Thursday, October 4, 2012

Family Walks: It's More Fun In The Philippines!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda




To celebrate the National Family Week last Saturday, our family joined in the LDS Deparo Ward FUN Walk. Dressed in red tee-shirts with logo, several families walked for a few kilometers from our Deparo Meetinghouse to Caltex Station while handing out Church pamphlets to those we passed by. It was such a fun time being able to walk again with my whole family, which we never thought was an option even for short distance here in Manila - because pollution and heat are such kill joy! 



But since our family considers "walkingas a great family bonding and aware of its health and social benefits, we always find opportunities to take a walk together when traveling around the Philippines. We are spoiled for choices in places known for cooler climate and unthinkably beautiful surroundings in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Family Walks in Luzon - PARADISE RANCH (1 Hour)


For our family reunion we held a nature's camp in  Paradise Ranch Nature and Conservation Park in the Sacobia Valley, just outside the Clark Expo gate. Within the 30 hectare facilities are several accommodations from villas to campsite,restaurant, cafes, picnic cabins, farmville, lake, swimming pool, butterfly gardens, bat caves, flower gardens, obstacle course, monkey feeding station, ostrich feeding station, aviary, safari waterfalls and prayer hill. 


To teach kids the importance of nature and its preservation, part of our activities include a leisurely walk on a paved road in the midst of mahogany trees and lush green grass checking out the beautiful gardens, bird enclosures and other lookouts. The walk was fun and took us about an hour to finish.

From our bahay kubo, we walked towards the obstacle course area, farmville, flower gardens, then to the butterfly garden where we listened to the guide about the several species of butterfly and the kids enjoyed catching butterflies along the way, then up to the Prayer Hill which afforded us a view of Clark and Pinatubo and down to the aviary, bat cave and back to our accommodation. 
Our Family guided tour is already included in our package rate but if you are not availing of package stay, Guided Tours which last about an hour  cost P100  per group of up to 10 persons. 


For other memorable family walks, check our Jungle Trekking in JEST Camp, Subic Olongapo featured as one of the adventures on a cheap in August 2012 PTB Blog Carnival. We also had family walks in Tagaytay,  Batangas and in our province in Vinzons, Camarines Norte.

Family Walks in Visayas - CEBU TAOIST TEMPLE 
      (10 - 15 Minutes)
"Cebu Taoist Temple was built in 1972 by Cebu's substantial Chinese 
community. The temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion 
which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi."
While we were in Cebu City, we stayed at the Patron House inside the temple compound of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (where we are members) in Gorordo Avenue, Brgy. Lahug. I learned that the Cebu Taoist Temple, one of Cebu's tourist spots is in Beverly Hills, a posh subdivision in Brgy. Lahug and is near our accommodation. Since we were 19 (10 kids and 9 adults) and the only service vehicles there are habal habal, we decided to explore on foot with the whole family. 

" We walked along paved but winding road  for about 10-15 minutes .
Since the temple 
has an elevation of 300 meters above sea level and a towering,
multi-tiered, multi-hued attraction
, you can have a good view while walking."
We left our accommodation at past 4 in the afternoon and crossed the road from our temple gate. The view was plain before we reached the paved and well maintained Canon Road of the subdivision but it got better when we made it out to the gate. As soon as we were about 20 meters past the gate, we can already see the Temple and took lotza of pictures. There's an intersection up ahead, turn left and continue walking along the slopes down and uphill until you get to the Temple to your left. There's no entrance fee and the Temple is open from 8am to 5pm. The total walk was only about 10-15 minutes on a slow pace. 

"Cebu Taoist Temple entrance is a replica of the Great Wall of China
The temple includes a chapel, a library, a souvenir shop and a wishing well. 
The spacious balconies offer a scenic view of the downtown Cebu"
"At the spacious balcony of the Taoist Temple showing its neighboring
Phu Sian Temple which is not open to the public."
Family Walks  in Mindanao - DAPITAN CITY (1 Hour)


My brothers and I followed our national hero's steps in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte as part of the Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail last February 2012.  Out of the 27 sites featured in the Rizal @150 Passport, six (6)  are found in Dapitan and all are reachable on foot. 
From the Rizal Shrine, we walked along Santa Cruz beach, a symbol of Christianity since 1607 when Jesuit priest F. Pascual Acuna arrived in Dapitan and baptized the natives.  Here we found the statue of  Rizal's disembarking from the ship that brought him to Dapitan to be exiled.

Casa Real, City Plaza of Dapitan,St. James Church and Relief Map of Mindanao
From our accommodation in Jose Rizal Memorial University hotel, we took a tricycle to Rizal Shrine in Brgy. Talisay and had a wonderful guided walking tour of the 16 hectare land and the casas (houses) built by our national hero for an hour or so. Then we took another tricycle to Santa Cruz beach and strolled around the beach to and fro Dr. Jose Rizal disembarkation point, then proceeded to the City Plaza of Dapitan for another walking tour of the Mindanao Relief Map, St. James Cathedral and Catholic Rectory and Casa Real.


Indeed, Family Walks: It's More Fun In the Philippines!





This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for October 2012 with the theme "Our Most Memorable Walking Tour" hosted by Glenn Martinez our Traveler On FootCheck out the previous blog carnival topics in Estan Cabigas' Pinoy Travel Bloggers Blog Carnival.


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