A Video Blog in Morong, Rizal

I was given a chance to stay in Morong, Rizal . It was memorable travel So let me share it through this simple video.

Museo de Baler: The Face from the Past.

But in my case, we rented bikes and rove around the town proper of Baler. We just drop off at the Museum after we took pictures of Manuel Roxas’ Monument.

Adjacent of the museum outside is the vintage car. Take a look the image below:

Just a heads up, there are available rolling stores outside (That was the place where we ate our breakfast)

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Outside, the remarkable faรงade shows a very detailed mural. It Mural was was created by sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist for the Visual Arts Abdulmari Imao. The   work was commissioned by Sen.  Edgardo Angara and the Baler Historical

Entrance fee is for free. You just give a donation for the maintenance of the museum.

You can take pictures inside; in fact there is an indoor photo booth.

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Lot of artifacts are displayed

Not surprisingly, the museum contains pieces that are significant to the town’s history.

Dinner Party in Baler, Aurora.

After the wet and drenching hike from Ermita Hill, I dried out and changed T-shirt. The weather was still quite bad due to “Low Pressure”, it was cold. A cup of coffee and Aurora’s delicacy which is Suman were my food for meryenda. Five in the afternoon, night and darkness continued to annex the whole surrounding.

Others are busy chatting to other travelers. Some are preparing for the dinner and some are still on surfing class. I went to my tent and started to relax. The rain and the cold wind were perfect combination to feel the tranquility. Unconsciously, I was asleep.

Seven at night, Erwin (one of the travelers) awakened me in my tent “Uy Kumain kana” He said. When I peeped out from my tent, it was already night and totally dark outside. “WTF I am late on the Dinner”. I remember what happened in Zambales, I was also late in the Dinner of the group. The history repeats itself in Baler, Aurora. I run to the dining area and everybody were finished. I saw the dining table in a boodle fight set up which was full of leavings scattered.

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James Betia( journeyingjames) smiled at me “Kagigising mo lang? Pupungas pungas ka pa ah”.

Chef Arvin gave me the food…

Bonding with Party People.

After a short break to fix each other’s belongings, the team prepared the place for “Inuman Session”. I told James that -this time I’ll be joining the bonding moment and not to miss it anymore (Just like in Zambales that I missed the bonding moment). “JourneyingJames Tour” rented a Video-ke machine for the party. …..

Everyone was enjoyed and ready to take the singing challenge (except to those few who went to sleep right after the dinner). In addition, Cher Arvin (Cook) offered PHP1000 to someone who will get 100 score in Videooke. Elora won it and she donated the money to Tacloban Typhoon Victim.

The party continues with more upbeat music…..

Everyone was dancing, many were almost drunk… no inhibitions…

Just a heads up guys, Live Bands are also available on other bars. There are more bars available to choose within the proximity.

Traveler's Warning : Modus Operandi in Public Transportation

As someone who regularly takes public transportation, I have had the displeasure of encountering several bizarre approaches to crime in buses, jeepneys or cabs. Apparently, people have decided that just declaring a robbery straight up isn’t the Filipino way, so we have a whole bunch of strange, alternative methods by which these criminals can liberate you of your wallets and gadgets.
I don’t think I need to point out that if you are under threat, no matter how much you protect yourself, putting up a fight would only increase your risk of getting icepicked. If it comes to that, just give them what they want. Here are 8 different methods they use that are off the beaten path of the standard robbery…

8. Activan Gang
(Via abiolatv.com, /haileyshelpfulhints.blogspot.com, theconversation.com, lucerosaldana.com)

The MO: A cab driver befriends a foreigner or balikbayan on the long drive to their destination, then offers their target a drink. When they fall for this, they then pass out from something in the drink, and when they come to, they are divested of their possessions. They also sometimes pull this same stunt in hotels and other similar places.
Protect Yourself: Don’t accept drinks from strangers. That should be common sense, but sometimes, because of a sense of pakikisama, we overlook this little fact–and pay dearly for it.

7. Zesto Gang
(Via liveinthephilippines.com, tatakblogong.wordpress.com, nekosugamo.blog39.fc2.com)

The MO: Often plying the Cubao area, members of the Zesto gang pose as a bus conductor and ask their mark “Ilan?” The target assumes they meant tickets, tells him how many, pays the impostor, and then the Zesto gang member magically produces Zesto juices from behind him, rapidly hits them with straws (how they do that when it takes us mere mortals minutes to stick a straw in from the top of the Doypack, I will never understand), then hands them to the mildly bewildered victims. More often than not, no change will be provided, and you can’t ask for a refund since he already oh-so-helpfully put the straw in for you, which is pretty unsanitary, when you think about it.
Protect Yourself: Always make sure first that this is really the conductor you’re about to hand your money off to. If you see a bucket with juice packs behind him, that’s a dead giveaway he’s part of the Zesto gang.

6. Laglag Barya Gang
 (Via frendz4m.com, francolevi.wordpress.com, bryologue.com)

The MO: This happened to me back when the Nokia 3330 was relatively new (so, y’know, it was a long time ago). I was in a jeepney in Cubao (what is it with this place?), being youthfully stupid (now, I’m no longer youthful) and oblivious to my surroundings when a man in front of me dropped a coin near my foot. He then proceeded to reach for it, and I even helped him. He dropped it again. This time, he grabbed my foot, as if to imply that it fell in my shoe. I struggled with him, and next thing I knew, my pants pocket was sliced open and my phone was gone. The man immediately got off the jeep, along with two other people who were seated near me.
Protect Yourself: If they can slice your jean pocket open, they can slice you open. I would suggest immediately getting off jeep or bus the minute someone tries to drop a coin within a two-meter radius.

5. Dura-Dura Gang
(Via thelongestwayhome.com, bitsandpieces1.blogspot.com, frequency.com)

The MO: One of the most disgusting methods to pilfer people’s belongings, the Dura-Dura Gang operates by distracting you with spit or even vomit on your shoulder, which a “helpful” co-passenger points out to you. They then “helpfully” suggest you open your bag to look for something to clean off the spit with, and while you do that, with your bag left open, they quickly grab whatever valuables they can and then get off the bus or jeep.
Protect Yourself: Keep your bag closed, and have tissue at the ready in a valuables-free pocket for this very occasion. I would also suggest yelling “para” and leaving the moment this happens to you.

4. Bimpo sa Aircon
(Via philstar.com, sulit.com.ph, facebook.com)

The MO: I’m still not entirely sure how this works, but supposedly, while in a cab, the taxi driver will hold something up to his air conditioner that will knock the passenger out, leaving you at the driver’s mercy, akin to the Ativan Gang. How this works without knocking out the driver as well, I am not quite sure, but if you see that they’re wearing a face mask, then don’t even bother getting in, I guess.
Protect Yourself: Always have a friend you can text your cab’s plate number to. The ideal approach is to have a friend see you off in a cab, so the cabbie knows someone got a good look at him without really calling attention to the fact, as opposed to taking a picture of the cabbie, who might be offended if he wasn’t actually trying to rob you or something.

3. Biglang Sakay
(Via rappler.com, timotraveling.blogspot.com, dailytelegraph.com.au)

The MO: This very terrifying MO happened to a friend of mine, who was just in a taxi when three other people boarded it and threatened her. Needless to say, when it suddenly becomes a four on one situation inside a taxi, there is very little you can do other than to give them what they want.
Protect Yourself: The same standard safety procedures apply: document the cabs you ride in, lock all your doors, and bolt at the first sign of suspicious activity. Don’t bother with politeness when it’s your life on the line. If you have to ask them to stop and you just toss the money for fare at them then make a run for it, just do it. This also means you need to check the cab’s child locks before boarding the taxi.

2. Batang Hamog
(Via gmanetwork.com, definitelyfilipino.com, gmanetwork.com)

The MO: These are often kids along C5 or EDSA-Guadalupe who attack during rush hour. Since cars are stuck in traffic, they will randomly open cab doors, usually from both sides, then quickly steal anything they can from the passenger in as little time as possible. This also almost happened to me, but thankfully, I was quick enough to pull my bag to my side then kick the kid off before shutting the door.
Protect Yourself: Obviously, lock your doors. Ever since that near-miss, I always made sure to do just that whenever I would take a cab. Make it a habit.

1. Pasagasa Gang
(Via gmanetwork.com, twicsy.com, commons.wikimedia.org)

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The MO: In the middle of the night, a pedestrian will appear out of nowhere then get run over, or at least pretend to be run over, by your most likely slow-moving taxi. If the taxi driver stops, the “pedestrian” will use this opportunity to pry open the cab and rob you. They normally have accomplices to pull this off, or will threaten to throw a rock at the cab. If all else fails, they will try to extort money from you under threat of being reported for hit and run. This obviously is not limited to public transportation, and private vehicles are actually even more lucrative targets.
Protect Yourself: Don’t give them an opportunity to reach in and grab you, so don’t open windows or doors, even if you feel concerned for their well-being. Call 117 instead for help if you have to. It’s very tricky when these things happen, but again, when it’s your life on the line, don’t take any unnecessary chances.

Stay safe, follow these tips from the Philippine National Police:

  • Always consider doubts/gut feel when riding a taxi.
  • Always check the taxi first and make sure no one is hiding on the floor or between the seats.
  • Sit on the backseat and keep a distance from the driver.
  • Check if the doors can be locked from the inside.
  • Memorize the plate number and name of the driver. You can text or call a friend or relative and let the driver know that you are taking note of his plate number.
  • Insist that the driver use the regular or usual route you take towards your destination.
  • Report any defective plate or meter and driver’s discourtesy to the
  • Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB):
  • 0921-448-777 and 426-2515.
  • (The LTFRB can alert other commuters of any new modus operandi of drivers after receiving reports from some victims.)


Tampered or missing meter seal.
Meter only displays fare and not the distance and waiting time (if present).
Taxi name, plate number and operator contact number are erased or missing in the interiors of the vehicle.
Driver is clicking a switch hidden somewhere.
Driver would not usually argue/complain if you pay the usual fare since they know they’re equipped with a faster-than-a-speeding bullet meter.
What to do if confronted with such a situation?
Always take note of the taxi name, operator phone numbers, plate number and if possible, take note of the taxi driver’s name and face. It is recommended that you send these information to a friend or relative.
Ask the driver to use the meter. If they say that the meter isn’t working or offer any other excuse, don’t get in the cab. If you’re already inside, ask the driver to stop and get out of the vehicle.
Make sure to check the meter. Some “batingting” drivers intentionally hold the stick shift in order to block the meter’s line of view.
Some drivers tend to keep a minimum speed even when in high-speed areas. This is because the moment they get too fast, the increments will happen at an incredible rate and the meter will show that it is obviously tampered.
If any time you notice that the meter is going too fast, tell the driver to stop and get off the taxi.
Report the taxi with defective meter to the
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
by texting the taxi’s name and plate number to
0921-448-7777 or call 426-2515.
Source: http://8list.ph/taxi-modus-operandi/

A Letter to Remember from Sole Sister Lois Yasay

From: Lois Yasay <solesisters.weare@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Re: Happy Valentines Lois
To: Jonathan Orbuda ;ilovetansyong@gmail.com

Hi Jonathan,

Lois Yasay is true-blooded Nomad
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Thanks so much for writing me that heartfelt email. I can really see myself in you a few years back. It's frustrating to want something so bad and yet you feel you are not prepared to do so. But let me just tell you that all of us who have done this were not fully prepared when we did. It was really courage and some madness that allowed us to do so. It's good you're scared, and you should be. Anything that's worth doing should instill some fear in all of us. Otherwise, what's the point?

I can't tell you exactly when you should do it. But what you should know is that you should save yourself. Are you willing to let life pass you by, day after day, doing the same thing? Or are you willing to brave uncertain conditions just to get out of your comfort zone and have a life of adventure? What is more important to you? I

I'm saying that because my first job was also at a call center. It was ok for a few years. But just like you, I discovered I wanted more from life- or rather, I felt life had more to offer me. So how did I finally do it? Here's the simple answer:

While I was still working, I saved money. My goal is usually 100K PHP. Then I plan to go to places where I can find work, can stay at a relatives/friends for free then do my best to live on the bare minimum. I've done this several times in a cycle (save, quit, travel, work again) before I made the big leap in 2011 without any safety net. Blogging helped me a lot because it gave me a small living allowance and allowed me to reach out to people or find opportunities online.

When I came back from my long term backpacking trip in 2011, the goal was just to avoid having a formal job for as long as I can. Nearly 4 years later, I've still managed to avoid it. Let's see how long it lasts :) I'm not going to say I've turned my back to corporate life forever, but if I can manage to earn money without a job, why not be free, right?

Thanks again for being brave enough to write to me about your dreams. I wish you will soon have the courage to pursue them. If not now, when?


I, Elora ,Erwin and Mia : They are travelers that i met in the middle of the road. "Road of Adventure "

Below was my Email 

On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 9:24 AM, Jonathan Orbuda <ilovetansyong@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Lois, 

Good Day!

My name is Jonathan Orbuda, an Economics graduate and now an occasional motivational speaker, was a writer way back in college, when I served as a section editor (2007-2008) of The Pillar Group of Publications. But beyond this, I established a blogsite detailing traveling sans (much of the) frills,.Since finishing my schooling, I already worked for a bank ( got resigned )and (currently) the BPO industry, among others. But my burning passion remains writing, and so I now travels as much as I can to discover what this world (and life) has to offer.

I am writing to you because I am your avid aficionado –so much-. I just want to give thanks towards the post entitled "5 Reasons Why Travel Will Ruin Your Life". It really gave me an ultimate motivation to continue what I want in my life. Honestly, I am not a solo traveler because I am scared. Too many reason; what if in the middle of the road, I am having scarcity of resources and something similar. What if something happened to me? If I go back home from a long travel and I made a mistake (i.e. Quitting my job), do I need to pay for it? Hay Naku!! ( Im holding my emotion now )

However, my nomadic spirit is still burning and wants to rove the World so that I can embrace it.

Just like you, I am an outdoor lover, -To travel – To be free. I also (currently) work for a living 5 days a week and I admit that I felt, I am in jail, and seeking for freedom of Vacation Leaves. 

Reading your blog is one of my fads (I subscribed your RSS in my Outlook account) since I do also a travel blog (wanna-be). You are such a good motivational icon.  

On your Blog: "You have turned into that annoying guy who starts his sentences with "When I was traveling in (insert exotic destination here)". You'll soon realize you have less in common with your friends and more in common with those scruffy backpackers you often see in bus stations", Not surprisingly, It is true, sense of belongingness with friends with same interests is more exciting to mingle with.

I really love your strength as a woman, quitting in a job is a huge decision that will surely change your life. I meant, even if you are not going to travel, giving up your work (esp. if it is your bread and butter) is difficult. It is like skipping one meal in your entire day wherein your body not used to it. But then again just like you, I don't want to stay in my comfort zone because I always kept on my mind that it is a state of being stagnant. Stagnant is unproductive, it is boring. And I don't wannna die without doing extraordinary things. Just like you who keep stressing that you are more afraid of a life where nothing extraordinary ever happens. You're more afraid of putting your dreams on a shelf and later realizing that you're jaded or too tired to live them. 

Honestly, while I am writing this letter I am currently in my work (NSFW), currently holding my emotion to cry. I felt I am jailed, tied up in my chair, or emma say parang naka swero ang chord ng phone sa katawan ko and I can't even leave my post. "Saying "Thank you for calling" all over again. I've been thinking to quit but I am looking forward the salary every 15th and 30th (payday is my motivation). I really wanted to travel perpetually, what should I do, when will be the right time to say that I am already prepared enough. Do I need to work hard and save up harder? Do I need to consider my emotional, psychological and all the factors? When? I know I am uncertain but when?

I need a motivation from you Maam, I already met those travelers like (JAMES BETIA and Rinell Banda) they gave me some inspiring words. 

Anyway, thank you for your Blog. More Power and more success.

Jonathan D. Orbuda

Sole Sister Lois
"We make travel happen"

Ditumabo Falls: Worst Experience and Treatment

Right after we ate our breakfast, we prepared our belongings for the trek. Our destination: the Mother Falls of Baler named Ditumabo Falls.

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Since we had our own bus towards the jump-off, there’s no way for me to learn how to get there using public transportation. So I asked my new friend Philip (Surfing Instructor). According to him, from Baler Town Proper, you just have to hire a tricycle going to Brgy Ditumabo and advise the driver to bring you to the jump-off.

Watch the video below.

We left around the campsite (Brgy, Sabang) at seven in the morning, actually, at that time I am not feeling well. I still had an asthma attack and I had a hard time to breath. The weather was not quite friendly, it was raining and cold. Heading our way was an excitement to experience the largest waterfalls in Aurora. “Guys, you need to secure your dress, towels, and gadgets because light shower and drizzle will surely pour you,” our tour guide said.

Worst Experience:

When we arrived at the jump-off or highway, we noticed a group of tricycle drivers who are waiting for passengers. (Just a heads up, you need to walk 45 minutes or 15 minutes via tricycle to reach the main entrance of the falls wherein you need to register).

Personally, I support local livelihood but I was very disappointed in the local drivers on their approach towards the visitors. They forcedly convince the tourist to take a ride. One driver discourages us not continuing the hiking because of bad weather. The Local drivers are more focused on what they can get from the tourist rather than to offer them help. They deceived most of the tourists and they were very rude. Yeah, I said it right; I am just telling my experience.

We were composed of large groups therefore they catch large fish. Thank God because our tour guide was very tactful and firm to refuse. “Kuya, don’t worry about us! This is my fourth time here” the tour guide answered proudly. So the drivers can’t answer due to embarrassment.

The group continues to hike towards the entry point of the said falls. On our way, we met a man with his motorcycle who discouraged us to continue because of the bad weather. His approach was very rude, and he forcedly offered a local tour guide to bring us to the Water Falls.  We understand that they were in particular with our safety however it seems that it was obviously sarcastic because the catch was he offered and market his service right in the middle of the road. And the man was shouting to us. “Kuya, this is not the right place, much better if we will talk to the right people at the counter in the entry point” Emms answered. “Ok bahala kayo” the man responded.

When we reached at the entry point, Emms, who is our tour guide, went directly to the cottage wherein the guard was located at. She was trying to pay for the entrance fee yet the guard said that they temporarily closed the spot due to bad weather. We were questioning that time because the implementation was just implemented right away and there was first batch that they allowed to pass through before us.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the Falls (which is ok for me because of bad weather), and that’s the bottom-line. Maybe the experience that I’ve involved made me to come up a comparison of the treatment from the locals. I’ve been to Puerto Princesa City and their locals were very friendly, very very friendly, and very different from Aurora’s locals. I’ll bet my ass. Puerto Princesa’s locals were trained by the LGU on how to approach tourist and I hope this will also implemented not only in Aurora but all the provinces in the Philippines.

Next time, having a chance, I will still comeback Aurora to see the mother falls but I will make sure that the history will not repeat itself.


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