The Slipper Town of Liliw

PauTravels in Liliw, Laguna during the Tsinelas Festival

Two weeks back, a day after Labor Day, I had the opportunity to visit once more the beautiful town of Liliw in the province of Laguna, south of Manila.   The town has been known for its main industry which is manufacturing of slippers.   They are known for making world-class slippers where local tourists travel to to buy slippers and they are rival with the city of Marikina in shoe-making as well.   Also, the town is also famous for its cool water springs that visitors flock to cool off from the summer heat.

Liliw is a small town located at the foothills of the enchanted Mount Banahaw, where faith healers, voodoo people, and other people climb up for spiritual cure and beliefs.   The town has been founded since 1571 and some remnant of Spanish architecture may still be found and one of them is its centuries old red-bricked Liliw Church that is located uphill and offers the view of the whole town from it.  This church is very beautiful in my opinion and gives you the feel of the Spanish Colonial period.

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Trip to Sagada

PauTravels at the pools underneath the ground and within the Sagada Cave

On the night of Christmas 2006, me and 3 relatives went to the beautiful and enchanted mountains of the Ifugao.  We stayed in Banaue Hotel under a tour package provided by the Philippine Tourism Authority.  On our 2nd day of stay in Banaue, as part of our tour package, we travel to another off-the-beaten-track tourist destination, Sagada.

Sagada, is a small town in the Mountain Province, in the midst of the Cordillera Mountain Range on the island of Luzon, Philippines.  Sagada is about 3 hours drive north of Banaue and about 10 hours drive from the city of Baguio through zigzagged and rough roads on the steep mountain sides of Cordillera. Sagada is a well known tourist destination for its underground caves and the hanging coffins.  Around the town’s limestone cliffs, wooden coffins can be found hanging by the cliff side.   It was a burial tradition performed by local tribes that inhabit the mountains.

The drive to the place is quite long and a bit tiring but the mountain areas that you’ll pass by is amazing and very beautiful.  You’ll pass by rice terraces, vegetable terraces and pine-fill mountains.  Driving through the dirt road will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.  Along the path, we passed the town of Bontoc, the capital of the Mountain Province around 11AM.  Our guide informed us that we’ll proceed to the Sagada Cave first since there will be more tourist flocking the cave by noon and afterwards.

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Trip to Banaue

PauTravels in picture taken with Ifugao elders

Christmas last year (2006), my wife, two cousins, and myself embarked on a journey to visit a land among the mountains, the land of the Ifugaos.

Through the Philippine Tourism Authority, we have procured a travel package to see two Philippine tourist destination that are found off-the-beaten track.  We took a 3-day/2-night travel package to see Banaue, Bontoc, and Sagada.  The package includes transport from Banaue to Sagada and back via Bontoc, breakfast and a packed lunch for the Sagada trip, tour guide, accommodation, and some souvenirs.

Banaue is situated in the mountainous province of Ifugao, around 10 hour bus ride north of Manila.  This is also the site of the majestic Banaue Rice Terraces which are rice paddies terraced on the mountain sides.  These have been carved by the Ifugao tribes for thousands of years, even before the Spanish colonization.  These are also composed of four UNESCO world heritage sites.

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