Tag Archives: CS Manila

#100Days Photo 30: Kwebang Lampas and Puting Buhangin Beach, Grande Island, Pagbilao, Quezon

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Over the weekend, I had a really fun, active and amazing beach camping trip with fellow CouchSurfers and friends at Grande Island in Pagbilao, Quezon. We played Frisbeach (frisbee at the beach), Tug of War and Takeshi bang bang! Add drinking brandy under the stars, eating smores and Banana de Hanne (chocolate-stuffed char-grilled bananas), playing with magical luminous planktons, and the pleasure of CouchSurfers’ company — yep, an awesome 27th Frisbeach Weekend indeed! Home to the so-called Puting Buhangin (translation: white sand), the Grande Island also has the Kwebang Lampas as it’s main attraction. Kweba means “cave” and Lampas (with the meaning earlier debated in the group) in this case means “through” — you can enter the cave from the main beach on one end and then come out on the other end of the beach. We only went to the cave at low tide so no swimming through for us! We were so enamored (big word! haha) with the beauty of Puting Buhangin –sand so white, sky so blue and water so clear — that we only checked out Kwebang Lampas the morning before we departed!

How to get there: The area where we stayed is not the easiest to reach, especially on public transport. We left the Jam Bus Terminal in Buendia at about 3am (fare P210), arrived at Lucena Grand Terminal at about 7am, had breakfast and then got on a rented jeepney to Pagbilao to do our supplies shopping. From there, we proceeded to Brgy, Ibabang Polo (fare if total commute: P20 (?) to Pagbilao, P35, for Ibabang Polo and 50-100 for tricycle) as our final land transport stop. Towards the end of the Pagbilao Power Station, a coal-fired thermal power plant, we took a short banca (outrigger boat) ride to Grande Island (P185, including camping fee). From this point, and carrying all the supplies, the 18 weekend campers set on foot for about 10 minutes (seemed like forever!) navigating through some kind of forest trail. It was almost 10 or later I think when we finally reached the “entrance gate” of Grande Island. Give or take our stops, that’s about 5-6 hours of travel! But again, the charm and pull of Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas more than compensated for it!

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My 26th Year in Travel

I know it’s already five months overdue but still, I would like to write a personal post about my 26th year, highlighting the travels I’ve had and the people I met along the way.

Sunset at Liwliwa

Contrary to my 25th year’s travels which were mainly as a solo backpacker or with a travel buddy, 2013-2014 was more of a group travel kind for me. It’s also during this span of time that I’ve met several important people in my life — from CouchSurfing acquaintances to really great friends, and from total strangers to favorite companions and partners in crime. And yes, ’twas also late last year that I met someone whom I’m looking forward to have more travels and adventures with.

Continue reading My 26th Year in Travel

FoodieFriday: Indian Thirstday and Western Wednesday with CouchSurfers

Realizing that the Zambales group actually consisted of people from India or has lived in India, love Indian food, or just willing to try the spiced cuisines, it was decided to have an Indian dinner at Kapil’s home before going to the Thirstday venue which is just two blocks away.

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As we were in a vegetarian’s home, and because Indian vegetarian dishes are yummy in the first place anyway, all of the food prepared were various vegetable dishes that are quite common in India. I think this gave the dinner cook-out a very “uniquely Indian” touch. On the to-be-cooked menu: arhar dal, rice, paneer bhurji, potato greenpeas curry, chole masala, boondi rayta, and parantha. Had to drop by Swagat for the additional chapattis and papadom! Continue reading FoodieFriday: Indian Thirstday and Western Wednesday with CouchSurfers