Travel Guide | Marvelous Mariveles

 

Mariveles is located at the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines.  The first class municipality which is divided into 18 barangays is about 173 kilometers from Manila.

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Early morning view from Mariveles Baywalk 

Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Mariveles

  • Founded by a Franciscan Friar in 1578
  • Originally part of Pampanga but declared its independence though The Superior Decree of July 1754
  •  It is the starting point of the famous “Bataan Death March” on April 9, 1942.
  • The first free trade zone in the Philippines was established in its town which was passed in Congress on June 21, 1969
  • Derived its name from ““Maraming Dilis” shortened to Mara-dilis and into Mariveles

Aside from its huge industrial complex of the Freeport Area of Bataan, its Mariveles Baywalk and its historical landmarks which include the Zero Kilometer Marker of Death March and the 1729 Parish Church of Saint Nicholas Tolentine, Mariveles prides itself of having the following wonderful natural attractions tourists can explore:

  • Mount Mariveles

The dormant volcano which lies at the southern end of the Zambalez Mountains in the Bataaan Peninsula, west of Manila Bay. Three peaks familiar to the mountaineering community namely:

  1. Tarak Ridge – most well-known destination on Mount Mariveles with its jump-off point situated at Barangay Alas-sin, Mariveles.
  2. Pantingan or Banayan Peak – can be accessed through Sitio Duhat, Saysain in the town of Bagac.
  3. Mariveles Ridge – jump-off area at Sitio Parca, Mariveles.
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Mount Mariveles as seen from Manila Bay

  • Five Fingers and the other coves

The finger-shaped west side of Mariveles, Bataan where the Japanese troops landed before the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942. Five-fingers actually comprises six coves namely Talaga, Apatol, Nagbayog, Kinalalakhan, Kutad and Panoypoy. Three more coves follow Panoypoy along the coastline of Mariveles namely Talain, Lusong and Wain where Camaya Coast is situated. One can either trek or ride a boat doing cove to cove exploration.

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Panoynoy Cove, a jeepney ride from Poblacion Mariveles to Porto Circle in Barangay Balon plus merely 20-minute trek

 

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Hawla Beach, nearby beach from Panoypoy Cove
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Talain Cove in Barangay Biaan, a 30-minute trek from Panoypoy Cove in Barangay Balon 
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Talain Falls, an hour and a half of gruelling trek to its destination
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Creamy fine sand of Lusong Beach, a 30-minute boat ride from the shore of Barangay Biaan
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Lower level of Lusong Falls which can be reached within 30 minutes of trekking

  • Sisiman

Just few minutes away from the Poblacion area, Barangay Sisiman shares its own picturesque view of its environment. Points of interest include Sisiman Beach, Sisiman View Deck, San Miguel Rock, San Miguel Lighthouse and the Sisiman Groto.

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View of the bay and the San Miguel Rock at Sisiman View Deck
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The stunning 700 feet high San Miguel Rock mountain

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Sisiman Groto

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San Miguel Lighthouse

Where to eat and stay in Mariveles, Bataan? 

For budget conscious travelers, there are cheap restaurants, resorts and hotels around Mariveles. For more information, you can check http://marivelesbataan.gov.ph/placestostay and http://marivelesbataan.gov.ph/reasortsandrestaurants

How to go to Mariveles, Bataan?

Mariveles, Bataan is three and a half hours away from Manila by car. You can take either the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (STEX). By bus, there are daily trips going to Mariveles in Cubao, Pasay and Manila.

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TheTraveLad at Panoypoy Cove

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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Bagasbas Beach | Daet, Camarines Norte

The long stretch beach of Bagasbas in Daet, Camarines Norte is a famous surfing and kite boarding spot. The Philippine Department of Tourism turned it into a local accredited surfing spot because of the attention it garnered from the local surfing community.

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Early surfers of Bagasbas Beach
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Sun about to rise at Bagasbas Beach

Fine grey sand stretches over Bagasbas Beach with waves of three feet up to eight feet. Best waves come in September to January. Beach is free, food is good and accommodations are cheap.

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View of sunrise at Bagasbas Beach
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Daily morning exercise of Bagasbas residents at the beach
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Volleyball court setting up by beach goers

How to get to Bagasbas Beach?

Take the 8-hour bus ride bound for Daet (Superlines, DLTBCo., or PhilTranco) and get off at Daet town proper or Centro. From Centro, take a tricycle to Bagasbas Beach.

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More on Daet, Camarines Norte? Read previous blog Travel Guide | Daet, Camarines Norte

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide | Tuba, Benguet

Known as the “Gateway to Baguio”, Tuba, Benguet lies at the southwestern tip of Cordillera Administrative Region. It is bounded on the north by the city of Baguio, on the east by the municipality of Itogon, on the south by the province of Pangasinan, and on the west by the province of La Union.

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Sea of clouds and the view of Baguio City on the way to Mount Cabuyao

Tuba was part or the Baguio Township in the early part of 1900 during the American Regime. It is generally considered a mountainous area characterized by irregular rugged terrain and steep slopes.

Points of Interest

Mount Santo Tomas: The highest mountain in the town which soars to 2,252 meters above sea level.

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Spectacular view of the mountain and water reservoir of Santo Tomas
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Vegetation at Mount Santo Tomas

Mount Cabuyao: The shorter mountain beside Mount Santo Tomas where the two large satellite dishes of the Radar Station is located.

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The Radar Station on top of Mount Cabuyao
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Just another fantastic view at Mount Cabuyao

Bencab Museum: Located at Km. 6 Asin Road in Tuba, the museum promotes the arts, and the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment, as well as the culture and traditions of the Cordilleras.

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Museum owned by Philippine National Artist Ben Cabrera
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The garden at Bencab Museum

Bridal Veil Falls: The high falls along Kennon Road in Barangay Twin Peaks.

How to go to Tuba, Benguet?

From Manila, several bus lines ply the Metro Manila to Baguio route with terminals scattered across the metro. It generally takes about 6 hrs to get to Baguio by bus, longer than it would by car due to stops along the way. From Baguio City, numerous public transportation can bring you to its nearby town Tuba.

Notice: Since late last year, the government has stopped tourists from driving up to the community made popular by a television series in Mount Santo Tomas in order to enforce the permanent environment protection order imposed by the Court of Appeals on May 2015. News this August 2016, members of the Benguet board are eyeing to re-open Mount Santo Tomas for tourists. A resolution recently passed on first reading requesting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to allow tourist to visit the mountain again. (This trip was made possible by a friend’s relative in Tuba)

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

 

Monasterio de Tarlac | San Jose, Tarlac

The Monasterio de Tarlac is a well-known tourist destination in the province of Tarlac in the Philippines. The monastery is located at the 278-hectare Tarlac Ecotourism Park in Brgy. Lubigan, San Jose. It is run by the Servants of the Risen Christ Monastic Community.

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The Admin and Information Office
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View of Mount Damas from Monasterio de Tarlac

Construction of Monasterio de Tarlac started at the end of 2000. The monastery holds a relic of the Holy Cross and is the only one known to possess such in Asia. In 2005, the relic came to the monastery and was enshrined beneath the chapel’s altar in January 30, 2007. The said relic is believed to be part of the cross discovered in Jerusalem by Helena, mother of Constantine The Great.

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The chapel where the relic is located

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Prior’s hermitage

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There is no entrance fee to the monastery and it is open to the public daily from 7:00AM to 6:00PM. Masses are celebrated at 10:30 am daily (except Thursdays) and at 3:00 pm on Sundays.

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Barricade in front of the altar protecting the relic
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Beneath the altar is where the relic of a piece of the one true cross was placed

How to get to Monasterio De Tarlac?

From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway, exit Sta. Ines Toll Plaza in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Proceed towards north to Tarlac City. Upon reaching Brgy. San Sebastian, take a left turn to the bypass road (Tarlac – Pangasinan) towards the town of Camiling. Follow the 36-km road to Brgy. Lubigan in San Jose, Tarlac (refer to the markers and signs on the road). Travel time takes 2-3 hours if via TPLEX.

Monasterio de Tarlac Information Office  at +63 916 2508414 or landline at +63 (45) 4933002

Featured Photo: Monasterio de Tarlac’s 30-foot statue of the Risen Christ  on top of Mount Resurrection, part of the Zambales Mountain Range.

 

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Ampere Beach | Dipaculao, Aurora

Ampere Beach is located in the municipality of Dipaculao, Aurora in the Philippines. It is a beach where tourists go not for swimming but for its magnificent sight it has to offer. The beach is known for its smooth rocks of various sizes and colors, massive waves and breathtaking view of sunrise.

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Rock formations where massive waves crash every now and then

The beach area is called Bunga Point or Ampere Point, where at a certain time local residents go to Okotan Cave to forecast the weather. The waves, upon hitting the shoreline cave, produce an explosion, the intensity of which, according to local knowledge, determines the intensity of the incoming weather.

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Numerous rocks near the shore of the beach

How to go to Ampere Beach?

Ampere Beach  is approximately an hour travel from the town proper of Baler. From Baler town proper, you can either take a tricycle going to Sabang Beach and from there, hire a motorized banca going to the site or hire a tricycle and take the direct land travel going to the beach.

For direction going to Baler, read previous blog Travel Guide | Baler: Birthplace of Philippine Surfing

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The shoreline leading to Ampere Beach
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The bridge connecting the towns of Baler and Dipaculao

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours: Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church | Taal, Batangas

The Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours or simply Taal Church is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines.  Hailed as one of Taal’s crowning jewels, the church is considered to be the largest in Asia. Its patron saint is St. Martin of Tours whose feast is celebrated every November 11.

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The altar of the basilica

Construction of the present neo-classic style church began in 1856 by Fr. Marcos Anton and was supervised by Spanish architect Luciano Oliver. It was completed in 1878 but was actually inaugurated prior its completion in 1865. The church is 88.6 metres long and 48 metres wide. It has three naves with a grand transept and an elegant facade. On December 8,1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the Philippines to be given such honor. It was also declared a National Shrine by Presidential Decree No. 375 on January 16, 1974 by the National Historical institute.

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Inside the basilica which was designed by a Spanish architect Luciano Oliver
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One of two smaller naves of the basilica
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Beautiful crafted displays on the second floor of the basilica
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Reception area for visitors of the priest in charge
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A small pond within the basilica

At present, the church allows tourists to experience a panoramic view of the town that overlooks the Balayan Bay by climbing the church belfry.

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Way to the church belfry
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The bell of the baslica
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View of Taal town and the Balayan Bay at the belfry

History of Earlier Churches: Construction of the original Taal Church began in 1575 near the shores of Taal Lake in the town of San Nicolas. It was destroyed during a massive eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754 leading to the transfer of the town and the church to its present location. Construction of the new church began in 1755 but again damaged by a strong earthquake in 1852.

How to get to Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours? Read previous blog Travel Guide: Heritage Town of Taal | Batangas, Philippines

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For this particular trip, TheTravelad  would like to thank Taal Tourism headed by Ma’am Elizabeth Quinto for the guided tour around the heritage town. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide: Heritage Town of Taal | Batangas, Philippines

Taal is located in the northwestern part of Batangas approximately 131 kilometers from Manila. It is known as “The Balisong and Barong Capital of the Philippines”. The town was founded in 1572 by the Spanish Friars and is the oldest town of Batangas.

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All over Taal, you can find these numerous ‘balisong‘ (butterfly knife)

Being a heritage town, Taal is well-known for its various historical landmarks. On September 30, 1987, the poblacion district has been named as a historical landmark by National Historical Institute thru its Resolution No. 2.

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The Municipal Hall of Taal known as ‘Casa Real

Where to go in Taal?

There are more than hundred ancestral houses and historical landmarks within the heritage town. Here’s a short list of notable places to visit which are open to the public:

Basilica of St. Martin De Tours: The biggest Catholic Church in Asia which was originally built in 1575. It was declared as a National Shrine on January 16, 1974.

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Marcella Agoncillo Mansion: The house of the great principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Republic of the Philippines.

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Ancestral house of Marcella Agoncillo

Don Leon Apacible House: The ancestral home turned museum of the late Don Leon Apacible, Finance Officer of former President Emilio Aguinaldo.

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Inside the Museum of Don Leon Apacible

Our Lady of Caysasay Shrine: Built in 1611 out of coral stones, the church is home to the image of Virgin Mary which was caught by a religious fisherman in 1603. The said image has been reported to be mysteriously appearing and disappearing in the chosen haven.

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The Our Lady of Caysasay Church

Sta. Lucia Twin Well: The spot where the image of the Virgin Mary was once found in 1611. From an underground source springs the well’s said to be miraculous healing water that is sought by tourists and pilgrims.

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The coral stone arc facade of Sta. Lucia Twin Well

Villa Tortuga: The house of colonial period costumes.

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Various colonial period costumes you can rent and wear in taking souvenir photos in Villa Tortuga

Galleria Taal: The museum houses a hundred collection of 18th century camera.

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Old selfie stick inside the Galleria Taal (selfie sticks apparently not invented just recentlty)

Casa Villavicencio and Wedding Gift House: The grand ancestral house belonged to Taal’s two prominent personalities – Eulalio and Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio. The home served as a refuge of battle soldiers and also became a secret meeting place of revolutionary leaders.

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At the living room of Casa illavicencio

When To Visit Taal?

Taal celebrates a number of cultural events. Try to visit the heritage town during these events:

March: Pilgrimage month

April: Taal Foundation Day / EL PASUBAT Festival

November 11: Feast of St. Martin de Tours

December 8 & 9: Taal town fiesta and Fluvial Parade of Our Lady of Caysasay

How to get to Taal?

From Manila, travel time to Taal is approximately 2 hours. You can get there through the following directions:

By Public Transportation: There are buses in Cubao and Buendia bound to Lemery, Batangas that pass by Taal. Ask the driver to drop you to Flying V Gas Station in Taal, the jump-off heading to the heritage town. From the gas station there are jeepneys going to the poblacion district or the heritage town.

By Private Car: From Manila, take South Luzon Expressway and take Lipa Exit. After exit, turn left at the National Highway towards Cuenca and Alitagtag. Continue driving along the National Highway and follow the signage leading to Lemery/Taal. At the crossroads where Flying Gas Station is located, use the left fork that leads to the heritage town.

*Upon arriving at the heritage town, you may opt to visit the tourism office if you need assistance. The tourism desk of Taal is located just beside the Basilica of St. Martin de Tours. You may also like get in touch with them prior to visiting through the following:

Landline: (043) 7063368 ; E-mail: tourism@taal.gov.ph ; FB Page: TaalTurismo

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For this particular trip, TheTravelad  would like to thank Taal Tourism headed by Ma’am Elizabeth Quinto for the guided tour around the heritage town. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph