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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Burias Island: Tinalisayan Islet, a Small Piece of Paradise


Finally my plan of going to Burias Island pushed through.  This trip took me almost 3 years in the making and through my time of Holy Week in Pasacao, Camarines Sur, it became way to let it happen.  It was only after the Lenten season that I finally decided to go to Burias and just before that I’ve had few more researches about this island.
The port in San Pascual

San Pascual Church
Inside the church
From Pasacao Port, Camarines Sur, Burias Island is approximately a 2-hour boat ride.   San Pascual is a municipality located at the northernmost tip of Burias Island in Masbate.
The lodging house owned by Mrs. Fuentes
I took the MB Maxim boat and the fare was P130.  The boat arrived to the port at 1 p.m.  First I had to look for an Inn and I found a lodging house M.S.S. Fuentes Lodging House owned by Lelly Fuentes.  It was a few minute walk from the port.  I was looking for carinderia for my lunch and the eatery was just located on the same building.
the bangka that I rented to Tinalisayan
me
A view of the islet when your climb a rock
Sitting on a big rocl


A view of a wrecked ship on our way back to the port

Burias has Bicol’s oldest church dating from 1560 in San Pascual.  From the port, San Pascual church is just a few steps away.

I was looking for a small boat going to Sombrero Island.  Since I don’t have enough time, I’ve settled to go to Tinalisayan Islet.  Sombrero is a 2-hour boat ride while Tinalisayan is  only 20 minutes from San Pascual Port.

Me standing on the rock

On the way to Tinalisayan islet the boat had a smooth sailing and perfectly the sea was calm.  Looking on the water, it was crystal-clear and I saw some flying fishes as they tried to go along with the boat.

As we approach the small piece of paradise, I can already feel my sense of excitement.  And finally we arrived Tinalisayan islet and the boatman went down first and pulled the boat to the sand.  The place was just wonderful and it put me to the dreamy mood, and it feels like I was just alone in an island, so serene unlike some of the beach resorts when it’s always crowded.  It was a great surprise to see Tinalisayan islet as this was a new discovery to those who prefer to see a not commercialized beach resort.  Only few people go in this unexploited islet. 

A mesmerizing view of Tinalisayan
And if I had more time and was well prepared, I could have stayed overnight in this islet.  You have to bring your own food, water and tent if you want to spend overnight in this islet. 
Sailing back to San Pascual Port after island hopping
The next day I took the 9:30 a.m. boat going back to Pasacao.  The first trip was at 5:30 a.m.  There’s no boat to Pasacao in the afternoon as it had only 2 trips a day that are available in the morning.  As soon as the boat arrived to the port, I took a van going to Naga and went to Starbucks in Magsaysay Avenue to hang out and open my Facebook account.  It got rained though and that made me stay for a few more hours until I decided to check in to the lodge.


Since Burias Island is just a few hours from Pasacao Port, I am going to visit Burias soon and this time I want to go to Sombrero Island.  



Monday, April 21, 2014

Road Trip: Exploring Some Parts of Albay

Daraga Church
The last time I spent my Lenten season in the province was two years ago in Boac, Marinduque and I go to spend time reflecting and witnessing the Moriones Festival.  The season reminds me of my family and relatives and we go to this small island during Holy Week where, at the same time picnic in beach and prepare foods in a small cottage.



 I decided to explore Albay Province on Maundy Thursday.  I’ve never been to Legazpi City. From Pasacao , Camarines Sur, I packed up my things in the morning for the Albay trip.  As part of my vow, my target was to visit some old churches not limited to the Lenten season, but to every place I go, I had to drop by to some old churches.  But I’ve heard about the Sunflower Farm in Ligao and that’s why I took time to go to Kawa-Kawa where the sunflower farm is located.

The trip from Naga City to Legazpi, Albay was approximately 4 hours.   On the way to my destination  was traffic in the town of Nabua.  And one of the reasons why it took a lot of time to go to Legazpi because the bus had a lot of stop-over.  We arrived Legazpi at 1:30 p.m.

San Rafael Church:

From the Pacific Mall, I took a tricycle ride going to San Rafael Church.   I lit up a candle and said my little prayer.  After a few minutes I took a Daraga-bound Jeepney to see the old church in Daraga.

San Rafael Church in Legazpi City

Daraga Church:

I took a jeepney ride o Daraga, it’s about 15-20 minutes from Legazpi. Perhaps this is one of the oldest churches in the province of Albay. You can take a few steps to the stairs to reach the church.  On the side of the church is an overlooking view of Mayon Volcano.  Unfortunately the cone of the volcano was covered by a cloud.

Front view of the church
After the mass
overview of Mt. Mayon


Sunflower Farm in Kawa-Kawa

From Daraga, I took the Ligao City.  It was approximately 30-minute jeepney ride and the drop off was in Kawa-Kawa.  You can ride a tricycle and let them take you to Kawa-Kawa National Park where the Sunflower farm is located.  The park has served as tourist and religious destination.   On the hill is a life-size images of the Station of the Cross.  And at the top of the hill is where you can find the sunflowers.

Uphill to the park
Souver  items where you can buy outside the park
The Last Supper life-size images
Stairs going to the farm
Some tourists taking pictures of the sunflowers
My photo shot for the sunflowers


By past 5 p.m. I was done with the tour and decided to ride a bus back to Naga City.  I checked in at CBD Plaza Hotel where the bus terminal is located.


On Good Friday I decided to go to the Malabsay Falls in Mt. Isarog National Park.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Good Friday: Sunset in Pasacao, Camarines Sur

I remember when I was a kid, together with my siblings and cousins we spend our summer vacation in Pasacao, Camarines Sur.  This is where I can find my childhood memories and each time I visit Pasacao, I have this wave of nostalgia remembering these moments. We play around the sunset shore picking some shells and corals in a sand, fishing and hoping to get some fishes in a shallow part of a stony shore.





I love Pasacao, lots of childhood memories. I love when it's windy, walking along the shore and watching the setting sun.



I took some sunset shots on a shore, and I never took some pictures in a recent past starting my stint to landscape photography.  Seeing the sunset pictures make me feel so warm and calm, and I feel at peace on its serenity.

It was Good Friday when I took these shots coming from my adventure at Malabsay Falls in Mt. Isarog.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bataan: One Fine Day At Sisiman Bay, Mariveles


I love to take some pictures of a sunset on a sandy shore, and Sisiman Bay in Mariveles was just a perfect destination being a photo hobbyist.

This is my second time around in Mariveles, Bataan.  The first one was in 2011. I read a few blogs about the Sisiman Bay and that made me thought to visit the place once more.  Mariveles is a first class municipality in the province of Bataan.  Sisiman Bay, where the lighthouse is erected has been one of the landscape photographers’ delights.  With a view of a sunset makes the scene a picture-perfect.

abandoned structure
I call this the Rocky Mountain
At first the boy was shy to pose
Going to Mariveles is a 3-4 hour bus ride from Cubao, Quezon City via Bataan Transit.  The bus left around 9:30 a.m.  The bus had its stop-over in Lubao, Pampanga and we arrived Mariveles at 1:30p.m.  The first thing that came into my mind was to eat. I had some few walks around the town and found an eatery near the market.
on my way to the lightouse where a couple just through with their picture taking
overlooking spot for 180 degree view of the scenery

Expect it to be hot and I decided to take some few walks until I reached Jollibee.  I took an order of choco sundae while waiting for 4 p.m. I had an opportunity to ask the crew where I could get to Sisiman Bay and the crew instructed me to take the blue tricycle which costs 50 pesos one way.
When I was at Sisiman, the scene was familiar realizing that I had an overnight stay in one of the inns at Sisiman 3 years ago.

The beach in Sisiman where you could see the lighthouse uphill was just walking distance and once you saw the abandoned structure is an indication that you have reached the bay.  There was a huge rock for climbing but I did not attempt to climb being alone of my adventure.

 At last I saw the newly reconstructed lighthouse and I had to wait for the sunset to take some shots.  The experience in Sisiman Bay was just amazing and I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the lighthouse.  And finally I have reached the destination where the locales of Mariveles are proud of.

I started packing up past 6 p.m. and unfortunately I was not able to catch up for the bus to Cubao since it has a last trip at 6:30 p.m.  I took the bus going to Balanga since the bus in this town has a last trip at 9 p.m.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Planning A Short Trip


I love taking some short trips especially when you don’t have to stay overnight in your destination.  As long as you know exactly what you plan to do for your destination, you can maximize your stay by spending quality time and with some few hours you can go home already.  The advantage of the short trip is you minimize your expense because you don’t have to pay for the hotels and inns.  This is true when you live in the nearby towns close to some of the tourist spots and I think this is one of the advantages of those people who live in the province where some of the tourist attractions are just few hours away.

Short trips are one of the methods I made recently; after all it helps me save money in preparation for my big trip wherein I have to stay for few days in my destination.  It also let me get a glimpse how the people live in the town, because I love to observe the way people live in the town.

Foods are just irresistible when it comes to your trips.  I’m sure you want to taste some of their goodies to complete your travel experience, whether you eat in a fancy restaurant or in carinderias that caters food to the mass.  Whatever your choice is, you experience part of their traditions.

I want to share my experience in planning some short trips and I hope this helps:

  1. 1.       Planning ahead of time is still important.  If you plan a short trip, make sure you get some researches first about your destination.  Reading some blogs can help you plan and prepare a trip.
  2. 2.       Bring a map, your travel planner, and the things you have taken notes from your researches.
  3. 3.       Always bring extra cash even if it is a short trip.  You can use extra cash when you get short of your budget.
  4. 4.       Bring a bottled-water and extra shirts.  It’s also best to bring some medicines and toiletries with you.
  5. 5.       When you plan for a short trip, make sure you have to go early in the morning as much as possible, especially when traveling takes 4-5 hours to reach your destination.
  6. 6.       If you have already reached the town closed to your destination.  Always ask some locales how much it would cost you to take your destination.  Some destinations require you to take a tricycle where some of the drivers may over-charge you.
  7. 7.   When you are already in your destination, maximize your time to learn about the place, and this gives you a chance to share your experience to your friends that they might also be interested.
  8. 8.       Be careful where to eat and what you eat and I’m sure you don’t want to get a stomach ache or experience diarrhea within your trip.
  9. 9.       When riding a bus, don’t drink a lot of water and I’m sure you don’t want to experience the call of the nature.
  10. 10.   Make sure that you know the last trip of the bus as this will prevent you to miss out the bus when going home so to avoid an overnight stay in the place.





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tanay, Rizal's Calinawan Cave

I have never been to any caves at all since I started blogging about my travel experience and what made me to become interested about the caves because I have read a blog about Calinawan Cave.  This cave is situated at Tanay, Rizal, a nearby town from where I live -  Cainta.  Tanay is just one hour and a half jeepney ride from our place.  The province of Rizal was the easiest way to jaunt as it didn't require me to take a long trip because it's just a nearby town.



The Grotto just before heading up to Calinawan Cave

This 200-step stair gives you 180 degree view

Entrance of Calinawan Cave
The trip to Calinawan Cave had not required me to make plans for my itinerary ahead of time, unlike from my previous travel,  because Rizal was ideal for me as it doesn't involve spending too much budget nor it calls me to stay overnight.

The pathway to the cave appears a formation of an optical illusion of the face on the left

me as I look up on the hole of the cave where the light streaks down the cave

going up, another passage in the cave

The jump-off starts from Tanay market where jeepneys and tricycle terminal is located and it begins after we took our late lunch to the market by asking the carinderia owner where we could take a ride going to Calinawan.  But beforehand I had an idea already based from what I have read from the blog as this could avoid us from overcharging the fare by some the drivers.  For a reasonable fee of 300 pesos the trike driver explained that the fee is good for two-way trip, and he had to wait for the entire journey because there’s no available trip going back to the town proper of Tanay.



my company during the exploration
look up..lol

First we stopped to the nearby Grotto before the journey to Calinawan cave went on to the uphills and rough road until we reached Baranggay Katyo where the cave is located.  Daranak falls belongs to the same barangay and is not far away from Calinawan cave.

our guide giving us direction

According to the tour guide Senz, Calinawan cave is a hub for some movies like Third Eye, Dyesebel which stars Alice Dixson, Jackie Chan which I forgot the movies he mentioned to me.

The cave has 7 layers as our tour guide explained; the first and the second layer is easy to explore which is approximately 150 meters walk between the entrance and exit point.  The third to fifth layer is hard as it involves crawling; the sixth and the seventh layer connects to Montalban, Rizal and it takes approximately 9 days to explore.  This was an interesting story from our guide as someone made it to have reached the Montalban exit.  Calinawan cave once served as stronghold for the revolutionaries during the Spanish, American and Japanese occupation.

Exit of the Cave
It will take around 30-45 minutes to explore the cold cave.  Steps have to be watched carefully and it has a low ceiling through the passages.

My experiencing for exploring Calinawan cave gave me an opportunity to educate myself that some of the caves that have historical relevance aside from being part of the tourist attraction.  It was good to know that this openned my eyes to get to know more about some of the caves in the Philippines.