The Philippines is a beautiful country, an archipelago of more than 7000 tropical islands. It is Aurora’s home country. Many of the photos taken on various trips show the beauty of various places in the Philippines. Others show scenes out of life and a few show the poverty highlighting the difficulties so many Filipinos are facing.
ABRA AND ILOCOS
Aurora comes from the province of Abra, which is in the northern part of the Philippines, in Luzon. This page shows photos taken in Bangued, the provincial capital of the Abra Province, from the country side and pictures from scenes in Ilocos. Pagudpud is in Ilocos Norte, a place with incredible beaches.
Bohol is also on the tourist map, especially due to the world famous chocolate hills and the Philippine Tarziers, the world’s smallest primates. In fact they look really cute. We stayed close to Alona Beach on Panglao Island, which can be reached over a bridge from Bohol. Here the sand is sugar white. We stayed in a resort that was made all from bamboo, including the bed frames. Very nice.
The island of Palawan is a long island that stretches in the south west towards Borneo . It is supposed to have almost 2000 km of coast line. In 2009 we visited Puerto Princessa the provincial capital and Sabang. Sabang has one of the famous sugar-white sandy beaches. Yet, we did not see so much sugar white, as it was rainy season and most of the time raining if not outright down pouring.
In Sabang we stayed in the Bambua Nature Park Resort, a resort built into the forest, a 10 min walk from Sabang Beach. Here we were woken up by the beautiful and very unfamiliar cries of wild birds in the morning. Altough large parts of Palawan (as in the whole Philippines) fell victim to deforestation and illegal logging, virgin forests remain in mountain ranges. Although our travel guide book told that the street to Sabang from Puerto Princessa would be a grueling jeepney ride, we were lucky, since the street was just being finished and the final stretches of street was being concreted close to Sabang.
From Sabang it was a short boat ride to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Here we took a tour into the Underground River inhabited by bats. Outside there was a wonderful educative walk through virgin forest. At the ranger station we saw several gigantic Monitor Lizards that can become 2 m long. In Sabang we took a Mangrove paddle boat tour and learnt a lot about the ecological importance of mangrove forests.
We stayed in the Villa Angela in Vigan for several days in 2006. Vigan is the provincial capital city of Ilocos Sur, one hour from Bangued. The old city comprises many old Spanish era mansions, many of them restored. Tourists can ride calezas in the cobble stone streets of the very touristic inner part of the city. Very impressive were the celebrations on Palm Sunday around the St. Paul Cathedral which drew big crowds of worshippers.
At the end of the year 2001, Thomas had his first trip to the Philippines. First a few days to Boracay, a famous resort island with a 4 km long stretch of white beach. Over the end of the year he travelled with Fr. Michael to Mountain Province and visited the famous rice terraces of Banaue.