Tag Archives: Philippine tourism

#150 Dicasalarin Cove

Dicasalarin Cove in Baler, Aurora province

Dicasalarin Cove in Baler, Aurora province (Luzon, northern Philippines) is a secluded white sand beach where the verdant Sierra Madre foothills meet the Pacific Ocean (Source:  Waypoint). Dark, thickly forested hills contrast with the striking white shoreline.

There are no resorts and visitor facilities on this fine stretch of sand. A freshwater river, flowing from the mountains beyond, trickles out to the sea. Dicasalarin Cove’s stunning, rugged beauty and relative isolation certainly make it one of Baler’s best-kept secrets.

Aside from a boat trip, adventurous visitors to this cove say that hiking to Dicasalarin is one of the best ways to go. The adventure will bring the visitor through most of Baler’s villages, a climb to a hilltop weather station where the vistas are breathtaking, through lush forests, along rocky shores and finally to the desolate beach where the beauty is as rough as the crashing waves of the Pacific.

Visitors can charter a motorised boat from Sabang to Dicasalarin Cove. The trip takes about 45 minutes and offers a view of the Baler coastline.

Mabuhay ang Baler!

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#71 Megamalls

When it comes to Megamalls, the Philippines or Metro Manila is not far behind. Filipinos are among the first Southeast Asians who are avid fans of megamall-styled shopping.

It could be the high temperatures in Manila that ensured the attraction and success of megamall complexes in the Philippines. Unlike the traditional shopping streets or districts, megamalls offer one-stop shopping, a wide choice of fast food shops, restaurants and other amusement facilities.

Since Filipinos generally tend to be sociable and gregarious by nature, the megamall complexes are the most convenient places to meet, relax or simply to spend some extra time. Hence, the megamall, unlike in the Western context,  is more than a place to shop but is also a place to be seen and see.

In the current list of  the world’s top 10 biggest megamalls,  two are in the Philippines– the Mall of Asia near Roxas Boulevard which is known as the world’s fourth biggest megamall and covers an area 407,101 square meters, and the SM North EDSA (8th biggest) which covers 331,679 square metres. Both malls have Olympic-size skating rinks and a complex of at least 10 movie theaters each.

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#52 Mt. Pinatubo

Early eruption of Pinatubo in 1991 (Wikipedia photo)

Mount Pinatubo, located in the borders of the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga in southern Luzon island in the Philippines, is known for the second largest volcanic eruption in the 20th Century when it exploded in June 1991.

Before the 1991 eruption, Pinatubo was a dormant volcanic and was hardly known, literally lying low under the shadow of the more prominent Mt. Arayat. Pinatubo’s eruption led to the evacuation of thousands of Filipinos living in the affected areas where whole villages were buried in the ash, lahar and mudflows.

The eruption, measured at VEI (Volcanic Eplosivity Index)  of  6, has also accomplished in 1991 what the Philippine government and politicians have failed to do, namely, the closure of the controversial and highly divisive issue of the US military bases in Clark (Pampanga) and Olongapo in Zambales province. At the time of the explosion pro-US Philippine politicians were actively campaigning to extend or at least allow US military presence in the country.

What was once an inconspicuous but densely-forested mountain before the 1991 eruption is now a barren, ash covered and rocky landscape. Popular among mountain trekkers, climbers and other nature adventurers, Mt..Pinatubo attracts its regular share of visitors. Local government officials, however, warn of dangerous mudslides during the rainy season when rivers overflow and narrow trails are occasionally buried in landslides, incidents which have claimed lives of unwary adventurers and foreign tourists in recent years.

The mountain was also home to one of the Philippines’ aboriginal settlers, the Aetas, which have fled and were made homeless after the eruption. During the eruption many of the Aetas hid in caves on the slopes of Pinatubo and hundreds were killed, leading to some Aetas feeling that their god, who they believe live in Mt. Pinatubo, has betrayed them. The 1991 eruption was also preceded by a strong earthquake in the area in July 1990 measured at a magnitude of 7.7 in the Richter scale, comparable in area size to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake or this year’s earthquake in Haiti.

Visitors to Pinatubo are rewarded with stark views of and dramatic landscapes of ash fields, mountain lakes and the devastation that nature leaves on its wake when it awakens and unleash its full power.

Mabuhay ang Pinatubo!

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#44 Hundred Islands

The Hundred Islands National Park (Pangasinan: Kapulo-puloan or Taytay-Bakes) is in the province of Pangasinan in northern Philippines. It is located in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

The islands (124 at low tide and 123 at high tide) are scattered along Lingayen Gulf and cover an area of 18.44 square kilometres (4,557 acres). They are believed to be about two million years old. Only three of them have been developed for tourists: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children’s Island.

The islands are actually ancient corals that extend well inland, in an area previously comprising the seabed of an ancient sea. Lowering sea levels have exposed them to the surface and the peculiar “umbrella”-like shapes of some of the islands have been caused by the eroding action of the ocean waves.

Mabuhay ang Hundred Islands!

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Launching of 365 GPS

The launching and first entry/posting for 365 Great Pinoy Stuff will be on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2010.

Your own favorite Pinoy stuff?  Send an email to 365gps@gmail.com

Happy New Year!

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