Monday, October 31, 2011

Liliw, Laguna: Reawakening in a Sleepy town

October 16, 2011
Liliw, Laguna

Reawakening in a Sleepy town

Liliw is famed as the region’s footwear capital. From the sprawling shoe shops and tiangge, you’d probably find here the cheapest bargained footwear in the country. Nestled in the rural countryside of Laguna, Liliw is one side trip you shouldn’t miss.

Mt. Isarog, Camarnies Sur: Survival Trail

Survival Trail of Mt. Isarog (April 8-9, 2008) 
(Patag-Patag Trail)

I probably would not forget my experiences with Mt. Isarog, not in another lifetime or so. Amidst its formidable height, crawling vegetation, vertical slopes, and battalion of blood sucking leeches, I found myself humbled by its sheer beauty and innocence…

It was three years ago when I found myself on board an aircon bus to Bicol. I was a graduating student then, with ample time but with very limited resources. It was my first time to venture on such a trip outside the region, and the only thing that pushed my confidence was the company of friends. This was after all, our induction climb. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sagada, Mt. Province: The Rustic Charm

Day 2 (April 16, 2011) 

              Minutes past 4:30 am, I opened my eyes but my body seemed frozen... paralyzed to numbness. I was awoken by the subtle sounds of my roommates struggling to rouse from bed. Suddenly I remembered what we went through yesterday and I shut my eyes with the memory... Spelunking is not my brand of coffee after all. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cavinti, Laguna: ReaAwakenING in a Sleepy Town

October 16, 2011
Brgy. Tibatib Cavinti, Laguna

The eco-park nestled in the mountainous area of Laguna...
The park started its construction in 2005 and after 2 years was opened to the public.

Still, most people do not know of the place or that it's the cheaper route to Pagsanjan Falls... 
Yes, the falls which most Sibika Books in our elementary years were raving about...

I guess, with the newer generation, this place may not elicit the same enthusiasm as it does with us. For someone who grew up listening to grade school teachers saying "Ang Talon ng Pagsangjan ang isa sa pinaka-tanyag na Talon sa Pilipinas...." wow... very nostalgic right?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Attimonan, Quezon: Mt. Pinagbanderahan Forest Canopy

Mt. Pinagbanderhan
Attimonan, Quezon 

May 22-23, 2011

A journey to the mountain and sea done in tribute to [a lost and terribly missed] friend… 

 Wild Wonder: The Virgin Forest of Quezon National Park 

What more fitting tribute to friend who loved high mountains and exotic seas than to journey on the same special path where her feet once traversed. 

She would have been with us on this trip (which was planned a month before) if everything just went according to plan… 

But I guess, no one can really plan ahead of LIFE. Afterall, Life really is a borrowed gift from Above and He, who looks upon us, has mightier and grander plans for us all. 

We made this trip happen [against the odds of travelling without your usual set of buddies], because we believe (well, I mostly) that if May 9 didn’t come to pass, she surely would have loved to make this journey worth fulfilling.

 From the supposed 8 participants, we were down to just two, me and Angel (plus the other Angel hovering around, hehehe). 

I was so desolate going to San Pablo, Laguna (where I was supposed to met Angel) because this would be the first time I would be travelling (and be staying in a place overnight) with only a friend. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pagbilao, Quezon: The Night that Breaks The Dawn

Pagbilao, Quezon
May 22-23, 2011

A journey to the mountain and sea done in tribute to [a lost and terribly missed] friend…

 Bathe in Purple Hues: Pagbilao seaside early morning shot near the Power plant 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sagada: Northern Delights

April 14, 2011 (Thursday) 

    The Sea of Clouds: View aboard a bus en route to Sagada, Mt Province    

Friday, September 16, 2011

Calatagan Batangas: Sojourn in the Rain

August 29, 2011

Foreword: Due to typhoon Mina which devastated our original Palaui- Cape Engano itinerary (and without any plan B secured), this haphazardly done trip was decided hours before the actual outing… Thus our itinerary is a product of rushed research and phone interviews with friends residing in the area. 

The centuries old Sto. Domingo de Silos Church in the town proper of Calatagan

Brief History:

Many people visit Calatagan for its beaches (although majority of it are exclusive for stockholders), but aside from this reason, the place also played a historical role as an active trading port even before the Spanish conquest. There were several artefacts and relics (like ancient jars) excavated in some grave sites during the historical Calatagan Excavation in 1950s.

The place was known as Hacienda de Calatagan during the Spanish era and was possibly owned by a certain Roxas de Ayala family. In 1912, it became an independent municipality and larhe part of the hacienda was sold to Familia Zobel. At present, the family still owns a vast majority of the land, but some parts have already been apportioned to the people due to the Land Tenure Administration in 1957.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Quest for Masskara Festival

My sister once told me I’m the master crammer in the family. I guess she’s right because here I am, in the middle of busy and crowded food-court of a big mall, grabbing a chance for a free WIFI access, and trying so hard to clutter words to elicit a good write up and convince everyone that I, (yes I! Me and no one else), deserve to win the trip to Masskara Festival in Bacolod. The last minute appeal has finally given me the right nerves to come with an article.

My eyes flew to my black Fossil watch and the minutes seemed to blur with hours. The bleakness of my feat seemed to emanate with huge bang! I have never written something like this in my life! Or better yet, I have never tried convincing anyone of my worth, especially through writing (saved the few heated drama I’ve had with friends when I almost renounce them or the endless verbal discourse I’ve had with my sister, who always end up the winner, the lawyer that she is…). I guess what I’m trying to say is, I really can’t decipher what special something I have over the others when I’m practically very ordinary you’d almost not notice me when I’m beside a wall.

Truth of the matter is, if I can’t convince myself, how would I start convincing anyone? The bitter fact slapped me life some hard hitting paddle. I guess I will never win this trip with fancy accolade to myself. So instead of pointing the unique reasons I possess (which will take light-years to figure out), let me just share the very mundane motivations I share with others.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baler, Aurora: The Epic Waves, Fabled Town (Day1)

"The waves of Baler have waited for me… Waited for me to come into its beaconing arms… so much that it almost sucked the very life in me…"

Although I have had my first near death experience amidst the whopping waves and treacherous depths of this fabled town, Baler would always melt my heart with memories.

--> Ermita Hill
--> Sabang Beach
--> Bay's Inn
--> Hanging Bridge
--> Museo De Baler
--> Quezon Memorial Plaza
--> Bahia De Baler...


December 16, 2010

At around 2300H me and my Travel Buddies  met up in Cubao Terminal station of Genesis  Transport Service. There was already a line of people waiting for buses going to Aurora and nearby provinces. We failed to reserve seats for their regular aircon buses  (and we did not expect the deluge of passengers) so we were left with no choice but to grab the more expensive 31 seater, air-conditioned Deluxe bus, with an annexed CR, headed for Baler. 
I say, grabbing a seat (with a bit of “tulak”) amidst the throng of fervent crowd was no mean feat. I can literally say that I fought my own way there…hahahha.

It wasn’t long before I dozed off to sleep, even before the bus departed. That’s how comfortable the seat was. Aside from being spacious, the recliner was being true to its word. Define recline, it’s “higa”. Deluxe bus wasn’t a bad choice for 500php fare.

The first and only bus stop, somewhere in Nueva Ecija

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Rise of Datus

Date:  February 6, 2011
Location: Summit of Mt. Manalmon, Madlum San Miguel Bulacan
Artists: AMS,  JAA, MEDC, CC
Make-up: AMS/MEDC

Intense photo shoot, approximately two hundred meters above sea level, in the comfort of dried trees, wild shrubs, and fiery afternoon sun... Who says trekking and high end pictorial can’t come together? We just gave a new meaning to the word, High End.

After taking lunch at the flat rocks over viewing the Cordillera Mountains, preparations were done for this photo-shoot.  In a short span of 10 minutes (that’s how fast we made it), the camera started rolling and it never ended until exhaustion took its toll.

Galang Paru-Paru (Wild Butterfly)

Babaylan (Priestess)      CC/MEDC

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mount Manalmon (Bulacan): One day Affair

At the summit of Mt. Manalmon, Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan

The trek to Mt. Manalmon is not that gruesome (a.k.a challenging) if you would happen to compare it to the  trails  that we have experienced in Mt. Isarog in the Bicol Region or perhaps the treacherous turns of Mt. Makiling in Laguna. Nevertheless, the view on top is one of the most breathtaking I've seen, comparable to the postcard view of other mountains in Cordillera. The surge of fresh air is welcoming and the serenity of the place is one to be envied.The summit offers 360 degrees spectacular view of Central Luzon's unending plains, Mt. Arayat's towering height, Mt Mabio's Rocky limestone peak, and Sierra Madre's mountain ranges. 

Honestly, I wasn't expecting that kind of beauty that awaited me there. The place is so underrated, and certainly it deserves a distinction for something...

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