Pinoy Heritage

Heritage Trips featuring Cultures, Traditions, Nature Trekks

Sunrise And Sunsets

Photography captures of Beautiful Sunrises or Breathtaking Sunsets over varied locations.

Nature Trekking

Mountains, Falls, Terraces, Caves, Rock Formations.. Everything About Outdoor Adventures.

Food Trip

Food Reviews, Foodie Post, Food Photography

Islands Adventure

Island hopping trips, Underwater adventures and Exploring Peninsulas and Island Groups

Monday, December 31, 2012

Zambales | Surfing In Crystal Beach

ZAMBALES | Surfing In Crystal Beach
Surfing And Chilling

This would be a proud post but not yet a year ender of 2012. Proud that I am progressing much in learning to surf. On my count, this would be the 3rd time, though twice for this year that I went on the road to surf. A month prior to this unscheduled trip to Zambales, I went to Baler, Aurora simply to conquer its waves, and that's were this slow burning passion really kindled. Its easy to chase waves, knowing that it takes special conditions like the weather and time of the year, plus the location itself. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bolinao | Scenic Rock Formations

BOLINAO | Scenic Rock Formations
A Place For The Sun To Bid Farewell For Today

Perhaps this is the place to look forward to when visiting Bolinao, Pangasinan. This is a photograpers delight even to an amateur photo enthusiast like myself. I've got no ND Filter to capture photos in slow shutter in a harsh daylight of mid afternoon, but perhaps my CPL filter is just enough as it captured huge waves crashing through the rocky shoreline in action while removing any harsh reflections in the water. I would have wanted to wait untill sunset, but alas with traveling, the best of places are always there except time to linger for more waiting for just that perfect moment. As I have observed in these last few days, Bolinao has some of the most scenic sunsets to behold. Located in the country's western seaboard, figuratively facing the so called West Philippine Sea where the sun ussually bids farewell to the locals from here.

Standing at the edge of a grassy rock cliff overlooking a part of the Cape Bolinao. The crashing waves are more powerful than they look in the photo that the sound they create can be heard from a distance.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Aurora | Trekking Ditumabo Mother Falls

AURORA | Trekking Ditumabo Mother Falls
Aurora's Enchanting Mother Of All Falls

 The mother of all Aurora's Falls. Certainly a well deserved name by just looking at that 140 feet drop. Luckily, I get to take on this trip on a cloudy day. Aurora province is like a lush garden, and trekking the 1.3 km from the Aurora Mini Hydro Plant was like a dream walk in a forested park.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Aurora | Diguisit Islets

AURORA | Diguisit Islets
A Scenic Place, Beautiful And Romantic In Its Own Way

The salty estuarine spray, the windy afternoon on a grey cast sky, of men fishing with rods on the edge of rocky shore, the non stop music of water splashing on the rocky edge, of golden pebble like sand and of evading the gatekeeper to avoid paying an entrance fee of Php 10.00 these moments makes me remember this short visit to the nice islets of Diguisit in Aurora Province.

Our friendly, young tricycle driver is in the photo above, showing his melancholic side. Glad to have meet him for this day, and of this he never knew that he became a subject of my photograph.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Aurora | Caunayan Falls

AURORA | Caunayan Falls
Cold Spring Waters And A Rich Foliage

Monday, November 5, 2012

Aurora | Balete Park

AURORA | Balete Park
Enchanted And Gargantuan

Placed in an enclosure, much like a park. This tree is so big I have to get far away, much far If I intend to place the tree in the entire frame of a picture. This photo is already is a long shot but still I only got half of it in the frame.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

El Nido | Kayaking In The Small Lagoon

EL NIDO | Kayaking In The Small Lagoon
Intriguingly Out Of Place And Unfamiliar

Photo above is the big karst rock island that you'll have to circle when approaching the small lagoon.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Batangas | Sunrise in San Juan, Batangas

BATANGAS | Sunrise in San Juan, Batangas
Chased By Storm Clouds In Laiya

Batangas as a province has a lot to offer to its visitors. A place down south from Manila, Batangas is a huge province, and the beach coastline of Laiya in San Juan Batangas is well thought of. But an effort it is, being too secluded perhaps, just getting the transportation to it is a challenge.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Capiz | At Home In Roxas City

CAPIZ | At Home In Roxas City
A Province In Focus

Roxas City, The Seafood Capital Of The Philippines. Quite a big tag line for such a quaint and peaceful component city in Region VI Western Visayas. I have to admit that I found it ridiculous as a kid, but of course, I spent all my childhood days encumbered in its embrace, the smell of salty tang in air near the beaches and estuaries is already married to my soul forever, but the tag line is something I didn't understand until I started to appreciate the aesthetics of this city, my home. It's been years then, it's now trying to live up to the name, being a major contributor in the country's Aquamarine Industry and home to a rich fishing grounds.

Aeriel view of Roxas City, over Arnaldo Blvd towards Brgy Bay-bay Roxas City, and overlooking the distant island of Mantalinga.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

El Nido | Seven Commando Beach

EL NIDO | Seven Commando Beach 
Philippines Best Beaches

One of the most unforgettable beach to hop in El Nido, Palawan. The Seven Commandos beach, is named after the Seven Commando's (lost soldiers) who lived here. Beautiful spot for snorkeling and by just being in the corner from El Nido town. Kind of hard to imagine that by approach, Seven Commando Beach is just like many other secluded island beaches in the area, but it is part of the main town, make no mistakes though as one can't just take simple hike to get here. That karst rock wall is as intimidating and sharp as it looks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sagada | Cave Connection Spelunking

SAGADA | Cave Connection Spelunking
Lumiang And Sumaging Adventure

Sagada is a very endearing place to visit, not only because of the scenic views that the Mountain Province has to offer, but for the strenuous activity that it caters to any adventurer that steps on its threshold. Eco friendly tours and a paradise of nature treks from below the ground to the upper most viewpoints. Sagada will not run short of expectation if you intend to exert some pent up energy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cebu | Discovering Malapascua Island

CEBU | Discovering Malapascua Island
Underwater Adventure

Cebu is a wonderful place, as such that it is also near to some of the most charming islands I have ever visited. It's not a secret that when I travel to some of the best known destination in the Philippines, I seek the one's with beautiful beaches, and those with opportunity for snorkeling adventure. I'm such a sucker for underwater fun ever since I learned to snorkel without wearing vest or flippers. That feeling of buoyancy while in water, the freedom to move freely without inhibitions, that moment when I hold my breath and dive down to get a closer look at some of the best coral reefs that we are proud of, these are just some of the junks I seek out. Bringing my own snorkeling gear, and the investment I made with an underwater camera over 6 months ago, I have become a witness to how pristine and fragile is our own backyard of underwater world.

Signing up for snorkeling activity while in Malapascua Island is a good past time other than lounging in it's sandy white sand beaches and watching lots of foreign back packers enjoy this laid back beach. I can't compare it to any other locations, it has a charm more on its own, I'm just taken aback by the realization that more foreign tourist would have known the historic island of Malapascua than the local one's like myself. The snorkeling activity is about 3 hours, hopping on 3 locations surrounding the island. At the end, you'd have made a full circle tour of the place with the finale at a place they call Marine Sanctuary. A sanctuary that is, about 20 feet deep and laden with some of the riches and most diverse coral gardens I've ever seen. 

These shots here are a lot more closer to shore, as the white sand creates a startling contrast against the colorful marine life. Snorkeling here is a standard rate of Php 1,500 as I am with 2 other friends, that makes it 500 for each of us. However, I got a discount of Php 150 because I'm using my own snorkeling gear. As part of the fees, the boatman rents the gear for the same amount. So if you have the intention of visiting Malapascua island off the coast of Cebu, better bring your own gear, saves you money and more so about the hygiene, one can't tell about who was that last person who had used that gear.

This photo above is shot in the final location, the Marine Sanctuary. It proved to be challenge for me, as Habagat is raging all across the Philippines, here I was, braving strong currents to enjoy this beautiful site.

I have heard of Malapascua, aside from fellow travel bloggers who had been here, but more to the publicity it garnered being synonymous to divers as haven for Thresher sharks.

It's best to visit the island, when you are with many friends tangling along. As is, the fee I paid for the snorkeling is already overpriced at Php 350 considering that we've only visited 3 sites.

More of discovering Malapascua in my upcoming post, How to get there, What to do and the accommodations. Remember that you don't have to spend much in here, the island is a back packers haven, very friendly to a Pinoy working class like myself.

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Batangas | The Off Beaten Springs Of Tanauan

BATANGAS | The Off Beaten Springs Of Tanauan
Of Water Springs In Lush Foliage

A second home, close to my heart. For the last 5 years, I've been coming back and fort in Tanauan  Batangas whenever there is family celebrations, my relatives never forgets to let me take part in it. My uncle lives in Tanauan with his family, and one of the things that endears me to visit every one's in a while is that there home is right before one of Batangas many fresh water rivers. Its a water spring covered in otherworldly lush greenery. It's also a communal place where residents come down to spend family time, either swimming, washing clothes or even camp at night. Normally, my cousin's like to come with me when I decide to take a dip in the cool spring waters. But this time, it was too early in the morning. I have not much time for a leisure swim, so I brought my camera instead. Today's morning exercise would be an hour of trekking the banks of the river on my own.

Just coming down the valley, on a clay wall that's turns slippery muddy after a rain is already a challenge. But it's still too early, sunshine won't be due after 30 mins. As it is, Tanauan is very cold at night even during summers, and can be very hot on a midday. This little falls is the first sight to behold when I reached the bottom of the valley. Probably just one of the many around here. Surprisingly, the spring has rocky bottom so the water is clear instead of murky. Nice thing, as it means that there are places with deep crevices.

Water is running constantly, making a calming sound on places with deep and shallow pools. Like a natural zen garden, its a very inspiring location, with rich foliage. I was soon covered in spider webs and my shorts wet at the bottom for constantly brushing on wet grass blades. I was easily lost in my own thoughts because I was alone. My imagination running wild, with my childhood fantasy's when I first watched the Jurassic Park movies. I was imagining gigantic reptiles or dinosaurs hidden in the foliage at a ready for a surprise attack. The setting on the movies are tropical islands of Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica. I can't be lost here can I? I followed the river upstream, the trails seemed endless, and it probably was.

I was deep in the riverside, but a sign of civilization never left me. People here are not dumping their garbage in the river, however, when the river gets flooded, along with flood are debris of garbage that gets deposited in the banks. Although, it's not much, this place needs a little clean up, or maybe just leave it as it is, because it means that no one has yet to place their attention to this location and decide to develop it for more visitors. It's an off beaten path after all.

Sweating as I trace my way back. I was surprise to find a few men washing clothes along the river banks. I have seen people doing chores in this place a couple of times, but mostly women. So I thought women will have their time probably later.

Makes shift huts are available for rent, and I realize its a Sunday. People would be coming down in a couple of hours for some family time. So for me, I was glad I took this refreshing morning walk early on. I found a new activity to look forward to on my next visit.

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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Pala-lagaw reserves the right for any watermarked pictures posted
No pictures should be downloaded or copied without permission from the blogger.

Monday, July 16, 2012

El Nido | Beach Bumming In Calitang Beach

EL NIDO | Beach Bumming In Calitang
Beautiful and almost off beaten

Island Hopping in EL Nido, Palawan has been fun. Having 45 islands and countless white sand beaches that looked all too pristine. On our last day, me and my travel buddy chose to try an off beaten path. After all, it was a Sunday and the feast of St John The Baptist, everyone would be flocking in the beaches of El Nido. We visited instead, Calitang by renting a tricycle with the driver Kuya Kano acting as our guide. Php 800 was worth the deal bringing us back and fort, considering that we had to drive inland further northeast from El Nido town, to a secluded place. Calitang is home to a fishing village that lives near its White Sand Beaches, a long coast lined with scenic white beaches, coves, small islands, and hillside cliffs that provides a stunning view of the entire landscape. I was besieged with calmness, just by sitting in the sands. Stray dogs are even friendly, one sat beside me while I was lost in melancholy. Truly amazing, that the Azure waters are clear, the fine white sand beneath is stretch all the way without any floating debris. It's kind of hard to explain, but I think my photos would say it all in a glance and you would understand how I was awed by this place, why chasing beautiful beaches is my enduring passion.

Here I walk on the trails of the hills, gently fanned by the incoming waves of air in lush grass vegetation. The sounds of waves crashing in the rocks below is powerful and the cliff side is sheer steepness that only added to the adventure. It's easy to imagine that I could be anywhere in the world, yet I'm just here in my beloved country, in a beautiful place in Palawan, inspired to the core of my being. I think the hills are already part of Nacpan, I don't really know where Calitang ends and Nacpan covers, but the you can call the entire place Calitang, as they're divided by a sandbar.

There are no resorts abound. Only a small fishing village with friendly locals living in Sawali huts and small cottages. We didn't want to draw much attention to ourselves, but we had to walk through the center of the village so we could get beyond to where the hills stood proud and steep.

The beach for today was calm and inviting.

Heaven has no price for a child's innocence. With curious glances, and feeling that awkwardness that I was carrying an expensive camera, the adults avoided us much to my relief, but the children are a different story. They approach me with that territorial defiance only a child can muster, I was confronted with curious eyes as I left my footprints in the sands of their village. It was a good thing that our guide, Kano was once a resident here. Everyone greeted him while tagging us along.

Our guide was recommended by a fellow travel blogger who had been here Kurapeng of Tara! Usap Tau, Kuya Kano was off duty since it's Sunday. But he took us for the ride, he's 21 year old bachelor living in El Nido, his tricycle was his source of income. Calitang can be accessible by either land or sea, but knowing that this place is not included on any island hopping tours in El Nido, the best option is by land.

The ride took almost an hour, where half of the way is a dirt road. To take the trip is to leave comforts behind and dive into the provincial setting. It's a beautiful road though very dusty, with houses spaced far  apart, if you live here, expect to know your neighbor to be half a kilometers away.

Stray dogs abound too. But no worry because most are very friendly. I didn't see any rabid looking dog in the area. This one came to sniff me out when I decided to sit down and bury my feet in the sand, I didn't know that the dog actually sat beside me like I was a comrade and part of his pack. We've become like buddies enjoying the view of the Calitang Beach.

Here's the sand bar that links the hills to the Calitang village, and the Calitang beach to Nacpan Beach. Nice to walk in between beaches, the other is a white sand wonder, while he other side is a cove for locals to anchor fishing boats. 

Here we stayed for a good 2 hours, trekking under the sun and swimming in the beach, one way tricycle ride is about an hour. Leaving early from El Nido town by 7 AM, we were back to El Nido by 11 AM ready for a lunch, a short stroll in El Nido town and off to catch our Roro bus ride from El Nido to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Visiting Calitang Beach can be part of the El Nido inland tour, but as is, most tourist would be content to just taking Island Hopping in El Nido alone, they're of course rewarding as they come. For a short visit, it had been exhilarating partly because I get to do what most travelers in El Nido are missing.

Now if you have plans to visit El Nido, Palawan soon, then maybe you can squeeze this half day trip to Calitang, you can contact Kuya Kano, he's only 21 years old, but I still call him Kuya. Php 800.00 for a back and fort trip with his humble tricycle, he's probably the cheapest option and to boot that he grew up in Calitang as a boy, he knows this place by heart unlike any other tricycle driver in El Nido town. Kuya Kano 0999-729-650

Francis Balgos is a Call Center Agent, Weekend Travel Warrior, Amateur Spelunker, Sometime Surfer, Newbie Mountain Climber, Photography Enthusiast, Certified Beach Bum, A first born son, Faithful lover, True Explorer...

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Pala-lagaw reserves the right for any watermarked pictures posted
No pictures should be downloaded or copied without permission from the blogger.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

TRAVEL PHOTO | My 7 Super Shots

I got myself tagged and I didn't see it coming. I've come across a number of post from travel bloggers posting 7 of their super shots, as it is with travel niches, photography comes at hand. No wonder that their selection of photos are breathtaking and incomparable. 

I got my surprise few days ago when a fellow travel blogger and inspired photographer 
Elal of The Shades Of Grey ask if she could tag me. It's been months since I met her while taking photos of the Pyromusical Event, and now she's passed on the ball. I remember sitting beside the cutest and prettiest girl in the balcony of SM MOA, next thing I know she was asking for the best setting to shoot the fireworks (I honestly dunno it as well). Since then, I've become a silent follower of her page, enjoying her photography which in many ways reflects the blogger behind it.

Scrounging from my almost 15 thousands photos, probably more, stored in my external hard drive, crossing my fingers, hoping that my selection would be good enough for the challenge.
So here it is, 

My 7 Super Shots

Takes My Breath Away
Cadlao Island, El Nido
El Nido is the one that has the most scenic sunset I've ever experience.
Makes you wanna sit on the beach and enjoy cold beers as the late afternoon turns dark in every second.