Kalanggaman Island: A Fascination with Sandbars

Its name comes from a Cebuano word meaning a place where there are birds. It must have been a former avian sanctuary. Either that or the fact that, when viewed from the air, Kalanggaman Island is an elongated islet with two long, snaking sandbars at both ends giving it the appearance of a gull in flight.

Continue reading Kalanggaman Island: A Fascination with Sandbars

Himokilan Island: A Short But Sweet Visit

It had been an exhilarating day visiting Mahaba and Digyo Islands, the first two islands on our Cuatro Islas island-hopping tour. Hopping back on board our boat to wave goodbye to Digyo we realized it was nearing 3PM. That would leave us with barely enough time to make it to the last island on our tour before heading back to the mainland and catching a van to get back to Ormoc City before dark. Continue reading Himokilan Island: A Short But Sweet Visit

Digyo Island: Bare Essentials

For several years now we’ve been lured to off-the-beaten track destinations for one primary reason: the raw, untouched beauty of such places. We have nothing against developed tourist spots but most out-of-the-way vacation spots are closer to nature and allow for moments of solitude. The downside of course is the lack of what most travelers consider as basic conveniences. In some cases we would end up in places without electricity, running water or even food and a decent place to sleep in.

Continue reading Digyo Island: Bare Essentials

Start of Summer at Mahaba Island

For several days we’ve been tracking the progress of Tropical Storm Bavi as it made its way across the Marianas group of islands in the Pacific. It was forecast to enter the Philippines possibly hitting the Eastern Visayas – long the seemingly preferred route of typhoons. With this development it might have been wise to postpone our trip to Leyte but, unfortunately, we had already paid for our discounted tickets and it was practically impossible to rebook flights. It seemed like another one of those goof-ups when you try to save on travel expenses but end up spending more in the process.

Continue reading Start of Summer at Mahaba Island

The Simple Life: Musings at a Nueva Ecija Farm

The sun was beginning to cast its golden rays on the green landscape when we arrived at the farm. Isolated stretches of thin and wispy cirrus clouds framed against the backdrop of a deep blue sky reflected off the still waters of the fish pond. Pairs of ducks would dart from time to time across the pond, churning up ripples of water and gently displacing clumps of green lilies in their wake. We slowly made our way to the native hut in the middle of the pool even as multifarious species of birds broke cover, scooting playfully from tree to tree.

Continue reading The Simple Life: Musings at a Nueva Ecija Farm

Crazy for White Sand Beaches

We first became aware of the beauty of white sand beaches during our honeymoon years ago at Bantayan Island in northern Cebu, Philppines. Bantayan was suggested by Canadian friends who seemed to know more about these places than mere locals like us. We ended up having a long love affair with white sand beaches ever since, grabbing every chance we get to visit one. Continue reading Crazy for White Sand Beaches