Dicasalarin Cove, Baler (Day 2)

Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove

If you were in Baler, it would be a sin not to visit Dicasalarin, a beach cove 15-16km away from Sabang. On day 2 of our trip to Baler, our mission was to bike to the cove in the morning, be back by lunch, and leave for Manila by 3pm… non of that happened. #Lol!

That morning I woke up early to see the famous sunrise of Baler, did some rounds on my japa beads, then had some coffee… it seemed like a perfect and steady morning when suddenly, Louie, our friend/local host, arrived on his motorbike and interrupted our serenity. “Let’s go!” he said.

Without talking about the plan, we quickly packed our gears, hopped on our bikes and followed him to town. Within 5 minutes, we reached the HQ of Aurora Biker’s Club, where 20+ mountain bikers (as in bikers on mountain bikes) waited for us ready to roll. Our destination, Dicasalarin Cove.

The day before riding to the cove, Louie told us that the cove was only 16kms away from Sabang, and that if we rode out at 7am, we would be back by 10:30am, just in time for us to cook, eat lunch, and get ready to leave for Manila by 3pm. What he didn’t tell us was that we would climb up a mountain first before we got to the cove. It was the kind of climb that made me swear every minute and made me question my very existence every second. No kidding, I would never climb that peak again unless I rode a habal-habal or any form of motorized vehicle.

One thing I learned from this ride – Aurora Bikers are the true hardcore riders!

After an excruciating 1 hour hike, we reached the peak of Dica, where we found PAGASA / “Hope”.

PAGASA rooftop.

PAGASA rooftop overlooking Dicasalarin Cove.

From the peak, we descended to the cove. Naturally, what you descend, you must ascend.

From the peak, we descended to the cove. Naturally, what you descend, you must ascend. Non-stop of walking with our bikes.

20 minutes later, we arrived at the foot of the cove, finally! What to see in Dicasalarin:

  1. The Artist Village
  2. The bath house
  3. The cave
  4. The lighthouse (172 steps to get there)
  5. The creamy white sand beach
  6. A bathing spot where the river meets the ocean

By the time we had to leave Dica, it was already 1pm. The heat was unbearable and we still had to hike back to the peak again (not fun anymore).

Dicasalarin Cove

Goodbye Dicasalarin Cove

We arrived at our kubo at 4pm. The bus tickets were sold out. We decided to rent a van to bring us to Cabanatuan and took a bus to Manila from there.

We arrived at our kubo at 4pm.

So how did we get home? We rented a van from Baler to Cabanatuan (P2,700), then took a bus to manila from there. We left Baler at 9pm. We reached home at 4am, Monday.

What an epic weekend!

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Conquering Valencia

May 07, 2013, Valencia, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. An adventure  like no other with cycling buddy, Tina dela Cruz. Highlights were visiting the market, breakfast at the boulevard, bathing in the river, and conquering Valencia.

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Looking for local breakfast

Looking for local breakfast

Tina having some local breakfast made.

Tina having some local sandwich made.

Riding with my bayong and boom box

Riding with my bayong and boom box

On our way out, this "ATM" machine made us very happy.

On our way out, this “ATM” machine made us very happy.

Going local is always the best.

For me and Tina, going local is always the best way to go.

Breakfast at the boulevard

Breakfast at the boulevard

A morning to behold

A morning to behold

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

The road ahead

The road ahead

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

Up up we go

Up up we go

Bike weather

Surrounded by green.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

The road to the Writer's Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer’s Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer's Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

The road to the Writer’s Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer's Village.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer’s Village.

the Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

The Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

Meeting up with Tracy.

Meeting up with Tracy.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

Thank you to the gentle people of Dumaguete city. We shall return for sure! More PHOTOS.

Nueva Ecija

Last April 14, 2013, I had the privilege to visit Nueva Ecija city for a Music Video shoot on Dakila’s campaign on Food Justice. We stayed at the Ladies Dorm inside the campus of Central Luzon State University. As usual, I brought my folding bike with me. So during my free time, I took that opportunity to bike around the campus.

All set for a morning ride. I attached my green bayong (native bag) to the front mount of my folding bike to carry my essentials.

All set for a morning ride. I attached my green bayong (native bag) to the front mount of my folding bike to carry my essentials.

Central Luzon State University or CLSU is a state university located in a 658-hectare campus in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. (wiki) The Statue of Rizal in the campus is said to be the only Rizal in the world wearing a white Barong Tagalog.

Central Luzon State University or CLSU is a state university located in a 658-hectare campus in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. (wiki)
The Statue of Rizal in the campus is said to be the only Rizal Statue in the world wearing a white Barong Tagalog.

 

Ladies Dorm inside the Campus. Rooms are airconditioned and can accommodate up to 4 pax.

Ladies Dorm inside the Campus. Rooms are airconditioned and can accommodate up to 4 pax.

 

Basically, everywhere is GREEN. Such is campus life inside CLSU, it’s green, simple, and quiet.

Kalinga Power

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Kalinga with friends from Dakila, Leni Velasco, Cha Roque, and Monique Laurel, and three amazing women from USA. Jaycee Gossette, a dancer from New York with a mission to “Dance The World”, Agustina Diez Sierra, an art designer who is based in Chicago but is originally from Salta, a province in Argentina, and Maggie Rife Ponce, a photo journalist and is also based in Chicago. Together, we embarked on a journey to the north to discover the art, music, dance, and culture of Kalinga.

The output: A short documentary film on the new and old cultures and art forms of the Philippines through different lenses. To be shown and released in August 2013 in Chicago, USA.

The collaborators: Jaycee, Maggie, Agustina, and Myself.

The collaborators: Jaycee, Maggie, Agustina, and Myself.

Kalinga adventure

It all started here, where we took a plane from Manila to Tuguegarao (1hr). From Tuguegarao, we rented a van to take us to Tabuk, Kalinga (1.5hours).

Kalinga adventure

Entering Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

A group picture first before entering Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

In Tabuk, we met with Nati, who was our host and guide, and who also shocked us with her Kalinga style arm tattoos. She is one of the last few young women in the Philippines who has this kind of tattoo. It was a great honor to meet her.

Kalinga adventure

We stayed at the Golden Berries Hotel, very close to Tabuk town proper. Service was good, the staff were very friendly, and the accommodations where not so expensive. Our room had two double beds and it only cost P1,700 per night. Not bad for an airconditioned room. There’s also wifi in the lobby.

Here’s the link to Golden Berries Hotel.

Kalinga adventure

The restaurant of Golden Berries Hotel. Where they serve local Kalinga coffee, a must try!

Kalinga adventure

A rice field just across the hotel. Very photogenic area. Flat roads are also ideal for cycling and walking.

Given another chance to go to Kalinga, I would definitely bring my folding bike with me. I could just imagine doing a sunset ride.

Day 2 in Tabuk, we went to visit a small Kalinga Village.

Day 2 in Tabuk, we went to visit a small Kalinga Village.

On our way there, we stopped for some photos. It was soooo green!

On our way there, we stopped for some photos. It was soooo green!

Getting there, we had to cross this hanging bridge.

Getting there, we had to cross this hanging bridge.

The hanging bridge.

The hanging bridge.

I did it!

I did it!

During our visit in the Kalinga Village, we got to listen to some of the stories of the women especially during the marshall law time when they had to go through some difficulties fighting for their rights. Most of them brought tears to our eyes.

Kalinga adventure

Agustina breaks into tears while listening to their stories.

Kalinga adventure

Just hanging out.

Kalinga adventure

At the end of the day, it’s all about ones happiness. This community is overflowing with it. Thank you for all your love and stories. Until we meet again.

Kalinga adventure

Part of Day 2 was meeting the last tattood women of Kalinga. Just to sit beside them gave me goosebumps. The energy was just amazing.

It was a great honor just to sit beside these women of Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

During this time, they taught us the traditional Kalinga dance.

Kalinga adventure

Jaycee learning the Kalinga dance.

Kalinga adventure

While the women danced, the men hit the gongs to play some traditional Kalinga music.

Kalinga adventure

Day 3 was all about textiles. We got to meet some of the weavers of Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

Ate Joyce learned the art of Kalinga weaving through her mother. Now, her 16 year old daughter is also learning how to weave like her.

Kalinga adventure

The next generation of Kalinga weavers. An art form passed on from one generation to another.

Kalinga adventure

Here I am trying to learn how to weave. It’s harder than it looks.

Kalinga adventure

This is Romana, my weaving teacher.

After day 3, it was a wrap. We headed back to the hotel and flew back to Manila the next day.

Kalinga adventure

Meet the amazing women (and man) behind this documentary project. (L-R) Louise, Mon, Maggie, and Cha.

The day after landing back in Manila. We all regrouped in Dakila office and reflected on the amazing experiences we had.

The day after landing back in Manila. We all regrouped in Dakila office and reflected on the amazing experiences we had.

Ay Ay Salidumay Salidumay Di Way!

An experience like no other. God Bless.

Credits & Special Thanks:
CherryLime Productions
Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
Yohan, husband and amor of Agustina for all the support.
Leni Velasco – for keeping everything together.
Nati – for everything.
People of Kalinga – for allowing us in your lives, and for all your love and generosity. Maraming maraming salamat.

The Hundred Islands

Alaminos is probably the most popular tourist spot in Pangasinan. About 5-6 hours away from Manila, the Hundred Islands National Park is a definite must-go-to place when traveling to or around the Philippines.

Where we stayed: Island Tropics
Good location, good service, good room size, good price. Boat trips to the hundred islands and other water sports activities may also be arranged with the hotel. Vegetarian friendly. Food may be requested from the hotel’s restaurant.

See video below during our island hopping adventure.
Gears: GoPro Hero2, iMovie (This is not a paid advertisement)

WARF

Lucap Wharf

Island Tropic Hotel

Island Tropic Hotel

Restaurant at Island Tropic

Restaurant at Island Tropic

View from the restaurant

View from the restaurant

Island Tropic suite.

Island Tropic suite.

Room rates

Room rates

They also accept credit cards.

They also accept credit cards.

Time check

Time check

Boat ride

Boat ride

 

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE

Special Thanks:

Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
Alaminos Tourism Office
Island Tropics

 

La Lost in Laiya

Umbrella trees.

Umbrella trees.

An amazing weekend with the #Mamech! Bus, bike, and beach. From Manila we took a bus to Lipa, then biked our way to Laiya, a total 0f 59.3KM. Stayed the night then went bimodal back to Manila.

Notes:

  • Bus ride from Manila (Buendia Station) to Lipa is P124.00
  • Jam Liner offers free wifi.
  • Folding bikes can easily fit under the bus’ compartment, however if you wish to bring a regular sized bike, you can also do so just detach both wheels from the frame.
  • Distance from Lipa Jam Liner station to La Luz Laiya is exactly 59.3KM.
  • Batangas in general is not a vegetarian friendly city, however you can request some carinderia to cook a simple vegetable meal for you, just ask what vegetables they have in their pantry.
  • Transient style accommodations in Laiya is offered by many locals, you just need to ask around. Camping on the beach is not encouraged.

Meeting Nick

Nicholas James Vujicic is a Serbian Australian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs. Wikipedia

…and I had the honor to meet him in Malaysia. As a production coordinator for an international Events and Productions company, the perks can sometimes be overwhelming.

Food Trip In Malaysia

“Flied Lice” at Rai*Thai, AmCorp Mall.

When a vegetarian visits Malaysia, be prepared to gain at least 5 lbs. It’s going to be a feast every meal. For the first time in many years, I felt “normal”. There was something for me to eat everywhere I went. I didn’t have to be a “consideration” amongst friends during meal time. We picked a restaurant and that was that.

Hi-5 In Boracay

 We are 5! Five years and going strong. Rediscovering Boracay with fiance and bassist/spokenword artist, Miko Pepito. Here was where it all started 5 years ago. This time, not for music, not for a project, but for a 3day 2night vacation. Hunting for vegetarian food and just a good spot to hangout and watch time go by.