Marinduque: Morning splendor at Gaspar Island

Gaspar Island Morning Shore

Gaspar Island Morning Shore

We woke up about 3:30am to prepare for our trip to Gaspar island. It’s great to have fellow photographers like Oggie and Allan on a trip since they understand the importance of capturing the best light in a scenery. Most locals would have wondered why we would want to sail to the island at 4am in the morning not understanding the photographer’s view of things. Maybe one reason why our boatman missed our target departure of 4am. Or he just probably overslept a bit. Still we managed to arrive before the sun rises on Gaspar Island, Marinduque.

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Marinduque: Chasing the setting sun and crossing bridges at Gasan

Gasan Crossing but not meeting

Gasan Crossing but not meeting

Our jeep raced through the major highway of Marinduque coming from Sta Cruz. It was already late and we were hoping to get back at the resort by sun down. We sped through the Island capital of Boac and soon crossed the borders to Gasan. Our driver may have miscalculated the time or it took use quite some time taking pictures of each area as it was already past 5pm. The sun was going down fast and I knew we won’t make it in time.

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Marinduque: Falls on Sta Cruz

Kawa-kawa Cascade Vertical

Kawa-Kawa Falls Cascade in Sta Cruz, Marinduque

It took us almost an hour to reach the town of Sta Cruz coming from Torrijos. We headed into the market area where we also passed by the main Jac Liner station there. We saw the bus we rode already parked. We had a hearty lunch of sinigang with fresh fish and good ol’ home cooked pork chop and calamares at one of the carinderias there. Followed by a serving of ice cream nearby. With afternoon closing midway, we moved on to explore some of the town’s attractions.

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Marinduque: Overcast in Torrijos

A Fisherman tightening the boat rig knots

A Fisherman tightening the boat rig knots at Poctoy Beach

Shot with red-eyes from so little sleep while in transit to Marindque, we were dead sleepy when the bus rolled-off from the Cawit Port that we overslept our drop off point in Boac. Fairly waking at a road sign saying Boac is 7km behind us now we realized our bus is heading down south already. It was actually fortunate that it will pass by our destination in Gasan. A lady who was going home back there after 5 years was noting the town they were passing through with her companion. We chatted with her a bit and told her where we’re heading. She helped us point where we would alight and soon we were on foot the main highway at Baranggay Pinggan in Gasan, Marinduque.

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Transit: RORO to Marinduque

JAC Liner Rolling-in at Montenegro Ferry

JAC Liner Rolling-in at Montenegro Ferry

The Philippines has a longer coastline even that of the USA and its geography is composed of many separate islands. To visit other islands, sea travel is one of the most common and cheap way to travel. The Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) or commonly known as the RORO (Roll-on, Roll-off) Highway was opened by the government. It’s a transportation structure spanning 919 kilometers of land and 137 nautical miles connecting the islands through a virtual highway via RORO-capable sea vessels. Even though air travel is getting affordable nowadays, land-and-sea travel is still popular amongst common people and to destinations with very little air traffic. In my recent visit to Marinduque with friends Oggie and Allan, we took the RORO Highway and here’s my first hand experience on going this route.

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All Saint’s Day 2008

Sagada's Festival of Lights
Sagada's Festival of Lights

I was digging through my archives on some photos I could find in relation to Halloween. I found some old 2005 photos that I still haven’t posted here. It would seem I’ve been posting Sagada every All Saint’s Day on this site. Perhaps because I find their traditional practice still interesting at this time when I find Filipino Halloween practices being more modern and commercial with lots of western influences coming in.

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Checking up on Sagada

Sagada's new Municipal Hall Construction

Sagada’s new Municipal Hall Construction

Some people may ask why I feature destinations abroad whereas the Philippines has a lot of tourists attractions that can rival other countries as well. Why not promote what’s ours? It’s true that we have a number of world-class attractions that we can be proud of. But venturing outside our own country also gives us a wider perspective and see more potential in our country beyond our myopic vision when we are stuck here. We see practices and conditions which can help both our thriving local tourism industry as well. Our visit to Sagada recently was prompted by our recent visit to Sapa, Vietnam. These two places are quite similar with the later being more sophisticated, engulfed by modernization which had us worried about the present condition of our beloved Sagada.

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