Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A little escapade in my neighborhood!

Our town, Mabini,  is like a tongue jutting out from the mainland. Of course we are a country of islands, but my province is a part of a big island called Luzon. Our tongue-like town is surrounded by water, except for the top portion attached to the mainland. It is almost like a peninsula. The shameful part is, that I have been reaching lots of far places both in the country and abroad, yet i have not seen most parts of my town. You know how it is like when we started studying and working in the big city, we just come home on weekends and those few hours are just spent at home and family. Now that we can already manage our time, I am ready to explore the innermost corners and coves in the place where i live. So with a few friends, and actually with their prodding, i was able to be a tourist of my own place! I would love to share with you some of them.

We were there for the weekend, 2D 1N. The first afternoon I showed them the small mountain I love, Mt Gulugod Baboy (pig spine!).
 It is a 2-3hr hike for tourists, but when you are with me i will bring you to the top in just 30min! of course when you are with a native, she knows the shortest way to the top. haha!

 I've been posting about this mountain in the past, showing different looks depending on the season, meaning the dry and the wet season, i am sure you already know we only have two seasons. Above photo shows where it got the name.

The windy ridge where you cannot open an umbrella or let your hat on your head, or else they will be blown away.

A cute barangay is nestled by the hills and trees, overlooking the sea. It is idyllic, i tell you!

 Do you often see this scene in your own place? Or you don't see these things anymore, nor smell the flowers!  It is high time you do, it will do wonders for the psyche.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy sunset

View from the veranda of the Bontoc in Batangas Bed & Breakfast
another view from that veranda

After taking them to the mountain, show them the terrestrial environment, i brought them to the islands. Anilao, Mabini, Batangas is already a tourist destination especially for divers and diving students. The 2-hr drive from Manila is very convenient for them to learn and relax. I see the happenings in glossy magazines and on TV, but haven't taken time to indulge. The underwater biodiversity is famous in these parts, and is comparable to great diving sites in the country, and maybe some in the world. Hence,  many vacation houses and resorts are owned by rich and famous people in Manila.  Underwater photography is also becoming famous, not to mention the windsurfing sports competitions being held annually. 

And i am alien to all of these! Being afraid of deep waters and heights, I just share with the divers the awe in seeing the beautiful marine life when i see the photos of others. I just content myself seeing the small colorful fishes in the corals during low tide. I admit that is pathetic of me.

This island is called Isla Sombrero (Hat Island), because it looks like a tilted hand in some angles.

 Sepoc Island, a name we failed to know the meaning or origin.

We just circled some islands on the boat, as some parts like this cathedral (another phase outside the picture looks like the door), don't have beach or docking area.

 These waters cradle the rich biodiversity of marine life, catering to both local and foreign divers. A lot of dive sites here are included in the lists in the country. The Tourism of Mabini office has staff and information for all these.

Buri palms many decades old growing along the beach.

 Houses on stilts are seen in communities along some stretches of the irregularly coved islands

After hiking to the mountain, frolicking in the sand in the islands and taking some photos and snorkeling, the appetizing food in the Bontoc in Batangas Bed and Breakfast delighted us. Besides, the owner is very gracious and accommodating, letting us feel we are relatives on vacation being served till we are very full. You will not even think that you pay for this, as the hostess will entice you to forget the cost of your stay. Her presence and lovely stories will make you long for another longer stay and touristy escapade. We cannot ask for more! Can you beat that!

The ethnic-Bontoc inspired cottages of the Bontoc in Batangas Bed and Breakfast. Actually, it should have been named BB Bed and Meals, as they serve all the meals including snacks and drinks. The buffet style meals will not be for those who are trying to loose some pounds, or in any case you will forget your goal. 

Please visit other Outdoor Wednesday Posts at A Southern Daydreamer
and Watery Wednesday Posts

Outdoor Wednesday: Click on the picture below to learn more... 


  1. A fantastic journey Andrea! I'm feeling nostalgic again!

  2. I absolutely love the sunset photo. Which season is it now? The grass looks green and beautiful.

  3. Hi Mark and Gaz, if you will visit i am volunteering as your guide, haha! But until now i still dont know who between you is my kababayan!

    Hi One, this just happened the other week, so still dry season, but already rained because of the unusual summer rain. I wonder if it's already an anomaly of climate change, but i welcome it very much.

  4. What wonderful views, Andrea! I'm glad you went exploring and shared these fabulous scenes with us! The food looks most delicious...and the mountains always look so inviting!

  5. How scenic! What a wonderfully idyllic place!

  6. Spectacular scenery, Andrea. I just love that sunset. So peaceful and relaxing.

  7. Your post makes me miss Anilao. I can send you personal pictures of the underwater world of Mabini and Anilao if you want examples. I have pictures from Batok (trans: nape) which is a dive site at the back end of Sombrero. *smirk*

    Also, the journal article about biodiversity is entitled "The Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity" if I remember correctly.

  8. Andrea, simply amazing scenery and photos! I could smell the fragrance of the clean air. Thanks for the tour.

  9. so nice of you to take us on a tour of your hometown. sadly i too have not yet explored what's in my province or even town before i left the country and settled here. someday i hope to remedy that ommission.

  10. At last! Most of the pictures of the sea I've seen so far are taken from the top of the mountain. Finally, you went down to the beach and out into the sea!

    It's good to see that your general area is still pristine despite its closeness to Metro Manila.

    Just like you I've never seen what's outside our house in my own town. At least my good excuse is that I didn't grow up there... hehehe. My Ilocano is even "Tagalized" already.

  11. Kanak-actually they have the best food presentation, which makes them more delicious. I just am not very good with food photos so didn't post them, the one i put here is my own plate, haha!

    HolleyGarden - thanks for visiting my place!

    Donna - we just tried to shoot the sunset even if the sun is still high, we need to leave before the real sunset shots because our driver doesnt want driving at night. Thanks for appreciating.

    Diana - yes the air is really clean in contrast to our air in the big city where i stay most times, where i get my allergic asthma!

    Photo Cache - so when you come here for a visit, make it longer so you can cover wider areas, expand it outside your own, you can even come to ours!

  12. Bom - thanks for that article, but is it available in the net? I've seen books at the BBBB where we stayed, the husband is the ED of Conservation Internationale. However, the main attraction for me are the nudibranchs because i havent seen it on the shallow waters. I guess you wrote it, which makes me more interested in the article, LOL.

    Honestly, i just see the underwater scenes from mags, at least now other people's photos are linked with Tourism Mabini in FB. Or else I am really deprived of the privilege to see our underwater riches. I saw your other discarded website before, so i know you are a diver. If you want to visit GB i can guide you thru the quick 30min hike!

    SR - yes that is correct, haha, however i went to the beach and the islands but only my feet got wet. I just wanted to take photos of the moving waters around the rocks, and i'm already happy that way. I just sometimes feel deprived not being able to see the rich marine life near us!

  13. Wonderful photos!! Happy Outdoor Wednesday!!

  14. what a nice photos and the place:-) thanks for sharing..I will visit this place soon. MY WATERY WEDNESDAY

  15. Wow Andrea.... That place is gorgeous ---ALL of it. I'd love to visit there and let you take me up that mountain YOUR WAY... ha

    Love all of the pictures... Thanks so much for sharing such beauty.

  16. You are so lucky to live there. Wowza!
    Joyce M

  17. The beauty of Philippines islands at its best. Beautiful pictures! My WW entry is up too! Thanks and see you around.

  18. Great Presentation Andrea! I hope you have enjoyed your escapade. Would love to stay in this cottages for a while.

  19. i haven't been to anilao in more than a decade. one of these days, will do a batangas road trip.:p

    i played tourist in my home province, too, last month. i enjoyed your photos and this post.

  20. Wow. Really really pretty! No, I definitley do not have that around me and my soul definitley needs it! Looks like a really nice trip.

  21. Thanks everyone for coming over and leaving your comments. I am in a hurry so i will lump my thanks, LOL:

    Linda, Carolyn, Betsy, Light and Voices, STEF, Birdy, Luna Miranda, Wendy, chubskulit.

  22. The article is available on the net. It was widely circulated immediately after its publication, well, at least among biologists and in the diving community. Whatever made you think that I wrote it? It's not my field at all.

    I have lots of nice nudibranch pictures. You should try having an intro dive in Twin Rocks. Lots of nudibranchs there.

  23. This place is really beautiful. I have thouroughly enjoyed myself touring the sites with you. How nice to grow up in such scenic surroundings. I think this is a very romantic place, perfect for honeymooners. That sunset will make me fall in love all over again, expecially when there's someone playing sentimental songs with fingers plucking a guitar.

  24. Hi Andrea, I found this link from Francesca.

    From my Visayan Islands, I can see sunrise in the ocean, but hardly any sunset.

    Yay, you made me nostalgic!

  25. Andrea will you please bring me to the top of the mt. We will be in bontoc bb on december 29-30.im willing to pay u for the effort.thanks

    1. Lerrisce De Guzman, i don't know if you will see my reply here. I can't even open your G+ site. If you have FB you can write me there. Or you can email me here: kalantikan@gmail.com


    2. you've got mail from me already.thanks


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