El Nido, Palawan Sojourn

El Nido is a municipality of Palawan, Philippines. Known for its white sand beaches, coral reefs and  the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs. Miniloc Island is famed for the clear waters of its Small and Big lagoons. Shimizu Island has brightly colored fishes in its corral reefs.

July is vacation month for Valerie which means I and sister Patricia Angela need to file our vacation leaves to journey together in a place we have never been before. We took the flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa and Camarih Transport van going to El Nido. The view was breathtaking but I cannot take pictures, zigzagged roads and steep cliffs in some areas with alternating green landscapes of rice fields and  mountains.

Bacuit Bay noontime.

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Bacuit Bay ferry terminal view while taking breakfast.

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kayaking at big lagoon el nido

Kayaking at Big Lagoon

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Clear waters and colorful fishes

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Big Lagoon

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Pocket of beach in Payongpayong island

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The Rock

 

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Siete Commandos Beach

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Carabao driven cart on the way home.

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Next trip Cambodia.

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Lake Sebu, an encounter with nature

A time to seek and find. I always heard about Lake Sebu and wondered why the pictures posted are not lake but waterfalls.

There are 3 lakes in Lake Sebu, a municipality which was formerly a part of Surallah. Lake Lahit and Lake Seloton and the biggest  of the lakes is Lake Sebu which is an inverted pyramid in shape (going down) and at 345 hectares, one can imagine why the place is named after it.   It just gives me goosebumps that if you drowned in the lake, your body will surface in 3-5 days. Our T’boli entertainers told us to throw coins in the water as sort of payment for safe passage.

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our boat for cruisin the lake from Punta Isla Lake Resort

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the adjacent boat where kids are waiting to dive for coins to be thrown

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the floating restaurant with tour around the lake

Lake Sebu

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View of the lake from the church

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Falls number 1

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Falls number 2 (I only saw 2) and this is where the place near zipline end and where we proceed to other places in the South.

My next travel, Tablas, Romblon.

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Flores de Mayo 2014

According to popular legend, St. Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, went to Calvary 300 years after Christ’s death to search for Christ’s cross. At the site of the crucifixion, she unearthed three crosses, and had her sick servant lie down on each one. Upon touching one of the three, the servant was cured; this cross was determined to be Christ’s. The anniversary of this discovery is traditionally celebrated on May 3rd.
In the Tagalog region, the custom of the Santacruzan celebration started sometime after the Immaculate Conception of Mary was declared official dogma in 1854, and after the publication circa 1867 of Mariano Sevilla’s translation of the devotional Flores de Maria or Mariquit na Bulaclac na sa Pagninilaynilay sa Buong Buan nang Mayo ay Inihahandog nang manga Devoto cay Maria Santisima (The Flowers of Mary or the Beautiful Flowers that in the Meditations During the Whole Month of May are Offered by Devotees to Mary the Holiest).
During Spanish times, parish priests would choose hermanas or sponsors from the daughters of wealthy families. These women would shoulder the expenses, plan the festival and decorate the church as well as the caroza which would be used in the procession (wikipilipinas).

The traditional Flores de Mayo in Camp Crame was held on May 29, 2014 in the Parish of St. Joseph.

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Played the Stage Mother.

In the middle, the Angel

In the middle, the Angel

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Unprotected Heritage

In 1996 I visited Vigan and saw how the brick buildings were being repaired by cementing them which made me felt so sad that there was little effort to preserve them. Vigan became a UNESCO heritage site and I am hoping the cultural preservation would continue. 

Similarly the churches in the Bicol region retained their grandeur with the colorful hue of bricks and this sight depressed me.

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Saint Nicolas Church in San Nicolas, Laoag 

 

 

 

 

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