Thursday, February 5, 2009
Travel in the Philippines
I love to travel and being an advocate for environment conservation, i love to go places where i can enjoy nature. I had several opportunities when i was employed at Haribon Foundation which is why up to this time i am so grateful to this organization and i continue to support the foundation's environment conservation projects.
Summer is fast approaching and my wife and i are planning our activities since our son is 2 years old this year and will be safe to travel. I have been longing to return to our hometown in Claveria, Cagayan Valley this Holy Week but i am still considering because its a 12-hour bus or car trip. My son will definitely be agitated and bored because of the long trip. If we take a plane to Laoag, Ilocos, its still a 2-3 hour drive to Claveria after the airport. Plus we don't get to enjoy the scenery passing by provinces from Manila to our province. How could you miss food and picture taking from the provinces of Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Vigan, Ilocos Sur?
If you have the time and budget to travel, i suggest visiting these provinces during holidays and breaks. Living in the Metropolis is too stressful and expensive that is why every individual should have time to relax, unwind and enjoy nature. Enjoying travel need not be expensive. Nowadays, with the aid of the internet, you can find affordable places that would suit your budget. The book Lonely Planet is also a good guide in travel, there are tips where you can find cheap places, good food and great souvenirs. Basing on my experience, i suggest you visit the following places:
1. San Fernando and Angeles City in Pampanga - for their food delicacies, Candaba Town for bidwatching
2. Tarlac City, Tarlac Province - food and old churches
3. Pangasinan - Hundred Islands, food (all kinds of Bangus dishes) and old churches
4. La Union - beach (surfing capital of the north), food and old churches
5. Ilocos Sur - Vigan City - great food, souvenirs and an awesome site for photographers.
6. Ilocos Norte - Laoag City (food-bagnet and longganisa), old churches, Pagudpud beach (nice white sand), Paoay Church (a must for photographers) and the late strongman's displayed body (Ferdinand Marcos) in Batac, Fort Ilocandia for the sand dunes
7. Cagayan Valley - beach (also good for surfing), Penablanca Caves
8. Mountain Province - Sagada Caves
9. Balbalasang Mountain Range/National Park - Cordillera - great sites for photographers, several waterfalls
10. Baguio City (though i would warn you that the city is already over populated), great food though plus you get to buy awesome peanut brittle and ube jam at Good Shepherd Convent
Tips for South Luzon and other provinces will be on my next blog. Thanks!