Philippine travel guide, bunches of recommended Philippine attractions with prices breakdown, contact numbers, photos, route and trail information and transportation fares. All listed to have a perfect itinerary before you travel.

Monday, April 22, 2013

White Water Tubing - Maitum Sarangani's Pride

Struggling  down the rapids

Exploring the west side of Sarangani was one of the best travel experience I had. I've been wanting to try white water tubing before and west coast Sarangani brings my expectation to the next level. I wanted to thank my colleague Darlyn for making this event possible.

Sarangani is a well known place due to it's nice white sand resorts, paragliding and white water tubing activity and of course because Sarangani is the home town of our famous and Philippine pride Manny Pacquiao. I wanted to highlight the white water tubing in Maitum Sarangani because of the thrill it brings and it is a really recommended summer activity for you.

We left Davao City around 8am and it took us 2 and half hours to get to Gensan (General Santos City). Since it's our event organizer's birthday, our lunch was solved! :D Then we continued travel from Gensan to Kiamba, to visit Nalus Falls, pool and finished the activities for the day.

Estimated travel time from Gensan to Kiamba is 2 hours. We then stayed overnight at one of the affordable resort in Kiamba. We took 1 large room for all of us and it was like a high school day sleepover - having fun, laughing at stupid jokes, playing cards, eating then sleep at dawn. The next day was the awaited extreme activity. We were all excited for white water tubing.

From Kiamba, we traveled to Maitum. We had our organic breakfast in Cressing, superb meal! We reached Pangi River in New La Union around 9am. They assisted us for our safety gears, (life vest and helmet). our group was divided into 2 because they cannot accommodate all of us together. First batch was 8 persons and so with the second batch.

Heading to tubing starting point

They gave us a short briefing about do's and dont's when struggling with the rapids on the river. And from the base point, we rode a motorcycle to reach the starting point of the tubing. There are already motorcycles there, so don't worry.

A nice photo captured as we go down on the river

Each of us had 1 guide. The instructions was pretty simple, we just needed to grip the 2 rubber handles, relax, enjoy the current and rapids. The guides will take care of  you not to be hit by rocks and to keep you from falling on the water. The guides are very strong and they can handle rapids very good. 

One of the guides doing a short briefing with us

There were portions on the river that were too deep and rapids are high. I remembered , I was almost drowned at the 2 heavy rapids that cause the water to increased it's turbulence which makes me soaked on the deep and grasped for air as I floated up again. You should try that too! hahaha

White water tubing is 1.6 kilometer ride for about 45 minutes depending on the current. The cost is 150.00 including the usage of vest and helmet and the guide fee.

How To Get There

In our case, we rented a van for our entire tour. If you want that way too, I suggest to rent a van in Gensan to Maitum terminal. It is actually a best way if your driver knows Maitum well.

If you travel in small group, from Davao City, take a bus that is bound to Gensan. I recommend Yellow bus line! Maitum is 127 kms from General Santos City. From Gensan, you can find the van terminal headed to Maitum. The van fare going to Maitum, Sarangani is about P150.00 with 2 hours travel time.

Ask the van driver to drop you off at Baranggay Pangi and from there, there are motorcycle for rent (habal-habal) with 25.00 fare each. You may also ride tricycles from the town proper with 250.00 fare back and forth for the whole tricycle.

For more inquiries, you can contact the local Department of Tourism to know more about Maitum, Sarangani.

Maitum, Saranggani
Department of Tourism
 Ms. Elizabeth Ramos-Palma Gil
Information Officer

 Arnelito Ramirez
Tourism Operations Assistant

 Arlex Narte
Tourism Operations Assistant

Photo by:

Monday, April 22, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 5

Friday, April 19, 2013

Isla Reta Beach Resort of Samal Island - My Summer Fling

One best and ideal get away for you this summer is the Talicud Island. Talicud Island is still a part of Samal Island and one of the best Mindanao tourist spot. The advantage of the resorts located in Talicud Island is that the water are fresh and very clean. Highly recommended to you and must include it on your travel list.

Unlike some resorts in Samal Island fronting Sasa Wharf are really not that good. (In my opinion of course) They are rocky, itchy and most resorts have many sea orchins and jelly fish. It is not suitable for sensitive skin. :D

One best resort and is very known - the Isla Reta. It has clean and crystal clear water that is very indulging and refreshing. Isla Reta is an inexpensive resort with nice and approachable caretakers. It is an ideal place for family outing, team building and other summer activities.

isla reta samalA scenic view from boat

The entrance fee is only PHP75.00 for day tour and PHP150.00 for overnight stay. The open cottage in talisay tree is free of charge. The nipa hut cottage is PHP500.00. The closed cottage is PHP2,000.00 good for 4 persons. Those cottages are suitable for overnight stay. There is also a huge tent available for only PHP1,000.00.

There is a corkage on beverages. It is okay to bring baon. In case you don't want to, there's a canteen available and you can buy fishes, rice and let the caretakers cook it for you. But of course they do charge for it and canteen prices are much higher.

isla reta samalNice curved shoreline of Isla Reta

How to get there:

Getting there is very easy. From Sta. Ana wharf, there's a boat going directly to Isla Reta. Boat leaves from Sta. Ana wharf at 8:30AM and leaves Isla Reta resort by 3:00PM. Don't worry, there are other boat schedules going to Isla Reta. So you can travel by morning or afternoon. Boat fare is only 80.00. But if you wish not to stay overnight, you should catch the boat that leaves the resort at 3:00PM.

isla reta samal

Important: Contact for reservation during peak season

Isla Reta Beach Resort
Sta. Cruz Talicud, Samal Island

Friday, April 19, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 2

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mabua Pebble Beach Resort - A Day Spent in Surigao City

As I continued exploring Surigao del Norte, I can't help but admire the natural beauty of Mabua Pebble Beach Resort. I used to admire fine white sand beaches but when my eyes meet this resort, it proved me wrong.

Mabua Pebble Beach is one of the best attraction in Surigao City, located on the province of Surigao del Norte, CARAGA region. It is actually the gateway to the surfing capital of the Philippines - the Siargao Island.

The resort was named as Mabua because it was situated in Barangay Mabua and it's shoreline was comprised of smooth multi-sized pebbles. The shoreline was about 2 kilometer stretched long with crystal clear water. It is a fun experience to go for a shore-walk during sunset and sunrise.

Mabua Pebble Beach Resort has an old rustic Nipa Huts and cottages. And at the very far end, you need to climb Mt. Bagarabon and pass the 300 steps challenge to see the breathtaking and overlooking view of the whole Mabua Pebble Resort. Perfect for capturing panoramic view.

Don't miss the sunset around 5:30 to 6:00 pm and I also recommend to stay overnight so you can see the beautiful sunrise which is one of the highlights of Mabua Beach Resort. There are resorts and inns available there. Go for Mt. Bagarabon Hotel, it is a budget friendly and they serve best and delicious foods.

How to Get There

Mabua Pebble Beach Resort is about 20 minutes ride from the Surigao City. From there, you can hire a habal-habal or tricycle that will take you to Mabua Beach area. Fare costs around 80-100 pesos. If you think you're lost, you can ask any locals. Every Surigaonon knows the place.

Other recommended places and activities in Surigao del Norte are Sohoton Cove and do island hop in Bucas Grande Island.

Photo Courtesy to Ralph Casquejo. You can visit his photo blog for more photos and like his Facebook Page -

Thursday, April 18, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 0

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bucas Grande Island in Socorro, Surigao del Norte - Swimming with Non-Sting Jellyfish

On the far eastern part of the province and the municipality of Socorro in Surigao del Norte, situated a breathtaking Bucas Grande Island. Also known as Sohoton Cove National Park - the main attraction of the municipality of Socorro in Surigao del Norte, CARAGA Region in Mindanao.

Bucas Grande Island lies within the breadth of the Pacific and is physically located at coordinates at 9° 37' 17 North and 125° 58' East. It's total land area of 12,445 hectares holds a count of more or less 20,000 inhabitants.

These inhabitants have settled in 14 barangays of the municipality named as Barangays Don Albino Taruc, Navarro, Rizal, Del Pilar, Dona Helene, Honrado, Nueva Estrella, Pamosaingan, Salog, San Roque, Sudlon, Santa Cruz, Songkoy and N. Sering.


Bucas Grande is a group of islands that so blessed with marine life, numerous caves, waterfalls, white sand beaches, mangroves, lakes and many undiscovered places. The famous spots in Bucas Grande Island are the Sohoton Cove and Blue Lagoon that consist of limestone. It has a cave entrance that vanishes during high tide. Aside from that, you should see and try swimming with non-sting and friendly jellyfish in Blue Lagoon.

You might be scared thinking swimming with many jellyfish but it's a must try and indeed a very best experience. It's 100% guarantee that Sohoton jellyfish are harmless, friendly and they are non-sting.

With it's extraordinary landscape and seascape, Bucas Grande promised everyone with a truly enchanting and unforgettable travel experience. It's indeed a wonderful nature that is blessed to us. And locals are very nice and friendly. You'll feel at home being with them as your guide. They are willing to share information about the islands, the community and their lifestyle.

So when you are planning to visit Bucas Grande, I suggest to spend more days to enjoy all of the spots they may offer to you. Bring camera to capture best moments and awesome views and places. There are lots of activities to do in Bucas Grande and it's a perfect vacation place this coming hot summer.

How To Get There

From Manila or Cebu
If you are from Manila or Cebu, there are airlines servicing the City of Surigao or Butuan. If you are already at the mainland Siargao Island, there are boats that can take you to Bucas Grande Islands. The towns of Dapa and General Luna have regular boat trips going to Socorro. One can take this boat to experience yet another amazing experience in Siargao Island.

From Davao City
There are buses and vans that headed to Surigao City. Go to Barangay Hayangabon in municipality of Claver. Hayanggabon is 16 kilometers far from Municipality of Claver. Then proceed to port of Hayanggabon where motor boats are available around 7:00AM. The Port of Hayanggabon is the jump off area going to the Bucas Grande Islands. Boat trip from from the Port going to the Islands is just 40 minutes.

Where to Stay

Budget travelers may stay in places that are managed by local people. Below are the suggestion nice and affordable places to stay.

Cinnamon Island Cottage
Managed by Strengthened Association of Volunteers for the Environment of Sohoton (SAVE Sohoton)
Rate: P2,500/room per night with free breakfast (for 1-5 person); additional P500/person in excess of five
Contact No: +639488205835 Roldan (Operations Manager)

Tiktikan Lake Cottage
Managed by organization named TASG
Rate: P150-200 per person (Open air cottage)
Contact No: +639399047019 Dodo (Sohoton Tourism Operations Manager)

SIFAI Cottage
Managed by Sohoton Integrated Farmers Association Incorporated
Rate: P1,000/room per night (good for 3 persons)
Contact No: +639399047019 Dodo (Sohoton Tourism Operations Manager)

Another alternative is to stay in Socorro town proper. The municipal training center have dorm type room with shared toilet and bath for as low P200/night per person.

For high end tourists, Club Tara Resort and Hidden Island Resort offer world class accommodation and amenities.

Club Tara Resort
Contact No: 09175225500

Hidden Island Resort
Contact No: 09173282448

Photo Courtesy to Ralph Casquejo. You can visit his photo blog for more photos and like his Facebook Page -

Thanks for reading and happy travel!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by pinoytravelpod · 2

Featured Stories