Memories of Mauban

Summer 2010 came and went. As I write this post, Typhoon Basyang has hit most of Luzon and cancelled not only classes but several flights to and from Manila.

We have a love-hate relationship with the rainy season. We love the cold breeze, the blooming colors of any one’s garden, the spatter of every rain drop, the warmth of our bed…

We hate the rainy season for its fury that brings about flooding, traffic jams and to a greater extent, destruction of properties and loss of lives.

Come to think of it, most of us are also schizophrenic about our feelings towards hot and humid summers. The last summer for example, brought not only drought and hunger to rural Filipinos, but also caused much disruption in people’s lives due to the shortage in power supply that the long dry spell had caused.

Maybe Kuya Kim is right after all. Ang buhay ay weather weather lang.

Whatever the weather is, the important thing is we make most out of it. Preparation and acceptance are key to survive. We should remember that as we weather the season (pun intended) and as we relate both to the physical and social spheres of our lives.

As we welcome the rainy days ahead, let me bring you back to a summer long gone – a time well spent in Mauban , Quezon just two months ago.

Mauban is a first class municipality in the province of Quezon, Philippines. The town center lies 157 km (98 mi) southwest from Manila and some 52 km (32 mi) from Lucena City, capital of Quezon province.

Mauban has a total land area of about 55,160 hectares subdivided into 40 barangays.

At an early age of 20, with a graying hair, Gat Pagil’s military genius became a by-word. He was admired and respected by the folks who affectionately called him Gat Uban (“uban” a Tagalog term for white hair). As Gat Uban became closer to his people, he was fondly called Mauban

Located by the quaint little town of Mauban, Quezon Province, beach lovers get to enjoy a 45-minute bangka ride to get to Pansacola Beach Resort in Cagbalete Island.

For accommodations, try the Pansacola Beach Resort. Its nipa huts and wooden lofts are available to give you the experience of “roughing it”—you’d be surprised at how the evening sea breeze beats your usual air conditioners at home. With the staple of five meals per day, you will surely get more than you bargained for when it comes to food.

At low tide, the clear blue water is transformed into a massive expanse of sand, perfect for games with your friends. At night, be amazed at the wide blanket of stars on the clear sky.

Cagbalete Island

Trek to Mauban's breathtaking waterfalls.

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Island Camping in Calaguas

My summer has just begun, in Calagua Group of Islands.

Located in the quiet town of Vinzons in Camarines Norte, it took us a good 8-hour bus ride to get there from Manila. Vinzons as the jump off point,  it will take another 2 hours aboard a small banca  to reach the white soft sandy beaches of Calaguas.

We stayed in Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach), camping style.  Although not far from us is a campsite where beachcombers from Manila are also camped out – Paris Hilton style – buffet meals, generators, toilets and bath.  That camp is a regular program organized by the provincial tourism office, where tourists are literally transported to Calaguas in style.  But I think it defeats the purpose and essence of camping – being one with nature, going back to basics, getting dirty, forgetting the conveniences of a fast, wild world.  But anyway, to each, his own preference.  I just hope that this kind of camping won’t turn into one big noisy beach parties in the future.  That will totally negate the serenity of island.

This is my second time to go island camping, and truth is, it is addictive.  It makes me think of buying camping gears for my forthcoming adventures – my own tent, cooking set, backpack, and of course, every camper’s gadget- a DSLR camera.

Enjoy the rest of the photos I took using my Panasonic Lumix FX30…

By the way, thanks to Dell’s Moymoy for ably organizing this trip, Phrasyant for the Indian cultural induction, Ghian for bringing me in and to Kuya Boy and entourage for very the warm reception.