Category Archives: travel

Zentraveler on making a Travel Photo Collage!

Photo Collage

Photo Collage

If you want a neat way to display some of your travel photos you simply set up a free account with Picasa… download Picasa 3 and upload any or all of your travel photos in folders or not.  From there you chose a group of travel photos.  Go to file on top left corner, select new album, name it, highlight 7-10 photos, hold down Ctrl key, right click any photo, select add to album (new one you just named)  click first photo, hold shift key down, click create at top, Done.

From there you can chose settings where you have six different ones starting with:Picture Pile ( scrambled), Mosaic (most popular), Frame Mosaic with a center picture, Grid,  Contact photo sheet, and finally Superimpose. Click on any setting and it will automatically change the collage.

You can also edit and crop any of your photos and move them around in the order that you like and make them smaller or bigger, select all for border around photos,  plus many more choices.  Using the collage of travel photos is a good way to put them on a slide show and show your friends a kaleidoscope of photos from any of your travels or photo ops.

So there you have it!  If you want a simple and quick system to place your travel photos in a collage… Picasa is definitely the way to go! There are also many other websites that offer similar photo collage services.     Only one thing–too many  green grasshoppers could ruin a good photo collage.  Picasa Collage credits:  My friend Tody from New Zealand.

Time Travel Zentraveler

Time Travel Zentraveler

QUOTE:  “The best Valentines Day gift I’ve ever received was a personalized photo collage.”  —Candice Swanepoel

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:A collage is a work of art composed of numerous materials, such as paper, newsprint, photographs, ribbons or other objects attached to background support, such as plain paper. A collage can even be made with physical materials or electronic images, attaching them to a digital background. Originating from the French word “coller”, meaning “to glue”, the collage allows you to experiment with a wide range of materials to achieve amazing end results. There  are many possibilities limited only by your creativity and imagination.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Your newly created Collages..Picasa does that for you and you still have your original photos.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Turn off the TV, throw away your cigarettes forever, get off the couch grasshopper  and start making your photo collage.  This could be one of the questions before you enter the pearly gates!  Have you made a photo collage? Yes!  OK show it to me on the big computer…kool you can now enter…  it’s like having your own Easy Button.

From here to Infinity and Beyond is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under collage, photo collage, Picasa photo website, travel, travel photo collage, Uncategorized

Zentraveler pumpboats to Estancia, Panay Island, Philippines

Estancia Pumpboat

Estancia Pumpboat

We left Bantayan port and took a four and one half hour pumpboat to the town of Estancia, located in the province of Iloilo. The town of Estancia is famous for its good seafood and has been nicknamed Little Alaska because of its abundant seafood.

Estancia is a good jumping off point for travelers from Bantayan Island traveling to Roxas or Illio City and beyond to Boracay. Estancia has a huge wholesale wet fish market where the workers are often paid in fish who they give to their familes or sell. Estancia is a typical Filipino town with many small shops and eateries and motorized tricycles to take you to your resort destination or bus stop.

There is an excellent island excursion approximately one and half hours by pumpboat which is primitive and hasn’t changed much for centuries. You can arrange to take a public pumpboat or hire a tour guide to deliver you directly to Gigante Island. As accommodations are very limited it is important to make arrangements ahead of time to ensure you have a place to stay. Reportedly, you’ll find no resorts beyond simple beach huts, no restaurants or stores so you’ll have to bring what you need. But, you will find unspoiled white coral beaches, climbing and hiking opportunities and great photos just waiting to be taken.

Paon Resort

Paon Resort


We chose to stay at the Paon Resort and Beach club just on the outskirts of town. It has a great restaurant and large swimming pool with many accommodations to handle large groups, conventions, weddings and the like. The staff was very friendly and helpful which certainly helps any traveler have a memorable stay and the fresh seafood meals were exceptional.

Olympic style swim pool

Olympic style swim pool


From there we traveled to our next resort Villa Consorcia about 25 minutes from Roxas and settled into a great vista and large swimming pool with the largest sliding board in the province. They also had several good restaurants, a local bar and a friendly staff.
Villa Consorcia Resort

Villa Consorcia Resort

We took a bus to Roxas City deemed the Seafood Capital of the Philippines where we elected to shop, take photos of historic churches and try out a few eateries. We headed to restaurant row along the seaside famous for it’s seafood. Baybay Beach is where you could dine and eat fresh seafoods from the restaurants by the beach. They have a wide array of fresh seafoods to chose from. There were Diwal (Angel’s wing), Talaba (Oysters), Scallops, Tahong, Blue Marlin and many others. The beach is very rugged and has fine gray sand. While, the People’s Park provides a very nice view of the beach and the nearby island of Mantalinga. It would be best to visit it during sunset as you could just watch the sun simply disappear in the horizon while the sky turns into multitude of colors.

Seaside Restaurant

Seaside Restaurant


From Roxas at Banica wharf there is a remote island only one hour by pumpboat, Referred to as the “Mini-Boracay” and named Olotayan Island. The island is blessed with serene shores with white sand mixing with corals washed ashore by strong waves. Olotayan beach offers a tranquil and relaxing setting ideal for adventurers, honeymooners, or businessman who want to get away from the hustle and bustle.

We then traveled from Roxas City to Culasi Port approximately 20 minute tricycle ride past the airport which is the jumping off point for one of the most undiscovered islands in the Philippines. It is called Sibuyan Island, also well-known as the Galapagos of Asia because of all of its diverse fauna and flora and has a myriad of natural wonders. Located in the Visayas, in the heart of the Philippines and is described also as green ‘pearl’ in the center of the Sibuyan-Sea. Be prepared to go on a pumpboat during good weather… approx five to seven hours and make sure you have made accommodations ahead of time as they have very little in resort facilities.

Port to Island

Culasi Port to Sibuyan Island

So there you have it. If you want to see and learn about the Real Philippines… why not spend some time traveling around some of the most undiscovered areas and natural wonders and if nothing else capture the moment!

Jeepney

Jeepney

QUOTE:“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” —Dalai Lama

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The abundance of marine life makes Roxas City the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines.” This environment-friendly city is home to one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. Being a recipient of the Cleanest and Greenest Component City in Western Visayas Award in the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran (GPK) Cleanliness and Environmental contest is a clear testament of its people’s commitment in ensuring a healthier and brighter future for all its residents and visitors as well. Recently, Roxas City has been a recipient of major awards from various government agencies. The Department of Health (DOH) awarded this city with the Red Orchid Award for being “100 percent tobacco-free.” It has also gained the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Seal of Good Housekeeping and lauded the Best Police Station in the region by the Philippine National Police.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Save the Planet! Plant a tree: It’s good for the air, the land, can shade your house and save on cooling and they can also improve the value of your property. Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a tree every year for each member.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:If you got the travel bug…bug spray won’t help you.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under Baybay Beach, Estancia, Gigante Island, Paon Resort and Beach Club, Roxas City, travel, travel trip, Uncategorized, Villa Consorcia

Zentraveler Kaleidoscope of Bantayan Island, Philippines.

Primitive Beauty

Primitive Beauty

We all have visions of paradise. Bantayan Island is one those places that could certainly fit the bill.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island


Located in the Visayas, approximately five hours from Cebu. Bantayan Island is a native island loaded with history and early exploration. The island has three main municipalities which include: Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos. Each of these towns have their own unique personality and would be worthy of a visit to the island. One of the best ways to explore the island is to rent a motorcycle in Santa Fe and traverse around the entire island.

Coming from Hagnaya by ferry-boat (approximately one hour) you arrive at the port of Santa Fe.It’s a short distance from the port to the main town and resorts by local trycycle. Santa Fe is known for its sugary white beaches, nice resorts, and a town with a central market, churches, schools and has a main street with many restaurants and bars, appealing to the tourists who visit the island. There is a mix of x-pats and seasonal tourists with a very strong x-pat community. Many of the x-pat residents agree this is one of the main reasons to live on the island.

St. Bernard Beach Resort

St. Bernard Beach Resort


On any given day you will meet Swedish (the most represented) Norwegians, English, Irish, Australian, Canadian, American and many other nationalities. If you are the type who likes to feel like you belong to a community…Santa Fe just might be the place for you. Rental houses are cheap and be had for as little as $100.00 per month, even though you can’t own land, you can still build a great house for under $35,000 US dollars. Labor is cheap, approximately five dollars per day for carpenters and maid service.

Beer is the favorite beverage of most foreigners and costs from 50 cents to a dollar depending on where you elect to drink. Restaurant meals vary and you can choose to eat like a native with rice and veggies from the markets plus local fish or pork for a few dollars a day. Or you can go to a fancy restaurant and spend eight dollars or more depending upon your meal selection. Overall the cost of living is very affordable compared to modern countries, however since many things are imported from the United States, you might get sticker shock on things like cheese, butter, milk, and imported items.

Bantayan Holy Week

Bantayan Holy Week


Bantayan is twenty-five minutes from Santa Fe and is the largest of the three municipalities. It is known for its Holy Week Celebration, fruit and vegetable market, a wet market for fresh fish and also has a large display of dried fish which most Filipino tourists take back home.

When you approach Bantayan you pass by the cemetery, schools, and businesses… arriving at the central park where they hold the annual Holy Week Celebration which draws 50,000 tourists onto the island. Directly across from the park is the historic Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church 1580 A.D. which is a must see. They also have a port where you can travel to Negroes Island and Iloilo Island by native pumpboat. And if you are hungry visit Kermits Restaurant where you can get the best cheeseburgers, burritos, and baked goods on the island.

Kota Park

Kota Park


Madredijos is another 25 minutes from Bantayan and is famous for its excellent fish. It was once named “Little Alaska” because of the fishing and crab industry. While there a visit to Kota Park with its own museum and pier extending a large distance onto the sea makes a great photo opportunity.
Fresh Fish

Fresh Fish

As you travel around Bantayan Island you will see rich farm land, miles and miles of native palm trees swaying in the breeze and many small chicken farms. Bantayan Island is named “The Egg Basket” of the Philippines.The rural areas of Bantayan Island operate nearly the same as it has for hundreds of years. Natives gather firewood, raise a few chickens and pigs and fish from the sea for their staples. With the exception of the cell phone and motorcycles… nothing has changed since the days of Magellan.

Natural Beauties

Natural Beauties


However, growth is coming and our only hope is there is planned growth so this community doesn’t turn into another Boracay. We have a small airport and many of the communities are fixing up their towns. Quite a few new houses are being built…it’s still pristine, but don’t be late grasshopper or you will miss the boat.

Fun things to do while on the island would include: a snorkeling trip to Virgin Island, a visit to Ogtong Cave, a visit to the new Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort, with it new Olympic sized swimming pool and cave adventures, swimming in pristine waters of Santa Fe, renting a bicycle, kayak, wind surfing or just hanging out along the beach.

Virgin Island

Virgin Island


There are too many nice resorts, but to name a few would be: Kota Beach Resort, which has a brand new billiards semi-outdoor bar with a Brunswick table, Youneek Inn, great beach bar for sunset watching, St. Bernard Beach Resort for the person who wants that off the beaten path feeling,Marlin Beach Resort, great location, Tickety Boo Beach Resort with a swimming pool and restaurant, Santa Fe Beach Club, plus Maia’s Beach Resort that is a memorable experience, where you are treated like special guests.
Mias Beach Resort

Maia’s Beach Resort

A few restaurants worth noting are: Blue Ice, CouCou Bar Hotel and Restaurant, H and R Bar and Restaurant, Balikbayan, La Esquina, Portuguese, Italian-Cafee Del Mar, Tristans and so many more local choices.

So there you have it! An island that is quite remote and unspoiled that has a little of everything. So why not book your next trip to Bantayan Island and see why all of the permanent x-pat residents walk around saying: “mum is the word.”

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

QUOTE: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”—Susan Sontag

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Bantayan Island got its name during the Spanish regime, when watchtowers (“bantayan” in Tagalog) were built around it to serve as lookouts for the invading Moros from Mindanao.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Islands…where else would you run off to?

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Visit Bantayan Island… it could become habit-forming.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under adventure travel, Bantayan, Bantayan Island, Madridejos, Santa Fe, travel, Uncategorized

Zentraveler on Travel Research.

Boat Travel

Boat Travel


Half of the fun of a travel destination is the research. Thanks to the internet we have excellent sources on almost every travel destination in the Universe. And if you discover a new travel destination… you have many readers anxious to read about your travel experiences.
Travel Light

Travel Light


Depending on my travel time, I start with a simple outline of where I want to go. I begin my search by googling the area and look for travel hot spots and off the beaten path destinations. I then bookmark those pages of interest and copy and paste onto my personal Gmail, which I can view if the hotel has a computer or print them out in a folder… and I am good to go.

I then start looking for travel special deals, and if traveling by airplane, I key into Skyscanner.com website, which is very fast to get a number of comparative quotes. This is quick and easy and can save lots of time. From there you can choose to go to the airline webpage and look for special prices. Book it print it out… and your good to go.

The next step is to choose a hotel, which can be tricky and time-consuming. One such hotel showed the ocean right next to their swimming pool and it was a fifteen minute ride by taxi to the ocean. If the hotel destination is in a beach town for example… you might ask how far is the hotel from the bus station or airport and do you have free pickup–and if not, how much should I expect to pay for transport?

When a hotel requires an upfront deposit… don’t give them more than two nights in case the hotel turns out to be “The Hotel from Hell”… which I have stayed in quite a few times. These hotels had decent reviews, but were not fit for a dog to sleep in.

Upon arrival I always ask to see the room before signing in. Some chemical salesman must have sold the same bad-smelling spray to about 65 percent of all of the hotels in the world.

Of course they are trying to mask the smell of spilled beer, and smoke even in a non-smoking designated room. My nose is so intense I could probably get a job as a Hotel Room Sniffer and make a handsome living. I can smell three-day old smoke, stale beer, and a myriad of other smells not polite to mention.

Other things to look for… is the exact location of your room. One time I hiked more than 600 yards through treacherous steps, with no hand rails in the rain, to find my room, however the hotel had a modern beautiful reception area and you had no clue you were staying at the other end of the earth.

Morning Dip Camotes

Morning Dip Camotes


I also choose to stay on the first or second floor in case of fires or disasters so I can get out. I know this may be a bit extreme and those who like the penthouse view may think this is just plain crazy, however this is one thing I have made a point of always doing and rarely make an exception.

When I was a single backpacker on a very limited budget.. I would seek the best hotel in the town or city and then find cheaper accommodations just two or three blocks from the Ritzy Hotel. In the morning I would return to the fancy hotel, order a cup of coffee and toast, and enjoy the ambiance of real waiters and waitresses, white tablecloths, fresh flowers, matching silverware, cloth napkins, and watching a kaleidoscope of people dressed in safari outfits, beach shorts, Polo embossed shirts, Rolex watches, business suits and some women in their finery… with elaborate hats to match their outfits.

Often times music filled the restaurant with a live guitarist or piano solo. After people watching and enjoying a real cup of coffee… I would plan my travel day for the next destination, just hangout exploring the sights, take photographs of the local culture and architecture, and refresh in their elaborate clean restroom.

 Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel

Essentials for any Travel Trip:

One lightweight backpack or canvas travel bag
two copies of your passport in separate locations
security wallet for your money and lock on your travel bag
small flashlight and plastic whistle for emergencies
sensible cotton clothing you can roll up plus 2 sets underwear
comfortable walking shoes, hat and sunglasses, swim suit
small pill-box for prescriptions or vitamins
small first aid items like band aids and sunscreen
lightweight sheet/blanket can use on plane or cover on bed
cell phone with wake-up capability and digital camera w/extra battery and extra memory card plus battery and cell phone charger. And finally hand wipes, toilet paper, and mosquito repellent.

Thailand Floating Market

Thailand Floating Market

FOOTNOTE: Almost every traveler brings way too much stuff… which is not only hard to handle and costs more on the airlines. Think of this way… you may be riding an elephant, walking on a bamboo bridge, wading in the water from a pumpboat and hopping in and out of tricycles, buses, jeepneys and taxis, riding a horse… maybe even a water buffalo or camel. You can always purchase a few nice t-shirts… if your travel mate is tired of looking at the same outfit.

Thailand

Thailand

QUOTE: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Your travel memories.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Travel with your eyes wide open grasshopper… don’t be a techie junkie locked onto your cell phone, laptops, tablets, and your ears covered with blaring headphones.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under adventure travel, Blogging, essentials for any travel trip, travel, travel research, travel trip, Uncategorized

Zentraveler explores Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines.

Tagbilaran City Port

Approaching Bohol Island from the water your eyes take in the seascape with Tagbilaran City situated along the waterfront in the distant. You can use the city as a jumping off point while visiting the island of Bohol or exit point for your return trip. Depending on your schedule… often times it is good to check into your hotel, get oriented, do some last-minute shopping, and seek out some of the city sites.

Newport Oak Pension Inn


We found a brand new pension house named Newport Oak Pension Inn centrally located with privacy gate and located next to a large public swimming pool. The staff was friendly, rooms priced in the 1000 pesos range, were clean and we would definitely recommend The Newport Oak Pension Inn for your accommodations while staying in Tagbilaran City.

We headed out to a local shopping center, where we had dinner at the Bohol Bee Farm Restaurant, purchased some herbal teas to bring home, and just hung out people watching… which is not yet an Olympic Sport, but it should be. People of all sizes and descriptions were cruising along the mall as if they were on a mission. Later on I learned many of them were on a mission… after we tasted their homemade ice-cream I was definitely on a mission. I devoured a double-decker homemade cone of banana, mango ice-cream. Yum Yum!

Oasis Resort


The following day our hotel manager flagged down a motorized tricycle and we negotiated a trip to tour Panglao Island. We ate lunch at the Oasis Resort centrally located close to Alona Beach, photographed a vintage church named San Augustin, and took a stroll on the beachfront where we witnessed many dive shops, restaurants and businesses… many owned by foreigners. Alona Beach is very picturesque with white sand beaches as long as the eye can see with palm trees swaying in the breeze and local fishing boats anchored just off shore.

San Augustin Vintage Church


We returned the scenic route back to our hotel, freshened up and headed to the towns capital park surrounded by churches, historic city buildings, and many colorful tropical plants within the park.You can purchase tropical plants from local vendor stalls located at both ends of the park. The park is an excellent place to hangout and has many benches for sitting. While observing the different Filipino families and tourists moving around and about you could witness the small children running and screaming… trying to catch one of the many pigeons wandering around seeking your attention and looking for a handout.

Garden Cafe Restaurant


Just beyond the church we discovered a vintage western motif restaurant named Garden Cafe… complete with authentic western saddles, photos and relics of yesteryear. We sat in our booth and noticed a phone with a small sign: the waiters and waitresses are deaf, so after they bring you your menus simply pick up the phone call in your order and it will be delivered to your table asap. What a great asset to be able to help these special people to be gainfully employed in a high-end restaurant. Kudos to the owners and management…we need to see more examples of this in our travels.

The upstairs houses the restaurant /museum portion. Not only does it have a true Old West atmosphere but it even has mounted horse saddles that customers can climb on and take a ride. Country music fills the air and a customer truly feels like they are a part of the wild, wild west.

The food at the Garden Cafe is wonderful with the most extensive menu in the province. European, American, Chinese, and Filipino dishes blend together to meet the likes of all customers. A great dining experience highly recommended and should be on your to do list while visiting Tagbilaran City.

Alona Beach

So there you have it! Tagbilaran City has its own modern port and airport many points of interest, good restaurants close proximity to Panglao Island and Alona Beach and makes a great jumping off point for touring the rest of Bohol Island. What are you waiting for grasshopper book your Bohol Island trip today.

Alona Beach Restaurant Scene

QUOTE:”Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” — John Muir, Yosemite Valley, 1898

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: “What is adventure? If a lone wolf lifts his plaintive call into the moonlight near your campsite, you might call that adventure. While you’re sweating like a horse on a climb over a 12,000 foot pass, that could be adventure. When howling head winds press your lips against your teeth, you face a mighty struggle. When your pack grows heavy on your shoulders as your climb a 14,000 foot peak, you feel the adventure. When you suffer freezing temperatures and 20 inches of fresh powder on a hut to hut trip in the Rockies, that could be called adventure. But that’s not what makes an adventure. It’s your willingness to conquer it, and to present yourself at the doorstep of nature. That creates the experience. No more greater joy can come from life than to live inside a moment of adventure. It is the uncommon wilderness experience that gives your life expectation.”
– Frosty Wooldridge, Golden, Colorado

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Purchase an external drive and copy all of your photo images onto external drive so you have a backup system…your computer could crash and lose all of your photo images. Ugh!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:It’s all in Zee travel, travel via the internet, travel with your imagination and like the Nike ad says: “JUST DO IT”. Get off the couch grasshopper and travel. It’s later than you think…. or is it?

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under adventure travel, Alona Beach, Bohol, Bohol Bee Farm Restaurant, Bohol Island, Garden Cafe, Newport Oak Pension Inn, Oasis Resort, Panglao Island, San Augustin Church, Tagbilaran City, travel, Uncategorized, writing

Zentraveler takes superfast ferry to Bohol, Philippines.

Fastcraft ferry to Bohol

Arriving at Pier 1 in Cebu I was pleasantly surprised to board our super clean ferry to Bohol. As ferries go in the Philippines, I am used to the old type of ferry where you walk over the transport ropes, past the loading trucks, and then climb up to the next level and pick out you’re not to comfortable seat for the travel. This ferry not only looked like the state of the art design…. it was so smooth traveling over the water that you could barely detect you were seaborne.

Blood Compact Monument

Several hours later we arrived in the town of Tagbilaran City, where we made arrangements ahead of time to day tour part of the island, which included: The Blood Compact Site at Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City is in memory of the historic agreement between native Filipinos and the Spaniards, several historical churches, and an all you can eat buffet river cruise at the Rio Verde Floating Restaurant. The food was excellent with many choices of fresh seafood, salads, fruits and local cuisine. To add to the ambiance they had a live one man guitarist singing out his favorite oldies but goodies songs as we headed up river. “I’m leaving on a jet plane” set the melody as we rounded a steep turn in the river and had an opportunity to meet some of the indigenous natives with their crafts and way of life living on the riverbank.

Floating Restaurant

Bohol has invested large sums of money developing the tourism industry and has many tour guides in new travel vans with fixed prices and tours for your stay in Bohol. In one-way this is much easier to negotiate then trying to piecemeal your trip with many different types of transport etc. The port in Tagbilaran City is upscale with its own police station, tourism bureau, and open market to purchase handicrafts and local eateries.

Port Police Station


Tourists have many choices which include: staying at Nuts Huts Resort on the Loboc River, going to the famous Chocolate Hills, having an all you can eat buffet on one of the riverboats, visiting Panglao Islands Alona Beach with its large x-pat community, world class diving, restaurants and hotel accommodations, visiting the Tarsiers outdoor nature park, taking the zipline from the Loboc Eco Adventure Park, seeing the butterfly exhibit, the snake farm and staying in the city, which has several shopping centers plus some excellent restaurants.

Local Singer Floating Restaurant


Our first night we stayed in a new resort on the opposites side of the Loboc River named: Stephanie Grace Paradise Inn and Restobar, which was very well-appointed with a swimming pool and terrace on the river. They also have one river raft cottage for overnight accommodations tethered to the resort …ideal for the backpackers or the adventurer tourist.

Stephanie Grace Resort


So there you have it. Why not see for yourself the many natural sites, churches, and white beaches on Bohol Island, or get lost in the Chocolate Hills and eat your way to Nirvana.

Chocolate Hills


QUOTE:”If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” ~ James A. Michener ~

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:. The Philippine Tarsier, considered the second-smallest primate in the world, is indigenous to the island. Tarsiers are small animals with enormous eyes; each eyeball is approximately 16 mm in diameter and is as large as its entire brain. Tarsiers also have very long hind limbs, due mostly to the extremely elongated tarsus bones of the feet, from which the animals get their name. The head and body range from 10 to 15 cm in length, but the hind limbs are about twice this long (including the feet), and they also have a slender tail from 20 to 25 cm long. Their fingers are also elongated, with the third finger being about the same length as the upper arm. Most of the digits have nails, but the second and third toes of the hind feet bear claws instead, which are used for grooming. Tarsiers have very soft, velvety fur, which is generally buff, beige, or ochre in color.

Philippine Tarsier


THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Tarsiers. Tarsiers are way to cute to allow to go into extinction. Get busy grasshopper!

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Travel light, travel often, and don’t complain… no one will listen anyway.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

Leave a comment

Filed under Alona Beach, Bohol, Loboc Eco Adventure Park, Nuts Huts Resort, Panglao Island, Philippine Tarsier, Rio Verde Floating Restaurant, Stephanie Grace Resort, The Blood Compact Site, travel, Uncategorized

Zentraveler explores city of Tuguegarao, Philippines.


Horse Drawn Carriage City Views

Leaving Aparri we took a travel van, approximately two and one half hours, which took us directly through miles and miles of rice fields… allowing you to marvel at nature and man’s ingenuity for supplying the nation’s food basket. We proceeded directly to Tuguegarao City where we checked into our internet reserved hotel and took some time to explore the city.

Local Church


A fair question might be…. what are your travel goals and expectations? Basically, when I arrive at a new city I look for historical markers, churches, museums, unique architecture, wildlife,zoos,flower gardens,restaurants,
shopping malls, and points of interest in and around the city. Not a perfect guideline, but if you ask at your hotel to recommend a restaurant, a taxi driver, a tour operator… many times you can save time and money by just asking the right questions. Sometimes the internet websites show a great looking hotel, but it is located completely outside the city or in center of a crime or blighted area. If this happens to you simply chose another hotel.

When you arrive at your hotel you want to make sure it is well situated, well lighted and has general safety in and around your hotel. Ask to see the room and look for cleanliness, size and type of bed, condition of mattress etc. So many of the hotel establishments spray heavy chemicals throughout the room to cover up bad smells and cigarette smoke….as I am highly allergic to heavy chemicals smells, I will leave and look for another hotel.

Shopping Center Scene


We headed into the center of town where we toured a local shopping center and took photos of local churches and city life. We hired an 83-year-old man on a horse-drawn carriage to give us a tour of the city, which not only helps the tourist industry, but allows you to slow down and see the sights. We headed off for dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant named Crown Restaurant, where we ate exotic stuffed fish and thanked our lucky stars for the find.

Stuffed Fish Crown Restaurant


Often overlooked by tourists, the following day we hired a motorized tricycle to take us two and one half kilometers from the city proper to the longest freshwater bridge in the Philippines. Named Butun Bridge. the 1.098 kilometer bridge spanning over the Cagayan River makes an excellent photo stop. On our hotel staff recommendation for good seafood, we took dinner at City Seafoods Restaurant, where we ate tuna sashimi, fresh fish of the day, and stir fried vegetables. Excellent fresh fish… plus friendly restaurant staff makes City Seafoods a good restaurant choice. The following morning we headed to the Tuguegarao Airport for our return trip to Bantayan Island.

Buntun Bridge


There are many Festivals with Celebrations of life and abundance in and around Tuguegarao and Cagayan Valley that celebrate the activities close to Cagayano’s hearts. their means of livelihood, religious events, and anniversaries of key historical events. This would be a good time for visitors to see and experience first-hand the warm welcoming nature of the Cagayanos.

So there you have it. In a few word synopsis: Tuguegarao is a bustling economic city in the heart of the food basket with several shopping centers, many small businesses and jam-packed with literally hundreds, if not thousands of motorized tricycles..for a about ten pesos or so you can go from mid-town to outskirts and vice versa. Even if things aren’t perfect and the weather is not exactly cooperating as you would like… you can still find many things of interest and even find some good culinary experiences along the way. Yum Yum!

Jet Prop Plane


QUOTE:“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Known as the spelunker’s, trekker’s and gamefisher’s paradise rolled in one, Cagayan Valley provides a never-ending adventure. The province is now being promoted as an adventure and eco-tourism destination. Both foreign and local tourists continue to explore its caves, engage in game fishing expeditions, trek its mighty mountains and retreat to its centuries old churches.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Fishes of the Cagayan River…specifically the Lobed River Mullet. Because of over poaching, the highly sought after, excellent tasting fish of the Cagayan River is heading toward extinction. If something isn’t done to protect the species it will join another long list of extinction is forever. Start blogging, write letters, spend money grasshopper. If you don’t do something… who will?

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Don’t be a couch potato Grasshopper. Do the research, book your travel time, and get moving…it’s later than you think on this earthly planet. I’ve been told if you have enough passport stamps and travel time, when you arrive at the next galaxy you can travel for FREE for the next millennium.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under adventure travel, Blogging, Buntun Bridge, Cagayan Valley, City Seafoods, Crown Restaurant, eco-tourism destination, lobed river mullet, travel, Tuguegarao City, Uncategorized