Yapak Travel & Leisure Magazine Volume 3
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Manila Favors and Flavors
Hot and Cool Lovers’ Getaways Boracay: Trouble in Paradise
Dumdidumdum and the Baby Pawikans of Morong, Bataan
January to February 2008Volume 2. No. 1
Let Your Feet Follow Where Your Mind and Heart Lead
Out DirectoryOut DirectoryIN BORACAY RESORTS Diniwid Beach Resort
Stn. 1 Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
(036) 288-6314 or (036) 288-4140 / (63)
Dave Straw Hat Inn Dave Straw Hat Inn
(036) 288-5465 / (63)927-494-4522 or
(63)921-409-2922 (036) 288-5755
Mandala Spa Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
(036) 288-5856 to 59
Fat Jimmy’s ResortWhite Beach, Boracay Island, Aklan
(02) 632-7583 or (036) 288-5562
(63) 922-421-4785 or (63)916-702-7985
Isla Gecko Balabag, Boracay Island, 5608 Malay, Aklan
(63) 920-430-7589 or (63)906-511-5189
Nigi Nigi Nu Noos PO Box 11, Kalibo Post Office 5600 Kalibo,
(036) 288-5042 (036) 288-3112
DIvE cENTERS calypso Diving center
Mangayad, Manoc-Manoc, 5608 Malay, Aklan
Boracay Safari Divers Balabag, Boracay Island, 5608 Malay, Aklan
New Wave Divers Boracay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay,
RESTauRaNTS Boracay Steakhouse
White Beach, Boracay Island, Aklan
a Loja Delicatessen White Beach, Boracay Island, Aklan
acTIvITy cENTERS Kingfisher’s Farm
Lugotan, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, 5608 Malay, Aklan
Habagat Kiteboarding center Bulabug Beach, Boracay Island,
Department of Tourism Boracay Field Office
IN BOHOL RESORTS alona Palm Beach Resort
Alona Beach, Tawala, 6340 Panglao, Bohol
Bohol Beach club Bolod, Panglao, Bohol
alona Kew Alona Beach, Tawala, Panglao,
Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa Tawala, Panglao, Bohol
Sun apartelle corporation Tawala, Panglao, Bohol
DIvE cENTERS alona Divers Scubas Divers center
Dauis, Panglao, Bohol
alona Beach Sun Diver Sun Apartelle, Alona Beach, Tawala,
Genesis DiversGenesis Divers
Prosafari Diving and Education Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol
RESTauRaNTS Kamalig Bar and Restaurant
Alona Beach, Tawala, 6340 Panglao, Bohol
+63 38 411 2197
IN PueRTO GALeRA RESORTS
Lenly’s Beach Resort White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental
Marco vincent Resort White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental
continued on p13...
EDITOR’S NOTEEDITOR’S NOTE
It’s a new year, and what’s a new year without some reminiscing. Here in Yapak, we examine our reason for sticking around. We haven’t made a buck since we came out, and the struggle has
been hard. Liken it to rafting through white-water without a helmet; we are holding on for dear life.
But then again, this is something we believe in. It is not merely about getting some monetary returns (although that would be nice). It is not merely about coming out with a glitzy graphic magazine. For us, this is about giving back. everyone in the team has wallowed in extraordinary travel experiences in the Philippines. We enjoyed and grew with each step outside. It’s time to give back, and share our thoughts and longings for the environment and our country. And I say this not just because it’s a new year. But the occasion is apt time – for good thoughts, giving back and hope.
In this issue, Veigh Hernandez takes a friend around Metro Manila; while Angela Fraga bikes away to realizations and freedom. We list the big threes of hot and cool lovers’ destinations; and meet baby pawikans along the way.
Let’s start the year right. Travel and appreciate. Rediscover the Philippines. Let your feet follow where your mind and heart lead.
Many Thanks to elaine Tolenti-no, Ida Fernandez , Mary Jane Novenario, Veigh Hernandez, Larry Novenario, Checa Cruz,
Vickie Stohner, Carlo Man-goba, Liza De Guia, Jen Cucio,
Tanya Garcia, Libay Cantor, Angelique umbac, Germaine
Leonin, Jennifer Guinto, Wilson uy, Anya Santos, Jesusa Ayala Dayate, Karlo Paulino, Derrick Lo, elbert Malonzo, Jess Pena,
Butch Aldana and the boys of Penguin, Sandy Allan and
Photos in this issue are printed with permission from Derrick
Lo, Angela Fraga, MJ Yap, and Roda Novenario.
Cover photo was taken by Derrick Lo.
© 2008 by CYS Publishing House
PO Box 0278, Las Pinas Post Office, Las Pinas City 1746,
Metro Manila, Philippines
email: [email protected]
Visit us online at: www.yapaktravel.com
All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be
reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information
storage and retrieval systems without the written permission
of the publisher.Yapak Travel and Leisure is also at Hodge-Podge Apparel at ABS-CBN Center, Luxuria Spa at Tandang Sora, Quezon City, and G&B Men’s Boutique at Glorietta 4; and given out to Etelecare
Global Solutions and HSBC Electronic Data Processing (Philippines) Inc. employees.
Rumbles in the city
CReATIVeSRoda Novenario is Ms. EIC, phone operator and delivery girl. She is often seen around town lugging a big knapsack and a tote bag full of magazine copies. On her free time, she manages to go to her favorite bar or play a little pool. Roda is a beach bum and diver. She wants nothing more than to see Yapak succeed.
JL Timbreza is Ms. Art Director. She is our design guru, and has lent her magic to a couple of US travel magazines. JL is president of Hakbang Kalikasan Mountaineers. She will be a Mrs. soon and hopes for a solemn and happy wedding. She also wants world peace.
Elaine Tolentino is Associate Editor and is currently writing three Masters papers due on the same day Yapak 3 goes to print. She is in the thick of snowy China and misses diving and her dogs. She wishes to come back and be with her family and loved ones.
Jesusa Ayala Dayate wrote for Yapak a while back and is now helping us as Senior Designer. She is an avid moun-taineer and an artist extraordinaire, involving herself both in visual and literary arts. Jesusa is proud to have climbed Mt. Pulag’s Akiki-Ambangeg trail last year. She now runs through UP campus, hoping to burn off excess weight. She wants to finish some artworks and start blogging this year.
ADVeRTISINGFortune Cookie, she who cannot be named, is an old-timer in the advertising industry. This New Year, she wishes to focus more on herself and her personal work. She hopes for more ads and better opportunities.
Mayette Dabuet is our sales vixen. She climbs and dives, and enjoys life along the way. Her mountaineering group has adopted a community in Naswak, Benguet; and she hopes to be able to pool funds for the commu-nity’s development.
ACCOuNTINGVioly Novenario is a CPA, Handmaids of the Lord member and super-mom. She spends her free time with her ministerial sisters, delousing the dogs or fussing over the house. She wishes for peace and that everyone finds time to communicate with God.
Angela Fraga is currently working to finish her thesis in BA Comparative Literature at UP Diliman. She is a film-maker and bike commuter; loves to write, read, compose music and bike! She wishes to finish her thesis by February and for the nurse-to-be in her heart to pass the nursing board. She also hopes that Yapak pulls through and we all become insanely rich. Angela writes about being a biker in traffic-crazy ol’ Metro Manila.Rumbles in the City: p05
Veigh Hernandez is an Organizational Development Specialist and creative writer. Poetry is the language of her heart. She loves her mom dearly; and looks up to Paulo Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Pablo Neruda for creative inspiration. Veigh hopes for a heart that could love as if it had never been hurt. Veigh tours the city with her Zamboanguena friend for the taste, journey and life in the Metro.
Derrick Lo is an IT professional specializing in PHP programming, server backups and administration. He spends his nights playing guitar and he knows Oliver James’ “Greatest Story Ever Told” by heart. He loves walking along the shoreline. This New Year, his wish is to finally get his DSLR and to become closer with his family, especially with his Dad. Metro Trippin’: Manila Favors and Flavors p06
Metro Directory p10Out! Hot and Cool Lovers’ Getaways by Roda Novenario p11Side Bar: Boracay: Trouble in Paradise by Elaine Tolentino p12Speak Out! p13Where To, How To p13Out Directory p13Leave Nothing But… Bilmoko Blues by Roda Novenario p14Conservation at Work: Dumdidumdum and the Baby Pawikans of Morong, Bataan by Roda Novenario p15
Rumbles in the city
RuMBLeS IN THe CITYBy Angela FragaPhotos by Angela Fraga and MJ Yap
Riding through the busy, dangerous streets of Metro Manila, I remember just why I got my bike in the first place. There’s a certain thrill in knowing that you can go anywhere you want, at any time without having to pay for anything except your bike’s maintenance. With the rising cost of public transportation, the bike is a cheap and green alternative. It is a crazy way of living, with the majority keeping to the comforts of their cars.
In the end, it’s also a way of surrender. No metal casings to protect you from the weather, no air-conditioning to keep you relatively sane during the morning’s horrendous commute.
There is a thrill in weaving through Manila traffic, as one would an obstacle course, except this one involves your life and your limbs, and falling between concrete or metal. As a road warrior, the city is your
jungle and the bike, your gatekeeper to a different and exciting world.
There is a list of downsides, of course. Pollution. undisci-plined drivers. The most unpre-dictable of situations. In Manila, people behind the wheel can be the most callous human beings and they have – more than once – contributed to various bike acci-dents in my case.
Debris and trash on the streets result in a cyclist’s flat tires. Water-
filled ditches on rainy days are harbingers of disease. On the road and along sidewalks, there is a stark unconcern for rules; pedestrians can be as uncaring as their driving counterparts.
And the fact remains. Bicycles are discriminated against in parking places, in the streets (but for Marikina City’s), and even in one’s home. No one seems to understand your vehemence for biking instead of driving.
Of course, despite it all, you’re thinking – the only carbon emissions you have are coming out of your body and you’re burning calories to boot. There is also a dialog between the living around you and yourself: with the acacia trees in the everyday trips around the university of the Philippines, the air indentured to pollution, the uneven and ill-maintained roads, the rising concrete of urban behemoths and with the people on other bikes who share your passion.
With the breadth of the city about you, its people and volatile traffic, it is all about connection – being able to hold a conversation without speaking. To converse with the dissonance around you, grinning, while straining against exhaustion. Dirt smudged against one’s legs. Sweat beading down your face. Thoughts intent on the immediate task of traversing a steep hill, nego-tiating the technical traffic-laden path while avoiding manholes and deep ditches.
It may be a bustling, dirty and cacophonous place. Yet it is also my respite –a living thing with which I commune and is a part of me. After a long day, I come home, fix myself a cup of tea and sit down to rest my legs. I revel at the sky, dark orange from the belch of a million-or-more populace and its creations; these same elements that give this place its enormous vivacity. To this bike commuter, Manila in the end is a plethora of contradictions that fuel the heart, mind and soul.
Metro TrippinMetro Trippin’
MANILA FAVORS AND FLAVORSBy Veigh C. HernandezPhotos by Roda Novenario
I spent some time in Zamboanga City and was lucky enough to make friends with Marian – for no one could have made me taste, journey, and live the Chabacano life the way only a true Zamboangueña could.
When the chance to do the same for her came up, I gave her the taste, journey, and life of Manila the way only a true Manileña could. And being Manileña does not only mean “someone born and raised in Manila.” It also means someone who still loves Manila, at its best and worst. I only had three days.
DAY ONe I picked her up at the airport. She was welcomed with the steady downpour of November rain. If she was not with someone who loves the falling rain, this would have been an ominous sign. But then rain could not stop us from having fun.
I brought her to my office at the IT company I work for, and she observed how young and dynamic the people were. She overheard how each were talking about the fun they had last night and where they would go after work. She was amazed at the lifestyle differ-ences because from where she came from, most people go home after the day’s work.
For her first meal, I took her to Saisaki. She liked the gyoza at least, but she was not much of a sushi and sashimi fan. She also did understand why we like ebi tempura.
We then went around Greenhills Shopping Center, and shopped for items the place was famous for.
In the evening, I took Marian to the Araneta Center. We had dinner at Dencio’s and I made her taste the best sisig. She liked it and we had to order for another serving. She almost did not want to go inside the Gateway Mall – she was so intimidated by its posh appearance.
We had tea at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Marian was astonished at how a cup of tea could cost so much. I told her to just sip and relax. She liked how the lemon chamomile was light and soothing. I had ginseng peppermint to infuse myself with the energy I needed because I still have two more days to show her around.
DAY TWOFrom me, Marian learned to choose the cabs we flag down. I told her which taxis never refuse passen-gers and those with accurate taxi-meters. We went off to uP Diliman so she can register for the bar exam review. Then I took her around the campus and told her my personal history along with it.
A tour of uP would not be complete without a trip to Vinzon’s Hall, the campus’s student services building, for some siomai. I then took her to the Carillon Tower and told her how I love it there when it’s dusk - how the edifice filters the light and silence – because then it is easy to imagine the gentle sound of the tolling bells as if paying homage to another day. And lastly, I brought her to the amphitheater and told her how it became, for me, one of the places where it rains most beautifully.
Trinoma, the latest addition to the Metro malls, was our next desti-nation and Marian particularly liked the zen garden at the deck. She opted to have brunch at Bacolod Chicken Inasal so she can taste the Chicken Ysabella of the Judy Ann Santos TV series.
I made Marian experience an MRT ride. And she relished the moment but got dismayed when the people
who couldn’t get off the train started to yell at the security guard. Marian thought that city people were easily irritated and very exacting.
Our next stop was Greenbelt. Marian’s gentleman-friend asked us out to lunch and he picked Cafe Via Mare. We had what the place was known for: kare-kare, baby back ribs, and bibingka. The café had always been special and it did not fail us. I then took her around Greenbelt, and she was impressed at how the mall’s garden provided a respite from the hustle and bustle. She was in awe of the chic shops and the lavish dining places at Greenbelt.
We then walked down the stretch of Ayala Avenue and I pointed out the attributes of each building. She noticed how fast everyone moved. That almost no one had the time to stop and look around them.
Next was The Fort – Market Market, Bonifacio High Street, Serendra, Boni-facio Stopover, Forum, and The Fort Square. We stayed at Jill’s; it was 80’s night on Fridays. Marian had a taste of urban nightlife and found out a girl could never have too much fun.
DAY THReeBreakfast was at Tiffany’s - a tapsilogan in Bambang. We were at the Divisoria – Tutuban area and went to Divisoria Mall and 168. It did not matter that the alleys were “standing room only.” We spent half of the day there shopping.
We walked down Juan Luna St., rested at Plaza Calderon dela Barca, and stood gazing at the Basilica de San Lorenzo. We marched down to Ongpin St. and bought endless boxes of hopia at eng Bee Tin. Lunch was at estero – she enjoyed the racket and energy of the place. Marian wanted to take a calesa ride but I told her to take pity on the exhausted horse.
Next stop: Intramuros. We made our way to Puerto Real, down to Baluarte de Sa Diego. We stopped at San Agustin Church and since it was a Saturday, it was a day of weddings. I told her about the Satur-
days when I would just sit around inside the church to watch the happily-ever-after that lasted only for a day. We walked the path of Father Blan-co’s Garden - the most romantic place for engagement proposals. We crossed a short cobblestone street to get to the Manila Cathedral. I told Marian that I love Intramuros because it makes me feel connected to those who lived hundreds of years ago.
We had to hurry down to Baywalk to catch the Manila Sunset. And sunsets, be it in Manila or anywhere else, simply rooted one to the spot.
Our last stop was the Mall of Asia. We witnessed the spectacular fireworks display while a marching band played Christmas carols. Marian was expecting it to be bigger and more different. But then, the view of Manila Bay more than
made up for it. It was a good place to end our journey. We just sat there, had tea and in between silences, we both reassured each other of our friendship.
I could have taken Marian to other places around town but I gave her the part that holds much meaning to me. An infinite
universe lies in each of us. It is held together by the ties of love, friendship, and grati-tude. It grows when shared with others.
METRO DIRECTORYMETRO DIRECTORY
Wheatberry Bakery and cafe No. 84 Sct. Castor cor. Sct Tuazon,
Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City 1103
Behrouz Persian cuisine 63 Sct. Tobias St., Timog Ave.,
cafe Bola Araneta Coliseum Arcade, Araneta
Center, Cubao, Quezon City
cafe Breton Tomas Morato cor. Scout de Guia,
chili’s Grill and Bar199 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout
Fernandez, Quezon City
Trellis 40 Matalino St. cor. Kalayaan Ave.,
Diliman, Quezon City
BaRS conspiracy Garden café
59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Penguin Gallery Remedios cor. Bocobo St., Reme-
dios Circle, Malate, Manila
Blue Room Restaurant and Bar 615 J. Nakpil St., Malate, Manila
Oarhouse 1803 A. Mabini St., ermita, Manila
Hobbit House MH Del Pilar cor. Padre Faura
Sts. ermita, Mla.
70s Bistro46 Anonas St., Project 2, Quezon
Newsdesk café No. 8, Scout Madrinan cor. Scout
Tobias, Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City
club Dredd eastwood City Walk Fuente
Circle, eastwood Citywalk 2 188 e. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagum-bayan, Libis, Quezon City
Xaymaca 71 Timog Ave., Quezon City
The Basement eastwood City Walk, eastwood
Citywalk 1 188 e. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagum-bayan, Libis, Quezon City
Gweilos Bar and Restaurant eastwood City Walk Fuente
Circle, eastwood Citywalk 2, 188 e. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagumbayan, Libis, Quezon City
SaLONS FIX Robinson’s Galleria
L/2 #090-092 Robinsons Place Galleria edsa cor. Ortigas Ave.
David’s Salon Robinsons Place Branch
3/F Robinson’s Place, Malate, Manila
FIX virra Mall Ground Flr., No. V-108 C, Green-
hills Shopping Center San Juan, M.M.
723-9309 / 727-1691
caFES/RESTauRaNTS Origin coffee company
JAKA Center 2111, Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
cafe adriatico Malate 1790 M. Adriatico St. Malate,
Mocha Blends SM Fairview Novaliches, Quezon City
Hap chan Tea House (Malate) 561 Gen. Malvar St. cor. Adriatico
St. Malate, Manila
Emerald Garden Roxas Boulevard cor. Arquiza
Eastern Garden 954 Ongpin St. Sta. Cruz, Manila
New Bombay Food Inc.Tower One, Ground Flr., The
Columns Bldg. 6821 Ayala Ave., cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Bgy. Bel-Air, Makati City
JNBM art cafe Shop SM Mall of Asia, 2nd Level, enter-
tainment Mall Central Business Park, Bay Blvd., Bay City, Pasay City
854-6701 loc 8372 / 0915-5781451
Greens vegetarian Restaurant & cafe
92 Scout Castor Street, Quezon City 1103
415-4796, 378-2781 / 0918-568-
David’s For Rever SM Mall of Asia, 2nd Level, South
Wing, Central Business Park, Bay Blvd., Bay City, Pasay City, MM
FIX aBS cBN The Loop G/F #12 North Wing eugenio
Lopez Jr. Community Center Mother Ignacia St. Quezon City
David’s Salon SM city West-Main Bldg. Branch
2/F Main Bldg. SM City West Ave., Quezon City
FIX SM North EDSa SM North edsa Brgy. Pag-Asa
David’s Salon Timog Branch unit 17 A Landsdale Arcade,
Mother Ignacia St.cor., Timog, Quezon City
BOOKSTORES aND cOLLEcTIBLES Bound
105-A Scout Castor Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City
vintage Pop Marikina Shoe expo, Cubao,
The Reading Room The Reading Room
Popular Book Store 305 Tomas Morato St., Bgy. South
Triangle, Quezon City
Solidaridad Bookshop 531 Padre Faura, ermita, Manila
cLOTHING aND accESSORIES Hodge Podge
eLJ Bldg. “The Loop” ABS-CBN Compound M. Ignacia Ave., Q.C.
GuEST HOuSE Friendly’s Guesthouse
1750 Adriatico St. cor. Nakpil St., Malate, Manila
SPaS Garden Spa Makati Branch
2nd Flr. Centerppoint Bldg. Chino Roces Ave. cor. exportbank Drive, Makati City
Bioessence Greenhills Branch 2nd Floor Fox Square Bldg.,
Connecticut Drive, Greenhills
722-0712 / 722-0658
The Spa Greenbelt Ground Flr., Paseo de Roxas,
Drop-off entrance, Greenbelt 1, Makati City
840-1325 / 840-1326
Relaksasi Tower One, Ground Flr., The
Columns Bldg. 6821 Ayala Ave., cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Bgy. Bel-Air, Makati City
The Spa acropolis Acropolis Center, Acropolis Green
Subd., e. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Libis, Quezon City
634-2848 / 634-2709 634-2267
Bioessence West avenue 68 Carbal Bldg, West Ave., Q.C.
371-2931 / 372-2649
cLINIcS La Nouvelle Image
La Nouvelle Image
DermaDentics Dermatology and Dental clinic
Ground Floor, Times Plaza, u.N. Ave. cor. Taft Ave., Manila
aRT GaLLERIES <ar.I.a.s> artist-run Independent art Space
318-A LRI Business Plaza, Nicanor Garcia St., Makati City
895-9837 / 0916-407-7191
DIvE INSTRucTORS Wilson uy
In Manila, Makati and Quezon City
Shelley conradson In Manila and Cebu City
DIvE SuPPLIES aquaventure Whitetip Dive Supply
2nd Flr. Tuscan Bldg., 114 V.A. Legazpi Village, Makati City
810-0079 / 810-2004
TRavEL aGENcIES anscor-casto Travel corp.
2nd Flr. Tuscan Bldg., 114 V.A. Legazpi Village, Makati City
810-0079 / 810-2004
crown Travel corporation 1200 A. Mabini cor. Arquiza Sts.
523-3349 / 523-2793 523-2916
Like many couples know, even the perfect love affairs need spice sometimes. Out-of-town getaways usually do the trick so we compiled the top three hot and cool getaways for you. Take a peek, take a trip. We promise it will be a lot of fun.
1. Boracay Island, PanayThis island-paradise is the travel destination of dreams. Long stretches of gleaming white sand. Distractions that suit all tastes, be it diving, snorkeling, banana boat rides, parasailing and whatever else. Bars are awake, all day and night. Food options are abundant and buffet meals often pack in the best of Filipino and seafood cuisine. Boracay is the first stop for serious beach party people.
Not to miss are drinking challenges at Moondog’s Shooter, breakfast at english Bakery (3 branches in Bora), homemade Italian ice cream at Caffe 1920, fruit shakes at Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar, and coffee at Real Coffee & Tea Café. There are good food place scattered mostly on the stretch of White Beach so just take your pick and indulge.
If you’re itching for something different, try a romantic paraw (native boat) tour that can come with a meal for two. Mountain bike trails around Boracay can also be a great
way to see the island. There are bikes for rent in several places along the beach.
2. Panglao Beach, BoholPanglao is diver heaven, with its shore reef already lush with colorful corals and interesting tropical fish. The waters close to the beach have patches of sea grasses, and there’s a resident green and black pufferfish on the leftmost side, facing the water. Likewise, it is surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the country.
Balicasag Island, just 10 minutes off Panglao by boat, is a world-renowned dive destination. Its periphery is made up of several dive sites. Some notables are the Black Coral Forest, where you can explore rare black corals at less than 100 feet deep; and the Cathedral Wall, with its several wall formations that teem with marine life. Pamilacan Island (30 minutes from Panglao) also has a marine sanctuary and a great beach to laze around in.
Panglao also draws travelers interested in dolphin and whale watching. Dolphin sightings are guaranteed if you set out very early in the morning (5AM).
3. Puerto Galera, Oriental MindoroGalera is great for its proximity from Manila, active
night scene, the Mindoro Sling, White Beach’s long stretch of beach, and Sabang’s dive shops every 5 feet. There are also very good dive sites that pepper the waters of Galera, mostly close to Sabang Beach. A trek to Tamaraw falls is likewise a great way to while the day away.
Mass tourism however has caused some visible degra-dation in its snorkeling and diving areas. Hopefully, some steps are taken to revive Galera waters.
HOT aND cOOL Lovers’ GetawaysBy Roda Novenario
continued on p 12
BORACAY: TROuBLe IN PARADISeBy elaine Tolentino
Writing this article is quite a tease to my current predicament. As I freeze in the below 0C temperatures of China’s approaching winter, a sip of steaming barako brewed coffee (yes, the few things I did not forget to pack), my solace from the cold, the mere thought of the sunny warm beaches of Boracay makes me want to jump on the next available flight home.
every year, this stretch of powdery white-sand and blue crystal waters draws thousands of local and foreign tourists. It has become a haven for young professionals from various fields; and a weekend escape for some as budget travels (local budget flights and roro trips) become more available.
It is unfortunate, however, that the outpour of visitors and the uncontrollable development in the island are wreaking havoc on its fragile environment. And trouble in this bit of paradise is old news to many, but is still a great concern and merits our attention before substantial and irreversible damages take toll.
How the island transformed from pristine and uninhabited to a commercialized one is a typical case of mass tourism. Small and big investors take advantage of the masses of tourists pouring into the island by building resorts, restaurants, and other facilities. The local government encourages this boom as money pours into their locale. And the locals join the bandwagon with the numerous job opportuni-ties that tourism creates, though mostly with low-paying wages.
There are many economic benefits from the tourism boom but these gains remain short-term gains only if left uncontrolled.
The commercialization of Boracay started in the late 80s. During the same period, a development master plan for the island was laid out by the Department of Tourism (DOT). This plan was shelved so the subsequent construction of resorts and other facili-ties did not have any plan guidelines to follow. People and devel-opers just started to build and build without thinking of the repercus-sions of this uncontrolled progress.
Today, Boracay boasts of many dive and beach resorts; including a major luxury hotel that just opened recently, restaurants and bars that keep the islands’ nightlife alive, and other amenities that lure more and more tourists in the area. At the same time, the island faces numerous development issues that are critical to its sustainability, such as solid and water waste management, visual and noise pollution, land title disputes, energy supply issues and others.
These issues may seem complex, but they are not without viable and sustainable solutions. It needs the cooperation of the local government, investors, the local inhabitants and other stake-holders in the area. Furthermore, the national government needs to have a strong political will to institute changes that will help preserve this once magnificent island… before it’s too late.
Montelibano, T. Y. (undated). Paradise threatened: Boracay then and now. Philippine Business Magazine. Makati Business Club, 2001 – 2006. 12 (3).
Sustainable tourism in Boracay - Boracay real estate. (undated). IFC Boracay Study.
SPEaK OuT!: ReAL PLACeS, ReAL PeOPLe
Where’s the best out-of-town date? Tell us where, how and why.
Jen Guinto, Data Analyst
My best was at a Tanza, Cavite beach resort. My someone special went on a holiday with me despite our busy schedules. The cold weather, the sea breeze, the serenity of the place – it’s all perfect! Any month is a good time to go especially if you’ll travel with your significant other.
Avel Lapitan, Research Associate
Anywhere is best. Remember that it’s not the place, it’s the company that makes it great!
Next issue, tell us what you’ll do this summer. email [email protected]
1. Baguio, Bengueteveryone reading this has probably gone to Baguio. It’s one of the more accessible mountain vacation spots, just an 8 hour bus ride away from Manila. And I’m sure we all wouldn’t mind going back to Baguio. Baguio is cool and homey; and walking its streets, even if you’re not from there, seem safe.
There are the usual tourist spots for newbies and it’s always best to plan a route. If you want a packed day, it might be best to hire a jeep or cab for going around. Drivers are often fair and in good spirit. Don’t miss the Bell Church near La Trinidad, the strawberry fields of La Trinidad, the Philippine Military Academy and Tam-awan Village.
The cityscape has changed a lot lately. There’s already an SM, the only “open” SM I know of. Some old nooks have given in to age and “more happening” places.
Le Fondue at L’ Azotea is still there for nightly acoustic sets and inuman ambience. Burnham Park is still a great place for jogging, boating, biking and having picnics. Café by the Ruins remains a favorite for native cuisine. The new OMG! offers an alternative music venue and vegetarian food.
2. Sagada, Mountain ProvinceSagada is THe spelunking destination in the country. There are several intricate caves to choose from, and guides are trained and well equipped in aiding caving newbies. The most popular is the Sumaging cave or the Big Cave. It takes about 3 hours to finish a typical tour of this cave; and there is an option to traverse into and out of Lumiang cave for an additional 2 hours. Add in a couple of falls and mountain trails, hanging coffins, limestone cliffs, fresh vegetables, great weather and un-crowded streets – Sagada is perfect!
Don’t miss out on the Masferre Photographs and Sagada Weaving demos.
3. BanaueBanaue is a small mountain town surrounded by picturesque rice terraces. Referred to as the “8th wonder of the world,” these terraces are the town’s main attraction. The best ones are often a ride and hike away; and make for an unforgettable adven-ture, with its bumpy edge-of-seat ride and the typical walk-up the terraces walls. (Some physical dexterity is required for these hikes.) When in Banaue, try to see the terraces of Batad and Cambulo. If pressed for time, The Viewpoint offers a more accessible alternative.
Through the years, the state of these terraces has declined due to damaged irrigation systems, mass tourism, and neglect. It is even in danger of being taken off unesco’s World Heritage Site list. Immediate steps towards the terraces’ rehabilitation are needed.
Out DirectoryOut DirectoryBoracay, Panay You can either fly or sail to Boracay.
Local commercial airlines fly into Kalibo from Manila. From Kalibo, take a van going to Caticlan. This usually takes an hour and a half. Then, it’s a 20-minute boat ride before landing on paradise. There are planes that fly directly to Caticlan but these have limited seating capacities so book ahead. The Ro-ro boats sail to Dumaguit, which is at the northern tip of Panay. From here, there are buses that ply to Caticlan.
Panglao, Bohol To get to Panglao, fly or take a boat going to Tagbilaran. There are cabs or minicabs you can hire from the airport or port to take you to Panglao. There are also ferries that ply between Tagbilaran and Cebu. Boat trips take about two hours.
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro From Manila, take a bus going to Batangas Pier. Most of these buses have stations along Buendia corner Taft Avenue, Pasay City. Trips take about three hours. From the port, select a boat that goes directly to the beach you want to go to (Sabang or White Beach). Boat trips usually take a little more than an hour. There are usually people outside the ticketing area who will be a bit too pushy with selling their boat’s trip, beware. If you get to the port early or late in the day, you might also encounter people who will tell you that there are no more boat trips and then offer that you hire a private one. Always check with the ticketing office first on trip schedules.
Baguio, Benguet Land travel is the fun way to get to Baguio because of the food stops along the way and the scenic route, especially towards the end of the trip. Victory Liner in Pasay City, Cubao, Quezon City and espana, Manila have trips every thirty minutes. If you travel at a very late hour or during peak season, there are FX cabs right outside the Victory Liner station in Cubao. These cabs cost the same but may be a bit too “closed up” for comfort. On the plus side though, they pass through Kennon Road, and the view here is just amazing.
Banaue and Sagada, Mountain Province Banaue is the jump-off point to get to Sagada. There are once a day trips to Banaue, via Autobus in espana, Manila that leave at 10PM. During peak season and holidays, they add one or two trips (all night trips). Trips take around 10 hours.
WHERE TO, HOW TOWHERE TO, HOW TOTo get to Sagada from Banaue, you can take
a minibus that makes a lot of stops along the way or opt for a jeep/FX for hire that wait right outside the Autobus station in Banaue. Their fees are reasonable enough, and you can split with other groups traveling to Sagada.
Palangga’s White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
vM Beach Resort White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
coco Beach Island Resort Coco Beach Island Resort
La Laguna Beach club and Dive centre Big La Laguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
(043) 287-3181 (63) 917-794-0323
Portofino Beach Resort Small La Laguna Beach, Sabang, Puerto Galera,
atlantis Puerto Galera Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
(043) 287-3066 to 69
Kalaw Place Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
DIvE cENTERS Pacific Divers
White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
(63) 919-888-6763 or
continued from p 2. Out Directory. Puerto Galera
Out DirectoryOut Directory
Leave nothing But...Leave nothing But...BILMOKO BLueSBy Roda Novenario
And we’re on to the next… After the scramble for gifts for 2007’s Christmas, it’s another mad scramble ahead. Valentine’s coming up; and, sure, who wouldn’t want a token or two from a special someone.
Don’t get me wrong. Giving (and receiving!) is good. And if there has to be a season or occasion for it, then why not.
What I do not go for is how many succumb to equating the joys of the occa-sion to what they get. A new phone, a new laptop, a new gaming system, brand new designer clothes –are these all there is to celebrate for? Are these all there is to spend for? Live for?
This day and age, it is hard not to want. Just switching on the TV for a few seconds and we’re bombarded with what we should have and how we should live.
Blue Water Diving Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
(043) 287-3089 / (63)919-480-9918
Triton Divers Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
(043) 287-3135 /(63) 917-400-7616
RESTauRaNTS Blue Marlyn Bar and Restaurant
White Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
cherry’s Inn cottage and Restaurant White Beach, Puerto Galera,
Nikita Diving Bar and Restaurant White Beach, Puerto Galera,
Edie’s Place Pool Bar Restaurant Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
Mc Rom’s Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
Sunshine coast Bar & Restaurant Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera,
IN BAGuIO HOTELS Ina Mansion
28 Kisad Road Cor. Gen. Lim Street, Baguio City
(074) 619-2373 or (074) 444-9405
Benguet Prime Hotel Session Rd., Baguio City
(074) 442-7066 or (074) 442-8363
Baguio vista Inn 18 M H Del Pilar, , Baguio City
Hotel veniz 1 Abanao, Baguio City
Inn Rocio68 Kisad Rd., Baguio City
RESTauRaNTS cafe By The Ruins
25 Chuntug, Baguio City
Rosebowl Restaurant7 Harrison Rd , Baguio City
Star cafe & Restaurant 39 Session Rd., Baguio City
Pizza volante Session Rd., Baguio City
eLSeWHeRe AMAZING Hotel Pontefino
Pastor Village, Gulod Labac, Batangas City
(043) 723-3466 /
(63)917-505-4231 (043) 723-3488
Tagaytay country Hotel Olivarez Plaza, e. Aguinaldo
Hi-way, Olivarez College Compound Tagaytay City,
(046) 413-3310 or (046) 413-3097
ConservationAt WorkDuMDIDuMDuM AND THe BABY PAWIKANS OF MORONG, BATAANBy Roda Novenario
He is a frisky one, Dumdidumdum. He pushes ahead, jutting himself above everyone else in the pond filled with baby pawikans. He seems like he wanted to get out so bad.
I pick him out of about 20 hatchlings and couldn’t keep him still. With my small camera already strapped around my right wrist, my free hands are still over-whelmed.
There is the compulsory photo op with the Inquirer’s travel photographer so I try to calm Dumdidumdum down. I am partly successful.
My baby pawikan is one of the hatch-lings sheltered by the Pawikan Conser-vation Center in Morong, Bataan. The center is the community’s initiative and has been supported by the united Nations Development Program-Global environment Facility under their Small Grants Programme (uNDP-GeF-SGP),
the Pawikan Conservation Project of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of environment and Natural Resources, Provincial Govern-ment of Bataan, and the uNLAD-Bataan Philippine Rural Reconstruction Move-ment (PRRM) Chapter.
Turtle poachers and egg collectors in the past, the center’s volunteers now make up Bantay Pawikan Inc., the center’s volunteer group. Their reformation is life-altering, to say the least, as they’ve had to look for alternative means of live-lihood, as well as adjust certain notions regarding turtles and turtle eggs.
Turtle shells are coveted as materials for ornaments and souvenirs. Turtle meat is a main source of protein for coastal areas in developing countries. It is also consid-ered a delicacy in some areas. Turtle eggs are food too, and with absurd life-prolonging expectations by its eaters.
And even when not hunted, human prac-tices endanger turtle population. Turtles are air-breathing reptiles that must surface every now and then to breathe. Shrimp and fishing nets trap turtles, disabling them from swimming upward. Likewise, shoreline developments threaten egg-laying. Turtles are attuned to the earth’s magnetic field and females come back to the beach where they were born to lay eggs. When these beaches are developed for tourism and what not, human traffic endangers the eggs.
Walking through the city, billboards scream at you to buy this and that.
And there is nothing wrong in knowing our options. Yet, we must realize that that’s what they are, just options.
We live in a consumerist world; there’s no getting away from that. Yet, we can decide to be discerning consumers. Spend wisely. Remember the cliché: It’s the thought that counts. And know that you are not your clothes, your phone, your stuff – you’re God’s creature, life’s traveler, unique, loving and special.
On another note, this bit of “news”
has been circulating on the web. It’s about this air-gunning club in Bacolod, and one of its members posted several pictures of what they do online. The club is for bird-hunters; and pictures have these men wear their dead catches around their necks – imagine a guy with a mean-looking rifle propped up against his abdomen and heads of dead birds around his body.
One does not have to be vegetarian to feel some revulsion in seeing this. Because, come on, can’t these guys pick on something their own size? Or at least something that can fight back?
Hunting is an old sport, I know, and maybe it’s not my place to comment.
The efforts of the Pawikan Conserva-tion Center in Morong start with gath-ering eggs laid on Morong’s stretch of beach. Gathered eggs are reburied in a fenced area until hatched. Although this practice decreases the hatching ratio, it’s better than leaving these eggs exposed on the beach. Hatchlings are then sheltered in a small pond until they are strong enough to swim.
That’s when we come in. Me and Dumdidumdum together today for the baby pawikans’ releasing ritual. A short speech by the organizer, a group picture, and then we’re ready.
I say my goodbyes. I tell him to meet me underwater one day, in a dive or two. The group lays the babies down five meters into the beach, facing the ocean. We hope for their survival. We let them sense the magnetic imprints of that piece of earth as they instinctively crawl towards the water. Dumdidumdum is ahead of the pack, of course. I am so proud.
To contact The Pawikan Conservation Center: Nida Valdez. Mobile: 0928-
718-5721. Purok IV, Aplaya, Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan.
For organized trips, please contact Violet Imperial of Nature Awareness and Conservation Club Inc. Telefax: 806-1720. Mobile: 0919-483-9250 /
But in these enlightened days, when most everyone should be scuffling all over the place to save dying flora and fauna, why needlessly kill endemic bird species?
I want to end with a few words for one of this issue’s writers. Those who truly love do not judge who you are and who you love. Love is boundless and amazing – you know that. In your exile, remember that your friends are with you.
I wish everyone love and peace this new year.
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