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Pagudpud and the Patapat National Park of Luzon

1 Dec
The Patapat National Park sits on the high coastal mountains north of Pagudpud

The Patapat National Park sits on the high coastal mountains north of Pagudpud

Pagudpud and the Patapat National Park is a hidden gem on the island of Luzon. In its northern most region, Pagudpud is a direct link to the famous Batanes Islands. Located 560 kilometers due north of Manila it can be reached by car, van, bus or airplane. Land transportation is great for those on a budget but the 10 to 12 hour trip from Manila is not for everyone. Flights from Manila take approximately 45 minutes and land in the Laoang City airport. From Laoang City to Pagudpud is an additional 1 hour travel.

The Patapat National Park sits on the high coastal mountains north of Pagudpud. The park consists of approximately 5,800 hectares and is a protected land mass for future generations to visit and enjoy. Hiking throughout the park is a vacationer and local pastime here. The 4th longest bridge is located at the very edge of the Patapat National Park. The Patapat viaduct is an extension of the highway system which surrounds all of Luzon. Here, tall Cordillera Mountain Ranges run along the highway and viaduct system and are some of the longest mountains range in all the Philippines.

Within the region of the Patapot National Park is the Pasaleng Bay. The bay is the entrance to wide white sand beaches and beautiful waterfalls. Kabigan Falls is a hot spot and a must see when in Pagupud. A guided tour and park entrance fee of 20 peso is well worth the time to see this beautiful falls. While in the forest ask your guide to take you to the cool springs which flow through the region.


The Blue Lagoon located in Pagudpud is a famous beach spot. This secluded beach on Maria-Ira Point has waters so clear and blue it will simply amaze you. Saud Beach is the choice of everyone who visits the province. With beautiful nippa huts, swaying palm trees and ocean breezes, where else can you have it all? For those that love the water but also love adventure try your hand at kite-surfing. Pagupud is a top destination for kite-surfing sports. Anyone can watch but those interested in learning the sport can easily find a shop that teaches kit-surfing before taking to the waters.

From zip lines to 4 wheeler rentals there isn’t much in Pagupud that you can’t see or do. Many top notch resorts line the waters throughout the area. For those budget minded travelers try your hand at staying in a private residence. Enjoy a private room with only a shared bathroom which is a small price to pay for such a cheap price (normally 250 to 500 peso).  For those wanting to stay a few days be sure to bring along plenty of cash as there are no ATM machines within Pagupud, the nearest being over 1 hour away.

Pagupud is known for many things and those seeking a tranquil vacation in the northern regions of the Philippines find what they’re looking for in Pagupud. Those on their way to Batanes Islands can stay a few days on the mainland here. With great food, fun and adventures galore, why go anywhere else?


Atis in the Philippines

10 Nov
Known internationally as sweetsop

Known internationally as sweetsop


Known internationally as sweetsop, sugar apple or custard apple, the Atis is one fruit you can easily grow even if you have only a square meter of soil. The atis tree grow just about anywhere a seed falls. And it grows fast so that you can get to harvest fruits in a little over a year from seedling stage. A tree bears fruits about three times a year: in the summer, during rainy season and towards Christmas. The best batch of fruits, those with thicker and sweeter flesh, comes out in the summer.

And if you’re interested in growing an atis tree in your backyard, here’s a warning: bats and birds love the fruit. This means that you have to harvest the fruits once these are mature. Don’t wait for the fruits to ripen (which would actually give you the sweetest type of atis) as the bats and birds may beat you to that one big fruit you’ve been reserving for yourself.

Since I am very interested in health benefits of fruits and vegetables, I want to share what I found out from my researches.
1. Helps prevent asthma (Vitamin C – 151%)
2. Helps control sugar levels (Fiber – 44%)
3. Keeps the heart healthy (Vitamin B6 – 25%)
4. Lowers blood pressure levels (Potassium – 18%)
5. Helps the body produce energy (Thiamin – 18%)
6. Maintains supply of other B vitamins in the body (Riboflavin -17%)
7. Keeps bones strong (Magnesium – 13%)
8. Helps lower cholesterol levels (Niacin – 11%)
9. Helps maintain thyroid health (Copper – 11%)
10. Help prevent pregnancy problems (Folate – 9%)

Buy A Jeepney

31 Oct

If somebody asked you: what is the most popular mode of transport in the Philippines? You would probably answer either ‘Jeepney’ or ‘Tricycle’.

Most Filipinos don’t even have to think about using Jeepneys – it’s part of their daily routine, a cheap way of getting from A to B. That accounts also for tricycles, although mainly when going shorter distances. For a foreigner coming to the Philippines, both concepts are probably fairly new. We know motorcycles or cars, but those ‘hybrids’ we don’t have back in our home countries.

You can buy both, jeepneys and tricycles for private use in the Philippines. A used Jeepney goes for something around 200K-300K Pesos and would perfectly take you around the country with all the luggage you may want to bring.

So what about a tricycle? Wouldn’t that be the perfect alternative?

Most Filipinos don’t even have to think about using Jeepneys – it’s part of their daily routine, a cheap way of getting from A to B

Most Filipinos don’t even have to think about using Jeepneys – it’s part of their daily routine, a cheap way of getting from A to B

You bet!

The initial costs to having a tricycle are much lower than buying a Jeepney. It mainly consists of a standard motorbike (minimum 125cc or better 155cc) and a sidecar. And it can be repaired (if necessary) in every village by almost any mechanic. Welding Shops are also located every few blocks in any given Barangay of Pinas, so your support network is already set.

With your tricycle you can always go forward, exploring a new area every day, without ever looking back. It can carry all your belongings, your partner and yourself.

But the best reason of having your own tricycle to tour the country is simple: it’s the freedom that comes with it.

In contrast to a car, which isolates you practically from the environment, you are here right in the middle of it. Like with a motorbike, you are an easy rider, born to be wild – you will feel the wind in your hair, hear the sounds of bird, roosters or water buffaloes around you, will smell the coco copra that is stored along the way and the lechon bbq prepared on the sidewalk.


Malta and the Philippines

30 Oct

There used to be only two countries in the world – the Philippines and Malta – in which divorce was illegal. But now, citizens of the Mediterranean nation voted in favour of divorce legalization, leaving the Philippines now the only country in the world which still bans divorce. There is no divorce in the Philippines.

Couples locked in difficult and unhappy marriages could only sigh in frustration. Malta’s decision to legalize divorce has reignited debate here at home. Will the Philippines ever legalize divorce?

A women’s rights group is deviating from the safer position and is instead pushing for the legalization of divorce in the Philippines. However, in a Congress of more than 200 lawmakers, the Gabriela Women’s Party would need all the support it can get. Luz Ilagan, the lawmaker representing the group, said that divorce has been widely recognized around the world as a legitimate option for couples trapped in difficult relationships.

At present, prevailing laws provide relatively difficult options for couples who want to separate. These are legal separation and annulment or a declaration of nullity of marriage.

I love The Philippines for Vacation

29 Oct

Did you come to the Philippines for a visit?

25 Oct

Did you come to the Philippines for a visit?  Did you come here to visit family of your wife?  Maybe you came for business trip?  Just for holiday?

Coming here to the Philippines for any of those reasons is very dangerous, and you must consider this before your travel.

No, I am not talking of bombs, kidnapping or guns.  What do I mean?  Philippines can be addictive!

Why is the Philippines so addictive?  My foreign friends say it just gets into their blood. Philippines, Filipinas!  Ha ha, sorry I must throw in about the Filipina, because they love the ladies so much.

Why is the Philippines addictive for the  foreigners?  Why can they not get   enough of the Philippines?

Warning for all travellers to the Philippines:  You may never be able to leave.  If you do leave, it maybe just temporary.  Philippines will haunt you for a long, long time.

Marry for Love not Money

7 Oct

Some Filipinas come across wrongly or rightly as desperate to get a visa out of the Philippines and into another country. The perception sometimes is that they marry just about anyone to achieve that purpose, even to horrible violent men. These filipinas take on the risks of marrying certain men whom had probably shown violent tendencies from the outset.

They have not really calculated the risk. However, most other times, Filipinas are just looking for what every person in the world is looking for. LOVE. So how can a forigenr know if he has found his true love or he is being scammed by someone. How does a Filipina know trhat she too is not being scammed.

I am very lucky as I married a man who wanted me for who I am and what I can offer to his life. We have great kids and there is no pretence or game play. I just so wish that all my Filipina sisters would think along the same lines. There is no point in a trapping a man and to marry just to get out of the Philipines. I do not see how that brings happineess?

I found this on another expat site from a Filipina that married for the right reason. I so agree with her.

Friends thought I was too serious with life and was “all work and no play”. So, after all of their efforts were met by my usual “WHEN-I’M-GOOD-AND-READY-I’LL-ASK-YOU-TO-FIND-ME-A-MAN” retort for several torturing months, I finally surrendered in exasperation just so they’d stop pestering me about it.

To make the long story short, I found love when I wasn’t looking for it, from the last place on earth I’d thought of finding it, and with someone I never dreamed I’d find it with — a foreigner. Of course, love didn’t happen right then and there but the “connection” was instant. I had only met him and yet it felt as though I’d known him all my life. It was as if I’d been created for him, and he, for me and we were two souls fated to meet. It was…… destiny.

Then came the nagging thought of what people would say about “my destiny”. What would my family say? What would my friends and colleagues think? That I was so desperate for a man I had resorted to acquiring one through the internet? That I was no different from those who went for relationships or marriages of convenience?

But then I reminded myself that I already knew what the common perception was on exotic Filipina-foreigner dating even before I met my foreign boyfriend and so, no matter if I had no other reasons for getting involved with him other than that I truly loved him, the world would still choose to believe the worst. I told myself that as long as I’m happy and my conscience is clear, the whole world can believe whatever they want. I couldn’t care less.

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