Things to Do Just a couple of years old, this casino and resort complex has six hotel towers, two night clubs, a shopping mall, and the DreamPlay theme park in collaboration with Dreamworks Animation. New in 2017 You can enjoy City of Games remotely, before you plan your trip to the City of Dreams. Download the app ‘City of Games’ to get 2,00,000 chips free and play games. However, if you win, you can redeem real rewards at City of Dreams Manila. Other Locations Macau.
It was May 2011 when I, Rose and Hazel decided to explore Cebu, Bohol and Camiguin. It was summer then so it was a perfect season to visit the said three places. Welcome to Cebu City! Hazel lived in Cebu at that time so she waited for us (Rose and me) to arrive in Cebu. Rose and I boarded Cokaliong from Surigao to Cebu and we arrived in Cebu at 6:00 AM. Hazel fetched us and rest for a while in her house. After an hour, our mission started, which is to explore some interesting spots in Cebu. First stopped, Church.
Though the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) has a lot to offer visitors, most people make the trip from Puerto Princesa only to see the underground river, which is heavily celebrated as one of the new seven wonders of the natural world. Also part of UNESCO history, the river is now a huge source of pride to the Philippines. The subterranean river system is 8.2km long and has several large chambers, up to 120m wide and 60m high. It flows underground almost the entire length, and empties into the ocean, so the lower part of the river is brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water) and subject to tidal influence, which makes it a natural phenomenon. When the sun is shining, the brackish water is known to turn an eye-popping bright blue-green (more green than blue). The river isn’t the only attraction of the PPSRNP though, as the beach by the mouth of the cave features an impressive karst landscape, and the old-growth forest that fills the park is full of exotic flora and fauna. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw a handful of large monitor lizards crawling around, forked tongues darting about! Since the river was given the honor of being one of the new seven wonders of nature, there was a huge jump in the amount of daily visitors, so much that a cap has been put into law for preservation reasons, which allows only 900 tourists a day into the subterranean river… but that seems to be largely flexible depending on the clout and amount of pesos you hold.
If you are finding paradise on Earth, Tagaytay is the answer to your quest. The city overlooks Taal Lake and provides an iconic view of the Taal volcano. This geographical wonder has a volcano within a lake within a volcano. Though Taal is world’s smallest active volcano, the iconic view along the lake is breathtaking. It is a perfect place for rejuvenating. Palace In The Sky acts as a vantage area for viewing the Taal Volcano. Don’t miss the five-hectare Flower Farm which has many varieties of flowers, such as chrysanthemums, gerberas, carnations, roses, etc.
I passed by Rizal Park and San Sebastian Cathedral. The rain regained its might on my way to the Capitol and what should have been a garden ceremony became an indoor event. Imagine fitting about 3000 delegates inside the Capitol . In the end, others were downstairs on tents, some in alleys, in stairs and anywhere we could possibly fit. Lucky for me, I found a place in one of the verandas. Then while hailing a cab as I retire for the night, the sight of BC00 marker concluded my short Bacolod trip.
Vigan, a small town 203.1 km away from Sagada, is a wonder. This is the most charming city of Philippines due to the rustic old architecture influenced by Spanish colonization. The Spanish captured and settled in Vigan in 1572, and it soon became a centre of Spanish political and religious power in the north of Luzon. The Mestizo District offers a peek into the Philippines' colonial past. The ancestral houses were mostly built by blending local, Asian and Spanish architectural styles. The old houses and cobblestone streets are not something you get to see each day. The horse carriages add to the feeling of being transferred to an old era in time. You can learn to mold pots or visit St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, an earthquake baroque styled cathedral. As the name suggests, the design is intended to minimize earthquake damage. You can also see Plaza Salcedo, some city buildings and beautiful fountain in this area.
Cebu is the most happening city of the Visayas in Philippines, and is also economically and politically the second-most important city here. The tourism here is on a boom as well! Over two million tourists vacation in Cebu every year. Pristine beaches, spectacular diving sites, and amazing seafood makes this island city one of the prime holiday spots in southeast Asia. Also called the Queen City of the south, Cebu is a place where high-rise buildings and sprawling beaches exist together like a happily married couple.
Brother Island, El Nido, Philippines – “A little paradise on Earth,” says one of the reviews on Airbnb. Located in the Sulu Sea, most of the 2,000 square metres of this island is covered in white sand. The island boasts of a rainforest, and a hilltop banyan house for some private time. The island guarantees no other tourists while you are there so basically, you can book the entire island for yourself and experience activities like snorkeling, hiking and island hopping. There is even a wreck site nearby to explore!
Okay, try this one : A volcano within a lake, within a volcano, within a lake, within a volcano. Sounds a bit like volcanological equivalent of a Matryoshka doll, but if you're local on Taal Volcano Island, this will make perfect sense to you. This island is actually one volcano, but eruptions in the past have created mini volcanoes and water filled calderas in it and have given the island its catchy slogan. Let me break it down for you again: The entire municipality of Talisay Batangas is believed to be a volcano, within which Taal lake was formed. Within the Taal Lake lies Taal Volcano Island, within which lies another tiny volcano islet. Now read that backwards and you will know what I am on about. When you walk to the ridge of the caldera, the earth, reddened by sulfur, spews out foul smelling streams of smoke. Stick an egg into one of those smoking holes, says my guide, and it will cook through in three minutes. There are two ways to get to the top of the Main Crater : you either walk or go the distance on horseback. Walking uphill is a tough task on the Daang Kastilla trail, but it's the easiest (though some say its treacherous because of the sulfur emissions) and most direct route to the top. When you finally get to the top though, look at the green waters of the lake within and you'll see white patches here and there. Those are bubbles- the water is literally boiling hot. Ask around a bit until you find the 'Secret Place' - a narrow path that leads to the absolute edge of the ridge. From here you can see the entire island in all its glory. Tufts of smoke curl up into the air from a little hole at the tip. It is almost like walking up the spine of the dragon, towards its smoking nostrils. Now is when you take a moment to let it sink in : you are standing on the ridge of an active volcano. You can almost feel the earth shaking beneath your feet, the heat penetrating the soles of your shoes. You now officially have bragging right for a decade!
Early in the morning of December 4, we rode the jeepney from Tinglayan to Bontoc (Php 20.00). We had breakfast at the hotel and I paid Php 105.00 for my food and coffee. There, we also got the chance to charge our phones and camera batteries and, while at it, encountered the creepy man of Bontoc.
Bantay Abot Cave, Patapat Viaduct, Kabigan Falls
This was by far one of the scariest thing that we’ve ever done (besides doing the bungy in New Zealand)! It was scary maybe because there were very limited measures taken to ensure one’s safety. As it was a real cave with lots of bats living inside it, the ground was mostly moist and slippery. Plus we were only wearing flip flops! But besides all that, it was really very exciting! It felt like an underwater theme park! There were times when we had to swing like Tarzan from rock to rock using a rope, wade through chest-deep waters (with no idea what funny creatures that could be living in the water) and cliff jumped. All these were done without any harnesses! One slip and that’s it…..
if you want to go to Samal but no plan to see beach (if you have a trauma seeing beach) and don’t want to see many people. This is your option.
We rode the bus back to Tagbilaran (Php 83.00) and alighted at the terminal. We met our host, Malou, for the first time at a mall near the terminal. We all took a trike (Php 10.00) to Acacia de Bubu, where we had dinner (Php 95.00) and had a wonderful conversation about life, travel, and adventure.
At night you can go to bars or restaurants on the beach with your friends and experience the chill ambience. Weekends are the time most bars are busy with customers and sometimes they hold parties. I suggest staying at San Juan, La Union for minimum 2 days specially if you go there alone. Why? First, It’s easy to interact with locals and get new friends. They are very friendly and won’t hesitate to invite you for a party at the beach or bars. Second, try other activities such as hike along the Arosip Eco Trail in Bacnotan. There are waterfalls, Balay Anito Falls in the town of Santol, and Lon-Oy Springs in Barangay Lon-Oy and Bayabas in San Gabriel. For now in the low season, what you can do are paddle boarding, snorkeling, enjoy sunbathing under the blazing sun, and party at bars on the weekends.
I especially liked the views from Radar Tukon just outside of Basco and Ruins of Songsong, ruins of a barangay, abandoned in the 50s after a tsunami struck with disastrous effect. Songsong is a bit farther from Basco on a beautiful beach that would be otherwise dreamlike, but has a ghostly feel thanks to the roofless, empty homes.
There's also Moal Boal, the Pink beach you'd want to dive in. Located at the farther side of the island, this beach deserves a visit because of its pink shores. We didn't get this far because of our sudden desire to ride the RoRo (ferry boat) to Dumaguete. (That's another story.)
Every once in while you find a place a little off the tourist radar. Bantayan Island is one such place. I have traveled around a lot in the Philippines and have been to some pretty neat places but when I decided to visit Bantayan Island I could not have known that I would chance upon a place of such serenity. There isn’t much here. Not a lot of tourists, no malls, no people asking you to buy condos or discos blaring dance music. There are only a couple of towns worth any size on the island, one being Bantayan town and the other Sante Fe. Bantayan city has the only ATM where foreign transactions are allowed and they only take a Visa card. They have a nice market, a fabulous old church with lots of history, a few local restaurants and a couple of cock fighting arenas. I experienced my first cock fight in Bantayan and will post more on that later. What you won’t find are McDonalds, Jollibee, Dunkin Donuts or any other fast food joint. However the people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. The Philippines in general is very hospitable but the people on Bantayan Island seem to be more friendly than most. And this a place where you can experience true island life. Compared to Filipino standards I am a bug dude and stand tall at 6'1" and sometimes stand out and get a lot of looks when I am here. I get stares when I walk down the streets in Manila or anywhere else. On Bantayan island there are a lot of tricycle drivers, the non-motorized kind. So imagine their concern when I squeeze my big ass into a trike and tell them to peddle me to town. They sweat their ass off and I get lots of looks and giggles along the way. I also get people waving and saying hello and greeting me everywhere I go. At least 4 times while walking around I have been asked to sit and have a drink. I walked past an older woman picking up coconuts in her yard the other day and when I waved she dropped everything, smiled and waved back. Little kids say hello and so far wit