*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