Travel Guide : Isla De Potipot

 

If you are looking for clear turquoise water and white sandy shores of sugary sands and rough coral stones Potipot island is another place you have to check out. The island is not too crowded with an exception of summer time. The island is very accessible and affordable. This is a nice place to relax and get some serenity.
HOW TO GET TO POTIPOT ISLAND?
Commute 
  1. Take a bus (Victory Liner) going to Sta. Cruz.  Alight in Uacon, town of Candelaria just in front of Petron Station.
  2. Ride a tricycle to the port. Just tell the trike driver you are going to Potipot Island.
  3. Once at the port, hire a boat to take you to Potipot Island

 

Private
  • Drive to NLEX continuing to Rizal Hwy in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
  • Take the exit toward Olongapo City from NLEX.
  • Follow Olongapo – Bugallon Rd and Zambales – Pangasinan Rd to Uacon in Candelaria.
  • Once in Uacon, ask the locals for further direction to the port or better yet secure a contact person who can assist you when you’re there.

 

WHAT TO DO IN THE ISLAND?

 

  • Photo Ops.
  • Swimming
  • Sunset Viewing if you plan to go fo an overnight
  • Star Gazing when the night comes
  • Beach Volleyball.(bring your own volleyball)
  • Snorkel
  • Ride boat
  • Kayaking

WHERE TO STAY?
There are no hotel in the Island but there are cottages and none aircon rooms (kubo) where you can stay. If you prefer to go camping you can also pinch your own tent. Kubo rates is from Php 1500 to Php 2500 good for 5 to 10 persons and 10 to 20 persons.
If you are looking for a more comfortable accommodation there are resort near the island where you can check in. Please do you research before you there.
Here are some suggestions Potipot Gateway ResortIsla Vista Beach Resort and Sunbloom Resort

WHERE TO EAT?
No restaurants in the Island. There are mini store where you can buy basic stuff. You can either bring your own food and cook there or have your meals in the resorts where you stayed. Kitchen and grilling area is available.OTHER REMINDERS

  • The island has water source and has decent rest rooms and shower area.
  • Electricity is only available during the night but you may charge your phones and gadgets in one of the stores in the island.
  • The 2-way boat rental fee is around  P400  and is good for 5-6 people.
  • Reservation is not necessary but is an advantage especially in high season.
  • Please be considerate of other visitors. Don’t be too loud especially in the wee hours.
  • Please practice LNT

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Travel Guide : Baler, Aurora

FACTS ABOUT BALER
  • Baler is a municipality and the capital of Aurora province
  • the home town of Manuel L. Quezon
  • Its original name was Kinagunasan
  • Known as a surfing destination specilally during surfing season from September to February. Waves can reach up to nine feet high.
Origin of the name “Baler”
There are different theories about the origin of the name Baler.
  1. Fron the local legend, it came come “Balid” the name of a wise powerful Lakan or chieftain who lived in the village in the area.
  2. From the dialect spoken by nomadic people of the area. “Baled,” a word in the latter’s language, meant waves.
  3. Some people said that it was from a women’s name, Valeriana. Other says it was from a missionary named Fray Pedro Valeriano.
  4. The last version was that Baler came from the word “Balod” which is the name of a large mountain dove which abounded in the area.
HOW TO GET TO BALER
Direct Bus to BalerGenesis Transport Bus provides the only direct route to Baler from Metro Manila. They have 5 to 6 trips daily form Manila to Baler. Daily trips starts from 3:00am to 7:30am. Bus fare is around 550.00 pesos.
Genesis Transport
G/F & 2/F Genesis Transport Building, 704 EDSA cor New York St., Cubao Quezon City
Phone : (02)332.8034 / (02)421.1425 Email : genesistransportinc@gmail.com
They also have luxury trips via Joy Bus (also owned by Genesis Transport) . Travel time is five hours. Bus fare is around 750.00 pesos.
Bus via CabanatuanIf your schedule will not permit you for a direct route, you can opt to take bus going to Cabanatuan City. When you get to Cabanatuan Central Terminal there are Vans waiting going to Baler. There are a lot of buses going to Cabanatuan City. Bus fare is 185 pesos fro aircon buses. Van fare is 220 pesos. Three to four hours travel time going to Cabanatuan then another three hours going to Baler.
via Private TransportationFrom Manila, enter the North Expressway at Balintawak and exit at Sta. Rita Bulacan. From there, follow the highway leading to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. From Cabanatuan City Proper, follow signs leading to Bongabon until you come to a fork, where you see a sign “to Baler” headed right. Turn right and you will reach the foot of the Baler-Bongabon highway which eventually runs right into Aurora National Memorial Park. Beware of wild zigzagging roads, fast trucks and landslides during rainy season. After approximately 150 kilometers, you will see the Aurora Welcome Arch. Proceed until you reach the town of San Luis. Stay on the highway until you see the sign going to Baler, and you will be in its town proper within minutes.
To go back from Baler to Manila you can take the buses directly going to cubao. But during the day your option is to take van going to Cabanatuan City and then bus going to Cubao.
HOW TO GET AROUND BALER?
The usual way around Baler is via Tricycle. From the central terminal going to Sabang beach cost 15 pesos per person. If you came with private transportation you can also bring your own bike and bike around the area. You also walk. If you want to go to a tour you can hire a tricycle. 500 pesos for half day tour and 800 pesos for whole day.
If you will be visiting Baler, Aurora Province and need someone to Tour you around please don’t hesitate to contact ZOREN VILLANOS of BACTTODA no 0706. His contact number is 09108085109. This young man can give you a tour around Baler and it’s tourist attraction. You can also asked him where you can stay if your in a budget and food establishment where you can eat which are very affordable. This man is very nice, polite and very accommodating.
WHERE TO STAY?
There are a lot of transient houses around Baler. You can do online search if you wish to do reservations (specially during pick season). For regular days including weekdays you can easily find transient houses beside or near Sabang beach. You can asked asked Zoren for an affordable place to stay and he can bring you there and you can choose the type of rooms that you want.
If you are not planning to spend you entire stay in the transient house you can visit SUNRISE TRANSIENT. You can contact Ate Hannah/Anna at 09482665540. Please note this is just a basic aircon room with CR. Has 2 queen size bed good for 4 people but very spacious. Nothing special I should say. Just a good place to sleep after a long tiring day.
You can get a non aircon room for 800 pesos good for 4 person, Aircon rooms start at 1200 pesos also good for 4 person. There are also other luxury resort in baler such as Costa Pacifica.
WHAT TO DO IS BALER?
Learn to Surf at Sabang Beach
What’s the sense of going to Baler, specially if it is your first time without surfing. Surfing typically cost 500 pesos (200 for the surf board rent and 300 for the instructor) good for an hour.
Go for a Tour
Whole day tour cost 800 pesos and 500 pesos for Half day. The tour typically includes the following :
Millennium Tree
It is a Balete Tree, which is more than 600 year old. It stand 65 meters or more than 200 ft tall. has a crown diameter of 60m. It needs 50 people standing side-by-side and hand-in-hand to circle the tree. Entrance fee is 15 pesos.
Ditumabo Waterfalls
Experience the clean and crystal clear water of Ditumabo Waterfalls also known as Mother Falls. The tour only includes the ride going to the entrance. Since Ditumabo waterfalls is located from another town you will be required to get a tour guide. 200 pesos for every tour guide and it’s good for 10 person. Entrance fee is 30 pesos.

Diguisit Beach and Aniao Islets
This is were you can find stunning rock formations. Good for photo ops. Just be cautious as you hop through the rocks because they are slippery. On the left side you can find the Aniao Islets.

Diguisit waterfalls
Along your way to Diguisit Beach you can stop over at the Diguisit waterfalls. It is literally beside the road. In just less than 5 mins hike you can take photos of the falls.

Ermita Hill
As per the story, a great storm came and a huge wave called “tromba marina” washed out the old settlement in Baler, Aurora. The old town location was in Barrio Sabang. It was believed that the known survivors were the Angaras, Bijasas, Bitongs, Lumasacs, Carrascos, and Pobletes who swam (take note of the word ‘swam’) in the nearby Ermita Hill. The families who survived the disaster were said to have climbed up the hill for safety. You can find a chapel, view decks, gazebos, a large picnic area, and restrooms in Ermita Hill.
There is nothing much to see here except to the nice overlooking view of Sabang Beach and Baler. Ermita Hill is open to visitors from 6AM to 7PM. Entrace fee is 15 pesos.

Museo de Baler
First thing that you will notice in Museo de Baler is the building unique facade. This museum is faily new so do not expect too much. The first floor contains dew artifacts while the second floor displays mostly nice paintings.

Dona Aurora Quezon House
Few block away you will find the Dona Aurora Quezon House. Dona Aurora Quezon is the wife of the late Manuel Quezon and the second first lady of the Philippines. The Province of Aurora was name after her. Another familiar place that was named after her is the Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City.
Whats is the house? This is obviously not the original structure of the house. This is just a replica of the original house. It is located at corner of San Luis & Rizal St. It is a two story house. It has a in-house library. The second floor had the portrait of the Commonwealth’s First Couple. There are few old items such as cooking pots, old clothes iron (the one that uses charcoal. I remember I used to that kind of the iron during my younger years. That’s what I’ve used the first time I learned to iron my own clothes. ) and old sewing machine.
Entrance fee is 30 pesos. Make sure to keep your receipt upon payment so you no longer have to pay again.
Hanging Bridge
Experience the Hanging Bridge in Brgy Zabali!

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Lucky Beach Update

Permit has not been released yet but Laki Beach is now open for the public again. However the beach is no longer free. Expect an entrance free of Php 400 as per source.

Laki Beach Update!

As per our source Laki Beach will be opening again this May 10 2015. If you are looking for nice place where you can enjoy the sun, sand and clear water, this is surely a must visit place.

For a hassle free organized event, Live more Adventures and Tours will have a 2 days and 1 night event on May 20 2017. Click here for more information  “Laki Beach (2 days and 1 night)

However if your wish to go solo or DIY, here’s a little help “How to get to Laki Beach in Mariveles, Bataan

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

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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Travel Guide : How to commute to Cayucyucan Beach

 

1. By land or by air going to Daet.

a. By land travel, ride a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte. There are different buses that you can take from Cubao going to Daet. Philtranco, Amihan Bus Lines and Superlines are the most common. Travel time is apoximately 8 hours to 10 hours depends on what service you take and bus fare ranges from Php 500.00 to Php 800.00.

b. If you want to cut your travel time, you may opt to take a plane from Manila to Naga. From Naga take a van going to Daet (approximately 2 to 3 hours. Php 180 to Php 200)

2. From Daet, hire a tricycle or motorbike to Mercedes port, fare is around Php 100.00 to 150.00 good for 2-4 people. Then, from Mercedes port, take the short boat ride to Cayucyucan, fare is only Php 4.00 per head. From the port, take again another tricycle ride to Palm Farm Beach Resort or any nearby resort in Cayucyucan Beach.

REMINDER :  There are no restaurants in the area were you can eat. make sure you bring your own food and supplies. The resort do allow you to cook food. There are small sari-sari store in the resorts but the goods were really expensive.