Learn how to swim like a mermaid with the TAIL!
Having one of the world largest water archipelagos, the Philippines has a penchant for mermaids. And there is actually a Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy which teaches its students how to swim like mermaids - seriously! Our JumpingDaughter wanted to learn this and so we found some lessons being given at Manila's Ocean Park - she enjoyed it a lot --- actually, myself and JumpingSon joined in too but I am NOT going to show pictures of me here in a mermaid suit, hahaha…..(FYI: My tail was GOLD, lol)
The Academy teaches in many locations around the Philippines including Boracay, Cebu, Manila and Anilao, Batangas.
Our JumpingDaughter enjoyed it so much that she bought her own mermaid tail and now swims regularly in our home pool :)Add to your Trip Planner
American Military Cemetery in Philippines
American Military cemetery
Photo Taken by Chinggis_n_Borte
Date: 18 Feb 2008
The American Military cemetery is a 152 acres (62 hectars) burial site of 16,636 US soldiers and 570 Filipino troops who fought and died during WW2 in the Philippines and New Guinea. The ground is property of the United States Government and looked after by The American Battle Monuments Commission based in Arlington VA, USA. The names of US Forces who died were marked on big slabs of marbles to include their branch of service and their birth state in US. The Graves of Christians are marked with a cross. The Star of David is used to signify that the particular member of the Armed Forces was of Jewish religion.
There are also big military maps with an explanation of the US campaigns in the Pacific during WW2. There is also a chapel inside. The fence around is monitored by surveillance cameras. For some reason it says in the address that it is located in Manila but since the creation of the suburb of Makati it is actually in Makati at Fort McKinley and the affluent suburb of Forbes Park is next to it. It is actually the next block from the Manila Golf and Country Club. It is not far from JUSMAG ( Joint US Military Action Group in Asia) headquarters in the Philippines.
Following are US Military personnel buried here who received the highest medal US Congressional Medal of Honor:
Dale E. Christensen (1920–1944), for action in New Guinea in July 1944
Leroy Johnson (1919–1944), for action at Leyte, Philippines
Charles E. Mower (1924–1944), for action at Leyte, Philippines
Robert A. Owens (1920–1943), for action at Bougainville
Charles H. Roan (1923–1944), for action at Peleiu Island, Palau
William H. Thomas (1923–1945), for action in the Zambales Mountains, Luzon, Philippines
Louis J. Van Schaick (1875–1945), for action against Philippine insurgents in 1901
Cenotaphs and memorial listings
George F. Davis (1911–1945), for action in the invasion of Lingayen Gulf
Samuel D. Dealey (1906–1944), for action off of Luzon
Ernest E. Evans (1908–1944), for action in the Battle of Samar
Elmer E. Fryar (1914–1944), for action at Leyte, Philippines
Howard W. Gilmore (1902–1943), for action in the Southwest Pacific
Robert M. Hanson (1920–1944), for action at Bougainville and New Britain Islands
Alexander R. Nininger, Jr. (1918–1942), for action at Bataan
Harl Pease, Jr. (1917–1942), for action over New Guinea
Oscar V. Peterson (1899–1942), for action aboard the USS Neosho
Milton E. Ricketts (1913–1942), for action aboard the USS Yorktown in the Battle of the Coral Sea
Albert H. Rooks (1891–1942), for action commanding the USS Houston
Norman Scott (1889–1942), for action as second in command in the Battle of Guadalcanal
Kenneth N. Walker (1898–1943), for actions commanding the USAAF 5th Bomber Command in the South Pacific Theater
George Watson (1915–1943), for action near New Guinea
Raymond H. Wilkins (1917–1943), for action at Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain
Cassin Young (1894–1942), for action commanding the USS Vestal during the attack on Pearl Harbor
The place is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays, except 25 December and 1st of January when the place is closed. If you have a rental car and wish to drive inside , yes you can but you must present your driver's license and leave it at the security gate and they will give you an entry card. On your way out you have to surrender the entry card and they will hand you back you driver's license.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Boracay island (just perfect)
One of the country’s treasures! I’ve never seen such an island as beautiful as this! My first time here is absolutely amazing! The only thing I can say is “beautiful” and stayed at the moment. I was really mesmerized by the beautiful creation of God. The view is perfect, it’s like you’re looking at a wallpaper in your phone/laptop! You shouldn’t miss to visit this place! This island is touristy so I would advise you to better be here during off-peak season (i.e. July-January- on rainy days) so you can enjoy more, having the place all by yourself:)
The easiest way to get here coming from Manila is by plane. There are 2 airports in Aklan: Caticlan and Kalibo.
Arrival in Caticlan- take a boat from the Caticlan jetty port going to boracay, then tricycle to take you to the resort
Arrival in Kalibo- take a van/bus going to Caticlan (2 hrs travel time), take a boat from the Caticlan jetty port going to boracay, then tricycle to take you to the resortRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cebu island and Cebu city is one of the most historic areas of the Philippines with great snorkeling options close by. The highlight is snorkeling with Whale sharks at Oslob in the southern part of the island.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Diving and Snorkeling
Fascinating island, home to the Chocolate hills and Tarsiers. Very much different vibe than Cebu, its seemed both more rural but also more prosperous than Cebu island. We visited on a day tour but would like to try and stay next time.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Manila is crowded, dirty and hectic, but has the most vibrant nightlife and some of the best historic sights and museums in the country and is a great place to start a visit. Intermuros is the colonial era portion of town and contains many of the best sights. However don't miss evenings at the outside bars along manila bay.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
TRY KUTSINTA (BROWN RICE CAKE)
Not too keen on this myself but it is a favorite of the locals who will make it themselves or buy them at the market, particularly for special occasions. It is made from a mixture of brown sugar, rice flour and lye with food coloring or annatto extract (from the seeds of the achiote tree). They are steamed in small ramekins (plastic or ceramic bowl), then grated coconut is sprinkled on the top, but when you eat it , it has a jelly-like consistency.Add to your Trip Planner
The tarsier- Bohol
Tarsiers are a protected species as their number has been lowered down as a result of the forest elimination and their hunting. Many ignorant tourists buy them for pets and this is absolutely criminal because tarsiers can not live in captivity away from their natural habitat. It is said that they are very emotional and get depressed if they are not with their mate !!! If they are unhappy they commit suicide by banging their heads on something hard!! So don't even think of buying one. And if you want to visit them go the Tarsier Foundation Center where they are doing their best to protect them from extinction, and not to the private operation on Loboc river. These people just think of their profit.
They are small enough to fit in your hand thus being the smallest primates on Earth. And more important, the oldest surviving primates as they have been here for more than 45 million years !!
Their name comes from the latin "tarsius", which in turn comes from the ancient greek word "tarsos" which describes the upper part of the foot. That's because they have elongated tarsus bones. This as well as the two claws and sucking cups in their feet and their tail help them cling and climb on the branches very efficiently and leap more than 5 meters!!
As it is a nocturnal animal it feeds during the night with insects and small lizards and keeps almost still during the day. Their huge, frightening for some people, eyes are open and fixed but they can rotate their head more than 180 degrees !! Even when a baby is born it has its eyes open. They live alone or in family groups and they groom each other as a form of social communication.
Nowadays there are only few left in Philippines ( Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) and Indonesia.
Personally I find them very cute although I have a suspicion that Spielberg was inspired by them when he created E.T. !!!
The Philippines Tarsier Foundation is in the middle of the island near Corella and Sikatuna in a region called Canapnapan. A bus covers the 10klms distance from Tagbilaran in half an hour or else take a bus for Sikatuna.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Family Travel
Banaue has the same natural grace as its neighbours. It is the right place to admire the most amazing wonder of man's ingenuity. The 8th wonder of the World as it is widely known. The rice terraces that extend on the slopes of the vast mountain terrain. They have scalped them over 2000 years ago with very basic tools using mostly their own hands and their perseverance. They built elaborate irrigating canals to water them and they managed to create fields and reap their crops thus securing their survival on this steep land.
There is a grocery-restaurant at one of the view points where you can have a basic meal or rest your body with a beer and your eyes with the spectacular view.!
There are simple but cute hostels and wonderful views from every corner. I hired a tricycle and had an unforgettable climb up to the terraces, stopped at all view points, visited a nearby village and had lunch in a picturesque restaurant.
Don't forget to visit the local baker's for home made brownies !!!%
For more photographs of the rice terraces go to my General tip "rice terraces-the 8th wonder"Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
The name of Mindoro comes from the Spaniards calling the place “Mina de Oro”. The population of over 1 million are peaceful and friendly. Their main occupations are fishing and agriculture. A great variety of fruit is produced on the island. The island is endowed with unspoilt rain forests, rivers, lakes and rich flora and fauna especially to the north.
One of the best diving destinations is in Occidental Mindoro , reached from Sablayan. Generally all islands of this east part offer great undersea scenery. But Apo Reef in Apo island is considered the second largest in the World and a treasure in the Philippines. Dedicated divers should not miss this. The roads on this part of the island are not good, though.
The most touristic beaches are the ones on the north where tourists come in great numbers to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and the excellent underwater life. Some of the best diving spot are found near Puerto Galera which itself is a wonderful natural harbour..Its proximity to Manila bring a lot of local vacationers, too. The entrance port to the island is Batangas
---->continues in Mindoro part IIRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Puerto Galera is a touristic destination for all budgets . There are simple huts of 300Ph up as well as luxurious resorts at 150$US.
Night life is particularly active here with lots of bars, restaurants and some discos.
White Beach, Sabang and Laguna are the main attraction on the northern part of the island.
White beach has the most low-budget accommodation. Open bars right on the sand are pleasant for a refreshing outing and restaurants though crowded are cool and serve tasty local and western dishes..
Ladies are strolling on the beach offering superb massages. They are so cheap I could afford one every day. My body was grateful!
Staying at the far end of the beach I was not very disturbed by the crowds. After all if you choose White beach you are supposed to look for a little action.
For more peaceful and relaxed place Sabang or Laguna is more appropiate.
From Manila there are direct boats to Batangas.Then you can find immediate embarkation on the ferries to Puerto Galera . They cover the distance in one or two hours depending on the type of boat.
You can also come from Manila by bus. There is a regular flow of buses starting at 6.00am. Ferries go directly to the town of Puerto Galera , to White Beach or Sabang. Ask for the right boat at the tickets.Related to:
- Family Travel
Boracay is the perfect beach !!! The snow-white sand is magic!! You can walk on it at midday and your feet don't feel hot at all !!! The sea water has the clearest turquoise colour I have ever seen. The shady sand way along the beach make your wandering in the numerous restaurants and cafes a real pleasure. You easily make friends and enjoy the laid -back atmosphere and romantic sunsets dining in the comfortable restaurant terraces. Food is excellent. Local people are friendly and not pushy at all. Massages are offered at a very good price. There are lots of stalls selling myriads of local crafts and cheap clothes. And last but not least the music played by local groups is fantastic as well as the bongo players swaying their bodies rhythmically to the reggae sounds!
Of course it is the most popular destination in the country and as a result tourists are more than enough..but it was not as disturbing as I had thought. It is quiet and relaxed.
Accommodation gets cheaper as you move from station 1 to station 4.
A lot of travel agencies and diving centers take you to the most beautiful diving places for unforgettable dives. And sailing is a great attraction as the sailing boats here are exceptionally beautiful !!!Related to:
- Family Travel
Silay-"the Paris of Negros"
The name of Silay comes from a regional tree, the Kansilay. There are about 108,000 people living in the city. It is located on the north west tip of Negros island which means it is easy to visit it in a day trip from Bacolod. I think it is worthwhile for its ancestral mansions which the locals are trying to maintain and promote as their heritage. They are quite interesting.
Some of the ancestral houses are concentrated in the same region so it's easy to visit them on foot. Local ladies I met in one of them had organized some festivities including singing, traditional dancing and speeches that were intended to draw the attention of the local and national authorities. They need their support to help them restore and maintain these beautiful mansions. Some of them are turned into museums and they still contain furniture and belongings of the people living in them. Some of the antique items exhibited are donations from local people.
A good sample of a restored house is Balay Negrense on 5 de Novembre str.
Silay has been known as the "Paris of Negros" and its "cultural and intellectual hub", when the sugar industry was flourishing in this region, because Silayans have always loved arts and letters.
If you decide to visit this charming little city don't forget to taste the local delicacies at El Ideal Bakery on Rizal street near the Public Plaza. It is an ancestral house itself but the most interesting item is the bako pie in the bakery, and there are more kinds of pies which I am sure you won't stop eating before you are completely full...!.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Sipalay-Negros--Sugar Beach !!
Sugar Beach is not very easy to reach but rewards you for the trouble. It's the perfect relaxing beach. As it is isolated it is very quiet and picturesque. There is only a front row of hotels made of wood in a style that doesn't disturb the unspoilt beach. There are some local families living at one end occupied mostly in fishing, and the whole beach is offered for the happy tourists to enjoy. The hotels are not very luxurious but some of them are ingeniously decorated. They are clean and efficient and offer some more activities as snorkeling and diving, or boat rides to Sipalay across the bay. The food in most of them is surprisingly tasty and well-served and breakfast is generous. We tried dinner in several of them and every time we left smiling!
Sipalay is a quiet town of about 62,000 people in 12,000 households!!! There you can buy your supplies of fruit and munchies or whatever. People are exceptionally nice !!
I remember a young girl I met on the bus. After we talked for a while she explained to me that I could get the boat for Sugar Beach at a certain resort on the beach of Sipalay. Then she had to go home. I was moved when I saw her coming by taxi to check if I had found the correct place and then she left satisfied !!
The bus drops you off on the central junction where you can buy fresh fruit in the fruit markets and a few more shops but don't have many expectations. It's wise to come with enough money in your pocket.
You can find the resort where you can book a hotel or a boat for Sugar Beach, if you go straight towards the beach from where you got off the bus.
There is also some more up-market accommodation in the nearby beaches.
You can take nice walks along Sugar Beach and even get to the main road if you walk for about half an hour, where you can get the bus to other villages. But the best, the most unforgettable are the romantic orange pink sunsets we enjoyed laying leisurely in our deck chairs or on the hammocks slowly sipping our fruit cocktails !!
Don't forget to try a massage !
Sipalay is on south west Negros. The bus from Dumaquette will drop you at Kabankalan station where you get another one for Sipalay. If you are coming from North there are buses to Sipalay from Ilo-Ilo.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Bantayan -a peaceful paradise
Bantayan, 110 klms North of Cebu, is one of the hidden secrets of Philippines and one of my choices for future laid-back vacations. It is still pristine keeping a genuine relaxed atmosphere.
Tourists have not discovered it yet and I am not sure I am doing it a favour..but anyway..just between you and me..it is a delight.
The ones who have appreciated this peaceful tropical paradise come repeatedly or have already settled down. One of the most popular beaches is the idyllic, white sand Kota beach with its transparent water..
If you insist on discovering the treasure go to my Bantayan page.There are a lot of pictures...Related to:
- Family Travel
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Ok, I'm going to cheat. I just copy/pasted an old blog I wrote about Discovery Shores. I hope it...more
National Highway, Brgy. San Pedro Puerto Princesa City, Palawan 5300
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
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