So far, Summer 2011 has been the most exciting summer breaks that I've ever experienced. Usually, I spend my summer breaks at home, surfing the net all day, all night. It's an exasperating activity, I tell you. More so, I'm this type of person who really wants to explore different places and witness their different cultures and heritage.
I always crave for an adventure.
This summer, I had the chance to visit various places from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
1) Zamboanga City, Philippines
Located on a peninsula at the western part of Mindanao, Zamboanga City enjoys a calm climate since it is located outside the typhoon belt. Over the years, the city has become a melting pot of different cultures due to its geographical region. The city is relatively small compared to other major cities of the country but I guarantee that every traveler will enjoy his stay at the Asia's Latin City. Chavacano is widely spoken in this city followed by Visayan.
Places to visit: Visit Paseo del Mar. There's a LOT of food here, countless restobars and so much more. I recommend visiting this place during sunset. This is a perfect place for both young and old people. It has one of the best sunset views in the country. If you want to experience Zamboanga's Hispanic history, visit Fort Pilar, located just beside Paseo del Mar (Calle Valderoza). Pasonanca Park and Aviary is also a great place to hang-out with your friends and family!
2) Guimaras Island, Philippines
Located approximately 5 kilometers off Iloilo Port, Guimaras is an island filled with vast plantations of mango trees (their mangoes are very delicious) and pristine white sand beaches. We got the chance to visit the underwater caves and the pawikan sanctuary (I even had the chance to hold them... and they were heavy). The island hopping costs around 500-600 pesos per hour. It's quite expensive but the trips were all worth it. Don't forget to say, "Namit gid!" whenever you eat their mangoes!
3) Angeles City, Pampanga (Fontana Leisure Park)
This trip was sponsored by VYLH (Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health). I, together with my co-delegates from Luzon, NCR, Visayas and Mindanao clusters attended the first national leadership congress at Fontana Leisure Park, Angeles City, Pampanga. The place was really big and beautiful. We stayed in a one-story villa and I must say that the villa caters the needs of a traveler. It has one TV with cable connection, a centralized air-condition unit, and it comes with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (with hot and cold shower). Although most of us didn't like the food, except on the last day of the congress. More so, some of the waiters were a bit clumsy. But overall, the services were not that bad and the place is fabulous! 3.5/5 stars!