Off the Grid in Quirino

Brief Background
Quirino (capital: Cabarroguis) is a province in the Philippines named after its sixth president, Elpidio Quirino. It’s surrounded by different provinces which are why it is considered a landlocked province. Although Ilocano is widely spoken there, locals can converse well in Tagalog or Filipino and English.
With only a total area of 2,323 square kilometres and barely 190,000 residents, it may sound like there’s nothing much to do in this quaint province. But no, there are so many things to do here! Ready your backpacks!

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Av Eugene Alvin Villar (seav) – English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Lenke

How To Get There
Believe it or not, Quirino is rarely mentioned in travel blogs and sites. Because of its geographical location, it is generally off the tourist radar.

Your first option would be to take a bus from Metro Manila. You will have to catch the late night trip so you’ll get to the town of Maddela the next morning (yes, you’ll have to sleep on the bus). This is the most economical way of getting there.

If time is of the essence and the budget is not an issue, take an hour flight (Cebu Pacific Air) to Cauayan Airport in Isabela, a town next to Quirino. Get off the plane, and find a van that will take you Cabarroguis. This land trip will take another hour to an hour and a half.

If you are not able to book a ticket to Cauayan, hop on an hour flight to Tuguegarao (Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines) and then hop on a van to Quirino. This will take three hours.

There’s no easy way to get to this place, but it’s so worth it!

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By P199Sariling gawa, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Getting Around Quirino
If you’re a laidback type of person who likes to immerse what locals do, Quirino should be on your bucket list. There are no car, motorcycle or bicycle rentals, however, you can ride a jeepney to get to your destination (yes, even to the remote mountainous areas!)

What To Do In Quirino

Eat. Eat. Eat – With all those hours you spent on travelling to Quirino, be sure to try their delicious local delicacies (this will give you enough energy for your other activities, too). Enjoy some “igado” and “Pancit Batil Patung” for lunch, dinakdakan for dinner (or anytime of the day, tbh!) and some “Royal Tubikoy” or “inandila” for dessert or afternoon snacks. And “water” them down with “tapuy.” No, we won’t tell you what they are. You have to try them!

Go spelunking – Aglipay cave has a 37-chamber cave system, 8 of which were developed for caving for enthusiasts (from basic to super challenging).

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Visit Nagtipunan – Nagtipunan, a town where part of the Cagayan River is located, is not only perfect for boating and swimming. Here you can enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle and unleash your outdoorsy side! This place is great for camping, trekking, rock climbing, fishing, and rafting.

See the waterfalls – Quirino may not have beaches, but it is definitely blessed with so many waterfalls. Before you get to bathe in these amazing falls, you have to be up for a little bit of hiking and trekking (well, maybe not a little). List down Pensal Falls, Mabo Falls, Nantugaw Falls, Sinipit Falls, Maddela Falls, Junuan Falls, Victoria Falls, and Mactol Falls on your journal for when you visit Quirino!

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Sit back and relax at Landingan Viewpoint – Two words: breathtaking scenery. A view deck is available where you can see perpetual greens. That is green plains surrounded by green mountains after green mountains against the blue skies. The view is so beautiful and the air is so fresh you just want to stay quiet and be in one with nature (and maybe imagine yourself paragliding).

Visit Siitan River – Balasyan canoes will take you on a quiet yet enjoyable river cruise at Siitan River. If prefer to get your feet (or yourself) in the water, rent an inflated tube and allow yourself to be drifted away by the calm waters of this river. This place is so picturesque you’d think you’re on a movie set!

If you like to learn more about Philippines or secret hideouts in the world, reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com and we’ll be glad to guide you.


mish
Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

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Going on a Trip? Go Green!

In reality, travelling adds up to the world’s already increasing carbon footprint. Some say that NOT travelling is the best way to travel. But is that even possible? People will always need and want to travel somewhere but you can do your part by making sure your expedition is as green as possible. So here are 10 helpful tips that will make your travel greener.

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Choose the mode of transportation wisely.
If you can ride a bike to go around the place or walk to your itinerary or to the nearest restaurant, then do it. It will do your body and the environment good. However, if travelling from point A to point B requires a vehicle ride, check if public transportation is available first.

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Your choice of accommodation matters.
When planning a trip, check if eco-friendly properties are available in your destination. Also, when staying at a property, limit the use of the air conditioning system if possible and consider reusing your hotel towels if applicable. Make sure to unplug and turn off devices when leaving the room to save energy.

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Eat local.
Where you choose to dine has a veiled impact on the environment. Choose restaurants or food places that serve local produce and seafood. Carbon emission from transporting goods is reduced and small-scale fishing is less damaging compared to industrial fishing.

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Carry your own water bottle and reusable bag.
If we do not make a conscious effort to avoid single use plastic as much as possible, we will surely be swimming in a sea of plastic pretty soon. Have a drink ready with your reusable bottle and be ready to shop with your eco-friendly bag.

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Use reef-friendly sunblock.
Many do not know, several sunblock brands use harmful chemicals. These chemicals are not only harmful to humans, but also to marine life. Help protect the seas and use only the good ones.

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Ditch the animal shows or any attraction that involves wild animals being held captive. Dolphins, orcas, whales, elephants, tigers, and lions belong in the wild. If they are kept in cages, they lose their natural instincts and develop abnormal behaviour, causing them to grow weak and eventually die. Animals are important and should be respected.

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Do not touch wildlife.
Being picked up, or fed needlessly can cause stress to wild animals. And remember, before you set out to roam around, that lotion or hand moisturiser you applied can be harmful to animals. Also, that flower or plant may be beautiful to look at, but resist the temptation to touch or remove it.

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Leave footprints, not trash.
Wherever your destination is–be it Singapore or Sao Paolo–respect the place and its people by not leaving your trash anywhere. Be conscious of the locale’s waste segregation and recycling policies as well.

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Take pictures, not animals or plants.
Aside from photographs, there are other travel keepsakes available. When buying souvenirs, make sure to buy ones that are not made from animal body parts or endangered plants.

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Volunteer.
Plan ahead and research if there is an upcoming event in your destination that needs volunteers. Check if there is a coastal cleanup or tree-planting activity that you and your friends can participate in. It not only helps mother earth, it can also be very fulfilling.

So there you go folks. We hope you can use these tips (and even add more ideas to it) to make your trip eco-friendly. It’s always a good idea to travel and care for mother earth at the same time, right?

If you love to find out more on how we can plan your trip and go green at the same time, reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com.


mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Best Nature Picture Perfect Backdrops in Asia

When it comes to photoshoots, Mother Earth have so many natural backdrops that wow us, it is impossible to just pick just 10 out of thousand fascinating sceneries. So, for this article, I only choose representatives, well-known or hidden gems, from each destination in Asia for nature-savvy folks like me. Get ready to pleasure your photogenic souls with these favourites.

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1. Panjin Red Beach, China
I know China is an amazing country and she isn’t lack of white sanded beaches. Pay a visit to the magnificent red beach, the unique red carpet colour due to the special seaweed, growing on this salty delta land. I promise you it will change your definition of beach forever. Best time to capture this wonder is during Autumn, when they started to turn red, be aware of the crowd, though.

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2. Cổ Thạch beach, Vietnam
Another unusual beach for movie-like shots is located in Tuy Phong, 90km from Phan Thiet. The well-hidden beach is covered with the most colourful small stones in various shapes. If you find stone banks and giant rocks are magnificent, this is the must-see destination for you. Tip: visit this beach in March- April for alien-like photos: when the rocks are covered with green moss, blended with crystal water, the sunset at this place is simply beyond words.

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3. Kelimutu crater lakes, Indonesia
Are you obsessed with magic and want your photo to have some magical touch without any touch ups using Photoshop? You have just come to right place! On top of a volcano, there are 3 lakes, with different colours that change with the seasons that is believed due to the residence of after-life spirits . The iconic lakes were once featured on Indonesia currency.

4. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
There is something about the massive rocks that always catch my attention. The spectacular and well reserve cliff are truly amazing. From the way down to all the way up, there are hundreds of spots for you to take photos. If you are willing to climb to the top, you will be rewarded with the extraordinary paranormal view of Sri Lanka.

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5. Padang Pasir at Pantai Klebang, Melaka, Malaysia
What do you know about Malaysia? Yes, I’m sure we are all familiar with the stunning white-sand beaches, exotic tropical forests of the “truly Asia”. Do you know that there is a desert-like spot in this country? Actually, Padang Pasir is a white sand dune near to the beach, photos taken here can be easily mistaken for those in the real desert in Abu Dhabi.

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6. Rice terraces and hill tribes, Sapa, Vietnam
As one of the most favourite spots for honeymooners, the rice terraces make you feel peaceful in the most ordinary way. Visit this top north area, indulge yourself at the laid-back Sapa town and let the ethnic group local here leads you to their wonders. I’m sure the saying “inspiration comes from the ordinary” is absolutely true.

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7. Shibazakura, Hokkaido, Japan
Japan, I know, you know, the tiny island with splendid landscapes across the country. If you want to catch something as fascinated as sakura blooming, consider visiting Hokkaido during May and June, when the Shibazakura festival is held. The vast hill covered by pink carpet made up of the blossoming flowers, ensure you get a stunning jaw-dropping photo.

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8. Tavan Bogd Mountain, Mongolia
Experienced the nomadic lifestyle, and get your breathtaking scenes all over this perfect picture country. Allow yourself blending into the mother nature and let her inspire the artist in you. One thing I’m afraid is that you will be so overwhelmed by the beauty that you might forget to capture them!

9. Ghanche District, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan
The media definitely exposes you enough with the chaos in Pakistan but failed to mention how beautiful the country has to offer. Yes, what you seeing is not in Canada or any Europe country but rather a small town in Pakistan. Plan your visit in Autumn and enjoy the beautiful yellow fallen leaves along the road, above your head, and under your feet.

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10. Palawan, The Philipines
Finally, back to the classic, turquoise water, dazzling white sand, the underground river, massive cliff, I’m taking you to the newly-claim “World Nature of Wonders”, Palawan. Ensure to get a waterproof camera here if you wish to have the underwater world as your perfect backdrop.

Set your camera right, pick the perfect season, explore the goddess settings and learn to treasure the mother Earth’s gifts. Join us for more than just reading content off our website, we can bring you to the ends of Earth for the most beautiful sights feast upon your eyes, just askus@ladyredot.com.


 

june June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

The Benefits of Traveling Solo

Travelling is, undeniably, beneficial to everyone. It can be fun and life changing at the same time.

Nowadays, it has become very popular and more people are going on trips than ever before. But the question is, how do we make the experience even more worthwhile? Should we go in groups? Or is it best to travel solo? A lot of people say travelling with a group of friends is better, but a portion of the world’s population thinks otherwise. They say going solo is actually as beneficial or even better! Why?

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Going on a solo trip is, admit it, easy to plan. Personally, I’ve had numerous travel plans that fell through just because one of my friends who initially decided to go, suddenly changed her mind. And I don’t know about you guys, but with my friends, if one expresses hesitation about the trip, a couple of others will be disheartened and will eventually decide not to go, too. Being a damper on the fun can be contagious.

Bummer, right?

Well, when you travel alone, you’re the master of your own schedule and this won’t happen!

Do anything you like. Go anywhere you want.

When you travel solo, you can do whatever you like without the hassle of asking for somebody’s opinion, and without waiting for someone’s approval. Spur-of-the-moment ideas are always possible! And the best part is, you don’t have to go through the process of arguing where to eat and where to go next, right? (Which normally happens when in a group)

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Well, when you travel alone, you’re still going to need help from different people. Asking for directions, asking locals where to eat or what transportation to take can be stepping-stones to new relationships.

“Me time” is always a good time. Every once in a while, we have to be alone and one with nature. It’s a good way to relax and think of your goals and aspirations. The tranquillity can also help you realise things you have not thought of in the past.

Stepping out of your comfort zone makes you stronger. Challenging yourself and doing things that you never thought you would do are some of the things that will help you improve yourself. So if you have always been terrified of travelling alone, it’s time you consider the idea. As they say, you will never know what you are capable if you do not try.
Whether you’re 18 or 80, there is always something you have yet to discover about yourself. There can be self-discovery moments in doing things alone, in an isolated bubble, away from the unsolicited opinions of other people. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself in the process!

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You can be yourself, and no one will judge you. When you travel, you will be surrounded by people who do not know you. You can do whatever you want (of course, without disrespecting their culture) and be the best version of yourself because, although the strangers you bump into may judge you, you won’t even care.

Experience is the best teacher. Travelling solo will help you learn things and see them in a different perspective. You also will also learn to appreciate life more and realise that although it never runs out of obstacles, it is beautiful.

Over here in LadyRedot, we will make sure you are well taken off in our hands. Reach out to us at askus@ladyredot.com now!


 

mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Going Unplugged!

Let’s talk about something fun and to look forward to. What else but a holiday, of course! Many of you read the articles I wrote and commented to me that you wanted so much to take a break but every time, you ended up not enjoying your holiday because you will always be checking your phone, or reading your emails or updating your Calendar etc. So put your mobiles, iPads and laptops aside and get ready to take the plunge – Going Unplugged.

  1. The Meridian Club Turks & Caicos

Watching the wonderful sunset from my room, enjoying the sea breeze caressing my hair without a care in the world. According to the hotel website here, they ban phone usage in the hotel area and rooms and provides little internet access. Of course, during an emergency (we’re talking about your boss had pulled out all his hair or whatever left of it), you can still use your mobile in a designated area only.
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2. Bloomfield Lodge

G’day, mate! This wonderful secluded area is located in Queensland, Australia. The moment you step off the private plane, your mobile signal drops really low. It is definitely a good way to avoid calls from your pesky secretary. For more beautiful pictures of the lodge, come here.

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3. Campgrounded

This cool organisation offers camping trips for adults. Once you are there, you will be prohibited to use any electronic devices and you will also go without a watch. Zero technology. The best part is talking about work is strictly not allow. Imagine not having to listen to your partner gripping about work  for days! Ahhh… Bliss! Find out more here.

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4. Paya Beach Resort

My favourite beach resort in the world!! I have been a regular guest here just because they do not offer internet services in the room and their mobile signal is super low (one bar exactly). My boss often groan whenever I tell him I am going to Tioman retreat, he knows he couldn’t get me there and god knows, how often he tried. Love it here.

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5. Bagus Place

Another resort that I always wanted to try at Tioman is Bagus Place. There is no wifi, no air conditioned and only one restaurant opened on certain allocated times. The beauty of this place is that they truly bring you back to basic. Each of the huts are so isolated that you might not bump into your neighbours until meal times.

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Looks like I have just shared 5 gems that the world have been hiding from us! I’m sure there are more but these are my favourite getaways. Remember a holiday break means a break from everything. If you constantly check what’s new on FaceBook or what is showing on HBO, you never get the much-needed rest. Give your eyes (tiny words on a tinier mobile screen), your ears (from the ‘ding’ arrival Whatsapp sound), your heart (from boiling in anger that some bugger screws your latest project) and your mind a well-deserved break. After all, your boss can’t fault you for not answering emails when you are so far away.

Love these locations or do you have somewhere better? I love to hear from you! Remember, I am just an email away.


Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com