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The Hyped Wonder of Daang Kalikasan in Mangatarem

Daang Kalikasan Mangatarem Chesz Dylan

Rarely do I go to the trending places featured in social media? That’s because it’s either too far or I can’t afford to. Traveling is one of my hobbies that I would like to explore more. For years, I was stuck in some places due to my work overseas, so I wasn’t able to travel. However, now that I am able and I have the time, it’s my finances that are limiting me not to. So, traveling is both a struggle and a luxury for me, at this point.

Signage before going to the View Deck

There are natural wonders and historical locations near me. That is something I can definitely be proud of. That is something I can afford to go to as I have the means. Recently, there is this trending spot that took social media by storm. With a lot of good reviews from both travelers, riders, and locals, you will find yourself wanting to see this viral natural beauty located at one of the mountainous regions in Pangasinan.

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Daang Kalikasan Mangatarem

A 5-hour drive from Manila and home to one of the best-produced exports of the Philippines, the mangoes. Thus, the Ilokano coined “Manga ken Tirem”, meaning mango and oyster, got the name of Mangatarem. With natural rainforests, enchanting hills, and scenic terrains, it’s no wonder why this wonderland got the attention of tourists and netizens.

Daang Kalikasan, a 54-kilometer road stretching near Mangatarem town proper to its neighboring province Zambales, has some fascinating hills to tease the growing local tourism and foreigners in the country. A natural wonder with airy sunny weather for almost the entire year, the blue sky and the landscapes that are molded by zigzag roads along the rough hills make up the hype.

Going to Daang Kalikasan

Depending on where you will come from, you can easily find your destination without any confusion. Whether you take the route from Zambales, bus trip directly from Manila, or coming from the North, it’s entirely a straight road. So easy! However, once you reached your destination, you are cautioned to take an extra measure as the Daang Kalikasan boundary is mainly a steep, sharp curved mountainous slope. Similar, if not elevated to the road in Baguio. And if you are lucky riding in a nice brand of the vehicle with a powerful engine, you won’t have to walk the steep slope towards the Daang Kalikasan View Deck where most of the tourists park their cars and the highlight of the landmark.

View at the second summit

The scenic spot is still under construction as there are no amenities, toilets, hotels, and restaurants present or near the area. Due to the flock of local tourists, the fad made an astonishing record but somewhat a disappointing experience once you are there. Disappointing in the sense that the place might have a lot to offer but there are constructions going on.

It will take some time before it will become a tourist getaway. In the meantime, you can climb the hills and take pictures of the valleys and terrains. An Instagrammable-worthy background for your next profile picture. But there is a catch, you have to climb the steep with a lot of sweat and dirt. You will have to catch your breath and drink a lot of water before reaching the top. There are three summits that you can climb, but recently they closed one summit for renovation. So, if you think you are an adventurous type of person, willing to climb a hill, then Daang Kalikasan is definitely for you.

  • Daang Kalikasan

See also: The Beauty in the Far Province

Temporarily Closed

As of the memorandum from the Local Government Unit (LGU), Daang Kalikasan was temporarily closed for the public. This is to address and fasten the ongoing construction on the site to cater to the growing numbers of the crowd. Just recently, there are two reported accidents as of this writing.

There is always this tranquility and peace when you go to this kind of place. The mountain view is something to admire especially for nature lovers. Where have you been lately for an outback adventure? Have you been to Daang Kalikasan? Tell us your experiences in the comments below.

My Little Venice In The Heart Of A City

Italy is one of the most iconic and romantic spots in the world. Venice, a city that captivated the world with its rich watery beauty, canals, and Venetian Gothic architecture. It’s when art meets the water world clashing together into a beautiful, live, panoramic canvas. Dubbed as the “Floating City”, it has a lot of canals and bridges built under wooden platforms enabling it to stay afloat, thus, the name.

Venice Piazza Mall, BGC

See also: The Beauty in the Far Province

Little Venice In The Philippines

Those canals that made Venice an eye-catching, romantic getaway of lovers and adventure seekers created its little home at the heart of Taguig, in the Philippines. Venice Piazza is the living replica of Venice, it’s a feast of a Venetian Gothic style and Architecture. It’s so stunning that you would honestly think that you have been transported to Italy yourself, or it could have been the other way around?

Going to Venice Piazza is not as complicated as it may seem. If you came from Pasig City, you could ride in jeepneys. Tell the driver to drop you at Signal or Signal Village. From there, you ride in a red color-coded tricycle terminal with signage going to C5 Waterfront. Once you reach the destination, the last vehicle you will ride is another jeepney going to McKinley.

There is also a route if you are coming from Guadalupe, Makati City. This is much easier than coming from Pasig City. At Guadalupe, you only need to ride a jeepney going to Housing McKinley traveling in Bayani Road. Tell the driver to drop you off at McKinley.

The place has its way of making you want to explore all its nook and cranny. Who would have thought such inspiration of a city would have its little abode in a bustling and busy strip in the metro? Who would have thought that such romantic escapade is possible in a tropical country of sun and monsoons? Not to mention a food haven in every corner you look.

Haven Of Food And Wall Artistry

The corridors and pavements are embellished with a lot of Gothic inspiration. The walls were designed to corroborate the view of real Venice in Italy. Situated within large buildings, it’s synchrony of both food and art that doesn’t just feed your appetite with the restaurants and bars on the side but lets you feast your eyes on the elaborate and meticulous placement of each crafted wall murals and design of the entire building and its surroundings. It caters to different taste buds and is a perfect hangout to unwind and fall in love with the arts.

Adding to the festive decorations were the colorful Christmas decors, the giant Christmas tree situated at the middle of the lagoon, and assorted flowers such as poinsettias were placed all over to feel the warmth of this coming Yuletide season.

See also: 8 Alternative Places To Spend Your Christmas In The Philippines

Video was taken at Venice Piazza Mall

Have you been to the Venice Piazza Mall in Bonifacio Global City? How was your experience? Let’s share the good vibes in the comment section.

4 Places to Visit this Independence Day 2021

Celebrating its 121-year of independence (Araw ng Kalayaan),  the Philippines has come a long way eversince it gained its sovereignity. Philippines has its share of rich culture and tradition. It has a diverse culture that originated from different colonizers that inhabited the island. The Philippines has been captive for centuries, thanks to the brave heroes that fought for its independence, Filipinos are now reaping the benefits of the freedom that was worth fighting for. Without these heroes like Jose Rizal – Philippines’ national hero, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Lapu-Lapu, Gregorio Del Pillar, Melchora Aquino, and Apolinario Mabini to name a few, Filipinos would probably be still enslaved. A history of bravery, unity and a sense of nationalism. These are just prelude to a hundred-year of history of the Philippines’ independence and national heritage.

Today, many Filipinos all over the world are remembering, if not celebrating that freedom. And what’s greater way to celebrate it is to visit those iconic and memorable places that contributed an impact to the Filipinos and to the world in remembrance of the sacrifices of these great heroes. Here are the four great places to visit this Independence Day to experience a glimpse of that chivalry and patriotism.

Philippine National Museum. What comes in mind in order to know the brief history of a country is to visit their national museum. Located at Manila, where you can take a walk near the famous Manila Bay afterwards, its strategic location is near the center of many establishments, the national park, and national facilities.

Source: Philippine National Museum

“The National Museum manages and develops the national reference collections in the areas of cultural heritage (fine arts, anthropology and archaeology) and natural history (botany, zoology,and geology and paleontology), and carries out permanent research programs in biodiversity, geological history, human origins, pre-historical and historical archaeology, maritime and underwater cultural heritage, ethnology, art history, and moveable and immoveable cultural properties.” – Philippine National Museum

To book a visit or support the museum’s cause, visit their website HERE.

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Luneta Park. The Philippines’ national park that commemorates the Filipinos’ national hero – Jose Rizal. Luneta Park (a.k.a Rizal Park) is not just a place where national activities are held. Filipino families gather here to enjoy and be amaze of the park that is located in the heart of a city. Surrounded by lush greeneries, and trees, it has a fountain that highlights the three great islands that comprises the Philippines. Children can enjoy the playground that was built by the government. There are amenities that caters the needs of each individuals. The iconic monument that is guarded 24/7, is the main attraction that attracts many visitors both local and foreign. Even the most important diplomats of other nations, paid a visit to this monument whenever they are in the Philippines.

Source: Wikipedia

Intramuros. The cobbled streets and Manila’s Walled City, this is the home of the Spanish-era landmarks that reflected the influence of imperialist Spain that once conquered the Philippines for centruries. Home to the famous Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church museum, Casa Manila museum and the Manila Cathedral. If you are a devote Catholic or has a fascination of Gothic Architecture, this is a must-see place for you and your family.


MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park. Located at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte, you can book a flight to Tacloban City from Manila and Cebu. The said memorial has a rich history between United States of America and the Philippines. Dubbed as the red beach, it symbolizes the blood drenched in the war against Japanese invading the island. This memorial national park commemorates the promise of General Douglas MacArthur with his reknowned phrase “I shall return”. The largest battle in the Gulf of Leyte, also known as the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the last marine battle during the World War II.

Source: Wikipedia

A unified country represents the unified ideals of its citizens. It resounds the intention of the government to its people, not in a form of dictatorship but through a good governance and leadership. These heroes heard the outcry of its fellowmen, thus, resulting to the fight for democracy. This Independence Day, let us commemorate the sacrifices of these heroes beyond merits and recognition, but going to these national historical places will allow us to know them better and experience the sense of nationalism they once had. Through this Memorial places, we are also teaching the younger generations the pride of the country, the lessons learned from the history and the patriotism of why was the Philippines was worth dying for.

What other national memorial places in the Philippines you know that are not included in the list? Tell us in the comment section below.

The Kids’ Resort Haven


There is a resort in the North that caters every kids’ dream

More than 4 hours drive from Metro Manila, near the famous Sunflower Farm in Tayug, there is a famous resort somewhere in Rosales that is indeed a haven for the kids and kids at heart. Located Brgy. Rizal, Provincial Road, Rosales, Pangasinan, a 10-15 minutes drive to SM Rosales.

Cozy Place Resort is truly a cozy resort. Giant ornaments, dinosaur-and-flowery-themed, colorful resort design and the vintage wooden nipa huts to give shelter to the excursionists at an affordable cost of rent. True to its name, its swimming pools are made for toddlers and pre-adolescent kids. It has 8 swimming pools, and only one pool is dedicated for adults with a 6-feet depth and the rest are children-friendly depth. There are 2-curved high slides opposite each other, and 3-straight middle slides if you want a direct immersive experience straight to the water. You could also immerse yourself under the water fall that is ideal for meditative purpose. There are also colorful small containers that drops water at a specific interval. An umbrella-like fountain, and children mini-slides at almost every pool. Foliage and palm trees gives a shade for UV-conscious customers They also have amenities like grilling area, eating area, outside shower area and a videoke area. They have event center and a lodge for conventions and group activities. And a nice looking and clean hotel if you want to book for a room during your stay.

For more information and booking, contact them at:
Contact Numbers: (075)632-7713 / (63)917-5011444

Entrance Fees:
Adults and Kids: Php 150.00
Kids below 3ft: Php 75.00

Hotel Room Rates
Check In Time: 2:00 P.M.
Check Out Time:12:00 N.N.

Standard Room (2 pax) : Php. 1,800.00
Triple Room (3 pax) : Php. 2,200.00
Family Room (4 pax) : Php. 2,800.00
Family Penthouse (4 pax) : Php. 3,500.00
Family Penthouse (6 pax) : Php. 4,500.00
Suite Room (2 pax) : Php. 3,500.00
Additional Guest : php. 400.00

Disclaimer: Prices subject to change without any prior notice so contact them. Drinks (only allowed inside the room), and pets are not allowed in the premises.  Swimming attire is a must.

See also: Review: Put your Head on my Shoulder - shop now!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

It is indeed a great place for kids solely because of its child-friendly seven (7) swimming pools. But for adults, you will only contain yourself with a single swimming pool, and for tall guys above 6-feet, that is not impressive. The location is great because you can buy anything outside and the stores are accessible. Plus if you want to hang out and eat dinner at SM Rosales, it is likely possible and convenient due to its nearness. The resort is good and child-haven but for its services and some amenities, it needs more improvements.

See also: A Healthy Bread is the Right Bread

There are instagramable areas good for photo ops and selfie fad. The cafeteria or canteen also needs a lot of improvement. The rooms aren’t fully-furnished but the basics are there. There is still an on-going constructions and or repairs at some areas. But the security is great and there are warning signs within the premises.

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2 Hours of Beach Escapade


I haven’t been in beaches lately. The Holy Week had finished and that was one of the busiest week for beach resort owners. Aside from, of course summer that ranges from the month of March to the late May, Holy Week has been established as a vacation week for Filipinos. It is the only week of the entire calendar year where one can book a flight or go to beaches and resorts, relax and meditate for all the good things that happened in your life.

The greyish-white fine sands of La Union

The Philippines had been known to be one of the religious countries in the world. A country with a majority of Catholic faith devotees, with a percentage of non-denominational Christians and Muslims. Some provinces in the Philippines had been very serious in celebrating Holy Week. It is a sacrament that was done with repentance by the Catholic devotees. For them, it was their expression of their love and faith of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. To name a few, Pampanga had been known to adhere in a penitential discipline during that important week.

They imitate the important event in Jesus’ life from the day he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, to the moment he was held captive by the Romans and handed him to Pilate. To flogging Jesus to death, struck him on the head with staff and spit on him, mocked him and took his clothes, let him wore a twisted crown of thorns. To forcing him of carrying the cross to Golgotha, crucifying him together with the two rebels. To his rising overcoming death in the third day taking up all the sin and shame to save the world from God’s wrath and then ascending into heaven. Manila is also keen on celebrating this religious week at Quiapo Church, not only during the feast of the Black Nazarene. And pilgrimages located in Pangasinan, Rizal and Cebu.

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See also: The Beauty in the Far Provinces

Beach signages, restos and rental cottages

Devotees had been practicing this life-changing event during the Holy Week. They would go to serene and secluded places to meditate and remember the death and victory of Jesus Christ on the cross. For some, Holy Week has been a short getaway amidst the busy schedules and the tiring work of the entire year. It is the only time they can relax, unwind and refresh their spirit. Beaches and resorts had been the get-go of some of the busy workaholics to relax, free from stress and toxic environment of the metro and I was given a chance to explore one of the great beaches in the North. It was a surfing destination for the surfing enthusiasts, Urbiztondo Beach located at San Juan, La Union hours drive to the famous Pagudpud.


Beach Overview

First, let me clarify that this was all coincidental. I wasn’t actually planning of going to the Urbiztondo beach. I came to La Union for an important errand, but due to a circumstance, I need to wait for how many hours to fulfill that errand. Since I got the opportunity of going to La Union (my first time after decades) and I passed by the long beaches along my way, I decided to go to a nearby beach to consume that hell of waiting. There was only one shopping mall in San Fernando and there wasn’t any space available where I can sit and wait for the hours. So what I did was, I asked a local for a nearby beach. I was lucky enough that there was a  nearby beach, and it only takes a 15-minute drive away from the shopping mall.

Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan, La Union


From the CSI Shopping Mall, you can ask a local for a drive using a tricycle for a hefty P100 – P150 fare to the seaside. It was quite expensive for a local tourist like me. But do not worry, there is a jeepney ride to the beach, you only need to walk from the shopping mall to the intersection and wait for any jeepney that passes by. You will only have to pay P10 fare. The route was something like Diretso/Bacnotan/San Fernando, both to and fro I guess. It was kind of disappointment when I learned that it only takes P10 jeepney fare compared to the hundred pesos fare on tricycle. Take note though, I support the local tourism and the locals so just take my word lightly when I said disappointment, (hahaha). It was a long beach so you can stop anywhere from the entire stretch of the beach. The drivers are kind enough to inform you that.

Reminder for the tourists

Even before reaching the place, you could feel the cold breeze that was blown from the sea. There are many establishments and hotels along the long stretch of the beach. And there are other establishments that are currently under construction. You could feel the booming business district and the busyness of the area. One local told me that I was lucky that I went there post-Holy Week because the beach was crowded during that event. Along the beach, you could find casual dining restos everywhere you look, outdoor bars on the outskirts before stepping your feet on the greyish-like sands and surf board rentals. There were also booth of henna tattoo artist, and little souvenir shops. One thing that distracted me though was seeing the warning signages like beware of jellyfish stings and do not swim at a certain distance.

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Beware of Jellyfish

I came there wearing my topsider shoes and believe me, I could feel the intense heat entering inside the sole of my shoes unto my feet. As if I could almost feel I was walking barefoot. Guys, you need to always carry with you sunblocks especially it was dry and hotter these days. I could almost drink a gallon of water just by walking on the sand alone due to the intense heat of the summer. While walking along the shoreline, there were rocky old formations of corals formed near the sea, I went there with my shoes on. I had to, because I didn’t bring with me any slippers since going there wasn’t my initial intention. It wasn’t as soft as I am expecting, because I really thought that my feet might sink into the corally ground. It was tough, maybe because it was hardened overtime.

Rocky old coral formations along the shore  

The sea looks color blue, the fine sands looks greyish-white compared to the other white sand beaches or the dark-greyish sands I am accustomed to. When I saw the surfing board rentals the moment I arrived, I was expecting a decent wave of waters and surfers riding on it. But what I saw was a calm sea with neither surfers nor any outdoor activities present. I couldn’t also see any cruise ships and tanker ships from afar. And I haven’t encountered any swimmers that was stung by the jellyfish. Anyway, that was just meh! I am not a surfing dude so it wasn’t a big deal for me. In addition, it wasn’t dubbed as The Surfing Capital of the North for nothing, right? Maybe my timing wasn’t perfect, (hahaha).

See also: When the Passion is Gone

Surfing board Rental

That was the 2-hour escapade of my life that day. Surely, I would love to return there to really experience what the Urbiztondo Beach could offer, especially during the night. It was a short, quick tour but it was refreshing. It maybe wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t something like a meditative vacation, but I am glad that I went there. I just want to quote a famous saying that I often hear:

Unplanned vacations are better than the planned ones. 

And yes, I experienced it that day.

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The Beauty in the Far Province


I have never been in many places in the Philippines. I only saw limited places across the region. But, I must say that even in these limited places, as long as you have an optimistic perception of everything, you could see beauty in it. There is always beauty in everything, if you will learn to appreciate even the smallest detail.

See also: 4 Places to Visit this Independence Day

Beauty of far provinces

I consider myself as a traveler, regardless if I can count on my fingers the countries and the provinces I traveled. Being a traveler, doesn’t define if you had conquered the world. Although I admit that every traveler dreamt of traveling the world, I for one, is just enjoying the perks of my work. I get to see places new to me. I get to enjoy the panoramic scenes laid before my eyes that not everyone have the opportunity to do so.

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

Nature is really a beauty on its own. God had crafted in his hands many wonders, creatures and natural occurences that no human can create. God crafted mountains and volcanoes; he crafted the briliance of the blue sea; or the fluffy white clouds. He crafted the pleasantness of the lush greeneries. The falling of the water in falls and streams. All of these are wonders one cannot fathom. 

See also: The Writer’s Heart

Being one with nature, you get to feel that somehow you are in a different dimension. Nature enthusiast, dendrophilia, and nemophilist are all synonymous to the love of nature, trees and forest. Although, not everyone has that fondness in nature, but being a traveler, it is an innate feeling inside you.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

One of the benefit of a traveler, is to enjoy the gift of God- the nature. So, even when you are in the deep woods, in the middle of the ocean, beneath the altitude, at the top of the mountain, diving in the vast sea, in your hometown, in the far rural areas or countrysides or even in a small garden, you just have to enjoy the view and be thankful of life because you get to see all of these things. If you can’t yet afford traveling to Maldives, in Machu Picchu, in the forest of Congo and Amazon, in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, in the African Safari, in the Himalayan Alps, depths of Grand Canyon, in the night sky of Norway and the Blue Lagoon of Iceland, make it your priority in your bucketlist and spare a portion of your money for it.

See also: Passion vs Practical vs Normal (The Long Term)

Travel if you can. Create memories and shoot photos. Bring with you your friends and loved ones. Explore the world if you are looking for your purpose. And always try to look for the beauty in every scene, be it in its mediocrity or in its grandeur.



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Going to places that are new to you is somewhat fulfilling and relaxing. It may be because of your new career, or just for leisure, still, you can’t help but admire the place and enjoy the experience. Being an adventurer and a nature lover, even the simplest panorama is a beauty. The calm sunshine, the gentle breeze as it touches your skin, the bustling noise created by the busy streets, and the moderate chitchats of the people. They are all part of the experience. - shop now!

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