Coron, Palawan: The Sea, Bulog Dos & Banana Island

The first two stops of our island hopping. It took a while to reach the first destination. About half an hour to an hour… I don’t quite recall. The first stop was Bulog Dos, not much people were there and it was pretty nice, small island for swimming with a bit of fish. We then headed over to Banana Island– I’m not sure how it got that name– where we had lunch. Our boatmen guide cooked the food for us! Crab and grilled food! Nomnomnom.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Landing Busuanga, Coron, Palawan.

Coron, Palawan - photos on land.

If you search Coron, it’s mostly photos of beaches and the ocean. Here are some photos on land. We went to the port early morning from the resort where we stayed, so there was that morning fog in the first photo. Other sights seen… trees damaged from Typhoon Yolanda, a man holding his morning cup of coffee, CORON a la Hollywood, farm animals, public market, sausage links.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple

Yet another off the beaten path, here’s a little background of the place:

…the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple is famous for its 1200 stone statues of rakan, devoted followers of Buddhism, each with a different facial expression. Created relatively recently in the 1980s and early 1990s, the many statues stand across the temple grounds which cover part of a forested mountain slope. Source:

Reaching this destination was one heck of a back ride. It was uphill, directions were just confusing, and it was relatively far! Biking downhill was a breeze though. Clean air, no people, quiet place. Aaaahhh.

With the multitude of statues, it was quite amusing to find the strange ones. Did you see the one with the cat? Maybe you could find something I didn’t notice.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Arashiyama & Sagano Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama has this bridge called Togetsukuyo Bridge.

The Togetsukyo Bridge (lit. “Moon Crossing Bridge”) is Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark. It was originally built during the Heian Period(794-1185) and most recently reconstructed in the 1930s. The bridge looks particularly attractive in combination with the forested mountainside in the background. A riverside park with dozens of cherry trees is located just adjacent to the bridge. - Source:

So we biked passed the bridge to head to Sagano Bamboo Forest. The entrance to the place was just confusing…! But anyway, we found our way in. Unfortunately, the lighting that time wasn’t so good so I didn’t take much nice pictures. I got one that looks like a classical Japan moment (1st photo). The bamboo forest is a nice place to take stroll and unwind from the bustling Kyoto city.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

I thought I finished my posts on Japan, but I missed one folder (or one day). I’ll be finishing it in 3 posts (including this).

Iwatayama Monkey Park, Arashiyama

Slightly off-the-beaten path, I kind of like this town (No pictures yet. To follow in other posts.)! This is a mountain hike of about 160m above sea level to reach to the monkey reserve. Monkeys roam freely around the area. Climbing up the mountain took quite the stamina, but it’s doable for unfit people like me. It was a good exercise, I suppose (no choice!).

On the viewing deck of the mountain, one can see a city scape of Kyoto (or was it just Arashiyama area…). You can feed the monkeys, touch them, and then make your way back down through a playground.

Photos by Ean Dacay (me)

Moving on to the next country, Chicago.

I got not much to say. We just had one day to go around and it was .. alright, I guess. The Bean. The face fountain. The museum. The sculptures. We had pancakes somewhere in the outskirts where we had to line up outside. 

Universal Studios Japan: Halloween Horror Nights.

We timed our trip to coincide Halloween to see what goes on there. USJ’s theme is The Ring, although they had a Biohazard too, and they had an attraction for it. Tickets were already sold out at around 9 or 10A.M. Tough luck. For those who want to get tickets to their special attraction, you gotta line up way, way, way early in the morning. The Japanese are willing to do that.

Anyway, Halloween day was fun. In the JAWS ride, there were Japanese dressed up as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman in our boat. They made the boring ride fun by overreacting to special effects and cheering on the boat navigator. People were dressed up as all sorts of familiar characters.

At night, they change their rides to The Ring style. Sometimes Sadako would be standing at the corner while you wait in line. And in line, the TV shows something then turns to noise and shows the infamous video of her by the well.

Strolling around the theme park are walking zombies, sometimes a horde that would “attack” visitors. They try their best to scare the visitors. Fun times! Although I enjoyed the one in California more.

Osaka Castle

If you’re into museums and history, head over here.