Ormoc City’s PIÑA FESTIVAL: A Congenial Celebration of Beautiful People

The first Piña Festival of Ormoc City last 25th of June of this year was truly a notable celebration of beautiful people as it celebrates beauty. The event coincided with the feast celebration of their patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul. Meanwhile, The festival seeks to promote not only Ormoc’s very own sweetest queen pineapple but to recognize Ormocanon’s beautiful and breathtaking natural attractions.


I enjoyed the 1st Piña Festival so much and it was truly an exceptional celebration, same with the Sinulog Festival in Cebu.It is a celebration both solemn and festive since that was the first time that it has been done in the City of Ormoc, I didn’t expect that it will be a tremendous celebration as it was exalted with pomp and pageantry.


Arriving the day ahead before the festival, on a Saturday, I was able to sneak into their “Food Bazaar” situated fronting the Ormoc Bay/ Plaza, where everyone can enjoy great foods while listening to the live bands played on stage.T’was like a weekend madness for me! After taking the delightful Taco’s by La Lucha Taqueria, I took a quick look at the performers on stage and briskly headed back to the hotel on where I stayed, the Hotel Don Felipe.


As Sunday took place, which is the official day of the festival. I’ve got everything set for a quick morning photo walk at the Ormoc Bay as a warm up since the street dancing will start in the afternoon. After an hour of shutter bugging in the plaza, I instantly brought myself in one of the fast food restaurants nearby the area because I felt ravenously hungry.  And I took a catnap inside the hotel room after a well fed of satisfaction.


Few more minutes to go and the colorful festivity of the City will officially start. As a preparation, I had a sumptuous lunch together with other bloggers and media from Cebu and Manila at Big Roy’s Resto owned by Maria Estrella Pangilinan, who is also the Chairman of Ormoc Festival and Cultural Foundation. I had the chance as well to meet with the event organizers and other local officials of Ormoc City.


Photo from google

After teeming with an overflowing and bursting sustenance, we went out into the sun-drenched streets of the New Ormoc City Hall where the 8 contingents coming from different school assembled for their street dancing parade going to the Ormoc stage plaza.


As we set ourselves in the stage plaza waiting for the first part of the activity which is the street dancing showdown to start, we are having a good time listening to the danceable beats of Ormoc Piña Samba Jingle. It has a meaningful lyrics which creates the vibes into an atmospheric festivity, really! To add more grandeur on the street parade, there’s a group of people creating some noise using the beat of the drums. I was also surprised with the huge people that are also waiting for the 8 contingents to arrive. A few minutes later, the participating floats and the 8 participating contingents have finally arrived.


With Doyzkie of www.Iluvcebu.com

Everyone was so excited and greatly cheered with the arrival of all the contingents. The audience is giving a loud and cheering up to their each representing contingents as encouragement and to give fire with every performance. In which, my eyes were immediately impressed how the locals are very supportive with the first Piña Festival.


Queen Pineapple giveaway along the street plaza


A quick capture of Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez and Vice Mayor Toto Locsin

During the street dancing competition, the 8 participating contingents are only allowed to showcase their dance performance using the official Ormoc Pina Samba Jingle. Surprisingly. all groups are well prepared as they showcased their performance. From dance choreography to their brilliant and lively props were all eye-openers.


I never thought that the event would be that colorful and festive the same with Cebu’s Grandest Festival, the Sinulog Festival and other colorful festivities in the country. Because of what I’ve seen during the grand parade, it was obvious that people of Ormoc especially the Local Government official were helping hand in hand in preparing the celebration.


Image result for Pina Festival ORMOC

Surely, the Piña Festival will be recognized by both government agencies, since festivals are based either on the locals’ religion, history and culture and/or local produce.


The Piña Festival seeks to promote not only Ormoc’s very own sweet queen pineapple, but will manifest every Ormocanon’s beautiful and sunshine-y nature—that despite the challenges portrayed by the fruit’s thorny exterior, we are able to overcome these challenges and grow a crown over our heads as symbols of our triumph over all adversities.


During the Grand showdown, contingents from STI College-Ormoc captured the 1st place award of ritual/showdown. Aside from that, their festival queen Cherry Mae Duterte went home the title of the Festival Queen and they also captured the 1st place award of Best in street dancing.


Western College Leyte took the 2nd place in the ritual showdown, followed by the third place which is the Eastern Visayas State University-Ormoc.  Meanwhile, the Ipil National School was the second placer in the street dancing competition and captured the Best in Costume award, while WLC is the third places of the said category.


According to the movie actor and Ormoc City Mayor, “The significance of the piña is that Ormoc is known for its great pineapples. For the longest time, this has been recognized. Everywhere you go in the country, they know that one of the best-tasting pineapples can be found in Ormoc City. That’s the reason why we are bringing back the Piña Festival,”


With Congresswoman Lucy Torres and Mayor Richard Gomez

“We hope that the Piña Festival will be a great start to a new and better identity for all Ormocanons—a cultural heritage that will embody our common aspirations, while enriching us as one people desiring to get Ormoc City as one of the top major tourist destinations in the country,” Pangilinan said.

Tara! Maglipay Kita! 

See you next year sa Piña Festival!

I would like to thank the following people who gave me the opportunity to witness that colorful festival of Ormoc City! 

Mayor Richard Gomez, Vice-Mayor Leo Locsin, Ormoc City Local Government, Ormoc City Tourism Council,Lalaine Jimenea, Pocholo Aragones Franco, Maria Estrella Pangilinan and to all the City officials.

2Go Supercat, Don Felipe Hotel and Big Roy’s Restaurant













Reconnect With Nature at Cabintan Natural Hot Spring

Upon looping around the beautiful community of Cabintan, province of Ormoc for 3 days. I have seen lots of pretty spectacular places in the Barrio and I am not expecting that it has a lot to throw to me as an adventurous person.


The jump off point to Cabintan Hot Spring is at the Cabintan proper. Dubbed as “barrio” by the locals. We actually hiked and do some river treks upon getting top the secluded Cabintan Hot Spring. It took us around 45 minutes before we get to the place.


Cabintan Hot Spring has 2 separate natural and untouched pools with different temperatures. Can you even imagine a better way to de-stressed from a week’s worth of work?Aside from its natural hot spring, beside on it is a small natural yet untouched pool that has a very cold as ice water.



Since we are still on a hot season, you don’t have to worry because aside from this natural hot spring from keeping you warm, it will also make you reconnect with nature as our season transitions into the cold.



After we enjoyed the trek from Alto Peak, we took our lunch in the area as I wanted to get in touch with nature while feeding up our tummies. Jeramil and RJ are the ones who prepared for our simple lunch.



Our descending trail hikes going to the place was well paid-off. The scenery was simply stunning.  Our scenic trek took us 45 minutes before we finally reached the untouched hot spring.



Who could have thought that in the middle of a tropical rainforest in Cabintan, Ormoc City is the Hidden Natural Hot Spring where only nature’s greens and waters will envelope you.  Thanks to Dong, RJ and Jeramil for bringing me here in the place with waters both hot and cold.

“This is one of Gods natural gifts.Lets give value of sustaining these gifts for our children and grandchildren so that in time, they will remember and thank their grandparents for taking care of these resources.”

-Pocholo Aragones Franco-

#Leave No Trace

This sponsored travel would not be possible without the help of  Mr. Pocholo Franco, the VP of Ormoc City Tourism Council. Ormoc City Tours by Fran-con Viaje International , Supercat by 2Go Travel , Cabintan Local Eco Guide especially to the Morales Brothers and family. Most of all, to Mayor Richard Gomez and Ormoc City Government for making this adventure possible.

#OrmocPH # WonderfulOrmoc #VisitOrmoc #CabintanHotSpring

Tres Aguas Falls: The Three Mesmerizing Flowing Waters


My travel buddy, Gari!

After an adventurous of limb trekking and climbing in Alto Peak. My guide, Jeramil decided to cool down ourselves in one the possible tourism destination in Brgy. Cabintan, Ormoc City, the Tres Aguas Falls. I asked him, “why waterfalls”? He looked at me with his small eyes, after sip of Cola in the store, started talking. Because it was really a tiring day, I need to chill, he declared.


That was a wonderful afternoon because Iv’e got the privilege to meet with the two members of Cabintan Local Eco-Guides, Dong and RJ. They joined our excursion from Cabintan Hot Spring, Ormoc Vege Farm and all the way to Tres Aguas.


According to them, the place doesn’t have a name before. The named Tres Aguas was given by their Mayor, Richard Gomez. They are very thankful that their Mayor visited this water site in the Brgy. Because it has been has been developed and the Government are currently working in the area to make it more easier for the tourists who are planning to visit the place.


Luckily, the trail going to these three mesmerizing falls is very easy and it is ideal for family and friends who would like to spend quality time with nature.


A water dam supplying the needs of Brgy. Cabintan

As soon as you enter the premises of the waterfall, you will be dumbfounded with the water dam.I never thought that Ormoc City has a lot to offer in terms of water escapes. I thought to myself that this is an incredible summer adventour.


As the Local Government of Brgy. Cabintan with the help of Ormoc City Goverment they are currently doing some developments in the area. They believe that this place is an another gem of Eastern Visayas. Its cold as ice waters and powerful downpour  of water is a delight that you cannot miss when visiting Ormoc. The mesmerizing of three  downpour of waters rushes to the azure waters down below.


1st waterfall


2nd waterfall


Lastly!the 3rd one

The third waterfall creates picturesque tiers that create a mystifying allure. Soak in its cool waters to wash down the heat of the sun.


The 1st tier of waterfall with bursts of water coming from the dam. It is where people can swim and soak cool down.


I am pretty sure that Tres Aguas Falls will be another destination that intrepid wanderers can experience as they explore the mountainous Barangay of Ormoc City. The water is really cool as cool as the weather temperature of Barangay Cabintan.



With the CAKEGUID: RJ, Jeramil and Dong


When visiting Ormoc, don’t miss to visit this wonderful water attractions in Brgy. Cabintan.

Here’s a sneak peek on how I indulge this newly possible tourist attraction in Eastern Visayas, the Tres Aguas Falls!

“This is one of Gods natural gifts.Lets give value of sustaining these gifts for our children and grandchildren so that in time, they will remember and thank their grandparents for taking care of these resources.”

-Pocholo Aragones Franco-

#Leave No Trace

This sponsored travel would not be possible without the help of  Mr. Pocholo Franco, the VP of Ormoc City Tourism Council. Ormoc City Tours by Fran-con Viaje International , Supercat by 2Go Travel , Cabintan Local Eco Guide especially to the Morales Brothers and family. Most of all, to Mayor Richard Gomez and Ormoc City Government for making this adventure possible.

#OrmocPH # WonderfulOrmoc #VisitOrmoc #TresAguasFalls

Miranda Falls in Ormoc City: The Historical Water Escape in the Philippines

Aside from its famous Sayahan Falls, I didn’t expect that there is another water escape destinations in Brgy. Ga-as. After my three days adventures in the Community of  Cabintan, Province of Ormoc. Iv’e got the chance to visit again the community of Ga-as and see the place where Lt. Blas Miranda of Guerrillas ( Philippine resistance movement ) hid during the Japanese war, the Miranda Falls


This way to Miranda Falls, Goodluck !

Going to Miranda Falls is not a joke really! For you to catch the glimpse of the mesmerizing waterfall you have to trek and sometimes climb. It took me 30 to 45 minutes to do it before I chase this untouched yet historical waterfall.


Ist part of the trail.

But before that, I had the opportunity to meet,spoke and heard some stories with the most significant people of the place. Iv’e met Tatay Segundo Pelicano, the son of Pelagio Pelicano. His father is the personal body guard of Lt. Blas Miranda. Also, I was able to speak with Nanay Conchita, wife of Tatay Segundo. She shared me some stories about their parents during the Japanese war. Upon hearing those heart melting stories, I instantly gave Nanay Conchita a warm hug.


It is an honor to meet these two 🙂


An inspiring snapshot with Nanay Conchita and Tatay Segundo Pelicano

According to them, During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Lt. Miranda has another plan that was totally different from Ruperto Kangleon (A Filipino military figure and politician) which caused Miranda’s ditachment in the group.  And it has been said that Miranda betrayed Kangleon and since Kangleon was the leader of the Resistance movement during World War II, he has the power and with complete forces who can help him to pave away Lt. Miranda.
When Peligio, noticed that the soldiers of Col. Kangleon were searching for Lt. Miranda, he immediately look after him to tell that he must be aware about it. Thus, Lt. Miranda left the mountainous community of Matungao (the origin of Peligio).


I can imagined how Lt. Miranda ran and hid with the mountains 🙂

He immediately ran off and hide together with his family in a small cave in Sub-on (now called Miranda falls). When Miranda heard that he was already surrounded with the soldiers of Kangleon, he was felt hopeless and cannot do anything to escape. So he asked his wife to kill their 7 months old child. And he quickly jump off together with his another son in the waterfalls that measures around 75 meters.

(After Lt. Miranda and his son jump off the cliff of Sub-on now called, the Miranda Falls. They were reported as missing.)

The place where Lt. Miranda jump off the cliff of Sub-on, now called the “Miranda Falls”

Going back to my own adventure, the place is really a typical waterfall trek that one has to take: steep descending trails but once you get to the base, it;s a leisurely walk to the waterfall over the man-made pathways. Since it is still untouched, it is really forested and one can see several interesting insects fluttering around the bushes and flowers. The place has been currently developed by the community in headship of Danny Villas (Brgy Ga-as Secretary) and his son Judy Villas.


When my guide, Judy told me that it will take 30 to 45 minutes to get there and the descend trail is most likely similar going to Sayahan Falls but different from Alto Peak.  I thought to myself that it is not that easy. This should be an interesting hike!

20170508_085824-01.jpegIt was also raining that time and the first part of the trail was just gradual. It’s like a typical walking in the park. After few minutes, I fully realized the steepness and just as we started our descent via an iron stairway. I’ve also encountered a 80 degrees slopes where you have to do rappelling for you to get down.



But as far as the descent is concerned, it is really that long way down. Once you get to the waterfall level, it’s a leisurely walk along an established trail.


It’s a cool walk and you should watch out for beautiful and interesting life forms. Along the way, I saw different kinds of insects and heard various birds singing and that was lovely!


There is also an established man-made rock formation in the center where you can sit and watch nearby the waterfall.



It is one of the stunning waterfall with an interesting story that is because of its historical component in the country. I supposed to swim at the times I was there but I am feeling cold and the water was bit murky because the community are still working on the trail.



With my guide Judy and his buddy Jimwell

Here’s a sneak peek on how I captured the beautiful and stunning historical Miranda Falls.

Jaunting Tips: To fully Enjoy your visit.Make sure to check the weather before going to the Miranda Falls. If it rains or has just rained, the trails can be slipper. (But the local government community are currently working on it). Make sure to keep the environment clean and bring water and enough food.

Make sure to prepare yourself to go trekking! 🙂


Getting There: From Ormoc City, ride a jeepney going to Brgy. Lake Danao at the Terminal across Public Market and Ormoc Port. From Lake Danao you can ride habal-habal going to Brgy. Ga-as. Once, you’ve reached the Brgy. you can see a big sign that says “Welcome to Miranda Falls”.
Register at the receiving center and the entrance fee is 25 PhP per pax and 300 PHP for the guide fee. You can also hired a habal-habal for only 200 PHP from Ormoc City directly to Brgy. Ga-as. 

If you wish to visit Miranda Falls, you may call 09128653322 and look Judy Villas. You may also check their Facebook account by Clicking here

According to google maps it takes 51 mins. From Ormoc Jeepney terminal going to the place

Currently the local government is working on improvements for a better access to this hidden treasure. Rest assured, a true beauty is waiting.


“This is one of Gods natural gifts.Lets give value of sustaining these gifts for our children and grandchildren so that in time, they will remember and thank their grandparents for taking care of these resources.”

-Pocholo Aragones Franco-

#Leave No Trace

This sponsored travel would not be possible without the help of  Mr. Pocholo Franco, the VP of Ormoc City Tourism Council. Ormoc City Tours by Fran-con Viaje International , Supercat by 2Go Travel , Cabintan Local Eco Guide especially to the Morales Brothers and family. Most of all, to Mayor Richard Gomez and Ormoc City Government for making this adventure possible.

Special thanks to Judy Villas and Brgy. Ga-as Secretary: Danny Villas for being so kind. To Nanay Conchita and Segundo Pelicano, thanks for sharing  to me some stories!

#OrmocPH # WonderfulOrmoc #VisitOrmoc #MirandaFalls

Conquering the highest Peak in Region 8- ALTO PEAK


On May 5-9, 2017, I was invited by Pocholo Franco, the VP of Tourism council in Ormoc City to explore the hidden gems of Ormoc City. I was on the impression that these are only water escapes. When he sent to me the itineraries, my adventurous spirit was surprised because it was more on mountain climbing/trekking. There are two peaks that I need to conquer with his proposal and those are the Sulpatara Peak and Mt. Aminduen also known as Alto Peak. This peak is known as the tower of the East since it is highest peak not only in the Province of Leyte but in the whole Eastern Visayas Region. This would be my first time scaling a peak with an impressive elevation of 1332 MASL.



It was 4PM when I exactly arrived at Brgy. Cabintan, City of Ormoc and the sky was alive because of the heavy rain. Upon arriving at the  community of Cabintan, Fregie(habal-habal driver) dropped me off at Kuya Ramil Morales house (HEAD of Brgy. Cabintan Tourism Council).


While waiting for Jeramil, my trail guide. I’ve got the chance to speak with Kuya Ramil and he presented me the Cabintan’s trail map. He also told me to prepare myself because it is gonna be an uphill battle. And what a battle indeed.


When Jeramil arrived, we quickly prepared our backpacks and started to trekked at exactly 4;30PM. Kuya Ramil told me that it was a good pre-climb preparation going to Alto Peak Camp Site even though the weather is not that friendly.


The first segment of the trail to the well pad of interest was wide and off-road. Up to a road junction, the trail to Alto Peak Camp Site sharply bends to the right. An evidence that the road hasn’t been used much was the overgrowth of moss that seemed like grass carpet.


The trekking part was enjoyable since the since the sun is hiding at it was really cold. Sometimes, the rain seem to disappear and the views of Jaro, Leyte can be seen with some islands at the background.



During the mid portion of the trail, there was a sulfur mountain standing around 80 degrees of cliff and it is bounded by these wild strawberries. It seems that the trail going to the camp site was just literally a walk in the park.



wild strawberries.. Yum! yum!

Definitely a good warm up for our next day assault. We reached the campsite around 7:00 PM. Since we already have our packed dinner, we don’t need to worry to cook. We set-up our camps and took our dinner, we immediately have our rest and call it a day. We have to recharge ourselves for the exciting trek awaits.


dinner is served


campfire is  🙂

After our dinner, we ended up a quick camp fire for me have a simple chit-chat with Jeramil. Because I believe it is a great idea to look forward for a new friend.


The following morning, it was 4AM and Jeramil was already doing some noise outside the tent and I believe he is preparing a good breakfast. I took a chance to prepare as well my stuff and it was around 5:30AM when I clearly see the campsite. The view has a huge landscape and surrounded by perfect greens view. Water source is also available in the campsite, especially on rainy seasons.


another day of adventure

It was still bit dark when we started our trek around 6:30 AM going to the assault. The first 10 to 15 minutes trail is not difficult but it has a lot of Cogon grass and ferns from your left and right. Afterwards, the assault greeted us and the trail becomes really narrow.



As we reached the assault of Alto Peak, the trail is more difficult, with the surrounding filled with slippery roots, steep assaults continuous uphill that elevates to up to 80-90 degree at some point. The terrain’s certainly ain’t getting any easier .



During the mid portion or the trail, there was around 80 degrees of cliff so we used a rope to climb up. Then the next part would be roots and more root climbing until we reached the grassy part of the mountain which was the peak.


Last rest for the ascent

The assault took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to reach the peak.The summit has a limited space. I believe only 1 tent is enough to pitch on the area.


The peak was just around maybe 15 meters in diameter and cliffs on the sides. There were small trees on the center so we can hide from the cold wind.


It feels good to be at the top of the world


Various insects and flowers can also be found in the forest, abundant insect that was totally different from other mountains. Breathtaking views awaits for you once you reach the top. Always remember that it’s not the destination but it’s the journey .


This plant called Pitsel-pitsel or Pitcher plant. Surprisingly, it can be your source of water.




I feel so blessed when we reached the summit even though the weather is not that perfect. I saw some sea of clouds but in just a few seconds the fog will covered it.


My climbing experience to Alto Peak brought back some sense to me.

We had a simple snacks and a quick rest. Few pictures taken and down we go to the camp site for our lunch and see explore the other hidden gems at Barangay Cabintan.


 “I now resolved to go to bed early, with a firm purpose of also rising early the next day to revisit this charming walk; for I thought to myself, I have now seen this temple of the modern world imperfectly; I have seen it only by moonlight.”

Alto Peak in Ormoc, Leyte. The highest in Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), Alto Peak stands majestically on a beautiful realm, the Lake Danao National Park, home to a rich variety of fauna and flora. The domain is also home to farming communities whose vegetable plantations – and cool clime – are somewhat reminscent of the Cordilleras.

LLA: 11.1061 N, 124.7097 E, 1332 MASL (unverified)
Days required / Hours to summit: 3-4 days / 11-14 hours*
Specs: Exploration, Major Climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 3 with unestablished trails

Source: Pinoy Mountaineer

Come and visit the beautiful Alto Peak, situated in Brgy. Cabintan Ormoc City.

More stories about my Ormoc adventure soon!

A great thanks to Mr. Pocholo Franco, the VP of Ormoc City Tourism Council. Ormoc City Tours by Fran-con Viaje International , Supercat by 2Go Travel , Cabintan Local Eco Guide especially to the Morales Brothers and family. Most of all, to Mayor Richard Gomez and Ormoc City Government for making this adventure possible.

#OrmocPH # WonderfulOrmoc #VisitOrmoc #AltoPeak