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Sunday, January 25, 2015


Iloilo City, Philippines - The defending back-to-back champion, Tribu Panayanon of Iloilo City National High School became a Hall of Famer Sunday as it retained its title for the third consecutive time as the Champion of the world famous Dinagyang Festival 2015. It first won the title in 2005 under the name Tribu Silak.
       Aside from the top prize, Tribu Panayanon also collected several special awards in the main competition category. 1st runner-up went to Tribu Paghidaet of Lapaz National High School, 2nd runner-up went to Tribu Ilonganon of Jalandoni Memorial National High School, 3rd runner-up went to Tribu Salognon of Jaro National High School and 4th runner-up went to Tribu Ilawudnon (formerly Tribu Panay) of Fort San Pedro National High School. 

       On the other hand, Kasadyahan Regional Showcase featuring the best street dance festivals in Western Visayas region was won by the farthest group in the region - Tribu Tatusan of the Caluya Island in Antique.
       Dinagyang Festival competition which was started in 1970 is the only Philippine festival that has an official mascot named Dagoy and goes on a world tour in promoting not just the festival but also the Philippines as a tourist destination. In 2011, the winning tribe, Tribu Pan-ay went on to perform in New York City and other neighboring U.S. cities like Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles for the Philippine Independence Day event sponsored by the Filipino community there. In 2013, the winning tribe went to New York and California to perform in the Philippine Independence Day celebration sponsored by the Filipino community in the United States highlighted by their performance in the famed New York Times Square. Last year, only 38 members of the Dinagyang 2014 champion Tribu Panayanon went to Hongkong to perform in the streets and not the whole group as promised in celebration of Philippine Independence Day in Hong Kong. The Dinagyang Festival 2015 is also featured in last week's feature article of the New York Times.

The List of Winners Including Those From Other Events is as follows: 

Sponsors Mardi Gras Parade

Special Awards

Best Float - MLhuillier
Best In Festival Music - University of San Agustin
Best Costume - St. Therese MTC Colleges
Best Choreography - Jollibee 

Champion - St. Therese MTC Colleges

Tambor Trumpa Martsa Musika Drum and Lyre Corps Competition:

Elementary Level

Champion - Dingle Central Elementary School Drum and Lyre Corps
- Dingle, Iloilo
2nd Place - Alimodian Central Elementary School Drum and Lyre Corps - Alimodian, Iloilo
3rd Place - Sambag Central Elementary School School Drum, Lyre and Bugle Corps - Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City

Secondary Level

Champion - Dingle National High School Drum, Lyre and Bugle Corps - Dingle, Iloilo
 2nd Place - Ramon AvanceƱa National High School Drum, Lyre and Bugle Corps - Arevalo, Iloilo City
 3rd Place -  Iloilo National High School Drum, Lyre and Bugle Corps - Luna St. Lapaz, Iloilo City

Kasadyahan Regional Showcase

Special Awards

Best In Costume - Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental

Best In Music - Tribu Kaing, Leon, Iloilo
Best Musical Director - Herodes Calumpita Tribu Kaing, Leon, Iloilo
Best In Street Dance - Tribu Kaing, Leon, Iloilo
Best In Choreography  - Tribu Tatusan, Caluya Island, Antique
Best Choreographer    - Lemuel Jarque,  Tribu Tatusan, Caluya Island, Antique
Best In Performance Tribu Tatusan, Caluya Island, Antique


CHAMPION - Tribu Tatusan (Caluya Island, Antique)
1st Runner-up -  Tribu Pantat (Zarraga, Iloilo)
2nd Runner-up - Tribu Kaing (Leon, Iloilo)
3rd Runner-up - Pintaflores Festival (San Carlos City, Negros Occidental)
4th Runner-up - Salakayan Festival (Miag-ao, Iloilo)

*Consolation Prizes to the rest of the non-winners or non-placers participating group

Dinagyang Festival Ati Tribe Competition

Opening Salvo  

Special Awards
Best In Costume           -Tribu Salognon,  Jaro National High School

Best In Discipline        - Tribu Salognon,  Jaro National High School
Best In Performance   - Tribu Salognon,  Jaro National High School

Main Competition

Special Awards

Best Choreographer - Romel Flogen and Ramil Huyatid,  Tribu Panayanon
Best In Costume Designer - Hector Gellangarin, Tribu Paghidaet, La Paz National High School
Best In Head Dress - Tribu Panayanon, Iloilo City National High School
Best In Shield and Spear (NEW) -  Tribu Panayanon, Iloilo City National High School
Best Musical Director -  Mamerto Kulafu, Tribu Ilonganon, Jalandoni Memorial National High School, Lapuz
Best In Discipline - Tribu Paghidaet, Lapaz National High School

Minor Awards

Best In Music - Tribu Ilonganon, Jalandoni Memorial National High School, Lapuz
Best In Costume -
Tribu Paghidaet, Lapaz National High School

Best In Street Dance - Tribu Salognon, Jaro National High School
Best In Choreography -
Tribu Panayanon,  Iloilo City National High School
Best In Performance -
Tribu Panayanon,  Iloilo City National High School

Major Awards
Champion – Tribu Panayanon (Iloilo City National High School) 
1st Runner Up – Tribu Paghidaet, La Paz National High School
2nd Runner Up – Tribu Ilonganon, Jalandoni Memorial National High School-Lapuz
3rd Runner Up – Tribu Salognon, Jaro National High School
4th Runner Up – Tribu Ilawudnon, Fort San Pedro National High School

Thursday, January 22, 2015


For those inquiring about Dinagyang Festival 2015 Live Stream links, here are the links which you can watch the Dinagyang Festival 2015 online anywhere you are in the world.  Dinagyang Ati Tribe Competition will be on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 8 am (PHILIPPINE TIME)

Make the hashtags #Dinagyang2015 and #IAmIloilo a WORLDWIDE TREND on Twitter this coming January 25, Thanks!
Click the links below:

DINAGYANG FESTIVAL 2015 LIVE STREAM by Choose Philippines 

Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2015 LIVE Streaming by Stream Pinoy 

GMA Network DINAGYANG FESTIVAL 2015 LIVE Streaming Coverage 

GMA Network DINAGYANG FESTIVAL 2015 LIVE Streaming Coverage Below:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Fireworks and drum beats please! The streets of Iloilo City will be again flooded with rowdy and loud revelers and party people as the street is celebrating a week-long Dinagyang Festival with endless party in every corner of the city until the wee hours of the morning leading up to the highlights of the religious fiesta with performing "ATI" tribes dancing and performing in the streets with their electrifying tribal dance battling it out for the most coveted grand prize and title of the best Dinagyang Festival tribe of the year.

If you are party goer and you want to be trendy in one of the most exciting events of the year, check out the following schedule of parties and events in one of the most popular festival of the country and one of the loudest events of the year:

Atria Dinagyang Street Festival 2015

Date: January 23 - 25, 2015
Venue: Palm Drive, Atria Park District (Road between MO2 Annex and The Avenue, Smallville Complex), Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Time: 10 am onwards

Beer Carnivale 2015

Date: January 23, 2015
Venue: Royal Garden Hall and Convention Center
Time: Doors open at 6 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

Boracay Pub Crawl Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Invasion

Date: January 23, 2015
Venue: Multiple Venues
Time: Meeting place at Riverside Boardwalk at 8 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

Club Zyron's Dinagyang 2015 Party featuring Foam Party

Date: January 23 - 25, 2015
Venue: Club Zyron, R. Mapa Street Tabucan, Mandurriao, Iloilo City near Iloilo River Esplanade and the Medical City

Click HERE for more info about the event 

Luces In The Sky @ILOILO Business Park

Date: January 22, 2015
Venue: Megaworld Boulevard, Iloilo Business Park, Old Iloilo Airport, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Time: Party starts at 5 pm onwards, Fireworks Showdown starts at 8 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

Luces In The Sky, 6th Iloilo City Pyrolympics Competition

Date: January 22, 2015
Venue: SM City Iloilo Car Park Area, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Time: 7 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

SM City Iloilo Dance and Food Festival

Date: January 22 - 25, 2015
Venue: SM City Iloilo Food Court and Car Park Area, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Time: 4 pm onwards

Click HERE for more info about the event

Aura Dinagyang Fever

Date: January 22 - 25, 2015
Venue: Club Aura @ The Avenue, Smallville Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Time: Doors open at 9 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

Dinagyang Invasion 2015

Date: January 24, 2015
Venue: Plazuela Dos Field beside SM City Iloilo, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Time: 5 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event

Dinagyang Madness 2015

Date: January 23 - 25, 2015
Venue: Ice Bar, MO2 Complex, Smallville, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Click HERE for more info about the event

Flow Nation Elektro Mundo

Date: Pre-party - January 23, Main Event - January 24
Venue: Flow Super Club, Smallville, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Click HERE for more info about the event

Iloilo Arts Festival

Date: February 20 - 21, 2015
Venue: Megaworld Boulevard, Iloilo Business Park, Old Iloilo Airport, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Iloilo Loud Fest 2015

Date: January 23 (6 pm) - January 24 (6 am), 2015
Venue: Boardwalk Parking Lot, Riverside Boardwalk, Smallville Complex, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Time: 6 pm - 6 am

Click HERE for more info about the event 

MyPhone RIO Invades Dinagyang Teen Edition 2015

Date: January 24 - 25, 2015
Venue: Plazoleta Gay, Calle Real, JM Basa St. Iloilo City
Time: 6 pm onwards

Click HERE for more info about the event

UAAP Season 77 NU Bulldogs versus FEU Tamaraws Basketball Game

Date: January 23, 2015
Venue: University of San Agustin Gym, Gen. Luna St. Iloilo City
Time: 4:30 pm

National University Bulldogs and Far Eastern University Tamaraws Meet and Greet at SM City Iloilo

Date: January 24, 2015
Venue: SM City Iloilo, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Time: 4 pm

Click HERE for more info about the event


Explore Iloilo,

Dinagyang 2015 Schedule Of Events

These are the schedule of events for Dinagyang Festival 2015 for people who are requesting to follow the events leading up to the main highlights of this popular event in the Philippines. 


Dinagyang Festival Official Website -

Miss Universe 2014 Contestants Says...

These are some of the Miss Universe 2014 contestants has to say to my questions. Thank you to all the responses I received, initial responses that yet need to be answered, liked, retweeted and favorited on Twitter.   Thanks for the all love!

What world city or town would you like to visit? Why?

I would like to visit Paris, France because it is a city full of light and culture.

- Laurien Angelista, Curacao

I would live to visit Paris France because I had the opportunity of studying basic French and learning about French culture and history intrigues me. I would like to visit the different Cathedrals and learn more about its history. I am also interested in their art and learning much more of their culture.

 - Jevon King, Trinidad and Tobago

Wow, thanks but to pick a city in the world is hard because I would love to visit so many cities, seeing different faces, places and culture gives me joy. Am sorry so many cities in my head. lol. Where are you maybe that would be the next city i would visit.

- Queen Celestine, Nigeria

There are so many cities i would love to visit but one that I have in my bucket list is NEW YORK. I love to dance love to act and one day i would love to be part of a Broadway show.

-Digene Zimmerman, Aruba

I would love to visit Egypt, Jerusalem! for the Holy Land.

-Christie Desir, Haiti

Tokyo, Japan. For me Tokyo is a city of towering buildings filled with endless possibilities. Its districts offer a labyrinthine maze of streets crowded with restaurants, cafes, pubs, gaming centers, karaoke clubs and pachinko parlours.

- Avanti Page, Sri Lanka

Do you like to visit Iloilo, Philippines for cultural immersion?

Yes, I would visit there to identify myself on the people, customs and culture. I believe that the more knowledge of each other's cultures helps us to become a more nurturing and loving world.

- Jevon King, Trinidad and Tobago

A big Yes, visiting Iloilo in Philippines will be an honor, I would love to enjoy and learn lots about their culture. And Mary jean has been a wonderful person. As a child I was exposed to lots of culture and tribes and it has been fun, it has given me a sense of understanding and acceptance of real life issues that I want to make sure I keep and also pass this way of life to my kids.

- Queen Celestine, Nigeria

Of course I would, as an ambassador of My island it would be nice to share with others especially Philippines what my culture and island has to offer. So yes why not

- Digene Zimmerman, Aruba

I would wanna visit anywhere beautiful to share my music across. I would love to tour the world and sing to the lovely people.

-Abena Appiah, Ghana

  Of course, I would love to visit Philippines! Would you invite me!!!

- Christie Desir, Haiti

Yes I would love to visit lloilo, Philippines for cultural immersion, because I see visiting different cities and experiencing different cultures as a voyage of discovery and a chance to immerse myself in the local culture. There is an intangible value which comes from acclimating in a new place.

- Avanti Page, Sri Lanka 

If you can make a nickname for your country, what would you call your country and why?

The nickname I'd give Trinidad and Tobago is 'The Mix' simply because we are diverse mix with different cultures, traditions, races and creeds that make us one nation. We accept all and refuse none. We are a people that is kind and loving and embracing. We also are a people that is open to other cultures that's are not ours.

- Jevon King, Trinidad and Tobago

(Happy Naija) because in all situation or crisis we still find a way to remain happy.

- Queen Celestine, Nigeria

That would be Dushi, Aruba has so many things to offer mostly importantly the love and warmth we share to all those that visit our island. Dushi means sweety or sweetheart in English. 

- Digene Zimmerman, Aruba

Ghana is a beautiful name for my country so GH is that nickname I will prefer it cos datz how we call it.

-Abena Appiah, Ghana

My nickname pour Haiti is... Cherie Doudou!!! because of the kindness of my people, their smiles, the beauty of Haiti is a "Perle Rare"

- Christie Desir, Haiti

I might steal South Korea’s nickname ‘Land of the morning calm’, because of Sri Lanka’s spellbinding natural beauty from picturesque mountains to clear waters and its splendid tranquility, particularly during sunrise. You would experience this first hand if you have ever woken up to a view of Sri Lanka’s finest beach destinations.

- Avanti Page, Sri Lanka

What food best represents your country? 

It's Mote Hin Gar you should try. Mont Hin Gar is a traditional Burmese dish. It is some kind of a fish soup with rice noodle - very fresh and very tasty and healthy food. I bet you won't forget Myanmar ever once you try it.

- Sharr Htut Eaindra, Myanmar

The food that best represents Trinidad and Tobago are far too many to count I can give a few examples, our callaloo, pepper pot, ground provisions and salt fish, our dhalpree and buss up shut with all the different spices as well as our doubles and bake and shark. We have a mix of culture in our food also, so it's difficult to point out one food that represents Trinidad and Tobago.

- Jevon King, Trinidad and Tobago

The food that best represent us is affang soup with eba(garri), that’s because all tribe love the food and enjoy it and the food looks like our flag lol (green and white), if you visit Nigeria, Calabar to be precise please order for it and I would happily prepare it for you if you don’t mind.

- Queen Celestine, Nigeria

Funchi would be a typical dish which is made out of corn and is served with either fish or soup. I invite you all to come visit Aruba so you can enjoy our delicious dishes!

- Digene Zimmerman, Aruba

Every food is unique but Banku & Tilapia is

- Abena Appiah, Ghana

The Best food representing Haiti is: " Du Riz ak pois, Griot" The National Rice And Beans, Griot"  

- Christie Desir, Haiti

It would be rice and curry because of its flavour and spices used.

- Avanti Page, Sri Lanka

Photo Source: 

Miss Universe Organization Inc. Official Facebook Cover

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Philippines 5 Hidden Beaches


Philippines is blessed with such a splendid beauty of nature from tropical rainforests to the rugged coasts to the pristine white sand beach Philippines has it no wonder there are still places left undiscovered in the country with over 7,000 islands more to explore. Here are just 5 of so many hidden beaches in the country.



Casapsapan, Casiguran, Aurora

The peaceful and sleepy town of Casiguran is oozing with lots of potential when it comes to pristine shores and diverse nature. The town which is about 4 - 5 hours away from Baler, the capital town of Aurora, the picturesque place boast itself a long stretch of rugged coasts, stunning white beach and rich wildlife. There is a breath taking view of the Sierra Madre mountains at dawn with its morning mist if you travel or commute through the towns of Aurora riding a public transport from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, the nearest city and province to Casiguran, Aurora. There is only one route for people using their own vehicle from Manila to Casiguran and you can locate it using Google Maps. The tough ride towards this awesome piece of paradise is not easy. It involves steep trail and river crossing that can be done using small vehicles like tricycle. Upon reaching the breath taking paradise all the long arduous trek is all worth it.

Calaguas, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

Calaguas is a group of islands lying in the Pacific coast in the Bicol region. It is under the jurisdiction of the town of Vinzons in Camarines Norte. Words are not enough to discover the beauty of these islands hidden from our eyes but lying freely in the open vastness of the Pacific. Various activities can be done in Calaguas from scuba diving and snorkeling to island hopping to spelunking. The most popular beach is the Mahabang Buhangin beach in the island of Tinaga where people do camping and spend the night under the stars. To know more about Calaguas or to inquire on how to get there visit the website Calaguas Island Official Website Click Here.

Malamawi Island, Isabela City, Basilan

Basilan has a bad reputation for being infested with terrorists but if you are up for adventure then going to this beautiful beach off a small island in Mindanao is worth the risk. Malamawi Island is just a stone's throw from the port of Isabela City, the capital of the infamous Basilan. It's only an hour from the port of Isabela City to this beautiful island. This island was once home to one of the most extensive rubber plantations in the country and the Yakan tribe. The island is so stunning words are not enough to describe this breath-taking paradise. The wind is cool. The view of the distant Zamboanga peninsula is visible from a distance. If you are going to this island, always secure your safety first and ask the authorities and armed forces to secure you for your travel on this island. Nowadays, it is relatively safe to go to that place with all the security and authorities guarding the area.

Sibang Cove, Calayan, Cagayan Valley

From the home province where the reality show Survivor took place, Cagayan has some of the most spectacular sceneries in the Philippines and Calayan is one of them. The peaceful town is home to some of the most unspoiled beaches in the country, rugged coastlines and amazing waterfalls that can be reached only by clambering through slippery rocks and a very densely forested area. Calayan Island, the largest island of the Babuyan group of islands can be reached via the town of Claveria using a lampitaw or outrigger boat. It takes up to 5 hours to travel from Claveria to Calayan Island and water can sometimes be rough so the ride is not for the faint hearted. The best time to travel for smooth sailing are between the months of April and May. The remote secluded beach has no resorts, restaurants or other forms of modern conveniences found in other beaches so expect to camp and experience the island like a castaway. When it's low tide, you can also walk to the other two coves, Caniwara and Cababaan.

Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

If other beaches are proud of their white sand, Zamboanga's Sta. Cruz Island on the other hand is pride of their beach with its pink sand. Sta. Cruz is a small island off the coast of Zamboanga, a 10-minute ride from Paseo del Mar. There is no accomodation and camping isn't allowed but there are tables and cottages you can rent for as low as P200 for a whole day stay or you can simply take a shade under a flowering tree and expect armed police officers to guard and assist you during your trip. 

Information and Photo Sources:

Harly Limlingan Marcuap, Akrosdayunibers

Monday, December 15, 2014

Miss World 2014 Is South Africa's Rolene Strauss

Rolene Strauss of South Africa being crowned as Miss World 2014 by the outgoing Miss World 2013 Megan Young of the Philippines. 

London, England - 22-year old Rolene Strauss of South Africa won Miss World 2014 beating 120 other hopefuls held in Exhibition Center London or ExCeL. 1st runner up is Edina Kulcsar of Hungary and 2nd runner up is Elizabeth Safrit of the United States. She was crowned by the outgoing Miss World 2013 Megan Young of the Philippines who hails from Pandan, Antique and was raised, grew up and represented Olongapo City, Zambales in Miss World Philippines 2013. 

Photo Source:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014-2015 HD

This is the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show held last December 2, 2014 in London, England. Sorry for blurry video because the whole show will be broadcasted next week in CBS. We are hoping that Victoria's Secret Fashion show will be held in Iloilo, Philippines.

Video Courtesy of 

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 2015 Youtube Channel
Sky Sports TV Youtube Channel  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Five Breathtaking Remote Unexploited Beaches In The Philippines

The breath taking splendid Balabac Island 

Dolphin watching in Balabac Strait 

The Philippines is blessed with countless of wonder and the beauty of a bio diverse nature is one of them. With thousands of uncharted islands waiting to be discovered and explored, the Philippines is one of the fortunate countries to have long coastlines, rugged and mystical interiors and jungles so bounty it produces a large portion of the Earth's endemic species of flora and fauna meaning there are lots of flowers, greenery and animals in the country that a nature lover could truly amaze in disbelief.

While Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world when it comes to tropical beaches, nature and rich, colorful history and culture, Philippines got small attention from the world and welcome a very small percentage of tourist arrivals compared to the rest of the world's destinations. Aside from the aggressive promotion and media campaigns, one reason Thailand is swarmed by tourists is the number of options available to visitors which also include coolest perks and benefits as well as awesome outdoor activities. Each of Thailand's famed beaches like Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi Islands has several thousands of accommodations to choose from the cheapest to the most expensive luxury resort hotel and lots of other stores and venues for their needs, services and recreation and most importantly, outdoor activities and leisure and other things to do so as not to get them bored doing nothing other than swimming, diving, snorkeling and sight seeing. This is similar to Boracay but the only difference between Boracay and Thailand's beaches is management and regulation. The now dirty, noisy and crowded Boracay is the effect of abuse, mismanagement and lack of strict regulation. I believe that if strict regulation and proper management governed an island paradise it will keep its pristine beauty for generations to see. I think this can be done with other Philippines' undiscovered gems of nature. If political will and right attitude plays the role, thousands of options that will cater to the needs and service of the visitors shall be put into place into each of these brilliantly precious destinations. What Thailand or Malaysia can offer the Philippines do not only double it but three times or four times their worth and charm.

Visitors and tourists may already have heard and visited places such as Boracay, Palawan, Manila, Intramuros, Vigan, Cebu etc. but they never knew that there tropical beaches in the country that is worth the hype and way much more beautiful than the famed Boracay Island. Here are some of the stunning beaches in the country which could rival that of Thailand's finest beaches:

Balabac shores 

Canabungan Island, Balabac, Palawan

Bugsuk Island, Balabac, Palawan

Sunset at Bugsuk Island

Bugsuk Island is located in Balabac town, Palawan. This little island jewel located at the southwest Philippines has an interesting history to tell.

On August 13, 1944 eight members on board USS Flier reached Bugsuk Island when the submarine struck a mine while on surface patrol during World War II. They swam 18 hours before reaching an atoll near Bugsuk and spent another three days swimming to two other island before landing on Bugsuk thanks to the help of Filipino guerilla. Seventy-eight men died including the seven who escaped the sub but didn't survive swimming.

Today, Bugsuk Island is a paradise to behold. Its long stretch of white sand beach defines the horizon that never ends or boundless. This flat island is home to the longest and one of the finest white sand beach in the country – finer that those in Boracay. According to a traveler, the beach in Barangay Sibaring in the southern part of the island is so fine and powdery it will make your feet sink. In this expanse lives the local worm called wakwak and for the ethnic group Palaw’an tribe who lives in the area dipping these crawlies in vinegar means “snack”. You can try it yourself!

Wakwak, the local worm thriving on the sands of Bugsuk Island

The catch is life is laidback! No modern accommodations in the island or in the town proper of Balabac or in Rio Tuba in the town of Bataraza and no electricity or restaurant and not even a reliable phone signals or modern villas. This is an ideal retreat for people who wants to separate themselves for a while from the rest of the world. So tips are bring flashlights and/or matchsticks to light fuel for light in the darkness, cook food or to keep you warm the rest of the night, bring materials; tools or ingredients for cooking otherwise bring ready to eat food and most of all, bring insect repellent to keep you from insect bites.

There are however, small and simple lodging houses in the Balabac town proper just across the shore of Bugsuk Island. These are:

JD Lodging House (Sing and Swing Karaoke Bar) in Poblacion, Balabac town proper
MLK Lodging House also in Balabac.

Here's what to expect and do in Bugsuk Island:

- Visit and view the Spanish era Melville lighthouse built in 1818.and finished in 1892.
- Enjoy the long stretch of powdery white sand in Barangay Sebaring or Sebaring Point.
- Appreciate the bountiful mangrove locations in Sebaring, Bugsuk and Melville.
- Sunrise and sunset in the island is one of the best
- Go snorkeling, diving and scuba diving are free (Bring your own equipment)
- Trek and scale Melville Peak
- Visit the ruins of a Spanish structure at the mouth of Larindon Bay (below the lighthouse of Melville)

Other things of interest in Balabac Town:

- Other mangrove areas
- Island and beach hopping in the following areas: Onuk (Roughton), Nasubata, Candaraman, Matangala, Canabungan, Ramos, Bowen, Siksikan, Secam, Patongong, Pandanan and several others of the 31 islands, islets and sandbar in the town.
- Visit the gorgeous pink sand beach of Comiran Island
- Dolphin watching
- See the endemic species of mouse deers, wild monkeys, crocodiles and other floras and faunas in the wild
- Balabac is also one of the most ideal spot for bird watching as it is home to various migratory and endemic birds like Grey Imperial Pigeon, Philippine Cockatoo, Blue-headed Racket-tai, Palawan Hornbill and possibly even the Philippine eagle you can see them all there.
- The cute fireflies at night
- Immerse with the colorful and distinct culture of the Molbog tribe
- Trek Italawon Peak and Malaking Ilog Peak
- Hidden waterfalls in the mountains of Balabac
- Historical markers in Ramos Island, old Spanish fort in Ulitan
- Shopping for Malaysian products

How to Reach Bugsuk Island

Bugsuk has an airstrip which can accommodate small aircraft but no commercial airline flies to these airstrips.

You can travel via Puerto Princesa City.  Puerto Princesa City is connected by air from Manila via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Zest Air; if you are coming from Cebu, Iloilo and Davao you can fly via Cebu Pacific, from Busuanga Airport in Coron, Palawan via Philippine Airlines and from Kota Kinabalu via MAS Wings airline.

By ferry, 2GO Travel serves Manila to Puerto Princesa via Coron once a week and Montenegro Shipping Lines and Milagrosa Shipping Lines have regular trips to Puerto Princesa from Iloilo via Cuyo, Palawan.

From San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa city, ride a bus or a van going to Rio Tuba. Buses and vans regularly depart from San Jose Terminal starting at 4 am to 9 pm daily. Fares is from as low as P275 pesos for non-air conditioned bus and as high as P450 for air conditioned shuttle van or bus. Travel time is approximately five (5) to six (6) hours on a non-aircon bus and approximately six (6) to seven (7) hours for aircon transportation.

From the port in Rio Tuba, boat ride for two (2) hours will take you to Bugsuk Island. For boat hires, contact Rene Principe because he own a parcel of land in Barangay Sibaring part of Bugsuk Island. Camping is allowed for a small fee and bring your own tent.

Saluag Island, Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi    

Saluag Island is located in the Sibutu island town or municipality in Tawi-tawi, the southernmost island of the Philippines. Saluag literally is the southernmost island of the country. It is just 43.3 kilometers east of Borneo. The Tausug and Sama Dilaut tribes who are the inhabitants of the scenic paradise makes a living through fishing, boat making and seaweed farming.

It is an isolated island community of nice and very kind people if you want to experience and understand their laidback lifestyle. The place is very exotic and if you enjoy cultures, this one is for you. You can see people’s native home above the water or living near the shore, how the Tausugs dive  looking for coins underwater tossed by people from the ferries.

How To Reach Saluag Island

Cebu Pacific Air flies daily from Zamboanga City to Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.
From Bongao airport, hire a tricycle to Chinese pier and find a ferry going to Barangay Tandubanak in Sibutu. It's a 3-hour ride and costs P200 pesos one-way.

For its alternate, you can look for ferry going to Sibutu town proper for a 4-hour, one-way ride which cost P250 pesos and from here, hire a motorcycle for a 30-minutes ride and bring you to Barangay Tandubanak.

Ferries going to Tandubanak and Sibutu town proper doesn't have fixed schedule so it’s important to confirm trips at Chinese pier.

From Barangay Tandubanak, a 30-minute motorcycle ride brings you to Barangay Tandu-owak and from Tandu-owak, Saluag is just 40 minutes boat ride away.

Contact Details:

For more assistance, contact Ms. Salve Pescadera of Tawi-Tawi Tourism Office at +63 910 671 6367.

Olanivan Island, Saranggani, Davao Occidental

Aerial view of Olanivan Island

Another destination of interest is the Olanivan Island.Olanivan is located in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental, the newest province in the Philippines and close border with Indonesia. Olanivan Island is one of the three major islands in the town of Saranggani.It is an 18 hectares of powdery white sand paradise dotted with palms, coconuts and other plants. This palm-fringed island has a circular white sand beach formation and is near Balut Island and Saranggani Island. These three (Balut, Olanivan, Saranggani) make up the island group known as the Saranggani Islands. If you want to get away from the maddening crowd and from the noise and bustling party life in other beach, this serene beach is ideal for you.

You will also be delighted in sharing the island with its gentle locales belonging to the B'laan tribe who modestly dwells on the island's western coast. B'laans are famous for their bead works, brassworks and tabih weave which explains for their colorful embroidered native dress while on the other side is the island's white lighthouse built by the Americans during the early 20th century American colonial period to serve as a guide for American warships going to Australia.

One will never forget the calming ambiance of this pristine island.

Places Of Interests Near Olanivan

Balut Island - Maguindanaoan term for "island" this tropical beach also known as Sanguil is another place of interest and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Davao Occidental. Nestled in the center of the island is Balut volcano (stratovolcano) rising at about 2, 828 feet high.

Saranggani - Considered as an important island in the town, don't confuse this island with the Saranggani province. This place is also as beautiful as Olanivan because of the enticing scenery awaits the visitors.

Tuke Maklang Beach Resort - also in Balut Island, tourists can bring their tents for free. There are also open cottages available for only P100 pesos. Ideal for boat riding and kayaking.
Sabang Hot Spring - still in Balut Island. Just an hour and a half from Olanivan Island, it has two enclosed hot springs where tourists can boil themselves up to 80 degrees celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.

How to Reach Olanivan Island

As the center of the town, Balut Island is the common gateway to Olanivan.
From Manila or other cities, take a flight to General Santos City. From General Santos City pier, there is a passenger ferry bound for Balut Island everyday except Sunday either from Lion's Beach Port (via M/V Frederick which costs a one-way ticket of P370 pesos) or Puting Bato Port (via M/L Nieky and M/L Sabhan, both costs P300 pesos for a one-way ticket) between 10:00 PM - 12:00 midnight. Travel duration is about 7 - 9 hours depending on the weather condition.
From the Mabila port in Balut Island, Olanivan is an hour away using an outrigger boat.        

Omapuy Island, Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi

Bod Bongao peak, Tawi-Tawi 

Facing the endless horizon in Bod Bongao peak, Tawi-Tawi 

Foot Bridge in Bod Bongao greet visitors on the boat traversing the canal that serves as main gateway of Bod Bongao 

An emerald island part of Sitangkai group of islands located in the province of Tawi-Tawi in the south westernmost part of the country is another piece of gem waiting to be discovered and tapped its potential.

Omapuy Island is an island surrounded by hectares of seaweed farms and stilt houses floating over shallow waters. Another chance of experiencing cultures by meeting the local Tausug and Sama Dilaut people harvesting tons of seaweed.

How to Reach Omapuy Island

Cebu Pacific has a regular daily flights Zamboanga City to Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi. From the Bongao airport, hire a tricycle to Chinese pier and find a ferry going  to the Sibutu town proper which has a travel time of approximately four (4) hours and cost a one-way trip of P250 pesos. There's no fixed schedule for ferries going to Sibutu town proper from Bongao but there are at least three trips per week so it is important to go to the Chinese pier and inquire about possible trips to Sibutu.

From Sibutu town proper, Omapuy Island is just an hour ride away by an outrigger boat.
For assistance, you can contact Salve Pescadera of the Tawi-Tawi Tourism Office at +63 910 671 6367 and +63 905 154 7865

Onuk Island, Balabac, Palawan

Foot Bridge in Onuk Island 

Small sandbar in Onuk Island During High Tide 

Finally, Onuk Island is another one of the most remote islands in the country located in the south westernmost tip of Palawan. It is apparently privately owned by Hon. Shuaib Astami, mayor of Balabac town to which Onuk Island is part of so you need to ask permission from the mayor so you can visit the beautiful island treasure.

This piece of jewel lying at the edge of the Sulu Sea is an endless horizon of powdery white sand and crystal clear azure water meets the vast expanse of the clear skies. The only obstruction are the greeneries on the island.

The shallow water is so clear you don't need any cameras to see the marine life underwater.
There are structures on one corner of the island inhabited by the caretakers of the island. The island is just small yet the picturesque scene is quite huge. This is also home to the sea turtle sanctuary to protect them from poachers who hunt them for money selling them to restaurants.

How to Reach Onuk Island

In order to gain access since Onuk Island is a private island, you need a permission from the Office of Balabac Mayor. The permission should be accompanied by your formal letter of request so it is a must to write your letter of request early on before asking for permission. Balabac local government office has a satellite office in Puerto Princesa located at Pajara, Barangay Sta. Monica in front of Bible Baptist Church.

Once you have a permit granted by the Balabac LGU, they will assist you or your group from Puerto Princesa all the way to Onuk. All applicable fees including boat transfers apply.  

Article and Photo Sources:

George Tapan
Harry Limlingan Marcuap,
Angel Juarez,
Len Jingco,