After my photo shoot of the islets at Diguisit, I sat on a picnic bench under an umbrella tree. I noticed some little black things on the grass and sand. I thought they were seeds. Luckily, curiousity didn't get the better of me; I almost picked up one to examine and smell it. I saw a goat under the coconut tree and realized that what I thought were seeds were actually goat's droppings! I don't know how I would have reacted if I picked up one and crushed it with my fingers to smell it. Yikes!
Most Filipinos love their pictures to be taken by tourists. In our travels, I've encountered children as well as adults who volunteer to be included in my shots. They simply want to see their images in the lcd. Others give me their email addresses so I can send them copies of their pictures.
When I was taking pictures of the historic secret tunnel in Ermita Hill, some girls volunteered to lift some of the wooden covering of the tunnel. Then, two more girls ran to me and asked if they could join the picture. Before I could press the shutter, the elder girl asked' "How much, how much for the pose?" I wryly said, " Okay na ako, I have enough pictures already." Then, I left them and joined my hubby at the viewdeck. This might be an isolated situation, but A REAL TURN OFF!
Although I have researched enough to know the standard tricycle fare, experience taught me to ask the driver how much he will charge us BEFORE we ride. On our first day, we experienced an unpleasant encounter with an overcharging trike driver. He said the new fare for Sabang from the central terminal was P15/pax. It's only small money we're talking about, but he was rather negative in his approach so we scoffed and left him. The next driver cordially showed us the "taripa" posted on his tricycle window; it was only P12/pax. Because we liked his attitude, we paid him P15/pax + P10 tip for taking the initiative to help us with our bags (which were small enough for us to carry).
For our tour around some sights, I contacted a person recommended by a tourism officer. He quoted me a price way beyond what I gathered from research for hired tricycle plus tour guide. When I expressed surprise about his price which was almost the same as the rate for hired van, he sarcastically asked if I wasn't informed by the Tourism Office about tour guide rates. I just ignored him; it just wasn't worth arguing with him... Anyway, we got a better deal for our tour;-)
Going up the Ermita Hill is quite an experience... not only for the awesome sights you'll witness as you go up and when you reach the top, but also for the pain and discomfort you will surely experience. The first steps are smoothly cemented, followed by high, winding stone steps roughly cemented. Make sure you hold on to the rails for support, and rest at the view deck at the Butterfly Farm midway of the hill to catch your breath and stretch your legs. I did just that, but I still felt pain in my thighs down to my legs after going up and down the 136 steps. I should have brought my ankle support if I knew the climb was this tough;-(
When we got up the last step, we saw that there was a paved driveway to the hill. Vehicles are allowed to drive uphill, so if you have arthritis or osteoporosis but still want to go to Ermita Hill, renting a vehicle could be an option. Alas,our tricycle didn't go up because of the steep climb.
bring off lotion or mosquito repellant, as there are lots of insects in baler especially at night. i recommend that you purchase it in manila or in major cities. the off lotion i bought in baler was very expensive. the smallest bottle costs 40 pesos!
Make sure you have a proper car for the rough, wet, muddy and narrow road going to Baler but we rather rode our motorbike to go in Baler.
You had your car full tank of Petrol; most petrol stations was on the town proper only.
Baler has 2 petrol stations Petron and Shell.
When you saw a stream of water on the road make slow pass ‘coz it has mold/ mildew due to water flows in there most of the time coming from Sierra Madre Mountain range .