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Bernard L. Supetran

138 posts

Crash Landing on Leyte 

Just like the smash K-Pop TV series, crash landing in Leyte province is among the serendipitous experiences even the most jaded travelers will find exciting. Beyond Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Allied Forces’s legendary return to its sleepy shores during World War II, its countryside charm has an irresistible magnet which can make you say your own “I Shall Return” vow 78 years later.

Eclectic Expressions

Mention Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar and immediately its famed 19th-century homes which evoke Old World charm come into mind. Situated at a coastal village in Bagac, Bataan, it is a recipient of the prestigious 2021 Historic Hotels Worldwide Best Historic Hotel in Asia and the Pacific by Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence.

Northern Vibrance

Travelers en route to the Cagayan Valley will inevitably pass through this gateway province, which is a best-kept secret hiding under plain sight. Perhaps, in their haste to reach their destination further up north, people get to just breeze by the highway and miss the opportunity to savor the natural vibrance of Nueva Vizcaya.

Sailing. Sun. Sea.

When pop icon Christopher Cross’s hit song “Sailing” hit the airwaves in 1980, every other baby boomer and Gen X-er was raring to hop on to the nearest boat and glide on the water. With a mesmerizing melody and enticing lyrics, who wouldn’t want to go sailing and rough it out in the sun and sea.

Hidden hideaways on Valentine’s Day

The proverbial “day of the hearts” is arguably the most-anticipated red-letter day for many Filipino romantics, despite it being business as usual. The Covid-19 pandemic, notwithstanding, Pinoys will continue to celebrate it, although this time with a tinge of caution particularly when it comes to the observance of the physical distancing protocol.

Beyond Gazing Mayon Volcano, Nearby Adventures await

For the longest time, Mayon Volcano has been among the country’s most iconic attractions of Albay province and the Bicol region which has graced countless tourism posters and brochures. It is best viewed at the postcard-pretty Cagsawa Ruins Church in Daraga town which was partly buried by a destructive eruption in 1812.

Hail to the chieftain

There is a lingering joke that the Lapu-Lapu, the Cebuano chieftain who first defied foreign incursion in the archipelago, is also the killer of the first recorded tourist—Ferdinand Magellan. With the yearlong national observance of the quincentennial of the epic Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation of the world, public spotlight has been focused on the historic Battle of Mactan.

Head to Southern Crossings

One of the exciting and enticing reasons to be in Central Visayas is the proximity of the idyllic islands where you can hop from one province to the next. The good news is Cebu province recently dispensed with the costly Covid-19 tests to lure visitors as part of its tourism reboot.

That southern punch straight to Sarangani

The recent title match and the throwing of the hat of Manny Pacquiao into the presidential derby have once again shoved the eight-division champ into the spotlight, as well as his home province of Sarangani. Much like its most famous son, this underrated province has virtually gone up several weight classes in terms of tourism and economic development since it was carved out in 1992.

To be charmed by oriental splendor

The resumption of flights and gradual reopening of select destinations in recent weeks have enticed wanderers to seek the so-called revenge travel after the quarantine variants has locked down people in their abode. Negros Oriental is one enticing location which beckons with its streamlined requirements, so visitors can have more quality time touring the province.

Adrenaline-pumping Pampanga

Acknowledged as the country’s culinary capital, the mere mention of Pampanga is enough to send your adrenaline pumping with the gastronomic journey that awaits you. But beyond its mouth-watering traditional delicacies, and gourmet international and fusion dishes, the province offers a physical adventure that will make a food feast really worth the trip.

A Ridge to Reef Retreat

The “ridge to reef” travel which seeks to connect mountain and sea destinations in one trip, or vice-versa, has been around for quite some time. Endowed by the Almighty with lush upland and coastal ecosystems in almost every part of the archipelago, this is an easy do-it-yourself concept for wanderlusts who want to experience the best of both worlds.

WFH at The Farm

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year, the WFH acronym or “work from home” became a byword for many office workers. But long before that, The Farm at San Benito has been advocating a different kind of WFH among workers stressed by the urban jungle’s daily grind—Wellness, Fitness and Healing.

Bulusan Lake

Bicol Bounces Back

When the Department of Tourism described the Bicol region with the word “exciting” in its tagline, it was no empty boast or a worn-out adjective. It may have been synonymous with the perfect-coned Mayon Volcano for the longest time, but it has proven in recent years that it has a plethora of natural wonders to offer beyond this iconic peak.

An Art Capital called Angono

This rapidly-urbanizing town by the shore of Laguna De Bay has been regarded as the country’s “art capital” for the longest time. No less than then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo echoed this long-time claim when she visited the town and acknowledged the folks who are brimming with artistic talent in painting, sculpture, music, literature, theater, multimedia and other disciplines. While the official government declaration, and its corresponding budget allocation, is still being awaited since the 1980s, there is no disputing the assertion that Angono, Rizal is indeed the “art capital of the Philippines”.

A Fortress of Family Fun

With the cool weather breezing in Metro Manila this Amihan season, we can perhaps hold off on our urge to hide off to the mountain resorts for a consummate family staycation. The Bonifacio Global City, popularly known as The Fort, boasts of open spaces, greeneries and master-planned community, which somehow lends a feel of an out-of-town feel within the megalopolis.

A walk in the parque

WITH the mercury dropping in the metropolis in the next few weeks, there might be no need yet to escape to the traditional mountain resorts for a lazy bed weather. Down in Alabang, which boasts of lush greeneries and open spaces, you can bask in the cool breeze and get a feel of countryside living within the big city.

The Walled City: The toast of Asian travelers

A foreign tourist’s trip to the nation’s capital almost always begins with Intramuros, a special historical district of Manila, which was the seat of government, center of religion, education and the economy during the Spanish period. Destroyed in most part in 1945 during the Liberation of Manila, its postwar restoration tried to recreate a throwback look and ambiance of the colonial-era way of life.

Beach is Life

With the easing of the quarantine classification in most parts of the country and the partial restart of the tourism industry, lockdown-weary Filipinos are looking to the most sought-after refuge—the beach. Months after summer slipped through our fingers, travel bugs aren’t giving up yet in the prospect of basking in an authentic beach escapade for our mental health.

Dusit opens integrated college and hotel

THAILAND-based Dusit International scored a first in the country’s hospitality industry with the recent opening of the Dusit Hospitality Management College (DHMC) and dusitD2 The Fort, Manila, an integrated school and hotel at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Freedom, Food & Fun

ONCE the capital of the First Philippine Republic, Angeles City teems with the unique blend of libertarian ideals, culinary tradition and a whole lot of fun. Just an hour north of the metropolis, this urban center at the heart of Pampanga hosted the pompous first anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence in 1899 presided by then-President Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

Executive escapes in Subic

SINCE the opening of the country’s first-ever free port in 1992, Subic Bay has come full circle—being one of the top tourist spots. From an American naval base, it has evolved into a duty-free zone, weekend family hideaway, a business and tourism enclave, a convention place and a theme park, among its many reinventions.

A Sailing We Will Go

An archipelago of 7,641 islands with a 36,289-kilometer coastline, you can easily conclude that water sports is the hands-down national recreation in the Philippines.

Gems of the Orient

THERE has been lingering historical gossip that the Allied Forces, led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, returned to the Philippines via Leyte during World War II not just for its strategic significance, but because of its innate charm. It was a place where he could laze around after kicking out the Japanese.

Urban hideaways for the long weekend

After a long weekend this Holy Week, comes a three-day break to mark the Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9. Many who have undergone the gauntlet of the traffic jams in the expressways have decided to spend the holidays in the city for a relaxing getaway.

Tara let’s sa Antipolo

There was a time when the resort town of Antipolo was considered “out-of-town”, which lured Metro Manilans for a weekend getaway because of its cool climate, lush greeneries, rolling hills, and kasuy and suman.

Come Sail Away

THE American band Styx captured in its 1977 hit perhaps the best rock song about the age-old art of sailing. But that song applies better to the Philippines—an archipelago of 7,641 islands, a coast longer than that of the United States, and formed through centuries of  maritime heritage.

Isabela’s dancing scarecrows…and more

Dubbed the “Queen Province of the North,” Isabela is regarded as the country’s agriculture powerhouse being the biggest producer of corn, the second-largest producer of rice and a host of other major crops. Sandwiched by the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountain ranges, it boasts of vast fertile plantations as far as your eyes can see.

Quirino province holds monthlong, IP-themed Paskuhan fair

THE province of Quirino recently opened the sixth Paskuhan sa Quirino, a monthlong Christmas variety fair and one of the most-anticipated Yuletide events in the Cagayan Valley Region. Held at the Quirino Sports Complex in the capital town of Cabarroguis, the fair highlights local craft, culture and tourist attractions of the provinced’s six municipalities.