Food tripping from Luzon to Mindanao

Introduction: Food tripping from Luzon to Mindanao
Dinner at Yoghurt House,
Breakfast at Benguet
Sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
Passing by Baguio
A feast at El Nido, Palawan
Cafe hopping in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Desserts night in Cebu City
Eating in Zamboanga
Lego Men travel Philippines

Last February I had the privilege to accompany US-based blogger Meileilan Usin-Mattinson ( in her Philippine Tour 2017. We visited Sagada, El Nido, and her hometown, Zamboanga City.

I will not be writing in detail as where we went since Mei will be talking more more about the places we visited in her blog and videos. I will be posting the links below.

For this post, I will let the photos do most of the talking on the places we visited and I’ll be writing a bit about my experiences.

As we visited some iconic and beautiful tourist spots, we were also able to try some wonderful food along the way. More on the food in the coming days.

I would like to share some of the places we visited to. I am more of a forest and mountain guy rather than a beach guy, so I was very excited to visit Sagada.

We took the last flight out of Davao City and arrived at Manila at around 2:00 am. From the airport, it was another four hour trip to Baguio City, where we will be meeting up with the rest of Mei’s production team.

Along the way we made a stop over at Kennon Road View Deck, which gives you a beautiful view of the mountains and the winding road leading up to Baguio City.

As seen from the Kennon Road View Deck

We then had a quick breakfast with the rest of the team at Great Taste. Then at around 8:30am we left for the five hour trip to Sagada.

Along the way we stopped by the Highest Point view deck in Atok, Benguet.

Rolling mountains as seen from the Highest Point view deck in Atok, Benguet

We arrived much later in the afternoon in Sagada because we had a video and photo shoot along the way.

Sagada (Photo taken in the morning on our last day here)

We first dropped by Sagada Pottery, which has lots of beautiful potteries. You can also learn and try making your own pottery.

Sagada Pottery
Displayed potteries for sale

After checking in at Labanet Lodge, we had dinner at Yogurt House.

On our second day, we visited the Batad Rice Terraces, one of the five clusters of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a Unesco Heritage Site.

Batad Rice Terraces as seen from the view deck
Local kids seem to not get tired of the view.

I just loved the sites in Batad from the rice terraces to the simple way of life of the locals.

Batad Rice Terraces from another angle
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Local farmers planting rice
Rice being grown in one of the terraces

For the third day, we woke up early to catch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy, so not much sunrise there. However, the view was still beautiful. It should be noted though that there are a lot of people here.

Sunrise from Kiltepan Peak
With the crowd coming here, be sure to be here as early as possible to get a good viewing spot

After breakfast, we had a tour to the Echo Valley and the Sagada Hanging Coffins.

Sagada Hanging Coffins

By around 10am, we left Sagada for Manila.

We arrived in Manila around 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm and stayed for the next seven or eight hours at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 while we waited for our next flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

A busy morning at NAIA T4

We left a busy NAIA Terminal 4 at around 7:00 am and arrived at Puerto Princesa, Palawan an hour later. Then it was a four hour drive to El Nido.

In our three-night stay at El Nido, we booked two tours, Tour A and C. In tour A we visited the lagoons and some beaches while in Tour C we visited beaches and islands.

Boats achored near the shore in the morning

For those of you who know me, I am not fond of the sea, particularly the deep waters; so I had my freak-out moments. Like when we visited small lagoon in Tour A, we had to use a kayak to get through the passage to the lagoon. I was freaking out the whole time despite having a life jacket on. I just don’t like deep waters after watching too much nature documentaries on the fascinating and dangerous marine life beneath the sea.

The passage kayaks had to go through to get to the small lagoon
The small lagoon, where I was in a constant state of freaking out

Despite my constant state of freaking out, I try to focus more on the beauty of the scenery around me. Despite not being a fan of beaches, I really appreciated how stunning each island and beach are. I also enjoyed observing the local scenery in the town like how tour guides prepare for the tour or people just getting ready for the day.

Breakfast at Cadlao Resort
Local guides prepare the scuba diving gear for their group early in the morning
A man pulling the boat closer to shore
Talisay Beach, where most tour groups spend their lunch in Tour C
Boats anchored to near the shore at Talisay Beach
Shimizu Island, where tour groups have their lunch in Tour A. The island is also a great snorkeling spot
The clear blue waters of El Nido
Hidden Beach

I was also able to meet up with an old friend, Ate Eva, who took me to some of Puerto Princesa’s cafes.

After Palawan, we travelled to Mei’s hometown, Zamboanga City. While it was an ecotourism experience with Sagada and El Nido, Zamboanga City was more on cultural tourism.

Here in Zamboanga City, we visited Abong-abong Park, the Zamboanga City Hall, R. T. Lim Boulevard, Fort Pilar, and the Yakan Weaving Village.

Vintas at R.T. Lim Boulevard
Fort Pilar Shrine
Zamboanga City Hall
Yakan tapestry

I really enjoyed the trip with Mei, her siblings, and the rest of the production crew. I am very thankful to Mei’s generosity and giving me the opportunity to travel with her family and the production team.

For more details and videos about the trip, visit Mei’s website, Colors of Mei. I am also sharing two of the videos below:

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