Sun is the centre of our Solar System. It is the source of energy. It is the nucleus of happiness. It is the core source of inspiration for a wonderful life. And so, I built my Summer around it.
The Magnificent Mount Mayon. It was mid-February when I switched-on again my mountaineer persona. I am so lucky to have received an invitation from Packers Mountaineering. I took a leave from my serve-the-people persona and carried my bag to the terminal where the buses bound for Bicol are usually stationed on a Thursday night. I closed my eyes and convinced my heart that an absent is just a part of growing up with the government. And I must admit that prior to seeing the crater, I was very scared of trying to climb, even for a point of my toes over the supposedly-hot-land of the volcano.
The 3-Mountains-in-a-Day Journey (San Jose Circuit). Imagine this: three mountains must be hiked up and down in just a day. It was pretty impossible, but we did it!
Cobra-PDBF Dragon Boat Regatta 2013 Leg 1.
Potipot Island, Zambales (2nd Zambales Dragon Boat Festival in Uacon Lake, Zambales).
Vigan. The city is currently the finest example of a harmonious clash of culture and a great blend of East and West architectural styles. The Heritage Village along Calle Crisologo is lined up with old Spanish houses, making it one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The influence of Chinese can be traced from its food – miki, okoy, sinanglao, among others. It is also famous for its longganisa (sausage), bagnet and bibingka.
Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte (plus surfing in Bagasbas Beach). Have you heard of the TV series Survivor (the US version)? Well, the location, which is the Caramoan Islands, is like the half-sister of Calaguas Island. The charming island has a lot to offer – white powdery sand, crystal blue waters, fresh air and serenity that The World’s Best, that is, the Boracay Island, cannot offer. When I was in Calaguas, I literally slept on the powdery sand under the trees (daytime) and under the stars (at night). The people are also kind. You could always ask them to look for fresh catch from the sea. A bit of caution though – small jellyfishes play near the shore that makes swimming a bit difficult. By the way, the boat ride will consume 2 hours one-way, just in case, you want to know. There are no posh hotels in the island. you have to sleep in tents.
Bagasbas Beach is probably one of the best locations for learning how to surf. Shoreline is superbly wide. Sand is incredibly fine. And the people are extraordinarily hospitable. Surfboard plus instructor would cost you around 400pesos for one-hour.
Photos courtesy of Andrea Vallar, Rainier Dumbrique, Packers Mountaineering, Ace Panuncio, James Oliveria, Karl Felisilda and Dio de la Fuente.