The Age of Sail has prompted European powers to expand territories beyond their realms. The Spanish and the Portuguese spearheaded these expansionist expeditions. In the course of his voyage, Ferdinand Magellan made use of the trade winds to sail westward. His expedition tragically ended in Mactan Island, part of the archipelago later named by Ruy López de Villalobos as Las Islas Filipinas. Juan Sebastián Elcano took over the Magellan expedition and completed the first circumnavigation of the world. It hastened the formal establishment the Spanish East Indies colonies comprised of Philippine Islands, Moluccas, Guam, Marianas, Carolinas, and Formosa (Taiwan). Based in Mexico, the administration ofRead More →

One of the under-the-radar beach destinations near metropolitan Manila is Masasa Beach in the island municipality of Tingloy in Batangas. Masasa does not boast the finest of white sands but its long beach and turquoise waters more than made up for it to become an idyllic weekend camp site. The friendly people and laid-back community are a natural attraction, too. Visitors can also hike to the Mag-asawang Bato. Travel Tips: Take a Batangas City-bound bus in Kamias or in Buendia, preferably via STAR Tollway to save time. From the Grand Terminal in Batangas, ride a Mabini-bound jeepney. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes. Fare isRead More →

Earlier in the day, I experienced for a fleeting moment a paradise in Cabugao Gamay Island. But I was sent crashing down to earth by the blemished caves of Cabugao Daku Island. So, we proceeded to Antonia Beach which is located at the southeastern edge of Gigantes Sur Island. As we were nearing the beach, I felt that I would be in another paradise. Indeed, I was! The sand was powdery. The water was turquoise. The beach was dotted with coconut trees. The rock formation was just awesome. As I climbed the southern hill of Gigantes Sur Island that overlooks Antonia Beach, I thought IRead More →

A low pressure area was developing somewhere in Mindanao and that explained why the Visayan Sea was a little rough on that particular day. Maybe I thought I came to Gigantes Islands at a wrong time. But, no. There was no storm yet in the horizon so I believed it would go alright. I talked to the owner of Gigantes Hideaway Inn, Sir Joel Decano, to provide me a good boat for my island hopping. Mr. Decano is also the tourism officer of the Municipality of Carles which has the jurisdiction of the islands in Gigantes. Since I was all alone, the boat rental wasRead More →

I couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. It was a giant reset button. You could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed. – Avery Sawyer I have always nurtured the thought of living in a postcard beachfront property. With coconut trees providing shade and powdery white sand covering the shore, it should be blissful. Setting my feet on Hiyor-Hiyoran Island, part of Britania Group of Islands and Islets, my imaginations flooded. Hiyor-Hiyoran Island is indeed that dream turned into reality. A mound of hill covered with lush trees and vegetation, Hiyor-Hiyoran Island has aRead More →

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