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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Isla Vista Resort Midpapan, Pigkawayan North Cotabato

Mindanao places like Cotabato is hardly exposed to some tourist because of some serious misunderstanding between Christians and Muslims. But nowadays, little by little, Cotabato is beginning to show some tourist attractions which we never missed. There are nice and hospitable people living there. We witness that during our short vacation at Isla Vista Resort.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

It is not really an unplanned trip. A friend of mine instantly invited us to visit Isla Vista Resort. We was enticed by his words and wonderful description on the said place so we immediately packed things up and found ourselves sitting in a van going to North Cotabato. While sitting on the van, I am thinking how great this resort can be. It was a 5 hour trip. We drop at Pigkawayan highway and waited a PUJ going to Midpapan I. And from the PUJ terminal in Midpapan, we take a motorcycle going to Isla Vista Resort. It was an enticing place. It is full of rice fields and I was amazed when I found out that the resort was located in the middle of the rice fields. Unexpected really. :D Before we reached the resort we needed to walk for a few kilometers in the middle of the rice fields, it is indeed a nice view, all you can see is a very green rice fields. We also crossed and walked along the dike or irrigation.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

When we reached Isla Vista Resort, the owner meet us and welcome us inside. He was very hospitable. The place is cool, stress free and very relaxing. The swimming pool's depth is 7 feet. They have a kid's pool and nice cottage location. Beside the swimming pool, there are two large ponds which is divided to separate variety of fishes like Bangus and Tilapia. The cottages are located between the two ponds. It was designed like that for you to go fishing while you are in the cottage. The fishes you catch will rate to PHP120.00-PHP180.00 per kilo depending on the fish variety.

You can grill the fish for free and cook rice there, you just need to asked the care taker or the owner. Videoke system is also available for additional entertainment. All I can say that Isla Vista Resort is really a relaxing place and far away from crowded city.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

You should include this place in your travel journal and I would strongly recommend this resort if you will visit North Cotabato. In order to get there, from Davao City simply take a van that headed to Kidapawan and North Cotabato. You can find the van terminal at Ecoland, Davao City. Van fare is only PHP210.00 and will took 5 hours before you can reach Midpapan. Ride a public jeep with Pigcawayan route and jump off at the jeep terminal. From the terminal, there are motorcycles parking, just asked them to take you to the Isla Vista Resort. Motorcycles will only drop you at the beside the rice fields. You can walked the way to the resort.

Location: Midpapan, Pigkawayan North Cotabato
Budget: 1000-2000 per person


Here are some pictures taken at Isla Vista Resort.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines Isla Vista Resort

Monday, March 7, 2011

Travel Guides To Help You Out This Summer

trekking guide and tips

Philippines has seven thousand one hundred seven islands counted during low tide that's why it's not a surprise that nature hiking, white sand and seas comes to mind for most people. The Philippine archipelago is really blessed with nature attractions like majestic waterfalls, spectacular caves and white sand beaches and resorts. It is one of the country in Asia that is nowadays considered a fast emerging tourist spots and a vacation island.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baguio City Tour - Bell Church, Burnham Park, Horse Riding and Mines View

I started traveling outside Mindanao when Cebu Pacific Air offers very low air fare. They usually offered Piso fare and we tried hard to book for some seats. Last February, we successfully booked at Cebu Pacific Air through their Piso fare promo. We choose Baguio City as our travel destination. Baguio City is one of the popular, highlighted tourist spots in the Philippines and considered as the best places in the Philippines. It is described to be a cold weather place because of it's high land location. Baguio City is a small improving town with a very nice people. There are many nice places to visit in Baguio during your stay.

places to visit in Baguio

places to visit in Baguio

We reached Baguio City around 9:00 in the evening. It is a long trip and good thing the bus has television which helps us to be awake. We noticed that we just entered on Baguio City as we started to see lights down at the other cities. And as we jumped off the bus, the cold breeze really knocked us down. We even wear jackets but still the temperature is very cold. That time we missed the Panagbenga event but the city is still crowded because of the live bands at the Session Road. We decided to go around the road, went to bars and watch some live band shows. After that, we checked in at Rider's Lodge and take some rest for our day tour tomorrow.

We started our first day tour by taking a breakfast with our tour guide and driver. We hire a van to tour us around. One nice spot that I like the most is the Baguio Bell Church. We can usually see some Chinese temple at Cebu City and in Davao City but Baguio City is the best Chinese temple I ever seen. You will have a great experience climbing the top of the temple and see the breathtaking view downstairs. Since it is a high land, you will really need to exert effort climbing so that you can reach the top.

places to visit in Baguio

places to visit in Baguio

places to visit in Baguio

On the temple you will see a nice sculpture like sea dragon, great lion, Chinesse writings and a garden like look. Other than that, there are many places to visit in Baguio City. It is really a great experience and a must included place in your travel blog.

places to visit in Baguio

How To Get There Without Taking a Package Tour

We travel from Davao City to Manila via Cebu Pacific Air and from Manila you can ride a bus going to Baguio City. There are two bus terminals in Manila that are bounded to Baguio City. We choose the Victory Liner bus terminal in Pasay City since it is much nearer from Mall of Asia. You have 3 options in bus fare. There is a non air conditioned with a cheaper fare, PHP500.00 for an air conditioned bus with 3 stops and PHP700.00 for non stop deluxe airconditioned bus. Approximately the travel will took you 5 hours so better travel during sleep time so you can save the remaining time on your city tour and then travel back daylight to witness the nice view of whole Baguio City.

Suggested Itinerary For Baguio City Tourist Spots

Day 1
10:00 am Davao Airport
12:00 nn ETD Davao Airport
01:00 pm ETA Manila Airport
01:30 pm Mall of Asia Tour
06:00 pm Dinner
07:00 pm ETA Pasay Victory Liner Bus Terminal
08:00 pm ETD Bus Terminal
01:00 am ETA Baguio City
02:00 am Lodge at Rider Lodge (Suggested Inn-PHP900.00 for 4 persons in 1 airconditioned room)

Day 2
06:00 am Breakfast
07:00 am Prepare for Baguio Tour
08:00 am Strawberry Farm
09:00 am ETD Strawberry Farm
09:30 am Botanical Garden
10:00 am Horse Riding, Wright Park
11:00 am Lunch
01:00 pm Philippine Military Academy
02:00 pm Burnham Park
04:00 pm Mines View, Pasalubong outside Mines View
05:30 pm ETD Mines View
06:30 pm Dinner at SM Baguio
10:00 pm Session Road
12:00 mn Bus Terminal
01:00 am ETD Terminal
06:00 am ETA Manila Pasay Terminal

Location: Bell Church, La Trinidad Baguio City
Budget: 5000-7000 per person
Contact Number: 09173554788 - Kuya Sam (Offers 1 Day Baguio City Daylight Tour)
Book your flight at CebuPacificAir

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mergrande Ocean Resort

Like every cities, Davao City is widely known for having a numerous beautiful and cool white sand beaches and resorts. One resort that you should put on your travel blog list when visiting Davao City is the Mergrande Ocean Resort. This summer we decided to try Mergrande Ocean Resort since it is near to our location. Living in Davao City, this is my very first time to visit the resort. And I was amazed with the beauty of those landscaping I saw when we arrived. The resort has a nature ambiance which is really cool and very relaxing.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines mergrande ocean resort

Entering the resort you will see a mountain like wall at the back of the pool with a waterfalls effects from the top - a really breathtaking landscapes. This makes the resort attractive. Since that was summer time, the place is full of people. We enjoy though the pool wasn't that deep as we expected. You can't enjoy diving with a swimming pool with 5 feet depth only. But truly, it's ambiance is really cool, that's the thing I can assure you. Unlike other swimming pools, Mergrande's pool floor level was painted in mint green that gives the water a green color. This is perfectly designed to make it match to it's nature like ambiance.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines mergrande ocean resort

There were small cottages available inside and a cafeteria. Bringing of food isn't allowed inside however there are cottages outside, cottages that are really meant for people who's in the beach but then you can pay for one cottage if you want to bring many foods. I don't really recommend the beach because it's a little dirty and dangerous because of it's unconsistent sea level. The huge nipa hut cottage is only PHP300.00. Prices in cafeteria is also expensive so it is more good to bring foods with you and take a cottage outside.

white sand beaches and resorts in Philippines mergrande ocean resort

You can experience Mergrande Ocean Resort for a low price. Entrance fee is only PHP20.00 and PHP10.00 for children. You can enjoy the pool until 11:00PM. It is easy to get there, starting point, let's say in Davao City proper. You can take a public jeeney with Toril route at Bonifacio St. and then just ask the driver to drop you at Mergrande's highway. Then take a motorcycle to reach the place. If you get a taxi in case you are not comfortable in PUJ, that is also good. Davao City taxi drivers are very honest, meter sealed and tested and they are hospitable. So better travel now, try Mergrande Ocean Resort this summer and list it on your travel blog.

Location: Toril, Davao City
Budget: 500-1000 per person