“the largest island, inside of a lake, which is on an island, which is inside a lake, which is on an island”. More »
“An urban boutique hotel that surprisingly showcases its character through its exquisite design and offers comfort and convenience at a very reasonable price”, that is how I would describe my overall experience at “The Henry” in Cebu.” More »
Aside from the thick forests and mountain ranges, The Philippines is famous for its beautiful islands and beaches. More »
This could be one of the highlights of my life as a traveler. To experience living the kind of life with our fellow brothers in the Mountains of the Cordillera. More »
Biking my way to Valugan Boulder Beach is an exhausting yet a thrilling experience for someone who’s not a regular biker. More »
This bird welcomed us when we’re about to enter the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River or famously called The Underground River in Palawan last week. More »
This development offers its visitors an outdoor experiences that they will perfectly enjoy because of their family-friendly and very engaging attractions and adventure courses. More »
Since temperature in Baguio barely goes up to 20 degrees all year round. A stroll along pine tree-lined streets is surely enough to entertain your day but at the end, you also deserve a comfortable place to rest which will make you feel just like you are at home. Woods. More »
*Osprey Out and About, first leg of many Osprey Adventures, is an outdoor experience exposing it’s participants to various activities and environments. This initiative seeks to inspire the adventurous to go further by enabling them to explore and try new experiences with Osprey. From nature tripping to cultural immersions, short hikes to breathe taking sights, giving back to the environment to trying local delicacies, Osprey Out and About is all about adventure backpacking! Held last November 4-5, Osprey invited friends from the media and select travel bloggers for the Osprey Out and About at Balanga, Bataan which entailed two days of trying out new things, and putting Osprey packs to the test.
Our first stop was Balanga City Wetland and Nature Park which is considered as one of the country’s birdwatching havens. It serves as feeding grounds for migratory and endemic bird species. Because of its thick mangrove forest, wetlands, grasslands and mudflats, it became a natural food basket to at least 35 species and 15 families of birds, making it one of the most populated bird sites in the Philippines.
Our next destination was the famous Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac. It is a themed resort complex composed of old and historic houses which where reconstructed to relive the ambience of a colonial village. We had a guided walking tour in some of the centuries-old mansions and stone houses where our funny and engaging tour guide cited the historical and cultural significance of each houses we visited. Some of the notable Spanish heritage houses we visited were Casa Lubao, Casa Hidalgo and Casa Binan.
Our last stop during our first day was the Shrine of Valor in Mt. Samat. This is Bataan’s famous icon, a gigantic concrete cross which is the country’s national memorial for the heroic stand and sacrifice of those who fought and died for our freedom during the WWII. Just so you know, you can go up in that cross using an elevator so you can have a great view of the mountains and the sea.
The famous "Dambana ng Kagitingin (Mt. Samat National Shrine). Ang sagisag ng kagitingan at kabayanihan ng mga sundalong nag-alay ng buhay noong ikalawang digmaang pandaigdig. Enjoying the view with my new travel companion, #Osprey backpack. #throwback #trackingtreasurePH #thetreasuretracker #the_philippines #Bataan #shrine #parks #architecture #history #ospreypacksphilippines #ospreypacksforbataan #ospreyoutandabout #backpack #backpacking #globalnomads #nomad
The next morning, we headed straight to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong which for me was the most amazing part of the trip. The feeling was so surreal, besides how often do you have a chance to visit an unusual destination in your trip? During our tour, I was imagining I was part of a great mission in a Sci-Fi or action films especially when we visited the control room. I was dumbfounded. Unfortunately, this nuclear power plant were never utilized because of safety issues after we have spent billions of pesos just to build this project.
I was still amazed as I surrendered my visitor’s ID and headed our way to Pawikan Conservation Center. It is a community-based program devoted to the preservation and propagation of endangered marine turtles called Olive Ridley. I was so happy to see some turtles and how their hatchery looks like up close. The blue sky and the water was calling me so I quickly ran towards the beach. FYI, they are also celebrating Pawikan Festival every November.
Our tour ended with a feast of Vietnamese cuisine. If you are wondering why Vietnamese cuisine? Well, Morong served as a processing center for refugees of 2nd Indochina War, most of which were Vietnamese who were resettled to other nations. Because of that, some of the locals begun liking the taste and even learned how to cook this cuisine. One of the famous is Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an. Some in the menu that we tried were banh-mi, bun tit nuong, bun cha gio and bun cha nuong.
During our trip, we stayed at city’s architectural icon, The Plaza Hotel which features an impressive façade inspired by Spanish colonial architectural and is perfectly located in what they called Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga. Just in front of the hotel is a small monument of Rizal back dropped with an impressive water fountain lit with color-changing LED at night while across the street is the St. Joseph Cathedral.
Styled and was ready to go as I was equipped with all that I need inside my red Osprey Parsec. It is a perfect backpack for a few-day trip. Here’s why.
1. It has padded laptop and tablet sleeves. It suits every flashpacker like me who always travel with their more than two gadgets. This is where I also put some documents so it won’t get crumpled or folded.
2. Too many pockets/comparments. As compared to my other backpacks (yes, I have a lot of backpacks) with limited pockets, my Osprey Parsec makes my life easier to organize my stuff. I can quickly place my toiletries, power bank, external hard drives, music player, mobile phone and other basic travel/personal belongings for my adventure.
3. Stretchable mesh side pockets. This is where I put my Nalgene water bottle and anything that I need from time to time like candies, headphones and even alcohol (whichever you think is both valid) haha!
Osprey is available in all R.O.X. (Recreation Outdoor Exchange), Duty Free Philippines, select The Travel Club and Bratpack stores nationwide. The Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant, is the exclusive distributor of Osprey in the Philippines.
About Primer Group of Companies
Established in the Philippines in 1985, the Primer Group of Companies is engaged in the retail and distribution of the world’s top and premium consumer brands in outdoor, travel, footwear, fashion, wellness and urban lifestyle. It has also established a solid ground in the industrial products and services landscape, with companies in digital and silkscreen printing, air-conditioning and creative graphic design and services.
The company is aggressively pursuing new grounds to become the leader in the global distribution and innovation of premium goods and services. Its retail authority alone has grown to over 150 premium brands, with over 300 stores in 8 Asian countries — making it a force to reckon with. To date, the Primer Group employs over 3,000 and has established businesses in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom
When we arrived, the staff welcomed and assisted us inside the clubhouse. We settled down first, had some snack that they prepared and proceeded to the pond for our first activity, feeding the ducks. Yes! You read it right, we can’t keep our giggles seeing how they run and bumped with each other just to get fed. Cute was the only word I can think of to describe how they run together while swaying their tails. Besides, how often do you experience feeding a group of duck in your lifetime?
After that fun activity with the ducks, we were assisted back to the clubhouse for our lunch. The staff served us their specialties like the ones I showed below.
After that sumptuous feast. They showed us the hotel which is also located within the clubhouse to check their rooms, the spa and other amenities they offered to their guests and members.
Just when we thought we are going to stay in their hotel, the staff told us that we were going to Marina. It is the area where you can find the Amihan Villa
When we arrived, we can’t keep our excitement as we noticed the water-based obstacle course and zip line. At the back of my mind, this calls for a friendly competition.
The resort is located near the lake. Aside from the rooms in the clubhouse, they also have big nipa huts.. And that’s what we preferred. Two big nipa huts comfortable enough to accommodate the eight of us overnight.
After settling down and some rest, we were called by the staff to try some of the activities they offered. First, we went to the dock and hopped on a motorized boat and strolled around the lake. There were islets with guesthouses which according to the staff was a private property and was already abandoned.
After sightseeing, we were supposed to do horseback riding but we went on fishing on the nearby pond instead. I can’t remember the last time I did this. My father and I used to do this in the lake in our town with our home-made fishing rod. Here, we were taught how to use a mechanical fishing rod. At first, I thought it’s easy but it wasn’t. The nylon string kept on dangling around the rod. Thanks to the staff who quickly assisted me to fix it and then taught me how to use it correctly. Sadly, I wasn’t able to catch even one, I thought maybe because of my location so I changed spot. I walked along the narrow stilts to go on the other side of the pond. Thirty minutes had passed and still I wasn’t able to catch a fish. I guess that all the fish there were trained to not bite or go near the bait. So I gave up. haha!
We went back to our nipa hut to rest and freshen up while others lounges beside the swimming pool and watched the beautiful sunset.
That night, they prepared a perfect set of dinner which includes bulalo and hainanese chicken. Just right after that good dinner, we gathered outside for the bonfire party with cold beer. We had fun talking and sharing stories and banters. Just what a typical barkadas do. It drizzled so we transferred again in the covered area where we had our dinner. The night even got happier when we started singing as they also have videoke. I can’t recall how and what time we ended as I was so sleepy and tired.
The next morning, just when we thought the weekend was over, they toured us around the facilities/amenities inside the reosrt with a golf cart. We even had the chance to try that sport. Even if it was quick, we still had fun especially whenever we miss hitting the ball. haha!
Photo by Chino of juanderfulpinoy.com
Right after biking, we went back to the resort and tried the zip line. But the most exciting part was the water-obstacle course. Carla, tried it first. Then we teamed up. The battle was between Chino and Kirk versus me and Marx. It looked easy when you are just watching the others but it’s quite tiring when you are already doing it. It was really fun and we enjoyed it very much especially when the battling teams were distracting each other just so they win. But we never let them and still did our best. Unexpectedly, we won over the other team. haha!
Photo by Chino of juanderfulpinoy.com
The remaining time was spent in the swimming pool with a very nice view of the mountain lake. We had ice cream and beer, enjoyed every minute with laughter and never ending banters. Well, that’s how our barkada becomes more alive, guess that’s also the right “ingredient” that makes our friendship happier and stronger.
Caliraya Mountain Spring and Resort is a perfect place to spend the your weekend with either your families or friends. It’s a few hour drive from Manila and offers various activities that you can all enjoy. Thank you also to all the friendly and helpful staff for laughing and riding with all of our craziness, for taking care of us and for exerting extra effort in providing our needs especially when we ran out of beer to drink. :p
Caliraya Springs Mountain Lake Resort
Address: East Talaongan, Cavinti, Laguna, Philippines
Contact Number: (02) 723-0781 | (0998) 555-8394
Tenerife was uninhabited until around 200BC when cave dwellers known as Guanches settled here. For over a millennium, these natives were isolated from the outside world until the Spanish arrived in the 15th century.
From then until the present day, Tenerife has been a part of Spain, which is heavily reflected in the island’s culture and cuisine. But what other facts are there about the island’s fascinating past?
1. The word “Tinerfe” refers to one of the original Guanche monarchs
Although the word “Tinerfe” closely resembles the island’s name and can be seen on various buildings and businesses, it is actually honouring one of the original Guanche monarchs.
Tinerfe had nine children and after his death, each one received a “menceyatos” or municipality on the island to rule over. While Tenerife now consists of 31 municipalities, they are divided up in much the same way.
2. It took two years for Spain to complete its conquest
Military leader Javier Alonso Luis Fernández de Lugo along with around 2,200 soldiers sailed to the shores of Tenerife at the end of 1493 to begin Spain’s conquest of the island. However, the last of the defending Guanches did not surrender until late December 1495.
In addition to fatal injuries suffered in battle, the Guanches also succumbed to various diseases that the Spanish brought over, as the natives had little natural immunity or resistance.
3. Tenerife survived a famous attack from the British
Even though Horatio Nelson was one of Great Britain’s finest military leaders, he failed to conquer the island in 1797. In fact, the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was where a musket ball hit him in his right arm, which later had to be amputated.
To commemorate this victory, Castle Negrillo close to the Parque Maritimo César Manrique hosts an annual re-enactment on 25th July. As you would expect, Nelson always loses.
4. Tenerife was a tourist destination before the 20th century
After a period of stability, Tenerife warmly welcomed visitors to its shores and by the 1890s it was a popular holiday destination. While visitors typically stayed around Santa Cruz and Puero de la Cruz, the whole island embraced the idea of tourism.
However, Tenerife soon entered yet another turbulent period and growth was hampered when the Spanish Civil War began in 1936. After General Francisco Franco was installed as leader of a dictatorship, several of his opponents in Tenerife fled to Cuba and Latin America.
But today, there are no signs of turmoil or trouble and Tenerife has firmly established itself as a thoroughly charming and captivating destination.