There’s more to Oriental Mindoro than the famed white beach of Puerto Galera. At the southern tip of the province is the municipality of Bulalacao. A place locals used to fondly call “Bula-layo” (layo means far) due to its remoteness from the rest of the towns in the province. It was a time when the roads were rough and people had to bear almost a day’s travel to get to Bulalacao. Now with paved roads, sea ports and nearby airport, Bulalacao opened up a set of islands and beaches sans the tourist crowd. A place still with provincial feel, less commercial and genuinely laid back good time.
“Did someone turn this wooden staff around?” I asked. There were only three of us in the museum. I can clearly remember when I first passed by this wooden staff with a carved bulul (wooden carved sculptures from Cordilleras) on top with a lock of hair that it was facing out towards the window. Going back to take a photos this time with my camera after going around, I was surprised it was looking towards the room this time. Ate Fe, our guide and care taker for the Museum of Cordillera Cultural Heritage said she did not as she was busy talking to my good friend Lagalog. I tried to move the base, it was heavy and not easy to budge. Reading the small description at the base, this wooden mahogany staff was carved by a tribal shaman in the 1970s. The bulul image inspired by the image of his wife and actual lock of hair used on the top. Gave me a little goosebumps. Was it watching over us?
Admittedly, the regions of Eastern Visayas are some of the areas I haven’t visited as much. Joining the #SailEast fam tour with Tourism Promotions Board was a great opportunity to familiarize with the area. To experience, even partially, what these places have to offer. In our four-day tour we ventured to Southern Leyte’s idyllic shores and islets, Leyte’s island gem and Samar’s Eco-adventure spots.
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.
Realizing the expansion of tourism and accessibility for everyone to freely fly, it’s not enough for Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) to just carry people from one destination to another. CEB aims to lessen the impact of tourist arrivals through its sustainable program called Juan Effect launched in August 2018. By partnering with government and local stakeholders Juan Effect contributes and raises environmental awareness to local communities and tourist in local destinations. Piloting the program is fast emerging tourist destination, Siargao.
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.
The port city of Ormoc is the largest city in Leyte and the second largest in Eastern Visayas. It’s landscape of gentle plains and low rolling terrains is home to probably one of the world’s sweetest pineapples – Ormoc’s queens pineapple. There are more than 500 hectares of agricultural land and at least 210 hectares are devoted to pineapple plantations. In our stay in Ormoc, we drove one early morning to visit one of these plantations to get a glimpse of how the city’s prime crop are harvested.