Field trips are an essential part of education. Outside of the traditional classroom, one learns through experience. lf one yearns for insights more than picture-perfect sights, schedule a weekend tor any of these unique travel ideas reminiscent of old school field trips.
Whether one is a solo learner or a group-work-kind-ot-guy, bag new trivia and find more ways to enjoy the old city and the great outdoors in these unique tours.
MASUNGI GEORESERVE TOUR IN BARAS, RIZAL
The Masungi Georeserve Is a protected forest area along jagged limestone cliffs from which the name of the place is derived. Masungki, which means ‘spiked, that perfectly describes these craggy mountain edges. After more than 15 years or reforestation efforts, the georeserve now offers both an adventure tour and a learning opportunity within an hour from the capital city. Get over your fear of heights by literally hanging out in giant hammocks or rope spider webs suspended over a hundred feet from the ground. Forget the age-old advice “don’t look down and trace the edges of the Sierra Madre mountains with one’s gaze. Go ahead, indulge in the conservation areas elegant green tapestry. In the periphery, the Laguna de Bay glistens at a distance. Do prepare for quite a workout. One will need energy and mental fortitude to cross steep slopes, explore various caves, and climb up the rocky paths. The trails can be tricky but the rope exercises are the killer.
SIDETRIP: Pinto Art Museum Less than an hour away from Masungi Georeserve iS
the Pinto (“door” in Filipino) Art Museum. It houses the personal art collection of Dr. Joven Cuanang a and former medical director of St. Luke’s Medical Center renowned neuroscientist Global City.
You could choose to walk around the walled city of Intramuros but a bamboo bike will help cover more ground in less time. Ride out of Intramuros to other historical landmarks such as the Juan Luna Monument and the Legazpi- Urdaneta Monument.
The bamboo bike eco-tour adds the elements of free riding, balance, and biking with a crew, which enrich the thrill of learning.
“Best way to see intramuros! you get the chance to see all of intramuros up close, and at your speed.” -Russel Leyco, Tour Guide, Philippines
BAMBIKE TOURS IN INTRAMUROS
Bambike Revolution Cycles is a socio-ecological enterprise that builds bikes. They use locally sourced bamboo and abaca combined with aircraft-grade metals to create rideable and sustainable works of art. Bambike practices fair trade labor and provides skill-training and livelihood tor craftsmen from local Gawad Kalinga communities.
The bamboo bike alone is a lesson on culture, social involvement, and environmentalism. Getting to ride the bike around Intramuros Is a history lesson on two wheels.
If you want to explore at your own pace, you can easily do this in Intramuros as this 400-year-old walled city of Manila has key attractions that are just within walking distance of one another. A good start would be Fort Santiago, where a museum dedicated to the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, is located. From here, walk just halt a mile and you can visit the Manila Cathedral where most of Manilas key religious events are held. Walk a few blocks more on the cobblestones of General Luna Street and you will come across an Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its baroque architecture.
Within the Church compound is a museum with a valuable collection of religious artifacts. Now it you are Curious on how they lived in the Spanish colonial times, there are two good sto. visit. One is just across the San Agustin church called Casa (house) Manila, where the spacious and elegant quarters of the elite in those days are presented. From this casa you can proceed northwest to the corners of Anda C Dildo streets toward Bahay Tsinoy (the house of the Chinese) where they have recreated the lives of the Filipino- available. But if you opt to have a guided tour, there are many available; and one of the most popular walking tours is Carlos Celdran’s “Walk This Way”. There are also options like doing a tour on a bamboo bicycle or riding a local horse- Carriage called a kalesa.
There’s a restaurant just across the San Agustin Church at the CBCP building called Ristorante delle Mitre. Founded by Elvira Yap Go, the head chef is a Catholic nun, Sister Evangeline Pras (right). All the dishes are named after the favorite dishes of bishops and priests.
BINONDO FOOD TOURs
Also known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, a Filipino saint, the church also offers masses in Mandarin.
SURPRISE TOURS IN BOHOL
Tired of the usual This province otters a unique tour centered on eco-tourism. The surprise tour, true to its name, doesn’t reveal a fixed itinerary to guests. What awaits guests is a chance to visit local communities to learn their way of lite. In the town of Tubigon, you can see loom weavers using the raffia palm to create mats, baskets, and hats. In Maribojoc, watch a takla (crawfish) hunter at work. And in Savima, you can contribute to mangrove conservation activities. Even the basics of organic farming are taught and guests are treated to farm-to-table meals. For dessert, opt to go to Albur to make kalamay, a tasty local dessert of sticky rice and sweetened Coconut milk. All those who have taken these tours finish feeling they have had a deeper experience of travel. It is a model tor eco- tourism tor other to follow.
A complete breakfast of local desserts and chocolate, the interiors of an ancestral house, and an oversized raft on a leisurely river cruise.
JEST CAMP IN SUBIC
Ever wondered what it would be like to survive in a jungle, like Tarzan or Katniss Everdeen? Here’s a chance to test your survival skills. The Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp in Subic is an immersive adventure tour where one can set up camp in the middle of the jungle with nothing but a bolo (local machete) and lots of bamboo.
The trek to the campsite will already test your endurance tor roughing it out. Need a cap for the blistering sun? Make your own cap by weaving different kinds of leaves. As you navigate through shrubs and cross slippery rocks in rushing rivers, you will encounter edible plants and different types of wildlife. At the campsite, you will learn how to make fire. The instructors make it look easy so better take notes. Learn to make cups, utensils and, even cook rice using bamboo.
At the end of this trip, you will be equipped tor jungle survival-with only a bolo in hand.
CASA SAN MIGUEL
An hour and a half away from JEST Camp, via Olongapo, Creative Alternatives for Social Action (CASA) is a community development residence and bed and breakfast reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Run by renowned violinist Alfonso ‘Coke’ Bolipata, expect a quirky arts and music experience.
TAO PHILIPPINES IN PALAWAN
The type of tour for people who don’t like tours: with Tao Philippines, you get to really choose your own adventure.
This adventure starts by sailing between Coron and El Nido, located in what has been consistently named the world’s best island- Palawan. Across the five-day journey, your experiences range from kayaking secret lagoons, snorkeling amidst dinner-table-Sized corals, cliff jumping, cave explorations, or lazing around Islands that only the locals know about.
The itinerary is no itinerary-your only routine is setting out to sail after breakfast and making sure to dock before nightfall. Each night, you’ll camp at a new island, sleeping in traditional, open-air nipa huts. Since your boat crew is like family, it’s up to you to make the most out your encounters-learn how to open a coconut, cook local seafood, haul an anchor-ask and they Will humbly obliges.
Tao Philippines operations is also deeply integrated with the Palawan community. It runs its own kitchen, permaculture farm, and school- all in collaboration with the Palaweños.
The Tao Expedition wag the perfect Combination of adventure and relaxation. The scenery was spectacular, the night camps were spectacular. The gad (including freshly Caught tuna sashimi) was superb. -Carl Fasholt Structural Engjneer, UISA