Among the provinces in the Bicol Region, Masbate province remained unexplored territory for me until recently. Its remoteness and raw beauty are part of its allure. I had previously visited the Burias Islands and Ticao, and this time, I set my sights on the larger Masbate Island, starting my journey from the southwestern tip of Balud, home to the Jintotolo Lighthouse, a lone sentinel watching over the Sibuyan Seas.
Calatagan’s beach has always been the primary reason for my visits to this charming part of Batangas. The picturesque white sands and breathtaking views have lured me back to Stilts Calatagan several times. During my recent trip with family and friends, I decided to bring my folding bike to explore the nearby areas, including the century-old Spanish lighthouse, Cape Santiago, or Faro de Cabo Santiago – one of the well-preserved remnants of Spanish architecture in the country.
It took more than a decade but I finally found my way back to the northwestern tip of Cagayan Valley. So much has happened the last decade or so in Palaui island. Admittedly, it’s the biggest tourist draw in Santa Ana, Cagayan. It has hosted 2 seasons of America’s Survivor series back in 2013. There are other Survivors from other countries that followed. But the most significant development for me is the designation of the island as a “National Park” due to the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System (ENIPAS) act signed by President Duterte in June 22, 2018.
Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There’s a human story at every lighthouse; that’s the story I want to tell.
For this week’s Nikon Shot, here’s a very recent photo (taken yesterday) at the Cotta Fort Lighthouse in Ozamiz City. It’s my first time in this city and province. It was great experience as I had the opportunity to share my blogging expertise to the students here through La Salle University’s “9th Culinary Congress: Promoting Food Tourism through Social Media”. I was there to represent my other blog Happyfoodies.com. After the talk, we walked down the street of Ozamiz towards the Cotta Fort. We had a lovely light that afternoon that I had to take a photo of my companions along with that lighthouse atop the fort. I called this photo “Lighthouse Family”
No doubt the most visited island in Batanes is Batan Island, the landing point for any plane coming in this northernmost region in the country. The provincial capital, Basco is also located in the island making it as a starting point for exploration. I have written extensively about the places in Batan Island already so I won’t be repeating much aside from some updates and new site takes from our recent Backpack Photography 3-Island Hop in Batanes. But don’t get me wrong, even if I’ve been here several times already, the views still never fails to amaze me.
I’ve been looking at the stark gray sky repeatedly while hoping that it would clear up or much less, let the rains abate. It’s been at least an hour since our original call time. We’ve eaten our packed breakfast and spent time idle with Sun City‘s speedy internet connection. We could have slept over these wasted time but we were all raring to go to Palaui Island. It will be my first time to set foot on this island at the northeast tip of mainland Luzon and I won’t let this rain dampen my excitement.
From our Red Market walk with Antonio Coelho, our coach drove to the eastern side of Macau Peninsula for Guia Hill, whose peak is the highest point in Macau. It was a short drive but we had to leave our coach and take a cable car up the hill. From the hill we still had a few minutes light hike. It was midday but the overcast sky was our friend. We passed by a few joggers and people doing some martial arts sparring along the way before we reached the foot of the Guia Fortress, one of the 25 UNESCO sites under Macau’s Historic Center.