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Monday, May 25, 2015

St. NICHOLAS INN Cagayan De Oro: A Surprise Find

Cagayan de Oro as a set-off point to Camiguin is an interesting city one has to also give time to discover. And so we decided to spend at least 2 nights here ---during arrival and the night before departure -- and feel the place. Even only in transient, we wanted to experience interesting accommodation that we could easily recommend to friends. St.Nicholas Inn is one good example. I was actually more excited about the other inn we booked because of the nice photos on their website but St. Nicholas Inn is way better. A surprise find.

St. NICHOLAS INN Cagayan De Oro
Our friend Rupert found this in agoda.com. I reckon the place is relatively new because it has not so many reviews on TripAdvisor yet but that's what makes in appealing. It is fresh and not too crowded. Not to mention that it is located a little off the core downtown area so you feel that laidback vibe that Cagayan de Oro once was before the construction frenzy started.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

5 Reasons To Visit Russia's Sochi

To the Russians it is known as the Black Sea Pearl. To the rest of us it is known as Sochi - the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It is estimated that some 4 million tourists visit Sochi each year. But only 3% of those are international travellers. For many international travellers who want to travel to Russia visa is mandatory. The same applies for British residents – if you want to visit Russia visa is required. But do not let that deter you. We look at the top 5 reasons to visit Sochi now that the Olympic hoopla has died down.

Sochi Russia. Photo credits

Beaches, beaches and even more beaches. Black sand beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Since Sochi is located in the southern most part of Russia and has a subtropical climate, it gets in the region of 300 sunny days per year. Which means that from mid-May until end of October Black Sea is warm enough to take a dip. If lounging on the beach is not your thing, Sochi has an abundance of water parks and water sports to enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

PANDA TEA GARDEN Suites Tagbilaran Bohol

This is one cheap accommodation in Tagbilaran Bohol I booked and fully paid last year but I didn't stay in. The reason, we decided to move to another resort in Panglao Island. But I got to check in, inspect the place and take photos to share here. I remember paying only 800 pesos via Agoda for an overnight stay. So if your budget is only within that range, I say Panda Tea Garden Suites Tagbilaran Bohol is a good alternative.
PANDA TEA GARDEN Suites Tagbilaran Bohol

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lagoon Suite at SAN ANTONIO RESORT Roxas City

Finally! Remember my article about SAN ANTONIO RESORT in Roxas City two years ago?
Here>> http://www.pusangkalye.net/2013/02/snaked-into-san-antonio-resort-roxas.html. I only sneaked in the resort at that time especially at the pool area so I didn't really have a first-hand experience of how it was like staying there. I was brave because Francis, a local friend, accompanied me. Got to appreciate the poolside and the lovely lake next to it and wished I could go back one day and stay overnight. I finally had the chance last month and I can finally write about the experience.

And who can forget about these photos?


Thursday, May 7, 2015

ISLAS GIGANTES: A Little Bit of El Nido, A little Bit of Camiguin but still an Appeal Unique of its Own @LasIslasTravelandTours

At one point it felt like being in El Nido because of the karst formations and the lagoon in Tangke, in other instances it felt like Nacpan because of the twin beaches in Antonia Island. It also felt like being in Camiguin because of the sandbar in Bantigui Island but at the same time, Islas Gigantes or the group of islands in Gigantes Sur has its own charm, an appeal of its own.

It's one of those unexpected summer beach getaway that I find really refreshing despite my poor physical condition at that time. I have seen a couple of pictures of the place before especially Maruja Flora Island/ Cabugao Gamay which is no doubt the most prominent and recognizable spot in the area and those photos have wowed me but not to the level of putting up an effort to get there.

That is because I knew it is another one of those beautiful spots at the world's end. Alam mo naman sa Pilipinas, pag maganda yung lugar, either
a. mahal or 
b.dulo ng mundo.

I was wrong again. The place is actually quite easy to access.

ISLAS GIGANTES Northern Iloilo

Friday, May 1, 2015

#SummerSelfie Your Way to El Nido via #GlobeCloud

Summer 2015 started early for me. I was hitting the beaches of Camiguin as soon as the 1st week of February and I had my time in the sun. Then came the long pause. It was suddenly depressing to see beach and travel photos of friends flooding my social media feeds. It seemed everybody’s having a good time while I was stuck home. Then came the unexpected trip to Islas Gigantes in Iloilo just last weekend. I was back to my element and life returned again. My tanline is still obvious days later and I am lovin it. Summer has just started!

And I know that summer is just about to get more exciting because Globe has just launched a new cloud sharing service which allows users to easily store and share files.


I will tell you more about it later.

with fellow travel bloggers in Islas Gigantes, summer 2015

Globe has been my travel companion for the past three years and life on the road has never been fun and colorful since I used their postpaid service. It doesn't just allow me to stay connected 24/7, it enabled me to share my travel experiences real time via social media thanks to Globe's widest coverage.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sto. Nino Cold Spring vs Ardent Hot Spring #Camiguin

Camiguin locals are very lucky indeed, they live in a small area packed with so many natural attractions. Beach, mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, cold springs, they have it.

Since there are 7 volcanoes in the island, some are active, it is natural to expect the abundance of hot springs. And that's what I was excited about. I love public baths and in the Philippines, despite our seismological similarities with Japan, we hardly have hot pools in a natural outdoor setup. Why don't we put up more Onsens?

My first ever outdoor hot spring experience was in Coron Palawan and it was a pleasurable one So I was really in high anticipation of Camiguin's Ardent Hot Spring but I was disappointed. In the end, it was Sto.Nino Cold Spring which stood out for me.

First, it is a matter of preference really if you are into cold water or hot water. But I heard both works similarly in terms of relaxing your body. Notice that in public baths, there are both cold pools and hot pools. The extreme temperature can have soothing effect.

We went to Sto. Nino Cold Springs first. It was February when we visited Camiguin, still cold season in the Philippines so we thought of just trying the place out for experience. We were not really too jumpy about it but we really enjoyed it. And what about Ardent Hot Spring? We thought of saving the best for last, quite the opposite.
Sto. Nino Cold Spring Camiguin

Monday, April 20, 2015

White Island vs. Mantigue Island #Camiguin

Believe it or not, the #1 attraction in Camiguin is not "White Island" as we know it, it's actually Mantigue Island. At least according to Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel website.

To be honest, I never heard of Mantigue Island before going to Camiguin so I thought it was worth the check, and the comparison. For me, here is the contrast between the two.

Before that, feel free to read the following

White Island Camiguin
Mantigue Island Camiguin

White Island : Northern Tip (near town center) 
Mantigue Island: Southeast (near Benoni Port)

Location-wise, both are accessible. For Mantigue Island, you can actually see it from Benoni Port so you can easily drop by here upon arrival or before leaving Camiguin. The thing about White Island is that it is way North where the municipal core of Camiguin here which also is the concentration of the island's population as well as most accommodations.

Distance from Main Island
White Island: 5 minutes by boat ( pwede languyin. Joke!) 
Mantigue Island: 15-20 minutes

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TINIPAK RIVER Camping Guide #Daraitan #Tanay #Rizal

Summer is in full swing and it's very frustrating to see Facebook feeds of your friends on the beach in skimpy bikinis or swimming trunks while you are stuck at home wishing you could also hashtag #kissedbythesun but you can't because you failed to book any flights. Hashtag #nganga 

But before you throw your tablet on the wall out of frustration, know that you can still have that summer getaway without the need to fly. Sure, many bloggers have written about beaches around Metro Manila. Google mo lang. Also, kung gipit naman talaga sa oras or budget, there are also a few spots where you can camp para masabi naman na dika #summerbokya.hahahahaha.

Tinipak River in Tanay Rizal is one good example. Hope this travel Guide will be of help.

Location: Tanay Rizal approx travel time from MNL : 3.5 hours (incl. short hike)
Group Size: 2 pax or more ( the more the merrier and cheaper)
Approx Budget: 1,000 php/ pax (group of 2 and above)

Tinipak River Daraitan Tanay Rizal


How To Get To Daraitan 

-- Ride Fx in front of Starmall in Shaw.
-- 1.5 hours to Tanay town. Fare, 120 pesos.
-- Grab a tricycle in Tanay town to Daraitan. 500 pesos 1-way. 1.5 hours
-- 30 minute hike to and along the liver to your desired camp site.

The ride from Tanay town proper to Daraitan Tanay is quite long because,
The steep climb from town to Sampaloc.
The after Sampaloc, 70% of the road is rough, as in rough.

Friday, April 10, 2015

CHUB'S DINER Cagayan De Oro: Big Servings, Good Presentation, So so Taste

I think quota nako sa mga diners after a similar dissatisfaction with Bigg's Diner which is homegrown in Naga. If there are similarities with these diners, it would be
1. Hip interior
2. Nice food presentation
3. Looks delicious in pictures
4. So so taste.

It's fast food with a little upgrade.

I hope I am not angering many students with this post because this diner is just across Xavier University Gym and I think it is popular among students as evident in the pictures posted in the restaurant especially with this Chub's Challenge they have going on with the foot-high burger challenge where you get to have it for free if you finish it for 15 minutes, plus, you get a t-shirt too, and bragging rights for the achievement. hahaha

CHUB'S DINER Cagayan De Oro
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