Jeff of Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA

7. Featured Traveller 

Jefferson Cortez
Pharmaceutical Quality Control/Microbiologist/
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA

"The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own as a foreign land." 

Meet Jeff,  a very interesting person and traveller. He likes beaches so much, and as he was saying, they are his places of solitude. He can be alone in a beach oblivious about time. Jeff can be idle for hours watching the waves hit the shore or waiting for the sun to set.

He loves outdoor, nature and sunset and the old architecture. He has explored most of the tourist destinations in the Philippines and continue to discover the rich habitat of his native country.

He has travelled  to  many parts of the Philippines like Alaminos (Pangasinan), Angeles City, Baguio City, Balicasag Island, Bantayan Island, Bohol. Bolinao (Pangasinan), Boracay Island, Burgos, Caramoan, Cebu City, City of Manila, Coron, Guimaras Island, Iloilo City, Lapulapu City, Lucban, Pagudpud, Panglao Island, Pasay City, Ilocos Norte, Province of Iloilo, Puerto Galera, Pundaquit, Quezon City, Sagada, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, Taal, and Vigan.

As to his trip outside the Philippines, he has explored three countries in Asia:  Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia. Now, I will let Jeff talk about his travels.

This is his story...

Speaking of beaches, the Philippines offer world-class beaches that are worth visiting and each one have their own beauty. The island beaches of Caramoan is one of the top tourist destinations. You can spend time on a beach coupled with a tour of the countryside in Bohol. You will surely love the white powdery sand and clear waters of Panglao Island and the grandeur of Chocolate Hills.

Photo taken on my way to Snorkeling in Balicasag Island
I usually travel alone.

Some people say that travelling alone is boring. For me it is challenging and exciting. I will always be a lone wanderer unless someone is available to travel along with me.

One of my favourite solo travels is a trip to Pundaquit, Zambales, a treat to myself on my birthday. It's a quick two-day journey and every minute of my stay is enjoyable. 

My adventure at Capones Island is unforgettable.  Wandering alone around the island needs courage. I walk along the shore from the east to its centre and hike the island's magnificent view of everything that surrounds it. The sunset is so spectacular from the coast of Pundaquit. The full view of the silhouette of Capones and Camara Islands are so perfect and breathtaking! 

Every traveller experience hassles along the way when on a journey.  It is surprising that nothing can stop me in reaching my destination - not even bad weather, flight delays or unconfirmed accommodation. I can always find ways not to waste a single minute of my time solving the unexpected.

Above: Pictures taken from beautiful places in the Philippines. Clockwise:  1.Sagada Mountain Province  2.Panglao Island in Bohol  3.Street Parade in Baguio City  4.Caramoan Island Camarines Sur  5.Baras Cave in Guimaras Island  6.Children's Island in Alaminos Pangasinan.

I love the beauty of nature, and the beach attracted me the most. Mind you, I am not a swimmer.  I just love the scene and the serene feeling of the gentle wind. I am thrilled watching the sunset and fascinated with the mixture of vivid colours in the sky that is slowly fading and engulfed by darkness. I am amazed with architecture especially of an old catholic church with its unique design built many centuries ago.

As I was saying, I have travelled most of the tourist destinations in the Philippines and Coron has been extra special, and I will tell you why.  I have written a review of this beautiful town in Palawan and has been nominated in the Barney Award for Best Rural Travel Page for 2011 in one of the prestigious travel site on the web. 

Photos taken in Coron ~ Palawan
The first of my 4-Night stay in Coron was spent checking the night spots.  There were a number of bars, discos, karaoke bars and grill stations which were mostly in the town centre.  Some of my favourite hang outs were the newly opened disco bar Subasco, Kawayanan Grill and Rags to Riches.  Surely, there would be one that will suit your taste.

On my second day, I was not able to join a group so I decided to explore again and this time checking the best places to eat, convenient accommodation, souvenir shops and bazaars. I found no problem searching for a local restaurant as I had Beef Kaldereta in three restaurants on different occasions; all of which cooked them so well.  I found Lolo Nonoy's restaurant and had a feast of his special Bulalo.

I must remind you though that you have to go to town before the sun sets because these restaurants close early in the evening. Most hotels are scattered in the town centre of Coron so you can be assured of a place that suits your budget,  less expensive than those in the Calamian group.

After exploring the town on foot, I got so tired and went back to my resort and took a nap.  At 5:00PM, I decided to go and count the steps at Mount Tapyas.  I made 723 big steps to reach the top with a big cross standing in the summit. I must tell you that the view was spectacular.

I had seen the Siete Pecados, Coron Island and some islets, the sunset in Sangat Island, and the town of Coron. It was the highest climb I did so far compared to those in grotto of Lourdes in Baguio City, Hands of Jesus in Lucban, and the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Caramoan.

Photo taken in Mount Tapyas ~ Coron Palawan
My third day went on smoothly as I joined a new group for a hopping tour of Malcapuya loop Island. This time, I had admired the ever famous Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Uno Island and Malaroyroy Island.  We were not able to continue hopping the Chiron sand bar and Ditaytayan Island as the group stayed too long in the island of Malcapuya.  I was amazed at each of the islands as they all have their own character and beauty that made me feel like staying for more.

My fourth night in Coron was kind of enjoying loads of fun in the town proper exploring more of its nightlife.

We danced the night away with the loud music at the now favourite Subasco disco bar.  I woke up late the next morning and this time went to the rooftop of the resort and laid down in a hammock as the cold breeze blew to my face. Sadness went in while thinking that I am about to leave this paradise soon. After I ate my breakfast I had a little walk to the town and bought some souvenirs and visited St. Augustine Church and asked for a safe trip. Then, I went back at noon to fix my things and formally said goodbye to the staff of Seadive Resort.

I love this island, small but perfect for photo enthusiasts. Coron gives me the impression that it is worth seeing. I want to stay longer and wander around but the situation does not allow me. Now, I can tell the world its overwhelming beauty is a must to see.

Above: Pictures taken from beautiful places in the Philippines. Clockwise:  1.Rock Formation in Sagada   2.Turtle Farm in Guimaras Island  3.Boracay Island  4.Patar Beach in Bolinao Pangasinan  5.Sabitang Laya Island in Caramoan  6.Cabatuan Church in Iloilo 7.Colon Street in Cebu City 
Think about the Philippines the next time you plan your journey. There is so much to explore and Coron is just one of my suggested destinations. I am now based in Winnipeg in Canada but if you need to know more about other places in my native country, go ahead - don't hesitate.  Find me on Facebook. I will always be willing to give you a hand.  Happy travels!

From the desk of: 
Freddie Miranda
A blogger and a Canada-based freelance writer. He shares the value of his travel experiences and discoveries with his friends and fellow travellers. Share your passion, join and visit him. Send a message @ fromatravellersdesk(at)gmail(dot)com

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1 comment:

  1. Jumping Norman27 May 2012 at 14:26

    a true adventurer - and now glad you r adjusting well to life in Canada -- when will we hike the Grand Canyon????? Haha, hugs from the JumpingFamily :)


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