Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dakak : Food, Beach, Adventure and Many More!

Good food, white beach, classy accommodations, thrilling adventures, luxury sports. Who wouldn't want them all? You can experience them all at DAKAK, the most famous park and beach resort in Mindanao!



This resort is tucked in a large "once-upon-a-time-forest" area in the north of Dapitan City, Zamboanga de Norte. Its name is actually an apt description of the very place where it can be found for it is a portmanteau of two Visayan words "dako" (large) and "kakahuyan" (woods/forest). 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Kinabayo Festival 2017 : A Showcase of Dapitan's Deep Devotion and Religiosity

If one wants to witness the piety of the people of Dapitan, he just have to visit this city during their annual celebration of Kinabayo Festival. I did just that this year and marveled at the different activities I witnessed, many of which is in honor of St. James the Greater, also known as Senyor Santiago - the city's patron saint.


A street dancer from Tangub City.
Senyor Santiago is always depicted as a horse-mounted knight ready to strike down adversaries of the Christian faith. During the annual Kinabayo Festival, he is being relived as the one who guided the Spanish Christians to victory against the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga. He is said to have appeared before the Spanish Christian soldiers during the battle and inspired them to continue the fight, and win. This same battle is the one being reenacted yearly as part of the festival. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dapitan : History, Nature and FESTIVAL!

Always saving the best for last...

That's my motto. And that is the reason why in my 5 years of travelling, and of experiencing the different parts of the Philippines, it is only now that I will be visiting the very historical, and beautiful City of Dapitan. 

I have been waiting for this time to come for so long. And come 2017, I was fortunate enough to be able to book a flight to the neighboring city of Dipolog, with Dapitan as my main target of course. 

Kinabayo Festival 2017. One of Dapitan City's Colorful Festivals

It started as a plan for a 5-day long Zamboanga del Norte - Zamboanga del Sur - Lanao del Norte tour from July 27-31  but it all changed when a student of mine who is now a resident of Dapitan tagged me in his FB post about Dapitan Tourism Council's invitation to cover this year's city festival. I readily signified my intention to be part of the festival and with the tourism council's approval, the dates of my visit changed. So my 5 day-long travel is now 10 days because I'll be visiting Dapitan 5 days earlier - on July 22!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

San Jose del Monte Free College Entrance Exam Review's 10th Year of Fruitful Existence!

Another short break from travel related posts...

The San Jose del Monte Free College Entrance Exam Review Guild (SJDM FCEER GUILD) now formally announces its 10th year of Summer Review Program to incoming Grade 12 students of different High Schools and Colleges from San Jose del Monte.



For a brief background, SJDM FCEER Guild is a group composed of former students of the different high schools in SJDM who are now students/graduates of different Philippine colleges such as, but not limited to, UP, PUP, PNU, and TUP. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Old Bridges of Romblon, Romblon

Out of all the provinces of Luzon Island Group, Romblon was the last one I was able to visit. Just this year (2016), in the month of August, I finally was able to see it and many of its fine beaches, and rich cultural heritage. 

Puente de Romblon. One of the still existing old bridges in the town.

Being a heritage enthusiast as I am, I was very delighted to discover while researching for our Romblon itinerary that a number of old bridges built during the Spanish and American era are still standing and intact in the small capital town of Romblon. It made me feel too much excitement because I am such a huge fan of old bridges (which prompted me to create a Facebook Group specifically focusing on the said topic, the Old Bridges of the Philippines FB Group).  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Travel Year 2015 : Taking it Slower

My 2015 travelling life is a very muted one compared to earlier years. For one, I have mainly traveled to nearby provinces. I have also not been able to update my blog for almost half a year, and hasn't shared any travel-related posts to my Facebook page, San Josenyong Gala. My twitter account must be lonely now for even I haven't visited it for a long, long time.


But it doesn't mean that I have a very boring 2015 travel year. I still travel and in addition to many nearby provinces I have visited before and visited again this year, I was also able to visit three new provinces: Catanduanes, Masbate and Bohol!

My visit to Catanduanes and Masbate happened in February/March. It was a 5-day backpacking trip that also includes visit to Albay and Camarines Sur. I had a blast touring the province of Bohol in August for 5 days and was able to visit 32 of its towns. My whole year travels are definitely worth of a look-back and a monthly rundown of what happened that year is a must!

Friday, March 11, 2016

15 Rizal Churches for your Visita Iglesia (Part 2)

Every year, Visita Iglesia has been part of many Filipinos' tradition of their observation of the Holy Week. The faithfuls visit seven to fourteen different churches, depending on their own preference and custom. Many would go to far-away provinces while some prefer to do it near their home, especially those from Metro Manila. Rizal, a province which can be found just at the vicinity of Metro Manila, has many churches perfect for a meaningful visita iglesia.

Rizal is an average-sized province and visitors would not be able to cover all its churches in a day. Depending on what visitor's prefer and from where they will come from, they can choose from two clusters of churches to be visited. They can choose either the Northern Rizal (Part 1) or Southern Rizal (Part 2) Visita Iglesia.

Below is a suggested guide for a Southern Rizal Visita Iglesia:

1. ST. CLEMENT CHURCH, Angono


Church details : The Parish of St. Clement was officially established in the 1933 but the church, the town, and its history goes back longer than that.

Location : Dona Aurora St., Brgy. Poblacion Ibaba, Angono, Rizal

How to get there? From EDSA Crossing (Mandaluyong), you may ride jeep or buses passing by Angono Town. You can also ride FX/Van in their EDSA Central terminal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

15 Rizal Churches for your Visita Iglesia (Part 1)

Every year, Visita Iglesia has been part of many Filipinos' tradition of their observation of the Holy Week. The faithfuls visit seven to fourteen different churches, depending on their own preference and custom. Many would go to far-away provinces while some prefer to do it near their home, especially those from Metro Manila. Rizal, a province which can be found just at the vicinity of Metro Manila, has many churches perfect for a meaningful visita iglesia.

Rizal is an average-sized province and visitors would not be able to cover all its churches in a day. Depending on what visitor's prefer and from where they will come from, they can choose from two clusters of churches to be visited. They can choose either the Northern Rizal (Part 1) or Southern Rizal (Part 2) Visita Iglesia.

Below is a suggested guide for a Northern Rizal Visita Iglesia:

1. OUR LADY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY CHURCH, Rodriguez (Montalban)




Church details. The parish was created in the 1870's, during the Spanish era though the present church is modern and newly-built.

Location. J.P. Rizal St., Balite, Rodriguez, Rizal.

How to get there? If you are coming from Commonwealth Ave., there is a terminal going to Rodriguez near Litex Market. Just ask around where the terminal is. If you are commuting from Cubao, ride a jeepney bound to Montalban along Aurora Boulevard. There are also FX terminals in Farmers Market - Cubao going to Montalban.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Travel Year 2014 : The Year I Learned to Slow Down

When I started travelling the Philippines in 2012, I already told myself that I should be able to finish visiting all the 81 Philippine provinces before I turn 30. Now, I'm turning 31 but I haven't done that yet, and still, I am so much happy.

The very beautiful Batanes!
The year 2014 taught me to take it slow. This year, I realized that I am racing with no one so I should try to savor the joy brought to me by travelling by taking it one at a time. The old me who wants to be in different provinces in every different weeks and months is no more. It's now just once a month. ;) 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nueva Vizcaya : Roaming Cagayan Valley's 2nd Oldest Province

This post is part of my Nueva Vizcaya Series chronicling my 2013 and 2015 visits to the province. To see other towns, refer to the linked list after the article.

At the start, the whole of the present-day Cagayan Valley Region was just a single vast province known as Cagayan. The first ever division of the province happened when its southern part, from Ilagan down to Aritao, was separated and created into a new province in 1841, paving the way for the birth of the great province of NUEVA VIZCAYA.

Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Capitol
The Nueva Vizcaya of old was a very large province but through the passage of time, it lost many of its territories starting from the creation of the province of Isabela in 1856 (almost half of Isabela province came from the northeastern territories of Nueva Vizcaya) until the separation of Quirino Province in 1971. Now, the province is left with only 15 municipalities, with a total population of 421,355 as of 2010.