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Stories

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Coron, What a shot

April 6, 2021


Since the popularity of drones, we get to see a lot of stunning aerial shots like this one


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Isolation. Romblon.

April 6, 2021


Under travel restriction, we learn what isolation means.

Romblon is a province located north of Aklan. It is made up of several small islands, including one that is called Romblon island, and another called Carabao island (also known as Hambil island). The latter is located close to Boracay.


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Lucky escape to Siargao

March 31, 2021


Lucky are those who managed to travel outside Metro Manila before the new lockdown.


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Banaue, mountain rice

March 31, 2021


In the Philippines, a meal without rice is not a meal. Hence, every piece of land is needed to grow rice.


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Boracay for all

March 31, 2021


Kids love beaches, and Boracay loves kids.


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Mayon Volcano, Legazpi

March 30, 2021


They call it the perfect cone shaped volcano, Mayon Volcano is the main attraction of Legazpi City, Bicol province.



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Catanauan Cove, Quezon

March 30, 2021


Quezon Province is located south of Batangas Province in Luzon. It is about 6 hours drive from Metro Manila. Catanauan Cove is a famous beach area in that province.


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Grapes picking in La Union

March 30, 2021


We did not believe that grapes can grow in the Philippines, but in fact there are several grape farms in La Union, near San Fernando. Some can allow visitors to pick the grapes too. 


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Surfing in San Juan, La Union

March 30, 2021


Where to surf, or learn to surf, near Metro Manila? Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan, La Union is about 5 hours drive from Metro Manila.


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Tandagan Falls, La Union

March 30, 2021


A place to test your courage, Tangadan Falls in La Union is where cliff diving off the water falls can be done. But you can also just enjoy the cool water.


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Outside the bubble

March 30, 2021


Another place outside of the NCR+ lockdown, Batangas is home to many fantastic beaches, a lot of which are found in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas. During the lockdown period, which is targeted to end on April 4, 2021, only residents of Batangas can enjoy these beaches. We wait eagerly for the end of the lockdown.


Chiu

We can dream

March 30, 2021


On March 22, 2021, after we learned about the travel ban imposed on people within the NCR+ travel bubble, we quickly canceled our trip to Laoag, North Luzon, and booked hotels for our staycation in Laguna, which was within the travel bubble, for March 28 to 31. Then ECQ was announced to occur from March 29 to April 4, 2021 for Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Now we dream about the days when we could finally visit the wakeboard park and nearby outdoor areas in Santa Rosa, Laguna.


Chiu

Hold off our adventure

March 25, 2021


The underground river in Palawan will not see many visitors from Metro Manila this Easter because of the travel restrictions. But we are sure it will stay beautiful when we do visit after the pandemic.


Chiu

Boracay in Our Dream

March 25, 2021


Because we live in Metro Manila, we cannot visit Boracay this Easter.


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Metro Manila residents put in a travel bubble March 22, 2021

March 22, 2021


Just when we were making our final arrangements to visit Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte this weekend, we heard the announcement about new travel restrictions. Under IATF Resolution 104, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan are designated as an area where people are not allowed to leave or enter.

Next time only, Paoay Sand Dunes and other wonderful places in Ilocos.


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Navigating travel requirements in March 2021

March 21, 2021


Many areas in the Philippines that depend heavily on tourism to sustain the local economy are desperately trying to attract tourists. They put out materials that say everyone is welcome, even as Metro Manila is tightening restrictions in March 2021 because of the recent spike in the number of new cases. What is the picture for people who are planning to travel?

We are planning to travel to Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte at the end of March. We read from the press that the government task force on the pandemic is adopting a single travel management system called S-pass.ph to standardize the communication between travelers and local government units of the intended destinations. See here: https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/03/07/public-square/iatf-to-utilize-dosts-s-pass-app-for-travelers/848096/

We registered at s-pass.ph, then booked a RT-PCR test, and hotels. Then we read from the Facebook page of Ilocos Norte Tourism office that they wanted something else. We had to register at ilocosnorte.ph. After that, we also have to download an app called Safepass, while the IATF wants people to use Staysafe.ph for contact tracing.

So much for IATF's uniformed travel protocol announced on February 26, 2021.


Chiu

Ending on a high note

March 16, 2021


If we are going to go anyway, up is always better than down, don't you think?



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Travel to set the mind free

March 16, 2021


When we travel, our mind is occupied by views that are so different from our daily surroundings that we can see clearer.


Chiu

Short and sweet in Batangas

March 10, 2021


Our small family visited Mabini, Batangas for a two night stay at the end of February 2021. The pandemic related travel restrictions were in place, so we took a COVID-19 antigen test two days before travel and brought our certificate of negative test result for each of us when we traveled.

Photo below: a small resort in Mabini, Batangas

The road trip from Metro Manila was pleasant enough. Since electronic toll RFID is mandatory, and the tollways covered most of the travel distance (SLEX and Star Toll), we reached Batangas in just over two hours.

We made a detour to Batangas City for lunch. The city street was busy, but quite clean. The local authorities seemed to be able to clear the sidewalks from vendors, parked vehicles and other side walk obstruction, quite a feat compared to many places in Metro Manila.


While we ate in a fast food place, we found a nice T-shirt shop that sold fake California surfer shirts, as well as a cafe that sold espresso coffee, cool!

Small resorts

Anilao is a diver's paradise, so naturally you can find a lot of dive resorts along the main road that hugs the coast of the Mabini peninsula.


We stayed in a small resort near the tip of the Mabini peninsula. It was like a family home built with many rooms, but we stayed in a stand alone cottage behind the main building and across of street. It was spacious, clean and quiet, made a good base for guests to explore the rest of the area.


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New Travel Restriction rules announced on Feb 26, 2021

March 5, 2021


The Interagency Task Force on COVID-19 restrictions passed a resolution to "unify" the travel restrictions related to local travel. "Under the IATF Resolution No. 101, travelers still have to undergo COVID-19 testing if required by the LGU of their destination – the provincial government, and authorities of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities. In which case, only a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test will be honored."

Some local authorities are willing to follow the new directive, and dispense with the documentary requirements as well as COVID-19 tests. Others, however, seem to ignore it.

In the end, travelers still have to check with individual resorts about their COVID-19 restrictions, so please visit our page Now-Open from time to time.



Chiu

Meeting travel restrictions during pandemic

February 24, 2021


From our own experience, traveling to some destinations in Luzon is possible, with varying degree of difficulties for meeting the requirements under COVID-19 rules.

Going to Tagaytay is possible, and no one has ever reported being stopped at any check point.

Going to Subic Bay, on the other hand, requires prior booking and securing health certificate from your local medical center, which, in the case of Taguig City, is free of charge. 

Some places, such as Batangas, require visitors to have antigen test. It costs around P2,500 per test (nose swap is slightly more expensive than the newly approved saliva test), and takes about an hour to get the result. Some local authorities, such as the one at Barangay Mabini near Anilao in Batangas, have put up antigen test booths next to their checkpoint, and these booths charge about P1,000 per test, we were advised.

Yet other places, like Boracay and Palawan, require the more expensive PCR-RT test, which costs about P4,000 and can take a day or two to get the result.


Chiu

This is beautiful

February 18, 2021


Life is good

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Chiu

A Whole New World

February 10, 2021


A place where there i no tourist. Where there is no tourist around.


Chiu

Soon we will be free

February 2, 2021


Travel is still possible

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Dining with kids near Tagaytay

January 15, 2021


As part of the effort to control the spread of COVID-19, authorities in the Philippines have announced various travel restrictions on the public. More stringent restrictions are imposed on children and the delerly, as they are regarded as being more vulnerable to the disease. There are broad based restrictions, such as those announced by the central government regarding the classification of quarantine levels by geographical areas. Then there are further restrictions announced by the local authorities. The central authorities' announcements can sometimes be found in the official website of PCOO, like this one (https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/metro-manila-nine-other-areas-placed-under-gcq-in-january/) that announces the extension of GCQ in Metro Manila and a few other places in January 2021. Unfortunately for the public, there is no centralized official bulletin board where the public can check the local restrictions in all places. We have to search the websites and social media of the places that we are interested in to get the announcements by local authorities, making it difficult for people to make informed decisions, and for the authorities to achieve their goals. Tagaytay out of bound to kids under 15 years old We found this poster in the FB page of Tagaytay City that bans kids under 15 years old from visiting the city.



The poster refers to an announcement made by the Governor of Cavite on the official FB page of Cavite province. We could only find a post in that FB page that says kids under 15 and people over 65 years old are not allowed in malls, but nothing about outdoor restaurants outside malls. Perhaps the local authorities consider the whole of Tagaytay as a mall or theme park. At weekends, Tagaytay can indeed get very crowded. Restaurants near Tagaytay We are not aware of local authorities adjacent to Tagaytay City announcing a similar ban. Unless anyone knows otherwise, it seems OK to bring kids to restaurants that are just outside the city boundary of Tagaytay. Our Google search found the boundary of the city like this.



If this map is correct, then places like Sonya's Garden and Marcia Adams' Restaurant in Alfonso are not affected by the ban.




Last Wednesday, a very quiet day in the suburb, we took our 13 year old kid to a restaurant just outside Tagaytay City, and she was able to dine there. Hotels in Alfonso also seem to open to children. But as we know, conditions can change from day to day. To be prudent, we should call an establishment in the affected restaurant ahead to check the COVID-19 restrictions in place.