The Walks of Kulot


I haven’t blogged anything for quite sometime. To make-up for my backlog posts, here’s a quick beach fix suggestion perfect for this Summer season. So read on and plan that long due weekend getaway with your friends.

Quezon’s quick beach fix destinations

Most of the time you have to travel far and wide and spend a lot to enjoy pristine white sand beaches with clear blue waters. But if you’re a weekend warrior on a budget looking for the best weekend beach trip relatively close to Manila then head to Padre Burgos in Quezon for an island hopping adventure! Moreover, the beaches of Padre Burgos is slowly getting attention as a beach camping destination for weekend adventurers who want to stay on the beach without the frills of luxury accommodations. Just pitch a tent and you’re all set!

Three of the well-known beaches in Padre Burgos are Borawan, whose name is a portmanteau of Boracay and Palawan because of its white sand shoreline and tall rock formations; Puting Buhangin/Kuwebang Lagpas, known for its powder white sand, clear turqouise waters perfect for swimming and cave situated at one end of the island which has an opening to the other side of the bay; and Dampalitan, which has a longer shoreline than the previous two making it a perfect venue for beach camping and not to mention it also the perfect spot for a picturesque sunset.

The islands are yours for the picking. Just bring your tent, food and drinks, your friends and an adventurous attitude and it will surely be one of the weekends you won’t forget.

Here are some of the photos of the islands:

The sight of white beach and tall coconut trees (sans the tower in the background) is a delight to any sun worshiper.

Obviously, Puting Buhangin got it’s name from it’s near perfect white sand.

Just bring a frisbee and you’re all set with your friends.

During low-tide, you can enter the cave at the other end of the island.

You can stay overnight in the island, just make sure to bring your own tent.


Dampalitan has a bigger area for pitching tents. The beach is less crowded compared to Puting Buhangin.

A sandbar? Not quite. But yeah, this area in Dampalitan is perfect if you just want to laze around the beach.

The steady waters of Padre Burgos.

Then again, nothing beats a perfect afternoon sunset by the beach. So if you’re planning for a no-frills, low-budget, and short trip this Summer the beaches in Padre Burgos is a must-visit.

How to get there: Take a bus at Jac Liner Cubao/Buendia station going to Lucena (3-4 hrs). Drop off at Lucena Grand Terminal. Take a Van going to Padre Burgos/Unisan (approx 1 hr depending on road conditions). Drop off at Crossing going to Basiao Beach. Make boat arrangements for island hopping (boat rental may vary depending on the number of islands to be visited, if all three (Borawan, Dampalitan, Puting Buhangin) it would cost approx. P2,200


Pasalubong treats that keep on giving

One of the most clicked tags in my blog is Baguio’s Good Shepherd pasalubong. Some would even ask for the prices of the products. Unfortunately, I didn’t have it before. So during my previous visit to Baguio, I made sure to get the prices of the famous Good Shepherd treats and publish it here.

One of Mountain Maid's famous products - Ube Jam

The Religious of the Good Shepherd was established in the year 1912 in the Philippines. It was founded by St. Mary Euphrasia whose main mission was directed to the most neglected and marginalized. To concretize the mission, the Mountain Maid training center was established. Supervised by the RGS nuns, the training facility provides livelihood and education to chosen youth in the Mountain province area. They are also responsible for the production of Mountain Maid products. The sister’s strawberry Jam remains to be a favorite since 1953 when people from the convent’s neighborhood exclaimed that “the sisters made the best jam in town!”.

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Pinatubo once rebellious scattering its wrath has now come of age and gracefully turned out to be refined and elegant.

Lahar-filled Saturday

2:00 AM. At a very ungodly hour, I was cramming packing my things for a trekking trip to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. Two weeks before, I got a text message from a good friend inviting me to join her and her officemates for a trek to the crater lake. I was apprehensive at first because I will be joining a group of ten whom I will be meeting for the first time but I told myself that this year will be all about new experiences – and meeting new people is one of them. I gave it a shot and off I went to our meeting place in Ortigas. The fast-food chain, which is the tour organizer’s unofficial meeting place was jampacked with enthusiastic climbers – mostly amateurs like me. It was the Saturday of a long weekend so it was expected that a lot will be joining the trip. Two tourist buses brought the group to the jump-off point in Capas, Tarlac where our adventure will begin.

Lahar dirt road going to the foot of the Mountain.

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Celebrating Chinese New Year at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple

I have never attended a Chinese New Year celebration before. So when my friends invited me to join them at the Fo Guang Sha Mabuhay Temple in Manila for the Chinese New Year festivities I made sure not to pass out.

The Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Center was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun whose main philosophy was to promote Humanistic Buddhism which actualizes the values of altruism, joyfulness and universality. Their main headquarters is in Taiwan but they also have temples in the Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Ilo-Ilo and Bacolod).

The main shrine at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple in Manila.

The theme of this year’s Chinese New Year Celebration is the cultivation of the mind. The FGS Mabuhay temple has prepared various activities to those who attended the special celebration. At the temple reception area, I was given a sheet of paper with four blank circles and I was told that I have to visit the booths inside to complete four stamps to get a special prize. The activities included Prostrating to the Thousand Buddha, Sutra Transcription, memorizing three statements from Ven. Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy exhibit and taking part during the incense offering.  Being a first timer I found these activities very engaging since this is something new to me. I was very enthusiastic to complete my stamps and I got a special golden envelope with Chinese prayers inside. I have no idea what it was for but it must be a lucky charm!

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The Parade of the Higantes

It was raining hard that Tuesday morning and I am having second thoughts if I should push through with my plan of attending the Higantes Festival in Angono. The cold weather wouldn’t allow me to get out of my bed but my mind was telling me to go. I was so lazy to get up that I kept on pressing the snooze button of my alarm clock. Around 11 am I have finally decided to go on with my trip and for once experience the festival. It wasn’t actually my first time to visit Angono (Check out my previous blog entry about Angono here). The last time I visited, we checked out the Balaw-Balaw restaurant and visited a few art galleries around town. When I knew about the Higantes Festival I promised myself that I will go back and witness the parade.

The Miraculous Rain

When I arrived at the San Clemente church in Angono, the rain started to pour. I was a bit late for the Higantes parade so I just decided to wait outside the church for the procession to come back. I talked to some of the bystanders outside and told them that the celebration would have been better if it didn’t rain. I was surprised when one of the old ladies told me that the rain was actually part of the feast. “Naku! Hindi piyesta pag walang ulan. Taon-taon umuulan. Kasama yan sa biyaya ni San Clemente sa bayan. Kaya okay lang mabasa!”  (It wouldn’t be a feast if it didn’t rain. Every year it rains. It’s part of San Clemente’s blessings to our town. It’s fine to get wet!”) she said. That moment, I felt I was lucky to have experienced such miracle and be blessed by the rain.

The image of San Clemente, the patron saint of fishermen (below Crucifix). This is the altar/retablo of the San Clemente church in Angono Rizal.

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