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

Author: watersnake101

“Ending the Adventure in Marikaban” – Beautiful Sunday

“Ending the Adventure in Marikaban” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 All adventures come to an end but not before I share with you an unexpected encounter in this journey. During our boating tour, three locations were part of it. We went out snorkeling in Sombrero Island, we visited the caves […]

“The Lagoon of Marikaban” – Beautiful Sunday

“The Lagoon of Marikaban” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello again for another part of our adventure on the beautiful Island of Marikaban only here in the Philippines. We have seen the beautiful beach of Masasa, the highest peak Mag Asawang Bato and the enchanting coral reefs of Sombrero Island. […]

The Hidden Treasure of the Island “Sepoc Beach” – Beautiful Sunday

The Hidden Treasure of the Island “Sepoc Beach” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

After that magical experience at Sombrero Island, we headed out next to Sepoc Beach. The beach is popular because of its caves located along its rocky shoreline. It seems that adventure and exploration on this island never ends. The places that we have visited so far are just a few of what this island has to offer. So come with me again today as we explore the caves on this amazing beach site.

 

The Hidden Treasure of the Island “Sepoc Beach”

 

 

Visit our previous adventures on the beautiful Marikaban Island:

A Getaway to Marikaban Island

Masasa Beach

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

Kissing the Sky “Mag Asawang Bato”

Underwater Love “Sombrero Island”

You could also watch and subscribe to our video episodes on the links below:

Masasa Adventure Episode: 1 “Gateway to Marikaban Island
Masasa Adventure Episode: 2 “The Beach”

Masasa Adventure Episode: 3 “Mag Asawang Bato (Couple Rock)”

Masasa Adventure Episode: 4 “Sombrero Island”

 

Just located on the northwestern part of the island is Sepoc Beach. One of the many beach resorts located on this island can only reached via boat unless you would like to go through the thick jungles of the island.

Coming from Sombrero island you will pass by this amazing rock formation which is just one of the many surrounding the island.

Still thinking about the fishes during our snorkeling  activity, our boatman said that our next stop is the caves. I have seen a couple of them along the way but didn’t realize that we could go inside the cave.

As we came closer to the shore we felt like explorers on uncharted land. Seeking for a fortune hidden away inside one of the caves. My imagination was disrupted  when I saw a lot of tourists and boats near the caves. I guess they might have taken all the treasure already.

When we arrived we overheard a group of tourists haggling with the boatman. One of them saying, ” 5 islands, please, we go to 5 islands”, the boatman was just scratching his head. I guess they were demanding more than what is included in the tour package. I’d understand if they paid more but I wouldn’t know what their agreement was. Anyway, I didn’t mean to snoop but their conversation was too loud as you could hear it even as the motor from the boat was running.

The water is very clear which is what I love so much about this island. The area is clean and I didn’t see any rubbish around. Places like these fascinate me as in my home town the beaches are filled with garbage and the water is not clear which is very sad. If they can do it here why can’t people back home do it? Maybe we should just move out here instead.

The color of the sand appears to look a bit golden yellow and there are a lot of rocks and pieces of coral on the shore. Since the area is rich with lush coral reefs, these might have been then ones that died through time and washed ashore.

On our way to the caves I saw two people taking photos along the rocks and I said to myself, ” maybe there aren’t too many people as I thought”. I slowly navigated myself towards the rocks. Carefully watching my every step as the rocks are slippery and taking a slip would be a tragedy. I would get all my gear wet and since my camera and lens are not weather-sealed  for sure it will be damaged by seawater.

When I reached the curve I was overwhelmed seeing, there they were explorers also searching for that imaginary treasure that I am looking for. Some have found them through selfies and posts on their social media platforms. I never really got into that selfie thing and striking poses on the camera. I prefer hiding behind the lens and looking for that perfect shot if it even exists.

Here we are the twin caves that everyone was talking about and to my surprise, it wasn’t big. I thought the cave coursed through the mountain but still, it looked amazing as I haven’t been to a lot of caves or caverns.

We again encountered the group that we saw earlier that were arguing with the boatman. This time we were waiting for them to finish taking photos and they were taking too long as if they didn’t care that someone else was waiting. One of them noticed that I was getting  impatient he said, “two minutes, two minutes we finish”. I just gave him a nod and a smile.

Finally it was our turn and we had the whole cave to ourselves.

Fortunately, there was was no one else waiting for their turn inside so we had more time to spare here. Patience is a virtue and rewards those who wait.

The sand here is white which is different from the shore. I don’t think that the cave gets drowned by the ocean during high tide as the walls are dry along with some parts of the sand inside. I think you could practically live inside this cave and build a decent fire to warm you up during cold nights. A fun idea but seriously it is not allowed.

 

Aside from this cave, there are two more on the other side of this rock. Since the rocks are slippery I didn’t attempt to see them. I really felt that I would slip even if I was careful and I wouldn’t risk getting my camera wet. Let’s just enjoy this cave that we claimed and head back.

Time to head back as we still have another place to go to and unfortunately we didn’t find any hidden treasure in the cave.

The trail is very rocky and you must always be careful when going to places like these. One slip and you could easily get hurt and could ruin the entire trip. I think aqua shoes is a must when exploring islands and coastal areas. I think it has a good grip when it comes to slippery rocks which is much better than the regular beach sandals that we wore.

Back on the beach, our boatman said that we should take more photos before we leave. It seems that he wasn’t in a rush to go to our next destination. Well, I often forget to take family photos of us during our trips and my wife hates me for it. I just tell her to always remind me as I always get too absorbed by the surroundings.

 

As we were getting ready to leave I realized that indeed there is a treasure not only in this place. A treasure can be found in every moment you spend with the people that you love.

The treasure may not be in the form of gold coins or precious gems but every adventure with the family is priceless. Exploring, having fun, learning things together is worth more than any hidden treasure. The smiles on their faces is rewarding and knowing that these memories will remain for the rest of our lives.

Time for us to go and head out to our next destination. Taking nothing from the beach but memories and photos to remind us of this beautiful experience.

Again I thank you for joining us on this episode. I hope you enjoyed the tour and if ever you plan to visit one day, do let me know as I can point you in the right direction.

Hope to see you again soon for our next adventure. Until then keep on exploring and find that treasure.

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.685734 lat 120.831594 long Sepoc Beach d3scr)

 

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

Leaving a mark in our beautiful world with @steemitworldmap and @travelfeed

All photos are original and taken with

Panasonic Lumix GX85 with 12-32 mm kit lens

 

 

 

Underwater Love “Sombrero Island” – Beautiful Sunday

Underwater Love “Sombrero Island” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to our series of adventure in Marikaban island, Philippines. Here we only planned to visit Masasa Beach but instead, we discovered a lot of activities that you could do on the island.  After that tiring climb to the Mag […]

Kissing the Sky “Mag Asawang Bato” (Couple Rock) – Beautiful Sunday

Kissing the Sky “Mag Asawang Bato” (Couple Rock) – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Last time we left off we were about to reach to top of the mountain. It was a very long and tiring hike to Mag Asawang Bato located in Marikaban island, Philippines. Everyone was very exhausted but complete the trek we […]

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. In this episode, we will take a trek on the way to the highest point of Marikaban Island, Philippines. Join us today as I take you with me to one of the hardest trek we have experienced.

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

 

Follow our previous episode in Marikaban Island:

A Getaway to Marikaban Island

Masasa Beach

You could also watch and subscribe to our video episodes on the links below:

Masasa Adventure Episode: 1 “Gateway to Marikaban Island
Masasa Adventure Episode: 2 “The Beach”

 

Aside from enjoying the turquoise crystal clear waters of Masasa beach. There are a lot of physical activities that you could experience on the island. One of these activities is taking a trek to the highest point of the island called “Mag Asawang Bato” which means Couple Rock.

From the beach, if you would look closely, there is a gigantic rock at the very top of the mountain. The rock is split into two and remains inseparable till this very day. Thus the name  “Mag Asawang Bato” (Couple Rock) was born.

To get there it is required that you hire a guide to bring you to the site. We asked our host if she could arrange for someone to take us to the summit. Here on the island, it is always best to ask your host for any activities that you have planned. They already have contacts when it comes to tours around the island and even give you the best prices. For our trek to the mountain, it would cost you 100 pesos per head which is around almost $2.00 USD.

Our trek was scheduled at 3:00 pm and our guide came on time to pick us up. We were advised to wear comfortable shoes for the hike and bring some drinking water.

We were all set and so our adventure began. I asked how long it would take to reach the top. Our guide said that it could take around 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on our pace. I thought that it would be an easy trail as we have climbed a couple of mountains in the past and even the Taal volcano which is currently erupting here in our country.

In the afternoon sun, we passed thru a trail lined up with coconut trees that gave us some shade along the way.

Between the mountain and the beach are flooded rice fields. Maybe it is not yet planting season during this time of year but it adds great scenery in this provincial environment.

The breeze from the ocean and the mountain air clashes which gives out a very relaxing mood. Time seems to slow down and makes you forget the outside world when you take a stroll along this trail.

How would you like to live a simple life in a place like this? Even though it is an isolated island they have a small power plant here. But not all the time power is available and it would be a good idea if you could hook up your solar power supply.

Here we are at the entrance of the trail going to the top. From here there we be no more houses going up the mountain. If you missed to bring some water with you this would be the last chance to buy some drinking water from the stores nearby.

Our guide made sure that everyone was following behind and checked once in a while if someone needed rest. We haven’t reached the mountain yet but the uphill road made us stop for a few minutes which was embarrassing. It just shows that we haven’t been getting enough exercise lately.

From here the vegetation is getting thicker and the trees seem to look older. You could only hear the songs of the birds and insects. The covering of the trees is much welcoming as it gave us shade from the afternoon sun.

Without a guide, we would get lost here in this maze as the trail is slowly disappearing. Our guide with his jungle knife hacked thru the branches and plants to give us a pathway.

Finally a trail became visible to us again and I think our guide took us thru a shortcut.

We had to stop as we were catching our breath and needed some water. Our destination looks close but is still so far away, I was told it would still take more that 30 minutes to get there.

I felt that we were climbing for more than an hour now and I could feel the exhaustion already. I was starting to if we made the right decision to go on this trek.

After a few more minutes of climb, we again needed some rest. The water we brought with us was almost half empty and  everyone needed a sip. I was getting afraid that we would didn’t bring enough water on this journey.

The trail was getting harder and harder as we climbed higher. The first sign of relief that welcomed us is this bamboo handrail tied between trees.

Now regret was sinking in and how I wished we didn’t go through this activity. I was imagining myself lying on the beach and enjoying the cool water instead. I tried to focus and told everyone that we are almost there and would be a waste to turn back now.

My wife and daughter were already at the point of giving up. I kept saying that we are almost there and we must not give up. There is always always something rewarding at the end of a difficult trail.

We had to stop again as I was feeling a throbbing in my head. I haven’t done any strenuous activity lately and I may have forced myself into this activity without any preparation. My daughter is at the point of giving up and sat quietly on a rock. We heard  a call from my brother in law from the top, “Hurry up we are almost there!” That call gave us a burst of energy and we all got up and started moving again.

We could almost see the sun on the other side of the mountain. It was an indication that we have almost reached the top.

From here we could see almost all of the island and the view was amazing. But to my surprise, I was told that this was not yet it as we would still need to reach the very top of the rock.

We still had a  few more steps to go to reach Couple Rock. Unfortunately, my comrades have fallen and can no longer proceed to the rock. My family said that they would just wait for us in this area. Now only three of us were left to see what glorious beauty awaits. Our guide has been telling us that on the rock is where we could see the whole beauty of this island. Catching my breath, with very little energy I have left, we pushed forward.

 

To Be Continued………

Thanks for joining me today on this trek and I will be sharing with you on our next episode the summit of Couple Rock. Up there, words are not enough to describe how the view from the top looks like. A bit frightening as the wind is very strong up there. Please do join me again to complete this amazing adventure as I am going to tell you now that the difficult trail is all worth it.

I will also be editing and uploading a video version of this tour to fully experience the difficult trail that we went thru. Please watch out for the video very soon.

Until then, keep on dreaming and reaching for the top.

 

 

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.651669 lat 120.868374 long Trail to Mag Asawang Bato d3scr)

 

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

Leaving a mark in our beautiful world with @steemitworldmap and @travelfeed

All photos are original and taken with

Panasonic Lumix GX85 and 12-32 mm kit lens

 

 

 

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 […]

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 tradition that has been ongoing for years now, filled with music, cuteness, giant cartoon characters and Christmas lanterns. If you missed the first part, you could check the link The Invasion of Crazies, Stars and Bunnies. So come with me again to see the second part of this celebration and hope you enjoy.

 

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

Coming up next on the parade are more of the younger students. In the form of a mini marching band with skillful kids as majorette and musicians.

 

Seeing these kids perform out here on the streets adds excitement to the crowd. With matching uniforms, I say the younger group is well coordinated and the parents and teachers did great in the preparations.

The little drummer boys also did a great performance in keeping the beat. Kids are never too young to learn an instrument or two which is a great way to develop talent. A thing that I regret, I should have learned how to play an instrument when I was younger.

I think the Xylophone is an instrument that expresses the Christmas sound very effectively. It is very hard to play this instrument while walking. As you could see two kids are pulling the instrument while the other two continue to play.

This group definitely had it call covered in terms of music and entertainment. Waving the flags in unison as the band played.

Following the marching band are more bunnies. An adorable costume complete with drawn-out whiskers but I think the costume would be too hot for the kids.

 

Here comes more bunnies on wooden pushcarts. The Santa hats kinda worn by these kids kinda reminds me of Santa’s little elves on parade.

In what I could see, a lot of cotton has been used in making the bunnies. They used to add lights and candles around two years ago. This was stopped as there was an incident back then when one of the bunnies burned because of a candle. The kid continued to pull the bunny as it was burning but no one was hurt of the incident.

After the bunnies, the group also had their Christmas lanterns to showcase.

I guess it is not too late for Halloween and Christmas at the same time as long as Santa is included.

Christmas lanterns made from recycled materials like empty soda bottles is a great way to express this season.

Now here is a Japanese cartoon character named Doraemon that I think has three entries from different groups. Normally there should be only one entry for each character but I’m not sure what happened. I guess kids here love Doraemon so much.

Now who wouldn’t recognize the Minions and if I am not mistaken this guy is Kevin.

I’m not updated anymore with a lot of the cartoons but I think this guy is from Adventure Time. My kids love the show and I get to see a couple of episodes while they take over the TV.

Parade wouldn’t be complete unless there is giant Santa Clause included in the march.

This yellow character I do not recognize anymore. An indication that I am getting old already, maybe I need to catch up on the shows.

 

Enter the next batch of performers and I think they can compete with the previous performers. Matching uniforms, complete instruments and flag bearers.

 

Used soda bottles are popular when creating Christmas lanterns. There are many ways to use them which is a great way to reduce plastic waste material.

So far these kids are the most adorable group I have seen in the parade. The bunnies look more like mouse but no matter, the kids shines out in this parade.

As for the best costume, this group is a winner for me. With the theme of Frosty, the Snow Man and carrying pink Christmas lanterns is a great combination. We do not have snow in our country and the majority have never even seen real snow. This does not prevent them from exploring a theme built on a snowman.

The parade has almost come to an end and this is the part where most of the characters comes in. Let me know if you could name all the characters as a lot of them I do not recognize.

I love the detail that they did on this character. From the flowers around it’s neck to the frog sitting on top of it’s head.

 

This character is Jollibee who is the mascot of the most popular fast food chain in the country. Outsells all other fast food chains and even McDonalds cannot beat Jollibee when it comes to sales. The fast food chain has even branched out to other parts of the globe in Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America.

The winner for the 7th -8th-grade division is non-other but Woody from Toy Story. The first-place winner of another division is Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy which you could see from the first part of our holiday special. My favorite is Thanos that made it to second place. Anyways everyone did a very good job to make the parade very successful and people had a very great time.

This concludes our holiday special and I hope you enjoyed the piece of our culture. Our countries celebrate Christmas and the Holidays in different ways but the spirit is all the same. The spirit of spreading Joy, Peace, Love and Hope to everyone. As I close this post may you all have a very joyful holiday and a Blessed New Year ahead!

Thank you for joining me and keep on Steemin.

 

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 and Sigma 50 mm

 

 

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 […]