Tranquil Talisay, Divisoriang Tagaytay!

Binintiang Malaki -- Taal Volcano's most photographed cone/crater

It was Christmas Day, well a lot of urban-dwellers of Manila and its suburbs like to spend some time with the company of family and friends. My family though decided that we go to Tagaytay and pass by Pink Sisters then head on to one of the last “shack cottages” overlooking Taal Volcano and Batangas Province. It was cold and was drizzling when we went there. Tagaytay as expected would be crowded on a long weekend, but we never expected such mass exodus that would unfold later that day. Continue reading Tranquil Talisay, Divisoriang Tagaytay!

The Road Less Traveled: Along Verde Island Passage

The Lobó-Batangas City Road, Verde Island and Mindoro Island

After scaling the mountains of Lobó, we head our way back to Manila. However, instead of passing by the main road going there from Manila, we went on the road less traveled—the coastal road between the town of Lobó and Batangas City, right along the busy Verde Island Passage. As for us, it is retracing back memories of one particular barangay along the lonely road—Ilijan…

The route was more than a 40 kilometer sojourn from Lobó poblacion to Batangas City, about 10 kilometers longer than the main mountain pass road where most jeepneys and cars pass. The route traverses the rugged and isolated barangays of the two localities, notably Barangay Banalo of Lobó and Barangay Ilijan in Batangas City.

Continue reading The Road Less Traveled: Along Verde Island Passage

The Silence at Montemaria: After The Pilgrims Left

With paved roads, it is easier to travel now from Ilijan unlike the by-gone days. However, there is one particular part of the road where I remember it has a very dangerous incline towards the cliff and the sea. It is where my dad’s personnel had an accident when their truck fell off the road. Beautiful, it is reminiscent to that of Batanes. Moreover, it has become a place of controversial pilgrimage. They call it Montemaria or Mountain of Mary. From this point, you could see the busy ships passing by and a magnificent panoramic view of Verde Island, Mindoro, Batangas Bay and even Batangas City from afar (hey, we’re still 20 kilometers away from the city center). Wow! This place is such a sight to behold (minus the cow dung everywhere).

Continue reading The Silence at Montemaria: After The Pilgrims Left

Simple Living Has its Price: An Ode to Nagtaluntong of Lobó Batangas

My family and I went back to Lobó in Batangas province to have a break from the urban jungle and my dad’s inspection on the project site at one of the mountain barangays of the town. We went on to one of the most isolated towns in this part of Southern Tagalog region. Protected by rugged mountains and bordered by the Verde Island Passage, it seems that the town has been encapsulated in time by nature herself! When before, I had a brief visit to Malabrigo Lighthouse, this time I went off the beaten track and return to the placed I was enamored when I was in Grade 6 and a realization of an uphill countryside struggle for survival.

Continue reading Simple Living Has its Price: An Ode to Nagtaluntong of Lobó Batangas

Faro de Punta Malabrigo: Perched between Man and Elements

Faro de Punta Malabrigo

It was very unexpected that I’ll be going to the town of Lobó in Batangas province with my dad for his routine trip for his work. It was my first time there, and it was the Barangay Elections Day all throughout the country. However, that old Spanish lighthouse is the ultimate destination that I like to go — Malabrigo Lighthouse or Faro de Punta Malabrigo. Since I haven’t been to Cape Bojeador lighthouse in Ilocos or even Malabrigo’s sister in Calatagan, Batangas, this was my opportunity to see that lonely sentinel perched on a hill overlooking Verde Island Passage. After convincing my dad, I’m off to Malabrigo!

Situated some seven kilometers away southeast of Lobó’s town proper, Malabrigo is a barangay that seemingly being edged by the mountains to the sea. Yes, it reminds me of Cebú or even Barangay Ilijan in Batangas City. The faro is situated on top of the hill. A steep climb for vehicles and for the tricycles that serve town proper-Malabrigo route. If you’re commuting, better disembark at the Malabrigo Resort gate and ascend towards the lighthouse on top of the hill. Malabrigo is one isolated community in Batangas-seemingly defying the notion that the province is easily accessible from the great metropolis of Manila!

Continue reading Faro de Punta Malabrigo: Perched between Man and Elements

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