Friday, September 30, 2011

CAGBALETE ISLAND - Beaching On A Rainy Season

I am not, and will never be a beach person. Ask me to go to the beach any summer and I will certainly think a thousand times first before I say yes. But without any hesitation I miraculously agreed to go with a friend when he invited me to visit one of the less frequented vacation spot in the country - the Cagbelete Island - on a rainy season.

Being off the beaten track, we had to exert quite an amount of effort before we finally reached the island. To get there, it's a four-hour ride to Lucena from Manila plus another hour non-aircon bus ride to Mauban, Quezon. Next, an hour or less boat ride from Mauban Port to reach Sabang Port in Cagbalete plus a 20-minute trail hike to the remote and naturally beautiful Villa Cleofas Resort.

Beaching in Cagbalete on a rainy season was truly a unique experience - exactly my definition of a perfect getaway from the hassles of busy city life. The island was like our own piece of paradise, gifted with fine, powder-white sand, peaceful and quiet except for the relaxing sound of the waves - definitely a perfect place for nature lovers like me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nueva Viscaya's Heritage Sites

The country's gateway to Cagayan Valley region is Nueva Viscaya. The province may not be any traveller's choice for adventure and site-seeing but one would be surprised to realize that it is worth exploring the province - with it's breathtaking view of the Cordillera and Sierra Madre, plus a number of heritage sites to learn and discover.

Solano - the province's commercial center. Known to travellers as stopover for those who want to break up their journey to Isabela, Cagayan or the Mountain Province, the town indeed is one convenient stop. It has the nicest accomodation facility in the province, natural park resorts, popular fastfood restaurants, supermarkets, and the unique Ayuyang bar with its ethnic theme with nightly live acoustic Ilocano music.

Bayombong - the province's seat of government. One of the quietests and cleanest provincial capital I've ever visited. The capitol site has a large landscaped park with man-made lagoons, surrounded with pine trees and overlooking the picturesque Sierra Madre mountains. The town also houses the Cathedral of St. Dominic De Guzman, which is one the province's heritage sites.

Dupax Del Sur - this quiet town north of Nueva Viscaya was declared by the National Center for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as one of the country's National Cultural Treasure. The Cathedral of St. Vincent Ferrer, built by Dominican friars in 1776 features a baptistery and narthex pillars covered with finely carved stucco, is the town's main attraction. The oldest acacia tree in the Philippines can also be found here.


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