TREKKING, CLIFF JUMPING & SWIMMING IN TANGADAN FALLS, SAN GABRIEL, LA UNION

Almost every three months, my Dubai-based brother and I would spend quality time together by visiting a destination that we have not yet been to. #BROSontheROAD.

San Juan, La Union Road Sign
Surfing Area Road Sign, San Juan, La Union

Last April 2018, we went to San Juan, La Union with our mom and aunt who both opted to stay in the hotel room most of the time. On the other hand, my brother and I spent most of the time outside as expected.

On our first day, we went frolicking in San Juan’s Surf Town. I will post another blog about how we spent our day in San Juan. That night, I suggested that we go check out Tangadan Falls the next day. My brother said he would rather just stay in San Juan. I said “Okay, I am going anyway.”

I guess he felt I was so determined to go even by my lonesome. That is why the next day he woke me up and told me he was tagging along to explore San Gabriel and check out Tangadan Falls.

Trivia: I was told that San Gabriel is Vice Ganda’s hometown. 🙂

Below is the short #BROSontheROAD Travel Video featuring Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union. We went trekking, cliff jumping and swimming.

For better definition, you can watch the travel video posted on Youtube below instead:

There is also an IG TV version. Watch it below:

 

Getting To Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union

Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel Entrance, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Our Mom and Auntie in front of Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

We were billeted in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Just outside the hostel was a tricycle queue. We hired a tricycle to bring us to and from Tangadan Falls’ Jumping-Off Point  for P 500 or P 250 per head. I guess we got a good deal already since getting to San Gabriel would normally take about 45 minutes worth of gas tops and tricycle fare would be P 300 per person.

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We wore comfortable clothes and footwear and put on a generous amount of sunblock and insect repellent.   We left Flotsam and Jetsam at 8:15 AM. We got to the jumping-off point to meet our tour guide, Leo, at about 9 AM.

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It was an hour-trek to the cliff jumping point. Although, it was fairly an easy and enjoyable trek, I must say that one must be fit and ready for an hour of walking, climbing and crossing streams. Bringing the kids and elderly members of the family along may not be a good idea.

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There was also a resting area where snacks and refreshments were being sold.

Tangadan Falls Trek Vendor

Upon reaching the cliff jumping point, I immediately assembled my drone to get some aerial footage. My brother, on the other hand, did not waste time and went straight for the cliff and jumped into the water. I needed to stop whatever I was doing to capture his jump on video.

After ten minutes of flying, I packed my drone and jumped off the cliff to get underwater footage.

I would have wanted to stay a bit longer to get more photos for my Instagram feed but my brother was in a hurry and was already giving me the look. By 9:30 AM, we were back on the trail to the main attraction of San Gabriel, the Tangadan Falls. I asked my brother what was bothering him. He said he was worried that we would not be able to make it back on time to the hotel for check-out. Our check-out time was 11 AM.

At the rate we were going, I highly doubted we would make it back on time. But this I kept to myself and tried my best to entertain him in between climbing rocks and crossing streams. I told him not to worry in that our aunt can handle the check-out process. I also told him that I would advise our aunt via SMS that we might be running late and that she would have to just wait for us to get back. By the way, our Mom left early in the morning. She could not be away from her fur-babies for too long. Tough luck, there was no telecommunication signal in the area and was not able to advise our aunt just the same. LOL.

After 20 minutes, we reached Tangadan Falls. We paid the Environmental Fee of P 30 per person. I unpacked my drone for some #dronescapade while my brother… well… jumped immediately into the water.

My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Life vests for rent for P 50, Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Life vests for rent for P 50.
Tangadan Falls Souvenirs
Souvenirs for sale onsite.

My brother, ever since, has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up. And so, he swam away in Tangadan Falls and completely forgot about the check-out time. LOL. We stayed in Tangadan Falls for almost two hours.

Swimming in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
My brother has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up.

On the way back to the jumping-off point, we opted to rent a habal habal (motorcycle) for P 250 each. However, we had to do another twenty-minute trek to get to the pick-up point. Talk about delaying self-gratification. The trek to the pick-up point was quite challenging. It was a steep climb. I was literally gasping for air on the way up.

Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Raft or balsa for rent for P 250 per hour

The motorcycle ride back to the jumping-off point was another highlight of this trip. The concrete-paved road was narrow and full of peaks and troughs. It was like riding a roller coaster. I had fun being the adrenaline junkie that I am. The only downside was… well, we were not given crash helmets to wear. Perhaps, this is something that the local tourism office should address to ensure the safety of tourists.

Paved narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point
Paved and narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point.

We arrived at the jumping-off point by 12:30 PM where the same tricycle and driver were waiting. By the time we got back to Flotsam and Jetsam, it was already 1 PM. True enough, our aunt single-handedly managed to bring out all our stuff from the room, did the whole check-out process and was cozily waiting for us at the reception area. Thanks, auntie Bing!

Not all road trips with my brother is smooth sailing. Just like any siblings, we would bicker a lot and agree to disagree (NOT). I must say though that every road trip with him is memorable and always an opportunity to get to know each other more. He will be coming home this month. We have not yet finalized where we will be going to next but I am sure we will both have a grand time.

Screen Shot of  Jem's Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Screen Shot of Jem’s Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

 

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Me with our tour guide, Kuya Leo, in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

Signing out for now. Peace!

PORTO LAIYA | SEASIDE LUXURY LIVING

Me with fellow male blogger friends doing a tableau by the beach
Me with fellow male blogger friends doing a tableau by the beach of Porto Laiya in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Last month, I got to spend a day with blogger friends in Porto Laiya, another prestige project from the developer of Mount Malaraya Golf & Country Club– considered as one of the top golf courses in the world. Porto Laiya is a private residential and beach resort community in Brgy. Ibabao, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.

Below is a video clip that I prepared and posted on my Facebook Page featuring Porto Laiya:

For high definition, view this Youtube post:

The pick-up time was six am on a weekday in McDonald’s EDSA-Buendia branch in Makati City. I live in Cubao and for me to make it on time, I needed to be on the road by 5 AM to avoid the rush hour traffic to the Central Business District of Metro Manila. I have not had any proper sleep after long hours of editing a number of video projects and was feeling under the weather.

At 5 AM, I was still in bed and messaged my blogger friend Erica Poyauan of www.thegirlwiththemujihat.com if she was already on her way. She said she was having second thoughts because she, too, was feeling sick. We checked online again to find out more about Porto Laiya. In no time, I was in the shower preparing for another day of swimming, snorkeling and basking in the sun! Erica and I agreed that we should just go and enjoy! By six in the morning, I was already drinking coffee and had just finished my Sausage McMuffin in McDonald’s EDSA-Buendia branch while Erica… well… was nowhere in sight. She was still on her way, stuck in a horrendous traffic somewhere. She made it in the nick of time nonetheless.

By 7:30-ish in the morning, I was already inside the Active Group‘s van plying EDSA with the other bloggers and real estate agents. I rode shotgun with my backpack of equipment and drone. Hence, I pretty much was quiet and slept through the whole three-hour or so road trip.

The Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (also known as the STAR Tollway and CALABARZON Expressway)
The Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (also known as the STAR Tollway and CALABARZON Expressway)
Porto Laiya Road Signs
Porto Laiya Road Sign- STAR Tollway Ibaan Exit

It was a smooth and easy ride to Batangas. As we rolled towards Porto Laiya, I could not help my excitement to build up because of the Porto Laiya road signs that darted the road side starting from the STAR Tollway Ibaan Exit up to Porto Laiya’s Main Gate.

Porto Laiya is a 37-hectare piece of land comprised of commercial and residential lots.
Lot sizes range from 264 sqm to 508 sqm. The Phase I residential development of Porto Laiya has a total of 359 lots with sizes ranging from 240 sqm to 478 sqm. Phase II has 304 lots with sizes ranging from 214 to 703 sqm.
Lot prices range from Php 8,400 per sqm to Php 15,000 per sqm. The last remaining commercial/residential lot is 1, 354 sqm at Php 15,000 per sqm. Prices may change without prior notice.

Features and Amenities:

  • Landscape entrance gate with guardhouse
  • Concrete roads and gutters
  • Underground drainage system
  • Water tank and water distribution system
  • Electric post and power distribution
  • Basketball Court
  • Multi-Purpose Hall
  • 400 Meters Beach front

If you want to invest in a commercial beachfront property or want to enjoy the best of seaside living by being a residential subdivision owner, contact Marisse Tabor at +63-915-332-3193 and tell her you came across my blog. Marisse is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and she is willing and able to help you with your inquiries.

Upon arrival at the guardhouse, I could not help but be amazed by the Filipino-inspired contemporary international design of the property. I was in awe more so when we reached Tamarind Cove to register. Tamarind Cove is a privately-held club inside Porto Laiya.

Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya
Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya
Me at the Tamarind Cove in Porto Laiya
Me at the Tamarind Cove in Porto Laiya
Me having my peace and quiet in one of the huts in Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas
Huts by the beach in Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya
Huts in Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya

After lunch, it was time to enjoy the sun, sand and sea. We put on our swimming attires and went beachcombing for some Instagram shots.

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The last time I did a headstand was more than 2 years ago. I was so engrossed with work that I forgot to take care of myself, gained a lot of weight and became sedentary. Only to realize that I am more important than my job after getting a redundancy notice. My #roadtofitness does not only mean physical. It is more personal as I regain my confidence and belief in my capabilities and continue to search for my life's purrpose. Me attempting to do a headstand in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas #itsmorefuninthephilippines #choosephilippines #travelblogger #travelblog #wowphilippines #wanderer #wanderlust #pinoywanderer #pinoy #pinasmuna #laiya #batangas #followforfollow #follow4follow #followforfollowback #like4like #likeforfollow

A post shared by JOEL JAWS ANDRADA | B/Vlogger (@joeljawsandrada) on

Porto Laiya has a 400-meter long beach
Porto Laiya has a 400-meter long beach.

And then it was time to go out into the sea for snorkeling. Off the beach of Porto Laiya is a coral sanctuary. How convenient is that for Porto Laiya residents?

In no time, everyone got on the bamboo raft except me. I needed to fly my drone and take some aerial footage for my vlog. By the time I was done, my friends were already at sea. The daredevil in me said, “I cannot not be on that raft and miss seeing the corals of Laiya!” So I gathered all my strength, grabbed my action camera, put on my goggles, and swam towards the boat. Halfway, I looked into the horizon and saw the still small image of the boat and my friends. With the strong current, I thought I would not be able to make it. The boat was just too far. I looked back at the beach and did some mental calculations. If I go back, I would still swim the same distance, be dead tired and would spend the whole afternoon regretting not being able to see the Laiya reefs teaming with marine life. Darn, I would rather be tired and happy than be tired and sad. So for dear life, I paddled and swam. From a distance, I could already hear my friends cheering me on. It felt like I was in a swimming competition. LOL. “Oh goodness, my mom would kill me”, I thought. Thanks to my fellow blogger, Bette Medina for recording the whole thing on video. 

Upon reaching the boat, my friends were ecstatic. Erica was so nervous and even thought that I could not make it. I, myself, could not believe that I made it. LOL. Surprisingly, I did not feel exhausted at all after that dash of a swim. Thanks to the adrenaline rush. We wasted no time and spent the rest of the afternoon at sea communing with nature.

Me and Erica at sea.
Me goofing around with Gus
Erica striking a pose
Stolen shot of me looking far into the horizon
Erica pa-cute

After snorkeling, we went for a quick dip in the Infinity Pool of the Tamarind Cove for some more Instagram shots.

Me and Erica in the Infinity Pool of Tamarind Cove, Porto Laiya

I am glad I pushed through with visiting Porto Laiya. Aside from getting to see this wonder of a place and getting to enjoy its amenities, I was able to meet new blogger friends and reunite with old ones.

Porto Laiya, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas
Porto Laiya, Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Contact Marisse if you want to have a quick visit to Porto Laiya. You may also visit Porto Laiya’s Facebook Page here.

For information about the activities and rates in Tamarind Cove, click Erica’s blog here.

Signing out for now. Peace!

Me in the sun in Porto Laiya, San Juan, Batangas
Remember to wear sunscreen before going in the sun. Reapply every two hours or after swimming.

TRAVEL | ACUATICO BEACH RESORT VLOG 64

Pick-up time was six-thirty in the morning of November 28, Tuesday, in Shakeys Magallanes.  It was a weekday so it was best to leave Cubao early to avoid the rush hour. I left the house at 5:30 AM and was already at the pick-up point by about 6 AM. I saw fellow blogger Lariza Garcia waiting at Starbucks instead. So I went to join her.

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I brought with me my travel buddies: Canon DSLR and DJI Phantom, to properly document this adventure.

The van arrived by 7 AM or so. They got caught up in traffic coming from the first pick-up point in Malate. It was an almost three-hour van ride from Magallanes to Acuatico Beach Resort. Everyone was asleep except me during the ride.

Watch the vlog below: