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Traveling As A Passion


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#41 andre_mark

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:19 PM

I ALWAYS LOVE TRAVELLING, AND IF I HAVE THE OPPURTUNITY TO work as traveller ill grab it

#42 kaplogan

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:08 PM

Hongkong - a German beer house with the best German food outside of Germany. On Prat Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui. Their pork knuckle is just like our crispy pata. With a nice German draft beer. Yum!

yun ba yung SCHNURRBART...

#43 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:30 PM

I'm kinda hoping somebody will post something on Vigan. I've always been fascinated by the pictures I see and it's one of the places in the country I've always wanted to go to if given the chance.

pre, you may want to check out the previous pages. i posted something about my trip to vigan, laoag and pagudpud.

#44 Magaling

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:50 AM

Thanks Sally and Yumyum. I was hoping there'd be notes on places to stay. Mukhang mahirap biyahe saka di sulit kapag balikan lang. Are there any decent accomodations there?

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:21 AM

Thanks Sally and Yumyum.  I was hoping there'd be notes on places to stay.  Mukhang mahirap biyahe saka di sulit kapag balikan lang.  Are there any decent accomodations there?


we didnt actually stay at vigan. what we do is from manila we go straight to pagudpud and stayed there for two (2) days then left pagudpud early on the third day, visited fort ilocandia, then vigan, then the old churches along the way and take a look on the body of macoy at their ancestral home in paoay. :)

Edited by YUM YUM, 14 July 2004 - 09:23 AM.


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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:35 AM

teka muna pareng yum yum, mukhang we all go to the same places!

do you remember how many steps led to tinago falls? can't recall either but it was really tiring going back up. stayed there for a day. the family of gma has a house in iligan where her picture with bill clinton is displayed. lalim ng basin ng tinago falls, someone said more than 20 feet daw. i also remember the chedeng peanuts kasi maganda yung tindera na medyo tisay at dyed ang buhok. you're right, walang nightlife sa iligan, but why bother when cagayan de oro is very near.

bro SLB parang mag alternick tayo!!! he he he!!! i was only joking!!! :)

its really nice that we have so many common denominators! :)

i already forgot the number of steps down to the basin of the falls :)

am looking forward meeting you!!! i just hope matuloy thailand trip namin!!! :cool:

#47 maximusmeridius

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:04 AM

trvaeling is nice. especially when you get to the detsination. getting there is half the problem. like getting to the us. well, it snice and all when you're hter.e but can you imagine being delayed for 48 hours in an airport. its happened once.

#48 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:06 PM

Thanks Sally and Yumyum. I was hoping there'd be notes on places to stay. Mukhang mahirap biyahe saka di sulit kapag balikan lang. Are there any decent accomodations there?

pre, i'll try to find the numbers of my contacts and post it here later this week. you can go to the corner of crisiologo street near the plaza. there is a resto there that serves the best bagnet, lato salad and longganisang vigan. a couple of blocks away is a hotel/apartelle. you can't miss it. just ask around. maganda ang rooms, aircon with cable and reasonable rates.

#49 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:08 PM

bro SLB parang mag alternick tayo!!! he he he!!! i was only joking!!! :)

its really nice that we have so many common denominators! :)

i already forgot the number of steps down to the basin of the falls :)

am looking forward meeting you!!! i just hope matuloy thailand trip namin!!! :cool:

ok, pareng yum yum, sana nga matuloy kayo, para puwedeng magbilin ng chocnut!

#50 Magaling

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Posted 15 July 2004 - 09:30 AM

trvaeling is nice. especially when you get to the detsination. getting there is half the problem. like getting to the us. well, it snice and all when you're hter.e but can you imagine being delayed for 48 hours in an airport. its happened once.

Gagatungan ko lang ito ng kaunti.

Travelling is also nice if you'd be visiting the place for the first or second time. After that, it becomes a real chore. Especially, as Pareng Max pointed out, if it means taking a long flight. Even worse, when you run into problems like delays, strikes, lost baggage, etc.

Then, you also have to consider your family and work. Mabuti kung binata ka pa. When you have a family and then have to spend 30% of your time on the road like I do, medyo mahirap. And the work waiting for you at the office just piles up while you're away. Hindi nababawasan.

The best part of travelling is coming back home.

OT na ba? Sorry ha.

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 10:41 AM

Travelling is also nice if you'd be visiting the place for the first or second time.  After that, it becomes a real chore.

good mornin travel mates! :)

you're right on saying that once you've visited a place twice, the third time would be more of a chore! except boracy of course! :)

tamad me mag FR ngayon! bukas na lang! :)

see you around!!! :cool: cheers to all viajeros and viajeras!!! :cool:

Edited by YUM YUM, 16 July 2004 - 12:19 PM.


#52 JB Nalang

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 12:05 PM

we didnt actually stay at vigan. what we do is from manila we go straight to pagudpud and stayed there for two (2) days then left pagudpud early on the third day, visited fort ilocandia, then vigan, then the old churches along the way and take a look on the body of macoy at their ancestral home in paoay. :)

No matter what you say about former President Marcos, you can't fault him for his roads. I interviewed his son for a magazine feature and found out they haven't done any major repair on those Ilocos Norte roads since they were built during Marcos' time!

For those going up north, pass by Curimao, a small fishing town with unusual rock formations on the beach. Don't forget to bring home some local vinegar. Tastes like balsamic vinegar.

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 01:02 PM

No matter what you say about former President Marcos, you can't fault him for his roads. I interviewed his son for a magazine feature and found out they haven't done any major repair on those Ilocos Norte roads since they were built during Marcos' time!

huh??? :unsure: :cry: :unsure:

he he he wala lang!!! :lol:

welcome to MTC brother!!! :cool:

#54 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 04:52 PM

My last trip to Bicol in 2000


The old warrior rolled slowly on the tracks as if it had just awakened from a deep slumber. Made in Japan in 1974 and powered by Shinco eight-cylinder diesel engines on every rail car, it tried to gather speed but was unable to do so, forced to slow down for fear of being involved in an incident that might happen while running through a gauntlet of people, rows of shacks and the "skates", obstacles that stretch from city to city to town. It has happened before; the decapitation, the derailing, the destruction wrought by a runaway freight train hurtling downhill.

But don't let that discourage you from taking the Pe๑afrancia Express, the 577, which is more commonly known as the Manila to Legazpi City run. It is a 479-kilometer, 12-hour trip, with the air-conditioned cars leaving the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Tayuman station at exactly 4:00 every afternoon; the non air-conditioned trains, also called the Mayon Limited, depart for Bicol at 6:00 pm daily. Last January 10, however, I and about 50 others took an unscheduled trip on board the 577, and because of this there were unexpected incidents along the way.

The last train I took five years ago was the sleeper from Bangkok, Thailand to Butterworth, Malaysia, a 23-hour journey. My last train ride in the Philippines was way back in the 60's when our family went to Baguio via Damortis, La Union, a route that has not been traversed by PNR's behemoths since the mid-70's.

6:00 am
Buendia

It's not a pretty sight seeing the shanties, some a stone's throw away from skyscrapers in Makati and the new skyway. Many are close to being nicked by the Pe๑afrancia. And then there's the despicable habit of some who throw trash indiscriminately. According to Hermenigildo Mercado, our full-fledged conductor who first started as assistant conductor 32 years ago and who has seen it all, this is how residents of some areas where someone was run over in a previous accident vent their fury at the PNR. As if it was the train's fault. No wonder then that iron grills guard the Pe๑afrancia's windows and the doors are boarded shut at all times except when approaching a station.

8:10
San Pablo

For the first time since leaving the metropolis, I decided to open the windows. We were in Los Ba๑os and the rice fields of the International Rice Research Institute were a welcome sight, green, healthy and full of life. The sun shone brightly but not enough to cause discomfort. Besides, there's nothing compared to countryside air.

Soon after, we reach our first stop.

At first, the structure, or what's left of it, looks like some relic from a civil war. But on closer inspection, it reflects the sad state of the Philippine railway system; decrepit, depleted and desperate for government or private sector support. The PNR station here has been ravaged by the elements, its windows broken, the woodwork crumbling, and hardly anyone holding office. Several rail and freight cars are nearby, almost all of them rusty and some occupied by families. None of them will be repainted or repaired soon.

On the platform, I see children playing, two old women selling cigarettes, softdrinks, hard-boiled eggs, some sweets and biscuits, and about two dozen souls wandering about. I ask the women about the past; they say it was different before. Families left together, passengers were dressed in their finest and the trains were cleaner and brightly painted. And business was brisk. They both sigh as the train, signaling departure, toots its horn. I look at them and their toothless smiles come naturally; they then bid me a safe journey.

10:35
Pagbilao

The sound of steel slicing through stone fills the air, like some muffled scream or an interrupted gurgle or a combination of both. We wonder what has happened. A "skate", which is basically a wooden trolley, the only other vehicle that can run on the tracks, particularly when the train has passed as scheduled, has dropped some hollow blocks in its haste to escape the oncoming iron monster. We were going relatively fast at 40-50 kph. Mercado says we are fortunate that is wasn't coconut lumber the Pe๑afrancia ran over for this could have led to a derailment.

The PNR was established in 1892, six years before the Philippines became independent. This historical fact has not been lost on those who still dream of seeing the day when the railway will be finally rehabilitated or at least restored to its previous grandeur. Many pin their hopes on Antonio Macaranas, the PNR's general manager, the first in a long time who comes from the ranks.

11:30
Hondagua

The breeze from Calauag Bay is refreshing as the Pe๑afrancia stops and loads water to cool the engines. Soon we will reach Tagkawayan, the last town of Quezon the train will pass before crossing the provincial boundary and entering the town of Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. We have passed through three provinces so far and while the ride has generally been comfortable, one cannot help but wonder at the potential of a railway system that can run smoothly from La Union to Legazpi City, the businesses it will spawn, the jobs it will create and, most importantly, the pride it will generate.

2:45
Naga City

We have traveled 377.57 kilometers. Here, we take on additional fuel for there are no more depots until Legazpi City. The Pe๑afrancia consumes about 200 liters of diesel on one trip. Its engines continue to be maintained by loyal engineers and technicians, many of whom have been with the PNR for more than 20 years. Mercado says the oldest employee who retired last year stayed for 43 years. His father was also a conductor before him, although he adds that none of his children have followed his footsteps. Back in the old days, this was how it went for many families.

5:40
Legazpi City

The Mayon volcano is magnificent in the fading light. Indeed, from any angle, it has a perfect cone that is occasionally engulfed by clouds. Or are they the remnants of volcanic dust?

It has been quite a day but the Pe๑afrancia looks as if it can still go hundreds of kilometers. The chief engineer steps out and looks at his beloved train, silently admiring its durability and ability to bring passengers to their destinations. He winks at me and gives the thumbs up sign. Yes, the Pe๑afrancia* will return to Manila tomorrow.

*One-way fare on board the Pe๑afrancia is P297.00. It's advisable to bring your own food and water. Earlier this week, the PNR commissioned 20 used coaches it received from the East Japan Railway Co. They are 20 years old but look very comfortable.

#55 storm

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 10:52 AM

Bravo Pareng Sally. It's like reading a travel magazine.

No pictures needed. I can vividly see on my mind your PNR experience and that made it more exciting. Making yours as my own. Besides, its free.

I haven't been to Bicol.

Thanks bro.

#56 JB Nalang

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 03:56 PM

If you're going to Bicol, might as well pass by Mt. Banahaw, haven of nature spirits and lambanog. Teka, isn't that the same thing? :)

Try Kinabuhayan Cafe Bed&Breakfast for gourmet meals and interesting treks. http://www.klar.us/kinabuhayan_cafe

#57 JB Nalang

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 03:59 PM

huh??? :unsure: :cry: :unsure:

he he he wala lang!!! :lol:

welcome to MTC brother!!! :cool:

Thanks for the welcome, Yum. I freelance for some magazines and am thinking of doing some more travel writing so this forum should be invaluable.

#58 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 04:02 PM

Bravo Pareng Sally. It's like reading a travel magazine.

No pictures needed. I can vividly see on my mind your PNR experience and that made it more exciting. Making yours as my own. Besides, its free.

I haven't been to Bicol.

Thanks bro.

thanks, pre. modesty aside, it has been published...just want to share with you folks the fact that rp is a beautiful country...the best destinations are hardly known...remember, it's not just baguio, boracay, palawan and cebu...7,000 islands tayo and less than a 1000 have been visited...kaya, magplano na kayo... ng biyahe

#59 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Yum. I freelance for some magazines and am thinking of doing some more travel writing so this forum should be invaluable.

pareng, jb, welcome aboard...freelance writer din ako...nice to know you've discovered this thread...keep on writing

#60 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 04:23 PM

more travel stories

SAMAR ISLAND: SERENE AND SURREAL


I have seen sunsets from almost every province in the Philippines, including the famous one on Manila Bay. But nothing beats the sunset I saw during the drive from Lawaan, Eastern Samar to Marabut and Basey, Western Samar, a journey that takes about two hours, depending on your speed on the newly built concrete highway.

The calm waters of San Pedro Bay, which empties out to the Leyte Gulf, reflected the violet sky that contrasted with the light orange rays of the fading sun. At the distance were several massive rock formations that stood out like geological abstractions, their size and silence completely overwhelmed those who gaze at them. If you’re a painter, you will want to have your oils and brushes ready for this scene. If you’re not, just sit back and enjoy.

Historical Highlight

On September 28, 1901, feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, more than 200 men from the towns of Balangiga, Giporlos, Lawaan and Quinapondan, Eastern Samar donned women’s clothes, wore hoods, made their way to the church in Balangiga and pretended to attend a wake. The night passed uneventfully but as dawn approached and the bells rang, they silently slithered outside, shouted revolutionary slogans and completely surprised Company C of the 9th US Infantry Battalion. Using the machetes and knives they cleverly concealed in their robes, the men stabbed, slashed and slaughtered about 50 of the Americans. This event is re-enacted annually.

Biggest Disappointment

Samar was rather tame and quite laidback by the standards often set by repetitive reports in some publications. I did not encounter any leftist rebels torching a town and in possession of subversive documents while fleeing from soldiers, or children begging for food, for example. True, there’s not much infrastructure when compared to neighboring Leyte.

But then maybe this is the secret. Having been kept backward by successive governments has made Samar the paradise it is today. And while many of its people may be poor, the smiles on their faces reflect contentment and not misery.

Biggest Mistake

Basey was celebrating its annual fiesta on the same day of the re-enactment in Balangiga and everyone was looking forward to the arrival of sons and daughters, some of whom had been away for decades. The whole town was partying and woe to the cows, pigs and chicken that had to be sacrificed for the occasion. Fireworks went with the festive atmosphere and rum, gin and beer were guzzled with gusto. The sudden clang of cymbals ushered a parade and street dancers from different barangays lent a carnival air. Suddenly, the lights went off. Patience first took hold but soon after everyone was cursing the local supplier of electricity. How could they do this now?

Best Hotel

I can’t say much about hotels in Samar…. mainly because I did not stay at any. But since Tacloban City in Leyte is the usual point of entry to this part of the archipelago, you might as well dump some of your stuff here if you don’t plan to stay overnight in Samar or don’t know anyone there in the first place. I have only one favorite, the Leyte Park Hotel, because that’s the only hotel I’ve been to in Leyte. Try to book a room on the fourth floor because it offers a great view of the San Bernardino Strait. Better still, wake up before sunrise and open the windows to let the breeze in. Then have your coffee on the veranda. The hotel had its heyday during the time of Leyte’s most famous citizen (clue: she’s also known as the iron butterfly). Today, it still stands proud, although some of the woodwok is showing signs of age. It was the ambiance, however, which I found relaxing. The other reason I stayed here is because they provide a land and boat service to rock formations off Marabut that I previously mentioned.

Nicest Beach

I call it the beach of petrified stumps, dozens of them lining a portion of Balangiga’s shore. The curious thing is that they all came in pairs with one remaining upright and the other lying on the white-grayish sand. They were sculptures that had been shaded and shaped by the rays of the sun and the pounding of the waves. No one had ever attempted to make it comfortable for the tourist, which is probably a good idea. There were no shops that sold, food, clothes or souvenir items. But the views were great, the shade pleasant. A lone hut on stilts was the only indication that another soul had found this patch of land. An excellent place to read a book, smoke a Cohiba, and swig a few shots of single malt. Once it takes effect, close your eyes and enjoy the world.

Another Sight

The savage sea rose slowly and constantly thundered against the base of jagged limestone cliffs. A shining sheet of water then clasped the rocky outcrop, a process that has been happening for ages. Not surprising then that an arch had been carved beneath a boulder that protrudes to the sea that is radiantly blue. Such scenes were uncommon; I have seen only a tiny portion of Samar and yet I was impressed. What more if one explores the Sohoton National Park, its river, caves and waterfalls?




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