I learned about Buhi, Camarines Sur through Bidibidi when we visited her workshop in Baao. BD would often joke that her art style is Buhi-mian (a play on the word “bohemian”) because Buhi is one of the sources for up-cycled materials used for her handicraft. Before this, Buhi was under the radar for me when we talk about Bicol. My inquisitive self was glad to get invited recently by Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) to Buhi. It was one of TPB’s recipient areas for their project to boost the livelihood of local communities by lending some resources and training them in marketing their products. While holding their Sustainable Community-Based Tourism (SCBT) workshop, the media team was also able to learn and discover more about Buhi and its surroundings.
Aside from the majestic Mt. Mayon in Albay, the next popular active volcano in the region is Mt Bulusan. The 1,565 meters high active volcano has cracked and rugged peaks. Locals often refer to Mt Bulusan as the male counterpart of the “female”, Mt. Mayon. Bulusan Volcano may not have that picturesque cone-shape form but the volcano and its surrounding area of rainforest and lakes is declared a national park. And recently, I had the fortune of visiting the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park twice. Seeing for myself and experiencing what this rainforest natural park has to offer.
After 9-10 months since our community quarantine started, destinations have started to slowly and carefully ease up restrictions. To jumpstart our travel industry, major destinations like Boracay, Baguio and Bohol served as a model for safety protocols and procedures for travel. Last December 2020, world-class tourist destination, Palawan opened its doors to outsiders, particularly for those coming from Manila. Coron, Palawan, ushered in welcoming tourist. In company with DOT-MIMAROPA, we were able to experience how it is like to travel safely to Coron, Palawan. An exciting invitation to see how travel has changed during the pandemic. Also to check the state of Coron island’s, beaches and other attractions.
For a moment, I sat on the concrete bench, gazed at the blue sky and clouds mirrored at the still lake. It was a tranquil space in the midst of greens. Jamboree Lake was unknown to me until a fellow outdoor enthusiast and biker, Cha, posted her visit here on social media. I got curious of this lake found within the city of Muntinlupa. Much more when I learned it was the smallest natural lake in the country. With the pandemic prohibiting our movement, it was a challenge to find a patch of nature to explore and enjoy in the stifling concrete landscape of the city. So this was a good starting point for adventure.
We were supposed to visit other beaches in Libjo area but the weather wasn’t getting any better when we left Pangabangan island. Grey skies continued to darken as the afternoon gets deeper. The waters were starting to get wild too. So my boatman suggested to visit the inland attraction, Lake Bababu instead. Found in Basilisa, Lake Bababu is under the management of Bababu Ecotourism Adventure Park (BEAP). BEAP consist of officers from the LGU and the family of the original founder of the lake, Peter Langit.
The beach and the sea may be my playground but I always felt more at home in the mountains. The nippy air, being among trees and soothing greens is a balm to the senses. Upon learning that in my return to Antique, just barely after a month from my last visit, I would have a chance to visit one of the highlands in Panay Island. On the first night of our Antique Heritage tour, we’ll be located at 869 meters above sea level at Aningalan, San Remegios, south of Antique bordering close to Iloilo. It’s where clouds roll along hills, dramatic rock formations jutting out the cascading landscape and a glassy lake are found.
CNN listed the bikeways at Sun Moon Lake as one of the “10 Cycling Routes in the world that will take your breath away”. I get to find out for myself if this isn’t just a hype. During our luxury stay at Fleur de Chine, I made sure to wake up early and maximize my morning by the lake. We have a biking activity in the morning but there were still hours to spare for quick morning stroll. After seeing the star studded sky, placid lake and mountain gradients from my room balcony I was just too eager to get close to the lake.