Meeting the Sister Islands: Hermana Menor and Hermana Mayor

Zambales is popular with each beaches. However I am sure that a lot of people like me wants to enjoy the serenity of place far from the crowd without traveling too far.

Here is another place where you can enjoy your me time or even with your friends. It’s called Hermana Menor and Hermana Mayor. This sister islands literally mean Younger and Elder sister. They are not as famous as Subic, Anawangin, Nagsasa, Capones, Magalawa, and Potipot. However you will surely enjoy its raw beauty and crystal clear water.

Though Live more Adventures and Tours I was able to visit the smaller island called Hermana Menor. It is also called Makatira Island by the locals.It is a 30 mins boat ride from the port.

When we landed, “Wow!” was the very first word that came out of my out. It has a long creamy white shore surrounded by crystal clear water.  For those who love sand bars, you will surely enjoy it’s long creamy sand bar.

We were not able to visit the bigger island called Hermana Mayor because it is now privately owned by the Toda family.

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Photo by Chi_Aguanta

Travel Guide : How to commute going to Hermana Menor and Hermana Mayor Island Zambales

  1. Take a Victory Liner bus bound for Sta Cruz Zambales. Fare is from P450-490 and travel time is from 5-6 hours. Tell the driver  drop you off at the Petron Station in Brgy. Lipay, Sta. Cruz. Terminal is located in Sampaloc, Caloocan and Pasay.  Note that there’s no direct Sta. Cruz bound bus in Cubao terminal. (Check out their trip schedules)
  2.  From Brgy Lipa’s Petron station, ride a tricycle going to the port. Fare is PhP 10 per person and the ride will take 3-5 minutes.
  3.  From the port, rent a boat to take you to Hermana Menor and/or Hermana Mayor. Travel time is from  30-40 minutes.  Boat fee is from PhP 1,300-1,500 (two way) with a maximum capacity of  5-6 pax.
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Photo by Chi_Aguanta
Notes :
  • There’s a mini-market just across the gas station. You can buy fish, meat, vegetables and fruits that you can cook in the island just in case you did not bring cooked food.
  • Make sure to bring your drinking water.
  • Water is avalable but for rinsing only. 
  • Hemana Menor entrance fee is Php 100.00 per head
  • Four picnic cottages. You can rent a cottage good for 15-20 persons for PhP 1000. Three cottages good for 8-10 persons can be rented for PhP 500 each cottage. There’s also a Victorian-inspired dining set available.
  • Separate basic rest rooms for men and women is available
  • No store in the island so make sure to bring your basic needs before heading to the island.
  • Camping overnight is not allowed.
  • Leave No Trace Princile

How to prevent sun burn?

 

Summer time is when you can feel the sun in it’s full blast everyday. It is the time of the year where everyone love to hit the beach. Weather you choose to go to the beach to mountains it is very important that you protect yourself, protect your skin from getting burned by the sun. Here are some tips on how to prevent from getting sun burn.

  1. COVER UP
    – Wear clothing or outdoor gear specially designed to provide sun protection. Check the label for its ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). The higher the number, the better. Dark colors offer more protection, as do fabrics treated with UV- absorbing chemicals.
    – Aside from your skin you also have to protect you head and eyes. Choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection, so your eyes are protected from both UVA and UVB rays. Use cap , visor or preferably wide-brimmed hat.
  2. USE SUNSCREEN FREQUENTLY AND GENEROUSLY
    – Use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher. If you plan to spend more time under sun exposure I recommend SPF 30 and above. I you have a more sensitive skin SPF 50 and up is highly recommended.
    – Choose a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB ray protection . Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply it every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
  3. AVOID PEAK HOURS
    – If it possible avoid the sun during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m since this is when the UV rays are stronger.
  4. DRINK A LOT OF WATER
    – Keep your skin hydrated.

The (un)Laki Beach Escapade

Through LiveMore Adventures Travel and Tours we had a chance to visit Laki Beach in Mariveles
Bataan. After four hours of land travel the white sand, clear water and fresh air welcomed us.

This newly discovered beach was just opened to the public by last quarter of 2016.

Since it was a holy week I was expecting that the place will be crowded just like any other beaches. Compared with other commercialized and more popular beaches Laki beach has still enough space to enjoy the serenity of the shore.

 

Thank you Miggy Thirdy and Chad for this photo.

 

We had so much fun. We swim, some went on cliff diving, we went camping, play in the sand like kids and enjoy the company of each other. Laki beach is really a good place to go.

 

Thank you Miggy Thirdy and Chad for this photo.
Thank you Miggy Thirdy and Chad for this photo.
The following day, our enjoyment and itinerary was cut short when the caretaker of the island asked all the tourist to depart the premise before 4:00 pm and new tourist were not allowed to come in. The chaos then started. Our boat supposed to pick us up by 10:00 am for our island/cove hopping. Since we are not yet done during their arrival they and everyone needs to leave the place ASAP our boat pick up other tourist so everyone can vacate the place. Our organizer contacted the boat operator, Kuya Tikboy and they promised that the boat will come back to pick us up. We then waited for hours and the boat was able to pick us up before 4:00 pm. It was really a great inconvenience for us to wait for almost four hours before we can leave. However we can’t blame the boat operators. They were just the first one to take the blame but i personally don’t think that it was their fault. This commotion started when as per the locals and the caretakers  someone, who claims as the owner Laki beach will be coming. Everyone were caught unprepared. All the tourist were instructed for vacate the are before 4:00 am.

 

Thank you Miggy Thirdy and Chad for this photo.
As per the last update that we heard from Mam Melca (boat operator) the documentation for the title for the said cove is in process by the “atty” who is claiming the rights of ownership. As per the care taker result will be release by month of May but it is indefinite. Therefore by this time Laki Beach remain close.
I don’t want to focus on the bad things since nevertheless our overnight stay is still fun and the travel time is all worth it.
Instead of focusing on the “unfortunate” incident I want to make a plea to everyone.
base on looking at the photos below I am sure what it is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

LET US ALL BE RESPONSIBLE TRAVELERS, Please practice the LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLE!


As I explore the place I was so sadden when I saw the trashes scattered all  over the place even in the sand near the shore. Bonfire remains, disposable plastic material and liquor bottles were left!

Thank you Miggy Thirdy and Chad for this photo.

 


 

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Travel Guide : How to get to Laki Beach in Bataan?

 

How to get there via public transportation?

1. Assuming that you are from Manila you can ride a bus. The most popular bus lines bound to Mariveles were Bataan Transit / Genesis, they have terminal in Cubao, Avenida and  Pasay). Fare is approximately Php300
2. Drop-off point at Mariveles town proper where the bus terminal is.
3. Proceed to Brgy. Balon. tell the driver to drop you at Porto where you can rent the boat going to Laki beach.

  • You can take a jeepney with minimum fare
  • or you can take a tricycle for less than Php100 (much expensive)

4. Rent a boat going to Laki Beach.

  • Daytour: boat is Php2000-Php2500. overnight is Php3000-Php3500. (Capacity: 5-7pax) That includes Cove to Cove Adventured.
  • You can look for Kuya Tikboy or Ate Melca (the wife)  09075946138 / 09971074378

What to do in Laki beach?
  • Swim
  • Take Photos
  • Cliff dive
  • Camping
  • Island hopping
  • Bring your own food You can also cook there.
  • If you want to go for an over night,bring your own tent or hammock..
  • There are few cottages that you can use free of charge.
  • No cellular signal in the area.
  • No electricity
  • There were small sari-sari store where you can by basic stuff (subject for availability). As much as possible bring your essential stuff before going there.
  • Water source is available but not for drinking.
  • Please practice LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLE
IMPORTANT REMINDER.

 

As of this writing we were the second to the last group who departed Laki Beach. During our last day of our stay everyone was asked by the care taker to depart the beach and new tourist were not allowed to come in. As per the rumors the owner of Laki Beach is coming to visit the area and might turned it to a private property/Resort. I hope it will just remain a rumor.

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Cawag Pentalogy Day Hike Challenge Accepted!

I have recently joined the Cawag Pentalogy day Hike Challenged that was organized by Live More Adventures. The goal of this challenge is to conquer five mountains in an average of 16 hours. There were total of 23 participants who took the challenge.
Cawag is located in Subic, Zambales Philippines. There are five mountains that mountaineers climb in Cawag, They normally do trilogy (Three)  and Quadrilogy (Four) Trek and the most challenging is Pentalogy(Five). The five mountains were Mt. Balingkilat (MASL 1,100), Mt. Bira Bira (MASL 450, Mt. Naulaw, Mt. Dayungan (MASL 935), and Mt. Cinco Picos (MASL 881) 
Pentalogy is definitely  not for beginners. Trekking for 16 hours is not a joke. It takes a lot of endurance, perseverance and patient in reaching every summit. Each mountains has its own characteristics and has its own challenges.

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Our itenerary is listed below.

Day 0

19:00 meet up.@ KFC shopwise
20:00 ETD cawag zambales

Day 1

01:00 ETA brgy.cawag (registration, secured guides)
01:30 start trek
04:00 1st water source @ kawayanan
06:00 mt.Balingkilat summit
07:00 ETD mt.Bira2x
09:00 mt.Bira2x summit
09:30 ETD mt.Naulaw
10:00 mt.Naulaw summit
10:30 ETD mt.Dayungan
11:30 2nd water source @ dayungan trail
Lunch while.on trail
14:00 mt.Dayunangan summit
14:30 ETD mt.Cinco Picos
16:30 mt.Cinco Picos summit
17:00 ETD jump off
19:00 jump off brgy.cawag
20:00  ETD manila

I did accepted the challenge unfortunate I wasn’t able to complete all five of them. We made it up to the fourth mountain (Mt. Dayungan) but not able to get to the summit. Because of so much exhaustion plus the fact that I am not a veteran mountaineer. Out of the 23 participants only 4 folks conquered all five. Congratulations to these four folks who took the challenge and accomplished it.
Most of us just made it to the  Mt. Dayungan then decided not to Mt. Cinco Pico. I may not conquered these five mountains today but I still consider it as an accomplishment. Not everyone can go  through what we have been through. Pentalogy challenge encouraged me to become more fit and be more active. Then I’m  gonna aim again to once more get to challenge and hopefully will make it by that time.
This truly is an experience of once in a lifetime. I have learned a lot. Not just about hiking but more about myself. I have learned what I’m capable off and I know with the right preparation I can do more.
I also love the people that I’m with they have help me to enjoy this experience. Special thanks to Tito Ayi our sweeper for helping us and keep on pushing us.
Cawag Pentalogy, I will see you again!
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Lazada Philippines


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Mt. Balingkilat, the “Mountain of Thunder”


Mt. Balingkilat, literally the “Mountain of Thunder” an 1100 MASL and one of the highest peaks in the Zambales Coastal Mountains and Coves area. An emerging hiking hotspot within San Antonio and Subic towns. 



Balingkilat is rocky, grassy, and windy. There is little tree cover. There are steep parts in the final legs of the trail which give additional challenge to the hikers. But all your hard word will all worth it once you get to the top. The views ais totally  refreshing. you will see the Subic Bay coastline and the neighboring mountains such as Mt. Cinco Picos.

How to get to Mt. balingkinitan

  1. Take a bus from Manila to Olongapo. Victory Liner has terminal is Pasay, Cubao and Caloocan.
  2. From Olongapo take a jeep going to Subic Municipal Hall.
  3. Take a a tricycle going to Sitio Cawag.
  4. After toy trek you have different other options where you want to go. To get back to Manila or other destination, just go back to Olongapo where you can take a bus going to your next next destination.

REMINDER

  1. Before going to any trek or hike make sure to research.
  2. Wear proper attire and gears (it doesn’t have to be expensive).
  3. Book your tickets a day before your trip.
  4. bring at least 4 litters of water or more.
  5. Leave no trace principle.
  6. Send your letter of intent to Sitio Cawag officials prior to the climb.
  7. Please your self physically and mentally prior to your climb.
  8. Enjoy !