It’s our 5th day on our Lakbay Norte Bus which is fast becoming our mobile home after staying inside it on the road for days. On my little corner of the bus I already know the idiosyncrasies of my reclining seat, how our bus help Kenneth know I prefer Fit & Right Pine Orange and like the spice of Labzter snack than Tempura, and how I can efficiently arrange my stuff whenever we leave and board the bus. We got a few more days to go and this time, we found ourselves in Lucap for the Hundred Islands Tour.
Day 4 of Lakbay Norte finds us waking up to the cool crisp mountain air of Baguio. It’s always a pleasant experience to just breathe in the pine fresh atmosphere in this highland city. Our group stayed at the uber-comfortable chiropractic beds of Microtel. From there, we moved to Baguio Country Club for our briefing and much sought after breakfast.
Pardon the lack of updates for the past few days as I was too busy to do advance post. I just got home from sweep tour of 4 regions, 8 key province stops and 1798Km road trip up North Luzon Philippines with 26 travel-hungry people aboard a Victory Liner Bus. It was packed, tiring but also fun. It was the Lakbay Norte NPVB (North Luzon Visitors Bureau) Media Tour with the aim to rediscover the north. I’ve always wanted to do this up-north horseshoe route and now here it is. Here’s a quick look of our 7-day sojourn up-north from January 24-31, 2010.
One of the more popular destination in the Philippines is the 100 Islands. These popular cluster of islands are found in Alaminos, Pangasinan, about 4-5 hours drive from Manila going north. From Punta Riviera, Bolinao where we stayed in Pangasinan, it’s a 45 minutes drive back to Alaminos. And from Alaminos town proper, its a few minutes drive to Lucap port where the DENR station is located. It’s my second time visitng this place and thought to bring my family here as well when we went to Pangasinan since they haven’t been here.
Wooden bridge to the beach in Bolinao
It was more than 5 years ago when I first stepped foot at the beach of Patar in Bolinao, Pangasinan. It was the early days when I was starting out on the outdoors. Not too many people knew about this place before and there were only few established resorts at that time. We only stayed in our tents then but were awed by this beautiful stretch of beach which we had for ourselves. Fast forward to present, I never thought that I get to visit this place again. When, two of my sisters secretly plotted to go home without the rest of the kin knowing, they asked me to find a nice vacation place where the whole family could spend a nice weekend. We are not a very rich family so an exotic locale resort is out of the question so I tried to find a nice place only a moderate driving distance from Manila that’s not too popular but scenic and relaxing enough. Something new and something different, and alas, we found ourselves at Punta Riviera Resort.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in Patar. Taken with Nokia N82
I’ve always wanted to add a multimedia feature on my blog. In fact, I announced early last year that I would be doing an Ian Wright thing and present some of my travels in a video documentary feature. That may not be too far off the future. For now, here’s my very first video-log on our recent family outing in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Somehow this is also a bit sentimental since after more than 5 years, our whole family is together on this vacation since one of my sister in Canada and another from the USA decided to come home. Video after the jump.
Just got back home from a weekend in Pangasinan to visit the Hundred Islands. It was one hell of a road trip. Before that we had to decide wether to take the car or the bus. We ended up taking the bus.
What do I think of the 100 Islands? Well it’s OK. Not impressive really but it’s nice though. Never go to Quezon Island (The pic above where I’m standing), because it’s very crowded. One of our companions named it “Luneta” Island instead. We stayed overnight at Governor’s Island, the Island with the highest point among the islands there.
Well gotta go, I’m sleepy now, it was a long weekend. Will be writing more about it later. But what’s important is we already crossed that out of our list. 🙂