Rizal | Masungi Georeserve: A Rock Garden Playground for Nature Lovers

The stunning limestone karst formations at the Masungi Georeserve
The stunning limestone karst formations at the Masungi Georeserve

5:25 AM. Our car was parked in front of the Masungi Georeserve gate waiting for them to open. The wind howled and sent chills down to our bones making us seek warmth inside the car. I have long been interested on visiting the Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal but booking a tour was a challenge as slots are often filled. DIY or walk-ins are also not allowed as booking should be done in groups of 6–10. Fortunately, our friend Lea, whom I met in Batanes Asus event called for joiners to complete a group of her friends with her father. We chose the earliest schedule to somehow catch a good light on the trail.

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Catanduanes: Meeting the Colorful People of Puraran

Puraran Beach Abaca Farmer

Puraran Beach Abaca Farmer

The recent Typhoons, Ondoy and Pepeng, both caused devastation to a lot of areas in the country. And it always seem that the one province who that mostly experience the onslaughts of these heavenly disturbances is Catanduanes. It’s barely a month when I was on that island so when the storms hit big time, I wondered how the people we met there are doing. Aside from checking out the Surfing Scene in Puraran, we also walked around the neighborhood and met some interesting local colors there.

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Catanduanes: The Puraran Beach and its Majestic Surf

Puraran Beach Heading to Surf

Puraran Beach Heading to Surf

It seems crazy when we hear people say that they want the storms to come in when they are on the beach. “Stronger the waves the better” as one surfer says. And it is in the presence of the storm that the waves and the wind become their playground. It is start of the surfing season again in the country. And Puraran Beach is home to a world renowned surf break, the Majestics.

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Transit: Manila to Puraran Beach Baras Catanduanes

Baras Virac Jeep

Jeeps bound for Baras and Virac

Aside from Batanes, the other island usually battered by the storms is Catanduanes. Found in the south-eastern part of Luzon, it is usually the first path typhoons go through during the Philippines’ wet seasons. For that reason, the island earned the moniker as the “Land of the Howling Winds.” While it seemed illogical to visit the island during the typhoon season, it didn’t stop me from discovering the island shaped by the storms.

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