It was an amazing experience in Calapan City, now the place is tagged as the Most Business-friendly City of the Philippines. Such recognition is remarkable.
How to go?
From Manila, the capital of Philippines, you have to take a bus going to Batangas Port. From the port, it is just one hour ride thru a ferry going to Calapan. I strongly suggest, ride with Fast Cat. it is fast, very convenient and clean.
Who can forget the best memories I have in Marinduque, Philippines? Of course not me. So let me share some amazing facts of Marinduque Province where I think few people only knew. By the way, Marinduque is labeled as the Heart of the Philippine archipelago. Just I learned from them.
Moreover, the province is composed of six beautiful municipalities, Mogpog, Buenavista, Torrijos, Sta. Cruz, Gasan and Boac as the center of commercialization and industry.
The Traditional Putong
It’s only in Marinduque where you can experience the very famous “Putong” (crowning). It is a traditional and unique way of welcoming visitors. The Marinduqueno (locals) will sing their native song while dancing. The dancers brought with them bouquet of flowers and native crowns. When the music stopped, they will offer the flowers and then, you will be crowned. The whole Putong ceremony seems to be crowing a royalty. By the way, I felt that time like a Queen.
Where to eat?
What to expect?
The best time to visit Marinduque is during the Holy Week, where the whole community celebrates the Moriones , an annual festival. The “Moriones” are men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpreted by local folks.
BTW, people in Marinduque are early sleepers. You can expect the roads in tranquil even at early night. ####
Magsaysay, one of the eleven municipalities in the Province of Occidental Mindoro. It lies on the southernmost part of Mindoro Island. It is characterized by vast plains, valleys and rugged terrain with plain areas.
Where to stay?
The Hill Side Farm Resort offers the best accommodation in town. Aside from amazing and tasteful “lutong-bahay” food, the resort has its best Videoke you can imagine.
Magsaysaynons are very welcoming and hospitable people. Just a simple observation, the whole community maybe has low crime reported. The place is an ideal if you are looking for physical and inner peace.
Magsasay is absolutely not the least town when it comes to food. Below are few delicacies best offered.
Though I have stayed in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro only for two days but the experience was great. Knowing the potential and beauty of this small town. For sure I will be back to explore and enjoy more. ###
I am posing a question: “What do you think it will look like if we’re not colonized by the Spaniards?”
Thinking all possible answers, I would assume that I don’t have the concept of a computer, internet, and blogging. Maybe, I am not able to understand nor write English.
Giving satisfaction to this query, then I am giving scenarios to help you imagine how it will look like if we are not once colonized. Definitely, my experiences with these Indigenous People will provide with you answers to the above-mentioned question. I hope I can describe it justly.
Mangyan: A native tribe
The mountains of Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro are inhabited by the Mangyans. Extensive tribal settlements of Mangyan in the municipality belong to sub-group known Iraya. The Mangyans are simple people. They have dark skin and curly hairs but some of them have straight hairs. History revealed that they were once coastal dwellers driven into the mountains to avoid religious conversion by the Spaniards, raids by Moro pirates, and the influx of recent migrants.
It is our goal to reach the native community. Maybe you are wondering what’s with this travel? Well, I am part of that government project which advocates the right of these Indigenous People.
So let’s start then.
At early dawn, I think that was 4:00 in the morning when we started the journey. Tiring and sweaty, these two words are just a few to describe our travel to Sitio Lagnas, Lumangbayan Abra de Ilog, where a community of Iraya exists.
On the way, there are hills after hills, mountain after mountain. Walking and hiking is something new we have to endure. After hours of travel, the sun had started to climb to its zenith and we felt terribly hot and totally exhausted. We are craving cold water and of course for a rest. To add the agony, the heat of the sun is burning our skin. But we have to move on, there’s no room of turning back.
The place called Hasaan
Around 3:00 in the afternoon, we have arrived Hasaan. We can now see the fog and sort of clouds going down the mountains.
“Hasaan” is a local term for whetstone. The place is located between the two mountains with stream and brook with different sizes of sort of black marble rocks. The rock formation is another fascinating feature of the place.
Hasaan is derived from the word ‘Hasa’ which means to sharpen. According to locals, during World War II, the Japanese army used the place to sharpen their bayonets.
Our team has decided to build tents in Hasaan. The availability of water supply is what we considered.
During our stay, here are some remarkable things hard to forget. First, coping with food and water. The sardines, noodles, dried fried, Fish Paste “Bagoong” and edible fern (paco) saved us from extreme hunger.
The water we drink came from the spring with an unusual size of tadpoles (measuring head-size of 1-2 inches diameter ) swimming in it. Safe or not? We don’t mind what is important is to quench our thirst and to survive.
Second, the Alimatik or leech (Hirudina medicinalis) attack. This little pest is sucking our blood. And the problem is, we have no clue it’s there because we feel nothing. Gross.
Third, the place gave us no choice but to use open defecation for our sanitation. Fourth, the very cold place that could kill us. Shocks, we are almost chilling to our bones.
Irayanons look very primitive though their culture of wearing ‘bahags’ has faded. They are chewing the mixture of buyo locally known as ‘nga-nga’. Their lifestyle has been modified with technology. Few of them are already using cell phones for entertainment.
We can observe that they live in simplicity and now they value the importance of education. Though most of their tribe members have no grade completed.
Irayanons are all farmers in occupation. Vegetables like , squash also sweet potatoes are their main productions. They are also engaging in making grass brooms.
This experience made me realized that I am lucky enough to live in the urban center and experiencing the fruit of civilization compare to these native people.
So these are the answers to the question: What do you think it will look like if we’re not colonized by the Spaniards?”
Withdrawing from our comfort zones is helpful in many different ways. This makes us grow, motivate, inspired, and sometimes experience the freedom that we are dreaming of. As said by Brian Tracy, “You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ###
Have you been to Romblon? If you answer ‘yes’ maybe you can relate to me but if not, then allow me to share with you my amazing experiences with the place. Romblon, is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region. Its capital is also named Romblon.
Hopefully, I can convince you to travel and allow yourself to explore Romblon the best way you can. I’ll be describing the place in my own words based on what I have seen and felt.
Man in Looc
After the 2 – hours of boat travel from Caticlan, Aklan, I have reached Looc, the first municipality I’ve touched in the entire province. It was 10 AM when I arrived. So, I was really excited to unveil what’s lie ahead in that simple and peaceful town. Hungry on the other hand, I satisfied myself at the Maxvirs Restaurant located in the center of town.
After that one-day exploration of Looc, I realized that town whose economy strives for growth. It still seeks for modernization. A place that offers less opportunities. Nothing unusual, I was disappointed a little bit. But the dull moment was saved by a guy whom I met. He was cute and has that typical ‘probinsyano’ looks. Just to shortcut things, we did the deed.
Fortunately, until today we have communication. We are constant text mates in fact. Maybe if I’ll travel back, then we could meet and have more fun with this man in Looc. Looking forward.
A quick glance of San Fernando
After the less exciting moment in Looc, I immediately moved to San Fernando, Romblon. In my travel, I have passed by the municipalities Odiongan and Calatarva.
The nightlife of San Fernando is somewhat less exciting. They have these small videoke houses which cater drinks and songs near the port. I hate the chastity of the daily evening life there but since I had no choice I stayed and spent the night singing out loud. The good thing is, the neighborhoods did not complain.
The next morning, I packed my things and then catch my ship trip. At the sea, I have savored the relaxing mood. The calm and blue ocean depicts a peaceful place. The wind gave me that freshness I cant have in the big city. At the back of my mind, I wish I could stay like that forever. And what added the excitement was the view of migrating flock of dolphins.
Stop-Over at Romblon, Romblon
It’s not really redundant. To clarify things, the name of the municipality is Romblon and the name of the province is also Romblon. The two Romblon’s are very different.
Creativity without limits- that’s how I described the amazing creations of Romblonanons. If you are really looking for base plates, tiles, bricks in different sizes, and colors out from the blocks of marble. As well, small pendants with dolphins, manta rays, hearts, crosses and mortar, ashtrays and vases in various shapes, and many more. Visit Romblon and customize your choice according to your design.
After that quick stop-over in Romblon, the Montenegro ship started sailing to our final destination. It was noontime when we arrived in Magdiwang, Romblon.
I was welcomed by the quietude of the place. Compared to other municipalities, the people of Magdiwang are funnier and nicer. It’s like I am connected with the place. Such a weird feeling.
In my effort of walking, I have come to the town’s Catholic church. The people of Magdiwang perhaps are devoted Christians.
Along with my travel, I have seen this house. I stopped. I couldn’t help the urge to check it out. Why? Because it looks like our house in Samar. The plants that surround and of course the cellar are the same features. I reminisced my childhood days when I was playing ‘bahay-bahayan’ in that cellar. So cute and funny. LOL.
Of course, I am not going to miss the experience with the famous Lambingan Falls. The falls is a beautiful series of cascades in the foothills of Mt. Guiting-Guiting. The crystal clear water is a perfect venue for swimming. And the rock formations intensify the breathtaking view.
This water collector is designed for tourists and locals who want to shower. The water is cold and can be used also for drinking.
Love to swim and picnic? Then, visit Lambingan Falls and be amazed.
Lastly, I have that grilling moment. See that fish, Oh I am dying having it because I am too tired from swimming. Anyway, Lambingan is also a perfect place for family and friends outing. For sure you will enjoy the moment just like I did.
Well, that ended my Romblon exploration. Knowing the best and entertaining experiences, I am sure I’ll be back soon or later. Bye-bye Romblon. ###
I have been into different places, but my experience with Cagayancillo, one of the farthest island municipalities in the Province of Palawan is far different. The travel is indeed nerve-wracking. Oh, the big waves flavor more the adventure. By the way, it’s a 6-hour trip from Anini-y, Antique by boat, if the weather is favorable but if not prepare to be devastated. #JK.
Upon reaching the place, the locals are known as Cagayanen, and is considered as an Indigenous People (IP) are very hospitable and nice. The community shows the simplicity of the Cagayanens lifestyle.
Apart from the serenity of the place, Cagayancillo is abundant with the wonders of nature. The marine life is just a piece of the amazing features of the town.
Luckily, I have spotted the farthest island sitio of Cagayancillo, Cawili. Again, Cawili is a 6-hour journey from the town proper thru a boat. Still, I am not used to big waves and long sun exposure.
Aside from the perfect view of the sitio, it is also gifted with local birds called ‘Ku-ok’.
Cagayanens love to cook and eat. So here are their best delicacies I have tasted.
Cagayancillo is rich in Catholic faith history and the town’s Church stood evidently.
The 5-day stay in Cagayancillo is remarkable. Well, the long sun exposure totally burnt my skin but definitely, the experiences were all at its best. If I have that chance, for sure “I shall return”. I know Cagayanens adhere to this: Melled Kaw or Welcome. And they will be happy to accommodate me once again. ###