Tag Archives: Beach

At Sea

I love the sea.  I love seeing shades of blue against an azure sky.

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Or shades of blue against an azure sky with cottony clouds.

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I love how it evokes feelings of calmness and tranquility and at the same time, shrouds itself in mystery. Really, who knows how deep these tranquil waters run?

The photos were taken during one of our cruises from Cebu to Bohol.  That’s one of the perks of being an island lass.  I get to fall in love with the sea over and over again.

Don’t you just love this view?

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On this cruise, we passed by this island, which was beautifully surrounded by blue-green waters.  Unfortunately, the island itself was not developed properly.

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Sigh.

As we cruised near this mostly fishing village, we were greeted with views of either men fishing or locals heading to another island.

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Imagine having to ride a banca just so you can buy necessities from another island or to go to school or work.  And yet, these people weren’t complaining.  They were so smiling and kept on waving at us when we passed by their banca…

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I’ll end this post with one of my favorite photos from this set.

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So. Tranquil.

Summer’s Here (2015 Edition)

I’m officially welcoming summer 2015 with snapshots of my workplace-cum-home in Cebu, the Queen City of the South.

Galapagos Beach
The above is a photo of Plantation Bay’s beachfront taken just last Monday.

I love how the water looked light blue by the beachfront but darkened to deeper shades of blue when farther out.  And the clouds looked so defined.

Next I have a photo taken from the second floor of one of my favorite buildings: Edo Hall.

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The resort has only three floors so each room has really good views of our man-made saltwater lagoons.

Since it is summer already, Frangipani flowers are also in bloom, and I love how they make a perfect frame for this photo.

On the ground floor, Frangipani, which we locals call calachuchi, also framed my view of the East Lagoon and Peninsula Beach.

view from Edo GF
The room where this was taken is called Lagoon Side because it’s only a few steps from the water (I just zoomed in this shot thus it looked so close).

I am blessed to be living inside the resort so I have daily access to this paradise and get to use its facilities for free.  Always.

And when there are moments when the view is more stunning than the usual, I only have to whip out my phone to capture it.

Kilimanjaro Kafe
The above was taken after I had my breakfast at Kilimanjaro Kafé, our main restaurant.  I took this because I got so fascinated with the clouds.

Kilimanjaro Kafé is surrounded by Kilimanjaro freshwater pool, which is our main freshwater pool and we recently refurbished it.  Here’s how it looks like now from the third floor:

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Doesn’t the water look so inviting?

Here’s a panoramic shot, still taken from the third floor.  Note the clouds.

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Now, isn’t my workplace and Cebu home a paradise?  It is specifically a photographer’s haven because anywhere you look, the view is beautiful.

What more, it has everything a water baby like me loves – beachfront, saltwater lagoons, plus 4 freshwater pools of varying designs.

I’ll end this post with a photo of my favorite building.

Chenonceaux and Dune
That’s our Chenonceaux House (farther out are Dune and Edo).  Chenonceaux and Dune house our Water’s Edge rooms.  Water’s Edge is our most sought-after room category because from the balcony, a guest can jump straight into the water.

Now, excuse me while I don my suit and enjoy summer in my tropical corner of the world.

All photos taken using just an iPhone 6.

Camiguin: Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort

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stunning sunset at Camiguin Action Geckos

This was where I spent my third and fourth night in Camiguin.  As I had already toured the island’s attractions on my first two (2) days in the province, my stay at the Action Geckos was purely for leisure.  That is, I spent my 3 days here doing nothing but sleep in my room, or read a book while listening to the crashing waves, walk along its beachfront, or just laze at one of its hammocks without a care in the world.

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the entrance and the resort’s main building that serves as its front desk and restaurant

Accommodations
I booked via Agoda, since the rates I got here were cheaper than what I saw on Action Geckos’ website.   I specifically chose their Beach Bungalow because of its beachfront location.  It’s expensive at Php 2,150 per night for a solo traveler, but it was worth it.

I especially appreciated their warm welcome.  I was charmed when I opened the door and saw the bed canopied with an intricately-made mosquito net.

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I was even more charmed when I saw the welcome note with flowers.  Such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.

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And I loved my room’s furnishing too!  Who knew you could make beautiful ceiling lamps from a bulb and strainer?

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And the bathroom was beautiful!  I loved the mosaic of colorful tiles on the vanity and the floor.

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And yes, after making do with just cold water and using dipper at Enigmata, it was nice to finally have access to a shower with strong water pressure and hot water.

My room was called Ardent, which is named after one of Camiguin’s hot springs as featured on this blog.  It has a hammock and wooden loungers right at its doorstep, which offers me a good view of the sea.

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I loved that my room was right by the beach.  Even when I chose to stay in my room as it was too hot outside, I could hear the waves crashing against the shore.

Aside from the hammock right in front of my room, there were hammocks too beside the bungalow where my room was located.

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Dining
The resort’s restaurant is called Tuko (Gecko) and serves local and international cuisine.  I loved its very native ambience.

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My first meal here was the dinner I had on my first night.  I ordered their specials for the day, which was Meatballs with potato chips and garlic mayo and mango shake (sorry I forgot to take its photo).  I did not like it.  The garlic mayo was too garlicky and the mango shake was bland.

The following day, I had Filipino breakfast, which consisted of tocino, egg, and tea.  Yikes!  It was the worst tocino I’ve ever had.  It was too salty.  I told one of the staff and they said it’s homemade.

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Since the food I had so far were not good, I opted to go out for lunch but come dinner, I had no choice but to again dine at Tuko as there were no other resorts or restaurants near Action Geckos.  I had  Spaghetti Action Geckos, which was described as Asian style spaghetti with chicken and vegetables.  It sounded interesting, but I found it weird.  It’s like pancit, but with pasta.  And it’s again too salty.  By this time, I was convinced of the resort having expensive but so-so food.

The next morning, I ordered Helvetia for breakfast, which is a combination of grated potato fried with onion, topped with melted cheese and bacon bits.  Tuko’s menu specifically mentioned that it had a 20-minute preparation time and the staff who took my order said so too, but added that it’s a specialty so I took her word and was not disappointed as it was the only food I liked here.  For my drinks, I upgraded my regular coffee to Latte Machiato.

Beachfront

Unlike White Island’s white-sand beach, the beach here has black sand.  Though this is something not new to me as we also had black-sand beaches in Aklan (I’ve even blogged about one of them HERE), I found the black sand here to be the finest.


It was nice to walk barefoot on it and watch my feet create footprints, or just sit and watch the horizon while squishing the fine sand between my toes.

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On Action Geckos’ photo gallery, they had photos of their beachfront with volcanoes (or mountain range?) as its backdrop, but I did not see such a view.  Instead, I chanced on these sights, but the volcanoes/mountain range were not right in front of the resort, but about a dozen meters from it.

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Too bad the towering coconut trees were blocking the views (or perhaps when the photos were taken, the coconuts were still not that tall so the mountain range was very visible from the beachfront).

While walking along the beachfront, I also chanced upon these fishermen.

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You may have noticed that my beach photos so far had overcast skies, and that’s because the weather was pretty bad on my second day here.  Thankfully, the weather improved on my third and last day.

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Note the bluer sky and the sea.

Garden
Action Geckos’ garden is beautiful and most of the flowers were in full bloom when I was there.  My favorites were the colorful cosmos that came in yellow or pink, or a combination of both.

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There were white and pink vica plants (top photos in the succeeding collage) too, as well as sampaguita (lower left), which is the national flower of the Philippines.  I don’t know what the other two flowers are though, but I’ve seen them before.

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There was hibiscus too, and more flowers that I’m familiar with, but cannot specifically identify.

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Sunset

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Action Geckos’ location is perfect for sunset-watching .  On my first afternoon here, it was cloudy so the sunset was not that colorful.

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On my second and last afternoon though, the sunset was mesmerizing.  It came in vivid hues of red and orange.  I must have spent a quarter of an hour watching the sky change colors while the sun was sinking beyond the horizon.

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The main photo on this post was from the same set.

In closing, Camiguin Action Geckos is one good accommodation option when in Camiguin.  It’s more expensive that other resorts but because its newer and well-thought-of design-wise, it’s worth the splurge.  Their restaurant though, is an altogether different story.

For more information about Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort, visit their official website.

Camiguin: Giant Clam Sanctuary and Kibila White Beach

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These attractions are next to each other and located in Barangay Cantaan in Guinsiliban, Camiguin’s smallest municipality.  Both are managed by Cantaan Centennial Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CCMPC) .

Entrance fee is only Php 25, which already includes an educational tour of the clam sanctuary.  Note that this tour is done only around a man-made pool where some clams are housed.  If you want to view the clams on their natural habitat, you have to pay an additional fee of Php 150.

Here are all applicable charges (bottom left) when in the island, as well as some reminders.

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I couldn’t help but be amused at the PDA (Public Display of Affection) and morality notices.  They’re everywhere, from the entrance to the garden to the trees by the beach!

At the same time, I was sad at how some people do not respect the culture and norms of the people in their destination and worse, at how some destroy this destination by taking away its flora or fauna.  In this case, a foreigner and his Filipina girlfriend were banned at the sanctuary for collecting cowries (upper right photo in the above collage).

On the way to sanctuary, we passed by this beautiful view of a coconut-lined beachfront.

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At the sanctuary, I was shown a pool with clams.  Here, my teenage guide enthusiastically explained everything she knows about them.  I remembered 2 things:  One, that Giant Clams are the largest mollusks on earth (they can reach 4 feet and weigh more than 500 pounds) and two, they mature as males then eventually become hermaphrodites.

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Further reading as I was working on this blog revealed that once a giant clam settles onto an area on the reef, it remains in the same spot for the rest of its life.   All giant clams are also in a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, algae that feed off the clam’s waste and makes food for the clams using the energy from the sun.

All around the pools are shells displayed on driftwood, which initially made me sad as I thought they harvested all those clams to come up with this, but one of the ladies from the cooperative explained that these clams actually died because of typhoons that struck their island.  She said they decided to gather them for display purposes in a showroom that was still under construction during my visit.

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The same lady added that once their showroom is done, they will add identification tags and quick facts about the different clam species that can be seen in the island.

After I was done discovering what I could about clams, we walked to nearby Kibila White Beach (often mistaken for Kabila, but I asked the locals and they said it’s Kibila).

It’s a beautiful beach with white-yellow sand (coarser than Mantigue’s and White Island’s) and clear, blue-green waters.  I was there on a weekday so I was again lucky to have the beach by myself.

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Kibila White Beach is one tranquil beach.  There were no waves and the water just looked so calm and inviting.

I spent quite some time here just resting underneath the shade of trees that lined the beachfront.

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For those interested to stay here for a long time, or go on a picnic, there are tables for rent (upper left photo in the succeeding collage).  The beach is a popular snorkeling site so they also offer snorkeling sets for rent.

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Do you see the big rocks at the far end of the photo on the right?  Ever the adventurer, I climbed over them and was very happy to see this view.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Here’s a collage of more photos from the same vantage point.  I loved how the rocks and tree branches framed the beautiful view of the blue sky and the bluer sea.

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Once I had completely crossed over the rocks, the view was just a beautiful!

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This part of the beach is actually a fenced-off portion (upper right photo) so the only way to get here is to go over those big rocks, which was quite a challenge, since some of the rocks were slippery, but I didn’t mind.  Who would when after your trouble, you will be rewarded with this fantastic view?

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This is one Camiguin destination that’s worth visiting so make sure to drop by here when you’re in the island born of fire.