SIQUIJOR | Lazi’s 400 Year Old Enchanted Balete

The kids by the poolside of this huge Balete Tree at Lazi, Siquijor greeted us with examining eyes. We were touring around Siquijor Island, and I asked if we could visited the Enchanted Balete Tree that was said to be 400 years old. Good thing that we still have not passed by it during our island “round”. But it’s not bad to check one out in broad daylight with friends.

 

I’m not very fond of Balete trees. Thanks to local horror films, and friends who knew better to scare me with stories they heard from their parents provinces. The closest I got scared while visiting my mom’s province was when my kuya said that a Kapre sits on a tree and watches young kids going out of the house at night. Oh! My grandparents house is along the coastline, and sits fronting the beach. So a 9 year old did not know any better that those creatures are too huge too sit on coconut trees! Older brothers rejoices on scaring younger siblings like that.
Lazi’s 400 year old balete tree is huge! And it’s branches set it’s foliage to a wide canopy that covers the pool in it’s bottom. Lazi’s 400 year old balete tree is huge! And it’s branches set it’s foliage to a wide canopy that covers the pool in it’s bottom where fish delights on submerged feet as they eat off the dead skin off it. With it’s large canopy, it blocks the sun, and creates a cool spot to rest from your long trip around the island.
There is a pool area that one can take a dip in. The water is surprisingly clean with fish swimming in it. With the “rounds” that you’ll be doing around the island, a stop here is an instant refreshing break from touring around Siquijor Island. You can dip your tired feet and you’ll get is an instant foot spa if you like.

The 400 year old Enchanted Balete of Lazi, Siquijor is tended by the local community in the area. A small, but very visible box for donations is firmly attached to one side of the pool. This is how the locals earn a living, and manage the area for it’s visitors.
TRAVEL NOTES:
+ Ask your local guide for a stop-over at the 400 year old Enchanted Balete at Lazi, Siquijor. Some would take you there but not everyone has this on their itinerary. Make sure to ask anyways.
+ For those renting motorcycles, you can stop over when you pass throough Lazi, Siquijor. The Enchanted Balete is by the roadside. It is covered in bushes so you might not be visible when you drive by, so better stop to ask the locals around.
+ The pool by the Enchanted Balete is fresh water, and is clean for a quick dip, and  swim. You can rest your tired feet, and hang out for a bit and a break from the suns’ heat.
+ There’s a log-in box, and it would nice of you to drop a donation at the donation box.
+ Please take, and leave nothing from the Enchanted Balete. Tend after yourselves, and carry trash, and dispose them properly.

SIQUIJOR | Lugnason Falls

We arrived at Siquijor late in the afternoon. By the time we settled in our host’s home, it was already night time. From our short Apo Island visit, Peter, Karl, Geric, and I continued on our extended trip to Siquijor, and joining us were the newly weds Lorabelle, and Obed who were staying a few days for Sinulog Festival before their honeymoon travel.
We started our first day with a morning walk to Lugnason Falls. Our host’s home was around 20-30 minute uphill walk to Lugnason Falls. Geric was staying with his relatives then, and his location made it impossible for him to join us on this early morning waterfalling. We went there, the weather was a bit gloomy, and light rain dampened the soil the night before, so the trail was ( and can be) a bit slippery.
From the community road there is a signage on where the trail starts. There’s an footpath trail getting to Lugnason Falls so you won’t have to worry getting lost, and just before you reach the falls, you find another signage back-dropped by the trees. But if you must, you can ask a local, or children (on days without classes) from the community to help you find your way.
Lugnason Falls is a cluster of limestone rocks from wide opening water drop. Right after the trail there is landing area where you can see the falls, and it’s water basin from above. You need to get down on a steep man-made steps to reach the water basin. On that elevated landing area though, are several benches for family to gather, and parents to watch the young ones enjoy their swim.

The water basin is not that deep, roughly around 5ft during our visit. Local kids would climb on the slippery rocks on the waterfall facade, and jump into the water basin. A host’s family friend accompanied us, and he told us that the community would remove sediments from the pool basin when water overflows, or the water basin becomes to shallow for swimming.
There is another small pool by the side of the water basin where you can try swimming as well. It is shallow, but on certain months when there are less visitors. Debris can accumulate on the lower part of this area.

Despite the gloomy early morning weather, we had fun still. Though it was not smart to set the camera on timer mode, and swim across the other side for a group shot. LOL! Needless to say, we never had a decent group shot from this early morning walk, and swim.
How to Get / Directions to Lugnason Falls | Napo, San Juan, Siquijor.
– Your landmark from the National Highway would be Coco Grove Beach Resort.
– There’s a road leading inland on the other side of the road from the resort.
– Drive uphill, you will reach a barangay hall with a basketball court, take the road on the left.
– Keep driving ~10minutes uphill.
– A Lugnason Falls signage or marker is on the right side of the road. It is where the trials starts, leave your vehicle properly parked in that area.

TRAVEL NOTES:
+ You can hire a jeepney if you’re travelling in a group, or hire a habal-habal or motor. You can also rent a motorcycle for your travel duration at Siquijor City if you know how to drive.
+ If you’re renting a motorcycle, please be careful in driving, the road can be steep, and/or rough, and not cemented.
+ If is best to drive around in daylight. The whole island has a rotating curtailment schedule, and you might drive through communities without street light because of that.
+ You need to bring your provisions, there’s no store when you start off on the trail.
+ Please tend after yourselves, and bring your trash with you when you leave the area, and have them properly disposed of.

GUEST POST | Summer Holidays Needn’t Cost a Fortune

Photo grab from AngloInfo

Are you struggling to find a summer holiday abroad with your family, without breaking the bank? Everyone knows that the travel industry in the UK creates artificially high prices during school holidays – the economic principle of ‘supply and demand’ means that they can charge pretty much whatever they want and know that people will still pay. Yet help is at hand for parents searching for a summer holiday on a budget, and it starts at the bus station. Here’s something perfect for parents searching for a summer holiday for the family. This guest post is helpful for budget trip for the whole family at United Kingdom.

Holidays within the UK are often more expensive than the accommodation costs of a holiday abroad, and many people feel that they would rather pay a bit extra to get abroad than to have a holiday ‘at home.’ Yet the costs of getting abroad, even to somewhere as close as France, can be prohibitively expensive, again because of the demand for transport during school holidays. Fortunately, the people at iDBUS have come to the rescue with their ‘mini prices’ for the summer holidays, meaning that you can get to Lille for as little as £29 or Paris Bercy/Paris Charles de Gaulle for £35 and Lyon for £45.

Now, don’t think there’s a trick here, because there really isn’t. This isn’t one of those deals where you can travel out for less than £30 but will have to pay £300 to get back home. There are also no hidden extras like taxes or fees. You can get back just as cheaply and there are plenty of seats available at these prices on numerous dates throughout summer, so you should be able to pick a time and date that suit you. You’re not as limited with your baggage as you would be on a plane because you are allowed one piece of luggage per person (the weight isn’t specified) plus a piece of hand luggage. And your journey begins at Victoria bus station, which is in central London very close to the Victoria tube stop.

Photo by Pavel Barnat | Panoramio

The journey by bus takes longer than by train or plane (though not by as much as you would think, once you have factored in early arrival and check in times and procedures) so be sure to pack enough snacks and entertainment for the children for the journey. Alternatively book an overnight trip so that the children can sleep (the seats give you plenty of room to spread out).

Once you have found some times, dates and prices to suit you and your family, use those dates to book your accommodation. Try booking a gîte direct from the owner, as these will be far cheaper than booking through a travel agent or villa company. Beware though – it is vital that you do your research and make sure that the deal you are paying for is legitimate and be careful about how you pay for it so that if there are any problems you can claim your money back.
Or consider taking your tent and camping – you could use part of your baggage allowance on the bus for your tent and sleeping bags. There are many lovely campsites around Paris and many of them have buses that will take you direct to Disneyland or into the heart of the city. To make your camping experience more comfortable, opt for a large site with facilities such as hot showers, swimming pools and a restaurant – a basic campsite will be much cheaper, but the saving you will have made on the transport might make you feel a little easier about spending more on a little bit of comfort.
Click here for more information on iDBUS coach travel.

APO ISLAND | A Round Up Travel Guide

Maybe it was too premature for us taking Apo Island just when TS Pablo had caused massive destruction on the marine environment, and that January is never the best time to visit this island. Maybe we were just vacation-hungry, get-together-thirsty, and was looking forward to seeing a pawikan that we never got to see. Not. A. Single. One. In. Sight. But it did not stop us from having a good time.

Continue reading APO ISLAND | A Round Up Travel Guide

Strong Waves, Sea Urchin, Sting Remedy, & I

It was a probably a joke that turn bad, but taken with good heart between the Strong Waves, Sea Urchin, Sting Remedy and I. I would be entirely lying if I would say I did not, one bit, had a good laugh at this experience. I would not wish it on anyone, or maybe my misfortune was not as bad as how others have had it. But relying on your friends, and locals on what to do, and remedies for sea urchin sting is the best way to go about the very unfortunate situation.

Continue reading Strong Waves, Sea Urchin, Sting Remedy, & I