Etcetera, Photos

Flowers of Summer

One thing I always wanted to have is a green thumb. Although I’d like to believe I have one, since during my younger years in Cagayan, I did some great deal of gardening in school because it’s always part of the curriculum. I loved gardening. But that stopped there, even though my love for greens even multiplied throughout the years. I’m still hoping I would have a really nice vegetable and flower garden in my future house.

Enough with things about me, because the real star in this entry is my mother’s garden. She must’ve the greenest thumb because (I swear) she could turn a withering stem/dying plant back into life! Ever since, she loves filling the spaces of land in our front yard with various plants, and she prefers using real plants as decorations inside the house (which used to annoy me because it’s messy).

When we moved into our new home, I thought the lack of space would prevent her from doing her hobby, but I was wrong. In just few years, she managed to turn the front area of our home into a beautiful sight of greens and other lovely colours.

Here are some goods from my mother’s garden. She took some of the photos because she really takes pride and loves her plants. Every kid in the neighborhood know not to mess with these plants. 😉 (Di ko lang alam pangalan ng mga halaman na yan. :p)

Places

Family Trip to Nangaramoan

Nangaramoan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
Nangaramoan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan

I could’ve spent the long weekend either in Calaguas or CamSur and probably didn’t miss Manila Music Festival had I decided not to go home for a friend’s wedding. But I’m glad I chose to attend the wedding, or else I wouldn’t have been in this piece or paradise that is Nangaramoan Beach, located somewhere in the tail ends of Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

It’s a shame how I like going places but when it comes to my home province, I am almost a stranger. Well, as a kid I used to join Girl Scout camps that somehow showed me a number of places around the province and I had my fair share of wandering as a teenager, but still, it’s not enough. There are lots of nice spots to see in Cagayan but I just didn’t have the opportunity and the money, of course. I guess I’ll try to make it up now before everything gets abused (I’m just being realistic, it’s almost always the case in burgeoning tourist spots).

After that incident in 2005, when our youngest drowned in Tallag Beach in Gonzaga, Cagayan, my parents never allowed us (me and my older brother) to go to the beach again. But I lived in Baguio and likes doing things anyway so I managed to sneak to the beach every now and then without my parents knowing about it. I tell them sometimes though, bawas-dinadala. :p

This is our first trip to the beach as a family since that fateful day. I don’t know how I convinced my mother to go. I know she’s still traumatized but she gave in to my plea, maybe because I was paying for the trip, and she knows how walay (wanderer) I am.

Anyway, let me share the beauty of the northeast.

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We started the with the road trip at around 5:20 am and reached our destination at half-past 7. But first, we got lost and randomly found ourselves at the port going to Palaui Island. Our driver has never been to that place before and our companions who’ve been to Anguib couldn’t remember the directions. I myself mistook the signage at the entrance of the road going to Anguib for an advertisement.

Going to Anguib is just like going to Pagudpud, with the long winding road you have to take (about 20 minutes). Thank goodness the road is concrete. How fast things change because those who’ve been there said that in 2011, it’s the usual bumpy ride in a dusty road. The Enriles who own a resort in Anguib must be responsible for this really fast act. I like the comfort but somehow I missed going to the beach through bumpy and dusty roads pass the mountains. Maybe it’s the sense of adventure that comes with it.

Because there is hardly any signage along the way, we just followed the main road that lead us to a dead end, the Pozu Rubo Beach. The beach is empty when we arrived. The non-first timers said it isn’t Anguib so we climbed back and searched for Anguib. If I was with friends, I would’ve preferred Pozu Rubo Cove for it’s isolation but the oldies wanted somewhere there are more people.

When we saw a sub-road with an arrow pointing to the beach and a sign that says “Golden Beach” we took it without hesitations. We ignored this one earlier because we thought the beach at sight has no shores. Still, it’s not the Anguib Beach we’re aiming for but we settled for it since we were immediately captivated by this breathtaking scene.

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Unlike what people claim, Nangaramoan is no Boracay, instead it’s more like Pagudpud. What sets Nangaramoan apart from the other white-sand beaches I’ve been to is the 200 meter still water before the surf. It’s like a huge pool that spared by the surf for the people to enjoy and at. I wanted to go to that part where the pool-like body of water kisses the surf but I retreat when in the middle because I’m not allowed to go to a distance my parents think is far.

The hills extending on the beach separate Nangaramoan from its neighboring coves, Anguib and Puzo Rubo. At the bottom of the water is a lush land of seaweeds making snorkeling more lovely with the added sight of rich greens.

In Nangaramoan, there are no hotels or resorts in the vicinity. To get a legit accommodation, you have to go to the main highway, a few kilometers drive. However, there are cottages by the beach where you can stay for a day or overnight. This particular cottage costs Php400 and it has an attic where you can change clothes or sleep. Tents are also allowed in the place. Oh, and there’s an electricity in the place!

I wanted to take as much photos as I can but I myself preferred to just relax and enjoy the water. As a matter of fact I stayed too long in the water my shoulders were badly burnt. That’s the essence of this trip anyway. 🙂

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How to get there:

Sta. Ana beaches are getting popular among beach lovers and backpackers. However, it’s not easy getting there with the fact that it’s located at the northeastern tip of the Philippines Sta. Ana is 4-5 hours aways from Tuguegarao City (all depends on the driving). Florida bus lines (terminal in Cubao and Sampaloc) have trips going to Sta. Ana. You may also take broken trips by getting a bus bound to Tuguegarao City. Bus lines bound to Cagayan are Victory Liner, Dalin, Ballesteros Bus Lines, Guardian Angels/Everlasting, Northstar, among others. You can also get to Tuguegarao via air. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have daily flights to Tuguegarao. From Tuguegarao, take a bus ride to Sta. Ana.

From Sta. Ana (most probably you’ll be dropped at the town commercial center), you can just ask the locals on how to get transportation going to Anguib. I don’t know the particulars because for our trip, we hired a jeepney and paid a total of P2070 for the rent and the gas.

Etcetera, Places

Feels Like Baguio

Children divinding their money earned from caroling.

Even before my trip home, friend already informed me about the kind of weather I’d be coming home to. I know I shouldn’t be but it seemed I was still surprised, kasla agdadamu, (like a first-timer). Maybe because for the past 11 years, I lived out of the province and was only home during the holidays and vacations.

As far as I remember, December in Cagayan has always been rainy or at least windy cold. It’s the jacket and pajamas time of the year.

As a teenager, going to Misa de Gallo was challenging. Actually, it’s the process that is- taking a shower with icy cold water and walking or taking the ride to the church. It’s always warm inside the church anyway, kaya masarap matulog, haha.

So I expected a wet Christmas, just like last year when I had a misadventure before making it home. Indeed it was raining in some parts of the province. Once at home, I started commenting about how cold windy it is and how cold the wind it. It’s like I’m in Baguio all over again. Nasanay na ako sa weather ng Manila na kahit bumabagyo, di mo pa rin kelangan ng jacket kasi di mahangin man, di naman icy cold ang temperature. These are the times na ayoko lumabas ng bahay, gusto ko lang forver sa loob ng bahay, nakabalot ng wool na kumot, habang kumakain, nanood, o nagbabasa.

Anyway, yun lang talaga ang gusto kong sabihin, na para lang din akong nasa Baguio ngayon. I should really be in Baguio  in the 28th for a friend’s wedding but I decided not to go since I only got 10 days to spend with the family and I only come home twice or thrice a year, so there, kelangan ko naman bumawi  kasi sigurado in the next days, nasa labas na naman ako with friends.

Anyway, enjoy na lang ang mala-Baguiong weather. In the first place, Christmas is best served cold. Merry Christmas everyone!