Saturday, January 5, 2019


Location: Diversion Road, San Rafael, Guinobatan, Albay, Philippines

The pool as viewed from the second floor of the resort's main building

The pool as viewed from the ground floor of the resort's main building

Part of the resort's garden

The lush resort garden

Enjoying the resort's pool

The spacious resort's restaurant and bar for functions and family celebration

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Location: Brgy. Sumlang Napa Gayon, Camalig, Albay, Philippines

Boarding a balsa while at Sumlang Lake

It was such a sunny day of December 2, 2018 when we drove to Sumlang Lake with my host, Noemi Amador Capunitan, with her parents. I was so amazed and I never expected that place was so refreshing. There were so many tourists around and on a nearby expensive restaurant where we had our early lunch, a photoshot for debutante was going on.

A wider view of Sumlang Lake

There is no public transport going to Sumlang Lake and habal-habal can be arranged from the point entry from the highway. The road leading to the place is too narrow considering that a lot of tourists visit the place regardless of season. There is an entrance fee for both guests and vehicles.

Balsas for rent at Sumlang Lake

Balsas are docked in the lake but there is no charge if guests will take pictures using them. However, guests can rent them in they opt to go upstream of the lake of closer to Mayon Volcano's backdrop.

Relaxing at the docked balsa

The food of the only expensive restaurant inside the Sumlang Lake Resort called Socorro's Lakeside Restaurant was such a great experience. There are a lot of souvenir shops around to buy an array of Bicol's specialties. Staying in the resort for a sunset is such a perfect experience.

My tour guide and Bicol host, Noemi Amador Capunitan

After Sumlang Lake, our group drove to Quintuinan Ranch to best capture Mayon Volcano.


Location: Camalig, Albay, Philippines

Background of Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano, active volcano, southeastern Luzon, Philippines, dominating the city of Legaspi. Called the world’s most perfect volcanic cone because of the symmetry of its shape, it has a base 80 miles (130 km) in circumference and rises to 8,077 feet (2,462 metres) from the shores of Albay Gulf. (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Mayon Volcano in its great splendor

Popular with climbers and campers, the volcano is the centre of Mayon Volcano National Park (21 square miles [55 square km]). There are large abaca plantations on its lower slopes. There have been more than 30 eruptions recorded since 1616. An eruption in 1993 caused 79 deaths. Subsequent eruptions in 2000, 2006, 2009, 2014, and 2018 forced tens of thousands of people in nearby villages to evacuate. In December 2006, rains from powerful Typhoon Durian caused mudslides and floods at the foot of the volcano that killed more than 1,000 people. Its most destructive eruption was in 1814, when the town of Cagsawa was buried and approximately 1,200 people were killed.(Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Personal Narrative

For so many years that I wanted to capture the best shot of Mount Mayon Volcano, I usually go to the Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay. But I was wrong. The place is always crowded that one will not be able to capture the best shot since a crowd of people are always in this site. It was on December 2, 2018, that when a balikbayan friend of mine in the name of Noemi Amador Capunitan brought me there after viewing Mayon Volcano from the point of view of Sumlang Lake.

The "kawa" at the Quintuinan Ranch where Mayon Volcano can viewed so wide and closer

So, the best location to capture Mount Mayon Volcano is in Quintuinan Ranch, Camalig, Albay where this is on a very high elevation of vast rolling hill, peaceful at that and it seemed closer to the volcano where the details of the trees on the foot of it are so vivid and clear. By that time, the clouds gave a clearing so that the volcano was on its nudest form, seemed unclothed but so magnificent with all its contours bared to my mesmerized eyes. The good thing was, only Noemi and I were in the ranch while her father and mother were on the car waiting for us. The place was all ours to enjoy. It was such a very fulfilling moment having seen Mayon on its most splendid form with its perfect cone well defined free from clouds.

By the way, there is an entrance fee in this ranch for a minimal amount for both the guests and their service vehicle but I can't remember how much it was. There is also an ATV ride and horseback riding offered for a fee here.


Take bus from either Pasay City or Cubao of Metro Manila and drop in Camalig town where from Pasay, it will take 9 hours and 35 minutes for a distance of 482.5 kilometers via Pan-Philippine Hwy/AH26 or from Cubao is 9 hours 44 minutes for 490.4 kilometers via Pan-Philippine Hwy/AH26.

Alternatively, you can book for a Cebu Pacific flight which flies daily to Legazpi City for more than an hour and then travel to Camalig town.

Friday, December 21, 2018


Location: Municipality of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon province, Philippines

The giant Kaamulan headdress and dancers

These Impasug-ong giant Kaamulan head dress and dancers can be found along Sayre Highway. These can be found at the same area where municipal tourism center is. Just nearby these statues are also the statue of a giant cowboy. After all, Impasug-ong Bukidnon is dubbed as the “Home of the Country’s most Finest Cowboys”

Closer to the giant statues of Kaamulan headdress and dancers

Impasug-ong is one and half hours drive from the municipality of Manolo Fortich which is also a part of the province of Bukidnon. While Impasug-ong is two hours drive going to Malaybalay City, still a part of Bukidnon province.

The giant statue of Rodeo


Location: Barangay San Jose, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines

A chapel nestled in a completely green peaceful hill

The Chapel of Transfiguration is pyramidal church which is a part of the Benedictine monastery in Zen-like environs with a museum and gift shop. This is my second time to visit the place but my first time was in April 1997. It is a three-hour land travel from Cagayan de Oro City. Malaybalay City proper comes first when coming from Cagayan de Oro.

The chapel's interior

A very relaxing moment outside the chapel

In my most relaxed mood outside the chapel