A Year in Travels May 2013 | Kota Kinabalu and Camiguin Revisited

The plankwalk to Pulau Sapi
The plankwalk to Pulau Sapi

It seems I have revisited many places this year which I really don’t mind since it’s been years since I last visited them. I’m always interested to see what has developed and retracing back my routes sure brings back fond memories in different places. When I had the chance to go back to Kota Kinabalu, I knew I didn’t want to miss that opportunity as it was my first destination out of the country.

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Wide-Eyed Again at White Island Camiguin

View of Mt Hibok Hibok (center), Mt Vulcan (right) and Mt Mambajao (left) from the White island in Camiguin
View of Mt Hibok Hibok (center), Mt Vulcan (right) and Mt Mambajao (left) from the White island in Camiguin

Pure sands, sun, sea and a whole lotta fun is what one can expect from this almost unadulterated White Island Camiguin. At first I wasn’t really excited to return to this island but once there, the only thing to do is enjoy. Best visited at low-tide when more sand would emerge and the waves would shape the island like a horse shoe seen from the sky. The high tide however gives an exciting opportunity to traverse the shallow sand bridge to both edges.

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Going Underwater at the Camiguin Sunken Cemetery

Sole Sister Lois snorkeling at the Sunken Cemetery
Sole Sister Lois snorkeling at the Sunken Cemetery

“Why would I want to do that?!” Chele, one of our comical and lively companion in Camiguin exclaimed with a ghastly expression on her face when I broached the idea of snorkeling at the Camiguin Sunken Cemetery. I couldn’t blame her since the thought of venturing in the cemetery at daylight already creeps some people out, what more on the deep-sea water. But curiosity got the better of me and I’m already have a firm resolve that I would snorkel here one way or another.

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Mantigue Island and its Denizens of the Deep

Encounter with a Greensea turtle while snorkeling at Mantigue Island
Encounter with a sea turtle while snorkeling at Mantigue Island

Five years are enough time for a place to change. Such is the case for Mantigue Island in Camiguin, North Mindanao. With Cebu Pacific Air’s direct flights from Cebu recently introduced last April, I was lucky enough to join a band of bloggers raring to explore the island wonders to promote its flight accessibility and tourism. I guess its serendipity that I go back to Camiguin as I was yearning to go back to Mantigue Island since I had a memorable visit there in 2008. As our boat launched under a hazy mid-morning sky and a sentimental air, I can’t help wonder what does the island look now? Is the family where we stayed in still there? After a mere 15-20 minutes boat ride over medium swells, the island was there to answer.

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Photo Print | Faith as Strong as the Rocks

Sunset at the Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin Island
Sunset at the Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin Island

Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art.

– Paul Theroux

Large canvass photo print available at 500px. Other print sizes at SmugMug WHCC Prints.

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Photo Print: Warm Seashore Glow

A warm morning glow at Mantigue Island Camiguin
A warm morning glow at Mantigue Island Camiguin

Now more than ever do I realize that I shall never be content with a sedentary life, and that I shall always be haunted by  thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.

– Isabelle Eberhardt

 

Large Canvass photo print available at 500px, other print sizes at SmugMug WHCC Prints.

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Six Interesting Halloween Destinations in the Philippines

An Interesting Cemetery in Baguio
An Interesting Cemetery in Baguio

The Philippines has celebrated “Todos Los Santos” quite differently from other parts of the world. While it is only recent when candled pumpkins, trick or treats and cute-monstrosity items adorn some houses. But behind those masked commercialism, many Filipinos still observe the traditional practice of visiting departed loved ones during All Saint’s Day. I remember our usual visits to clean up the graves of our relative and also the talks of supernatural, the regular horror segments at Magandang Gabi Bayan and even a time when Mananangal (half-bodied flying female creatures with bat wings) flew over Manila. Those were interesting times, but traveling brought me to discover places which somehow exude the feel and connection to the otherworld. Here are some places from my archive which I think would be nice places to visit during the Halloween Season.

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