Palawan 2016: Honday Bay Tour

9:02 PM
Our El Nido Tour got cancelled but good thing we had one more island hopping tour in our itinerary. The weather was cloudy which i like coz i won't get burned by the sun.hehe We were fetched by the tour van by 730AM and arrived at Honda Bay port where a boat was waiting for us. During peak seasons, the queue gets very long and you have to wait for your turn. Then, we're off to our first stop, the Starfish Island.

At the Honda Bay Port Reception

Our service for the day...

Time for snorkelling! We have to feed the fishes with bread to attract them. It was kinda hard to stay in one place because of the current.



Looking good!

Freaking cool.

A photo posted by JosephLou (@joseph_lou) on

Marlin and Nemo weren't excited when we approached them. Traumatized with humans, perhaps.hehe

The next island was Luli Island from the words "lulubog lilitaw" which means something like "to submerge/sink" and "to resurface" which happens to the island during high and low tides.


It has a sand bar, floating cottages and a diving board.

A photo posted by JosephLou (@joseph_lou) on

We got fishes under our canoe..

Just keep swimming...

Cool shot.

I only float in seawater ;)

Me most of the time T_T


It was a fun day at the sea! Check out the rest of trips in the following posts:
Underground River Tour
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour
El Nido, Palawan

10 Things to do during Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

3:17 PM
The Zamboanga Hermosa Festival is coming soon! If you are coming in our wonderful city during the festival, here's a short list of things you must do while you're here. Your visit in Zamboanga City will surely be fun-filled and packed with fun and adventure with all of these spots to visit, food to eat and things to do. Here are my top suggestions for you when you come here in October 1-12 for Fiesta Pilar.

Regatta de Zamboanga (2014)
1. Wake up early in October 9, Sunday and proceed to R.T. Lim Boulevard and witness the festival's most unique event, the race of colorful Vinta of the Badjaos. The event is dubbed as Regatta de Zamboanga. Take pictures with the sea butterflies as they gather in this shore for only once a year.

2. Visit the Yakan Village at Upper Calarian to see first-hand the Yakan weavers create intricate patterns in traditional weaving method which has been passed from generations. Take home some table runners or coin purses for pasalubong.

3. Aside from Badjaos and Yakans, have a taste of culture of the Tausug tribe. Head to Dennis Cafe at Baliwasan and try their authentic Tausug delicacies such as Tiula Itum, Pianggang, Sulu Coffee, Satti and more.

4. Talking about Satti, also try the famous satti of Jimmy's at Pilar Street or Andy's at Tetuan. If you haven't tried this special spicy delicacy, your visit to Zambo is never complete.

5. In the evening of Oct. 9, look for a position outside the streets from San Jose Road to Paseo del Mar and witness the spectacular Parade of Lights. Now on its second year, this unique parade showcases landmarks and symbols of the city in huge illuminated floats. Parade starts at 6pm.

6. Love to hear the Spanish creole language, Chavacano? Watch the live competition of Original Chavacano love songs on Oct 5, 7PM, and Noche de Bailes y Canciones on Oct 6, 7PM, both happening at the Paseo del Mar Stage.

7. Before watching the nightly shows in Paseo del Mar, chill and watch the sun as it sets at the esplanade area while tasting the local version of halo-halo called Knicker Bocker. It's a must-try!

Zambo's gastronomic delicacies!

8. Party with Manila DJ's at the night-life capital of Zamboanga, Paseo del Jardin a.k.a Butterfly Garden, on October 10, 7pm. Danza La Vida is the biggest life dance party of Hermosa Festival, and it's for free!

9. Shop for souvenirs at Plaza del Pilar or at the Canelar Barter Trade for imported but affordable goodies. Take home some Malaysian coffee, chocolates or Indonesian batiks, malong and sarongs.

10. Before going back home, make sure you have visited the Fort Pilar, lit some candles and offered your prayers. After all it's the reason why we are celebrating the festival.. to give thanks to God for all the wonderful places and things He has given us.

Hope you check out all the things to-do here to maximize your Hermosa Festival experience. I also made a festival map to serve as your guide to the places and activities during the fiesta. You can click and save the hi-res format and print for your reference. What are you waiting for? Vamos a Zamboanga!

Click here for full interactive view orhere to download high-res image..

Palawan 2016: Underground River Tour

3:53 PM
After the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour, it's time to visit Palawan's most famous tourist site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, also know as the "Underground River". It is one of the places i've been excited to visit because it is the country's pride for being recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World last November 11, 2011 (11.11.11).

Our tour guide got a reservation number before we went to the mangrove tour. We arrived at the port where we will be transported by a pump boat which can carry up to 10 persons. From the port, we travelled to the sea and got to see the beautiful mountains from afar. After 10-15 minutes ride, we arrived at the shore nearest to the underground rive and took some photos with the huge karstic limestone near the beach.

Sabang port with the St. Pauls mountain at the background.

These boats line up to load and unload their assigned group of tourists.

On our way to the underground river.

Jump shot!

I like how their signages are made.

Marker of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Amazing infos about the underground river.

Almost there. But first, our tour guide, Mich, explains about the wildlife that can be found in the area. We saw a bayawak (monitor lizard) and a monkey.

The magnificent doorway to the cave..

To avoid noise inside the cave, we were asked to wear these headset in which we can hear beautiful voices narrating stories and giving information and instructions which corresponds to the area where we're at. It felt like I was inside Discover Channel.

It's getting darker..

Amazing limestone formations which are created for thousands of years. A flashlight held by our bangkero guides the light so we can see what the narrator is talking about.

Epic Fail! I set the GoPro to night mode and got these photos instead.hahaha

Pretty cool though! This is the St. Paul's Cathedral gallery. This photo looks like a surreal abstract painting.

I swear it looks better in reality. This portion has rock formations that look like religious icons.

There's water dripping from the ceiling!

I'm on fire!

Done! It was an awesome tour!

Going back to the port. I'm so ready to eat!

The Underground River tour was truly worth the wait. It's a gem of nature and God's gift to us. It's truly our country's pride, being listed as one of the new 7 wonders of nature. Check out my other tours in this series: El Nido and Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour.

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Logo

10:51 PM
Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Logo Emblem Insignia The Hermosa Festival also known as Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival or popularly known as Fiesta Pilar a month-long festival held each year in the city of Zamboanga, the city center of Zamboanga Peninsula Region in the Philippines. It is one of the oldest festivals in the country and the most awaited event in the region.

The festival is held in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish and Chavacano: Nuestra SeΓ±ora del Pilar), the patroness of Zamboanga City which is held in every 12 October. It is also the patroness of Zaragoza in Spain, the sister city of Zamboanga in Philippines. (source: wiki)

The official emblem of Zamboanga Hermosa Festival was launched in October 2015 to celebrate a new age of the festival, bringing a new and fresh look and feel to the grandest festival in this region. The insignia has three aspects: the cultural, community and the religious aspects.

The colorful composition are inspired by the vinta sail, a traditional transportation of the indigenous tribe of Badjaos. The Regatta, a race of the vintas is one of the most awaited events in the festival. The Vinta is considered as an icon of Zamboanga City and perhaps the entire region, representing the different cultures who live in harmony. The boat represents the united community, and above it people are one in celebration, dancing and worshipping the patron saint, El Nuestra SeΓ±ora del Pilar.

This year, the City Government is already preparing for the biggest fiesta of the year. Here's the official look and feel of Zamboanga Hermosa Festival 2016. Check out the calendar of activities below. Click the images for a larger view.

Like the official facebook page of Zamboanga Hermosa Festival for more updates!

Palawan 2016: Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour

9:39 AM
After our one-day El Nido adventure, we went back to Puerto Princesa City and checked-in at Go Hotels, which is just a walk away from Robinsons Mall. The next day, we had the eco-tours including the Sabang Mangrove baddle boat tour, Ihawig firefly-watching and the world-famous, Puerto Princesa Subterrranean River or "underground river" which is part of the new 7 Wonders of the natural world.

After checking-in, we went to the nearest Vietnamese resto coz we miss Saigon! Shout out to my mekmek friends :)

The next day, the van picked us up at the hotel by 7:30AM and headed north towards Sabang Bay.

We stopped first at the Buenavista viewdeck where our tour guide had breakfast while we took pictures of the view.

A photo posted by Ced Zabala πŸ‘‘ (@cedzabala) on

There's also a souvenir shop at the area. This is a small rainmaker with colorful hand-woven patterns.

We continued the 2-hour ride to Sabang Bay and saw cool rock formations along the way. Here is Avatar mountain which resembles the floating mountains from the award-winning Spielberg movie.
This is what they call the "Elephant" mountain. Can you see it?

This amazing view of the karst mountains became a pitstop for two Amazing Race episodes. The signage is still there as a souvenir.

This peacock, the icon of Puerto Princesa Palawan, is the Palawan Peacock Pheasant which is an indigenous species that is threathened to extinction.

Finally, we arrived at Sabang Bay! While waiting for our turn in the Underground River tour, we did the Mangrove Paddle Boat tour first.

Our guide who tried his best to speak English. He know his facts very well!

Together with our tour buddies. The freckeled girl is a solo traveller from France, and the last girl at the back (left) is Korean.

These huge mangrove trees grow tall for centuries and only thrive in these parts of the world.

Manong's paddle is engraved with these cool pattern.

Just chillin'

Back at home, I only saw mangroves a bit taller than me. I felt amazingly small here.

Done with the tour. Groupie!

A photo posted by Ced Zabala πŸ‘‘ (@cedzabala) on

Up next: Underground River Tour!
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