Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Top Places in the Philippines according to Byahilo

Just recently, I won a round trip ticket to Batanes/ Boracay from a Seair contest held by Byahilo. As we all know, Byahilo is a well-known travel blogger here in the Philippines. Just this morning, I was chatting with him and decided to turn the chat session into a 1-on-1 online interview. I was fortunate enough to have been granted the opportunity since he was usually busy, well-uh, traveling.

Just a quick note. Some people get the wrong impression and think that Seair was the carrier who met 2 accidents (undershot) in Boracay. It was actually another airline carrier. So far, Seair has a good track record.

More about ‘traveling the Philippines interview’ after the break.

This coming February 2, Byahilo will be in Dumaguete and Feb 3-5 in Siquijor! The 2 provinces are just 45 minutes away from each other by ferry.

This would be his 40th province to visit in the Philippines! WOW! We have a total of around 80 provinces here in the Philippines (It was 81 before but Shariff Kabunsuan was dissolved last year). He also said that 3 out of the 5 weekends this January 2010, he is out of town.
Image from Mozcom

Byahilo's passion for travel started way back when he was still in 2nd year high school. He asked for an Iloilo trip as a birthday gift from his mom. Below are some of the questions I asked...

Top 3 must go places in the Philippines according to Byahilo:
1. Batanes
2. Iloilo City
3. Coron, Palawan

According to him, the top 3 might change a bit after his travel to El Nido. I've been fortunate enough to have stayed at El Nido's Lagen resort last 2005 and I personally think that El Nido would make it to Byahilo's top 3 list in the future. :)

Top 3 Best Beaches in the Philippines according to Byahilo:
1. Boracay
2. Coron, Palawan
3. Malamawi island, Basilan

The 3rd one must be a hidden gem! This is the first time I heard that place.

Top 3 Romantic Places here in the Philippines according to Byahilo: (Fit for the upcoming Valentines day)
1. Tagaytay City
2. Cebu City
3. Baguio City

Do check out the Tagaytay link above. Anton, founder of Our Awesome Planet made that post. It's called "Secrets of Tagaytay".

3 places that you wouldn’t actually think that you were in the Philippines according to Byahilo:
1. Batanes
2. Coron
3. Vigan

After winning that ticket to Batanes, I immediately checked some photos of it. It does look like you are in New Zealand! I love it!!! I'll be going there for sure. I just don't know when yet.

His most expensive trip was his Bacolod trips. This doesn’t mean that Bacolod is expensive. He said that it became costly because he knows the place by heart. Meaning, he knows where to eat, what to eat, where to go and what to do. But generally, Bacolod isn’t expensive. Maybe on the part 2 of this interview, I could ask him to make a 4-day itinerary for us? hehe

Cebu, on the other hand is one of the most expensive in terms of transport means. The reason behind is, he travels using cabs or taxis. According to him, the Jeepney routes there are super confusing compared to the ones in Metro Manila.

In Manila according to him, we have cubao ibabaw cubao ilalim or baclaran. In Cebu, they have 21b, 16F or 22B! Talk about numbers! They might be attempting to pattern the transport routes of Hong Kong, Shanghai or others where routes are called by numbers.
Bus in Shanghai China, number coded. I miss riding my bus route, 537.

His worst experience flying was last 2008. He was on his way to Tacloban and upon arriving at the check-in counter in NAIA, he was denied to travel and he was told that his flight was cancelled. Read more about it in his blog:

His worst experience traveling was his recent Roxas City trip just last December 2009.

We went there last december because we were supposed to visit Olotayan island. Upon arriving in the port, the coast guard discouraged us to go there because the places according to him has undeveloped and ugly. Instead of promoting the said city/province, He said, "Go to boracay or in Concepcion in iloilo. The beaches there are way better." We went to Roxas City because we were going to attend the western visayas tourism assembly.

Top 3 Must go and do in the Philippines according to Byahilo:

1. Iloilo - For the rich cultural heritage and to taste the authentic Ilonggo dishes like la paz batchoy, and pancit molo.

2. Bacolod - It's food are one of the best in the Philippines. It is a prograssive and well developed city, but at the same time, they have retained the old-world "probinsya" (province) charm. Life is still laid back despite the presence of shopping malls and Starbucks in Bacolod.

3. Dumaguete - Known as the city of Gentle People. Also known for its Boulevard and the Silliman university. Aside from that, there are a lot more things to do and explore in Dumaguete. It also has one of best tasting Sans Rival and home to the Chicken Inato (Dgte's Version of the Inasal). Apo island is a must-dive destination and the dolphin and whale watching in Bais is a must do.

With regards to Fiestas, according to him, the Dinagyang festival is the hardest one to shoot/ cover because of their very fast movements. Watch the Youtube video below:

Wait for the Part 2 interview :)

Must Read Philippine Travel Blogs:
Byahilo - Ito Ang Trip Ko!

Our Awesome Planet - Slice of Manila's Hidden Places. Food and Travel Secrets through Word-Of-Mouth. Shared through our Awesome Family Adventures.

WhenInManila - When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Manila...


Just Wandering - Wandering through the Philippines, Asia and Australia!

LetsGoSago - Join Sago in his travel and food adventures!

5 comments: said...

Wow Batanes! That's my top wanted destination followed by Davao, then Bohol.

I'm scheduled for Davao though on April 30 - May 2. :)

Vince said...

Nice! If we should take advice about traveling from anyone, it's probaby from Byahilo!

Tope said...

I was searching for places to go this valentines and I saw this. can you suggest a place in tagaytay sir? thanks

Gale said...

oooohhhh!!!!! I love Batanes! I've been there once. Very quiet and peaceful. Doesn't feel like you are in the Philippines. If given the chance, I'd go back there every summer!

cagayan de oro said...

Biyahilo features really cool places to visit in the Philippines and i must say, some are in my list as well. Visit Cagayan de Oro as well!