Monday, June 30, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
A Shrine in Barangay Tabgon

      So the finale of my Caramoan island-hopping adventure together with my good ol' friends Don, Fitz, Joey, Chogie, Thryke and Dennis, held May 2 and 3, 2014, took place in Tabgon where the shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is situated. As our boat approaches the dock of this barangay in mainland Caramoan, we could already see the white colossal statue of the Blessed Virgin standing high up on a mountain.


     To get to the shrine you will have to walk on an uphill road through a small village, then at the welcome arch you begin your climb on a flight of concrete steps that has an uneven rise. How does 500+ steps sound to you? Well think of it as an act of penitence or the ultimate cardio exercise hehe. You don't have to hurry of course. You can stop and catch your breath and wait for your second wind. Make sure to bring bottled water with you!

     At the top end of the stairs you will first see a small yellow chapel, then the statue of the Virgin that is on a higher elevation that again you will have to climb if you want a closer look.

     If you ask me, I think those telecom towers are an eyesore but they might have been built there before the shrine.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

     These pictures were taken in Sabitang Laya Island, Caramoan. There are so many interesting backgrounds here for fashion shoots. So if you visit Caramoan and you like being photographed, make sure to bring your favorite beach outfits hehehe.

     Thank you Thryke for these photos!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
Lunch at The Manlawi Sandbar

     Lahuy is the largest among Caramoan's islands and the Manlawi Sandbar located at the East side of Lahuy is the mother of all sandbars in Caramoan. It is so vast that it looked like a wet desert. Depending on the tide, the water level varies between your ankles and your thighs.

     Since we will be island-hopping all day, we brought lunch with us on the boat. Our lunch was lovingly prepared and packed for us by Caramoan Gardens Restaurant. Well it's part of the package tour deal hehe. Out here you will either have your lunch in Cotivas Island where there are picnic huts, or here in Manlawi on picnic rafts.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
Cavorting in Cotivas Island

      Once again our little boat took us to another beautiful island in Caramoan. Look at the map and notice that the sea has different shades of blue. While the boat takes you from island to island, you will witness the water change from aquamarine to turquoise to cobalt. The color depends on how deep the water is and what's at the bottom (corals or just sand).

     But blue is what you wouldn't feel the moment you see Cotivas Island in a  sunny day. This slug shaped island has a sandy tail and to be on that part of the island will give you a feeling of lightness, of freedom. I dunno, maybe because I felt so small. I looked around me and saw vastness in every direction.

     You will feel like you want to run or do a cartwheel. And no matter how much you weigh, you will surely get yourself involved in a jump shot LOL.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
The Beguiling Island of Bagieng

      This island is the first destination for Day 2 of my Caramoan island-hopping adventure, with 6 of my friends, that took place early in May this year. We set out early that day from  Bikal Boat Terminal and arrived at Bagieng Island around 10 AM and that gave us plenty of time to enjoy nature... such as  feeling the warmth of the morning sun while sitting on a big rock facing an aquamarine sea.

     Bagieng Island is relatively large compared to the 3 islands we visited on our first day. This island has an expansive low terrain that's covered with grass, bushes and small trees. If you love hiking, then this island is for you. It's also a good place for camping, says Mike our tour guide, he has spent some nights here with his friends.

     If I'm not mistaken, Sabitang Laya is the rocky islet that is attached  to the Eastern corner of Bagieng Island. The rock formations here are quite interesting, in one area you will find massive rocks that stands vertically, like ancient monoliths. The name "sabitang laya", by the way, means "net hanger". Mike said  that this used to be a place where fisherman hang their nets to prepare it for usage or storage.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
The Mysterious Milkfish
of Matukad Island

       The second stop in our Caramoan island-hopping adventure is the Island of Matukad. Another place to enjoy nature it its pure form. If you are done swimming in the pristine turquoise waters or sunbathing in the island's expansive sandy front yard,  well there's another thing you can (or must) do in this tropical paradise...

       Something's special about this island and you have to go far off the ground to see it. The word "matukad" is Bicolano for "steep" and a steep climb  is what you will do alright. It's like scaling a 3-storey building.

     At the top you will first be rewarded with an awesome view of the island. That's mainland Caramoan you see way back over there in this picture which is about 1.25 kilometers away.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Caramoan Adventure:
From Metro Manila to Lahos Island

     Finally, another chance to write a blog post! So now I'm sharing with you  my Caramoan island-hopping adventure  that took place last month, the 2nd and 3rd of May, with 6 of my good friends - from left is Joey, Don, Fitz, Chogie and Dennis, while Thryke, who spear-headed this trip, is behind the camera taking this photo.  ^_^

      But before we got to Guijalo Port in Caramoan, we  had to endure a total of 12 hours of land travel from our take-off in Las Piñas City to Sabang Port in San Jose, Camarines Sur. And that's real power driving by our friends Don and Fitz. We left Las Piñas at midnight and we reached CamSur around 10 AM, and spent the night at CWC (CamSur Watersports Complex). We had to wake up at 3 AM and drove another 2 hours to catch the 6 PM boat to Caramoan.

     The boat ride from San Jose Port to Guijalo Port is another 2 hour travel. If you have long legs this would be a pretty uncomfortable ride unless you're on the frontmost seats. The passenger boat, i think, could squeeze in about 50 to 70 people.

     It's a good thing there are nice sceneries to entertain you during this long ride. Like this one viewed from the left side of the boat which is the mainland of Caramoan. At the right side, if you're lucky, you will see from afar the peak of Mount Mayon peeping above other mountains behind the vast waters of Lagonoy Gulf.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Busy as a Bohemian Bee

     My, my... It's already pass the middle of June and it's only now that I get the chance to post in my blog. Why? Well as you may have guessed, yes, I've been awfully busy. For two weeks I've been working in an office in Las Piñas City, in a company where I used to work as jewelry designer from 2000 to 2005.

     Don't worry, my dear readers. This bohemian did not give up on being self-employed and choose to go back working nine-to-five. My work here is only project-based and this is the opportunity I mentioned in an earlier post.

     It all started when I went to the said city to renew my driver's license. Since the LTO branch is near the jewelry company, I decided to give them a visit. There I've learned that the guy who operates the computer-aided machine, that carves jewelry model parts, has resigned and they couldn't find a replacement. Now I happen to be the first person in the company to operate this software and machine and I was trained by one of its creators. So my former employer, who I look up to for his business ingenuity, asked if I could handle the machine for them on a per-project basis.

      Well I thought that this is something I can do on the side so I agreed. I started in April, reporting for work only twice a week, usually Thursdays and Fridays, arriving around 2 PM and leaving around 6 or 7 PM. This is a pretty good pace for me. I'd do all my stuff for Buhay Bohemio on the first 3 days of the week and could still enjoy a relaxing weekend.

     But this month the company's primary buyer required us to make samples for an entire new collection of around 50 pieces of stainless steel jewelry and the designs are quite challenging because it involves setting a row of stones along twisted narrow profiles.

      And so I found myself reporting for work everyday for more than two weeks now.  The other weekend I had to work on a pending order of 23 varied Buhay Bohemio shirts. I bought the additional blank shirts on Saturday and printed all that I could on Sunday. Last week I wake up early every morning to print the rest of the shirts, then I go to my jewelry job in the afternoon and usually work until 9 PM, when I get home I iron and pack the shirts that were printed the day before. I delivered the shirts late at night last Friday at my customer's office in Makati City. Lucky for me he's on the graveyard shift.