Philippine Mountain Vacations
Witness the vast expanse of nature's splendor under the spell of cool mountain breeze. A perfect setting for romance or nature tripping, the country's mountain villages serve as a perfect hideaway from the lowlands' summer heat.
Baguio City Mountain Vacation
Rising 1,500 meters above the sea, Baguio City enjoys a relatively cool weather throughout the year. On the average, Baguio is at least eight degrees cooler than any place in the lowlands. Not surprisingly, Baguio has become the "summer capital" of the country.
This mountain vacation destination is awarded with a variety of cultural, historical and scenic attractions which make it an important and interesting destination. As early as March, tourists and locals take the six-hour trek up the zigzagging Kennon Road. Within a mile of the city, the sweet scent of pine trees and flowers already permeate the air.
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Designed by Daniel Burnham during the American occupation, Baguio City is situated in the midst of pine-covered hills and valleys at the southern end of the Cordillera. Among its popular attractions are the well-manicured lawns of Club John Hay, the Mansion House and the Burnham Park.
From Baguio City, one can proceed to the Banaue Rice Terraces, also considered as the eighth wonder of the world. An engineering marvel, this "Stairways to the Sky" was constructed by hand by the Ifugaos.
Tagaytay Mountain Vacation
With an altitude of 2,250 feet above sea level, Tagaytay City enjoys a cool climate all year round. This mountain vacation city is perched on a ridge is located in the province of Cavite, some 56 kilometers south of Manila. It overlooks Manila Bay on the north, Taal Lake and Taal Volcano on the south, Laguna Bay on the east and the China Sea on the west. The city is linked to the Metropolitan Manila and the province of Batangas by the Aguinaldo Highway.
Among the mountain vacation attractions is the Tagaytay Picnic Grove where one can get an unobstructed view of Taal Volcano, which lies within a lake. Taal Volcano, which rises 406 meters from the lake, is reputedly the world's smallest volcano.
Taal Lake itself is an immense body of water formed when the old crater collapsed and the walls of the larger volcano caved in and sank. A visit to the Volcano Island can be arranged through the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Quezon City which maintains a monitoring station on the island.
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For visiting tourists, support facilities are readily available in this idyllic city. Tagaytay is the "sister" city of Las Vegas and Nevada, U.S.A; Tainan City, Taiwan; and Bankstown City, New South Wales, Australia.
The year was 2002, and I've only started mountain hiking.
Back in the summer of that year I only had two climbs under my belt ? Arayat in Pampanga and Batulao in Batangas ? so I still didn't fully appreciate the natural beauty of these towering gems.
That is, until I saw Mt. Makulot.
Sagada Mountain Vacation
Sagada is a Mountain Province town, situated west of Bontoc, which offers cool weather and spectacular sceneries. A pastoral upland valley, Sagada provides an endless expanse of mountain ranges which are clothed by fogs in the early morning.
Among the mountain vacation attractions are towering limestone cliffs, subterranean caves and unexplored forests. Some of Sagada's caves remain unconquered. Because of their length and depth, Sagada's natives believe that these caves lead to the center of the Earth.
Other mountain vacation sites to visit in Sagada are the Kitongan bottomless pit and underground river, Calvary Hill, Bukong Falls and Alipine Lake Banao. Sagada has accommodation facilities and can be reached by public buses from Banaue in Ifugao province or from Baguio City.
Banahaw Mountain Vacation
Another popular destination, specially during the Lent period, is Mount Banahaw, an extinct volcano which rises 2,100 meters above sea level.
Banahaw towers over the southeastern towns of Laguna and Quezon. Revered as a mystical mountain, Banahaw has become a sanctuary for different religious cults.
Up on Banahaw's leafy slopes live members of various religious sects who adhere to what seems to be a mixture of Catholicism, Buddhism, the cabala, animism and other forms of pagan worship.
Down below, in the foothill towns, dwell amulet-makers, soothsayers, faith healers, diviners and dedicated UFO watchers. Banahaw comes alive during the Lent when various religious sects re-enact the passion of Jesus Christ.
People ascend to Mount Banahaw to experience its cool weather, bathe in its hot springs or simply stand amazed at the sight of nature's beauty. Mount Banahaw can be reached from both east and west. From the east, the ascent starts in Lucban, Quezon, while from the west, in Dolores, Laguna. For both climbs, it is advisable to have a guide to ensure a safe trip.
Sourced and adapted from the Book of Pinoy Facts & Records
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