Saturday, August 10, 2013

SIQUIJOR ISLAND

Location: Central Visayas, Philippines
Region: VII
Coordinates: 9012’N 1230 30’E
Total Land Area: 343.5 km2(132.6 sq mi.)
Capital: Municipality of Siquijor
Founded: September 17, 1971
Component Cities: 0
Municipalities: 6
Barangays: 134
Districts: 1
Time Zone: PHT (UTC+8)
Zip Code: 6225 - 6230
Dialing Code: 35

Blogger’s Note: The small island of Siquijor which is considered as the third smallest province of the Philippines has six (6) municipalities, namely: Enrile Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan and Siquijor.

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St. Isidore de Labrador Church in Brgy. Catamboan, Lazi, Siquijor or simply known as Lazi Church built in 1884 through the supervision of the Recollects priests


Siquijor at a closer glimpse is an island full of charm with its tranquil and endless coastal beaches. It is just an hour travel through ferry from Dumaguete City. It is just a continuation of our Bohol and Cebu trips The first time I visited it wayback 1998, through a four-island (Cebu, Bohol, Dumaguete and Siquijor) tour package which I organized it by myself, was that, I was occupied with the idea of witchcraft which the place has been noted for. But my recent travel there turned out to be so successful and enjoyable one. Gone were the days filled where I was filled with so much pessimism about the place. My group instead has traveled around the island without any trace of hesitation. What we had in our mind was to maximize the tourist spots we might visit in this beautiful idyllic island.

The interior of St. Isidore de Labrador Church


It is surprising to see such a creative architectural design like this of St. Isidore de Labrador Church. Across is the Lazi Convent, which is said to be the biggest convent in Asia completed by Filipino artisans in 1884. Both the Lazi Church and the convent was declared as National Historical Shrines and are being maintained now by the local government.

The altar of St. Isidore de Labrador Church


St. Isidore de Labrador Church and its convent is just 15 kilometers away from the town of Lazi. It is very interesting to tour inside the two majestic structures for it will reveal what life was during its glorious days.

Lazi Convent - the biggest convent in Asia


Recalling the trip, we first landed in Siquijor Port and just a few meters away, one can see the laid back town and a few stores which offers basic commodities. Then from there, we visited the Saint Francis of Assissi Church.

Saint Francis of Assissi Parish Church built on February 1, 1783 by the Franciscan priests


Siquijor Port is in the Municipality of Siquijor province and Saint Francis of Assissi Church is a part of this municipality. After a short prayer inside the church and a quick tour around the town and the church's vicinity, we headed to the municipality of San Juan.

Part of Capilay's Spring Park


This natural spring park is very accessible for it is located at the heart of the town and is open to everyone for free. It is consist of three main areas, namely: the upper pool, the swimming pool and the laundry pool where it all empty to the nearby sea. To complete the fun, the local government has equipped the park with a playground, booths, and kiosks to cater for the needs of visitors most particularly the bigger groups and for family functions.

The Creepy 400-Year Old Balete (Dalaquit) Tree


Driving further had led us to the enchanted 400-year old Balete Tree in Barangay Campalanas, Lazi Municipality.

The cascading Cambugahay Water Falls


This water falls is just two kilometers north from the town of Lazi nestled in a forested area consisting of cascading multi-tiered waterfalls coming from a collection of water sheds from the neighboring mountains, natural springs and small rain forests which empties to Lazi Bay.

While waiting for a sumptuous lunch at the picturesque Larena Triad Cafe


The scenery on top of Larena Triad Cafe is just so spectacular most particularly during sunset. Staying at the cafe is so refreshing not only with the food that it serves but most particularly with the fresh air that you breathe and the high definition colors of the skies, far sea and the rich green down the hills.

The spectacular view from the top of Larena Triad Cafe


Taken at the Cantabon Cave during my first visit in Siquijor


Check on the links for other tourist spots to visit in Siquijor as follows:

Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary
Paliton Beach and nearby hotels and resorts
Hotel Agripino and Salagdong Beach
Salagdong Forest Reserve
Bulalakaw Forest Reservation
Mount Bandilaan National Park
Kagusuan Beach
Guiwanon Spring Park
Tulapos Marine Sanctuary
Cang-isok House
Our Lady of Divine Providence
Eugenia Cave

HOW TO GET THERE

From Manila to Siquijor

Budget airlines like Cebu Pacific have daily flights to Dumaguete City of Negros Oriental for an hour travel
From Dumaguete City Airport (Sibulan Airport), you can charter a tricycle going to Dumaguete Port
From Dumaguete Port, you can have a choice of a ferry where you can board to Siquijor for an hour trip

From Cebu City to Siquijor

From Cebu City, take a bus bound to Liloan, southern part of Cebu Province, from its South Bus Terminal. Travel time varies from 2.5 to 5 hours depending on the traffic conditions.
From Liloan Port (Cebu), take a ferry to Sibulan, Negros Oriental, with a separate charge on the terminal fee for about 30 minutes
From Sibulan Port, take a jeepney for Dumaguete City
From Dumaguete City, take a ferry of your choice which will take you to Siquijor for an hour travel

Sunday, August 4, 2013

BOHOL PROVINCE

Location: Central Visayas, Philippines
Coordinates: 090 50’N 1240 10’E
Total Land Area: 4,820.95 km2(1,861.38 sq mi.)
Capital: Tagbilaran City
Founded: March 25, 1565
Divisions
Component Cities: 1
Municipalities: 47
Barangays: 1,109
Districts: 3
Time Zone: PHT (UTC+8)
Zip Code: 6300 - 6346
Dialing Code: 38

Blogger’s Note: Bohol is popularly known for its chocolate hills and tarsiers. It is also the place where the first international treaty of friendship known as "sandugo" was held in 1565 between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.


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Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Bohol


Bohol is just an average of one hour and 40 minutes from Cebu City to Tagbilaran by fast sea ferries like Ocean Jet and Weesam Express. The place has a unique beauty of its own. With a lot of tour operators now competing for a good catch of clientele, tours to Bohol in particular is now becoming affordable. You may try to get your package from this link Bohol Tours and Packages

Tagbilaran Church or presently known as Cathedral Parish of Saint Joseph The Worker


The interior of Dauis Church of Panglao Island


Bohol is noted for having a number of old churches with unique and artistic architectural designs.In fact, The Baclayon Church, which is just six kilometers away from Tagbilaran City is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines next to San Agustin Church, in Real Street, Intramuros, Manila, built in 1571. Baclayon was constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests, it is still intact and houses important relics and images reminiscent of the historic Roman Catholic religion in the country.

Front view of Baclayon Church or presently known as Church of Immaculate Conception


The interior of Baclayon Church


Tarsier watching in Vilar


Just about to board the Loboc River cruise


The Loboc River cruise


Festive lunch while on board the river cruise


Saturday, August 3, 2013

CEBU CITY AND NEIGHBORING CITIES

Location: Cebu Province, Philippines
Coordinates: 100 17’N 1230 54’E
Total Land Area: 315.0 km2 (121.6 sq mi)
Metro Land Area: 1,163.36 km2(449.18 sq mi)
No. of Districts: 2 (South and North)
No. of Barangays: 80
Time Zone: PST (UTC+8)
Zip Code: 6000
Dialing Code: 32
Legal Class: Highly urbanized City
Income Class: First Class

Blogger’s Note: Cebu City is popular for its festival called Sinulog held every third Sunday of January which commemorates the Filipino people's pagan origin, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism.

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Part of the Basicilica del Sto. Nino


Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines which was established as the first settlement of the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines for 333 years. Its strategic location and deep sea ports makes it the country’s main domestic shipping port. It is considered to be the second most important metropolitan area and also second most populous city in the Philippines after its capital, Metropolitan Manila. click here for hotel bookings and learn more about Cebu City by reading this link

This Sinulog photo is owned by this link which is the grandest of all Philippine festivals


Main entrance of Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Hotel


Flying to Cebu City touches down in Mactan International Airport of Mactan Island. This island prides itself its world class beaches in terms of amenities and facilities where one of it is the Shangri-La Resort and Hotel. Another is the Cebu Beach Club, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort and you can also visit the nearby paradise-like top 7 resorts in the province of Cebu. All these can be enjoyed by you in just a short span of time.

The historical Lapu-lapu Shrine of Mactan where Lapu-lapu killed Magellan


From the airport, one can drive thru Lapu-lapu and visit the miraculous Virgen de la Regla.. To continue the drive, you will pass thru Mandaue City Hall, National Shrine of Saint Joseph Mandaue and Cebu International Convention Center.

Mandaue City Hall


Saint Joseph National Shrine of Mandaue


Part of the Ayala Center of Cebu City


The Malacanang Palace of the South


The historical Fort San Pedro


Touring around Cebu City minus the beach swim or hopping would only need at least a day including buying souvenir items. Food and delicacies are served in some of its carenderias, restaurants and hotel dining. Important tourist spots in Cebu City are: Cebu Heritage Monument Park of Parian, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Magellan's Cross, Cebu Taoist Temple and Basilica del Santo Nino

The South Road Development Properties


Much has been invested on the southern part of the city as operated and managed by the South Road Properties where your can see various images in this link. When completed, Cebu City will be turned into one of the most important cities in Asia. To know more about the South Road Properties, you may click this link.
Refreshing along the poolside of Marco Polo Hotel at 600 feet elevation overlooking Cebu City


Late afternoon is the best time to spend time along the poolside of Marco Polo Hotel formerly Cebu Plaza Hotel located in the scenic Nivel Hills 600 feet above sea level. It offers a 360% scenery of the whole city of Cebu. Read and learn more about the hotel by clicking this link, Marco Polo Hotel. Read this link to learn how to travel within Cebu City and going out from Cebu to its neighboring islands.