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Bicol

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2013 – Catanduanes, Philippines

Catanduanes, Surfing By September 20, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Hey, hey! Surf’s up! Catanduanes is not quite as well-known as a surfing destination in the Philippines for the following reasons:

1. Catanduanes, the Land of the Howling Winds because of the frequency of tropical storms, is not easy to get to. Flights from Manila to Virac are few and expensive.

  • Cebu Pacific has flights to Virac on Mondays, Wednesdays and the entire weekend
  • Sky Jet Airlines recently launched flights to Virac and has flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

As a side note, Skyjet has hot deals for flights from October 15 onwards at Php2,500 one way. Check it out!

If not flying, the only other way to get there is to take the roll on-roll off ferry from the port of Tabaco in the province of Albay, which is 10-12 hours away by bus from Manila, covering 580 km (360 mi). You can cut this land travel short by flying to either  Naga City in Camarines Sur or Legazpi City in Albay, to which flights are more than once a day and are also cheaper, and travel by land (less than 2 hours from Naga and less than an hour from Legazpi) to the port of Tabaco.

Several ferry services are in the Port of Tobacco:

  • Regina Shipping Lines, has a ferry service from Tobaco Port to the seaport of the town of San Andres in Catanduanes. The voyage takes around two and half hours. From San Andres to Virac you can either jump on a jeepney or take a trike.
  • MV Eugenia will take you straight into the seaport of the capital town of Virac and take about three and a half hours.
roro in san andres port, catanduanes

Ferry in San Andres Port, Catanduanes. Photo taken in 2008.

a volcano, a boat at a port

M/V Star Ferry-1 Regina Shipping Lines Inc. At the Tabaco port in Albay. Photo taken in 2008.

2. Puraran and the Majestics is not a place for beginner surfers. The waves are, well, majestic, in that they swell at the height of up to 10 feet on a 6 meter long barrel, and are only advisable for intermediate and expert surfers.

“The best known wave on the island is called Majestics, located off a gorgeous beach in the village of Puraran, which is in the middle of nowhere, two and a half hours from the capital of Virac. Majestics is a powerful and fast right hand breaking wave that gets raves from surfers. It can be extremely dangerous… because the reef is actually a shallow ledge. This means that the wave jumps out of the ocean very quickly and instead of rolling like Monaliza, it forms a fast moving bowl, which slams down into the shallow reef below. If you make a mistake on this wave you’ll have one majestically big headache. If not I’m certain you will be very happy.”Source

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Lia and her Mama at Stonehouse Gardens

Camarines Sur, Family, MOMents, Photography By January 1, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Having finally decided that Lia and I will never come back to live in Bicol, we embarked on a road trip to haul all of our stuff back to Manila. We used to travel together every two weeks when Lia and I were both based in Bicol in 2011 but this was Lia’s first return trip to Bicol after leaving nearly ten months before. We allotted two out of the three-day long weekend for just driving the 900+ kilometers back and forth, and only one day to stay and roam around the area. This mainly meant having coffee at Starbucks Magsaysay, dropping by Bigg’s Diner and Red Platter, having kinalas and puto bucayo. Of course we could have done more but with the limited time, we had to prioritize the ones I missed the most.

I have always wanted to go up and visit Stonehouse Gardens, and because we had no plans of ever coming back, it was imperative that we go this time.

Finally.

We arrived a few minutes before four in the afternoon on the first Saturday of December. The sun was nearly at the horizon and behind the clump of trees by the fence. After refreshing ourselves with glasses of juice served by the resort and take-out food from Bigg’s Diner, we went on a walk around the place and took photos. The setting sun gave just the right light for what would become some of my favorite photos for the year 2012.

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

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Stonehouse Gardens Resort, Naga City

Camarines Sur, Photography By December 31, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 7 Comments

One of the very first things I learned about when I first arrived in Naga last year was the existence of a semi-private mountain resort nestled in the foot of Mt. Isarog, Stonehouse Gardens Resort. I have vowed, and repeatedly tried in the course of many months, to get there, only to be stopped by typhoons, floods, time constraints and my general need to move about the country all the time. One December weekend though, we finally made it. And this was the result. A few hours of shoot time on a cloudy day while playing peek-a-boo with the setting sun.

Stonehouse Gardens, Panicuason, Naga City

Stonehouse Gardens, Panicuason, Naga City

Stonehouse Gardens, Panicuason, Naga City

Stonehouse Gardens, Panicuason, Naga City

Stonehouse Gardens, Panicuason, Naga City

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The WPPP goes to Penafrancia 2012

Photography By September 7, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

One of the most exciting events happening at this year’s Penafrancia festival is a wedding photography workshop from the masters themselves!

Registration fee is Php2,500 (regular) and Php1,500 (students).

Check this set out for the speakers’ portfolio: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.455678827787873.99959.455669151122174&type=1

Like the Wedding Portrait Photographers of the Philippines (WPPP) Facebook page for more information and updates.

The workshop/seminar venue will be held at The Avenue Plaza Hotel located at Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City.

This is the Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/338817056200488/

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2nd Penafrancia Tattoo Arts Festival – Sept 2012

Camarines Sur, Music and Arts By September 6, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

The first Penafrancia Tattoo Arts Festival was held at the Wharf Galley in Avenue Square in September 2011. I was really proud of Celsa, the woman behind Whuatt?!!! Production, as I am now. Please support.

Like them on Facebook for more details and updates.

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Ramashinta Resort and Spa, San Felipe, Naga City

Camarines Sur By June 21, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 9 Comments

One gloomy and rainy July morning, I found myself in Naga without a place to stay at. Hotel check-ins are usually at two in the afternoon, and my bus pulled in at the Central Business District (CBD) Terminal of Naga City at six in the morning.

One of my friends’ family owned this little resort and spa in San Felipe, and this is where I found myself for 12 hours.

RAMASHINTA RESORT AND SPA

Ramashinta Resort and Spa is a Balinese-inspired spa-resort that boasts of a grand recreational pool, children’s pool, fully equipped cabanas with majestic interiors, exclusive massage rooms for men and women, a charming garden, a multi-purpose function room, and a clubhouse/ restaurant that serves a wide array of delectable dishes. A Balinese paradise right in Naga City.

Ramashinta Resort and Spa at night, photo from Facebook page

I was in need of a little nap and a swim, so I headed over to the little resort. They gave me one of the cabanas. Mine is the one with the slightly open doors and yellow curtains.

DSC_0822_rooms

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The Mess That Is Calaguas Island

Camarines Norte, Travel By May 2, 2012 Tags: , , , , , 49 Comments

My blog title may be misleading but two days ago, my Facebook news feed had some really interesting things going on. It started with a blog that appeared on Tramping Philippines:

Nasa Calaguas Parin Ba Ako? had a video of the Calaguas we knew and the Calaguas that the traveler and concerned citizen found on that Saturday night in the beach of Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach).

The Calaguas is a group of islands in the Philippine province of Camarines Norte. It includes the islands of Tinaga, Guintinua and Maculabo and several other minor islands.

Most of the islands are under the administrative jurisdiction of Vinzons, Camarines Norte while the minor island of Maculabo is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Paracale, Camarines Norte. The island of Tinaga where the famous long beach called Mahabang Buhangin is located is experiencing influx of tourists in the area despite the absence of accommodation. Campers and backpackers are coming and going daily to experience its powdery white sands. (Source: Wiki)

I have been to Calaguas myself and blogged about it here and here. I can understand the sentiment and know exactly what is going on. Unlike my friends, I opted not to say anything about the issue. Two days later though, I found myself being plagued by it because of the number of posts appearing on my Facebook feed. It turns out, except for concerned citizen on Tramping Philippines and the person who wrote on the Calaguas Island Facebook page, I knew all the people involved here. Now I think would be a good time to share what I know and what I think. I am sorry for all those who will be affected by this.

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Butanding Festival, Donsol, Sorsogon Accommodations

Sorsogon By April 28, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

I compiled a list of resorts, inns, guest houses and homestays available in Donsol, Sorsogon for those who are planning to go there on a little trip of their own or participating in the festivities of the Butanding Festival.

There are so many choices!

RESORTS

AGM BEACHFRONT RESORT
Contact: +639173813404 / +639196882264
Email: agmresort@gmail.com
Visit: http://www.agmresort.com/

AMOR FARM BEACH RESORT
Contact Nos.: 09095181150 /09176941687
Email: info_amorbeachresort@yahoo.com
Visit: www.amorfarmbeachresort.com

CASABIANCA BEACH RESORT
furnished duplex cottages
Dancalan, Donsol, Sorsogon
c/o Mr. Jun-Jun Belmonte
0906-309-9372; 0920-2739-984
vicejjb_58@yahoo.com, casabiancadonsol@yahoo.com
Visit: http://casabiancadonsol.multiply.com/
Total No. of Rooms: 1 4
Accommodation Capacity: 48 pax
Fan/bath P800
Villas 3pax 1500PhP
Sunset Rooms 4pax 2000PhP

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Motherhood. More fun in the Philippines

MOMents By January 11, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

So I was busy being a mother and doing my “home-based business” in call center mode today when I check in to my Facebook and voila!

My friend and STS (Science, Technology and Society) favorite seat mate Miapurple tagged me in a post, saying, “See what I found circulating on facebook! This looks very familiar”

And lo and behold!

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Bikol Churches – 1941

Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Photography By November 28, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

I saw this post on Facebook from Planet Naga about four months ago. I had been too busy though to post it on my blog (or post anything actually). Today I am taking the time to share these beautiful photos. Much thanks for all these.

 

Pre-war Bicol. Bicol Region is known as one of the strongest bulwarks of the Catholic Faith since Hispanic times. In fact, during its inception, the prelate of Manila was under the Diocese of the Nueva Caceres. in This album, we shall explore the different Catholic churches all over the region, their different architectures and physical structure before war invaded Bicol in 1942.

BUHI, CAMARINES SUR - 1941

LABO, CAMARINES NORTE - 1941

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The Brownman Revival Gig at the old Wharf Galley Rock Cafe, Elias Angeles St. – April 2, 2011

Music, Wharf Galley Rock Cafe By August 21, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Four months later, here are the photos from that beautiful gig at the old Wharf Galley Rock Cafe in Elias Angeles St.

We started with the usual soundcheck and then dinner at Frennie’s place. Afterwards, the band went back to their accommodations at Naga Manor, before coming back to the bar to play two amazing sets!

Sound check!

Sound check!

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