PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

The world of watersnake

The world of watersnake

PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

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The Difficult Trail to “Mag Asawang Bato” (Couple Rock) – Beautiful Sunday

The Difficult Trail to “Mag Asawang Bato” (Couple Rock) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 What is it that makes us want to climb a mountain and conquer the summit? Reaching the top is like something that we all want to achieve. In spite of the difficulties along the way, we strive to reach our destination. […]

Masasa Beach – Beautiful Sunday

Masasa Beach – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to another episode of our adventure on the Island of Marikaban, Philippines. Last episode I took you on the road and traveled by ferry to reach the island. We have seen three ports, the journey was long but was […]

A Getaway to Marikaban Island – Beautiful Sunday

A Getaway to Marikaban Island – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

It has been an amazing year and as we face 2020 new opportunities, adventures and goals await us. During the holiday season, most people spent their holiday away from home. To start the year let me share with you our adventure during the long vacation. I will take you with me on our holiday trip to the island of Marikaban located in Batangas Philippine. Here you will see crystal clear waters, beautiful coral reefs and breathtaking views. So get you wet suit ready as we embark on an island adventure.

A Getaway to Marikaban Island

At the crack of dawn, we were on the road headed to Anilao port in Batangas Philippines. It is a port where you could take a ferry boat ride going to the island. From our location, estimated arrival to the port is within 3 hours and driving early in the morning helps avoid traffic. Although out here there are not too many vehicles on the road going there except for bugs that splatters on your windshield once in a while.

We finally reached our destination and the port was already very busy at this time of day.

During our research going on this trip, we learned that we could park our vehicle inside the port for around 100 pesos or almost $2.00 USD per day. Unfortunately, we just learned that they are not allowing vehicles to park inside the port as there will be a car show today. We asked around and discovered that just outside the port there are pay parking areas. The price is more expensive though which is double the price. We do not have a choice so we went for it and on the better side of it, it is private property and your vehicle will surely be safe.

Around this area in Batangas there are already so many beach resorts to choose from. But we planned and wanted something else further from the mainland. We seek adventure away from the crowd and a times a bit hard to get to. Well as I say, the further and harder the road ends up to be very rewarding. This proved to be true for us on a couple of occasions already.

From Anilao Port it will take almost an hour boat ride getting to Tingloy port on Marikaban island. If you love ferry boat rides you would definitely enjoy the trip.

The next ferry trip will leave at 8:30 am and while waiting let me just take you around the port. Also to those who are planning to visit there is a market here and it is best to do your shopping here for your food and supplies. On the island prices are steeper naturally as transporting materials on the island costs more.

If you checked out the video you will see how clear the water is here in this port. I was stunned seeing clear water and different sorts of fish just swimming near the area. I love it when people know how to take care of their natural resources and disposing of garbage properly.

Everyone going to the island would need to pay for an environmental fee of 80 pesos which is around $1.57 USD. All the names of the passengers are also taken here and you would be asked where you would be staying on the island. Before going to the island it is best to reserve for accommodation ahead of time.

Our 8:30 ferry boat has arrived and once all the passengers have gotten off they would allow you to get on board right away. The fare would be collected on the boat which costs 100 pesos or almost $2.00 USD.

We immediately went on board so we could choose our seats as we prefer somewhere closer to the exit. This area near the captain is reserved for the pregnant, disabled and the elderly. That is a standard for public transportation in our country.

Passengers are steadily filling up all the seats as the boat is scheduled to sail at 8:30.

I went to the back of the boat to see if I may find something interesting while waiting for the departure.

A rusty anchor that shows that this boat has gone through many trips already going from island to island.

Life vests are distributed to all passengers as it is a safety requirement when traveling via sea.

As our captain takes a final look to check on the passengers which is an indication that we are about to sail. Excitement fills the air as we head out to the island.

There is a walkway on the side of the boat which is for crew use only. Passengers are not allowed to go to this area and I think you would get the best view from here if it was made safer for passengers.

Here is a video during the trip as I have decided to included videos in my content to share our experience in the best possible way I can.

I do not often include myself in my content but my daughter insist to take my photo. I don’t look too cheerful here as I had a slight headache maybe as I am not used to traveling by boat. At the back of my head, I was telling myself, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” lol.

My daughter doesn’t seem to have any issues with the boat ride and was enjoying every minute of it.

Touch down at Tingloy port and from the port we would need to take a tricycle ride to get to the other side of the island. We already contacted our host for our accommodation and she is expecting us already.

This is one of our local public transportation called the tricycle which is like a taxi cab. Renting the tricycle will cost you 120 pesos or around $2.35 USD. The fare is more expensive here on the island usually on the main land it only cost half of the price.

We are headed to Masasa Beach resort which is the most popular resort on the island. As directed by our host we are to go to Pirasan port as we are to be picked up there by a small boat. On this trip, we have gone through three ports already and finally we are almost there. There is an alternate route where there is no longer a need to take a boat ride. That is if you want to take a 5 to 10 minutes walk carrying all your stuff to the resort.

I have taken a lot of tricycle rides in my lifetime but in my experience this ride is the most intense ride I have experienced so far. With narrow, uphill and downhill roads get ready for a thrill ride.

The video below shows a short part of that ride. I had to turn off the camera as I felt I needed to grab on hold on something.

Reaching Pirasan port we patiently waited for the small boat to take us to our temporary home on the island. I realized that our host made us feel welcome to have a boat take us to our accommodation. This is a great way for us not to walk to the resort carrying all our heavy belongings as everyone was already tired from the very long trip.

Our boatman arrived and it seems he already recognizes us without saying a word. He passed around our life vests and helped in loading up our belongings. I wore shoes going on this trip as I didn’t realize I would be getting my feet wet this early. Word of advice is, wear sandals when planning to go to an island.

Another video of our exciting boat ride. As we came closer to our destination everyone could not contain their excitement. A new place to explore, a time to relax from all the stresses of life and to feel once more my passionate love affair with the ocean.

 

After more than 4 hours of travel time we have finally reached our destination. At this time we do not have any plans yet what activities we will do on the island. Right now I would just like to take a little rest and have lunch in a couple of hours. But something in me tells me to take a walk and just dive in the water. I’m tired after that long drive and boat ride but the explorer in me is dying to come out.

This ends the first part of our adventure. There is so much to share on this trip and I hope to see you again next time as we explore the beach area. As we go along I will take you above and beyond this enchanting island. You may even think of never leaving this place and just stay here forever in this island paradise. Hope to hear from you guys and let me know what you think about the long trip to reach our destination.

Until then enjoy the rest of the weekend and wish you dreams on an island getaway.

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.760724 lat 120.926810 long Anilao Port d3scr)

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The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies (Part 2) – Beautiful Sunday

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies (Part 2) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to the second part of our holiday special. I have taken you on a trip to see one of the celebrations in our country during this season. A parade that showcases our culture and creativity of our students. A […]

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies – Beautiful Sunday

The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 It is the holiday season and vacation starts now. As Christmas is almost here let me share with you a part of the celebration near our area here in the Philippines. Today I will take you with me to see a […]

Take Me to Church “Daraga Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Daraga Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

You have joined the tour across this region in the Philippines. Driving to reach a coastal village, exploring a local market, a close encounter with a deer herd and visiting a ruin destroyed by a volcano.  All journeys come to an end and today’s episode will be closing our Bicol series adventure. The best way to close this series is by giving thanks and visiting an ancient church in Daraga, Albay. Join me on this final episode of our adventure in this region.

Daraga Church

 

 

Join in the tour and see our previous adventures in the region.

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 7 A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

Part 8 The Antlers of Ocampo

Part 9 Nabua Church

Part 10 Divine Mercy Monastery

Part 11 Road to the Ruins

Part 12 The Cagsawa Ruins

Part 13 The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill

 

From the nature park that we visited in Lignon Hills, it would take you around 10 minutes to reach the church.

As we reached the site, I was astounded by the ancient church. A structure painted in white and has been fading in some parts. This has given the church a character worthy to be declared as a National Treasure.

 

The original name of the church is Nuestra Senora de la Porteria Parish Church also known as Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church. It was built in 1772 by the Franciscans and completed in 1773.

When we arrived there was a wedding being held and I was worried I won’t be able to get some shots inside. Fortunately, the wedding was over and they were just getting ready to leave.

The style of architecture of the church is Baroque and is constructed  with volcanic rocks. The white color is because of the lime that was coated as protection from the elements.

The spiral columns are also unique as only a few churches have them in our country.

 

The lime coating has heavily faded on the side of the church.

From this view, it looks like a church scarred by the elements and almost seems to look abandoned.

 

A statue of a Saint guards on top of the entrance on the side of the church.

The four-level bell tower has an octagonal shape. This tower also features carved images of Saints.

 

Every part of the church is like an artwork. This is one of the reasons why I very much love church architecture. It may not have elaborate stained glass windows but the walls and columns are magnificent.

 

It’s time to come inside and see what beauty awaits.

The interior is simply painted in white and humbly welcomes everyone. Sometimes beauty is found in simplicity.

 

The confession box is found on the right side upon entering the church.

The baptismal room looks like not much changes have been done. If feels very ancient in all its glory.

During WW2 in 1945, the church was damaged during military bombardment. It was renovated that evolved the design to Gothic and Mexican Baroque.

This is the original position of the altar which was returned in 1991. Until now renovations are still made to preserve the structure.

 

From the side door of the church, you could see the towering Mayon volcano. With the summit hidden by the clouds still, it echoes its rage that threatened the region in the past centuries.

 

At this time there were a few people silently praying and I had to be extra quiet to not disturb them.

 

Next, I checked the left side of the church. Here is where statues of Saints are being displayed.

With the statues being lined up,  this area almost looks like a museum.

Our country is heavily influenced by the Spanish and you could see the dominance of Catholicism in our country.

Among these are various representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

Statues appear to be Franciscan missionary saints. There are no names on the statues to determine the stories behind their sainthood.

Jesus sitting on a throne is a representation that I do not often see in the churches that I have visited.

A wooden statue of the crucified Christ. Could be a relic that survived through the years.

There are also paintings displayed in the hallway and were created by local artists. This reminded me of San Agustin Church that has an impressive collection of religious artwork.

If you love religious art feel free to visit the museum on the links below

Art of Religion

Art of Religion – Act II

The artwork below represents history and religion. Created by local artists in 2013 by Santiago, Alavrin op, Rudy Olaso and J Delos Santos.

 

The local villagers fleeing to safety as Mayon volcano erupts, spewing lava and ash.

You can see below how the locals help build the church. Building the church using volcanic rocks without modern-day equipment and all manual labor.

In this section, the restoration process is displayed along with old photos of the church.

Near the exit of the long hallway where the statues are displayed, candles and souvenirs are sold. The candles are color-coded depending upon your need.

Green – The color of life and pray for a better life.

Violet – The color atonement. Prayer for our sins

Pink – The color of happiness. Pray for the good health and happiness of others.

Blue – The color of majesty. Pray for those who have passed and in remembrance.

Red – The color of love. Pray to offer our love

Orange – Prayer to live a long life

Yellow – The color of peace. Prayer for peace and harmony.

 

 

As I headed out the entrance, I sighed as I knew that it was time to go. I barely spent around 30 minutes in the church and felt it was not enough. I feel very fortunate to have a chance to visit one of the country’s National Cultural Treasure. The church is one of the best churches I have visited in our country. The walls and columns outside is like a canvass made from volcanic rocks. Artwork intricately carved on the walls that emanates memories from the past. These walls I will never forget, the walls that witnessed an eruption and survived throughout the years.

This concludes our Bicol region series only here in the Philippines. To all those who joined the tour. Thank you very much and I appreciate the support. If ever you plan to visit the region do consider the places we have visited as the trip will be worth it.

Hope to see you again and as the holiday season approaches. I will try to share with you the spirit of the holiday in our country. Have a very #beautifulsunday everyone and enjoy life.

 

See the churches we have visited during our travels in the Philippines.

Nabua Church

San Jose Church

Majayjay Church

Lilio Church

Calamba Church
St. Peter of Alcantara Parish Church

Paete Church

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

Immaculate Heart Convent

Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral

St. Mary Magdalene Church

Divine Mercy Monastery

 

Resources

Daraga Church

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.149873 lat 123.712116 long Daraga Church d3scr)

 

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and Sigma 50 mm

The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill – Beautiful Sunday

The Japanese Tunnel of Ligñon Hill – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello again as we continue with the tour in the Bicol region in the Philippines. Last time we visited the Ruins of Cagsawa in which we had a chance to explore the ruins of the old church. For our next destination […]

The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

The Cagsawa Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 In our last episode, we reached the ruins that are very popular in the Bicol region. We first had lunch before exploring the place and had a very interesting dessert that is hot and cold. We had very good feedback from […]

Road to the Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

Road to the Ruins – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Hello again for another part of our adventure here in Bicol Philippines. After our side trip from the monastery, we continued on to our journey to or main destination. We are headed out to see the ruins in Daraga Albay which is one of the most iconic sites in this region. Your visit to Bicol is not complete unless you get to see the ruins. So take a ride again with me today as we head out to visit an iconic site and also surprise you with an unusual treat.

Road to the Ruins

 

Catch up with the previous parts of our Bicol adventure series

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 7 A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

Part 8 The Antlers of Ocampo

Part 9 Nabua Church

Part 10 Divine Mercy Monastery

Coming from the Divine Mercy Monastery travel time by car will take you around 30-40 minutes to reach the site. Quite a short ride but still you would enjoy the provincial ambiance along the way. Stress-free driving as you could see that there are not many vehicles on the roads here.

From here could see the symbol of the region which is the Mayon volcano. Known to be the world’s most perfect shaped cone volcano it is one of the main reasons to visit Bicol. The ruins that we will be visiting is also a great spot to view the majestic volcano. Unfortunately at this time, the summit is hidden away by clouds and I am not sure if it would clear up once we get there.

As I mentioned in the previous parts of our travel, Bicol is known for their spicy dishes. The chili called Siling Labuyo is a common plant that almost every household has a plant  in their backyard. No meal is complete without the chili. Whether infused into dishes, used as a condiment or just eaten as it is. The Siling Labuyo is loved by many and has been a part of our culture, not only in this region but in the whole country as well. So loved that they even made a bus waiting shed in the form of the chili.

As we were getting closer we were greeted by people who offered ATV rides. If you love outdoors adventure this is an experience that should not be missed.

Some offer an ATV experience for 99 pesos which is around $2.00 USD. They charge by the minute and I am not sure if their offer is good for 15 minutes or 10.

You will be following a trail going up to the foot of the volcano and would cost a lot if you want the full experience. As much as I would like to try it we decided not to as it was almost noontime and was very hot that day.

This would have been an exciting experience if only we came in earlier in the morning and had more time to spend. Maybe next time we visit, we will surely try out the ATV experience. To those who are planning to visit I suggest to come in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is not that hot. How would you like to take an ATV ride to the volcano?

We reached the entrance of Cagsawa ruins and everything looks the same in my recollection. Last time I visited was around 7 years ago and the sight of the ruins made me feel like revisiting an old friend. The bell tower if the first thing that you would see and would get you excited if it is your first visit.

Entrance fee is posted by the gate.

8 years old and above – 20 pesos ($.39 USD)

7 years old and below – 10 pesos ($.20 USD)

Parking Fee

Cars – 30 pesos ($.59 USD)

Motorcycle and Tricycle – 20 pesos ($.39 USD)

They also have offers for ATV rides that has two trails that you could follow. There are two trails which are the Green Lava and Black Lava trail, each has its own unique attraction. It would be up to you which adventure trail you would choose.

Before we proceed with the exploration of the ruins it was time to eat first. There are tables available if you choose to bring your food but there are a lot of stalls that offers various local dishes.

If you are looking for souvenirs there are t-shirts for sale and other trinkets to remind you of your visit.

To cool down in this hot weather, a stall offers fresh fruit shakes. Take your pick to enjoy a cool shake made from guyabano, ripe mango, avocado, banana or chocolate shake if you don’t like fruits.

We chose a covered spot to have our lunch, my mother in law brought some food with her. To add some more food she bought two other dishes from the stalls. It skipped my mind to take some photos of our lunch as I was starving but I could say that it was a good one.

After that meal, I asked who was up for dessert and of course, everyone wants dessert. As for desert, something unusual caught my eye, “Chili Ice Cream”! I think their passion for the chili has gone overboard here but curiosity was telling me to give it a try. I have never heard of Chili Ice Cream and there is always something inside me that always convinces me to try something new.

They had three levels of hotness for the ice cream and I am not sure if I am willing to try the Level 3. To be on the safe side I chose level 2 and now I just need to find the flavor that I like.

I wanted a level 2 strawberry chili ice cream but this stall only had level 3. So I decided to check out the other stalls to see if they have what I was looking for.

It wasn’t hard to look for it as there are a lot of stalls lined up selling the ice cream.

I removed the cover and it just looked like a normal ice cream. I had mixed emotions and imagining how something hot and cold would taste like. It must be the notion that we have that chili is only used for dishes and normally not for desserts.

I took a spoonful and as I placed it in my mouth. I tasted the sweet strawberry flavor of the ice cream and I said to myself, “Seems normal to me”. After a few seconds the chili flavor kicked in and I felt the hot chili flavor on my tongue. You know that you are eating something cold but the hot chili tells you otherwise. It was a weird experience but I could say that it was not bad, actually I liked it. Maybe I could handle Level 3 the next time around. Are you willing to give the chili ice cream a shot?

After that hot and cold dessert, I am now ready to explore the ruins. Unfortunately, this ends the first part of the tour and I hope you join me again next time as we explore Cagsawa ruins. Come again with me for the next part to see what is left of this church that was covered by lava during the eruption of Mayon volcano.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you join me again for the second part of the tour in Cagsawa Ruins.

 

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness
To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan
Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

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Take Me to Church “Divine Mercy Monastery” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Divine Mercy Monastery” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to another episode of our travel here in the Bicol region of the Philippines. Last time we visited one of the oldest church in the region which is said to be 400 years old. As we were headed to […]