Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Panagbenga Festival!!!

I'm off to Baguio for the weekend to witness the 15th Panagbenga Festival which co-incide with the City's 100th Founding Anniversary. "Panagbenga" is a Kankana-ey term for "a season of blossoming". Kankana-ey is a language spoken by tribes in Benguet and Mountain Province. This festival is the reason for the influx of travelers in the City in recent years.

Let me leave with you some shots I have taken of the Festival last year:

The Costumes and the Colors

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sto. Nino Cold Spring @ Camiguin

Sto. Nino Cold Spring is a terrific huge pool, about 40 meters long, filled by the spring. It is near Catarman and a perfect wind-up after a tiring trek in the mountains. For a minimal entrance fee of just ten pesos, you can enjoy the very cold pool and swim along with the small fishes there. As for me, I found the water too cold so i just dip my feet in there and roam around the place to shoot.

Meet Donald and Daisy

View from the Hut

The Pool

A Modest Centerpiece

Gush of Cold Water

The Pool on Eye Level

Cold Spring

This is my contribution to My World. To see other interesting places around the world, please click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Swimming in 7-Up @ Camiguin

"Want to know how it felt like swimming in 7-up or Sprite?" This is what our guide asked us as we head to the first and only soda pool in the Philippines, the Bura Soda Water Swimming Pool, in Catarman. Well, Milk Bath is already an old concept and tea and coffee spas are a plenty in the City so this one is kinda interesting.

As we enter the place, we have noticed lots of Coca Cola banners, so one might ask, do they pour softdinks in this pool? lol. The place seem so ordinary with two large swimming pools made of rocks and cement but once you take a dip, your body will fizzle with bubbles reminiscent of the bubbles that appear once you pour your coke in a glass. Moreover, there seem to be a sweet scent on the pool that one can't help to taste it. And yes, it tastes like a bland seven-up.

The water is more on the cold side so we just stayed there for about half an hour. By the way, there is a minimal entrance fee of just twenty pesos. Here are some pics I have taken of the area.

The Soda Swimming Pool

A Couple of Kids Enjoying the Pool

Flowers like Orchids Surround the Place

Gumamela in Full Bloom

Dendro on a Pool Backdrop

Splash at the Pool's Back Portion

Waiting to Bloom

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ruins of Old Volcano in Camiguin

Camiguin was said to be an island born from fire. It is surrounded by seven volcanoes, the most famous of which is Mt. Hibok-Hibok which rises to 1, 250m above sea level. Camiguin is considered an island paradise because it is surrounded by natural wonders like hot and cold springs, waterfalls, and volcanic landscapes. In fact, some of its main tourist draw were result of a disastrous volcanic eruption that devastated the island in the 1870s. Among those spots featured in this post are the Sunken Cemetary, the Ruins of Church Guiob and the Walkway to the Old Volcano.

Sunken Cemetary is located in Bonbon, Catarman ans is marked by a huge cross to commemorate the community cemetery that sunk during the 1871 volcanic holocaust. During earlier years, gravestones were visible during low tide and today, it is an interesting diving site.

Just few minutes walk from the Sunken Cemetery are the remains of an Old Spanish church, ruins of adobe walls, belfry and convent collectively known as Guiob Ruins. These are mute witnesses to the wrath of nature and it also allows tourists a glimpse into the culture of Spanish-era Camiguin.

Another worthy place to visit while in that area is the Walkway to the Old Volcano. This place is busiest during the holy week because of the Station of the Cross installed in it. Reaching the top most part will reward trekkers with a beautiful panoramic view of the island.

Here are some shots I have taken of these three places in Camiguin:

Cross Marker of Sunken Cemetery

Thick Walls of Guiob Church Ruins

Light Passing Through the Ruins

The Ruins of Guiob Bellfry

A Modest Chapel Built Inside the Ruins

Walkway of the Old Volcano

Wind Chime Made up of Shells in Camiguin

Monday, February 16, 2009

White Island, Camiguin

A "Pocket Paradise". Most people say this about Camiguin, a small island that offers a breath of fresh air from the busy hustle and bustle of city life. Upon arrival from this enigmatic island, I have noticed how lush it is with vegetation all around. Then we traveled to Paras Resort on a smooth, cemented road.

While at the resort, I reveled in the scene before me and what really caught my attention was a sparkling stretch of white sand bar that seem to float in the deep blue sea. I have learned later that I was looking at one of the famous attractions that have drawn travelers to Camiguin - the White Island. So right after taking lunch, we headed to this island which is just a little under ten minutes by boat from the resort I am staying.

Its famous white sand bar stretches for two kilometers surrounded by sparkling blue ocean. Be sure to bring a towel or malong or anything that may protect you from the sun because there are no sheds available there and the heat can be too unbearable. So, for my initial post on Camiguin, let me share to you the pics I have taken of and from the White Island:

White Island from Afar

The Stonewalls, the Boat and the White Island

Mount Hibuk-hibok as seen in the White Island

Stretch of Fine White Sand

The Other Shore

Life Guard's Bench and Made-Shift Shed

Boat Waiting on Crystal-Clear Waters

More of Camiguin on my next posts.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In Transitu

In law, "in transitu" means on a way or in passage from one place to another. And usually, the interval between two interesting places is best spent resting or sleeping so that you will have enough energy to spend on your preferred place of destination. Between the Port of Binalongan in Misamis Oriental and Port of Benoni in Camiguin, we have opted not to sleep but rather enjoy the fantastic view that this trip offered. Because this time, this passage is a worthy event on its own.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cagayan De Oro's Night Cafe

Every Friday and Saturday Nights, D V Soria in the city center of Cagayan De Oro turn into a hot night spot. Make shift tents that offers bargain clothes, toys and fruits as well as fly-by-night barbeque and food stalls dominate the area.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Find Calm in the Wild Waters

To continue where I left off in my previous post, here are some shots I have taken while white water rafting in Cagayan De Oro River. Bringing my dslr cam in the raft is just toooo risky and crazy so I just brought my ever dependable point and shoot camera along. The three-hour boat ride is not all rapids so during calmer times, we are given the opportunity to take-out our camera and shoot some of the best scenes that the river my offer.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

White Water Rafting @ Cagayan De Oro

Water is not our natural habitat. We are usually fonder of firm grounds. So when faced with water, there are those who shiver at the thought of spending hours under unpredictable conditions. After all, whitewater rafting offers just that - unpredictability. The waters, the rapids, the rocks and the occasional snakes will make a reasonable man to think twice before trying this activity.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Gettin' Ready to White Water Raft

"You have never really been to Cagayan de Oro until you try White Water Rafting!" I have heard and read about this phrase countless times, so when I got the chance to visit Cagayan De Oro, the first thing on my mind is to try and experience their famous White Water Rafting Adventure.