Browsing Category: "Travel and Places"

Short Visit at Monasterio de Tarlac

It was been a few years ago when I first saw about Monasterio de Tarlac from relatives residing in the city and since then it has become my goal to see it once I went home to Tarlac. When my relatives asked us where do we want to go I literally voice out where do I want to go, so when we had a lunch at my aunt house on November 4, we didn’t waste much time and heads up there.

The travel time to Monasterio de Tarlac was about one hour, it was my first time seeing the outskirts of the city and I realized it feels like home (Tablas). The monastery is a popular tourist destination among locals where the relic of the True Cross can be found, it is situated in top of Mount Resurrection Eco Park in the barangay of Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac.

Since it was Sunday, there are plenty of people visiting and waiting for the mass at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, there was no entrance fee to the monastery and you are free to walk around the park and take many pictures as you want. Getting a solo picture under the 30-foot colossal statue of Jesus Christ is pain in the ass because it looks like it was the main attraction at the monastery.

We really didn’t take long because my aunt told my foreigner uncle that she will be home early, so after taking pictures we immediately left. Arriving back to my aunt’s house we ate some snacks and then one of my uncles brought us home.

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Clear Blue Skies: Hiking to Palati Falls for the Second Time

Traversing a  muddy trail for two hours  just to see the beauty of Palati Falls in Libertad is more than worth it. It was only a week ago when we hiked to Palati Falls, but I have to hike there again for the second time around on July 28th.

A second hike was planned and organized by one of the members of RBM after he failed to come home early from Manila and wasn’t able to hike with us, so I have informed my cousins and neighbors about the hike. They have asked me when will be our group returning to Palati Falls hence they were interested to come with us upon seeing the photos I have uploaded in my Facebook account.

Unfortunately, they were not able to go because it is a workday, but my younger first cousin was very interested that he keeps asking for the event time, so I told him to be ready at 5:30 in the morning because the group will leave at 7 o’clock from the meeting point in town.  I didn’t take him seriously because I thought he was just kidding, and that night I accidentally trampled in the hollow-blocks while feeding my cats resulting to laceration in one of my toes so I really have no plan to hike again to Palati Falls, but my cousin showed up early in the morning with his swollen eyes while I am still asleep, I am about to tell him that we are not going but my mother and sister says, I gave my cousin hope last night so I shouldn’t cancel it, so I told him to get ready because we are leaving soon, I just have to prepare my bag and I have to bath.

Well, I could easily tell my cousin that I can’t go, but I feel bad about it. He doesn’t feel good and he isn’t looking good, it was last night when he passed by our yard going to their house crying like crazy, my Uncle or his father told us that his son’s girlfriend broke up with him without apparent reason, according to some chit-chat outside the girl found another guy.

Anyway, he patiently waited for me with his father, whom I think very much concerned for his well-being. We went to town using their motorcycle, I have to buy food in town for my lunch since I wasn’t prepared for this hike.  We waited a bit for other interested hikers before heading to Sitio Boliganay in Panique.

The road to Boliganay wasn’t that muddy like a week ago since it didn’t rain frequently anymore, we used the same trail. If we are 18 hikers a week ago, this time we are only 7 people making our pace quicker. My cousin was already feeling tired when we started going upward the hill,  he keeps stopping and drinking his bottled water. I wasn’t able to ask him to take photos of me because he keeps complaining he is too tired to do it (lol).

Unlike my previous hike where I felt too tired and slow, on my second hike the trail was already easy for me, I am able to run upward without getting tired, I wonder if it is because I used different bag and shoes. My hiking bag was too heavy to carry so I have used a school bag making everything lighter, I took my shoes off when we are already in the stream heading to the falls, and I jump along the large rocks like a frog.

The wound in my toe was hurting especially when we are going down the slope because it is hitting against the wall of my shoes, but I have no time to complaint nor cry about it.

There was a clearing, the sky wasn’t gloomy and within less than two hours, we are able to reach Palati Falls but it was a downer because there were no twin falls, there was only one falls.  We took some photos, create a vlog, ate our lunch and rested a bit before going down, we traversed the same path again last week, we headed to the stream to find our way home.

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Getting Lost in Nature: Hiking to Palati Falls, Tablas Island

One of my mountaineering friends (RJ) shared an event on Facebook and it caught my interest because RBM already went over there and unfortunately I wasn’t able to go because of the bad weather.

Well, I was caught in between which event should I go with, because my training class (Tourism Promotion Services or TPS)  had planned to do round Tablas on the same day (July 21th), but I got help from above when Sir Gab had a prior commitment in the morning so the whole plan of TPS will not materialize.

As planned, the group meets up at Children Paradise at 6:00 AM. I was a late comer, but they waited for me and while preparing to hit the road, a classmate and friend (MJ) from TPS went near me, it turns out she went to the training center, but it was closed and she happened to see me, so I asked her if she wanted to go with us. She’d like to, so I informed RJ about it, and they find someone from the group for her to back ride.

Brgy. Libertad is subdivided into four sitios, and one of them is Palati, which was my destination the day after my TPS group visited Mainit Falls, it is the most interior part of the Barangay and its name means second growth forest. Palati Falls is located in Libertad, but our jump-off was in Sitio Boliganay of Brgy.  Panique, a barangay after Libertad if you are coming from the town. The road to Boliganay is under-construction so as expected, it is muddy during the rainy season, if you don’t want to be stuck in the mud you really need to drive carefully.

When we arrived at the jump-off, we did only a short prayer and there was no stretching because the young guys were saying not to stretch anymore. We started walking up hill, gladly MJ went with me or else I have to walk a little bit slower to walk with the sweeper who’s accompanying the hikers that were a bit slow.

The trail was muddy, it is combined of uphill and downhill. There was no clearing so you can’t appreciate the view that much, the sky is gloomy. Nevertheless, all of us enjoyed the abundance of water in the streams, as well as the presence of guavas along the way.

MJ and I were in the middle together with two highschool students who are just a few meters away from us, ahead of us were my fellow RBM members.  We reached the point where we are not able to see the first group, we have waited a bit where the two highschool students met us, and since MJ and I were  both impatient waiting for the last group so we head on and followed the trail leaving behind the two young girls.

(MJ #feelingtired)

We reached a place where there are three houses, where we have asked where to go, the woman in the last house informed us that there was a path going to Palati Falls behind the smokehouse, so we did and I carefully examined the mud, and I was sure it was the right path since I am seeing fresh footprints of shoes in the soil and when we climb upwards, it was all grass and the footprints were gone, I looked around and found an almost hidden path behind the thick cogon grasses. We traversed it and we both realized where moving away from the sound of swift flowing water, we end up to a small shaft with a pig tied in the yard and dogs barking at us.  We called out, but no one is answering so we decided to return to the smokehouse, and there we found two paths. One is going to the left and the other one is going upward, but we are sure when we passed by at that point that there was no other path other than the path we took. You know, what is bothering me, when we passed by a coconut leaf fell from the tree on the left side, I don’t know what does it mean. If someone tried to warn us that we are heading to a wrong path or someone blocked the left path so we will choose the path upward?

Anyway, we decided to try the left path and we end up in a rocky stream, I have told MJ that maybe if we follow the stream we will not be lost, since the water will be surely coming from the falls. Maybe due to fear and excitement, I slid on the rocks not just once, but twice, and the second one was almost fatal because I slid into the water with my phone.  It scares the hell out of me because I don’t know how deep the water was, as we continue to walk the rocky stream I have seen people ahead of us, giving us a relief that we are on the right path to the falls.

When we are nearing RJ meet us half-way, he said they just arrived as well and he is about to look for us because he didn’t see us around. I have told him, we got lost.  The first group ahead of us were sorry that they left us when I told them we are just behind them, they also said they also almost get lost and they asked one of them to check the path upward if it is the right path or not, I didn’t inform them anymore about the coconut leaf that fell because my mind is not on its proper place, I was feeling scared, nervous and unwell for my phone. It is the second Asus Selfie phone I accidentally dropped in the water, the first one died after it swam in the salt water when it was not a year old yet and this second one is just less than two months old and it swam in the water too.

We reached Palati Falls for about over two hours, including the time where MJ and I got lost. If you walk faster you can reach Palati Falls in one and one half hours.

Palati Falls was on its beauty when we decided to visit it, there was a lot of water because of non-stop rain on the past few days. We rested a bit and decided to eat our lunch together, afterwards endless photo shoots.  We stayed for about an hour and descended together. We took a different trail going home, we traversed the river heading to the dam site where heavy rain fell on us, making us all soak.

Palati Falls isn’t for the frail of heart, but seeing  it with  your own eyes is very fulfilling so you must see it once in your life .  You can hire a motorcycle from downtown town and it is up to you to haggle, but ₱40-₱50.00 is enough to reach the Barangay Hall of Libertad, where you can ask for help or guide, or if you need someone to guide you, don’t hesitate to contact me I can maybe help you to find one depending on the availability of my fellow mountaineers. The jump-off is located at Sitio, Boliganay of Brgy. Panique, Odiongan, Romblon. You must remember that hiking to Palati Falls takes about two hours,  the trail is slippery when raining so wear proper shoes to avoid meeting an accident.

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Group Visit to Mainit Falls (Odiongan)

It has been over ten days since the training for Tourism Promotion Services has started, a lot of things had happened and I have learned a few things from it. A few, because being a traveler and a blogger I knew most of our topics.

At the end of our training, we are required to create an output as a solo or as a group. I choose the group despite that I knew I will be just the one who will do the technical work. We have to create a video or a magazine style or pamphlet promoting tourist destination in our town.

One of the tourist destinations I or we included in our output is the Mainit Falls in our barangay.  We went there as a group on July 20th, with the help of my younger cousin as a guide, it was a bit struggle to cross the river because it has been raining for a week and the rain has just stopped that afternoon.

Mainit Falls is about 40 minutes from the main road, the falls have been popular because of its warm water.  When we arrived there were kids enjoying the water, they are still wearing their uniforms and have their bags with them. It looks like they decided to swim at the falls before heading home.

We only took pictures and videos for our documentation and head home, I went nearby the water falls to have my photo taken that’s why I got soaked, I have expected a good picture, but when I check my phone, my classmate whom I have asked to take my photo zoomed it out, getting only me and not the waterfalls as the background (lol). Gladly, I have asked another classmate to take another photo of me which is seen above.

Mainit Falls isn’t that hard to reach, all you have to do is get/hire a motorcycle in town, you can find them in front of Children Paradise or  just across the Odiongan Tourist Information Center beside the Odiongan Town Plaza.   Fare isn’t costly,  ₱20.00 per person and if you are alone ₱30-50.00 will already make the driver smile.  Tell the driver to bring you to Brgy. Pato-o, Sitio Mainit or you can directly tell them  that you are going to Mainit Falls. Mainit Falls is just 40 minutes walk from the main road.  If you don’t know where to start your trek you can either ask a local or go directly to Barangay Hall of Pato-o so they can help you out.

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