Travel guide: Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon Twin Day Hike

198+masl, a very easy hike ideal for beginners. I call it pabebe hike 😁 This mountain is perfect for over the weekend getaway. Biak-na-bato National Park offers not only climbing, there are other activities like spelunking, monkey bridge crossing and swimming at the very refreshing Madlum river.

It was my first time to organize a hike. I climb with my workmates yearly. We started last year, our first mountain was organized by someone at Mt. Maculot Cuenca Batangas. Now we’re on our second mountain, the Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel Bulacan organized by yours truly 🙅. Days before the climb I was a bit nervous because I’m hearing so much incidents about this place. I thank God for keeping us safe all throughout the climb.

I’m proud and thrilled to share my very first DIY climb 👇

ABOUT (source: Pinoy Mountaineer )

San Miguel, Bulacan
Major jump-off: Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel
LLA: 15°15.11’N; 121°1.22′ E; 196 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1 hour
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2



  • From Cubao ride Baliuag Transit or any bus to Gapan or San Miguel. Ask driver to drop you off at San Miguel Kamias, from here take a tricyle to Madlum.
  • Travel time is about 2 – 3 hours from Pasay.
  • Since we’re on a big group, we rented a van to avoid hassle in commuting. 

Van contact: Carlos Antonio (+63917 786 2672) or Darwin Macaisa (+63915 797 2586)


2am – Meet up Mcdo/Bonjour
Breakfast, buy baon, NO STOPOVER.
3am – ETD Pasay to San Miguel Bulacan
6am – ETA Sitio Madlum, Prepare, Register, Secure guide
6:30am – Start to trek to Mt. Gola
8am – Summit Mt. Gola, rest and pictorial.
9am – descend; start trek to Mt. Manalmon
10am – Summit Mt. Manalmon
11am – descend; LUNCH
1pm – Cave Exploration, Bayukbok Cave and Madlum Cave
2pm – Monkey Bridge – photo ops
3pm – Wash up
4pm – Pack up, uwian na!
8pm – ETA to PASAY


  • Bus fare = Php117.00
  • Tricycle = Php240.00 good for 4 pax
  • Entrance fee = Php20.00 per person
  • Registration fee = Php10.00 per person
  • Guide = Php600.00 per 10 pax
  • Bayukbok cave = Php200.00 per 5 pax
  • Madlum cave = Php150.00 per 10 pax
  • Monkey bridge = Php50.00 per pax
  • Parking = Php25.00


  • If planning to hike this mountain, ensure to email MADLUM Inc. stating your intent to climb. Securing permit is necessary.
    09195746470 – Carlito “Tata Carling” Carpio President M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.
    09950595100 – Rexel Marketing and Promotions officer M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.
  • Bring extra clothes and toiletries, there are rest room in the area with minimal fee
  • Prepare your packed lunch, there are carinderias in the area but are open on weekends only.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunblock, trail to the summit is very easy but not forested so you’ll be exposed to Mr. Sunny.
  • I suggest to wear trekking sandals as you’ll be crossing a river along the trail
  • Bring headlamp for spelunking. Headlamp for rent is also available in the area at Php30 per item


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You’ll be crossing this hanging bridge to the registration / jump off

Yes, you are taking the right path

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Our cool guide
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My bestie posing at the summit of Mt. Gola

Trail to the twin peak

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And together we’ll cross the river

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Chasing sunrise, chasing dreams.
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Happiness is sitting under the tree
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Mt. Manalmon Summit
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Mt. Gola Summit
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Yes, camping is possible. Make sure to coordinate with MADLUM Inc.
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Mt. Manalmon

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The highlight, swimming at Madlum River. Clear crystal! Promise me to dip in this very refreshing river!

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Mt. Maynoba + 8 Waterfalls 

If you’re up for a challenge, feeling adventurous, and want to feel the nature – I urge you to CLIMB!

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After a long time (8 months to be exact), I’m on top again. My last climb was June 2016 at Mt. Maculot, Batangas. I missed the feeling of being tired, exhausted, haggard but when you reach the top, it’s all worth it. Matutulala ka na lang sa ganda, bes!


I climb with my Beshie, this is our kind of Valentines date. We’re a different person now, we have no more interest in shopping malls (unless we’ll shop for our mountaineering gears /beachineering essentials or unless we’ll watch movie – indie films 😀 ), we’d rather climb mountains, beachineering and connect with locals.

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Credits: Pinoy Mountaineer

Trailhead: Brgy. Cayabu, Tanay, Rizal
LLA: 14°36′22.4′′N, 121°25′18.6′′ E, 728 MASL (+470m)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
Specs: Minor hike, Difficulty 3/9 (Summit); 4/9 (Loop hike), Trail class 1-4
Features: Sea of clouds, scenic views of the Sierra Madre, waterfalls


Via Public Transport

  • From cubao, ride a jeepney to Cogeo Gate 2
  • From Cogeo, ride a jeepney to Batangasan Junction
  • From Batangasan, ride a tricycle to Brgy. Cayabu (jumpoff)

***I don’t know much about the fare as we’re in a private vehicle***


Day Hike

  • 12:00AM Meet-up in Pasay
  • 01:00AM ETD to Brgy. Cayabu Tanay, Rizal
  • 03:00AM ETA at Brgy. Cayabu Tanay, Rizal. Registration, Secure guides
  • 03:30AM Start trek to Mt. Cayabu
  • 04:30AM ETA Mt. Cayabu Summit
  • 05:00AM Resume trek to Mt. Maynoba
  • 06:30AM ETA at Mt. Maynoba’s summit
  • 07:00AM ETD to Waterfall; Lunch; Swimming
  • 12:00NN Head back to jumpoff
  • 01:30PM ETA at jump-off/wash-up
  • 03:00PM ETD back to Manila

We joined a group found from DIY Travel Philippines

Fee was Php750.00 only (inclusive of van transfer, guide fee, registration fees & bag tag). Join them on their next climb, click link below:

Baliw Gang Outdoor 

Or you may contact Arjay (Organizer)


The trail to the summit is forested and grassy. You have to pass “The-HampasYourFaceTalahib-Challenge”. Hehe

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Our view while resting at the big stones from the 7th falls. Nice huh!

One of 8 waterfalls down the trail. Clear crystal!

Sea of Clouds – this is the main reason why we decided to climb Mt. Maynoba. But we failed, there is no sea of clouds, instead we saw a sea of crowds. Hehehe! But understandable because I believe these are the peak months of climbing. Instead of being pissed-off because of the crowd, why not try to connect with other mountaineers. It feels good to hear “Hi! Good morning. Ingat po, madulas! (with a smile)” from other mountaineers you bumped into the trail.

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Xoxo ~


Yats Clear Water Resort & Country Club, Clark Pampanga 

48 hours. That’s all you get for a typical weekend getaway.

So where do you usually spend your weekend?

When you’re looking for that much needed break, head over to these resort 15minutes away from SM City Clark. A weekend of laidback, clean and safe living – not so far away from the city.

Peaceful, quiet and relaxing. In the evening, the only thing you can hear was the sound of silence whispering in your soul.


Clearwater Resort & Country Club is a faithful rendition of the American suburban lifestyle, a revered memory of Clark when it was once the largest offshore US airbase.


Via Car

Take the North Luzon Expressway from Manila and exit at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Make a left turn toward Angeles City then a right turn toward Clark. The trip takes about an hour and a half from Manila without heavy traffic.

By Public Transportation

Public buses are available daily. Take a Victory Liner or any bus bound for Dau, Mabalacat Pampanga. From Dau terminal, walk a bit towards the highway, take a jeepney to Clark gate. From there, take the route 1 jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off at Parkson Duty Free.


We stayed at their outback tent, the room is good for 2-4 pax. It is a hotel room with basic amenities hidden inside a tent, airconditioned, has its own bathroom inside. It has 2 queen size beds and includes breakfast for two.



You may opt to pitch your own tent with minimal charge stated above photo.


Bringing outside food is allowed at campsite. They have cafe inside ranges from 195php above. Ordering on their menu has a cutoff, you should take your order before 7pm. Food was great but a bit costy so we went to Parkson Duty Free and took our dinner there.

Menu reference


  • Free use of swimming pool
  • Boat/Kayak = Php495 per hour
  • Fishing rod = Php110 per hour
  • Bike = Php250 per hour
  • Firing range = Php200 per hour
  • Putter = Php55 per hour
  • Tent pitching = Php700 per pitch
  • Wedding / debut photoshoot = Php6,000


by Romeo Christian Aquiatan 

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Xoxo ~


Call of Adventure: Backpacking in Pangasinan

Been talking about going out on a weekend. Planned to go to Baler, Pangasinan, Laguna, Batangas and so forth.
Then finally a day before “Tara, let’s go backpacking to Pangasinan”.

No plans, no advance bookings.

While on the road, go get your phone, hit the google then look for a place (Thanks to Dexter for organizing this last minute trip). 

Day 01

Rock View Beach Patar Bolinao, Pangasinan

Rock View has a wonderful accomodation, you will experience rustic days here by staying in kubo/cottages. It was serene, silent and very relaxing.

Lucky us, we got the entire place all for ourselves. At the last minute we called Rock View to book accommodation. No hassle since it’s low season. We also asked them to pick us up at the terminal via tricycle.

It’s a 7-hour travel time from Manila to Bolinao. We arrived at Rock View Resort at around 5:30pm, just in time for the spectacular sunset.


Day 02

Hundred Islands, Alaminos Pangasinan

Although I am not fond of developed beaches, I still enjoyed my stay in Hundred Islands. Finally, I can now scratch off Pangasinan in my scratch map PH. 😉

I’ve always wondered “How many islands does the Hundred Islands National Park actually have“?

I asked Kuya Brando,

Seth: Kuya, bakit hundred islands?

Kuya: 123 islands po kasi to Mam, pero pangit naman pakinggan kung hundred twenty three islands kaya hundred islands lang ang pinangalan.

Hehe. Funny. Ginalingan niya sumagot. Uwian na 😂

We stayed in one of the transient house just in front of Lucaf Wharf (sorry I forgot the transient’s name. Lol). Started island hopping at 7am, we only covered 4 major islands. First was the Governor’s Island, where the longest zip-line is situated (which I did not try because the heck I’m afraid of height 😞)and floating bridge going to a nearby island. Second was the Lopez Island, my favorite part,  where we stayed for an hour and swam freely, lucky us we got the entire place all for ourselves again. Third was the Macapagal Island, where you could do snorkeling and see giant clams. Last was the Quezon Island, where we stayed and took our lunch.

We were back in Lucaf at 11:30am just in time for 12nn check-out. No more extension because, my gawd, it’s 300php per hour. 😁


Side trips: 

  • Lighthouse (no entrance fee)
  • Patar white beach (no entrance fee, real quick visit so we didn’t rent a cottage)
  • Sungayan floating restaurant (see below photo for menu rates)
  • Maxine’s Restaurant at Lucaf Wharf  (you should not miss this, a bit costy but it’s worth it, swear! ✋)
The lighthouse
At Patar White Beach
Sand, sea and sky

Sungayan Grill Floating Restaurant


Day 01

  • 9:40am ~ depart pasay
  • 5:30pm ~ arrival at Bolinao Rock View Resort
  • 5:30pm onwards ~ sunset viewing and siesta mode

Day 02

  • 7:00am ~ breakfast
  • 8:00am to 9:00am ~ Patar White Beach
  • 9:00am to 11:00am ~ Siesta mode again
  • 11:30am ~ depart rock view to sungayan floating restaurant (30-40 minutes away from rock view)
  • 12:30 – 2:00pm ~ lunch at floating restaurant
  • 2:00pm ~ depart sungayan to Alaminos
  • 4:00pm ~ arrival at Lucaf Alaminos

Day 03 

  • 7:00am – 11:30 ~ island hopping
  • 12:30pm ~ depart lucaf to terminal
  • 1:45pm ~ depart terminal
  • 6:00pm ~ arrival in dau (real quick dinner at korean town in angeles city)
  • 10:30pm ~ arrival in Pasay


  • Bus fare (pasay to bolinao) ~ 430php
  • Tricycle fare from Bolinao to Rock View ~ 200php
  • Rock view kubo accomodation ~ 1,500php per night
  • Bonfire ~ 200php
  • Tricycle fare from Rock View to Patar Beach ~ 70php
  • Tricycle fare from Rock View to Sungayan ~ 150php
  • Bus fare from Sungayan to Alaminos ~ 150php
  • Tricycle fare from Alaminos bayan to Lucaf Wharf ~ 100
  • Accomodation at Lucaf Wharf ~ 1,200php per night
  • Island hopping tour good for 4 ~ 1,400php + 80php environmental fee
  • Tricycle fare from Lucaf to Alaminos terminal ~ 100php
  • Bus fare from Alaminos to Dau ~ 300php
  • Bus fare from Dau to Pasay ~ 150php

Note: meal budget not included**

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Xoxo ~


A little bit of paradise 

Location: Paradise Ranch, Clark Pampanga 

This may not be as luxurious as other places but I assure you that this is worth visiting.

Paradise Ranch is just 30-minutes away from SM City Clark. Located on the hills of Clark Air Base, Pampanga.

How to get there?

For commuters:

  • Take a bus going to North, drop at Dau terminal.
  • From Dau terminal, take a jeepney to Mabalacat Market.
  • From Mabalacat market, take a jeepney to Marcos Village.
  • From Marcos Village, take a tricycle to Paradise Ranch

Via private vehicle:

  • Take NLEX and exit at Dau Tollway.
  • Take SCTEX Clark North Exit
  • Drive until you reach the Sacobia Bridge going to Paradise Ranch

Entrance fee: Php150.00

Operating hours: 7 days a week (8:30am-5pm)


by Romeo Christian Aquiatan 

with a little bit of story ~ 

Some photos were meant to be blacknwhite
Lucky to have a boyfriend who’s inlove with 📷
Picturesque or let’s say “Backdropque”

Run into different kind of flowers

A thrilling tour at little baguio with the replica of Mines View Park
Encounter different kinds of animals

We were stucked in a beautiful cage and sitted for an hour 💓

Enjoy bamboo rafting with fish feeding
Another picturesque bahay kubo uphill

Fully air-conditioned villa awaits the guest staying overnight
Imagine a swimming pool on top of a mountain
Make sure to wait til 5pm to see this beautiful sunset along the way

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Xoxo ~


Travel guide: Caramoan Island, Camarines Sur  

Location: Brgy. Paniman Caramoan Camarines Sur, Philippines

Living in Manila may be fun and exciting but eventually the fast paced city will tire you. December is one if the most busy month, hence, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’ve been wanting to get away because of the busy corporate life and packed paper works in the office. And so, vibed my beshie then planned a trip to bicol, my hometown.

Of course, bicol trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Caramoan again. Yes, again. It’s my second time here.

How to get there?

From Manila, ride a bus to Naga. A 12 hours butt-numbing ride. From Naga, Caramoan can be reached in 4 1/2  hours through land. A bus terminal near SM Naga City is offering a trip that starts from 3am as first trip and 2pm as last trip.

You may also opt to ride a boat. From Naga ride a van to Sabang port. Last trip at Sabang port is at 2pm. 3 hours boat ride to reach Caramoan.

Tip: As a second timer, I highly suggest to take the bus trip. You can relax and sleep in the bus comfortably. Taking the boat ride is a good idea but very tiring, seating uncomfortably with more than 50 passengers for 3 hours in a boat is not a joke. So yeah, just take the bus!

The backpacker experience

The plan is to spend Christmas eve in Caramoan, we’d like to experience a Christmas by the beach lol, but then again, the weather didn’t permit us. So, we went straight home in Pio Duran and spent our Christmas eve with parental.

Where is everyone spending their new year? 

Plan A was cancelled, but no one can stop us lol, New Years eve by the beach, yeah!

Spent our new year with the locals of Caramoan. It was “5 days no electricity” stay because of typhoon Nina. The whole bicol region has no electricity. We had to look for generator so we could charge our mobile phone and powerbanks. The only source of light was a flashlight, candle and gasira (as we say it in local language, sorry I don’t know what you call it in tagalog or english word). 

The place was very quiet until the most awaited twelve midnight, locals went out of their house  shouting and making noise using their motorcycle. There were firecrackers but very minimal.

We’ve seen no fireworks display, but star gazing-by-the-beach was more than enough. Celebrating new year’s eve in other community is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Although I’ve been here before, the weather didn’t permit us to see the stunning islands of Caramoan. Coast guard didn’t allow us to do island hopping for our safety. A good sign that tourism office here are very strict when it comes to the security of tourist and locals itself.

The place has so much to offer. Roaming around the town via habal-habal, visit the St. Michael Archangel Church, 524 steps climb to reach the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, swim inside Omang cave’s super cold water and immerse with the locals. I’d love to discover more on my third visit and I will update this blog

The locals are so genuine. It somehow keeps you coming back for more.

The Stay

We stayed at Kuya Ambo’s home, He’s a friend of friend. A friend from last year’s stay here, Kuya Ramer. He’s in Palawan during our visit. So he endorsed us to Kuya Ambo. If you’re planning to visit this place, please be sure to contact Kuya Ambo, He’s gonna take care of you 24/7, promise. Super nice and gentleman guide. We’ve recruit Him already, He’s now our friend 😁

You may contact Him at 0919 946 7983 or message Him in facebook: Ambo Concepcion.

Money matters

  • Bus fare (mnl-naga) > 1,000php
  • Bus fare (naga – mnl) > 640php
  • Bus fare (naga – caramoan) > 230php vise versa
  • Accomodation > room per night starts at 400php per person
  • Land tour via habal-habal > 300-400php
  • Island hopping short trip (3 island) > 1,500php
  • Island hopping long trip (5 island) > 2,500php
  • Tent rental > starts at 300php (you may also bring your own tent)

Islands to visit

Short trip: 

  1. Minalagos Island
  2. Cagbalinad Island
  3. Matukad Island / Lagoon
  4. Laus Island

Long trip:

  1. Lighthouse
  2. Cotivas Island
  3. Manlawi Sandbar
  4. Sabitang Laya



Enjoying my fresh buko by the duyan 🌴
Siesta mode
Kuya Ambo, the guide, now a good friend
The view after typhoon nina, still beautiful though
Campsite. We own the island.
The lagoon at Matukad Island, where you could see the majestic bangus
Sitting pretty on top. The view was mesmerizing
Promise me to not miss out this amazing view
I feel like I’m in Batanes. We were like “Thank you so much Kuya Ambo for bringing us here” paulit-ulit na nag tthank you kay Kuya Ambo. That kind of feels.
The lighthouse
Blending with the locals
My favorite travel buddy
I love you more than my ootd
Sa hirap at ginhawa. Glad to have witnessed this breathtaking view with you
At Manlawi sandbar. Our kind of playground
Running like a kid at Minalagos Island
Our comfort zone, travelling.
Visited Groto again after 2 years. Stunning view from the top. Overlooking the islands of Caramoan
The whole trip was worth the uneven skintone & sunburns

We are already planning for a third visit. If you’ve seen Caramoan before, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I’ve been to many places, but this is where my heart is.

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Xoxo ~


Kawa-Kawa Hill, Ligao Albay 

First in our itinerary is to visit the Kawa-Kawa Hill located in Ligao, Albay. Main reason is to see the beautiful bloomed sunflower. 
Left Manila at 2pm. 12 hours butt-numbing ride again. There are lot of bus station in Pasay. You may ride a bus with the signage “Legazpi” and ask driver to drop you in Kawa-kawa, Ligao. Arrived in Ligao at 2am. They will drop you in front of convenience store which is open 24hours. Beside the store is the “Hotel California”where we stayed first since it’s too early yet to trek, 5 minutes away from Kawa-Kawa. Hotel rate is at 350.00php for 3 hours. A very spacious room, perfect for backpacker like us, besties the explorer.  

Nagpapicture samin si Kuya from Hotel California. Kala siguro artista kami. Charot!
Beshie settling our bill. Left also our (OVER) baggage to them when we started our trek to the hill.

Kawa-Kawa is located at the quiet barangay of Tuburan, Ligao City. Known for its beautiful sunflower farm and being visited every holy week by devotees because of the 14 station of the cross. Locals also made this as their jogging trail. The climb uphill took us 30 minutes with a gloomy weather as there is upcoming typhoon. Sunflowers is only up in the hill every holy week but we still tried hoping that we will get to see those beauties. Sad to say, when we reached the peak, we saw nothing but the 14 station of the cross, trees and mountains. No regrets though, we still enjoyed our climb . The place is picture perfect plus we met some new friends. Such a unique place! 

One of the reason why I love to travel, meeting new friends.

Downhill, on our way back to hotel we saw Kuya Rainier (not his real name, we named Him Rainier because it’s raining. Lol. And oh by the way, it’s signal no. 3 now here in Albay) He asked us, “Gusto niyo po makakita ng sunflower?” And we were like? “WHUT? SUNFLOWER?” 
So, he drove us to sunflower farm located along the highway. We can’t condemn our excitement when we saw the “SUNFLOWERS!”. Good news, there is no entrance fee, we just paid Kuya Rainier 200php(including tip) as tricycle fare / guide fee. We also bought sunflower seeds at php3.00 per seed. We we’re taking photos for like almost an hour because of our excitement. You can’t blame us, right? It’s perfectly beautiful. 


  1. Best time to visit this place is every summer. We were just lucky that the sunflowers in farm were displayed outside because it needs to absorb some sun vitamins thingy. (If you know what I mean. Haha)  
  2. When in budgetarian, put your budget in plastic sorted per day or per place. That would help you manage your budgetarian trip.

Below are some of our photos for your inspiration: 

It is called Kawa-kawa because it looks like cauldron or kawa as we say it in local language.

Indeed, there’s a rainbow always after the rain.
Batanes feels. On our way to the peak
Pineapple farm. Instagrammable isn’t it?

We are “Besties the Backpackers” in Festive Season. Lols

Rewarded ourselves with sili icecream after visiting the sunflower farm. Please be sure not to miss this. Please ask Kuya Driver to drive you in this place. Name of resto in photo already.
With Kuya Rainier, the reason behind our sunflower experience. So thankful we met Him


  • 2pm > Departure in Pasay (Any bus in Cubao or Pasay to bicol that has “Legazpi” signage) 
  • 2am > Arrival in Ligao (ask driver to drop you in Kawa-Kawa, Ligao) 
  • Check-in at Hotel California 
  • 6am > start trek 
  • 7am > descend
  • Ride a tricycle to sunflower farm 
  • 8am > back to hotel. Go home


  • Bus fare from Pasay to Ligao: 1,400php (fare too high because it’s holiday/peak season) 
  • Accomodation: 350php / 2  (3 hours stay) at Hotel California // Facebook page: hotel villa de california
  • Tricycle fare from Hotel to Kawa-Kawa: 10php per person 
  • Tricycle fare from Kawa-Kawa to farm: 200php / 2  (trike rental + tip, this is based on our discretion, since sobrang happy kami because kuya brought us to the farm) 
  • Sili icecream: 25php per cone

Note: Bus fare from Ligao to Manila not yet included as this is just our first stop. 

Next stop —> Legazpi, Albay