Baler: Roadtrip for the Holy Week

First of all, it was an unplanned trip.  However, came early morning of Good Friday, I found myself behind the wheel cruising the narrow road leading to what have been dubbed as the Philippines' surf capital - Baler.

Normally, I prefer spending the Holy Week observing traditions like doing the Visita Iglesia, joining a "prusisyon", and most importantly, attending the Easter Vigil.  But a promise is a promise, and I gave one to a cousin to take him surfing in Baler before he flies back to London for work.  Holy Week was the only available time he had.

Taking into consideration that Holy Week is vacation time for majority of Filipinos, and Baler slowly becoming a major tourist destination, one of the concern I had in doing the trip was if we would be able to find an accommodation once we get there.  Good thing my cousin was able to have a travel agency reserve a room for us at Jamjen's Lodge that was located just a few steps away from the beach.  For a bunch of backpacke…

Destination: Anawangin

“It’s the type of place you go to when you want to forget about the world, the type of place where you can be alone and not worry about being alone.”This was the thought that lingered through my mind as I looked back at Anawangin while our outrigger made its way to Pundaquit for our trip home.
Ours had only been an overnight trip, but in that short span of time, and despite the fact that it was no longer the off the beaten track destination that it once was, Anawangin had already made an impact in me that all I could think of while on the short 15-minute boat ride back to Pundaquit, was of being there again, regardless of who I’ll be with, or even on my own.My only wish was that even with its growing popularity, nothing of the present set-up for visitors will change.No big commercial establishments, no paved roads, no piers and ports, just the old-fashioned outdoor environment.After all, it’s the reason why people go there in the first place.

A Fond Remembrance

One morning at the office, talk had been about surgeries and confinement.An officemate remarked that he loved being confined because it gave him a valid reason for not going to school or being absent from the office.I expressed the same view, citing the "pasalubongs" as my reason, then followed it up by narrating that I’ve only been confined once.  And then it hit me, that time when I was confined, Mama was the first person I saw when I woke up.  In fact I couldn’t remember anybody else being there for the whole duration of my stay.I can’t exactly remember how many days I stayed at the hospital, but those days had been fun, with me and Mama playing with the flash cards Auntie Linda sent me.Basic mathematical operations, and then pictures of things, Mama was a very good teacher.The thimble, that one I found hard to name.
Mama…how can I ever forget such a woman?If there ever was a perfect mother, she’d be that person.Of course almost every child thinks that way about their moms…

Samar: An Alternative Destination


For those who have been accustomed to spending their summer outings or vacations in places like Boracay, Bohol, and Batangas, the name Samar may sound a bit below the scale.But Samar may just be the perfect place for you.Being a SamareƱo, I guess I have the authority to say that you can take my word for it.Pristine beaches, springs, falls, a rustic environment, a laid back lifestyle, and an eclectic mixture of things and activities to do - these are just some of the things my province has to offer.
 Accessible through two major modes of transportation, Samar can be reached either by buses going to Leyte and Bohol, or by plane via Tacloban in Leyte or Calbayog.Of the two, I personally prefer traveling by bus for not only is it cheaper, you also get the opportunity to pass by the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, and Bicol.With stopovers in almost each province, the trip will be like an instant 18-hour roadtrip, complete with a 2-hour ferry boat ride from Matnog, Sorsogon …