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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A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 It was a beautiful afternoon and the weather was perfect.  After our dip in the cool waters of the pool, we took a little walk and explored more of the resort. The resort wasn’t that big but I was told that […]

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that short stop at the fruit stand along the way. We continued to our original destination to Hibiscus Camp located at Consocep, Tigaon, Camarines Sur Philippines. A small resort that will truly capture the hearts of nature lovers with a […]

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to the fourth episode of our Bicol Region trip only here in the Philippines. You have seen the long unending road that we traveled to reach the region. I took you on a tour on one of the local markets and ended up exploring a beach resort. Today take a ride with me to see more of this beautiful region. We often look forward to our destination but along the journey, we discover things that are worth the stop.

Discovering Life by the Road

Follow our journey on the links below

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

 

Our original destination is a lovely place called Camp Hibiscus near the foot of Mt. Isarog but on our way there something caught our attention. From Pararao which is the coastal village where we are staying will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.

 

This place is unmarked if you would search for it on the map or any navigational app. But it can easily be spotted along the way if you are going to Camp Hibiscus.

But before we get there let me just share with you the road and the scenery on the way to our destination. Within that 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel you will see a lot of interesting things and relaxing scenery.

Here I realized that in this region they to maximize the means of public transportation. A bit dangerous if I would say but it seems this is the way of life here in this area.

The second most popular means of transportation here in the Philippines is the tricycle. It is meant to have a maximum of four passengers. A motorcycle with a sidecar attached on the side. Three passengers can fit inside the sidecar and the fourth passenger sits behind the motorcycle driver. In this case, they have added a metal platform on the back and the side of the tricycle as a way that passengers can step on and grab on the roof.

Curious about the tricycle? You can check out more about this vehicle from one of my old posts.

Born to be Wild

An arch that tells you the town that you are about to enter. It is very common in our country and you would often see the name of the mayor or a government official just beneath it. An arch to me is like a gateway and there is always something to discover in every town.

Here is another tricycle that is like a school bus that takes students to school and back home.

I love wide-open spaces and farms near hills and mountains. Rice fields can be found everywhere in our country but are slowly diminishing due to land conversion. Some landowners and farmers sell their land to be converted to residential subdivisions and commercial space. I hope that would not be the case in provinces like these.

What I love the most about driving in the province is the long empty roads. Not many vehicles and you could just cruise along the highway with not much stress. Just the sound of the road and a good music playlist to keep you awake. Sometimes the sound of the road can hum you to sleep especially in the afternoon.

Here you could start to feel the upward incline of the road. I was informed by our guide that there are parts with sharp turns and a little bit steep incline. I have seen a lot of those in our journey so it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

We were climbing higher and higher up the mountain. Here you could almost see the summit of Mt. Isarog covered by clouds.

As we drove further we saw a couple of huts on the side of the road. I figured I needed a quick break and it would be great to stop for awhile.

The huts were fruit stalls and everyone got excited as they wanted some fresh fruits for the road.

I learned that some of the vendors lived in the huts up here by the roadside. Somehow they managed to establish a source of living in this area. I had no idea that some people live out here along the sharp curves up the mountain.

They have very few options but I guess these are the fruits that are available during this season.

Avocados, Rambutan, and Bananas look freshly picked from the tree. Some Avocados are still unripe and would take a couple of days before it could ripen. One way of speeding up the ripening process is storing it with rice grains which proves to be very effective. Although fruits that ripen from the tree is always the best.

They were also selling some sort of yellow liquid in Coca Cola bottles. I asked the vendor about it and he said it was native honey. I have never seen honey with this color before and I was hesitant thinking it could be fake honey. I asked the vendor about the color and he said that the color gets darker with age.

Some sell honey which is just made from sugar.  It is really hard to tell and I have no idea how to test if it is authentic honey. We decided to just skip the honey for this round.

A kind of pumpkin that we saw earlier at the Balatan Public Market. Seems like this kind of pumpkin is very common in this region.

The fruit stalls up here has a certain kind of charm that is very different from the stalls in the flatlands. This is their daily peaceful way of life and the fruits were probably harvested from up the mountain. I do not know if they can sell all their fruits within the day but I think people here get by thru life every day.

Aside from fruits and vegetables they also sell other few items. On display in the background are sachets of shampoo, instant coffee, soy sauce and what looks like to be Ajinomoto seasoning.

Another stall looks like to be a small store and maybe they also sell cooked food at times of the day because of the table setup that they have.

Our tour guide Ate Daisy who is just enjoying the view.

Now I realized why this is the perfect stop over for this trip. We are just barely up the foot of the mountain but it feels like we are so high up already. Along with the cold wind gently brushing on your face, the view from here is gorgeous. Imagine waking up to this view every day would be magical. The folks who live here may not be well off but with the scenery, they have every day is like worth a million.

Here are just a few of the photos of the area.

We haven’t seen the other side of this area yet which had one fruit stall.

They had a lot of bananas and my wife bought a cluster. This type of banana is called “Senorita,” my favorite variety as the sweetness is just right. The texture is a bit firm and not too mushy.

On the other side of the road is a small open hut and a great spot to have lunch. It would be nice if they also served local dishes but I am not too sure if it would take off as I have only seen a few cars pass by since we stopped over. Best to leave it as it is just a peaceful quiet spot.

A nice peaceful spot along the road and the stopover is very much worth it. We had a glance of the life of people around here, how they live and what they see every time they open their eyes each morning. Thank you for joining me again today and I hope you enjoyed the stop by the side of this road. Please do join me again next time as we explore our original destination which is Camp Hibiscus. I am sure you would be delighted on our next adventure. See you soon!

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.610178 lat 123.417947 long Hanawan Consocep Road Fruit Stalls d3scr)

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

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

 

Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello everyone and welcome back to another adventure to the Bicol Region in the Philippines. Last time we visited a market in Balatan where we saw an abundance of dried fish, vegetables and some local sweets. It was a hot day […]

Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Also my share for #Marketfriday  by @dswigle It’s another beautiful day and it is time again for me to share another part of our travel, in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Last time I took you along with me on […]

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to a brand new series of our travel here in the Philippines. A series where I will take you with me to visit popular sites, discover places and learn more about our culture. In this new series we will be going on a road trip to explore the Bicol Region. A region popularly known for an active volcano, spicy food, Spanish Churches, natural parks, ruins and a few other surprises. So get ready to take this long drive with me on this first part of our adventure.

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

To give you an idea, Bicol region in located on the eastern part of the Philippines. It is composed of six provinces called Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. During the Spanish colonial era Bicol was know as “Ibalong” which was taken from the word Ibalio which means “to bring to the other side.” Other meanings include “hospitable people who gives visitors gifts to take home.”

 

Our destination is in Camarines Sur, Balatan in a small coastal village called Pararao. Travel from our location to Pararao will take approximately  take 10-12 hours drive. This travel time estimate includes rest stops and may take longer depending on the traffic in some location.

 

We left home at the break of dawn, it was raining a little during that day. Good thing the weather cleared up while we were on the road. This is going to be a challenge for me as this is the first time I would be driving this long.

After passing the major towns and cities the way to Bicol is filled zigzag roads and endless highways.

Navigation is easy now these days and my favorite navigation mobile app is called Waze. The app finds the fastest route to your destination and even informs you of hazards ahead of the road. I can’t imagine driving without Waze these days as I often have a weak sense of direction.

The navigational app directed us to pass thru this national park road. It seems that going this way will cut minutes of our travel time.

Not a lot of vehicles pass thru this road as would require moderate driving skills. Of course you need to be extra careful of the falling rocks which I believe only occurs when there is heavy rain. Aside from the warning of the falling rocks driving here is a bit difficult due to a lot of zigzag and sharp curves. Well, I drove a bit slower, opened the windows and just enjoyed a quiet drive around nature.

After that driving experience thru the natural park more roads await us. This time I had to speed up a bit around 100 -120 km/h as the roads here seems to be endless. As you have noticed, there are not a lot of vehicles travelling this road. Along the way we did a few rest stops and check if we are getting near our destination. What’s funny is every time we check our location it seems that we are still so far away even though I have driven hundreds of kilometers already.

I kept thinking. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The road would not end, more turns, curves, zigzag roads and road seems to go on forever.

More trees and mountains along the road and in this area there are no more houses to be seen. No one lives here as this area as my head tells me that we are in the middle of nowhere.

Just when I was getting tired of the long roads something caught my attention. This is called the Jeepney a popular symbol of Philippine public transportation. Normally, the jeepney could accommodate around 13- 22 passengers. I think there are around 50 passengers on this vehicle and I have never seen a jeepney so loaded this before.

Looks definitely unsafe especially with the difficult road going to the village. One reason I guess is because there are not a lot of vehicles that goes to the small village. Most probably the passengers wanted to go home badly and their only option is either riding on the roof or hanging by the side of the jeepney.

There are no rails on the roof to hang on to and it puzzles me how could they be so calm enjoying the ride on the roof.

I got a quick shot of the side of the vehicle and was surprised that a lot of the passengers on the roof were young ladies. How about you, will you be willing to take a ride on the roof of a jeepney?

We are getting near our destination after a 10 hour drive, but we encountered a slight problem along the way.

The village that we are going to is not mapped out in our navigational app. We stopped for awhile to see if I could find it on the map, but to no success. It was uncharted on the map and it was up to my mother in law to lead the way as she used to live here when she was very young. I asked her if she could remember any landmarks and remarkably she was able to direct the way. It is along the coastline and we just need to keep heading towards the ocean.

Although, some of the beach resorts are mapped the actual name of the the small coastal village is unnamed. The name of the village is called Pararao and you would not be able to find it in Waze that is for sure.

This is how the village looks like and my mother in law was surprised to see that the road is now cemented. She said before it was all dirt road and was very muddy especially when it rains. Aside with the road improvements the provincial atmosphere can still be strongly felt. There is a calm feeling when you are in the province and time seems to move slower here.

Here we will meet my mother in law’s relative named Ate Daisy. The word ate means “sister” it is one way to show respect. We will be staying at her home for the next three days. Our home for this adventure as we explore this region.

We met up Ate Daisy and settled in, but I was anxious to see the ocean. As you know how much I love the ocean and hope to live near the ocean one day. I felt the ocean breeze on my face as if calmly whispering to me that it is time to relax.

This is how the coastline looks like and most of the people here make their living thru fishing. I was expecting the beach would be clean as the village is isolated. Sad to say due to the recent storm the waves has brought garbage from other towns on their shores.

The community helps out to clean out the garbage brought on their shores and it is unfair to see other people suffer for the disregard of others for their trash.

Children here spend most of their time playing on the beach and not glued on mobile phones.

Here is one of our local fishing boats docked on a vacant lot. Fishermen often go out in the ocean during early mornings and some go fishing late in the afternoon.

After a short rest from our very long travel, Ate Daisy wanted to take us for a walk around the village. She wanted us to take a stroll on the farther end of shoreline, along the way I saw this papaya tree with so much fruit, but still unripe. Even though it is near the beach the soil here must be very rich to make the tree bear so much fruit.

A river runs near the village and passes thru here where it meets the ocean as their final destination.

We passed thru this large tree to get to the beach and was very much excited to see this side of the shoreline.

Just beside it is a large canal and could have been made to help prevent flooding in the villages during the stormy season.

In this area is a beach resort and they used to operate this floating cottage. Ate Daisy told me that they stopped operating the floating cottages due to the cost of operation. Must have been a great experience to take a ride on one of these. Having lunch on a floating cottage must be really fun. Now it just sits here waiting for the elements to slowly dismantle it.

Here is Ate Daisy on the left who is the jolliest and hospitable person you would ever meet.  She has so many funny stories and keep you entertained all the time. She even told us a story when she saw a ghost while she was walking one night. The way she told it somehow made it funny instead. Her business here used to be renting out karaoke machines and sometimes she goes out at night really late. In her story one night on her way she saw a very large dog from a distance staring at the mountain. As she came closer the dog became smaller and as she talked to the dog to not hurt her. The dog looked at her and slowly disappeared. After that encounter, she went running back home and quit her karaoke business the next day.

Ate Daisy is very nice and everyone in the village knows her. She told her neighbors about her encounter with the strange dog. Her neighbors said that since the dog didn’t hurt her it could be  one of her neighbors who knows her really well. A shape shifting supernatural being called the “Aswang.”

The sun was slowly dying down and the air was getting a bit colder. It was a tiring journey getting to this village, but the calm sounds of the waves has relaxed my nerves. I still feel tired, but a good night sleep would definitely give me a recharge for our next days adventure.

Here are some of the scenes during our stroll while we headed back home.

The tide was low at this time and this part of the shore is littered with rocks and pebbles. You might find some interesting shapes and colors if you look a little closer.

 

 

The day has almost come to an end and the day was mostly spent on the road driving. At first, I was a bit hesitant to push thru with this trip due to the long travel time. Reaching our destination has never been more rewarding. Just staring across the ocean at this time of day will tell you that it is all worth it and tomorrow will be a new day to see more of Bicol.

Thank you for joining me today in the introduction to our new series in exploring the Bicol Region in the Philippines. I hope you go along with me again in this series as I take you on a tour to see what more the region has to offer.

Thank you everyone for the support and until then have a very #beautifulsunday.

 

Resources

Bicol Region

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.328947 lat 123.227057 long Pararao d3scr)

 

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
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Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and

Sigma 50 mm

 

 

 

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 There are times in our lives that we get unexpected surprises. Sometimes life offers surprises even in the middle of the night. This is the case for us when we received a call when all the people are still sleeping soundly. […]

Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Travel leads to discovery, experience, learning and sometimes it makes us realize who we really are. Our trip to the Island of Corrigedor in the Philippines has been an amazing experience for me and my family. Although all things comes to […]

The Eternal Flame of Freedom – Beautiful Sunday

The Eternal Flame of Freedom – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

After that quiet tour inside the museum, it is time to explore the outside area of the Pacific War Memorial. It has been an incredible trip and our journey has almost reached its end. I still recall the moment I stepped on the island I never expected that I would be learning a lot about our history. Corregidor Island in the Philippines is a historically rich island embraced by the beauty of nature. Come with me today as we see the flame that will forever burn in the heart of Corregidor.

 

The Eternal Flame of Freedom

Read back to follow our adventure on the island.

Part 1 Voyage to the Island of Corregidor

Part 2 Exploring the Island of Corregidor

Part 3 The Ruins of Middleside Barracks

Part 4 The Last Stand of Battery Way

Part 5 The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn

Part 6 The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor

Part 7 The Mile Long Barracks

Part 8 Pacific War Memorial Museum

Part 9 Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War”

At the center of the entrance to the memorial, you will see a dramatic statue. The statue is entitled, “Brothers in Arms” which was funded by the United States government and erected in 1968.

The scene is very moving where a badly wounded soldier is carried along by a comrade. Based on the facial features of the statue I think that the wounded soldier is  a Filipino. A symbolism of our wounded country and helped by the United States during this tragic war. The bond of the soldiers here has made them into brothers.

In the background, you would see the two flags of the two nations flying high above the memorial.

Underneath the statue is a poem by an unknown writer. Dedicated to the soldiers who gave their lives in the name of freedom and peace in the Pacific.

Beyond the statue will lead you to the dome which is one of major highlights of the memorial. Dedicated to the American and Philippine soldiers during the Pacific War.

There were also a few people headed to the dome during that time. The place is well maintained as you would notice how the bushes and plants are well trimmed.

Inside the dome is an altar right in the center of the structure. People were walking around, taking photos and I wanted to wait until the visitors moved along as I wanted to get a good shot. I noticed that there was light coming from above the dome. You could see that white light right now on the left part of the floor.

The dome is surrounded by a pool of water which gives it a peaceful ambiance. There are added benches around the dome just in case you would like to spend more time inside.

The light inside comes from an opening in the center of the dome and at 12 noon the light hits the altar below.

It was around 10:30 during this time and the light is just behind the altar. I would have wanted to wait and see how it would look like at 12:00 am, but we didn’t have much time to spare.

A very moving message for the resting soldiers is engraved on the altar. The altar is to commemorate the surrender of the soldiers on the island after an intense bombing for 72 days. It was around 12:00 noon when the surrender took place.

Beyond the dome will lead you the final highlight of the memorial area. From the distance, you could already see the steel structure that resembles a flame.

On the way to the steel flame, highlights of the campaign are engraved on marble tablets on the side. Each has their own chapter and stories in this war. I believe that other countries involved in this struggle has their own memorial sites in tribute for the loss in each battle.

At the end of that walk, a 40 feet steel structure called, “The Eternal Flame of Freedom”  was made by the American sculptor Aristides Demetrios. Made from Corten steel which is a type of steel alloy that does not require to be painted. The steel is resistant to corrosion and after several years of exposure to the elements, it give out a rust like appearance. Solar energy lights up the structure at night which will make sure that it always shines bright. The structure symbolizes freedom that will burn continuously for the next generations to come.

The message on the Eternal Flame of Freedom is a message to the world. Every person has the right to live in freedom, free from oppression and fear.

Thanks again for joining me in this walk that highlights the freedom that we enjoy. A memorial that reminds us that what we have today has been paid my lives of brave men who refused to do nothing against evil.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and please to do join me again next time for the final part of our Corregidor Island tour. Until then may you have a great week ahead.

Resource

Corregidor

Corten Steel

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.380629 lat 120.577963 long Eternal Flame for Freedom d3scr)

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

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to the second part of our visit to the museum in Corregidor island in the Philippines. Last time I shared with you relics from the time of war and including the first American flag that was raised on the […]