JOSEPH T. BAUTISTA

ROMBLON

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Romblon Island is a destination for the unhurried. No Jollibees, no movie houses, no ATMs. You have to wait for a day or two to go back to Manila. That’s what I found out when I was there in 1998. When I came back a few months ago, I found…

MOUNT SAMAT

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Cable cars, interactive museums, a theme park, an ecumenical chapel and a convention center. These are what visitors to the Shrine of Valor on Mount Samat may find there in the future. The Department of Tourism and the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority recently announced the Mount Samat National Shrine…

LEGAZPI

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Bicol Express. Even before it became known as a Bicolano dish, it was known as the train that took passengers to the center of Bicolandia. To the city of Legazpi. I have never taken the train to Bicol. But during one of my first visits to the region, I made…

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The oldest artwork in the Philippines can be found in this little town 35 kilometers east of Manila. This is the town of Angono in Rizal where the 127 stylized carvings of animals and stick figures, collectively known as the Angono Petroglyphs, can be found. The Angono Petroglyphs, said to…

GUBAT

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I was quite disappointed the first time I came to Rizal Beach in Gubat, Sorsogon, during the 1990s. It was regarded as a family beach where one can enjoy the white sands and the clear blue waters of the Pacific. It was where the people of Bicol would spend their…

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It was the beaming flashes of lights in the dark of the night that made me seek out for Capul. The hot and humid air kept me awake all night long during our camping out in Subic Island in Matnog, Sorsogon. To pass time, I just watched the white flashes…

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I first heard about the town of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur from a friend who worked for a movie Maruja (Carmina Villaruel version). She told me about this beautiful town with a nice church located on top of a hill. She also explained that some of the scenes of the…

MALAPASCUA

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“It is the only place in the world where you can dive with the magnificent sharks every day.” A sunken island at 16 to 32 meters (whose sides drop off to 230 meters) called Monad Shoal is where these thresher sharks come every day in the early morning before it…

MINALUNGAO

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Quick. Name a natural attraction in Nueva Ecija. Nine out of ten will probably give no answer. One out of ten will just answer rice or onions. Only very few people outside of Nueva Ecija know about the Minalungao National Park located in Sitio Minalungao, Barangay Pias, in the town…

ANTIPOLO

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“Tayo na sa Antipolo!” This was the highlight of the summers when I was young. I always waited for the month of May to come when my paternal grandmother Lola Sinta would announce that it’s time to do the annual pilgrimage to Antipolo. It meant that the three of us,…