JOSEPH T. BAUTISTA

Banton Island

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There’s a big difference between tourists and travelers. Tourists go to popular destinations, have their pictures taken and then leave. Travelers go to remote destinations to enjoy all the things these places offer, to learn, to experience and to feel the joy of being human in this world. I always…

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Three and a half hours to Manila. That’s what the sign posted at the entrance of Kennon Road in Baguio says. This is just one of the changes that the visitors to this summer capital will experience when they visit in 2017. This and the horrendous traffic around the city…

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Taal Volcano is an enigma. Like a Dalagang Batanguena, she is meek and gentle. But once you make her angry, she explodes and brings out her balisong. From the Tagaytay ridge, Taal Volcano and her lake is a remarkable sight. The spectacular landscape of the volcano island and its blue…

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“We hardly get any tourists these days,” said the old man as I inquired if the Ifugao house is available in Bangaan, Ifugao province. “Of course it’s available. You get the same rate as you got before.” Business has been quite bad for Mang Florencio and his Bangaan Family Inn…

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I have a pen. I have pineapple. Ah! I must spend Christmas holidays this year with my PPAP or pineapple-pen-apple-pen. I have been living in Tagaytay for over 10 years now, but I always avoid staying here during Christmas holidays because of the heavy traffic. The city’s population doubles this…

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Ever wonder why every time you drive to San Pablo, you always see the sign “City of Seven Lakes”? It may not be as important now, but in the past, these seven lakes offered a place for people to live and for culture to flourish. San Pablo’s overabundance of lakes…

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During my grade-school days, my friend and I would spend many hours at the school library looking at the Philippine map. In those days, when most kids would rather play outside, we two geeks preferred to play the geography game. “In which island-province can you find the town of Gasan?”…

Mount Pulag:

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How high can you actually drive on a four-wheel vehicle in the Philippines? The answer is 2,340m above sea level, at Babadak Ranger Station in Mount Pulag, Benguet, where you can go above the clouds. For years, the Philippine Pali (or highest point in the Philippine Highway System) had been…

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Several historic and heritage sites, 24 peaks, white-sand beaches, hidden water-falls, lovely islets and one mighty river— all located in two adjoining towns. And the nice thing about them is that it takes less than two hours of driving to get there. The twin towns of Maragondon and Ternate are…

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My first glimpse of Baler was from inside the confines of a movie house. It was from the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now. Baler was used as the location for the now famous “surfing scene.” In that scene, Richard Wagner’s “Ride Of The Valkyries” is played through helicopter-mounted…

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