It seems there are several title holders for the “cleanest inland body of water” in the Philippines. Good thing about this is it shows how many natural clean body of water we have. Bugang River in Pandan, Antique was the first I know to have the title through the Gawad Pangulo ng Kapaligiran. There’s also Lake Apo for Northern Mindanao. Cantingas River in San Fernando, Sibuyan Island in Romblon adds to this merry list of clean body of waters in the country.
This was stuff I only read on textbooks when I was still studying. I remember reading about Sohoton Coves and Natural Bridge Park before and has always been fascinated by this place in Basey, Samar. But it was only in our last day of #SailEast tour that I had the chance to visit this nature wonder of a lush jungle, dramatic limestone formations and a meandering river snaking through the vast 840-hectare park. It is only an hour away from Tacloban city proper, a worthy day tour when in Eastern Visayas.
The recent #SailEast fam tour brought be back to one of the exciting river adventures I had. The Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure in Paranas, Samar was quite memorable a couple of years ago. And I’m quite happy this eco-adventure destination is still going strong. This time around, the water volume was not as high as my first visit but still managed to deliver a splashing good time. I won’t delve more on the experience as you can read it from the previous post. This time, I’m updating with an informative video on this river adventure. Watch below and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
Bulacan continues to unfold as we continue our Lakbay Norte 7 trip from Malolos Historic Town Center. Riding up about one and a half hour north, we reached the banks of the snaking Angat River also knows as the Bulacan River for the San Rafael River Adventure (SRRA). This lush resort by the river resort has a tranquil laid back atmosphere with facilities. The breeze was cool and comforting, the surrounding still and quiet. Yet those who want some adrenaline rush can choose a slew of activities the resort offers.
We came with rain the last time we were in Maddela, Quirino. The waters at Governor’s Rapids were murky and flow erratic like the weather. The recent visit this year was a side-trip from Echague, Isabela, a neighboring municipality across the provincial border. It was a smooth over an hour drive on paved roads. Friends from Isabela tourism seems to be chummy with the people here in Maddela. They knew each other. This time the sun shown bright, the waters a healthy pale green and the rapids inviting. Finally we get to experience this river adventure.
The Lumineers blared through my earphones as our bus cruised along the North Luzon Express Way. After a fun breakfast at Jollibee, we were now bound for our next stop.
“O, Ophelia, you’ve been on my mind, girl, since the flood,” crooned Wesley Schultz as we sped by fields of grass.
I was lacking sleep and Nueva Ecija, whose treasures we’ll be exploring for two days, inched on the corners of my listless mind much like Ophelia does to the folk singer’s. This year’s installment of Lakbay Norte will take us across two provinces. And the underrated province of Nueva Ecija will be our gateway – the municipality of General Tinio, to be exact.
I took the front seat of the ‘torpedo’ boat. That’s what they call this long wooden motorized canoes without outriggers in Samar. Like the faluwas in Batanes, these boats are designed to navigate wild waters whereas if they have outriggers, it would easily snap from the force of the rapids. Judging by the boats, I could expect an exciting ride over at Ulot River. The Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Adventure is one of the main attraction in Samar which is also a part of the Ulot Watershed Ecotourism Loop attractions of numerous waterfalls, caves, springs and an eagle sanctuary.