JOSEPH T. BAUTISTA

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It was an old photo of a beautiful church with a convent that got me all curious. The caption of the photo was “San Juan Bautista church, Longos town, Laguna.” There is no Longos town in Laguna. Not anymore I presumed. Doing an initial research, I found a lakeside barangay…

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It is not everyday that you get to be welcomed by a resident sea turtle. It is not also everyday that you get to share an island with other wild creatures like Emerald doves, Philippine scrub fowl birds, fruit bats and occasional reptiles. On a tropical island off the coast…

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“Hey man, wassup?” shouted the two young boys on a bike as they saw me walking on the street of Brooke’s Point with my camera and backpack. I was already on my sixth day of Palawan exploration, and the sight of a six-foot man in unwashed clothes, unshaven and sunburned…

PAGUDPUD

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I grew up during the Marcos martial law years. At the time, the government had full control of what could and should be seen on television. There was very strict censorship and we could only watch programs that show “the good and the beautiful.” One of the shows that I…

PALINA

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How do you revive a dying river? Known as the Seafood Capital of the Philippines, Roxas City in Capiz and waters surrounding it once struggled for their survival. Blame growing demand for fresh seafoods from the city that took its toll on its seas and rivers. Fish pens and illegal…

MULANAY

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It was a 1996 movie by Gil Portes that made me seek for Mulanay, Sa PusodngParaiso. It was about a young doctor (played by Jacklyn Jose) who signed up for the Doctors for the Barrio Program, which brought her to Mulanay, Quezon, and where she discovered in the end that…

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New Year, new destinations. Not me. I still prefer to explore old destinations. Places that remain timeless. Places that millennials would probably discard as boring because they are hardly Instagram-worthy. Agno is one of those places. It’s a typical Philippine town where the church, the municipal hall and the plaza…

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I first heard about Angkileng many years ago. A friend who I often meet in Sagada every end of the year told me that there’s a third waterfalls in Sagada, after Bokong and Bomod-ok. It’s actually a series of waterfalls located far down south going to Suyo road, he said.…

MAMBUKAL

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During my first visit to Mambukal over 20 years ago, I got wet even before I arrived there. It was during my backpacking days. I was saving money so that I could visit as many provinces as I can on a tight budget. Renting a service vehicle to go there…

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Throughout history, there’s this one place in the Philippines that Spain failed to control. It’s the Cordillera, “chain of mountain” in Spanish. The rugged terrain and hostile indigenous population were the major challenges in subjugating the highlands of Northern Luzon. Toward the end of Spanish rule, however, the colonizers were…

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