Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - A Year Of Travels and Photos

It was a year of travel-photo journey that took me to amazing places of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and a couple of countries outside the Islands Philippines. Year 2009 allowed me to go deep into forests and mountains as well as lazed around some of the most scenic beaches I have ever seen. It was also about learning history first-hand and be accompanied by some of the most awesome bloggers of the land. And speaking of Blogging, 2009 will be fondly remembered because this humble blog was a first-time finalist in the Photo-Blog category of the Philippine Blog Awards. To recap, here are my monthly account of the places I have featured here in Lawstude's Journey:

The lush Sierra Madre Mountain Range was a prominent display in these JANUARY posts that covered the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija and Aurora. Posts for this month included the quaint Saint Dominic Church in Bayombong, the foggy Dalton Pass, the beautiful mountainside of Laur, the calming Dupinga River in Gabaldon and the idyllic town of Dingalan.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Lady of Caysasay Church @ Taal, Batangas

Some of the best kept-secrets lie in a small package. That certainly holds true with Our Lady of Caysasay Church in Barrio Labac, Taal, Batangas. From the outside, the church is humble and plain looking but once you see the interiors, you will simply be mesmerized.

The present church is a rebuilt version of the one that housed the Nuestra Senora de Caysasay, a miraculous image of the virgin that has guided the town since the 1600s. Originally built in 1639, the church was damaged by the eruption of Taal Volcano and an earthquake. It was later restored and improved by Father Marcos Anton with the interiors painted by Cesar Aberoni.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving gifts are all the buzzwords in a Christmas setting. Make your Christmas a one to cherish for years!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Villavicencio Ancestral Home @ Taal, Batangas

The town of Taal in Batangas is a historic small town with a number of old Spanish colonial buildings. And Villavicencio Ancestral Home is one of them. It was the home of Doña Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio who was one of the heroic women who have contributed great sums of money and energy for the Philippine revolution. A statue in her honor is located at the corner of the street where her house is located.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taal's Basilica of St. Martin de Tours

The historic small town of Taal prides itself with the massive century-old Basilica of St. Martin de Tours that dominates the lawned Taal Park. Built in 1840s to 1860s, this well preserved church has one of the best facades of all the churches I have seen. And not to be outdone is the church's interiors showcasing intricately designed ceiling and a well-crafted altar.

The Church was said to be named after Martin de Goiti, a Spanish explorer and a patron saint to those who have lost their way. Travelers from nearby places also frequent this church to seek guidance and ask for safety in their journeys. This Church is also reputed to be the largest Catholic church in Asia. Its facade resembles that of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and its tabernacle is made of silver, the only one of its kind in the Philippines.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slacken and Sleekin' in Bantayan Island

What is your favorite time of day?

Bantayan Island by day is truly a paradise. There is so much things to see and explore. Every place therein presents an opportunity for a worthy picture. You can't go wrong taking shots at every nooks and cranny of the many beaches and coves of the island. And finding your own space in this idyllic island is never a problem.

Choc Nut

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alice Beach @ Bantayan Island

I rarely encounter a beach named after a woman. If I remembered it right, the only other beach I know which was named after a woman was Alona Beach in Panglao Island. Alona Beach was named after the actress Alona Alegre who was frequently seen shooting a movie there. For Alice Beach, I find it hard knowing the history behind the nomenclature so I could only guess.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sugar Beach @ Bantayan Island

A sand that glistens in the sand and an endless rows of Coconut Trees that will protect you from scorching heat of the sun are the main draw of the Sugar Beach.

Located at the southern part of the Bantayan Island in the Municipality of Sta. Fe and just adjacent to the Paradise Beach, Sugar Beach is among the popular beach in the island. It has a beach resort named after the beach (or is it the other way around?). The resort has one of the most affordable rates but not really of the best quality. But one thing I like about the lace is that they allow backpackers to pitch a tent for just a minimal fee.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Paradise Beach @ Bantayan Island

There are times in life that seem to stay with you. Moments in places that seem to have the power to make life stand still... to linger... and to remember. For me, Paradise Beach is that place on earth... from the fine, white sand that tickles the feet, to the crystal, clear water that seem endless as far as the eyes can see... from the rhythm of its tides to the feeling of serenity... this is the place where I want to be. If quiet enhances thought, this is the place to indulge in a little reflection.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bantayan's Hilantaga-an Island

Residents of the island call this Pouo Nga Daku or Hilantaga-an Daku, the bigger twin of Virgin Island or Hilantaga-an Diot/Pouo Nga Diot which I have featured in my last post. Both islands are part of the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bantayan's Virgin Island

It is an island destination within an island destination. Virgin Island is just about 20 twenty minutes boat ride from Bantayan Island. Although Bantayan Island is already a destination in itself and you can practically have its beaches all to yourself, still, if you want isolation and solace, then you may head to charming Virgin Island.

Virgin Island boasts of pure white sand beach in a cove-like surrounding so there ain't no strong winds. It is privately owned and they have strict laws about the cleanliness of the island. There are no restaurants or store there so you have to bring some for your consumption. There is an entrance fee, however of P300 per person to be paid to the care-taker of the island.