The Philippines, being an archipelagic country at the heart of the Coral Triangle, never really runs out of underwater surprises. They come in a form of offbeat dive site, the less touristy and non-commercialized ones yet overflowing with potentials. In chase of these hidden gems of Philippine depths, Ate Claudia and I set foot in Surigao City to explore its underwater treasures. Surigao lies on the north-easternmost coast of mainland Mindanao, surrounded with bodies of waters that are known to be rich in biodiversity. One…Continue Reading “Surigao: Scuba Diving in Mabua”

It was one of the last days of summer, the air was humid and the wind was almost non-existent. The moment bore a promise of a perfect day… a perfect day in the beach! I woke up in the middle of the dawn. My call time with the team was two hours past midnight, right when the entire Metropolis was at its deepest sleep. Our destination, Fortune Island! Located off the coast of the town of Nasugbu in Batangas, the 27-hectare privately owned Fortune Island…Continue Reading “Treasures of Fortune Island”

The original plan was to fly to Negros Occidental and dive in the waters of Sipalay, an offbeat scuba diving spot south of Bacolod City. What’s in their depths? I really do not have idea, but I heard they have colorful reefs and promising sites. Scuba diving is pretty new there so I assume that their sites are unspoiled and unexploited. But Sipalay, although an urban city, is generally offbeat. It is at least three hours of land travel from both Bacolod and Dumaguete City…Continue Reading “A Weekend of Adventures in South Cebu and Dumaguete”

Capisaan Caves

The day was about to end when we arrived in Kasibu, almost three-hour ride from the town of Bambang. But as the sun set behind Caraballo Mountains, our day in town was just about to start. We would be spelunking through and through the fifth longest cave system in the Philippines – the Capisaan Cave System. It was actually an unplanned trip, everything was spontaneous – the two-day holiday courtesy of APEC Economic Leader’s meeting, the destination and even the entire itinerary. We just found…Continue Reading “Kasibu: Caving in Capisaan Caves (Alayan to Lion)”

Tinglayan

Route: Butbut – Sungang Viewpoint – Poblacion Tinglayan – Lubuagan – Pasil – Tabuk Total Time: 9 hours and 15 minutes Saddle Time: 6 hours (approx) Distance: Approximately 70 kilometers We woke up ahead of the sun on our third day of biking in Kalinga, technically it was our second after being stranded for 10 hours in Caranggalan on our way to Banaue because of an overturned truck that blocked the National Road near Dalton Pass. After the strenuous bike and hike from Mount Polis to…Continue Reading “Bike Diary: Trek and Bike to Tabuk (Buscalan – Lubuagan – Tabuk)”

Guiuan

Barely eight months after Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Central Philippines, Ate Claudia and I set foot in Guiuan, the southernmost municipality of Eastern Samar. The town was our rendezvous for a detour trip after our scheduled dives in Biliran Island got cancelled due to unfavorable weather. Guilt was knocking on my conscience that we were there for fun while the town’s mood was generally the opposite. The devastation brought by the deluge were still evident and seeing them with my own eyes was seriously agonizing….Continue Reading “Scuba Diving in Guiuan, Eastern Samar”