sightseeing the quote of the month (JUNE 2016)

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

Calayan Island's Pristine Cove, Hill and Waterfalls

​7 Days Budget DIY Trip to Babuyan Group of Islands
May 11 to 19, 2016

Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands (Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island) of Calayan Municipality where the municipal hall is located. On this island, there is no ATM (bring cash), no GLOBE signal (use only SMART and SUN sim card) and no Wifi (only in Municipal Mayor's office). No electricity from 12am to 12pm daily. Convenience stores usually closed 7pm to 8pm. Sunrise occurs in Nagudungan Hills.

How to Go to Calayan Island;
There are daily departures at 0600H only from Aparri and irregular schedule from Claveria. One-way fare costs PhP500 for a 5hr boat ride. 

The highlight or best scenic spot of unspoiled Calayan Island is the Sibang Cove and Nagudungan Hill. This cove and hill is located next to each other at around 5km east of the centertown. Sibang Cove is a pristine fine white sand beach just like the Mahabang Buhangin Beach of Calaguas Island. Nagudungan Hill has a lighthouse near to cliffs with lots of awesome rock formation due to strong winds and ocean waves faced regularly. What we did on our first day was we walked our way to this places routing the main road and guided by asking the locals.

Calayan Island's Pristine Cove, Hill and Waterfalls (overlooking Sibang Cove from Nagudungan Hill)

​7 Days Budget DIY Trip to Babuyan Group of Islands

boat hopping to Calayan, Babuyan and Camiguin-Norte Island
May 11 to 19, 2016

I feel we are all in islands, in a common sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Babuyan Group of Islands is consists of four major islands Dalupiri, Calayan, Babuyan and Camiguin-Norte. The Babuyan Islands are separated from Luzon by the Babuyan Channel, and from the province of Batanes by the Balintang Channel. The whole archipelago is administered under the province of Cagayan of Calayan Municipality (Fuga Island is under the municipality of Aparri). Humpback Whales have re-colonized into the Babuyan area. Since Dalupiri Island is a privately-owned and can only be accessed by special boat trip, our group focused only to the other 3 major islands which is more than enough to satisfy us that Philippines has the most spectacular coastlines, pristine beaches and other amazing island features.

The best month to visit Babuyan Group of Islands is on April to May (summer season). Always consider / check weather condition before travelling. Depend on weather forecast around 3 days before your intended travel date. Verify and compare via, PAGASA and Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (Banshi Channel).

Day0 May. 11, 2016 Wed: Sampaloc, Manila afternoon departure (via Florida Bus)

​7 Days Budget DIY Trip to Babuyan Group of Islands

Mt. Balagbag (777masl) Traverse to Maranat Self-Guided (DIY) Solo Day-Hike

07-May-2016 Saturday in Rodriguez, Rizal Philippines

Jump-off: Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal
Elevation: 777masl
Days / Hours required: 5 hours (local guide is NOT required)
Classification: minor trek with difficulty level of  3/9

My 48th solo backpacking trip, 9th local minor hike (4th for 2016) so far and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. My plan is supposedly a twin-hike traverse from Mt. Balagbag to Mt. Maranat. Since DENR Checkpoint in Maranat area is strict on "No permit No Entry" policy, I just did a traverse going back to Licao-Licao. There is a split trail from DENR Checkpoint; left side going to Mt. Maranat and Maranat Falls while the right side is going to Licao-Licao. Permit is issued in DENR Cenro-Tabang (Malolos, Bulacan) Phone # 044-7947090. In regards to hiking experience, almost 70% of the trail is not shaded so be prepared to challenge the scorching heat of the sun (arm sleeve, umbrella, ball cap and enough refreshments).

​0600H ETD SM Fairview; jeep to Jollibee Tungko 18
0630H ETA Jollibee Tungko; walk to Licao-licao Jeep Terminal
0645H ETD Tungko; jeep to Licao-licao 27
0730H ETA Licao-Licao; trek to Sitio Balagbag (very smooth ascent)
0800H ETA Balagbag Registration 10; smooth ascent (easy)
0840H Refreshment stop-over 30; Registration again 20
0900H ETA Mt. Balagbag summit; photo-ops and rest
0930H ETD Mt. Balagbag summit; steep and slippery descent (difficult)
1000H ETA Maranat DENR Checkpoint (no permit no entry to falls & mountain). Rest.
1030H ETD Maranat; series of rocky ascent/descent (average)
1215H ETA Licao-Licao; Refreshments 40
1245H ETD Licao-licao; jeep to Tungko 27
1345H ETD Tungko; jeep to SM Fairview 18

Mt. Balagbag (777masl) traverse to Maranat Self-Guided Solo Day-Hike (view at the summit)

Visiting the Money Museum (Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)

6-May-2016 Friday

Money as a medium of exchange has closely reflected the complex evolution of the Filipino nation from small seafaring communities to today's modern state. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Museum welcomes all visitors and hopes they will enjoy this rich insight into the national heritage. Money Museum (Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) opened 4-January-1999 during the 50th anniversary of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It traces the development of coinage, paper money and banking in the Philippines from the earliest times up to present. The collection also contains an exhibit contemporary foreign currency.

Money Museum (Museo ng Bangko Sentral) General Information;
Opens Monday to Friday from 0900H-1200H / 1300H-1600H (except Saturdays/Sundays and holidays). Wearing ballcap, flash/commercial photography, videography and monopod/tripod are NOT PERMITTED inside the museum. Basic photography coming from mobile phone/digicam/DSLR is PERMITTED. Free Admission to all.

How to Go to Money Museum (Museo ng Bangko Sentral);
From LRT1 line, the nearest is Vito Cruz station. For vehicles coming from Quiapo, museum building is located right after the Manila Zoo. For vehicles coming from EDSA/Baclaran, museum building is a walking distance from De La Salle University. Money Museum address is BSP Compound, Mabini St, Manila.

Visiting the Money Museum (Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) Centennial Commemorative Notes

National Museum (Pambansang Museo) last Part; Museum of the Filipino People

National Museum (Pambansang Museo) 1st Part; National Art Gallery

On the whole month of May 2016, FREE ADMISSION (National Arts Gallery and Museum of Filipino People) to the public for all (Filipinos and foreigners) in celebration of National Heritage Month. 

National Museum of the Philippines (Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas); Museum of the Filipino People formerly the Department of Finance, has been redesigned to house the anthropological and archaeological collections of National Museum. There are 5 levels to see on this building; Level 1 is for the Ifugao House and some offices; Level 2 is for Garing (Ivory Trade), The San Diego History and Treasures, 500 Years of Maritime Trade Before the Advent of Western Colonizers, Marble Hall and Ayala Corporation Theater; Level 3 is for Lantakas and Bells, Kaban ng Lahi and Faith, Tradition and Place of Bangsamoro Art; Level 4 is for Baybayin (ancient Scripts), Philippine Textiles, Rice and Climate Change and; Level 5 is for Ethnology and Zoology Repository (closed).

There is also a section (#22 in a series of 40 sections formerly located at Potsdamer Platz) of Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer, an iconic symbol of a divided Europe and the cold war) located in the ground floor. This section of the Berlin Wall was officially turned over to the Philippine Government as a gift from the City of Berlin to the citizens of Manila as part of a global initiative to remember its importance, and so it"would stand in Manila as a monument to remember that it was possible to successfully overcome and reunify divisions in Berlin and Europe.

National Museum (Pambansang Museo); Museum of the Filipino People
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