Thursday, December 29, 2011

Carabao Island, Romblon

 Last time, I spent my Christmas Holiday with my friend Teff in Boracay. It was "super" peak season so you can imagine the massive number of local & foreign tourists. After a day spending time island hopping in the island's vicinity, we decided to visit Carabao Island which lies North of Boracay Island.

Carabao Island is also known as Hambil Island; a part of San Jose, Romblon. We rented a motor boat and traveled  more than 30 minutes to reach the place. I like the place for several reasons. The scenery along the island is fantastic. There weren't tall mountains as backdrop, but the rock formations along the island are quite interesting. There's a lush green amidst the rocks.  The sea forms karsts and caves.

From afar, the island seem uninhabited. The beach was almost empty aside from the cool kids playing around. Alas, when we strolled along the beach, it was total freedom. 

There were several homes & structures along the narrow dirt road parallel to the beach which all seem empty.  We stopped by the small market to buy fish for lunch. There isn't a reliable power source in the island. Their local government is still figuring it out. 

We talked with our boatmen who lives in the island. They belong in a big family. We met their mother, and they say most of the residents in Carabao Island are working in Boracay. She has 9 children, some are already married and some are still kids. We just hope that tourism in the place shall provide them better opportunities. 

While hanging around a small hut, we tried on some fresh Coconuts while enjoying hearing the stories of the local life.

Everything seemed to move slow. We were merely watching the clouds pass by. It was very relaxing.

On our way back, we spend some time in Puka Beach, which is my favorite spot in Boracay. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tambobong Beach

   It was almost the end of summer. My brother-in-law, Erwin requested that we go to the beach before he returns to Canada. So I did some research on where we could go on a short weekend. I stumbled upon Tambobong Beach in Dasol, Pangasinan. 

  We took a bus in Pasay going straight to Burgos,Pangasinan. We arrived there at 5am. The bus  and jeepneys passing through Dasol were not yet operational during that time so we opted to take tricycles to the resort. The tricycle drivers knew the resort but they didn't mention that it's very far and it passes through rough road. While waiting, the smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the air. We found a Panaderia and bought some fvery warm Pandesal and rode on. When we were halfway there, one of the tricycles had trouble so we made a few stops. Good enough that we were able to find a welding shop in the middle of nowhere. My mother took time to chat with the wife of the welder and admired their vegetable garden. The trip itself is memorable. It was still early in the morning, I was loving the cold breeze and everything was unfolding in the sunlight. The scenery is full of greenery, small streams. We love the spot overlooking the town and the sea. We've gone uphill to a point that we got lost.  It was all a fun trip. 


When we reached the beach, not sure where exactly the resort is located, we called up Ms Heyes, (the owner) and she sent someone to fetch us. We strolled along the beach in a narrow patch embellished with tall Coconut Trees. We reached the Matabang Beach Resort, quaint with it's Bamboo slatted fence. It has a rustic and rural feel to it. We met the owners, who were accommodating.  Ofcourse, we asked about the name of the resort. They say Matabang came from the word Tabang which describes bodies of water like spring water and pond found at the vicinity. It was actually the main source of water even during the Spanish Era.

There are several picnic huts for day trippers. The pond itself casts a serene and enchanting feel to it. Lush greens encases a clear shallow pool. They say it also has fish in it.

Seizing the beautiful weather, we hopped on the boat for the island hopping. First stop was supposed to be Colibra Island but the waves weren't that cooperative. The boatman said it was unsafe to anchor in that area.  So we went forward to Crocodile Island. An islet made of lime formation shaped in a Crocodile with eyes. We decided to explore the island. 

Colibra Island
Crocodile Island

The boatman took us to a part of the rock formation. At first, I didn't understand why we had to wait in one side. So we waited for a few minutes, and saw a something very interesting. There's a blowhole beside the rockwall. It's an awesome experience, feeling the force of the water. There's a small cave inside, so when the sea water goes in, the pressure builds and pushes out the water out trough the small hole.

The small cave opening.

Above the plateau.

Back at the resort, we had our lunch cooked by the owner. That afternoon, they took a dip at the beach infront of the resort while I take a short siesta.

During sunset we strolled along the beach. After which we were greeted by a bountiful dinner cooked by the owner. The Jet Squid was perfectly cooked. Everything tasted good kudos to the cook.

The Honeymooners

A photo with the owners
The next morning we took an early boat at dawn, greeted by the wonderful sunrise. From the main highway we took a jeepney going to Alaminos. The tire blew up because there was a scissor in the middle of the road. They say that scissor is used for the rice sacks.