Sunday, March 30, 2014

House of Dakay

Why should you visit this house in Batanes?
House of Dakay is at the town of Ivana of South Batan Island
which is around 14km from Basco.
This house was built 1887 and one of the 5 remaining old houses to survive a strong earthquake in 1918.

ann d explorer

Who is Dakay?
Originally owned by Luisita Estrella and was passed down to her nephew,
Jose Dakay Estrella.
Now, it is with Florestida "Lola Ida" Estrella.
She wasn't around when we visited.
She is the granny on the photo.

ann d explorer

We asked permission to check out the house. It was small and very simple.

There's no entrance fee or donation here. 

I just wish I met Lola Ida.

 ann d explorer

 If you want to have your tour facilitated, contact Sir Ryan at 0915.803.4582 or 0919.279.5963 Internet and Cellphone signals are sometimes a challenge in Batan.
He might be out in tours or signal's really weak, so be patient)

Saturday, March 29, 2014


When I hear the place Bulacan, what comes into mind are . . .
the best Chicharon I've ever tasted, fire crackers and historical.

Well, that's why I am exploring this place which is not too far from the metro.
It is very accessible.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hoyop Hoyopan Cave

Hoyop-hoyopan Cave is found in Camalig, Albay, Bicol, Philippines.


Expect mixed emotions on this blog post and most of my Albay blog posts.
This is based on my unfortunate experience with a "guide"
we met in Lignon Hill, Legazpi.
His name is Noel Bongadillo. He said he is a guide and showed us a certification.
We agreed on a reasonable price for the tour. The tour was a disaster. Why?
1. He was late.
2. He did not know how to get to the places. Good thing he had another person with him who knew the places.
3. He is from Antipolo, Rizal and not that familiar with the places he offered in Albay.
4. He asked for additional pay for us to pay a guide in Hoyop-hoyopan cave, which he did not disclose in his proposal.
5. We had backpacks which he said he would carry during the tour.
6. The other person who toured us had a different understanding of what our tour should have been.
7. We found out from Department of Tourism that he is not a certified tourist guide.

Again, I was disappointed at this person and the tour.

Just be careful with so-called guides like this man.

Look how cunning he looks.

Anyway, here's my story of this cave.

We took a habal-habal from Tabaco City.
I was not able to estimate the time because we did a couple of stops before we got to Camalig.

With the Mayor.

Entrance of the cave.
It was weird. My guide (girl) said we got a discount of 200 pesos because she told her boss what the "guide" Noel did to us. But Noel insisted on getting 300 pesos from us. Because I was pissed off, I forgot to give the "hidden charges" I wasn't sorry. It was a bad tour. He tricked us.

Reminders at the entrance.

Our guide inside the cave. I wasn't in the mood and did not talk much or asked much.

In this area, at the entrance, the guide discussed why it got its name.
It's because of the breeze entering here.
He said "You can feel the breeze here. Can you feel it?"
I answered no. Because there wasn't any. He said there are days that you'll feel it. I think he got embarrassed when there wasn't any breeze but since it was part of his spiel, he had to say it.

Just like the usual spelunking we did in the past,
there were rock formation names here too.
I forgot what he said on this one. It wasn't convincing that's why I forgot.

There were columns, stalactites and stalagmites.
He kept insisting that I touch this one. I didn't. I was being difficult.
I enjoy caves. I guess, we just had a bad start.

ann d explorer

They built a staircase inside which I didn't enjoy.
Too touristic.

ann d explorer

They have lights inside.
So you don't need a head lamp.

"Mama Mary"
I felt like it looked more like of Jesus, Moses, Darth Vader or Gandalf. he he he

Again, more lights inside.
I don't like it. 

You can see the wires.

This is a T-Rex or a hand.

ann d explorer

The cave is very spacious which means you don't need to crawl.

The Disco Area.

What do you see?
I see an owl.

I see a serpent

Now that's what you call real light!

This is the Exit.

Mind your heads when going out. A bit low in this area. But not too low.


The exit.
Shot from the outside.

A short trail going back to the entrance.

Souvenir shop.


Trash can.

This is what I enjoyed most here.
The short trail going back to the parking.

If you want to see more of my spelunking or cave experiences, visit here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mount Cristobal

My favorite mountain so far (as of March 2014)
Mount Cristobal.
MASL 1470
Days required / Hours to summit 1-2 days / 4 - 5 hours

We had a private van as our ride.
The roads are cemented but there are areas that aren't.

Going to the jump-off / registration area was going up.

A bit steep for our vans.

Exhausted from what guys???
We haven't started the trek.

While we wait if our vans made it to the registration area, we did photo shoots.
This is my group in Mt. Cristobal.

ann d explorer

Signages at the Registration area.
You can't pitch tents inside the registration area.

You can't leave your trash. You have to bring it with you.

Be careful of these guys at the Registration. They look so nice but when you have food on your hand, the steal it right from your hand. He stole a cookie from me. huhuhu

Early part of the trail.
We took the Dolores Trail.

I liked this trail because of the big roots that you can hold on to.

This is a creepy tree.


mt cristobal

And more assault...

It really has a forest look.
Mt. Cristobal is said to be the "Devil's Mountain"
According to the guide, there were three mountaineers who went up and they did not have a guide with them. They got lost but after a day or days (I forgot), they were found. One of the mountaineers had a problem with his thinking. Locals said that s/he might be possessed. Well . . .  that's his story. I bet there are different stories. This mountain is known about a lot of mysteries.

Be careful as there are trees with thorns and sometimes our bag cover would be hooked to the branches.
Just like this one.

We hit dark. 
Tower backpacks are not recommended here.

Our head lamps on.
We were able to do it 4 hours.

Selfie at night. 
Checking out if I would see anything out-of-the-ordinary behind me.

mt cristobal

The Saddlepoint was filled with other campers.

So we stayed at the Crater. It was also full.


A real mountaineer does not smoke around nature.
There were a lot of fake mountaineers then. :)

My contribution of hard work in cooking our meal.
Peel onions and potatoes :)

Our neighbors . . .  a group of teachers in Laguna.

the morning after, we headed to the summit. 
This is at the Saddlepoint where it was really crowded.

At the summit.

Rainbow behind me.

With my Sports Unlimited photo.

ann d explorer

Group photo at the summit.

The breath taking view.

Going down was easier. It took us 3 hours.

Guides, Kuya Jaime and Chris.

That's Mt. Banahaw behind us which is a neighbor of Mt. Cristobal.

One day, I'll visit Mt. Banahaw. :)

Credit to all the mountaineers with me on the photos I used here.