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S: Philippines 2011: The Motherland Tour

FC: Philippines | February2011

1: HONOLULU --> MANILA | stan | oreli | pilar | | rachel | ryan | julie | michelle | oliver | kristina |

3: 10 hours later... | we made it to MANILA woot! woot!

5: back to the airport... MANILA --> CEBU

6: PLANTATION BAY Set in 11.4 hectares of secluded grounds yet only 30 minutes from Cebu City, Plantation Bay offers one of the largest privately-owned waterways in the world, with the clean elegance of colonial-plantation architecture.

8: san miguel time at the swim up bar in Cebu!!

11: aaaaahhh... spa day

12: .: day trip :. CEBU --> BOHOL

15: Bohol tour with Wilby

16: Chocolate Hills The chocolate hills consist of no less than 1,776 limestone hills. They are very uniform in shape and mostly between 30 to 50 meters high. They are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown. From this color, the hills derive their name. At other times, the hills are green.

17: Simply Butterflies Conservation Center The first butterfly livelihood breeding and conservation program in Bohol. Nature preservation is one of the things Boholanos are concentrating on in the past years. Its main goal is to protect and strengthen the natural environment of the butterflies through plant research, breeding and releasing

18: Philippine Tarsiers | One of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men's hand. Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects. Since they are considered endangered, the government of Bohol granted special permits only to few selected residents to showcase tarsiers. | Alburquerque, Bohol is reputed to have the longest (23 feet or 7 meters as of 2005) and heaviest (300 kg or 660 lbs) python in captivity. The python named Prony is Albur's star and has known to the people as "Live Anaconda of Bohol."

19: The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines In 1717, Baclayon became a parish, and some 200 native forced laborers constructed the church from coral stones, which they took from the sea, cut into square blocks, and piled on to each other. They used bamboo to move and lift the stones in position, and used the white of a million eggs as to cement them together. The current building was completed in 1727. The church obtained a large bell in 1835. In the Baclayon church is a dungeon, which was used to punish natives who violated the rules of the Roman Catholic church.

20: The Loboc River is one of the major destinations of tourists, local and foreigners alike. Located in the Municipality of Loboc, a mere 24 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, the winding river plays host to small bancas or floating restaurants. Visitors are treated to a vista of lush tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes. These floating restaurants consists of two banka-hulls, over which a large wooden platform is placed. On this platform, numerous tables are placed, a buffet lunch is served and a band plays music.

21: Busay Falls along the Loboc River is the final destination of the restaurant trip

24: Cebu --> Caticlan

26: Caticlan --> Boracay

29: Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel Set in the heart of Boracay Island’s famous White Beach, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel boasts of 52 rooms and suites, offering a modern Filipino design that captivates the essence of luxurious living in a tropical island setting. Carefully crafted in-house dining experiences and relaxing spa treatments await to complete your island getaway.

32: boracay! boracay! boracay!

38: san miguel time on the beach in Boracay!

46: ... don't mess with uncle when it's time to eat

47: Boracay Bar Crawl buy one, get one freeeeee!

49: Boracay Boardwalk

50: bye-bye Boracay, we'll miss you!

51: Boracay --> Caticlan --> Manila --> Laoag Laoag, Ilocos Norte It is classified as one of the first class cities in the Philippines and is the capital of its province. It also stands as the industrial and commercial hub of the area. Its coastline to the west is bound by the South China Sea while other borders to east are bound by the Cordillera mountain range. Auntie Oreli's hometown! This is where it starts getting REAL. Down to our roots!

52: Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino The only 5-star deluxe resort hotel in northern Philippines sprawling over 77 hectares of land amidst gentle sand dunes and pine forests with a 2 kilo-meter sandy beach facing the South China Sea. It is located in the heart of the city of Laoag and the province of Ilocos Norte. The late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in his home province of Ilocos Norte, had Fort Ilocandia built, and finished, in time for the 1983 wedding reception of daughter Irene. The hotel was constructed to house and entertain the wedding guests of the then president and his equally famous wife, Imelda.

54: Ventura Memorial

55: Saint William Cathedral Laoag City, built in 1580

57: chichacoooooorrrrn!

58: Pasuquin by the sea is a scenic town that is famous for its salt. It is also known as the salt capital as much sea salt is processed locally. You will see many salt processors along the highway and stalls selling plastic bags of fresh made course sea salt, along with strings of onions and garlic.

59: street meats

60: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse The light marks the northwesternmost point in Luzon. Established on March 31, 1892 under the Spanish government on a high hill overlooking the South China Sea. At 525 feet, it is the highest-elevated lighthouse in the Philippines. After over 100 years, it still functions as a welcoming beacon to the international ships that enter the Philippine Archipelago from the north and guide them safely away from the rocky coast of the town.

62: Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

63: Bantay Abot Cave Bantay Abot Cave means “a mountain with a hole.” A hole was found at the middle of the mountain where the waves were free to flash into its walls just like an open shore. Located along the seacoast of Sitio Gaoa, Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

64: Kabigan Falls | Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte To get to Kabigan Falls, there is about a 30 minute, 1.5km hike from the entrance of the route. A 20 pesos preservation fee upon entering Kabigan falls which you will pay at the gate, and a local guide is required for 100 pesos. Along the way you will pass by farmlands, streams and finally the falls which is very beautiful, water is so clear and cold you can see the bottom of the waterfall basin.

69: fresh buko break!

70: kiddos getting out of school...

71: Bangui Windmills 40 wind turbines, generate 80 megawatts of electricity from wind power, erected in Pagudpud, the northernmost part of Ilocos Norte. | The wind farm is recognized as the largest in Southeast Asia, this gives Ilocos Norte, one of the lowest carbon emission footprints in Asia and certainly within developed or developing countries. The towers are an impressive 60 meters high and are located just 10 meters from the sea edge.

72: last day in Ilocos Norte Laoag --> Vigan, Ilocos Sur

73: Malacanang of the North Otherwise known as the White House of the North. This palace in northern Ilocos overlooks Paoay Lake, and is the residence of deposed president Ferdinand Marcos and his family when they are in the north. This was one of 29 summer residences that Marcos built during his rule. When it was built in 1977, Malacanang of the North became the venue of the trendiest high society settings. The Marcos' entertained their guests to parties, water skies and golf.

74: Paoay Church Paoay is probably one of the best known churches in the Philippines. Constuction for this church started in the early 1700s, and was completed before 1900. The walls are more than 1 meter thick -- made of coral stones. The design of the church is a mixture of Gothic, Oriental and Baroque influence.

75: Auntie Cathy's house in Magsingal

76: Mom's hometown! Vigan, Ilocos Sur!! It is the capital city of Ilocos Sur located on the west coast of northern Luzon. Established in the 16th century, Vigan is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia with a unique European atmosphere. Several museums exist for the many national heroes that were born here. Vigan is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the Philippines. The name Vigan was derived from "Biga", a giant taro plant that grows abundantly along the banks of the Mestizo River.

81: Bauang, La Union Situated on the west coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Bauang is a beautiful municipality in La Union Province. First settled in 1590 by the Spanish, Bauang officially became one of the province's 12 towns in 1850. The main attraction of Bauang is the scenic coastline and beautiful beaches, which enjoy fantastic sunsets over the South China Sea. There are numerous tourist attractions close by including churches, watchtowers and war monuments. Uncle Stan & Dad's hometown!

82: breakfast at alfonso's

86: Panagbenga Festival, Baguio City

90: Madayag Memorial

91: sunrise boat tour. last day in Bauang

93: Bauang --> Manila

94: Dusit Thani Manila Situated in the heart of the Philippines's premiere financial district, Dusit Thani Manila hotel sits on the lap of luxurious sights and sprawling urban hubs that offer reliable access to city splendours and historic sites.

97: Greenhills Shopping Center

98: Manila --> Honolulu

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