Surfing in Siargao and more

 

There is more to Siargao than surfing. But who can resist its fabled waves? So we do island hopping, swimming with jellyfish, spelunking, kayaking, cliff diving and surfing when we visit Siargao islands.

Siargao is the ultimate place to be for surfers visiting the Philippines. It’s extremely good waves can get any enthusiast stoked.

Beyond its surfing spots, more natural wonders await for visitors to discover and enjoy – from secret coves and lagoons to still lakes and natural pools to pristine white sand beaches that are never crowded. These hidden gems make non-surfers enjoy the Siargao islands, too.

 

Enjoy Siargao islands!

Photos courtesy of my travel buddies (Ely, Gin, Joann).

Soul-settling yellow

“It takes some effort to find unhappiness in yellow.” This line from a recent blog post of one of my favorite bloggers here at WordPress had me asking this question to myself: “Indeed, why is that?”

It dawned on me that the answer to my question was aptly summed in the title of her blog post: soul-settling yellow.

I couldn’t agree more.

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Macro. A close-up photo of a wild plant in Sagada.
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Sunrise at Mt. Kiltepan
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A side trip in a secluded (now privately owned) white sand beach in Matnog, Sorsogon.
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The Ruins at night
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Life-sized ‘maskara” in a mall in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.
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Mystical morning sight at Mt. Kiltepan
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Sunset at Anawangin, Zambales
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The bright yellow color of stalagmite and stalactite formations adds to the positive energy that spelunkers need when going down the deep, cold cave that is Sumaguing Cave.
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Memories of summer
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It could have been a dull sight without the blast of yellow from the plant.

The quiet beauty of fall

There is a kind of beauty that is too pronounced, that when you see it you can’t help but take a second look. But there is also a kind of beauty that is unassuming, yet powerful in its simplicity. For me, such is the beauty of fall. It urges you to notice not by its overwhelming beauty, but by its quiet charm.

Happy weekend, everyone!

the quiet beauty of fall

photo: from top left to bottom left taken at Bulusan Lake, Sorsogon; bottom right captured at Tiwi, Albay

In retrospect: Photos of Bohol Churches before the earthquake

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Someone said it is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.

Does this also ring true in ruining beautiful things, like how those century-old churches in Bohol were reduced to rubble in just a few seconds by a devastating earthquake?

 

This time though sans the astonishing part. Only devastation and heartache.

(Below are photos of heritage churches in Bohol captured a few weeks before the province was struck by the devastating earthquake)

 

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The trip that started it all

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An island we happened to pass by on the way to Caramoan

What is it with first-time experiences that make them hold a special place in our memory?

When I think of my travels and the places I’ve been to, the first things that come to my mind are the experiences I never had before until I visited the place.

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walled with limestone karsts

For instance, when I think of Caramoan, it’s not the second or third visit I remember the most, but the first. Not that the second and third visits were terrible. In fact, they had been as fun and as memorable as the first.

But if someone would show me a picture of Caramoan, and ask me what comes to my mind, I’d immediately say my first time.

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Bag-ing Beach, the other side of Sabitang Laya
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A prelude to an encounter with more unspoiled islands in Bicol’s best kept paradise, Caramoan

Caramoan was the destination I chose for my first ever travel since I started working. It wasn’t a solo trip, because I recalled inviting my college friends for this trip and most of them had enthusiastically responded to it. I was glad (and still am) that they did not just say yes but also took the initiative to do their part in making the trip possible.

So off we went and made memories together as friends and as individuals with shared interest for traveling. For the first time.

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Travel wasn’t visible in my goal map until I made this trip with college friends three years ago. I am so glad I did. And as long as I find it true, I’ll keep remembering how special this trip was.

[photos: travel buddies: dos, cath, gin and may]

On Gratitude

Counting our blessings each day is one way to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. And a simple way to do it is to keep a journal of gratitude. So here I am compiling some photos that would remind me, that no matter how some days can be awful, there is still something good that we can find in it and be thankful for, like a fantastic weather.

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Sunrise by the beach at Baybay fishing village, Tiwi, Albay. (Photo by my cousin)
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Life’s simple pleasures. At Albay Park and Wildlife
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Partly cloudy, partly sunny. At Atulayan Island, Camarines Sur (Photo by a friend)
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The field opposite a cemetery on a bright, sunny day. Libjo, Tiwi, Albay
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A quiet escapade. Atulayan Island (Photo by a friend)
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A weekend bonding. At Baybay, Tiwi
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finding something good without looking for it (Photo by my cousin)
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Surfing before dusk. Baybay, Tiwi. (Photo by a friend)
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Mt. Mayon in a rather subdued perspective. Libjo, Tiwi, Albay

Although Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US, being grateful for the things and people that make our life beautiful is a universal thing. So happy Thanksgiving Day, my friends!

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more pictures of Mt. Mayon captured from the field in front of our house here