Michael Angelo Maleriado of Cavite PHILIPPINES

37. Featured Traveller 

Michael Angelo Maleriado

Teacher : Traveller 

“To travel is a gift, do it while you can” 

Angelo has travelled extensively through the three island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. "Philippines is beautiful that is why I fell in love with travelling," he says. It is in the Philippines where he spends his life and divides his time between teaching and exploring.

He has travelled to United Kingdom, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Hongkong, Botswana, Ireland and Zimbabwe and his bucket list includes New Zealand, France, United States, Mongolia and N Korea for future explorations.

How important is budget and planning for a trip and how do you manage to cut cost of a trip?

"Budget controls almost everything when you travel. You don't want to mess up with the money, do you? What I do is put extra amount just in case more activities come along while I am already on the road. Travelling need not be costly. The best thing is to have fun and have memorable experience," he confesses.

Angelo is a busy body. Very energetic. He always prepare himself for invitations to 'run for a cause'. Yes, he is ready to run and explore at the same time to more than seven thousand islands of his beautiful country of the Philippines.

To document his journey, Angelo created a diary of his exploration. Something that he can share to his global readers and followers. He consider his experiences of being an explorer as the best job in the world!

Angelo and his diary, AngelotheExplorer is there waiting for you. Come and join him ~ explore!

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Flag of the Philippines

I love to travel and explore places. Along  with it is to explore what they can offer in terms of culture, food and the people.

Living life to the fullest doesn't need to be extravagant. I prefer backpacking. I will share to you memories that made me happy and satisfied as we explore many places as possible ~ adventures, vacation trips, food trips and meeting the locals.

I have been running for quite a while. I run not just for fun alone. More often, I do it for a cause. 

It was my first time to run for 60km, an ultramarathon leg from Luneta to Sierra Madre by invitation of Jerry Segarino who organized the event to support the street children of the Philippines. 

One of the most recent events I have joined was 'R3RUN for Sustainability' whose aim is to inspire environmental action like Reuse, Reduce and Recycle, hence the 3R's.  This and all have been compiled in my Runners Diary

I invite you to watch for the upcoming events that I am so proud to be part of ~ Color Blast Run Manila on September 21, 2014, PARTners in Oasis on September 26, 2014 and the 1st Antique Marathon Race to be held on November 16, 2014. You may want to check it out.

I believe that the best thing about running is the joy it brings to my life.

And now, here I am, sharing with you my happy moments in my country.  Join me as I reminisce the great experiences that I wish you were here with me.

Revisiting the Beautiful Island of Bohol

I have visited Bohol few years back and I remember how beautiful the place was. Early this year, I have decided to revisit although I was not sure what to expect because of the earthquake that hit the province very recently. The catastrophe did not stop me as I felt I need a quiet place for myself, at least for a while.

I flew via Air Asia Zest because it was the cheapest flight at that time. I did not intend to stay along the Alona Beach. I chose DiveThru Resort instead where the ambiance was what I really wanted.  

The DiveThru Resort is not far from Alona Beach though. Having dinner close to the beach is a must. Restaurants are aplenty. All I have to do is choose the food already set on the table. There are so much to eat, seafood that are prepared and grilled right in front of me.

Snorkelling is one of my favourites so I cannot leave Bohol without an encounter with the marine life. Two hours is not enough but I had to tag along with my friends to some famous spots in Bohol. 

Our first destination is the Bohol Bee Farm and followed by a visit to Baclayon church. The state of the church is heartbreaking due to the earthquake. The Tarsier Sanctuary is one of Bohol's must-see places although the smallest primate is nocturnal so we don't see them active during the day.

The last attraction in our list is Panglao Island. A very nice place. Serene and a good place to snorkel.

I don't see a reason why we shouldn't visit Bohol. The beauty of the island and the hospitality of the people will surely make you come back to this place. For divers, Bohol has one of the best diving spots in the country.

Acuaverde ~ Laiya, Batangas
A great place to be for pet lovers!

It is a 3-hour drive from Manila to Laiya. 

Our pet dogs keep us company on our second visit to this town. Our stay at AcuaVerde Beach Resort is as impressive as the first. The facilities is well maintained and as always, the staff are polite and friendly. May I remind you that you have to book a full-board accommodation because restaurants are very limited in this area.

Laiya is famous for its white sand beaches and fishing villages. It is one of your best destinations for a vacation with family and friends. You will enjoy the calm blue waters and its snorkelling sites. Also, a good place to unwind.

Explore San Fernando in one day

Taking a bus is a cheaper and convenient way of travelling to La Union. The deluxe bus at the PARTAS terminal leaves every hour with a normal travel time of seven hours to San Fernando.

Costa Villa Resort is a good place to stay, with a nice and beautiful environment. The rooms are huge, big enough for a group like ours. You will like it as you can cook your meals to your liking. Very homey!

It is a short one night and one day stay in La Union. Surprisingly, one day is all I need to visit the 'must-see' places. The good thing is that the beautiful spots are close to one another, in and around the city of San Fernando.

So, come with me to La Union. Let us explore San Fernando and see what it has to offer. Let's take a tricycle and go straight to our First Stop. 

Halo Halo de Iloko Balay

Halo Halo! 

No one will say no to this popular dessert. Halo Halo is the tagalog language for "Mix-Mix". It is a mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk added with a variety of boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits, best served in a tall glass or bowl.

This is the reason for stopping at Halo Halo de Iloko in San Fernando. Although Halo Halo is their specialty, there is an array of delectable Ilocano cuisine. Choose between: Aringay Oysters, Atcharabong, Dinaklaw, Steamed Longanisa Ilocana and Bagnet, to name a few.

Come! Discover the flavours of the North. Experience La Union's best Halo Halo de Iloko Balay!

Capitol Building
Few minutes from the restaurant is our second stop ~ the capitol building. A tricycle ride will take us to the building on top of a beautifully landscaped hill overlooking the West Philippine Sea and the nice view of the city of San Fernando.

The Provincial Capitol of La Union is known as the "People's Capitol". It is mainly because the construction was dedicated by the Provincial Government of La Union to its people.

Pagoda ~ Church ~ Town Plaza

As our exploration progresses, we head to the Filipino Chinese Friendship Pagoda, San Fernando Church and the San Fernando plaza which are close to the capitol.

The view from the pagoda is equally amazing as from the capitol. The weather is fine with a clear view of the city.  We walk down until we reach the town to visit the church. From the outside, one will notice its beautiful architecture. On the opposite side of the church is the town plaza. Believe me it's huge! Notice the pillars of the entrance leading to the plaza. It blends with the architecture style of the adjoining catholic church.

It is easy to get around La Union. You can take jeepneys and mini-buses at minimal fare. Tricycles, the motorcycle with a sidecar, are commonly used in travelling to remote areas and suburbs. You may drive your own or rent a car with a driver. Check with the La Union Tourism Information Centre for details. 

If you intend to stay in La Union a little bit longer, I recommend that you check out other points of interest. Other landmarks and attractions are the Botanical Garden which is 8 kilometres from the city, Bacsil Bridge and Monument, Pindangan Ruins situated in Barangay Parian, Seven Hills, Ma-Cho Temple, Poro Point, Christ the Redeemer and the beaches in eleven of the coastal barangays.

City of Baguio ~ A Great Breakaway Destination

If you plan a break from the rainy season and looking for a respite from the heat and humidity of the lowlands, then, the mountain city of Baguio in the Philippines is the place to go.

Driving in this mountainous region is a challenge and I must tell you that I thoroughly enjoy the slow, steady and steep climb on a  long and winding road. The view is spectacular. It's amazing!

I wish more thoughts have been given to the possibility that tourists can pull over and enjoy the scenery on a safe viewing areas – but there ain't any.  This is one of the most scenic roads in Baguio. I could have pulled over and feel the mountain breeze and perhaps, sip a hot and nice cup of coffee. It should have been another perfect tourist opportunity for the city.

I have the impression that despite its magical mountain setting, it is the same as the other Philippine cities; overcrowded, incessant traffic and badly need a makeover. 

But then again, Baguio City is an icon. You can beat the heat at the 'summer capital' of the Philippines.

Magalawa Island in Zambales

Magalawa Island is an unspoilt paradise! It is something you have to see for yourself. 

Armada is a place for total relaxation. I also enjoy our afternoon nap after a nice meal, all you have to do is to occupy one of their huts and nap. Swimming and snorkelling in the island is the best. Try it! They have a floating raft where you can eat lunch while they take you to a snorkelling spot. That, to me, is special! 

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

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Watch for these blogs! 
They all have been travelling for many years and I can guarantee that all of them have travel tips that all of us can learn and benefit from.  I have to thank all other fellow travellers who have responded to my invite.  I will definitely publish your stories as soon as I have completed the details.

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Are you a traveller who would like to share your travel story with our blog and our readers?  Then, I'd love to hear from you! 
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