CHURCH HOPPING IN ILOILO PROVINCE (Video Blog)

There are so beautiful things to describe about the Province of Iloilo. But there’s one sure thing I guess every local would agree – a trip to Iloilo Province will not be complete without paying a visit to its most prized religious assets and that is Iloilo’s imposing colonial-era churches. During my quick visit to Iloilo Province last year, I only got to visit three churches. Knowing that the province houses some of the grandest churches in the country, I vowed that in my next visit to Iloilo, I will make it a point to include the churches that I missed last year. Luckily, I made it this year.

Here’s The Travel Teller’s Church Hopping in Iloilo.

These are just some of the churches we visited in a day. I know there are many other churches in Iloilo that deserve to be included in this vlog. Someday, I’ll go back there again, explore more of its towns and marvel at their churches that have undeniably shaped the history of Iloilo Province and its towns.

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#TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Series | DAY FIVE

SIQUIJOR. The mystical Siquijor, the third smallest province in the Philippines. I have always dreamed of coming here but for some reason it always failed. And so when I planned this 20-day journey to the Visayas, a visit to the Island Province of Siquijor is a must.

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Here’s the highlights of my Siquijor Tour.

  1. I stayed at the ancestral house of my hosts in Siquijor, the Cortes family. It was Agnes Diansay, wife of cousin from Cateel who introduced me to my very hospitable hosts who are relatives of hers. The family is also related to the actress Erich Gonzales who spent years in Siquijor before her family moved to Davao. The house where I stayed is the same house where the beautiful actress lived.
  2. I started my tour visiting the Provincial Capitol Building of Siquijor. It wasn’t that grand compared to other Capitol Buildings I’ve visited in the country. From the Capitol, Leo Miel, my host turned awesome tourguide, brought me to our first destination – the Siquijor Church in the town of Siquijor, the capital of Siquijor Province.
  3. I rented a motorbike I can use for the whole day. It costs me Php 350.00 plus Php 100.00 fuel. It lasted the whole day.
  4. There are five towns comprising the whole Province: San Juan, Lazi, Maria, Enrique Villanueva, Larena and Siquijor, the capital town. The best way to see the best of Siquijor is to circumnavigate the five town.
  5. First stop is the CAPILAY SPRING PARK in San Juan. It is a natural spring-fed swimming pool situated at the heart of the town Plaza. Entrance fee: FREE.
  6. Second stop is the 400-year old ENCHANTED BALETE TREE in Lazi. The enchanting tree is not a sight to behold but also provides water to its residents. Must try is the FISH SPA as fishes nibble the dead skin and cleanse the feet. Nakakakiliti. Hahaha.
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  7. Third stop is SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR CONVENT also in Lazi. It is the biggest among the oldest convents in the Philippines. Just awemazinG!
  8. Fourth stop is SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR CHURCH just across the convent. The church was constructed in 1884 using indigenous coral stones and local hardwood. The church preserved its original wooden flooring. It leaves me at awe.
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  9. Fifth stop is the CAMBUGAHAY FALLS also in Lazi. Secluded and relatively unexplored, the waterfalls beckons trekkers for a refreshing dip.
  10. Sixth stop is SALAGDOONG BEACH in Maria, an idyllic hideaway of fine white sand beach tucked in a cove just 6 kilometers northeast of Maria. Cliff jumping is among the must-do challenging thing when you get here. I did not try though. Hahaha.
  11. Seventh stop is the TRIAD in the highland part of Larena overlooking the beautiful of Suiquijor. Sunset view is spectacular here.
  12. Eight stop is the
  13. It was a beautiful sunset the ended my day in Siquijor. Just glorious.
  14. Sumptuous dinner was served together with the family who welcome me in Siquijor.

TTTVisayas SIQUIJOR (23)THANK YOU SO MUCH CORTES FAMILY for the warmth and kindness you’ve shared to me. I will never forget you. Leo Miel, I can’t thank you enough. You’re the best tour guide ever. To Melissa, thank you for making my bed. Agnes Gonzales-Diansay, what else can I say, you’re an angel.

#TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Series | DAY FOUR

TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Series  DAY 4My Anda tour in the Province of Bohol continues. My friends Dulce and Maya left early for Cebu and I opted to stay to see more of what Anda has to offer. Yesterday, I was told the town hosts some 50 cave pools where 40 of which have already been explored. Something I have to explore for myself. What also excites me is my scheduled snorkeling at Amu Ini Resort and Spa.

Here are the highlights of my 4th day in Visayas.

  1. Vice Mayor Inday Cimacio lend me her motorbike I can use for the day. One of his house staffs, Juddel, served as my tour guide and supposedly my driver. When left the house, I insisted I should drive. And driving around Anda is one of the best things about this trip.
  2. I promised to come back to Amu Ini Resort and Spa for my snorkeling. I met Bigs Eggert, the Director of Sales and Marketing, who also happens to be the owner of the Dive Shop. Amu Ini is known to host one of the best dive spots in Anda.
  3. Amu Ini Resort offers also a long stretch of white sand beach perfect to laze around or just enjoying a day on the beach.
  4. From Amun Ini, Juddel and I started to explore the cave pools of the town. Our first stop is Combento Cave Pool then followed by Cateres Cave Pool. These cave pools are very accessible from the town proper. They say if you visit Anda, don’t just visit the beach but also explore the Cave Pools too. There about 50 cave pools and 40 of those were already validated.
  5. From cave pool, we headed to the long white sand beach. This time the public beach of Anda – the Quinale Beach which now I say the best public beach in the Philipines. Quinale Beach is a fine white sand beach that’s free for all the townsfolk to frolic in. As in LIBRE! Unlike other “white sand beaches”, Quinale is almost perfectly white and is polvoron-like in its quality. I told myself how lucky the people of Anda are to have this kind of public beach. Just awemazing!
  6. From Anda, it was time to move back to Tagbilaran to continue my 20-day trip to another Porvince. Juddel send me off to Guindalman bound to Tagbiliran. In Guindalman, I stopped at the town’s old church to pray.
  7. When I got to Tagbiliran, it was past sunset. I went to Island City Mall to get my ticket but they closed at 6 pm. I was advised to go directly to the Pier and get the ticket from there.
  8. I took the Lite Shipping Line bound to Larena, Siquijor. Fare is Php 120 for a 3-hour boat travel. Larena is one of the towns in Siquijor Province, about 15 minutes ride from Siquijor, Siquijor.
  9. The boat left at 8 PM and I arrived at Larena at 11 PM. My host at Siquijor was there already waiting for me.
  10. From Larena, we headed for Siquijor. It was the start of my SIQUIJOR ADVENTURE.
Guindalman Church in Bohol

Guindalman Church in Bohol

On board Lite Shipping bound for Siquijor via Larena. Fare is 120.

On board Lite Shipping bound for Siquijor via Larena. Fare is 120.

#TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Diaries: DAY THREE.

IMG_20151009_101711After revisiting places I once enjoyed in Bohol, it was time to move to a new destination in the Province that I have never gone before. This time it’s the Municipality of Anda. Thanks to my friend Dulce, she introduced me the Vice Mayor Inday Cimacio who spoiled me with things that made my stay at Anda incredibly remarkable.

Here are the highlights:

  1. Anda is two hours ride from Tagbilaran City. Fare is Php 150.00 and van terminal is located near Island City Mall.
  2. We were warmly welcomed by Vice Mayor Inday. We stayed at her beautiful home in Anda. Not only she provided us room to stay, she lent me her 4×4 vehicle I can drive for the whole day of our tour. So kind of her.
  3. Our breakfast was sponsored by J&J Residence Beach Resort. Met the couple and they showed us their beautiful property.
  4. As habit, I requested to drop by the Parish Church and was blown away by the beautiful murals painted on the ceiling. The church was spared during the 2013 earthquake. Their patron is Senyor Santo Nino.
  5. The highlight of our Anda Tour is the visit to the mystical LAMANOK ISLAND.
  6. Lamanok Island is said to be the cradle of civilization of the Boholanos. It is believed where the early people of Bohol came from as supported by the remnants of the ancients artifacts found in the island dating before Spaniard regime in the Philippines.
  7. The island has a graveyard site where ancient wooden coffins and burial jars are found. Human bones are also there indicating the presence of early settlers in the island.
  8. In one part of the island, you can see red hematite paintings believed to have painted by early people.
  9. There were fossilized giant clams too.
  10. Caves are all over. What really amazed me is the shaman’s cave. Believed to be enchanted, Lamanok Island becomes a place where “mananambal’ would come/converge and offer something for the “dwellers” of the island.
  11. Our tour guide, Mang Fortunato, was very informative and hell yeah, he scared the hell out of me. Well done Tay!
  12. After the 4 hour tour, I drove back to Anda and headed for Amun Ini Resort and Spa, probably the most beautiful beach resort in the whole Anda. We had of dinner here.
  13. We headed back to Vice Mayor’s home and waited for #KapusoMoJessicaSoho program where I was featured. It was fun watching myself on TV – at Anda.
  14. Ended the night with two bottles of beer at Anda’s White Sand Long Beach. It was my friend’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Dulce – from OLAN and MAYA.

#TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Diaries: DAY TWO.

Visayas Diary 2

#TheTravelTellerInVisayas Travel Diary. Day Two.

DAY 2: ‪#‎HugotSaBohol‬ | Balikan ang nakaraan ng may ‪#‎hugot‬.

1. Binalikan ang Blood Compact site.
2. Binisita ang mga lumang simbahang gumuho nung 2013 na lindol.
3. Nagdasal sa mga simbahang buo at di natanig ng nasabing lindol.
4. Pinagmasdan muli ang ganda ng Chocolate Hills.
5. Pinagmasdan din ang luntiang tubig ng Loboc River.
6. Naakit muli sa halina ng Man Made Forest.
7. Naiyak sa tuwa ng kumain ng sorbetes na dragon fruit.
8. Nagmaneho mula Tagbilaran hanggang Carmen. Perstaym. Promise.
9. Nag-emote. Nag-emote. Dalawang beses.

Lahat ng ito ang may dahilan. Ika nga, sa tamang panahon.

Day 2 | Madramang Paglakbay Sa Nakaraan.

#HugotSaBohol
#TheTravelTellerInVisayas