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Friday, February 27, 2009

Mt. Pundaquit Photo Gallery




























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Here's some photo from our Mt. Pundaquit Expedition (photos at left during dry season and photos at right during wet season
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Camera Used: Canon 400D and Canon A540 P/S

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mt. Pundaquit, Zambales



One way of going to the pristine and secluded beach of Anawangin Cove is to traverse* Mt. Pundaquit, a.k.a. Mt. Anawangin. Its elevation is about 464+ meters (1522+ feet) above mean sea level. The trail passes by a grassland and shrub lands, there are few trees throughout the trail that is why it is advisable to climb this mountain early in the morning so that you wont be caught in the middle of the day which is to hot specially during summer.
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There are a many wild carabaos in the mountain which sometimes attack someone if you get caught along the carabaos path but it will be taken care of by the guides if you happen to see one.
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The majestic view (bird's eye view) of Anawangin Cove can be seen at the summit for the hikers to enjoy while resting before the descend to the beach. Pine trees are already visible which means that the beach is a couple of hours away.
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After 5 or 6 hours of trekking and river crossing, we finally set our foot at Anawangin beach. Looking at the blue water of the beach and the long stretch of volcanic white sand, it made me realized that it was indeed a worthwhile climb and experience. Though the usual way going to Anawangin Cove is by pumboat, we chose the road less travelled but more fulfilling.
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Some notes:
  • .It is much advisable to climb mt. Pundaquit during summer (or in good weather condition), since the river water swells and the current might get to strong. Three mountaineers died last year while crossing the river.
  • Because of the recent deaths, the Sangguniang Barangay requires all mountaineer climbing Mt. Pundaquit to secure a letter and inform them of the climb so that everyone is accounted if in case an accident will happen.
  • There are no potable water source at Anawangin Cove so bring enough water for cooking and drinking.
  • Arrange pump boat ride before climbing the mountain, inform the time of your return to Pundaquit.
  • Bring sun protection for you will be expose to sun's heat during the trek.
  • Specification: Minor Climb, 3/9 Difficulty


Itinerary
Photo Gallery


*to go up, down, or across a slope at an angle


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.


Camera Used: Canon 400D and Canon A540 P/S

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales Photo Gallery














































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Camera Used: Canon 400D with 18-55mm Kit Lens
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Nagsasa Cove, Zambales


Zambales is now becoming more popular because of the recent discoveries of these majestic islands and beaches. Because of my enthusiasm in photography, I desire for more places to visit. Anawangin Cove in Zambales is now one of the favorites weekend getaway among Filipinos, but there is still this beach waiting to be explored just 20 minutes away from Anawangin Cove: The Nagsasa Cove.

Just like Anawangin, Nagsasa is one amazing beach which is also perfect for camping and it doesn't get a lot of visitors (yet!). Nagsasa Cove is home to the Aeta Community who will be glad to give you a helping hand, they will fetch water for your use and they will even offer their houses for your convenience.

Nagsasa Cove is much better than Anawangin Cove, the scenery of the mountains or landscape, the crystal blue clear water of the beach, feeling the cool breeze in the morning and it is more peaceful and quite where in you can relax and enjoy nature. I saw the beautiful background of Mt. Balingkilat (also known at Pointed Peak), It seems that the mountain is telling me to explore it (it's like Paramount Pictures' Logo).

It seems that a day or two is not enough to explore Nagsasa Cove. I haven't explored much of it since we were all too engrossed in cooking because of our group's (Lingkod Kalikasan Outdoor Adventure Club) 2nd anniversary celebration. Anyway, I will still visit this wonderful place in the very near future.

I went home fulfilled once again and I didn't even spent much just to enjoy the natural beauty of Nagsasa Cove. I hope that it wont be touched or altered for a very long time and won't suffer the same fate of the many beaches in the Philippines, I always love beaches in it's natural beauty.

Just a note from all visitors, please bring something to give for the Aeta community as a matter of appreciation for their help to make your stay more enjoyable.
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How to Get there:

Take any bus from Manila to Zambales, Victory liner in Caloocan, Pasay and Sampaloc have daily trips until 12MN (Call their offices for more details). Fare to San Antonio, Zambales is about P250++.
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Get off at San Antonio proper and hire a tricycle (P25/head) going to Pundaquit Beach. Then hire a pump boat going to Nagsasa Cove. Prices usually ranges from P1000 up to P1800 depending on your destination and itinerary.

Tips:
  • Bring enough supply for your stay at the beach, like water, food and other necessities.
  • Put all your things on a zip lock or plastics so that your things wont get wet.
  • There is no mobile signal in Nagsasa Cove, so better arranged and prepare all your needs like emergency protocols.
  • Buy fresh fish from the Aetas for a very reasonable price though some of the fishes are not seen in the market.
  • Pre-arranged all your rides for your own convenience. (E-mail me for the contact numbers of Mang Alfring or Mang Randy)

Ammenities:

  • A clean comfort room (without roofing)
  • A deep well (poso)
  • A few benches and tables

Photo Gallery.

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Camera Used: Canon 400D with 18-55mm kit lens

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Anawangin Traverse Itinerary

DAY 1:

2200 - Assembly time at Victory Liner, Sampaloc (In front of UST)
2300 - ETD going to Zambales

DAY 2:

0230 - ETA San Antonio, ZAmbales
0230-0300 - Going to Pundaquit Jump-off Point (if trekking)
0300-0330 - Stretching, prepare for hiking
0400 - Start Trekking
0630 - ETA Mt. Anawangin Summit
0700 - Start descend to Anawangin Cove
0930 - ETA Anawangin Cove (set camp)
1200 - Lunch
1300 - Swimming, explore Anawangin Cove
1700-1800 - Watch sunset
1900 - Dinner
2100 - Socials
2300 - Ligths-out

Day 3:

0530 - Wake-up Call
0700 - Breakfast
0830 - Break Camp
0900 - ETD going to Capones Island
1000 - ETA Capones Island, visit Capones Lighthouse
1200 - Lunch
1400 - ETD going to Pundaquit
1430 - ETA Pundaquit (wash-up)
1600 - ETD to Manila
2000 - ETA Manila


Note: If not trekking, first boat trip to Anawangin is around 6AM

Anawangin Cove, Zambales

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Anawangin Cove spread its secrets like fire, the beach of Anawangin Cove is fast becoming popular among tourist and now visited almost every week. Its name literally means full of carabaos (nuang in Ilokano). It is very popular among the mountaineering community.
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There are two ways to go to the beach of Anawangin; one way is to take a 30-minute boat ride from the beach of Pundaquit. The other way is to traverse Mt. Anawangin, you have to hike 6 hours (for the experienced one it would be less). I will tell about my experience in traversing the mountain in my future blog.
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Anawangin beach has a long stretch of white (almost) sand which were dumped by Mt. Pinatubo when it erupted in 1991. There are many pine trees in the area which added to the beauty of Anawangin.
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I went to Anawangin Cove in 2007 and 2008 and I noticed changes from my first visit. There are already a number of visitors going in Anawangin and there flags all over the place as if someone owns and want to develop it into another beach resort that will drain your pocket(I hope the natural setting of Anawangin wont be altered.
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I am very much happy that many people already discovered Anawangin Cove but my only hope is that the natural setting and beauty of this majestic beach is preserved. It's wonderful that the locals take good care of it and I hope visitors will do the same.
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I still haven't explore the whole of Anawangin Cove, that reason alone would be enough for me to come and visit Anawangin once again.
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How to get there:
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Take any bus from Manila to Zambales, Victory liner in Caloocan, Pasay and Sampaloc have daily trips until 12MN (Call their offices for more details). Fare to San Antonio, Zambales is about P250++.
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Get off at San Antonio proper and hire a tricycle (P25/head) going to Pundaquit beach. Then hire a pump boat going to Anawangin Cove. Prices usually ranges from P1000 up to P1500 depending on your destination and itinerary.
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Best time to visit:
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During summer or sunny day since boat ride is not available during rainy days and if waves are to high (Pump boats in Pundaquit can only accommodate up to 5 persons only). If you insist on going you need to use the other way, by trekking but proceed with caution because there are a number of people who died recently because of the weather.
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Tips:
  • Bring enough supply for your stay at the beach, like water, food and other necessities.
  • Put all your things on a zip lock or plastics so that your things wont get wet.
  • Go to Capones Island first thing in the morning and visit Capones Lighthouse before going back to Pundaquit.
  • Pre-arranged all your rides for your own convenience. (E-mail me for the contact numbers of Mang Alfring or Mang Randy)

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ITINERARY

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Camera Used: Canon 400D and Canon A540 P/S

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Buko (Coconut) King of Bohol

There are a number of people who claims to be the Buko (Coconut) King of the Philippines and this man from Tigbao, in the town of Loboc, Bohol is one of them. He is no other than Mang Peping, he can peel a coconut in 10 seconds using only his bare teeth. He stations himself before the Tigbao Hanging Bridge. He will be happy to give you a show if you are willing to pay or donate any amount.

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After showing his skill to visitors he will share his secret on why his teeth is so strong. His secret?, he just eat boiled eggs which we already know that egg is rich in calcium. I wonder how many coconuts he peels in a day and make a fortune out of it.

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Unlike Mang Peping there is this guy from Camarines Norte who is famous here and abroad and made a fortune in peeling a coconut. His name is Joselito Montemayor. He was featured in a magazine in Japan at in CNN News for his feat, he can peel a coconut in 7 seconds. He was hailed as the Buko King in Eat Bulaga in 1995.

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I wonder if Mang Pepingl can duplicate Joselito's feat and make a fortune out of it too. He claimed he was able to beat Joselito's record but I can't find any video or documents to support his claim.

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Anyway, here's a video on how Mang Peping, the Buko King of Bohol peel a coconut using his teeth, watch it:

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Buko King in Action

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mount Sembrano



At the helm of Jalajala peninsula, sits an extinct volcano, is Mount Sembrano in Pililia, Rizal. It is categorized as a minor climb with 3/9 of difficulty at 780+ meters above sea level. One can reach the summit after 3-4 hours of trekking.

There is a camp site halfway to the summit, where you can take a break, freshen up or drink fresh buko juice which you can buy f0r only P10. After the Manggahan campsite, the trail becomes moderately steep, so better have enough rest and refill your bottles with water.

It was during the month of October when we climb Mount Sembrano that is why it was too cold at the summit, not to mention that it was raining on the day we climb the mountain. It is not advisable to climb the mountain and camp overnight if it rains heavily, for there are no trees to protect you from the rain. You will get wet even if you're inside the tent (as what had just happened to us). If climbing during summer, bring more water and extra protections, like hat and sunblock for the summit is fully expose to the sun and it is too hot specially during noon.

There are no dramatic views at the peak but you will still enjoy the scenes, like the Laguna Lake and Talim Island.

Going down, you may visit Manggahan Falls to take a bath at the lower portion or took some water at the upper portion of the falls. It is about 5 minutes away from the Manggahan campsite.

If there is enough time to take side trip, the Daranak Falls is just a couple of hours away from Brgy. Malaya.

Registration can be made at Brgy. Hall of Malaya and you can contact them in case of emergency


How to get There:

From EDSA Crossing, take a jeep going to Tanay, Rizal or better hire a jeep to take you straight to the jump-off point at Brgy. Malaya, Pililia, Rizal.

Budget: P500-P700
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Camera: Olympus MJU 1030
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marikina River Park


Marikina River Park was once a dead river with garbage dumped in it. But through the effort of former Mayor Bayani Fernando, Marikina River was transformed as one of the biggest recreational park in the country today.
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Saving the river is not an easy task but it is not impossible, through continuous program and development Marikina River and its surroundings has come to life once again and enjoyed not just by Marikina residents but also by the neighboring town as well.
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Marikina River park is perfect for picnic, jogging, kite flying and many more. There are other landmarks to enjoy like the Skating rink, Animal Trail, Roman Garden, Chinese Pagoda, River Carabaos, and the Youth Camp. It is also the venue of the annual Marikina Christmas Festival every December where it showcases barangay displays and tiange. Last year's display will be a permanent attraction along the Animal trail since the Local government decided not to remove it.
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It is indeed a perfect place to enjoy nature in the heart of the City.
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For more information, please contact Parks Development Office at Tel. No.646-2130 / 681-2133
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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The Enchanted Kingdom


Enchanted Kingdom is one of the famous theme parks in the Philippines. It is located in Sta. Rosa Laguna, about 20 kilometers South of Manila. Thousands of visitors visit Enchanted Kingdom to spend a day of excitements and relaxation.

It is a far cry but the closest Disney-type theme park in the country. They offer thrilling rides for the adventurous guests like the Space Shuttle (on of the favorites), Condor, the Flying Fiesta and many more, though these rides is not for the faint hearted. There are other less thrilling rides for kids to enjoy as well as the not so young visitors.
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The Wheel of Fate will let you see the whole park in a birds eye view. Aside from the rides, there are a lot treats to enjoy with like the dance presentation of the park's in-house talents, theater shows and a variety of mascots who will be delighted to post with you for a photograph.
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The Fireworks Display begins usually at 7pm during weekend. Though there's no extraordinary in the 5-minute fireworks display, it is still best to end your day at Enchanted Kingdom with a bang. Don't forget to buy some souvenirs at various establishments in the park.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

World of Butterflies, Marikina City


The World of Butterflies in Marikina City was inaugurated in July 25, 2004 which coincides with the 58th birthday of MMDA Chairman Bayani "BF" Fernando, former Mayor of Marikina City. World of Butterflies is one of the projects of the City of Marikina to help in the preservation of our ecosystem.
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World of Butterflies (WOB) is a perfect home for over 2o species of butterflies because of it's 2,000 square meters of gardens, complete with landscapes, foliage and water pool to create a tropical forrest environment.
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WOB is complete with Audio Visual Room, here you can learn the life cycle of butterflies through animated video presentation; a Conservatory were you can see how butterflies come to life and they have trained breeders and staff who will happily answer all your questions regarding butterflies. It is perfect place for all ages to learn more about butterflies. You can even celebrate birthdays, weddings and other events at WOB.
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I was able to visit WOB last year, unfortunately, I've seen only a few of butterflies flying in the garden because of the rain. Their wings are so fragile, that is why they were hiding to safety. I've learned that butterflies' life span is only a week. After waiting for so many days or weeks before a caterpillar transformed into a majestic look of a butterfly, it will just die in a matter of days.
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The World of Butterflies is located at Champagnat Street corner Gen. Ordoñez Street in marikina heights.
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How to get There:
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Board a SSS, Marikina bound Jeep (P15) or FX taxi (P25) at Aurora Boulevard in Cubao, then get down at Meralco Marikina (in front of 711). Then hire a tricycle(P20) going there.
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Entrance Fee:
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P20 for students, Senior citizens and Marikina residents
P40 for visitors and tourist
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro


Puerto Galera is one of the favorite summer destination of Filipinos and foreigners alike. It doesn't require much of your time and money just to enjoy summer. I visited Puerto Galera twice but there is much difference the first time I set my foot in Puerto Galera.
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Since Puerto Galera became famous, visitors increases and it is more crowded unlike 10 years ago. The food and attractions is more expensive than in other beach resorts. Cleanliness of the the surroundings are being maintained by some volunteers, I've seen them picking small litters as early as 5 in the morning.
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For our group, we did not enjoy much if it wasn't because of the island hopping and snorkeling, as well as riding in a Banana Boat. These activities is definitely a must to enjoy Puerto Galera, though it the price is much higher from the last time I went there, it is still much enjoyable than just swimming in the sea, it is just to crowded.
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I've heard that the best beach resort in Puerto Galera are in Sabang, La Laguna and Palangan were you can explore and see its gem under the sea. That is why SCUBA diving is one of the popular activity in Puerto Galera.
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For many (including me), Puerto Galera is just a beach resort, but contrary to our belief it was actually the capital of Mindoro during the Spanish time. It literally means "Port of Galleons" which served as a safe haven for seafarers during their journeys. Aside from the famous resorts, there are lot of nice places to visit and activities to do in Puerto Galera, like the Hidden Valley, the Mangyan Village, Muelle Bay, the Tamaraw Waterfalls among others. You can do kayaking, trekking, hiking and diving.
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I've missed a lot of nice places in Puerto Galera but definitely the next time I set my feet in Puerto Galera, I will not just go and swim but also I will explore the nicest places this province offers.
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How to get there:
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Take a provincial bus going to Batangas Pier, then from pier, ride a ferry going to Puerto Galera, it is a 2 hour long trip.
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(See map of Puerto Galera)


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Club Manila East Resort, (CME Taytay)


Since summer season is just around the corner, let me to share a great resort where you could enjoy the summer without really leaving far away from Metro Manila, the Club Manila East (CME) Resort in Taytay, Rizal.
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I've been in Club Manila East Taytay for thrice in a row but everytime I'm going there, there's always a new facilities to enjoy with, aside from the fact that it is just 30 minutes away from Marikina, were I resides. Last year, they launched another new attraction for the visitors to enjoy, the Buzzy River, it is a 600-foot stream of flowing water. Here, you can ride in a rubber tubes and go by the riverbank, through man made waterfalls and bridges (See lower right photo).
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Aside from the Buzzy River, they have the BeachWaves, where you could enjoy powerful waves in eight different patterns, you can also do surfing here, in fact CME offers surfing lessons for young and old alike. Today, it is the best wave pool in the country.
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The CME Fun Lagoon which according to the Management, this big pool is a scaled-down model of Laguna de Bay. It holds the Kiddy Pool, Boating area for kayaks, the Adult Pool were you could enjoy the 3-looped giant slide, and the Sun-screened pool for people who doesn't want their skin to get tanned. . There is also the 25-meter lap pool where swimmer wanna-bees took their lessons and training.
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The resort have Villas, which provide accommodations for overnight or longer stay and the Cabanas for the day tour guests.
This summer, the Team Building Outdoor Facility will open its gate to guests. It is complete with wall climbing, rappelling, rope courses, obstacle course, crocodile pit, and log and tire traverse. Groups who loves to engage in physical activities will definitely enjoy while having a quality bonding with their peers.
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The only down side for the budget conscious guests is CME don't allow foods to be brought inside the resort just like in the other resort we know. Their in-house restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes at a reasonable price. You can still bring your own food and eat it at the parking area if you really have a tight budget.
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Club Manila East Taytay is an ideal summer destinations for barkadas, families and even corporations without spending much of your fortune.
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How to get there:
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Ride a jeep going Taytay or any jeep going Rizal (Binangonan, Antipolo, etc.), just ask the driver. Get down at the Club Manila East gate and ride a pedicab going to the resort. Club Manila East Taytay is about 30 minutes from Ortigas. (See map for directions)
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For packages and reservations:
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(632) 660-2801 to 02; 284-4740 to 41; 284-4736284-4754; 284-4758; 284-4768 to 69Fax: (632) 284-4752 or 660-2806
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Leona's Art Restaurant



I was searching for a good and nice restaurant for our Valentine dinner date and I found Leona's Art Restaurant interesting. They require an advance reservation so I called Leona's Art Restaurant last Friday to make a reservation, the receptionist acknowledged my reservation, got my name and contact number.

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Last night, we went to the said restaurant at half past seven , hoping to have a nice evening together. A staff approached me delightedly and told them that I had a reservation but told me that they don't have a reservation in my name. So we settled in a not so good location in the restaurant (almost end up siting in a smoking area).


We ordered food from their Valentine's Day Menu, 4 courses at Php550 which includes, appetizer, soup, main course, dessert and drinks.

We chose Quesadilla as a starter, for our soup, we chose Sopa de Ajo, both taste good. That made us more eager to try the main course. For me is Fish with Asparagus and for my wife, it's White Chicken Meat with Fresh Salsa, which to our disappointment arrived after almost an hour. It was very frustrating to wait for so long.
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Honestly, the food is really great and the ambiance is homey at Leona's Art Gallery, the only down side is the not so good service. Our reservation were cancelled, table were not set (no utensils) and main course arrived late. One of the staff cared to ask "is everything okay?", maybe he saw us doing nothing and started to look impatient. He said that the food is good and it's worth the wait. But you tend to forget about the food taste no matter how good it is when the service is poor. We were done eating in less than 10 minutes and went home right away because of that bad experience at Leona's Art Restaurant. It was our first time going there and they made a very bad impression.

In fairness with them, I don't think this thing always happen at Leona's Art Restaurant, maybe it only happens during Valentine's Day (of all time why on Valentines day). It is still worth to try their food and judge it for yourself.
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Leona's Art Restaurant is located in 137 Katipunan Road, St. Ignatius Village, White Plains, Quezon City.
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For Reservation please call (632) 421-4334
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How to get there: Take a cab, about 100 meters from the corner of Boni Serano and Katipunan Road (going Ortigas)

Mode of Payment: Cash only

Budget: Php200 - Php500

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Avilon Zoo (Montalban Zoological Park)

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Avilon Zoo is a 7.5 hectare zoo lies in the valley of San Isidro, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. It hosts hundreds of exotic animals in a clean environment that kids and adults (like me)will enjoy.
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They have large exhibits of exotic and endemic animals (only found in the Philippines) which includes species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and invertebrates. It is the largest zoological park in the Philippines to date.
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Avilon Zoo is the first zoo I visited in my entire life (as long as I can remember), It was awesome and it feels so good that finally I was able to see some animals in their majestic and healthy form. I enjoyed the entire day shooting, well with my camera off coarse.
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Since the zoo is so huge, It will take around 3 hours to explore the entire zoo. The tour can also be assisted by a guide to learn more about the animal. Taking pictures is allowed, however, it is prohibited in the primates area to prevent the nocturnal animals on reacting to the camera flash.
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There are other activities you can do, like feeding the big fish arapaimas, riding in a pony or cuddle an orangutan. If you are brave enough you can touch and hold a python (it won't bite).
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Go and see it for yourself and find out why so many are flocking to this wildlife haven of Avilon Zoo.
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Contact Avilon Zoo:
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Tel. Nos.: (632) 941-8393 * (632) 948-9866 (63917) 899-5126
Fax: (632) 941-8530
Entrance Fee: Php208.00 or $5.00/person
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How to get there: (See Map for direction)
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If you are riding in a public transport, take a jeep with a "Montalban" signboard, get down at Mercury Drug Store. There is a tricycle terminal at Mercury Drug going to the Avilon, don't forget to arrange a trip going back.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Davao City, One of Livable Cities in The Philippines


It was my first time in Davao and in Mindanao and contrary to my belief and what had the tri-media is telling, Davao City is peaceful. After my visit, I would believe that Davao City is indeed one of the livable and city in the Philippines (Based on Asiaweek Surveys).
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Davao City is rich in natural wonders like the highest peak in the Land Mt. Apo and the endangered Philippine Eagle (previously named Monkey Eating Eagle) to name a few. It offers a lot of wonderful tourist destinations for us to enjoy like the famous Pearl Farm Resort in Samal Island and Camp Sabros were you get the experience of a zipping hundreds of feet above the ground.
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Getting around the City of Davao is not a problem. There are a lot of van for hire located just outside Davao International Airport. Just negotiate for the price and they will definitely give you a discount on the price. Apart from the van for hire, Jeep and taxicabs are plenty as well. One can avail of the numerous rent-a-cars. For your safety and convenience, I will recommend Mabuhay Taxi and Holiday Taxi, these two taxi company will definitely bring you to your place of destination without any hassle.
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Lodging is not a problem at all, since there are a number of hotels and inns around the City at an affordable price like Alta Pension House (were we stayed) located along J.P. Laurel Avenue and in front of Gaisano Mall.
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I enjoyed my stay in Davao City an I will definitely go back in Davao City and visit other places we were not able to include in our short trip. once again.


Here are other attractions in Davao City :
  • Eden Nature Park - perfect place if you want to engage in nature activities with your friends and family
  • Davao Meuseum - is a repository of Native crafts, tribal artworks, ancient musical instrument's, and colorful customs of the different early tribes of Davao.
  • Crocodile Park - where you could see Giant crocodiles, big snakes, and colorful butte butterflies.
  • Malagos Garden Resort - It features native Philippine plants, orchids and butterflies as well as some sculpture artworks of Mr. Napoleon Abueva, a National Artist.
  • Aldevinco Shopping Center -offers Muslim brass items, ethnic trinkets, tribal artifacts, baskets, batik fabrics, bags and antique Chinese wares. Souvenir shirts and other favorite pasalubong like fruits, orchids and cutflowers, packed frozen tuna and many more.
  • People's Park - enjoy the amazing sculptures spread around the park.
  • Japanese Tunnel - Japanese made this tunnel to hide out and store various items
  • Wild Water Rafting Adventure - A three-hour high adrenaline adventure, it cruises through 24 challenging rapids along the stretch of Davao River.
  • Kadayawan sa Davao Festival - a grand fiesta that happens every third week of August. features indigenous tribes dancing to ancient rhythms, horse-fighting shows, floral float displays, and other fun-filled activities.

Itinerary

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Camp Sabros, Zip Line Video

Here's a glimps of our Camp Sabros Zip line Adventure in Digos, Davao del sur. Here we fly and soar like an eagle while enjoying the majestic view of Mount Apo.

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Come to Digos City and try the longest Zip line in the Philippines today. Fly high and conquer your fear.

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.This video is just a rough editing by Ricky Pascual using Windows Movie Maker 2.6. © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Pearl Farm Beach Resort is located in a quiet cove on Samal Island in Davao City. It was an formerly an actual pearl farm where oysters were cultivated. The 14-hectare resort is just a 45-minute boat ride from the Davao Marina Wharf.
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The staff warmly welcomes us and other guests with beautiful musics. They also bids goodbye to those whole are leaving the resort.
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Who said that Pearl Farm is for only the rich kind?. The Resort offers an affordable Day Tour Package which includes, boat ride to and from Pearl Farm Beach Resort, shuttle rides, speed boat ride going to Malipano Island right across Pear Farm, the use of the facilities, buffet lunch at Maranao Restaurant among others. If we only have an extra money spent the night at the resort, we will definitely do it.

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The moment we touched our feet at the resort, we started clicking our cameras and enjoy the beauty of the resort. The Parola Bar were you can enjoy cocktail while watching the views of the sea during the night is in front luring all guests to visit it. The Samal Suite is just at the left the Parola Bar (see top photo) were we dipped and enjoyed snorkeling..

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The Mandaya Houses (left photo), where we stayed is usually not included in the Day Tour Package. We were just lucky to experienced it.
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There are snorkeling equipments and life jackets available at the store located just about 3 minutes away from the Mandaya Houses. I only suggest that you will bring your own gear to save money because it may be quite expensive to some.
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Going to Malipano island is a must for visitors. It is a few hundred of meters away from the Samal Island where the 7 Exclusive Villas stands.
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It is a perfect setting for a romantic wedding and also a perfect place to enjoy nature, take a few snap shots. The Villas can accommodate up to 9 persons. (Note: You need to inform the front desk in advance on what time you will go to Malipano Island to properly arrange your ride going there.
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After exploring the island there is a sumptuous meal waiting for us at the Maranao Restaurant where we enjoyed the foods (buffet style) they served.

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There are different variety to choose, they have seafood, vegetables, fruits and a lot more. The food they offered is more than what we expected.

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After taking our lunch, we went to their souvenir shop to buy t-shirts and other items. There are T'boli weavers (beside the souvenir shop), makers of T’nalak and Dagmay weaves, colorful Muslim fabrics and batik, and ornaments as well.

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There's the T'boli Weaving Center in Insular Hotel were you could find more of their crafts and weaves.

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After the day's enjoyable tour to the island, we finally say goodbye to this wonderful resort, bringing with us the memory and joy we found in the island.

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One last note, the last trip going out of the resort is at 4pm, better be at the parola bar as early as possible and inform the front desk that you will leave on the same day.

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The Pearl Farm Beach Resort offered us almost everything for our convenience. Definitely, I will return here and enjoy the island once again.


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Malagos Garden Resort


Malagos Garden Resort is a 12 hectare Nature Theme Resort located in Bgy. Malagos, Calinan, Davao City, approximately 1 km. away from Philippine Eagle Center.

Malagos Garden is the home of the Vanda Sanderiana which is commonly known as the Waling-Waling. Indigenous birds and other wildlife species is also found here and the century old durian trees.
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Visitors and guests of Malagos Gardens result will be amazed by The Amazing Bird Show and sculptures of Philippine National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva.
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Malagos Garden Resort is perfect for people who loves flowers, orchids, arts and nature. It is also a perfect place to relax, have picture taking while enjoying Mother Nature.
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Attractions:
  • Interactive Bird Show
  • Bird Park
  • Waling-Waling Forest
  • Bird Feeding and Watching
  • Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Orchid Farm
  • Petting Zoo
  • Napoleon Abueva Sculptures
  • Koi Cafe

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Philippine Eagle Center


The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) is the home of 36 Philippine Eagles along with other species of birds, mammals and reptiles. The Center is also the place where our National Bird is bred (in captivity) in order to increase their numbers.
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They also offers the visitors with exhibits and shows but is used primarily to help educate the Filipino people on conservation and preservation of our environment.
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The Philippine Eagle is considered as the 2nd rarest and largest bird in the world. It was declared as the Philippine National Bird in 1995 by then President Fidel V. Ramos under Proclamation No. 615 s. 1995
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Their numbers decreases due to continuous degeneration of their forest habitat. To increase theirs number by is the center's primary objective to prevent the Philippine Eagle into total extinction. The PEC. has been successfully breeding Philippine Eagles in captivity. In fact,, the center has bred a total of 18 Philippine Eagles.
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In 2008, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) released Kagsubua back into the wild, a few months later Kasugbua was killed by a local airgun shooter. I wonder when will these eagles be back to their natural habitat and live safely and freely.
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Help save the Philippine Eagle (click) for the future generation to enjoy.
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How to get There:
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The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) is about an hour drive from the city and can be reached either by private or public transport. Buses going to Calinan depart every 15 minutes from the Annil Terminal located at corner Quirino and San Pedro Extension. Bus fare is at P30. From Calinan, take a pedicab going to the PEC.
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Helpful Tips:
  • Bring vernaculars (in my case telephoto lens) to see the Eagle closely, their cage is located up far.
  • If you want or need a tour guide, call PEF in advance to ensure the availability of tour guides (free of charge) during your visit.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Camp Sabros, Zip Line and Rappeling

Camp Sambros* is found up in the cool highlands of Sitio Kapatagan, Digos City. It is about 2 hours away from the City of Davao. We were advised to be at the Camp as early as 8 in the morning to see the captivating site of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. We leave the hotel at around 5:30 in the morning.
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Road going to Digos City are generally cemented except for some portions going up to Bo. Kapatagan. Uphill and rough roads needs a great skill in driving.
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The cool breeze of air somehow welcomes us as we are getting near the Camp.
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At about 7:45 AM, we arrived at Bo. Kapatagan and indeed Mt. Apo is in his majestic form. As we were waiting for our ride going up Camp Sabros, we the scenery with much gusto and enjoyment.
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It will take us about 30 minutes trekking uphill to Camp Sabros. There are motorcycles for hire going up the camp for only P20 per person.
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We tried the 15 minutes ride just to experience how it feels riding in a motorcycle uphill. It is scary but enjoyable even if our feet have dirt and mud and one of my friends almost fell on. the ground. .

This line of pine trees (left Photo)welcome us as we get near the camp.
Every single scene is picture perfect.
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There are two zip lines in the camp, a 380 meters and 400 meters zip lines in the camp (the only difference is the speed going down). It cost P150 per ride. They also offers an adventure package worth P500 which includes zip line rides, cable car and rappelling (a new activity beginning last October 2008), we availed the package to experienced it to the maximum..
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.The moment we were waiting had come. The staff told us that that we should glide by two's, unfortunately we were nine in the group and I was the one who has the camera so I have to be the first one to get to the other side. I have fear of heights, so it needs great courage to do it.

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Finally, I was in flying position and the staff released me. At a speed of maybe 40 kph and at a height of 200 feet above the ground, I soared like an eagle. It was frightening at first but I started to enjoy the experience in no time, I was amazed with the unbelievable site around me.


That first attempt lasted for 37 seconds and I will definitely won't forget it..

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The return ride is via cable lift which lasted for 5 minutes and still savor the scenic view and the mountain cool breeze.

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After the 400 meter zip line (it will take only 26 second to complete to course).

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We rest for a moment while the camp personnel was preparing for the rappelling gear. .
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We proceed to the rappelling site (see left photo) via the same cable wire. We were harnessed to safety and zoomed we went to the 800 meter rappelling site.
The experienced was a little less exciting but fulfilling. I was the last but the fastest to rappel (bravo!!)


The camp's personnel observed safety precautions all through out the activities. They are really trained in facilitating this kind of activities.
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We decided to walked going down the mountain but there are horses (or pony) for hire (P20 per person) if you haven't got any strength left.
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At Camp Sabros, you get the experience of a lifetime!, Zipping hundreds of feet above one of the most exhilirating rainforest canopies in the world.

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Here's a Video of Our Zip Line Advenure

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*The name Sabros is from a coined word meaning Sacdalan Brothers.

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Amenities:

Zip Lines (380 meters and 400 meters - the two longest in the Philippines), Cable Car, Hiking trail. Picnic Tables, Wide Open Grounds, Cable TV, Billiard Hall, Deli/Diner, Bar, Bonfire, Souvenir Shop. Clean toilets, Running Water.

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

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