Traveling by car two and a half hours south of Tacloban City via Baybay, one reaches the town of Hindang – a 5th class municipality of the province of Leyte.

The quaint and almost sleepy town of Hindang is better known (together with the town of Inopacan) as the jump-off point in going to the beautiful island beaches found at Quatro Islas (Cuatro Islas).

What is lesser known are the awesome caves inhabited with wild monkeys located at Mt Bontok (also spelled Buntok and Bontoc) at Brgy Buntok, Hindang.

Hindang Caves is relatively more accessible compared to other caves I have visited. There is an access road which is a mere 300 meters from the national highway to the park entrance. Before reaching the poblacion (coming from the town of Inopacan) a road sign on the left side of the highway shows you the way to the access road. This leads you up to the mountains right up to the park entrance where one begins to climb some 100-odd concrete steps up the winding stairway into the forested area where the caves are hidden by the thick foliage.

The climb up is also not as strenuous compared to others. It’s like going up, say, a 5-6-storey building. Manageable.

Upon reaching the area where the pathway branches off to lead to the several caves, one is met with “representatives” of a monkey tribe now a bit spoiled and expecting to be fed with bananas by visitors. The tribe, we were informed by the caretaker, numbers about a hundred!

There are several caves in the area but the more prominent ones are the Cathedral Cave and the Pandayan Cave. These caves served as refuge for the guerillas during WWII and survived heavy bombardment by the Japanese invaders.

Unlike other caves I’ve seen, the caves of Hindang have a more “colorful” look with greenish to orangey hues.

A must-see for those visiting Hindang, the park has picnic areas where one can relax, enjoy the scenic views and savor nature up close.

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For hundreds of years, the Eastern Visayas region has been among the top coconut producers in the country.

And deeply embedded in the festive and colorful heritage of the Waray culture is the magic of its local coconut wine concoction – tuba.

The best tuba producers of Eastern Visayas converged last Friday, October 14 for the year’s biggest tuba  festival – the 4th Oktubafest at the Leyte Park Hotel Gymnasium in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines.

The festival saw the participation of some 25 local government units showcasing their best tuba products from Tacloban City and the towns of Julita, La Paz, Dulag, Mayorga, Tanauan, Palo, Alangalang, Tunga, Carigara, Barugo, Babatngon and Burauen of Leyte province;  Hinabangan, Villareal, Calbiga, Lawaan, Basey, Sta. Rita of Samar province; Balangiga, Sulat, Guiuan and Oras of Eastern Samar, as well as from Limasawa Island of Southern Leyte.

Highlights of whole-day, fun-filled Oktubafest included competitions in Best Bahal, Best Bahalina, Best Kutil and the Best Tuba-infused Dishes.

Yes, the tuba, indeed, has come a long way!

The annual tuba festival is being held under the auspices of the AnWaray Partylist, the Leyte Provincial Government, the Department of Tourism Region 8 and the Philippine Coconut Authority.

Cheers to all!

Kutil – tuba concoction:

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This time, we got to witness, albeit briefly, the 7th Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition held at Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar held 6-8 October 2011. We were able to shoot some on the last day, but reluctantly had to head back to Tacloban City mid-afternoon before the announcement of the final winners.

The last time we were at the Odyssey Waves surfing competition was four years ago, in 2007.

Surfing participants this year came all the way from La Union, Baler, Pagudpud, Manila, Siargao, Lanuza, and, of course Leyte and Borongan, Eastern Samar.

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Most Manileños would know where Pasay City is exactly located in Metro-Manila.

But am pretty sure many are also unaware, and one would still hear arguments whether this or that is still Pasay territory or not.

Let’s set aside the technicalities on the exact boundaries of the city.

Suffice it to say that Pasay City is where most of Metro-Manila’s major tourist attractions are located.

And more!

Without further ado, let’s get on and have a mini rolling tour featuring some of Pasay City’s building landmarks – some old, some new…

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© 2013 gerryruiz photoblog mark II Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha