end_cuyoloop1

End of the Cuyo Loop

Early morning, fishermen at the coast

Early morning, fishermen at the coast

The Cuyo Loop
Coron is in blue
In October of 2006, I visited the remote islands of Cuyo and Culion in Palawan for a photography assignment and passed Negros and Iloilo in transit. This is my account of that journey.

This is the 17th and last of a series Early the next morning, I took the boat trip back to Coron for my flight to Manila. The weather hasn’t improved as it’s still overcast. After having lunch at one of the carinderias at the town center, whiling away time at an internet cafe with very slow connection and helping a foreigner with his photo archiving problem, I was off to Busuanga Airport to catch the last flight to Manila.

Looking back, I can’t help but be nostalgic about the whole journey. I have finally watched the Masskara in Bacolod after I made a detour but all my photos were unfortunately lost. Visited several colonial era churches and cemeteries in Negros Occidental and Iloilo and was awestruck at seeing the brick wonder of Cabatuan church. After many years of yearning, I have finally visited Cuyo, discovered Agutaya, endured a scary boat trip going there, took MV Catalyn D eight months before her sinking and knowing the sad but also liberating history of Culion

A Seair plane arrives at the Busuanga Airport

A plane arrives at the Busuanga Airport

And, of course, the fortress churches in these parts, the main reason that I ventured into these remote areas in the first place. These structures in Cuyo, Agutaya and Culion defended these towns from the Muslim slave raiders for more than a century. While these are still standing, the one in Agutaya is in real danger of crumbling to oblivion. Let’s hope that eventually, a sound conservation and restoration plan will be undertaken.

It’s the end of the road for The Cuyo Loop, the end of another journey into another part of the Philippines. Until the next trip. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

12 Comments

  1. Oman
    October 2, 2008 @ 13:41

    i sure did. until the next loop bro.

  2. tawidtayo
    October 2, 2008 @ 21:28

    WoOw!..creativity 10/10.. we really like your blog, especially your kind of traveling style.. keep it up sir..and the composition amazing.=)

  3. kouji
    October 3, 2008 @ 0:47

    quite a striking boat pic. :O hopefully the attention your site directs to this place will help some in the conservation effort.

  4. donG hO
    October 4, 2008 @ 10:40

    certified experienced byahero! hehehe… galing talaga ng mga pinupuntahan mo. ganyan dina ang balak kong gawin. sana ay matuto rin akong kumuha ng ganyang shot. ganda ng unang photo.

  5. estan
    October 4, 2008 @ 12:38

    thanx guys for the visit and comments.

    kouji, I just hope that this blog also contributes to awareness that this structure exists and is in danger.

    dong, it just takes commitment, guts and, for photography, lots of practice and learning 🙂

  6. norahd
    October 4, 2008 @ 20:53

    Hello Estan! Thank you for sharing your views, thoughts and most especially the photos you took of the different places you have been to. Though I have been to some places you have been to (Cuyo Loop), I haven’t had the chance to visit one place – Agutaya. Perhaps, one of these days, I will have the chance to do so.

    I hope you will continue sharing your future escapades with us, and the photos,of course. I love them.

    Good luck!

  7. norahd
    October 4, 2008 @ 21:02

    Its me again Estan. I just got back from Casiguran, Aurora. Know what, while I was on my back here to the metro, I saw three guys – armed with cameras (with the gears i.e lenses, etc.) taking shots of a beach in Dipaculao.

    Aurora Province is one of the country’s last frontiers. Why not visit it? Suggestion lang.

    Thanks again..

  8. The Islander
    October 10, 2008 @ 17:24

    very neat photos. neat account of a series trip.

    til another looping.

  9. Cebu-Sugbo kini! | langyaw
    October 21, 2008 @ 14:46

    […] been thinking about doing this series for quite a time and so, with the end of the Cuyo Loop and as a fitting segue from my short sojourn in Masbate, I might as well feature my home province […]

  10. jess forget
    October 23, 2008 @ 8:44

    awesome travel blog you have estan. travelling to different places in this countyry is one of my dreams.. hope i can the same in the future.
    more power!

  11. LINA C. ABOGADIE
    July 17, 2011 @ 14:09

    Hi Estan,

    This is my first time to visit your travel blog and really enjoyed your very nice stories and pictures! Like you, I really enjoy travelling and taking pictures, sometimes alone. Had experienced travelling alone via DSB route fr. Bacolod to San Carlos then to Cebu.

    Thanks for sharing your stories and pictures. You gave me an idea to visit Cuyo soon.

    There’s so much to explore in our very beautiful country. Keep telling stories, travelling and clicking your camera.

    I’m also a Bisaya but works in Cavite; if ever you want to explore Leyte, you are welcome to stay in our house in Hindang, Leyte.

    Again, thanks and more power. May you gather more awards for your great travel blog.

    -Lina

  12. estan
    July 17, 2011 @ 14:35

    @lina, thanx for visiting. if you would travel, i suggest making a travel blog as a record of your travels 🙂

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