My Jomalig Adventure

One of my travel goals is to visit Jomalig (pronouced as Humalig) Island. But for these past years,  I was intimated with the fact that this would take a  6-hour boat ride. I don’t know if I can. But this year I finally gave in when WeekendExplorersPH invited me as a joiner on a tour group as they tailor an organized trip to Jomalig. Our group would consist of 14 people. A big group that would split the cost nicely as this is a DIY Jomalig trip.

Just a brief folktale about  the origin of the name of the island. Long time ago, the leader of the island has a beautiful daughter. A suitor came to ask for her hand. However, the leader of the island gave him a challenge to win her daughter. And that is to spear 3 fishes in every seawater of the island. The man accepted this challenge but did not succeeded. As a consolation, he requested a kiss from the leader’s beautiful daughter. When the girl kiss the man, the people were shocked they started shouting “Humalik!” which means to “Kiss” in local language.  Soon Humalik became Humalig and now spelled as Jomalig due to American occupation. Love these kind of tales! I have many questions though. So the girl also like the young man? What happened after that? Did they elope or something? 

But that does not matter though. It’s time for the photo documentary of our trip to Jomalig Island.Our group meet-up place was in Petron along Boni Avenue. I am nervous because I know the travel time I have to endure and also, it’s my first time to be a joiner. I only know a single soul in this trip.  (Main concern: Who would take my photos specially my bikini pics? :P)Our van departed from Boni at around 1am. 

Some notes about the Van Rental (cost slit among 14 people)
Driver: Mikel Calimag
Rental Fee going to Quezon: P6,000.00 (to be split between 14 passenger)
Driver Food: P150.00

Port Real Quezon

Then we arrived at Port Real Quezon at around 5 am, We took our breakfast around the area and finally got a chance to talk with some  people in the group. It turns out I am not the only one who’s a joiner here. Also I felt relieved to see that our ride was not exactly on a small boat just like we had in Calaguas. We were about to ride on a ferry boat! With seats and a top load where we can lie and sleep!

Time check: Our boat departed the port at around 7 am.

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Ferry at Real Quezon going to Jomalig

These are some scenes at the topload of the ferry boat. I totally recommend to grab a spot here if you want to catch some sleep. Also it’s not so hot there.

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Sun rise
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Someone old me that this pic looks like a drug trafficking scene. Haha!

Free lunch! I did not expect that our ride has a free meal inclusion. And I love the food. It tasted good, even better than my breakfast that morning.

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The free luch aredeliverd by plate
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My Jomalig Travel Buddies
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Some notes about the Ferry Boat Trip (cost split among 14 people)
Port  Fee: P140.00
Environmental Fee: P2380.00
Boat: P5600.00

Arrival at Jomalig and Lunch at Ate Lara’s House

The ferry boat is prohibited to touch the shore. So we have to transfer another smaller boat in order to finally reach Jomalig Island. It turns out that we will be staying at the house of “Ate Lara”

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In addition for the house, Ate Lara’s added service is cooked food. They welcomed us with Filipino staple food “Adobo”.

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Introducing our temporary humble home

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Even if we were tired and sleepy, one should not waste the opportunity the catch swimming time under sunset in Salibungot Beach.

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Some cost notes. Split among 14 people
Entrance Fee at Salibungot Beach 1400
Boat to Resort by Ate Lyra P840.00

Home Accomodation (P380.00 room, P200.00 papag only) P3800.00
Rice + Adobo by Ate Lyra P1010.00
Water + Ice 170.00

Home Accommodation by Ate Lyra
Contact Numbers: Globe-09561048356, Smart-09307968665

Second Day: Habal-habal (Motorbike) Tour

 I did not expect that the essence of Jomalig adventure is the motorbike tour. They can be acquired on the spot. Just ask a local or Ate Lyra’s assistance if want a habal-habal tour . I’m scared of riding motorbike because for me it is accident prone mode of transportation. It just feel so unsafe in the city. But of course, will I let my fear spoil my Jomalig trip? I have no choice!

1st STOP: Ang Puno ng Walang Forever (The Tree of No Forever)

The tree is lonely because it grew in the middle of a space or field. Likened to a love that will forever be unrequited so you end up alone like this tree. Due to that, it became immensely popular that it was one of the tourist destinations. Picture taking here comes with a minimal fee of P65.00.

The tree might be sad but it might be angry too. With all the tourist riding its branches for pics the whole day, it might be bottling some resentments to humans . I just hope that the tree will be taken care of. I sounded like a killjoy here somehow. Instead of climbing the tree I made make-believe photos of me riding the motorbike on my own.

By the way here some snaps of our habal-habal bikes and guys.

By the time it’s our turn to take a pic with the tree, the light rain fell causing some mist and confusion in this pic.

2nd STOP: Golden Sand

It was raining when we arrived here. So the photos are kind of gloomy. I prefer sunny days during travels. And this honestly bummed me out. I prayed that the it won’t be like this the whole afternoon.

The beach was rocky and the golden sand would have been shining under a summer heat.

But of course, we will still push through with our bikini pic plans. Although quite prankly I am not in the mood here.

Yep, totally not in the mood.

3rd STOP: Little Boracay

At last! The Lord heard my prayers. The rain went away and the sun finally shone above. Just in time because Little Boracay looks so great. The white creamy sand truly resembles “Boracay” the most popular beach in the country.

Finally I was able to proceed to take a lot of pics this time around.

Aside from swimming, you can chill while drinking fresh buko juice.

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Here’s my new friend @ steffiiish who collaborated with me to have each of our own bikini photos. I am so lucky.

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Free Lunch at Stranger’s Household because It Fiesta Season in Jomalig!

Now, to add our lucky stride with the weather, our habal-habal drivers invited us to eat lunch at a nearby town which was currently celebrating their Fiesta. It’s a customary here in the PH to invite and feed strangers during this times for free! We had lovely lechon kawali. If you are curious when we toured Jomalig, we went here from April 27-29. This is really a good time to visit Jomalig I must say. The household invited us for dinner too but of course, we declined politely this time. We don’t want to abuse their kindness.

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4th Stop: KANAWAY

One of the most breathtaking sites here. Golden sand,clear waters and sandbar. A very serene place.

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5th STOP: LINGAYEN BEACH aka LITTLE BATANES

Wow Jomalig really has something to boast about. It has nuggets of popular destinations in the country. I have never been to Batanes myself so I could not really compare. But it could have been because of the rock formation, the sight of the large waves and strong breeze why they call this the little Batanes of Jomalig. The long stretch of a golden sand is also a great sight here.

A “Lost” inspired group-pic

Photography by Pabs

End of Habal-habal tour

By the end of the Habal-habal tour, I could say that my fear of motorbikes was wiped away. For the first hours, both of our hands clinging to the driver’s shirt for our dear life. But by the end of the tour, we were taking videos and pics already. Below is the short clip of our ride. It was truly an enjoyable and exciting experience seeing vast fields and farm life on our way.

Video by steffiiish!

By the end of our adventure, I was thankful that this is a habal-habal trip. Because if its not, like if its inside a car, trike, or anything that has comfortable seat, I could have been tinkering my mobile phone to upload pics for myday or browsing photos in my camera. In habal-habal, we were forced to detach ourselves from mobile phones and strictly enjoy the views passing by. It also helps that there are little to no mobile signal along the way. It’s good to detach in digital world sometimes and appreciate God’s creation. Moreover, at the end, I trampled my fear of riding motorbikes.


Some Notes of Expenses. Split by 14 persons.
Puno ng Walang Forever P65.00 (as group)
White Beach/Golden Sand Entrance P260.00 (as group)
Little Boracay P390.00 (P30.00 each per person)
Kanaway Entrance: P650.00 (50.00 each person)
Little Batanes: P650.00 (P50.00 per person)

Going Home

At around 9:00 am in the morning we traveled back to the port to catch ferry boat back to Real Quezon. Here we bought souvenirs while waiting. Here are some pics I captured at the port to catch some final glimpse of this paradise.

And once again, our ferry boat ride has an inclusion of free lunch. It was Mongo Stew for now. It tasted great.

Just a clip of our ride. I am just so amazed with the sights of the mountains and trees of nearby islands.

Notes on Expenditure
Ferry Boat with lunch :P400.00 each
Van Rental + Driver Meal: P6150.00

SPECIAL THANKS !!!

Special thanks to WeekendExplorersPH for organizing this DIY trip and doing their best to make this affordable convenient for the joiners like me. Like their Facebook Page here WeekendExplorersPH . They are team of adventure lovers dedicated in sharing weekend travel itineraries and affordable tour packages. You may like and inquire at their facebook page. Just click this link:  WeekendExplorersPH

Introducing the couple behind the Weekend Explorers PH, Patrick and Ella.

Thank you all the boys of the group who did all the groceries, chores and cooked wonderful breakfast and dinners for the group.

The following photo is not mine. Credits to Ella of Wandering Explorers PH

 Thank you also to Steffy for the patience of taking photos of me. Please follow her ig. She’s a certified adventurer who’s contantly conquering mountains. Read and be mesmerized by her adventure stories. This is the link of her ig: steffiiish

Here’s the summary computation for our group. As you can see below, the estimated expenses for each person was p3119.00. But bear in mind that this does not include other meal expenses we had. I suggest an individual should at least have P4500.00 and join a travel group for more savings.

Important Contact Numbers:
1. Van Rental + Driver: Fb: Mikel Calimag Contact Numbers: 09771557607,09567359807
2. Homestay Acommodation by Ate Lyra: Globe-09561048356 Smart-09307968665

And…that’s a wrapped! So is Jomalig worth the grueling 4-hour land travel and 6-hour boat ride?

A big YES! Jomalig surprised me with its variety of beach offerings; a beach with golden sand (sometimes pink),a beach one white sand , a beach with rocky formations and a beach with amazing sandbars. It boats nuggets of Boracay and Batanes. Not only pristine beach waters but it also showcases vast farm and field life sights. Everything rolled in one place that is Jomalig. 

Thank you all for reading our Adventure. I hope you include Jomalig in your travel bucket list because it’s definitely worth it.

Remember you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤


Let’s connect!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gurezu/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gurezu/

Baker Hills and Astoria Wedding (Palawan Day 2)

Nothing much can be said with our Day 2.  This day is for the wedding of our college friend and classmate. We had time in the morning and we managed to at least visit Baker Hills and Puerto Princesa Public Market to buy some goodies we can take home.

Baker’s Hills is literally the hills of bakers. They gather here to offer the best pastries and delicacies like hopias, cakes and bread at a very affordable price. it’s a shame that I had taken photos of it. But I assure you that at a price of P500.00, you can buy many goodies to take home it would be hard to fit it in a  bag.

Baker Hills is not only for food but also a romantic site for photoshoot. There are a lot of cute fixtures spread all over the place. However, we were not able to maximize our time here due to we are on a tight schedule.

Gigantic Paperbag
Gigantic Paperbag

BAKERS HILLS
Baker’s Hills Goodies Room

Fake Bicycle
Fake Bicycle. It does not move at all. Haha!

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Fake Bicycle. It still does not move at all.

 

LOVE
GIANT LOVE

GIANT LOVE
GIANT LOVE

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarves statues

Giant Pot of Sunflowers
Giant Pot of Sunflowers

Tree of Hearts
This is my favorite of all displays, the tree of hearts. Each heart has messages on it most of which are hugot lines. But there are sensible ones too like the one below.

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Tree of Hearts

ASTORIA PALAWAN

The wedding we attended happened in Astoria Palawan. I got a shock of my life and  when John Arcilla was part of entourage. He’s one of the respectable actors in the Philippines today. Most notable for playing Antonio Luna, an ill-fated story of a Filipino General in times of Spaniards Colonization in the Philippines.

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This is his blockbuster movie poster which is now available for viewing in Netflix.

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It’s rare for me to completely doll up these days. So I took the opportunity to have many photos as much as possible. Sadly, the sea was on low-tide that day. It is a good backdrop nonetheless.

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A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan

A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan

A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan

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Girl in A Pink Dress Having a Selfie

Fabulous Comfort Room
Fabulous Comfort Room of Astoria Palawan

My Beautiful Travel Buddies
My Travel Buddies

My friend was the one subjected to the game of garter and flowers haha!

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Right after the wedding we traveled straight to El Nido Palawan for our sea adventures. The travel time was about 4 hours. To say we were exhausted was an understatement. But we have to be in El Nido by the next morning if we want to maximize the tour.

Thanks for Blessed Journey Tours and Travel for bringing us safely to our destination.

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And off on our next home in Palawan, St. John Island View and Pensionne House.

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Tomorrow will be the Day 3 at last where the real Palawan Adventure took place! So excited to blog about the photos we took of the beautiful seas that is El Nido, Palawan.

That’s all folks for today.

Remember You Are Awesome!

Gurezu ❤

 

 

Iwahig Firefly Watching and Puerto Apartments (Palawan Day 1)

Arrival at Puerto Princesa

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We were four in this trip but we had different flight schedules. I was alone in my flight and perhaps I arrived Puerto Princesa Airport around noon. I took a tricycle to bring me in Puerto Apartments where one of my friends was already waiting.

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Puerto Apartments details

I highly recommend this house to those who want a budget accommodation here in Puerto Princesa. It has complete amenities for cooking, has aircon and quite spacious. It’s near tourist attractions, markets and the airport. My friend booked this room for P765.00 per night its for four persons already. Incredibly affordable right? She booked it in Agoda.com by the way. I really liked our stay here.

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Chilling while waiting for other friends

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Beside Puerto Apartments was a restaurant named Coco Garden Cafe’. The place was relaxing but the food was quite expensive for me with respect to the quantity or servings.

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I chose to eat Danggit  to taste something native in this place. But I didn’t like it. The Danggit meat felt like a rubber and I had a hard time chewing it.

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Eating Danggit

This is actually a chill day and we didn’t have particular plans. But I didn’t want to waste our time here in Puerto Princesa. So I searched the internet for an attraction nearby that we can also visit during nighttime.  Iwahig Firefly Watching fits the bill. As soon as my friends arrived at around 5pm, I immediately told them to drop the bags and hit the road immediately.

Iwahig Firefly Watching

I have never seen a firefly myself. The visuals I know would only be from what I saw in movies and animations. So this got me really hyped.

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IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • We traveled to Iwahig by renting a tricycle for P500.00 and that would transport us back and forth. We had to rent because transportation from Iwahig would be very difficult specially at night. Most people come here by car.
  • Firely watching is done by a 30-40 minute boat ride. Only three passengers + 1 tourguide can fit a boat. Since there were four of us, we were later merged with a couple in one package of P1800. So that would be six of us in that fee.  Then we split in to two boats.
  •  There is a buffet restaurant here for P250.00 each person.
  •  There are a lot of mosquitoes here. I had to buy a repellant eventually because my legs were bombarded with itchyness.
  • There is an official photo during the boatride. It costs P50.00 per print.

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Iwahig Firefly Restaurant

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Iwahig Firefly Watching
of course, the life vest is a must!

 

The boatride was a little bit scary because it was super dark. But once you get near with the trees and see the fireflies lit up together, it was really cute. However, don’t expect too much that they will come of as magical sight. The fireflies are quite too far and they are too small. It doesn’t looks like the movies.  But still I enjoyed it. The boatman which was the tour guide as well had told as many stories about Philippine fireflies during the ride. He said that the existence of fireflies in a place means a clean environment. This was the reason why you won’t see a firefly in the city. Another interesting thing we encountered here are the sparkling planktons. If you shake the riverwater, the planktons will sparkle. However, the most memorable thing that happened has to be when the firefly flew near our boat and actually landed on my palm. It looked like a mosquito but with lightbulb on its tail. I wish I had taken a photo of it.

Like I told you, the river was so dark my camera had no power to capture anything. These are the only things that I captured while the boat was sailing.  I eventually gave up and just kept my camera in a waterproof bag. I advise, just focus on watching the fireflies and disturbing the planktons when you get here.

By the way, here’s the official photo of our ride. They edited the firefly glows in the picture. That was funny. It costs P50.00 to get a copy.

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After that, we retreated back to the Puerto Apartments and get ready for our adventure the next day.

That’s it for the Day 1.  I hope this blog will contribute to your ideas in planning your Puerto Princesa Palawan trip. Because this is a really worthy experience.

Remember, you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

Drown in Flowers in Northern Blossom Atok, Benguet

My sister wanted to celebrate her 26th birthday at Baguio. I was not that thrilled because I already toured Baguio years ago. But thanks goodness, while researching something to add in our itinerary, I stumbled in a facebook blog about “Northern Blossom at Atok, Benguet, two hours from Baguio. Finally, it felt like this is the twist I am looking for our Baguio trip. I immediately added this on our second-day itinerary.

*Monday, March 5, 2018, 6:30 am, we went out of our transient home and hailed a taxi going to Dangwa Bus Station. According to the facebook guide, we would ride a bus going to Bontoc or Sagada. We were just in time because the next trip going of the bus was 7:00 am. I told the conductor that our drop-off would be the Municipal Hall of Sayangan Atok, Benguet. The tickets caused P73.00 per person.

* We arrived at around 9:15 am. The municipal looked like this. We entered and asked around how to register as tourist and we were redirected to a tent booth.

*To tell you the truth, there was a slight misunderstanding during the registration. After we signed up in their log-book, we were offered to purchase a day tour that would cost almost P1500.00 for our group. Although the tour is exciting, it would be way beyond our plans and our budget. I made clear that just wanted to visit Northern Blossom and Benguet Kochi Sisterhood Park where there are real Sakura flowers. They said we don’t need a tour if that’s the case. It’s just a walking distance from municipal hall. Someone from the registration guided us on our way.

*Anyway here’s the tour packages they offer. I would love to go back and avail this. When I go to Sagada, I would make this as part of my trip.

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* Finally! We arrived at the Northern Blossom main house. We signed up and pay P200.00 per person. I was asked to choose between Area 1 and Area 2. Area 1 has shorter route but most of the flowers were harvested already because of the recent Panagbenga Festival. Area 2 is untouched but way longer. I chose Area 2 without blinking. Who cares if we get tired?

*I must say the photoshoot started inside the registration house already. The wooden interior made us feel instantly relaxed,

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*And finally, the flowers! The tour guide actually know the name and some trivia about the flowers by heart whenever we ask. But who would remember the information anyway. The important is to ENJOY THE FLOWERS!

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This door is inviting…promising for more breathtaking views!

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Along the way, I met this really cute kid who obviously want his pictures taken.

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This is the cabbage rose. Not a flower but a vegetable. Actually Northern Blossom is not new to me a anymore. Local tv show “Kapuso Mo Jessica Sojo” already featured this garden because of its Cabbage Roses. But it was shown long time ago so it slipped out of my mind. The facebook blog reminded me just in time.

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TWINNING WITH MY SISTER. I purposely bought same style dresses to wear for this trip so we can have our twinning moments in this farm. I am so prepared I am amazed with myself.

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AND MORE PICTURES!!!

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BACK TO THE REGISTRATION HOUSE …

After the trip to flowers, we returned to the relaxing registration house. We were humbled to meet the owner of Northern Blossom. He toured us inside their transient house. (Yes you can sleep inside the Northern Blossom Farm)! And he even offered us soda and Benguet coffee.

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And another bonus! There were two sweet puppies roaming around the house. They are so friendly they lick you when you touch them. I want to bring them home with me. Even when going back to Baguio, I’m still thinking about them. I miss them so much. They are really sweet.

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I FEEL SO ATTACKED!

After this, we ate lunch at the Van station going back to Baguio. It was just a walking distance from Northern Blossom. Just look for Marosan’s Restaurant. The trip going back to Baguio costs P100.00 per person.

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Sadly, we did not push through of going to another flower farm which has authentic Sakura due to our mother and her friend were so exhausted already. It was also really hot that time. If you are going to visit, better to ride a bus at around 4am going here. And besides, the locals said that Sakura are not in full bloom yet. I’ll promise I’ll go back in Atok Benguet. Even our bus ride became so enjoyable because of all the breathtaking views of the mountains and rice terraces. I’ll definitely go back to see what Atok, Benguet has to offer. Hopefully the cherry blossoms are already in full bloom that time.

Ending this blog with my most favorite picture, “the hills are alive with sound of music”. It makes sense since my name is Mary which is also Maria.

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Hope you enjoy my photo overload post. How about you? What beautiful place have you discovered recently?

Summary

Northern Blossom can be a nice side trip when you are in Baguio or you are on your way to Sagada. Entrance Fee is only P200.00.

From Manila: Victory Liner bus-P455.00, Joy Executive Bus P730.00.

  1. Dangwa Station to Sayangan Municipal Hall Bus. P73.00
  2. Tourist Registration at Municipal Hall
  3. Northern Blossom. P200.00 Entrance Fee.
  4. Van going back to Baguio in front of Marosan Restaurant, P100.00 each.

To contact Northern Blossom, here’s the calling card.