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!

La Conquista de Corregidor: Getting Ashore

MiddleSide Barracks of Corregidor

It was one of those unplanned trips again that ended up great—and as a history student, a place something to look forward to. It was my first time conquering “The Rock of the Orient.” It is the tadpole-shaped sentinel island that guards Manila Bay from invaders—and indeed it held steadfast in Philippine history. The English name, “Corrector’s Island.” En español, “La Isla de Corregidor.”

The Philippine Flag at North Docks

Thanks to Ivan Henares and Sun Cruises, I, together with bloggers Joel, Cedrick, James, Estan, Claire, Rob, Patricia, Ivan Mandy, and Sir Bobby Aquino of Magsaysay Shipping, we embarked on a 1 hour and 15 minute fast cruise towards the mouth of Manila Bay as the sun is just reaching its rays over the skyline of Manila.

Continue reading La Conquista de Corregidor: Getting Ashore

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

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