2010-02 (Feb 2010)

Pictures of the Day

27 February 2010

Images of Camiguin

No worries about tsunami. Evacuation plans are already in place.

These weeders you see everyday are the reason why the island is generally neat and tidy.

This Camiguin cassava is dried, sent to Cagayan de Oro to be cooked into cassava chips, then sent back to Camiguin to be sold as snacks

A friday afternoon religious procession

Power lines of Mambajao town (capital)

No, this is not the Caribbean, it’s a Camiguin Polytechnic College’s Foundation Day

Our dream nipa house
Cottages in the lagoon
Cottages in the lagoon

The coconut island of Camiguin with the Mt Hibok Hibok in the background
The coconut island of Camiguin with the Mt Hibok Hibok in the background

Fishfarm restaurant at Benoni Lagoon
Fishfarm restaurant in Benoni lagoon

A cool dip at Saai Cold Springs
A cool dip at Saai Cold Springs

Our friend, up close and personal

19 February 2010

Our friend who takes care of all the mosquitoes at night. Isn’t he huge!

18 February 2010

Our shangri-la…….Camiguin Island


Cacao grown just few meters from where we are staying

17 February 2010

We have decided to stay in Camiguin  for a month.  We haven’t been to any of the tourist spots as we enjoy walking, marvel at the scenery and meeting the locals.  Life is so relaxed, people are friendly. We love it here. It really is an island paradise and we think we have found our shangri la. We are staying in a nipa cottage along the beach  with the view of the sunrise at 5:45am. The sound of splashing waves plus the sight of the blue sea give us the feeling that we are living in a boat and on the front side of the hut (facing the street), we have the the majestic view of the mountains.  It really is like a picture postcard.   Fishermen come to our door and sell us fish so we are really enjoying cooking and experimenting with different fish and vegetable dishes.

16 February 2010

Reporting from Camiguin Island

It’s our 4th day in this peaceful and paradise island and we are truly enjoying it. The atmosphere is like the Philippines in the 1950s or earlier. We are at the edge of civilization, at the same time, every other house has a sign: “Load na dito!”. Hope we could find a wi-fi connection so i could post pics.

11 February 2010

We got invited to the Fiesta (feast) in Camp Phillips in Bukidnon where the Del Monte Plantation is based and where its regular employees live in houses owned by the company.  It is almost utopia!  They have their own church, schools (elementary and high school), large football field, supermarkets, etc.  All the houses are uniformly constructed but surrounded by plants and bermuda grass.  What a model community!  Pineapple fields as far as the eyes can see.






A fiesta is not complete without the lechon

Although it’s a holiday due to the fiesta,  the labourers still had to do their daily task.  It was 2pm when this truck was seen transporting the workers out of the fields, the end of a working day…..

What is Cagayan de Oro City all about?



Coming out of the hotel tonight in search of a good restaurant, we were surprised by shoes  – ladies and gents – lining the pavements, as far as the eye can see. They didn’t look new to me and in curiousity, I asked one vendor who said that they are Ukay-Ukay (2nd hand) from Korea.

Meanwhile, the D.V. Soria plaza is lined with plastic benches all occupied by people getting massaged at the back, on the feet, on their hands by enterprising masseurs. They say that this same plaza and the entire length of the street is converted into an open market on Friday and Saturday nights where street foods, clothing, acrobats and musicians will be on hand. Too bad we leave for Camiguin Island tomorrow.

Reporting from Cagayan de Oro City

We arrived here yesterday afternoon via Cebu Pacific from Mactan. Our intention is to go to Camiguin Island for a long stay but since we are already here, might as well try what Misamis has to offer. After seeing the cities of Surigao, Cebu and now Cagayan de Oro, we realize that they are too chaotic, too populous and too noisy to our liking. Our dream destination is something like that beach in Mabua, Surigao where all you see are fishing villages, simple living and a la Robinson Crusoe existence. Hope we find some place like that again.

07 February 2010

A short visit to Olango Island, Cebubrother1.JPG
I saw her looking out of the window of their cardboard thin wooden house and thought it was a great photo op. When she saw me, she immediately disappeared, then came back to get her younger brother join in the photoshoot.

A mother sorting out the sea urchins that her son caught before taking them to the market for selling.

Passed by this boy who catches fish using a bamboo floater, a handmade net basket and other makeshift gadgets….

and this is his catch of the day

He sells banana cue (bananas rolled in brown sugar then deep fried) to earn some cash so he can buy food for his family.

A bike convoy?

Mixed fish at 130pesos a kilo

The island’s public high school building

03 February 2010

Cassava garden

The staple food of the Filipinos is rice, but if they don’t have the money to buy it, they turn to cassava which is easily grown in their backgarden.
Surigao City

When the fishermen don’t go out to sea because of a poor catch the previous day, they declare the next day a holiday and pass the time cleaning and doing up their boats.
Surigao City

Ice candy vendor
Mabua, Surigao City

01 February 2010

I’ve been out of my country for so long that I didn’t realize they are now selling cigarettes in 5-stick sachets. Not that I smoke, just curious…

These nipa huts line the beach, renting each at 100pesos for day picnickers.

Surigao orchid


Gasoline for sale, at 38pesos a liter bottle.

01 February 2010

I am typing this from Surigao city. Surigao del Norte from the air is a lush, tropical forest of coconut trees and low hills like those of the Chocolate hills in Bohol. Lovely, lovely! The air is fresh, water on the beach is so clear, clean environment, people are gentle, perfect for eco-tourism. H and I love it here, except that it is the rainy season so we cannot explore much.

Cebu City? we are disappointed. we were continuously approached by touts (that’s the price of having a westerner husband..they probably see him as a dollar sign). Taxis and tricycles frequently blowing their horns to get our attention. One taxi driver practically begging us not to go to Carbon market (when we explore new places, going to the market is a must!). “Marami’ng snatcher doon, ma’am!”, they say. “But my husband can take care of himself…he’s strong!”, I replied. “Naku, baka saksakin siya kapag lumaban siya!”.

(Okay, that’s it! we are leaving Cebu City! We came here to find out if we can live half of the year but if we don’t feel safe, we’d rather live in a caravan in Europe!”

From A European in the Philippines
We are now on the island of Surigao which took less than 40 minutes by plane from Cebu. We have been plunged into a very different world from Cebu City. Its a very beautiful peaceful island and what you might say is very provincial. The place is very clean, no piles of rubbish everwhere and the people are gentle and friendly. The place is fine and we have a beautiful beach right next to us, The water is crystal clear and we have already done lots of swimming.

It really is a coconut island, There are coconut palms everywhere. The people in the villages are poor with very little just living of rice, fish and vegetables when they have enough money to buy it. Fishing is the main way of making money. In the evening you see the whole beach covered with brightly coloured fishing boats. Many cannot fish as they have no money to buy a boat and swimming with a spear is too hard as they get older – so many sad tales we have heard already. Suffice to say, the people have been wonderful and they share what they have. They will climb coconut trees and cut fresh coconut for us and machete them so you have a beautiful coconut milk drink fresh from the tree. They have built a few native beach huts that we stay in during the day as the sun can be viscious. Its really robinson crusoe living. My main joy apart from ther water is the children. They are amazing and so loving. I let them climb all over me. I am playing with them all the time giving them rides and fooling around in the water with them. They have almost nothing and many are too poor to even go to school. They took me back to their village so we gave them all the fruit we had, Today we are buying rice for a very kind man called Bonny who has 6 children. A beautifil little girl and 5 boys , one who wants to be a fisherman but has no boat. They can make a fair living by fishing – ah the fish – its out of this world. They bring us fish everday if we want it and its very cheap and fresh. The hotel will always cook it for us. Yesterday we had squid and parrot fish……

3 thoughts on “2010-02 (Feb 2010)”

  1. Those Mindanao photos and anecdotes are priceless. This proves that life can be simple. One day I can go there and see for myself.

  2. Hi, I just started a blog and it focuses basically on pinoys (and pinays of course). I would like to include your blog in ‘collection of pinay bloggers’ with your permission. Thank you.

  3. Hi Mike

    Thank you for visiting my site. Please feel free to include my blog, it would be a compliment! Am not able to update it regularly because I’m in Camiguin right now on a long holiday….

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