TRAVELS...






"Among the world heritage sites in the Philippines, the Rice Terraces of the Philippines Cordilleras have such a powerful presence that makes them one of the most outstanding places in the country. Lying high in the Cordillera mountain range, their setting cannot be replicated anywhere in the lowland tropical landscape of the Philippines – or even anywhere in the world, for that matter.
High in the remote areas of the Philippine Cordillera mountain range, scholars believe, slopes have been terraced and planted with rice as far back as 2,000 years. Mountains terraced into paddies that still survive in varying states of conservation are spread over most of the 20,000 square-kilometer land area (7 percent of the total land mass of the Philippine Archipelago) that is in the Northern Luzon provinces of Kalinga-Apayao, Abra, Benguet and Ifugao. The improbable site is found at altitudes varying from 700 to 1,500 meters above sea level, where terraces are sliced into mountain slopes with contours that rise steeply.
Existence in the Cordillera unites man with nature, and the unparalleled view shows how man has shaped the landscape to allow him to grow rice. The sheer majesty of the terraces communicates uniqueness and strength. Besides wind and rustling leaves, there is also the constant sound of water flowing downhill on the canals that irrigate the terraces. And there is nobleness in culture and environment expressed by the timeless tranquillity of the terraces. Most Filipinos regard the terraces as their greatest national symbol". -Article from the Department of Tourism (It's More Fun in the Philippines) 
It was really a breathtaking site! I was there for one of my research jobs and was fortunate to be given the chance to enjoy and really feel this gift that God has given man to develop into a majestic and productive landscape.  

How to get there:
By bus, there are 3 ways to get to Banaue from Manila. Manila direct to Banaue. Manila to Baguio to Banaue, or the Manila to Baguio and to Bontoc, and to Banaue trip. 


or: Manila-Solano, Nueva Vizcaya-Banaue ifugao - buses heading to Tuguegarao (e.g. Baliwag transit, Victory, etc.) pass by the town of Solano. Several jeepneys ply the Solano-Banaue route or the Solano-Lagawe, Ifugao route. From Lagawe, one can then take another jeepney to Banaue.
Manila-Tarlac-Solano-Banaue - buses heading for Baguio pass by Tarlac. Vizcaya liner plies the Tarlac-Solano route at 5 am.

By car, the distance between the Balintawak Cloverleaf, in north Manila at the beginning of the North Luzon Expressway and the Welcome to Banaue sign, is about 332 km. The road is paved all the way to Banaue. Travel time can be as long as 9 hours due to the several blind curves through the mountains.
Once there, getting around is not a problem because there are plenty of jeepneys and tricycles or you can hire a van with the driver serving also as your tour guide


Boracay Island, Philippines










Boracay is a tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2km off the northwest tip of the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay. Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of the island of Panay, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region 6, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers. South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay's main entry and exit point during most of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.

From Manila, there are five airlines to choose from:
  • Philippine Airlines (PAL)
  • Cebu Pacific Air
  • AirPhil Express
  • South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) - Telephone No. +632 849-0100 (Manila)
  • Zest Airways
All these airlines provide online reservation for your convenience. The two most popular flight destinations to Boracay are:
Caticlan - a three-minute tricycle ride away to Caticlan Jetty port where you need to board a pump boat or fast craft to the island of Boracay; generally has more expensive flights than Kalibo. Curently, only propeller-type planes are allowed to land here due to its short runway.
Kalibo - a one and a half-hour van/bus ride away to Caticlan Jetty Port. I prefer to arrive here because it gives me the option to select a flight that utilizes a jet-type plane such as Airbus. Another option is via Iloilo which is a six-hour bus ride away to Caticlan Jetty Port.
At the Airport
Don't get lost especially for first time travelers and for those coming from abroad. Three airport terminals in Manila are serving flights to Boracay:
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 - serves PAL flights except those operated by AirPhil Express (they have code share for Caticlan flights); also known as the Centennial Terminal.
NAIA 3 - Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express flights; the newest terminal in front of Resorts World Manila.
Manila Domestic Airport - SEAIR and Zest Airways flights.
If you booked online, remember to bring your printed flight confirmation. You cannot enter the airport without this. NAIA 3 check-in counters Unlike with other countries, airport terminal fee in the Philippines is not yet included in the airfare. It needs to be paid separately in the airport before going to the boarding area. P200 at NAIA for domestic flights.
Upon Landing
Upon arrival, take your appropriate ride to go to Caticlan Jetty Port.
From Caticlan Airport - There will be a tourist information sheet that needs to be filled up per group (yup, not per passenger). Outside the small airport, tricycles are waiting for you. It costs P50 per chartered trip and would only take a two or three-minute ride to reach the Caticlan Jetty Port.
From Kalibo Airport - Lots of vans are waiting outside the airport for P200 per head which already includes the pump boat ride from Caticlan Jetty Port to Boracay's Cagban Port. The price of the van ride alone is P175. Travel time is more or less 1.5 hours; also give a 30-minute allowance for some waiting time and unexpected delays just to be sure. Note: Most of the vans are kinda crappy. Another option is to ride the South West Tours bus for P250.
From Iloilo Airport - I haven't tried this route yet but I read in online forums that it would be a six-hour land travel via Ceres bus to Caticlan Jetty Port.
Caticlan Jetty Port to Cagban Port
The fees and boat ticket booths are located outside Caticlan Jetty Port. There are two common options for the boat ride: the more popular pump boat (P25) which departs every five minutes and the air-conditioned Montenegro fast craft (P30). The latter seems to offer a more comfy ride but is very limited and has 30 (?) or so minutes of interval. Other fees include environmental fee of P75 and terminal fee of P50. The pump boat, environmental and terminal fees are to be paid in Windows 2 and 3 located at the left side of the port (facing the port). Montenegro fast craft (Window 1) is located at the right side. Enter the port and have your bags and tickets inspected. Before boarding the boat, you have to list down your name on the boat manifest. a short 7 to 10-minute pump boat ride to Boracay's Cagban Port
Almost There
Tricycles are already waiting for you at the Cagban Port. The fare per head depends on where you'll alight (ask your hotel/guesthouse); it normally costs P20 per head. For comfort, we prefer a chartered ride at P100 per trip

(From: boracay.org)



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