon was last January 11, 2016, the day right after my 25th birthday. Since we were too tired to wake up at 5am, we decided to travel by land instead.

I will post other details regarding my travel in a separate post. So, here is the other mode:

If you are traveling by group then you can hire a van, and travel by land. The land travel takes around 3 hours from Naga City, and 5 hours from Legazpi City. You can contact your travel agency to arrange for your pick up or you can just go hire a van. The cost is from 2500 to 3000 for pick up (Caramoan Haven) for the whole van which sits 11 persons. And if you wanna hire a van for the whole time (back and forth) until your vacation ends, let’s say 3 days and 2 nights then it might be around 5000 to 7000.00 pesos.

If you are going to take public transport, you can ride a bus  going to Caramoan in the Naga Central Bus terminal. Philtranco and other buses travels to and from Caramoan, last trip is 11:30am.

Is traveling by land better: YES. (stay tuned for my next post about my land travel towards Caramoan).

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC.