Thursday, April 21, 2005

"Ang Init!" Outing



If you really think about it, I wasnt late. I was right on time. I arrived at 6:30am, the ferry left at 6:30am. Talk about perfect timing :)

It was my company's summer outing and this year, we've decided to have it on Montemar Beach Club in Bataan. From the CCP docking area, it takes an hour by ferry to reach the port of Orion. After the cheers finally died down (everyone was glad i made it hehe kapal. well im sure my friends were relieved to see me), my next problem was finding a vacant seat. Don, being the gentleman that he is, gave up his seat. (mwa!) After watching two back-to-back Dora shows (where the kids onboard repeated whatever Dora says - I was very tempted to join in), we arrived in Orion.

A bus was already waiting to take us to the resort. From the bus, Mt. Samat is distinguishable because of the giant cross in its peak. To pass the time, we made our own theories on what the cross represents. Don said the cross is part of a church, the rest of the church though was buried in the mountain. I said maybe it is not a mountain after all - maybe it is a tomb for the thousands of men who died during the Bataan Death March during WWII. Raz said a religious order built that cross or something.

Turned out the cross on the summit of Mt. Samat is a monument in honor of those who died during World War II. It is a 311-foot cross called the "Dambana ng Kagitingan" (Shrine of Valor) that stretches like a huge hand across the skies. (http://mobilemediaph.com/turista/celebrate/heroes.html)

45 minutes later, we finally reached the resort. While most of the menfolk checked out the basketball court, our barkada headed straight to the beach. The beach was a nice stretch of gray sand, and after the usual ritual of putting on sunblock on each other's back, we dived on the amazingly calm waters of Montemar.

The rest of the day flew by after that, we tried to play frisbee but the sand was too hot. (my team lost 3-1). Then we tried our hands on some 3 on 3 basketball, where we lost 5-1. And just for the heck of it(because the ropes were there), we played tug-of-war where my team lost 2-1. Hehe boy, was I in top losing form! After that, even I wouldnt want me for a teammate.

Next thing I knew, it was time to leave already. Im glad the outing turned out to be one of those days - fun, laid-back and felt like it ended way too soon.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Butanding!



We were hanging out in Rizal Beach - our first night in Sorsogon, when we heard from locals that whalesharks doesnt come out when its full moon. Perfect! Grrr. We just got from a brutal 14-hour drive to see the whalesharks and now this?

The next day, full moon or no full moon, we were still set on going to Donsol. Its a 66km-drive from Sorsogon City and by 7am, we're already having coffee while waiting for our guide to take us to our boat. The going rate for a boat is P2500 (good for 7 people), and each has to pay P300 for registration. But since we went on a Holy Week, boats are hard to come by - fortunately jao has connections in donsol. 2 days before we drove to bicol, we already had a boat - colorum nga lang hehe. Downside of colorum is that we have to bring our own lifevest and snorkel set.

5 minutes after our boat left the shore, our spotter was already shouting "Meron.. meron!!". weeee! A moment later, slowly emerging on the waters was the dorsal fin of our first butanding. It was a baby whaleshark, smaller than our boat. It stayed with us for less than a minute but it was so close to our boat that we can actually touch it. (touching is not allowed though because we might frighten it)

3 whaleshark sightings later, we were eager to swim with them already. Lesson one: never hesitate, when the spotter says "Jump!" - just jump. Or you'll end looking at nothing. Some of the whalesharks we encountered were fast swimmers - you can only make out the tail or the spots and then theyre gone. But thank god, some were like oblivious of us ogglers. They just swim near the surface of the water, taking their sweet time. They're the best encounters really - you can swim right next to them for quite a while.

All in all, we encountered 10 whalesharks(some were as big as a bus!). Which is not bad, considering the weather(cloudy with some rain showers) and the full moon(which doesnt seem to affect them, promise).

PS
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. Its size ranges from 12-20 meters. Despite its size and name, its very harmless and friendly. Aside from Ningaloo reef in Australia, Donsol is the only place in the world where you can count on seeing them(during summer that is). And by the way, I read somewhere that full moon(more or less) is the best time to see the whalesharks haha.

PPS
got the definition of colorum from a pinoy slang dictionary:
colorum. Tawag sa pampasaherong dyip, bus o taksi na hindi lisenyado o rehistrado

Monday, April 04, 2005

Aunt of Three

Its now official - in 3 months time i'll have a niece! weeeee! My sister just had her ultra-sound last weekend, and from the photos of it, looks like our baby is very healthy and normal.

In other news, pope john paul II died yesterday. I saw him once, during the world youth day in 95 and he was really something - people cry at the sight of him.

I once read that during the late 70's, Marcos invited the pope to visit the philippines. The pope refused - saying he would not visit a dictator. Years later, when the Martial Law was supposedly lifted - the pope finally came. During the visit, right there in the Malacanang Palace, the pope lectured Marcos on the subject of human rights. For that alone, thank you pope.

Hello 2017

Hello blog, it has been 4 1/2 years since my last post! I thought I'd just give you an update with what's happened since then: I...