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Love notes on the road, part 2 of 2

Holy Week in Davao was spent at a hotel room as most shops are closed.

Holy Week in Davao was spent at a hotel room as most shops were closed.

I am tracing a good five years of travel with my amour around the country and in this two part series, I am featuring ten of those sojourns. Part 1Part 2 covers Davao City, Romblon, Quezon, Sagada and, finally, Ilocos.

6Davao City
It was Holy Week and we decided to spend it in Davao City, my work base that time. From Cagayan de Oro we took the 7 hour trip across Bukidnon and into the Mindanao Cordillera.

Lots of beautiful sceneries but most of the time, it was spent sleeping, with me not minding the outside view much as I’ve been riding this main artery for countless times. But it was memorable enough, especially as the vehicle went downhill in Marilog. I hope you remember.

Instead of going to beach resorts, we were most of the time holed up in the hotel and during Good Friday, we had a buffet meal at one of the restaurants, the only one offering a descent meal. Que horror, as the religious conservatives would say.

We had good time there capped with a visit at the eagle camp and dinner at the hills of Matina.

Sexy women figures at a marble ornaments factory in Romblon.

Sexy women figures at a marble ornaments factory in Romblon.

7Romblon
If not for my church book project, we wouldn’t have planned to visit this island. Romblon is small but beautiful with unspoilt beaches and an interesting industry. Other than the marble sculpture and products churned out by artisans, there is the Spanish colonial era church with it’s beautiful retablo mayor. The two fortresses perched atop a hill, guarding the town from Muslim slave raiders in centuries gone are testament to it’s dark past.

But it’s the island’s bucolic character that enamoured us to this place, even if we just stayed for a few days. Navigating the circumferential road by motorbike within a day introduced us to the many facets that the place has to offer.

Red colored kiping during the Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon.

Red colored kiping during the Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon.

8Pahiyas
I can’t help but look back in amusement when we went to the Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon. It was really silly of you to get distracted from the festivities as you looked over my shoulders and got suspicious and jealous of the other person who you think was looking at me lustily. Hahaha… that was such an ego boost but just made me love you more. No worries here. You’re the one and only. Even if I have strayed from the right path before. Or even tasted the fruits of forbidden trees and earned a black eye from you. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

A lonely stretch of road going to another village in Sagada.

A lonely stretch of road going to another village in Sagada.

9Sagada
Despite your disdain for long and winding bus trips, we went to Sagada via the decrepit Halsema Highway connecting this highland town with Baguio. 13 hours. Nevermind if going there, the stench of chicken dung used in fertilizing the vegetable capital of the country mars the experience but it was really a very beautiful sojourn, once we got to this town. Cool weather, great spots with ethnohistorological significance as well as just stunning panoramas.

And then there was food. We never imagined partaking in good French cuisine at the Log Cabin. Or pancakes and yoghurt dishes that we found comforting.

Gamet gatherers at the sharp rocky outcrops of Bangui near the wind turbines.

Gamet gatherers at the sharp rocky outcrops of Bangui near the wind turbines.

10Ilocos
How many times have we gone up the rugged north that is the Ilocos Region? Twice? Thrice? More? I lost count. But each time we’re here, it’s always a beautiful experience. We had the whole beach in Sinait all to ourselves. Slept under a four poster bed in one of the inns along Crisologo Street. Marveled at the cultural treasures of Sta. Maria and Paoay, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Walked past in eerie silence at the Marcos Mausoleum that looked like more of a wax figure than a dead ex-President.

We liked very much the tinubong of Magsingal. Munched on empanada as well as savored the spicy longganisa and gorged on Ilocano dishes offered at La Preciosa Restaurant in Laoag. We didn’t even miss Macy’s Diner, the themed fastfood joint in this part of the country.

While we never ventured in Pagudpud, some time in the future, perhaps, the wind turbines of Bangui enthralled us. It’s a humbling experience to be dwarfed by these massive structures. However, the gamet gatherers at the far end of the wind field was more interesting with their intrepid foray to the sharp and dangerous coral rock outcrops in search of this “black gold.”

Travels with you are always fullfilling and happy. While we had our share of misunderstandings, not agreeing on particular places to go and do, we always meet halfway. Perhaps, it’s this that makes our journey together meaningful and worth it. ILY.

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.

9 Comments

  1. Love notes on the road, part 1 of 2 | langyaw
    February 20, 2009 @ 22:59

    […] Love notes on the road, part 2 of 2 […]

  2. Sidney
    February 22, 2009 @ 16:06

    Great pictures…but now we are all very curious… no picture of your amour/i> ?

  3. lawstude
    February 23, 2009 @ 19:57

    are u playing hide and seek with ur amour in the first pic? hehe. great shots again estan.

  4. estan
    February 27, 2009 @ 14:20

    @lawstude, just taking shots during Good Friday 🙂

  5. dyosa
    February 27, 2009 @ 16:51

    Out of the 5 places you mentioned here, I’ve only been to 1. Hope I can get to travel to all the other 4 places you’ve been to. I love your photo of Sagada. 🙂

  6. The Islander
    March 4, 2009 @ 10:45

    definitely love sagada.. i love everything about it.
    when we were there, i didnt feel like im a tourist.
    parang at home ako.

    the bangui pic is great!

  7. estan
    March 20, 2009 @ 20:53

    dyosa, thanx. there’s still a lifetime to go to these places.

    islander, i also love the place. lots of things to do

  8. fritz
    April 13, 2009 @ 7:10

    I also like the picture from Sagada, makes me think to visit the place as soon as possible.

  9. vacanta
    January 17, 2011 @ 22:43

    I think the picture from Pahiyas is very relaxing and warm. It’s a good place to live on long term I suppose.

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