Tag Archives: nature

#100Days Photo 9: Loboc River, Tagbilaran, Philippines

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A vacay trip to Bohol won’t be complete without taking the Loboc River cruise…with buffet lunch! 🙂 I’ve visited Bohol twice — first in 2011 and second in 2013. The first time we visited the province of Tagbilaran, it was a group of 6 with and we took a 3D/2N package tour. Though it wasn’t part of the package, the driver asked us if we would like to go for a zipline (flying fox) ride and of course we said we would! I took this photo while I was screaming my lungs out while wheezing past the Loboc River and all its lush greens! I had the camera strapped to my neck and I just kept clicking! 😀 the second time I was in Bohol with my friend Leah, we had a DIY tour and we were lucky to get into the cruise in time, only through hitching a ride with tour package tourists coming from the Chocolate Hills! The buffet, of course, was awesome and totally worth the amount we paid to board the Loboc River floating restaurant!

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FotoFolio: Waling Waling, the Queen of Philippine Orchids (and Malagos garden Resort)

Did you take Sibika and Kultura classes wherein the teacher always discusses the “national something/someone” of the Philippines? I know it’s not the Philippines’ national flower (unless the Senate bill has been approved with an HoR counterpart) but being the “Queen of Philippine Orchids”, I’ve always wondered what the Waling Waling looked like in full bloom and splendid color.

Waling-Waling Dots

Waling Waling, scientific name Euanthe sanderiana after orchidologist Henry Frederick Conrad Sander, is found in Mindanao island. While it is endemic in Cotabato and Zamboanga del Sur provinces as well, it is more popularly known to be seen in Davao as more people “know” that Mt. Apo, Waling-Waling’s home, is in this province.

Waling-Waling Close-up

So, when we had the chance to visit Malagos Garden Resort, we did not miss the chance to have face-time with the “Queen of Philippine Orchids”. (Well, at least that’s what I thought I was seeing or taking a photo of. hehe)

Walling-Waling Cluster

It was mainly purple in color, with spots of a darker shade. I can’t remember how it smelled though, only what it looked like. I haven’t seen that much orchids in my life but really, the Waling Waling was a beauty to behold. I find it, uhm, detailed and intricate. In the sense that though the flowers essentially seem the same at first glance, a lingering look will prove otherwise.

Apart from the Waling-Waling, there are other flowers and orchids to see and admire at Malagos Garden Resort.

Yet-to-blossom flowers

Purple Orchid

There’s an area that serves as a playground both for kids and adults. I think Malagos also serves as a team building, retreat and/or camping venue. There’s also these huge chess pieces that you can play with, or have photos of. The chessboard is more of these squares spread over patches of grassy land.

Chess Pieces

What I particularly liked at the Malagos Garden Resort area was the topiary of different forms and shapes. I am no gardener and neither is any of my immediate family members. But, I like landscapes, natural or man-made and the topiary at Malagos made me happy!

Bicycle Topiary

Family Topiary

So yes, whether you’re interested in seeing the Walling-Waling orchid for real or you just want a soothing green space to relax, a visit to Malagos Garden Resort as part of your Davao itinerary is hereby recommended!

FotoFolio: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao (eagles, and more!)

I was just looking at old photo albums in Facebook when I came across some photos of animals and plants, not to mention eagles, at the Philippine Eagle Center during the trip I made to Davao City with my brods and sisses from UPLB DevComSoc.

E - Eagles

Suffice it to say that it brought me down memory lane. So before I succumb to the nostalgia, I “hurriedly” selected some photos which I would like to share with you. They’re not all eagles, but of other flora and fauna as well. The Philippine Eagle Center, apart from being popularly known as home to Pag-asa (hope), the first Philippine eagle bred in captivity, is also the home for several other avian species (birds) and animals. And yes, insects and flowers too!

Pagasa

So, if you can’t go to Davao to watch these birds and insects and walk along the green pathways of the Philippine Eagle Center, I hope that some of these photos can somehow transport you and let you enjoy a visual wildlife (though no longer as wild) encounter!

Owl

Monkey-eating Eagle

Bird with Dots

Eagle for Show

White and Grey Bird

Crocodile or Alligator

Monkey and a Stick

Pathways

Hanging Bells

Flower and Ants

Moth on Leaf

Mating Butterflies

Orange Butterfly on a Flower

If you enjoyed this visual tour of the Philippine Eagle Center, wait till you actually see the eagles and animals and walk through it’s pathways! These photos were taken almost two years ago and for sure, there’s more to see at the Philippine Eagle Center now, especially after Pag-asa and Kalinawan gave birth to another eagle!

Banaue Rice Terraces: 1000 peso bill edition

If you had an old 1000 peso bill right now and take a look at the back of the bill, you’ll see the Banaue Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Philippines’ greatest treasures.

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Or, if you’re feeling like that’s not enough, then I suggest for you to see the Banaue Rice Terraces yourself!

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Yeah, it takes a butt-numbing 10-hour bus journey. So what?! They say that things you worked hard for gives you the greatest rewards. Believe me, seeing the Banaue Rice Terraces before your very eyes is all worth it!

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FotoFolio: Sunrise at Mt. Kanchenjunga (3rd highest peak in the world)

In my CouchSurfing profile, I shared that one of the most amazing things I have seen in my entire life is the sunrise at Mt. Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas. Mt. Kangchenjunga is the 3rd highest mountain in the world at 8,586m (28,169ft).

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise Close-up
Mt. Kanchenjunga. Amazing.

No, I did not climb Mt. Kanchenjunga but I watched the sunrise from the Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, a popular tea estates tourist spot, in West Bengal, northeast India. Darjeeling has an average elevation of 2,050m (6,710ft). Tiger Hill in Ghoom, where you can find the world’s highest railway station, is about 11kms from Darjeeling.

FotoFolio Darjeeling
Welcome to Darjeeling!

In order to see the sunrise at Kanchenjunga, Julie (my VSO co-vol, friend and travel buddy in India) and I had to wake up at bloody 3:30AM at an “I-don’t-know-how-cold-nut-I’m-freezing” temperature! Being in India for a while by then (October, 7 months in!), we didn’t really expect them to be serious about the pre-arranged shared jeepney to Tiger Hill, the viewing point, to go by 4:00AM! But yes, they did and even called us up before 4 to make sure we were on our way.

With the number of shared jeeps, vans, cars and other vehicles heading that way—there’s like about 200 vehicles at the parking lot and that’s a conservative count—the traffic was really bad especially when it was already nearing Tiger Hill.

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise Vehicles
Vehicle options for the Tiger Hill (aka Three-Point Tour) tour. We got a jeep like the green one for 10 people

Upon alighting, we were told to just go to the ticket booth to pay for the Rs 10 entry fee to the hill’s “viewing deck” area. Since we thought we could rough it out anyway, Juls and I decided not to go for the extra Rs 20- and Rs 30-rupee tickets for the viewing deck that’s inside a taller building.

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise View Deck
Tiger Hill Viewing Deck and “Viewing Deck” – take your pick!

We joined the multitude of jacket- and sweater-clad (sometimes with bonnets too coz it’s too freaking cold!) of local and foreign tourists first on the right side of the building for an earlier view of the sunrise, you know, ala-Breaking Dawn!

FotoFolio Darjeeling Sunrise at Tiger Hill
Breaking Dawn with strangers. And electronic devices!

I thought that was it! That we were unlucky to see Mt. Kanchenjunga because it’s too cloudy! But I was wrong! Because, the sun’s rays are to hit Kanchenjunga in the opposite side of the viewing deck. Juls was the one who saw it just when we were about to walk down!

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise 2
Up in the clouds! Cotton Candy, anyone?!

Forgive the photo quality here (click to enlarge; I can give you original resolution ones if you’d request) but I assure you, the white snow-capped mountain peaks of Kanchenjunga turning into varied hues of orange is indeed a sight to behold.

It was an amazing moment for me. Like, really amazing. It’s not everyday that we get the chance to witness a natural beauty, some say a testament of God’s gift to humanity, and be blessed with the feeling of a better day unfolding before our eyes, sharing it with strangers from all walks of life. Sunrise at Mt. Kanchenjunga is amazing, isn’t it?

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise Panorama
Panoramic view of sunrise at Mt. Kanchenjunga

After the sunrise,I think Juls and I descended from the main viewing deck and found our way to the shared jeepney. Yes, the day has just begun as the Rs 150 tour is good for three points of interest in Darjeeling (Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery, and Batasia 360 degree loop), stories of which I will tell in my next posts.

FotoFolio Darjeeling Kanchenjunga Mountain at Sunrise
How can you not be amazed?

For now, I leave you with memories of my time with Mt. Kanchenjunga and experiencing cloud 9, perhaps figuratively and literally! Happy wandering!

FotoFolio Darjeeling Tiger Hill Tibetan Buddhist Banderitas
Banderitas / Flaglets with Buddhist prayers/text line up the road at Tiger Hill