CAMIGUIN | Katibawasan Falls

There is always something nostalgic about seeing a waterfall. It’s like a coming home kind of feeling. I’ve seen and been to Katibawasan every Camiguin visit I had. I even swam right through the water drop with Bio friends and pretended we were skinny, gorgeous, strong swimmers like the ones in Baywatch, when were just the limpy nerdy studes who bottles insects and dried pressed plants those days. LOL! But Katibawasan Falls has not aged, or matured through time, and it’s like seeing an old playmate again. Playful. Even when I was alone, it felt like home again.
When Camiguin is popularly known for 2 waterfalls, the Katibawasan and the Tuasan Falls, I only able to visit the Katibawasan Falls. 

KATIBAWASAN FALLS | Mambajao, Camiguin
Entrance Fee: Regular          15Php Pax
                      6 y.o. below    6Php Pax
Located at the foot of Mt. Timpoong, Katibawasan Falls has a water drop of 250 ft. and is a single drop waterfall at a corner of green and rock-faced walls. The water basin is actually small and shallow. It is safe for children to swim in it and the water drop is not that strong that you could swim to and through it. You’ll get a bit battered though, but just enough to feel pressure that any hydro massage would give.
At a minimum entrance fee, this local government maintained tourist attraction of Camiguin is an ideal place to cool of during the hot and humid days.
PINAY TRAVELISTA MUST:
+ There’s a stairwell leading down the water basin that you should be careful with. Sometimes it gets to slippery to walk on if visit the place during the rainy days.
+ Take a dip, and you must try swimming towards the water drop.
+ During El Niño there’s a significant decrease in water drop but Katibawasan Falls still holds a humble charm despite it.
+ You can check out the Pasalubong shops and stalls at the main entrance.
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“Like all great travellers,
 I have seen more than I remember, 
and remember more than I have seen.” 
~Benjamin Disraeli
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List of Countries with No Visa Requirement Upon Entry for Filipinos

For Filipino travelers who would like to travel without the hassle of Visa requirements to other counter, there are several countries that allows visa-free entries for those Philippine passport bearing individuals.

Here is a list of countries that requires no visa upon entry for Filipinos:

ASEAN COUNTRIES
Brunei Darussalam            14 days
Cambodia                     21 days
Indonesia                     30 days
Malaysia                     30 days with sufficient funds of at least 500USD
Singapore                     30 days
Thailand                     30 days
Vietnam                       21 days

NON-ASEAN COUNTRIES
Azerbaijan                 30 days
Taiwan                       30 days if holding valid Australian, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Schegen countries, United Kingdon, or United States visa.
Georgia                      90 days visa issued upon arrival
                               360 days visa free for temp. residences of Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, & Kuwait
Hongkong                   14 days
India                           30 days visa issued upon arrival
Iran                           15 days visa issued upon arrival if holding an e-visa pre-approval code obtained via email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Israel                           90 days (3 months)
South Korea               30 days if arriving via Jeju Island only
Macau                         30 days
Maldives                       30 days visa issued upon arrival
                                90 days max extension is possible by paying MVR 750
Mongolia                     21 days
Nepal                           15/30/90 days visa issued upon arrival for around US$25/40/100
Sri Lanka                     30 days visa obtain upon arrival if holding Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). 
Timor-Leste                 30 days single entry visa issued upon arrival for around US$30
                                90 days possible extension

EUROPE
Kosovo                           90 days
If you want to travel many countries in Europe in one visit? A Schengen visa is a good way at it.

OCEANIA
Cook Islands             31 days
Fiji                             120 days Visitor’s Permit issued upon arrival and can be extended
Marshall Islands         30 days visa issued upon arrival and can be extended
Micronesia                 30 days
Niue                           30 days
Palau                         30 days visa issued upon arrival, additional USD 50 for extension
Samoa                         60 days Visitor’s Permit issued upon arrival
Tuvalu                         30 days visa issued upon arrival, additional USD 50 for extension
Vanuatu                       30 days

NORTH AMERICA
Costa Rica                 30 days Visitor’s Permit issued upon arrival
Dominica                   21 days
Haiti                           90 days
Nicaragua                   90 days visa issued upon arrival
Saint Lucia                   6 weeks Visitor’s Permit issued upon arrival
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                 30 days visa issued upon arrival
Turks and Caicos Islands                             30 days

SOUTH AMERICA
Bolivia                     90 days
Brazil                     90 days
Colombia             90 days
Ecuador               90 days
Peru                   183 days
Suriname               90 days

AFRICA
Burundi                           1 month visa issued upon arrival
Cape Verde Islands                     visa issued upon arrival around £ 25
Comoros                          1 month visa issued upon arrival
Djibouti                    1 month visa issued upon arrival
Gambia                                       visa issued upon arrival
Kenya                             90 days visa issued upon arrival for US$50
Madagascar                   90 days visa issued upon arrival for MGA140,000
Morocco                          90 days visa issued upon arrival for US$50
Mozambique              30 days visa issued upon arrival
                                 30 days possible extension for USD 66
Saint Helena                    1 month visa issued upon arrival
Seychelles                    1 month Visitor’s Permit issued upon arrival if holding return ticket, sufficient funds (minimum USD150 per day of stay, and proof of accommodation)
Tanzania                                     visa issued upon arrival for around USD50 to USD200
Togo                                 7 days visa issued upon arrival if with return ticket, 3 passport photos, and yellow fever vaccination certificate
Uganda                                       visa issued upon arrival for US$50
Zambia                            90 days visa issued upon arrival for USD 50/80/160 single/double/multiple entry
IMPORTANT NOTES!
+ These countries does not require visa prior to arrival of the country, but some still requires visa but is issued upon arrival at the port or at the bureau immigration office of the country.
Some countries will only allow a traveler to stay for certain number of days. An extended stay is possible after complying visa requirements for that country.
+You may be ask:
1] Purpose of your visit.
2] Intended length of stay
3] Check documents like Passport (should be 6 months valid from date of expiry), valid identification cards ( accepted by all government offices & should not be expired)
4] Proof of sufficient funds to cover length of stay, and return ticket
+ Some countries have strict regulations at checkpoint authorities. You may be asked to supply them with:
1] Personal invite by your host, official invitation letter, and/or permit to travel
2] Employment letter
3] Hotel reservations
+ For your travel, and supporting documents, it is best to travel with photocopies of these, and an electronic copy saved saved in your emails, or online file hosting service.

HOW TO | Application for Philippine Passport

Are you planning to apply for your Philippine passport? For Philippine Passport application for first time applicants, here are the list of the general requirements, acceptable Identification (ID) cards, and supporting documents that the Department of Foreign Affairs requires. 
I do not remember much of my application for a passport. What I do remember was bringing with me the general requirements, and my ID’s, and a hell lot of supporting documents. You need to go through an application appointment system which is basically setting up an appointment to apply for a passport. You will be given a scheduled day to go to the DFA for the actual application.

Requirements for its Philippine Passport Application Appointment System. (DFA Official Site)
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Personal appearance
  • Confirmed appointment
  • Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) and duly authenticated by NSO. Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in NSO Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable. (Report of Birth duly authenticated by NSO if born abroad)
  • No need to submit a passport size photo
  • Valid picture IDs and supporting documents to prove identity (Please refer to List of Acceptable IDs and List of Supporting Documents)

LIST OF ACCEPTABLE IDS (At least 1 of the following):

  • Government-issued picture IDs such as the following:
  • Digitized SSS ID
  • Driver’s License
  • GSIS E-card
  • PRC ID
  • IBP ID
  • OWWA ID
  • Digitized BIR ID
  • Senior Citizen’s ID
  • Other acceptable picture IDs such as the following:
  • Old College ID
  • Alumni ID
  • Old Employment IDs

LIST OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS (At least 3 of the following):

  • Voter’s ID
  • NSO Marriage Contract
  • Land Title
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Elementary or High School Form 137 or Transcript of Records with readable dry seal
  • Government Service Record
  • NBI Clearance
  • Police Clearance
  • Barangay Clearance
  • Old documents issued at least one year prior to date of application that show correct name, date and place of birth, picture and signature of applicant such as the following:
  • NSO Birth Certificate of child / children
  • SSS-E1 Form or Microfilmed Copy of SSS-E1 Form
  • Income Tax Return
  • Voter’s Certification, List of Voters and Voter’s Registration Record (for newly issued VRR, please attach receipt)
  • School Yearbook
  • Community Tax Certificate

PINAY TRAVELISTA’S NOTES:
+ Before your actual appointment for passport application, you need to visit the DFA nearest your location to apply for an appointment. I suggest you go there early.
+ On the scheduled appointment, please bring all necessary requirements for applying for your passport, and prepare an amount for Philippine passport application fees.
+ In applications for any legal document, I always carry with me, not only the original document but as well as 2-3 photocopies with it before any appointment. Just incase they might need a duplicate copy of any of it.
+ Please bring with you, a black pen should you need filling up forms.
+ Please wear decent clothes ( no sleeveless shirts, shorts, or skin bearing outfits), and close footwear. You may be required to wear a collared shirt.
+ Bring a book! Sometimes processing time will take a while, better bring something to keep you entertained.

Traveller’s Unread Loveletter

So here it is.. After a few drafted posts and some I-don’t-know-if-this-is-okay self talks, is this blog post about love, and love and the roads for this Travelista.. And since the backpacking prince charming is still in his quest around the world, I call to my heart.. 

Dear Reader,

There was a time that I doubted his existence. When I felt like he only existed in fairytales, books, or in movies — ideal, moving, but fictional. I grew up reading books my papa would say “your thoughts will be clouded by idealism” but he was too late, I was already wearing my heart on my sleeves.
Twenty-something years into existence, a few heart breaks and crying spells — I am still unwilling to give you away. I am still the girl who sits by the window, playing with her fingers, letting her thoughts fly, and whispering, “he will come”. I often wondered who he is, how he will be, and how it feels to be around him. But as time passed, roads traveled, and a better know of myself — I know that somewhere somehow he too knows I exists. So I quit thinking too much about he who I will end up with. He will come and I leave it  entirely to faith.

“To he who I will end up with..

Story tell. I have far too many coffee cup shots because I love coffee and more so, the words that flows along with it. I like it sweetened black, but in the absence of such, instant coffee would do as long as you promise me an interesting conversation to go along with it.

I want to see the world and learn from someones eyes, to see it from another angle and standpoint — to know bits and pieces of the world from someone else.So just let the moment be that moment, and leave it as it is.

It might be that one shot to get me to fall in — chocolates with you!

Fun company. Life can be dauntingly serious at times. Take me out of it and be that someone I can truly be my goofiest self. I don’t need an imposing figure and neither do I need a heedless joker around. I am easily amused and without effort entertained — a bit of humor throws will tell me that you will be the toast to my butter. I will have some great laughs and find a great company in you on the road. I need that someone to to fill the empty seat beside — I knew from the start that solo travelling is not my everyday cup of tea.

Plan limitless. I know, right? But to go off is not limit yourself and be bounded by norms. That the possibilities are endless and that it is ours for the taking, we just have think about how to get about and around it.

I will love that you-know-what-love-and-works-hard-to-get-it side of you. After all, adventures are not only limited to adrenaline highs and most of them is a synchronized dance of planning and light bulb moments in action.

Grow. Some of life’s lessons are not found in books, some of them are littered on the roads we walked on, swimming in the current of waves, and scattered on the clouds in the skies. So, look at where your steps takes you, stop and check the waters you’re swimming,and glance up to the skies once in awhile — let your experiences infiltrate your dreams and overwhelm your waking thoughts. Travelling is not only about getting there and back, it’s also the trinkets of wisdom you bring home from it.

Dream Chase. I hope you are seeing the world as I do. Grounded in reality but packing up your bags and chasing after dreams. How “so-alone” solo travelling may be, someday it will be rewarding. (coughs up)

I will come into the picture and makes sense that I am the missing element to the frame , and, ofcourse (exclaims!!), (whispers) you in mine (and shyly grins).

We may pen beautiful words, have nice pictures, and seen and been to beautiful places — but it would really mean more, to the stars and back, if one of these days we will have each other to share it with.

I can not wait to meet you, fall in love, and stay in love with you…

… because I know, reality I will be more interesting that happily ever afters’ on the books.”

Until he comes along, I have this ready to go packed bag I learned to do from my sisters. I will take the world and what it throws at me. See through the eyes of a child and see the bared and naked beauty of travelling. I will share what I can, do what little I could, and help in whatever way I know how. Because one of these days, he will come into that picture but until then my unpaired backpack will be okay standing by itself at the corner waiting for the backpacking prince charming to place his beside it.

Your Letting-the-world-show-me-how-to-love-until-he-comes-to-show-me-how-to
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He liked her; it was as simple as that.” 
― Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song
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Pinay Travelista’s putting up her heart on her sleeves for the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival.
An entry to PTB February 2012 Blog Carnival hosted by Lauren Gaile | Epic Potato

CAMIGUIN | The Cross and Cemetery, and the Walkway

Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, you can see Bio studes measuring and lining up quadrants after quadrants from the shore to the deep waters on this dark sanded beach. Well not really deep. Just enough to view the specimens within the quadrants. Imagine leveraging yourself on a tombstone, a cross, or simply trying not to get your foot on them. I don’t know if the allow that still for students but this site is one of the unique dive sites in the island because of its’ history.
Other than the old charm of ancestral houses and churches, Camiguin is known for white beaches and  its’ white island bar. But there’s this dark sanded beach that equally gets a number of visitors as its’ white beach counterparts. It was during the 1871 volcanic eruption that shooked and changed the face of this island province and sunk several areas to below sea level — this beachfront included.


THE SUNKEN CEMETERY AND THE CROSS MARKER | Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman
Outrigger Boat / Bangka Fare: 20Php/pax

Located at Bonbon, Catarman and a  few meters off the seashore is a cemetery during the early times, now, submerged and lies deep under the sea water.  Today sea current batters about it, algae growing on it’s tombstones, and where fishes swims around and calls it home as the cemetery is reclaimed by the sea. A very large imposing cross stands on solidified lava that marks the site.
The same Cross Marker can be seen from a vantage point at the Camiguin’s Stations of the Cross. I wish I could give you clear blue skies and reflective sea surface but I went there putting weather conditions aside.  I just went off just to be off somewhere.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS & WALKWAY | Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman
Environmental Fee: 5Php/pax for 12y.o. and above
Located at Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman at around ~5mins away from the Sunken Cemetery, the Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross weaves hillside the Mt. Vulcan.  Philippines being predominantly Catholic in religion, this one is the usual destination in observance of the Lenten Season. Coincidentally, the province’s annual festival: Paanad in Camiguin takes place on the Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The locals call this the “hundred steps of the history of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.” The first two thirds of the way is paved and cemented but moss had taken in with the wet season and shades from the trees and it can be slippery sometimes. The remaining one third is a dirt path as it makes it’s way to the steepest part of the walkway. 
The view is incredibly awesome that over looks the western coastline of the island province. I was invited to visit Camiguin on the Holy Week, it would be a bit different then with all the pilgrims on this Walkway. For now, Camiguin will be that easy-go-to-escape island that I made of it.
TRAVEL NOTES
+ You can take outrigger boats to the Cross Marker and back.
+ The locals are nice enough to take shots of you and your friends.
+ Both spots are on the western coastline, it would be nice to cap off a day and watch the sunset from the Walkway. A straight trek can take you 30-45 mins. to the top, depending on your pace. Stopping for prayers and some photo ops will take you longer.
+ You can check out the Pasalubong shops down the short road at the Sunken Cemetery and the lined up stalls just front the start point of the Walkway.
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“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, 
merely lengthens the conversation”
~Elizabeth Drew
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CAMIGUIN | Of Churches and Old Church Ruins

I slept soundly the whole night. It was my first 10-hour sleep post-Sendong relief efforts IBS, Inc. did. I woke up around 3AM, irritably the morning person in me does that —   but the house was so still and it seemed as I was the first one to awoke.  Here’s a random tip: When on vacations, always wake up early — way before sunrise. That way you get to see the first rays of the sun on wherever you’re staying. On this trips’ case, I knew I didn’t have a beachfront view for the sunrise and was geographically located at the wrong side of the island, so I stayed in and went back to bed — thus the  10-hour sleep.
I woke up at around 7:15ish AM. My watch says otherwise. Because I have a (ridiculously) advance time that I had set myself and had (amazingly) gotten used to. LOL. That is an example of a total fail shot — I know, right? Ahahahahaha! Okay. I can’t get over that shot. (Laugh trip beak). Note to self, either reset the time or no more shots like this. LOL.

STO. ROSARIO PARISH CHURCH | Sagay, Camiguin

I stayed at Sagay, Camiguin, at the southwestern part of the island. So when asked which I wanted to check out first — I  don’t know why by I quipped, churches! You know what they say about finding a bit of you in everywhere you go? This was it. I felt the need to detach myself from the depressing situation of then nearly a month post TS Sendong in Iligan. I found myself saying a prayer, the feel the need to let it be — me for now. Selfish, The need to regroup pieces of myself — I did, here, on my first stop of the island of Camiguin.
The interiors of the church is not yet finished. But what met me was the artistic use of bamboo, and driftwood on its’ interiors. There’s something about the drift wood chandeliers  hanging from the ceiling. It gave the rustic appeal to the whole place.

To the right side of the church is an open chapel. Devoted to Sto. Rosario, the image of the Lady of the Rosary is encased and transfixed in front of a old tree draped in vines. Stone benches lined up on the grassy earth and a comforting sound of the church bells framed the already solemn ambiance.
CATHOLIC CHURCH OF CATARMAN | Catarman, Camiguin
The Catholic church of Catarman, Camiguin is a little bit off the national highway. It still has the old town church feel to it. Standing atop a small hill surrounded by trees and lined benches – I could only imagine how it was during times when a Eucharistic Mass is celebrated. 
This church is kinda like the Mamabajao Parish in a little way, this one without the paint on its walls. We did not get to stay long, I suddenly remembered a random list of must-go-to-places we must get to.

OLD CHURCH RUINS | Brgy. Bonbon, Catarman,  Camiguin

Established earlier as a Spanish settlement, the town of Catarman used be notably popular, until a volcanic eruption in 1871 took out most of the town. What remains now is the still standing adobe walls shyly peeking out from the moss and ferns that had grown on them. Of the three churches, the Old Church Ruin was the only destination I had on my list. For some apparent reasons that only the universe knows of, of why I thought of stopping by these two other churches, made me glad that I did. It took my mind off the depressing Sendong struck Iligan — like I said, I needed to find the hope from the depressing scene I worked on and with since Day1. 

But here is an island who witnessed volcanic eruption and even a strong typhoon that devastated this charming island— and yet it is still alive, growing, and standing. I came to the right place. This added hope — this was a hopeful escape. Camiguin never failed to charm me. And as it made me experience and worked hands-on on what I learned in the books back then, this time, it had silently reminded me a lesson in life.

Some things happen because it should happen.

And just because it is THAT bad, nothing good can come out of it. Sometimes something has to be broken into thousands of pieces to have it formed into something better.

I needed to be reminded of that. And, sometimes, it hits you when you weren’t looking.

Check out the rest of the CAMIGUIN SERIES post:
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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, 
but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”
– Douglas Adams
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