Saturday, September 10, 2011

Island Hopping

We were out for 6 days, the 3 days of which are in Bislig, Surigao del Norte, in Mindanao, Philippines. Our main objective is the Tinuy-an Falls, but we heard lots of tourists are already there during our 2nd day, so we gave way. We want to take photos with less traffic. So we instead tried going first to the islands. 

Before i continue, i'd like to tell you first our sad plight when we arrived in Bislig. We went to 4 hotels but fully occupied, only the fifth one accepted our plea to let us stay. It was almost dusk and we might end up in the streets after a rigorous 6 hour bus ride. This 1-11 hotel has vacancies, but only because their water pump broke and the residents transferred. It was the oldest hotel there. We don't have choices, so we beg to be in. We agreed to fetch water from the ground floor. And the famous word, "serendipity", worked favorably again. The pump went on that night and the owner of the hotel also owns the island we intend to visit, Hagonoy Island. She allowed us to join her at 5 am, so we can take photos while the light is still good. The island is only 30min by motorized boat and is barely 1.5 ha, and one can circle it in a few minutes. The island has fresh water pumped for drinking without any salty taste. What a blessing! When the next batch of tourists came via bigger boats, we were ready to go back to the mainland for lunch. We returned to the Island at 4pm for the sunset shots. 

It turned out that the son of the owner is the Vice Mayor and that night the owner offered us dinner of lobsters, big mudcrabs and prawns and broiled fish, which are very costly in Manila. We partook of the sumptuous meal on a makeshift table under some coconut palms, with only the sounds of the waves and our laughter. Both dinner and boat rides are free! Can we ask for more! We silently thanked our spirit guides! 

a fish cage at sunrise on the way to the island

Hagonoy Island shot from the approaching boat

the lone pier to the island

island's ID

a cozy bench for a good nap

our two companions resting on the rattan hammock

view at the back of the island

boats ferrying tourists. The sand is very fine soothing to the feet.

some attempts at slow shutter shots at dusk


  1. What a beautiful stretch of your trip. The ocean is lovely and your dinner sounded delicious! Lobster and mud crabs are some of my favorites....but only once in awhile because they are also expensive here. Great shots. You have me intrigued with this "slow shutter:)" style.

  2. Wow, the sunrise picture is very beautiful! Thank God your trip has turned from disappointment and dismay to an adventure of enchantment. Such splendid views and hospitality are fine rewards, not to mention the mouth-watering lobsters and crabs.

  3. Sounds like a very eventful trip. I believe lobsters and crabs are expensive in every part of the world.

    Andrea, Your photos are very beautiful, even better than those you showed before. What did you do differently?

  4. Rohrerbot - hi Chris, i am glad there is someone out there i can still impress with my slow shutter shots! haha. When your friends are good, you elevate your standards, but your shots are always mediocre! That's how i see my shots, in relation to them.

    Autumn Belle - yes we are so lucky, that is always the case when we are among ourselves, maybe our energies are with good vibes!

    Bom - yes, and we will be back, that time the college blockmate of the Vice Mayor will be with us, i am sure that means more prawns, crabs and lobsters!

    One - which among these shots do you refer to? Thanks so much for the appreciation. I don't know what i did differently, maybe the seafoods and kindness of people (both newly met and old friends) are the best inspiration.Regarding the last 2 photos, secret is slow shutter and a CPL.

  5. How glorious your photos are...I love the fish trap at sunrise...and a great blessing to find that perfect hotel and hotel owner to give you a special tour and feast.

    Blessings Kelsie

  6. I can almost hear the waves lapping at the shore. So serene and peaceful. What a paradise. Good thing you found a hotel to stay in. Sometimes we remember these times the most and fortunately can laugh about them-later. It actually worked out well for you for sure.

  7. Beautiful images of what appears to be a wonderful trip!

  8. Serendipity indeed! When you first started telling your tale, I never dreamed it would finish so well! Glad your trip turned out so well. Wonderful shots.

  9. That looks like a very peaceful and relaxing spot! Yes, my caterpillar shot was indeed a monarch butterfly larvae!

  10. Glad your trip turned out so well, and I too love your photos.

  11. Kelsie from our country home -thanks for your kind words and the visit. I love that sunrise photo too, it is a bit difficult to get photos when in a fast soaring boat though.

    Tina - what a lovely feeling after the stresses are gone, now we only remember the beautiful island and the lobsters, we come to call now as lovesters!

    Carolyn - thank you so much for the visit, i hope you do again.

    Bom - this is your 2nd comment, that reminds me maybe i miss something or maybe i need to have a new post?

    Holley Garden - now that i have experienced almost the same trends with the same group of companions, i am thinking more deeply of what these series of events and serendipities really mean, to me and to us as a group!

    Msrobin - it was a relaxing and bonding moments indeed. I have seen many beautiful caterpillars this last weekend, i hope to post them somehow later.

    Missy - thanks for visiting again!

  12. I get RSS feeds in my email even for the older blog posts if they are updated. Usually the double comment means I've dropped by again just to make sure I'm the one who doesn't miss anything. :D

  13. that sounds like a great thing to do. And...I love that bench. I liek that your misfortune turnd out to be a fortune. :)

    Thanks for visiting my Travel blog a while ago. :)

  14. What a fabulous story, Andrea... the kind you can tell future generations: how a near misadventure turned out instead to be a treasure. And you have wonderful photos to go with your wonderful memories.

    [I did NOT know about the hybrid gumamelas with the star names... will have to look into that some more. Thanks!]

  15. How amazing!!! I love these shots. I think I'd slide right off if I tried to rest on that wooden bench.


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