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Archive for the ‘Philippine beaches’ Category


So it was another road trip for the family and Nate enjoyed the water.  Enjoying the rest of the summer at Adventure Beach Waterpark in Subic, Zambales. Nate prefers the latter compared to Ocean Adventure.

Our little boy who is not so little anymore is quite adventurous. He is not afraid to try new things.

Paddling on a banana boat

Enjoying the water.

 

He found a friend.

 

Father and son

…and we make memories.

 

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Sharing with you some photos of our famous Hundred Islands.  The place is located in Alaminos City, Pangasinan, a mere 20 minutes ride from our town and about 30 minutes boat rides to the islands.

Sometimes there are actually more than a hundred but at high tide, the small islands can’t be seen. We’ve been to the port to have lunch at Maxine By The Bay, a treat by my younger brother when we went home last week of February. Next time around, we will try to visit the various islands which could be reached by a boat ride. Not all of them are habitable, some are just too small.

These photos were shared by my cousin who went there yesterday with a group of friends. I could no longer identify which island is which, it’s been years since I visited it.

There are several amenities there now according to my cousin and the place is always full of tourists and locals alike. The best time to go of course would still be during summer.

 

 

 

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So summer has  started in the Philippines. Technically PAGASA does not call it summer  but the dry season.  The dry season though starts from the month  of November until March the following year. The hottest months are usually  April and May. Sometimes, rainy days start mid June until October.

It is during these  summer months that we have those summer fruits in season. This morning, I bought a kilo of star apple (kaimito in Tagalog) and fresh bananas.  My mom who is still with us until now loves fruits especially bananas. The variety I bought ripens easily in a day or two. I usually buy the ones which are still green.

  Green and ripe sweet mangoes are in abundance too but they  are still expensive. In the province, mangoes are given free by neighbors during harvest  time and almost every family has a mango tree in the backyard. I love the green ones (which we call manibalang)  better than the ripe ones. They taste so good with alamang  (shrimp paste) and chili peppers. Have you ever tried  freshly cooked shrimp paste as dipping sauce?It is wonderfully yummy with that kick of chili.

Do you know what’s the best time to visit the Philippines?  It is during the cooler weather of December until probably late January or early March. It is during these times that there are so many festivals celebrated in different parts of the  archipelago. Fiestas are also held at these times of the year. These feast are definitely attractions in themselves.  I guess our country celebrate so many feast, a valid excuse to party and to prepare Filipino food too. We have a variety of Philippine cuisine truly unique in the country. Some are fusion of Spanish and American dishes.  Chinese recipes abound in local food courts and restaurants.

We have lovely beaches too. I guess Palawan, Cebu  and Boracay are the best places to be during summer. There are more lovely islands in other areas too. We are not called a country of 7,641 islands for nothing. More than 5,000 islands are yet to be named though.

Come visit us, it is summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s still a long way to go before the sun shows its face. and I sit in the quiet savouring the sounds that an early morning brings. Who would not know the beauty of stillness? Who would not love a  beginning of another day?  Who would not crave for the peace that reigns in one’s heart amidst the noise of daily living?

And I long for this,the beauty of the day in all its glory.

 

Capones Island

Capones Island

 

 

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The first words I heard from my son when he came home from a week-trip to Boracay were,  “Enjoy talaga,  umitim ba ako Ma?” I laughed and he embraced me and said, “I’ve missed you Ma”. Of course I’ve missed him too.

He said he was sorry he was not able to find sea glass for me. It was just a lovely powder-white  sand all throughout. That’s okay though because based on his accounts, he enjoyed his one-week stay there and that what really counts. He didn’t take pictures but took videos of the activities they did there. Aside from swimming and exploring the place,  he enjoyed parasailing, one of the many things they did with his friends. When I saw the video, it was really, really beautiful.  Imagine yourself high up in the air with just the blue ocean underneath.  One thing that he would like to experience again if he ever has the chance to come back was the helmet diving. It was his first time to dive. They  were briefed on how to equalize pressure in the ears,  taught  hand signals to the divers and just enjoy the gifts of the sea. They gave a small packet of bread to feed the different species of fish they saw there and he enjoyed that too. The corals are just so lovely. The diving package comes with a CD where you will see yourself  feeding a school of fish and admiring the lovely corals. They tried the ATV ride (buggy cars, one of the many options to go around the island) but it was not much of a challenge compared to helmet diving and parasailing. The place is open 24/7. The whole story-telling itself was just as exciting.

Parasailing....

Parasailing….

Banana boat ride...

Banana boat ride…

About to experience the best of all....helmet diving!

About to experience the best of all….helmet diving!

So there is a grotto there, an image of Mama Mary..

So there is a grotto there, an image of Mama Mary..

Boracay is one of the many (if not the best) tourist attractions in our country. A lot of tourists, foreign and local visit this place throughout the year. To view some photos of the place, just click this link. It is one of the world’s top beach destinations.

He brought home sweets, lots of key chains for me, for Nissa and for his office mates and t-shirts.

My Boracay loot

It’s more fun in the Philippines.

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“Come over and experience the peace and quiet, see the pristine beaches, just be”, he enthused.

And I said, “I wish, I wish, I wish.”  I wish I have wings to fly and visit this wonderful place and enjoy what nature has to offer.

My priest son and I were in  a long, long chat a few nights ago and he reiterated his invitation that we go visit him and see Calayan Island while he is assigned there in one of their Dominican Missions in the North.  I am writing this from memory, from what he shared during our occasional but lengthy phone conversations. You’re right, I spent a few nights searching for videos on Calayan and visiting some blogs written by travel bloggers who’ve been to the place. I still dream of visiting Batanes of course but Calayan offers the same lovely, unexplored places  which make my soul dream of it more.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for thse lovely images.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for these lovely images.

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

 

“We’ve just harvested corn”, he continued and “enjoying the cold weather now”.  I jokingly answered “Send some via LBC”.

Unfortunately, they don’t have LBC there. Every day, they only have electricity from 12pm to 12am but they don’t complain, they are used to it. I love the idea of  fishing when you need food to eat, growing vegetables on one’s backyard and they come fresh everyday, planting rice the traditional way (and Lovell tells me that he will try using it – the plough hooked at the back of a carabao), breeding chicken and pigs for meat. I was so surprised when he said that they don’t have a public market in Calayan. The people peddle their  produce from house to house.  Sometimes, the parishioners give lobster, fresh veggies  or live chicken to the parish.

Children walk to school and they have the luxury of time to just admire the sunrise and the endless blue sea an hour before classes start.  You could never do that here in the city. Tricycles and motorcycles are the popular means of transport. The best time to go there is during the summer months of April or early May.  Twelve-hour bus ride, (unless you take a plane to Cagayan) and four to six hours boat trip to the island.

Here is a Wiki description of the place.

Calayan (Ibanag language, meaning “where laya (ginger) abounded”) is a municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,200 people in an area of 49,453 hectares (122,200 acres).

It is located in the South China Sea, in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island. The town is composed of four of the five major islands of the Babuyan Islands namely: Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island. Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. Fuga Island, the fifth island within the Babuyan Islands, is part of Aparri municipality.Calayan is home to the Calayan Rail, a flightless bird identified as a separate species in 2004 and endemic to Calayan Island.

Lovell says, you cannot appreciate it enough through pictures. The best thing is to go there and see the island for real.

 

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I always love blogging about the sea, seeing it  in all its glory and angst but I seldom have the opportunity to visit one as often as I want.  Here are some pictures of Capones Island, in San Antonio, Zambales. It’s an uninhabited paradise that boasts of a long stretch of white sand beach and rocky cliffs and clear turquoise waters and azure sky.  Wouldn’t you want to stay here for a while and commune with nature at its best?

 

(kindly click each picture to enlarge)

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I miss traveling around, finding places where silence still reigns. I miss the fresh green of the countryside.  How I wish I am close to places like these.

rural scene1

rural scene2

rural scene3

Sual1

sual2 I took the first three pictures along the highway in our province in Pangasinan while we were on our way to Manila. The last two shots  were taken at  a  hilltop  somewhere in Sual, Pangasinan where you can see the Lingayen Gulf at a distance.

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IMGP1062-1-3-1

♫♪♫♪On a clear day

Rise and look around you

And you’ll see who you are

On a clear day

How it will astound you

That the glow of your being

Outshines every star

You’ll feel part of every mountain, sea and shore

You can hear

From far and near

A word you’ve never, never heard before…

And on a clear day…On a clear day…

You can see forever…

And ever…

And ever…

And ever more…♪♪♫♪

I think I am having  a LSS. That’s Capones Island located in San Antonio, Zambales. Someday, I would love to come back here and wait for the sunrise…maybe just greet the early morning with a smile.

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Sometimes, I  need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed – Mary Oliver

 

( photo credit goes to my daughter Nissa who took this shot at Capones Island)

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