Niludhan Falls - Guide to Negros Oriental's Underrated Waterfalls

Niludhan Falls Bayawan City
The grandeur of Niludhan Falls
Exploring waterfalls is one of the best ways to get close to nature when visiting Negros Oriental in Central Visayas. On my couchsurfing (stay temporarily in other people's homes, making use of improvised sleeping arrangements) experience on this island, I had the chance to visit three waterfalls - the Palaypay Falls, Punong Punong Falls and Niludhan Falls, all situated off the beaten track in the midst of coconut and sugarcane plantations on the island.

In Pictures: Mt. Pimmayong - San Marcelino, Zambales

Mt. Pimmayong San Marcelino Zambales
Overlooking Mt. Bagang, Sto. Tomas River, and Lake Mapanuepe

I found myself with a group of hikers at a convenience store buying one liter of water in San Marcelino, Zambales. At four thirty in the morning, the town was still asleep. We were actually thirty minutes late on our planned schedule to Mt. Pimmayong day hike.

Visiting the Pride of Pamplona: Palaypay Falls

Pamplona's Pride in Negros Oriental
Pamplona's Palaypay Falls

The sleeping town of Pamplona boasts the highest waterfall in Negros Oriental named by the locals as Punong Punong Falls in Barangay San Isidro. Thirty kilometers from this towering waterfall is 'the Pride' of Pamplona, Palaypay Falls in Barangay Abante.

Punong Punong Falls of Negros Oriental

The Tallest Waterfall in Negros Oriental
The highest waterfall in Negros Oriental

Amongst the waterfalls in Negros Oriental, Punong Punong Falls is the least visited and explored. It is a hidden waterfall waiting to be discovered by adventurers, hikers, and waterfall chasers. This waterfall dwarfs Casaroro Falls, Niludhan Falls, and Lourdes Falls.

Mayantoc Tarlac - Trekking Adventure to Kiti Calao Falls

Coined as the Summer Capital of Tarlac, Mayantoc town is a haven for the outdoorsy. Its land area, particularly the mountainous part, is still covered by lush forest. Mayantoc town was once the biggest barangay in Camiling Tarlac until January 17, 1917. The abundance of Yantoc (rattan) in the area made up its official name. Several outdoor activities such as camping, mountaineering, biking, swimming, and rafting are available in this town.

Kalao Falls Mayantoc Tarlac
Calao Falls

Mauban Falls or Batis Falls - One of the Wonders of Morong Bataan

Once again, Morong town in Bataan amazed us with its diverse natural attractions with its nice beaches, rock formations, thick forest, clean rivers, and waterfalls; Morong is a perfect getaway for the weekend. Let's wander the forested part of Barangay Nagbalayong and visit one of its hidden waterfalls - the Mauban Falls.

Mauban Falls Morong Bataan
The Mauban Falls

Pitas Island - Sidetrip to Silangin Cove Adventure

Silanguin Cove in Zambales is the farthest cove to explore from Subic-Olongapo, and Barangay Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales' jump off. Others prefer to go by land, climbing Mt. Cinco Picos traverse to Silanguin. Whichever you prefer, both have nice scenic views to feed your hungry eyes. 

Pitas Island Silanguin Cove
Pitas Island Zambales

The Mouth of Hell in Botolan, Zambales - Philippines

Have you ever read the Divine Comedy from the Italian poet Dante or set an eye to the group work of a French sculpture, Auguste Rodin? What about 'Darvaza' the fiery crater that has been burning in the desert of Turkmenistan since 1971? If Portugal has 'Boca do Inferno,' the Philippines in the province of Botolan has its own 'Mouth of Hell.'

The Gate of Hell in the Philippines
The Mouth of Hell's opening in an underwater photography

Palacapac Falls or Veto Falls Adventure in Zambales

Palacapac Falls in Omaya is a booming natural attraction in San Narciso, Zambales. This waterfall can be considered a shared outdoor interest between San Narciso and San Felipe towns because the best and fastest way to reach Palacapac Falls is to pass the barangays of Feria and Balincaguing in San Felipe.

Veto Falls Zambales
The towering Palacapac Falls or Veto Falls

Mt. Susong Dalaga in Olongapo City, Zambales - Playing Tourist Adventure

Mt. Susong Dalaga is located on the outskirts of Olongapo City in the northern part of Sitio Mampueng in Barangay Old Cabalan. Mt. Susong Dalaga is a 'Young Woman's Breast' when translated into English. This mountain is visible in Olongapo City and almost all locals know about it but only a few tried to hike its summit.

Mountains of Olongapo City

Hiking Mt. Pundaquit - Chasing Waterfalls in Zambales

Mt. Pundaquit trekking is a famous activity in Barangay Pundaquit in San Antonio Zambales. This mountain is also an alternative way to Anawangin Cove. Famous for its volcanic white sand and shore almost carpeted by Agoho trees. Our guide told us, the trail to Mt. Pundaquit traversing Anawangin Cove and Talisayin Cove is called Linasin Trail. It has waterfalls that only appear during the rainy season.

Hiking in Zambales
The S-curved cascading waterfalls of Linasin Trail in Mt. Pundaquit Zambales

Tikip Falls - Playing Tourist Hiking in Bataan

Bataan province is truly blessed with outdoor tourist attractions. A great escape to its natural waterfalls, forest reserves, beaches, and historical places will be a worthwhile experience when feeding your wanderlust. Four-hour bus rides from Metro Manila; you can indulge on the scenic mountains of Limay Bataan with blissful waterfalls as a happy ending.

Trekking in Bataan
Tikip Falls

Botolan Wildlife Farm - Playing Tourist in Botolan Zambales

A joyride to Zambales with a travel buddy from Rizal Province, Sir Ed, led us to this zoo in the town of Botolan called the "Botolan Wildlife Farm". We were in search of a nice beach that day but we decided to have a short stay at this zoo because we spotted a sign along the highway. This wildlife farm is located on the eastern side of town in Barangay San Juan, just before reaching an Aeta community close to Camp Kainomayan.

Wildlife Marker in Botolan Zambales
The Botolan Wildlife Farm Marker

Tukal Tukal Falls of Camp Kainomayan in Botolan Zambales

"Yours to Discover" is a slogan currently being used by Camp Kainomayan and the local Tourism Department of Botolan in Zambales, Philippines. It focuses on eco-tourism highlighting Tukal Tukal Falls (Hagdan Hagdanan Falls) and Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake between the mountain ranges of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac in Central Luzon. Enticed by the viral pictures of Tukal Tukal Falls circling the internet, I joined a group of blogger friends headed by Fredi-Rex to and explore the newly discovered waterfalls of Zambales.

Yours to Discover Botolan Zambales
The Tukal Tukal Falls (Hagdan Hagdanan Falls)

Exploring Butig Falls in Olongapo City

Butig Falls are series of small waterfalls far north of Sitio Banca Bancaan in Gordon Heights Olongapo City. It's just a three-hour hike to and from the jump-off at Banca Bancaan Aeta Tribe. Outdoor lovers will experience trekking the mountains of Olongapo. This two to three-minute read will guide you directions on how to get to the waterfalls. To those who aren't exactly "outdoorsy", read on and spread the news to your friends who are outdoor enthusiasts! 

Zambales Waterfalls Phallic Symbol
Ulo ng 'Apo's Phallic Symbol' at Butig Falls

Magalawa Island - Things to Do and How to Get There

Magalawa Island Resort
The Sandbar of  Magalawa Island

The province of Zambales boasts several tourist attractions. From hiking the mountains of Redondo Peninsula in the South (Mt. Cinco Picos, Mt. Balingkilat) and Mt. Tapulao's peak in the North also the islands and coves such as Capones and Potipot, to name a few. Up north of Zambales, there is an island less visited by weekenders a few years back and is now becoming a tourist attraction packed with people, especially on holidays. This is the Magalawa Island.

Kairukan Falls - A Day Hike in Morong Bataan

One of the wonders of Morong Bataan is the majestic Kairukan Falls located in Sitio Kanawan in Barangay Binaritan. Its waters flow from Mt. Silangan, part of Bataan National Park, a forest reserve established in 1945. Hiking to the heart of Mt. Kairukan is a jaw-dropping experience because of its dense trees and undergrowth. Its diverse flora and fauna are similar to the trekking experience to Pasukulan Falls in Mt. Natib on the northeastern part of Bataan’s National Park.

Waterfalls of Bataan
The Kairukan Falls in Morong Bataan

Pundaquit Falls – Side Trip to Zambales Islands and Coves

Pundaquit Falls Source
Does it look like the Pundaquit Falls?

Traveling to Zambales during summer is an awesome thing to do due to its grandiose beaches, islands, and coves. From Sta. Cruz' Hermana Menor Island in the north to Silanguin Cove in the south, this province is really abundant with places for summer getaways. Rain or shine, Pundaquit in San Antonio town has been an all-time favorite.

Food Dude at Subic Dumpling King Restaurant

Sometimes we get surprised in places where we don’t expect too much. It was a few days ago when my friends wanted to go to a new hotel that had a swimming pool on the rooftop, the Le Charme Suites. The place looked good but unfortunately, there was not a single place where we could sit in the shadow. During summer and around noon that is definitely not a good idea. 

Dumpling King Restaurant in Subic
Dumpling King

Silanguin Cove in San Antonio Zambales - Playing Tourist Adventure

Updated Silanguin Cove blog
Silanguin Cove jump-off point at Subic Bay

San Miguel Beach San Antonio Zambales - A Weekender's Fun

Beach Flags at San Miguel Beach
The San Miguel Beach

About three kilometers from the town of San Antonio Zambales is the sandy beach of San Miguel. It is a part of the long stretch of Zambales shoreline facing the South China Sea. Its waters are clean because of its perfect location away from industrial cities; a fishing village famous for its abundance squid catch. Pusit  Festival (Squid Festival) was celebrated here during the months of April as well as Layag Festival. 

Cabaruan Falls San Felipe Zambales

Zambales Waterfalls
The Grotto or Cabaruan Falls

Another waterfall in San Felipe Zambales - the Grotto or Cabaruan Falls, located in Barangay Feria. It is called Grotto because of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary facing the plunge pool. So true that San Felipe town is blessed with waterfalls like Anghalo, Sagpat, and Paite. Maybe there's more hidden somewhere in its mountains waiting to be discovered.

All Hands Beach Resort - Subic Bay

All Hands Beach Subic
All Hands Beach

Living in Olongapo City, Zambales means you have many resorts to visit that are close at hand. Last week a friend suggested to go to All Hands Beach. I had never ever heard of this resort and was keen on going there since I like to explore new places to go. The first thing I noticed was that there was not really a parking lot. Cars are parked on the side of the road. 

List of Churches in Zambales for Visita Iglesia

Visita Iglesia or Seven Churches Visitation is an activity done during the Lenten season. It is a religious tradition by Catholics on the evening of Maundy Thursday but some do it on daytime. In each church visit, a devotee will pray before the Blessed Sacrament. I guess it is timely to share my Zambales Churches' visit prior to the Lenten season to help you decide what church to visit. Monthly I visit churches, as a vow, thanking our God Almighty for surpassing all the hardships in life.

Church Visitations
Visita Iglesia devotee

Rosa Farms - A Side Trip to Zambales

Rosa Farm San Marcelino Zambales
Rosa Farm's

Last Saturday my friends had planned a trip to Rosa Farms, about an hour driving from our place. The days before I hadn’t been too well and I was still recovering so I told them “For your own good, it’s better if I stay home”. I know I can get grumpy if I’m not feeling well and cannot have a rest when I feel like having one. “But Frans, really; it is a must!” On FB I visited the Rosa Farms’ page where I read good reviews and saw many pictures. We decided to go the next day.

El Kabayo Waterfalls in Subic Bay

Plunge Pool
El Kabayo Falls 15-foot deep plunge pool

El Kabayo Falls is located in the forested area of Binictican in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales. It boasts two cascading waterfalls a few meters away from each other. The first level of the waterfalls is about five feet deep during the rainy season, the second is fifteen feet in depth. It is one of the major picnic grounds in Subic Bay where you can have a picnic and cook your own food. The latter will cost you additional expense, though.

Pacalat Dam - An Inexpensive Summer Adventure in Pangasinan

Swimming Area Pacalat Dam
The Pacalat Dam

Pacalat Dam is a reservoir found in Barangay Pacalat Mangatarem Pangasinan; an impounding dam in the vicinity of Mt. Mangatarem. Its use is to irrigate the nearby barangays for crop production especially rice. Aside from irrigation, it is also a dwelling place for locals and visitors from nearby towns during summer. Its waters are perfect for swimming, camping. This place is also a jump off when hiking to the summit of Mt. Mangatarem.

The Missing Meatballs - Crab and Belly Subic

After a Sunday morning of doing thoroughly cleaning, the idea of going out for lunch was very appealing. We decided to go to Chopping Board, a place where we have been twice before and had good experiences. Much to our surprise, the restaurant was now called Crab and Belly. My first thought: “Who wants crabs and a belly?”

The Crab and Belly
The Crab and Belly Restaurant

Pasukulan Falls - A Hidden Gem of Mt. Natib in Bataan

Waterfalls in Bataan
Abucay Bataan's Hidden Gem
For mountaineers, Mt. Natib has been one of the favorite hiking places. A dormant volcano in the province of Bataan with an elevation of 1,253 meters above sea level (MASL). For waterfalls lovers, it is also a good choice because of its magnificent and towering 197 ft. Pasukulan Falls. This waterfall could be the highest among the twelve known natural falls in Bataan, true gem, hidden in the heart of the forest of Mount Natib. The area is within Bataan Natural Park managed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Pasukulan Falls is located in Abucay, Bataan, though its hiking jump-off is Brgy. Tala in the town of Orani.

Texas Joe's Riblets in Subic Bay - A Must Try!

Texas Joe's Subic Bay Riblets
Texas Joe's Riblets
Several times already we have been to Texas Joe’s House of Ribs in Subic Bay, Olongapo City not too far from Ayala Mall, Harbor Point. The place is really big as well inside as outside. Most of the times it is packed with people who enjoy fine dining. And that, of course, is why we like to go there. Sitting outside is lovely because there’s always a fresh breeze and if not the electric fans will the job. The menu is huge so one has many choices to pick from.

The Secret of Pias Falls in Camiling, Tarlac

Pias Falls in Tarlac - Its Secret
The Secret of Pias Falls
Pias Falls is located in Tarlac province, Barangay Papaac Camiling. Amongst the waterfalls in Tarlac, this is probably the least famous because its beauty only comes out during the rainy season. Its waters could be from the famous Ubod Falls or Timmanguyob Falls but not enough to create a perfect torrent during summer. But did you know it has a deep secret?

Cocolime Subic Bay - Where to Eat in Subic | Food Trip in Subic

Cocolime Subic Bay
The table is set
For several times I already had lunch with friends in Cocolime Specialty Asian Cuisine. This restaurant is located in Subic Bay Freeport Zone near Rizal Highway, and is almost attached to Harbor point Mall.

Ina Poon Bato – A Visit to The Miraculous Blessed Mother’s Shrine in Botolan, Zambales

It was my first road trip in Zambales with the company of friends with the same purpose – to visit all the municipal churches in this province. Ina Poon Bato was a shrine we visited in Botolan that has an interesting story that goes back to 1607 when Catholic missionaries started to spread Catholicism in the Philippines. It was said that missionaries heard about” The Miraculous Lady of the Aeta” and when they saw who the Aetas were worshipping, it was the “Blessed Virgin Mother” (click herefor the story).

Apo Apang Shrine in Botolan Zambales
The new Ina Poon Bato Shrine

Pizza Volante in Subic Bay

Grilled Fish at Pizza Volante
Delicious Grilled Tuna Fish
Yesterday I got this message on Facebook “We will have a Bulgarian visitor tonight from Couchsurfing”. Soon after that “Clean the house and the comfort room”. Sure. About one hour I had. Now I had cleaned the stairs and mopped the floor the day before but still, this kind of questions always make me kind of nervous. Until I got myself together. “What? Is the guy a Bulgarian prince or what?” 

Manleluag Hot Spring in Pangasinan

Manleluag Hot Spring is one of the famous hot springs of Pangasinan second to Balungao Hilltop. Manleluag hot spring is located in Barangay Malabobo Mangatarem, Pangasinan. This hot spring is inside the area of Manleluag Spring Protected Landscape and has been open to the public for quite some time. It was declared a national park in 1940 and managed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Manleluag Hot Spring
The Hot Spring

Wimpy's Restaurant - Olongapo City

Where to Eat in Subic? Well, read on.

Wimpy's Subic Pork Chop Dinner