Monthly Archives: April 2010

April pic(k) of the month


Dear Sunflower:

This month, like you, I have been following the sun from east to west. I need the full sun to grow well! My sunkissed (errr, sunburnt) skin bore proof of my carefree worshipping.

Be it with a book in hand by the beach, a plate of fresh fruits under a tree or the company of friends by the shore, I watch another beautiful day go explored as the sun rises, peaks and sets.

A sunny summer indeed.



Calaguas and its long beach


view of Halabang Baybay atop a hill we braved

I first heard about the Calaguas Group of Islands from my Dad while he was sharing stories on how he heard it was really beautiful, who owns which island and which one’s for sale. Ironically though, I only read extensively about this gem of a spot from a non-Bicolano: in Lakwatsero’s site. Even awesome friend Gala Pinoy, who has had an article on the islands published in a major broadsheet, has been to this northern paradise years ahead.

Chances are, by now, you’ve been reading a lot of online entries writing nothing but ooohs and aaahs for the most famous beach in the Calaguas. Indeed, Halabang Baybay (as the locals call it) or Mahabang Buhangin has a very long stretch of fine golden white sand, aquamarine waters and interesting rock formations. Located in Barangay Mangcawayan, under the jurisdiction of the town of Vinzons, the beach is a piece of heaven for wanderers wanting a weekend of communing with the barest Mother Nature has to offer. Beach bummers, sun worshippers and stargazers will fall in love with the Calaguas.

Fast becoming a tourist spot, Mahabang Buhangin is now called the Boracay of the North (sorry Pagudpod). Well, at least they say it is going to be the next Boracay.

continue wandering here…

What type of traveler are you


So, what type of traveler are you? I’m a Tony Wheeler! How apt, I want to be like him. But will definitely be one about a million light years from now. :) Below’s a quote lifted from his profile page at The Lonely Planet website. Just for fun, why don’t you try out the quiz and see who fits  your profile? Let’s go vagabonding and hit our own hippie trails!

“Tony Wheeler was born in England in 1946 but spent most of his younger years overseas. Those years included a lengthy spell in Pakistan, a shorter period in the West Indies and all of his high school years in the USA. He returned to England to do an engineering degree, worked for a short time as an automotive engineer, then went back to university and completed an MBA.

As soon as Tony left business school in London in 1972, he and his wife Maureen set off for an overland trip to Asia. Their intention was to be away for about a year, get travel out of their systems and then settle down. When they arrived in Australia with 27 cents and a camera (which they soon pawned) between them, the continual questioning from people they met – How did you travel? What did you see? What did it cost? – inspired them to turn their diaries into a book. They called it Across Asia on the Cheap.

continue wandering here…

Bagasbas beach and breakers


Bagasbas Beach

Unknown except to Bicolanos since the 2008 Bagasbas Surf Camp, the beach is quickly gaining attention in the tourism and surfing circles.

Bagasbas Beach has a 2-km long and wide expanse of very fine black sand. It provides an alternative to the waves of Aurora and Zambales, with its year-round big breakers rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. The soft sands and shallow waters counter the strong waves making surfing in Bagasbas ideal for those wanting to test their luck (and, not to mention, “staying power”) in the water action.

continue wandering here…

Anawangin and the almost-wilderness


Scenery at the back of the cove

Again, Lady Luck was on our side.

In our first pathetic attempt at a spur-of-the-moment getaway, my officemates and I brought our beach denizen arses to Pundaquit in Zambales last April 9 and 10. Our chosen spot for the long weekend used to be the mountaineering community’s hideaway. Until about five years ago, the Anawangin Cove was an unspoilt weekend destination for campers.

I have heard so much about this place and have wanted to visit it many years back. The words camping, wilderness, remote and no electricity set off each group of friends I invited.

The beach of the cove is quite interesting as it is a mix of white, brown and grey sand which gives it an ash-like appearance and texture. Another surprising feature of the cove are the agoho trees that line the beach, dot the camping grounds and grow by the banks of the stream at the back. The absence of electricity and even mobile network coverage makes it appealing for those seeking remoteness.

continue wandering here…

Lessons from their travels


I would like to share with you some snippets of Queena N. Lee-Chua’s Eureka! article in the Inquirer’s Learning section. It captures the very essence of why traveling opens up one’s mind and eyes to the world.

Lessons from our travels

… This is why we travel: To wake up to surf and sun heralding the start of an active day yet beckoning us to nap under the trees. To feel the wind whip against our skin as we kayak and jetski, grateful to be gloriously alive on this planet. To commune with schools of multi-colored fish in shallow water, a reminder that beneath us is a world beyond our ken. To gobble up watermelon and mangoes after a swim, our bodies craving natural sources of hydration. To gaze, almost teary-eyed, at a full moon so bright it sparkles on the water, casting a light so intense that we can see kilometers out to sea.

continue wandering here…

Shoot in style


I’m lusting for Case Logic’s TBC-307.

Since it’s not available locally, I’m buying it online through my friend’s contact. Currently, my Tamrac messenger bag and funny-looking Neoprene house Kiss and friends.

Most of my misadventures take me to the beaches or the mountains. The Tamrac’s suede accents are quite prone to water and mud stains. I made the mistake of lugging it during a climb without a raincover. The Neoprene is simply a cover-up. It offers the most basic protection. Both are worn over one shoulder which becomes straining and inconvenient over time.

The TBC-307 is not just an all-in-one storage. The backpack’s dobby-weave nylon material makes it water-resistant and durable for the outdoor elements.