Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Private Resort in Gen. Nakar, Quezon

There is a nice private resort and vacation house in Gen. Nakar, Quezon. It is in Brgy. Pamplona I think, and 10 kilometers from the highway in Infanta. It is owned by the family of Dra. Asanza. Her son Raymond, is a good friend of us in then Congress Mountaineers. We went there last weekend.

This is the view from the backyard. This place can accommodate many cars. Or can be used for camping, small soccer field, etc.

The front view. This side can accommodate 4-5 cars. The house has wooden walls and tile roof.

Wide living room inside. Here on the right and elevated side, we just laid the cushion, mattress and banig, and we can sleep.

View from the window.

An extension big room.

The toilets and shower room.

The backyard, going to the beach. There is a separate nipa hut on the right, and two cottages in front of the beach.

The beach front. Behind me are the two cottages.

If facing the sea, left side. The thickly forested mountains of Nakar and Sierra Madre Mt. Range.

Right side if facing the sea. There are a few commercial resorts here and they do not look expensive.

Raymond said they do not have the resources yet to develop the place into a commercial beach resort. But given its spacious area, wide beach front, wide parking lot, and the place as jump off to watch butanding (whale shark), the place can be rented by a big group, say a corporate outing and team building, or a clan reunion. Up to 8 families perhaps. I highly recommend it.

Interested parties, you may contact Raymond at, or cp# 0939 8225898.

See also:

Gen. Nakar, Quezon, Mountaineers' Outing,

Butanding in Gen. Nakar, Quezon

Butanding or whale shark sighting has become a major tourist in a number of coastal areas of the Philippines in recent years. The more famous is Donsol, Sorsogon, but it is far from Manila, perhaps 13 hours by car. Other coastal areas where butanding is known to exist are in Bohol, Negros Oriental, among others. And in Gen. Nakar, Quezon, where we visited only last weekend. All photos below are from Jun Dumlao's camera. We were on three different boats last Sunday and Jun's group was lucky to find two  butandings.

Among the indicators if there is a butanding in the area are the following. (10  Presence of these seagulls or wild ducks gliding to eat small fishes like dilis. Wild birds, tuna and butanding eat these small dilis.

(2) Huge splashes of water, the tuna or butanding are chasing a group of these small fishes.

(3) Fins of the butanding. Like small submarines creating small whirlpool of water.

And there they are.

Huge, dark fish with white spots.

Jun Velasco jumped in the water, and briefly swam with these gentle fish giants.

The other group or boat which saw butanding was Uly Veloso and Raymond Asanza's. Our group followed them too.  We only saw huge splashes and fins of the butanding from afar, we were not lucky to see them up close.

Nonetheless, it was a great adventure, with kids in town. Thanks again Raymond, for that wonderful weekend of fun and camaraderie.

* See also  Gen. Nakar, Quezon, Mountaineers' Outing, April 30, 2014

Gen. Nakar, Quezon, Mountaineers' Outing

Last weekend, our mountaineering group/barkadahan had a sudden weekend get away at Gen. Nakar, Quezon. Very brief, almost unplanned outing. It started with two different families having their original weekend outing getting cancelled or postponed and their kids were already psychologically set up for a weekend outing. So they scampered for alternative outing, and they started contacting me and other friends in the group, who happened to have no weekend plan. The rest is modern history. :-)

We stayed at the family vacation house of Raymond Asanza. The place is big and nice, not the typical glamorous resorts, but it was spacious, both the house and the backyard between the house and the beach.

But these photos were taken in another beach, no houses or resorts there, isolated, accessible only by boat, around 20-25 minutes by boat from Raymond's place. Nice place.

The waves around at Raymond's place were rather big that day, the boat has a hard time coming in and out, and it was not good for kids to frolick in the water on their own, so this place was nice. Protected by huge rocks, left side of this photo.

The families who went there were the Jun-Peachy Dumlao, Jojo-Bembette Ladip, Raymond Asanza, Uly Veloso and Cristine, Nonoy-Ella Oplas, and Jun Velasco. Only Jun V. did not bring his kids, who have their own activities that weekend in Manila.

Lots of kids, they outnumbered the adults :-)

One of the two nipa huts in front of the beach within Raymond family's area.

Some of the kids preparing to ride the boat for the butanding (whale shark) sight seeing.

More group photos at the beach, before we went back to Raymond's place.

All photos from Jun Dumlao's camera. Thanks Jun.
More photos to follow, the butanding sights.

See also:

Mt. Pinatubo Climb, December 1994, January 24, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Miesbach, Munich, Bavaria snow, 2003

The first time I saw snow, or perhaps  hale, was in December 1987, in Amsterdam or The Hague, Netherlands. I attended a 3-months political history seminar in Amsterdam that time. The second time I went back to Europe, first in Sweden for my 7-weeks training seminar on sustainable agriculture, then I went back to the Netherlands by bus (via Denmark and north Germany), then I visited my German friend with his Filipina wife in Miesbach, in the southern state of Bavaria, Christian and Astrid Beil.

It was getting cold that time, 3rd week of October 2003, but no snow yet. So Christian brought me to a ski resort in another city in Bavaria. My first time to visit a ski resort, it was awesome. I don't remember its name though. There were no other visitors that time yet, it was not the regular ski season yet, although there was snow in the place a few days earlier.

Like a child, I ran, jumped, lied down, and sat on the remaining snow. I was very happy that moment. See the grin from ear to ear in my face, hahaha.

3rd week of October, there were already frost on the leaves of plants and crops in south Sweden, temperature was falling to around 3 to 5 C but no snow yet. Bavaria being a hilly to mountainous state of Germany, got snow days before I arrived there.
Really very happy to stand and pose on the snow. I did not make a snowman though, just walked through the soft and slippery ice.

After having been acclimatized at the area, I felt that it was not too cold anymore. First I removed my gloves... could endure the cold. Then I removed my thick jacket, could still handle the cold.

Then an idea popped in my head....

I removed my sweater then t-shirts and posed topless, hehe. Just for a minute perhaps, for photos.

I think Christian was laughing as I posed this way and taking my photo.

Sige pahh...

The day before that, Christian picked me up at a bus station in Munich. Then he toured me to some places of the city, including the famous Munich cathedral, the BMW plant, the Olympic stadium, and many more.

Then we went to the Oktoberfest. The real Oktoberfest in Munich.

German music...

German beer. Thanks again, Christian.

See also: 
Trip to Gummersbach, October 26, 2008
Gummersbach, Germany, November 14, 2008

Cologne, Germany, November 14, 2008 

Miesbach, Germany, February 17, 2009

Bavarian Mountain, Germany, March 07, 2012

Beil Family, Miesbach, Germany, December 25, 2012

Gummersbach, Germany, Part 2, October 13, 2013

Salzburg, Austria, February 16, 2009

Kitzsteinhorn ski resort, Austria, February 16, 2009 

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Treehouse, Versions 2002 vs. 2004

This is the original treehouse in the farm, just a small elevated veranda perched on a lone mahogany tree. Photo taken September 2002. The mahogany trees near the treehouse were small then.

On January 2004, I decided to dismantle it, as my architect friend from UP, Clifford Espinosa, has a good design for a bigger, two-storey treehouse to be perched on the same big mahogany tree. Cliff gave that favor for free, jamming at tagay lang kapalit. Super thanks, once again, Cliff.

The house was finished around March 2004. Last March 2014 or exactly 10 years after, the house got a facelift, the decaying bamboo floor were all replaced. A few changes in the 2nd floor was introduced. The treehouse as of March 2014, below. The surrounding mahogany trees are much bigger. The really big ones have been harvested last January this year.

The small treehouse then was supported by four braces only to stabilize it. The roof was nipa.

It has no toilet then, guests (females especially) must go down (notice the small wooden stairs). Male guests can pee on the rice plants below, if they were not in the mood to go up and down the treehouse. :-) 

On the left and right sides of the treehouse then was sloping. When the new treehouse was built in 2004, the sloping sides have been terraced.

The current treehouse is heavy, there are many posts supporting it, aside from the main tree where it is perched and locked.

The old treehouse from a distance.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Laguit Padilla Waterfalls, Bugallon, Pangasinan

About 45 minutes walk from our farm in Brgy. Laguit Padilla, Bugallon, Pangasinan, is the sole waterfalls in the municipality, aka "Besay Falls" by the locals. It's tall, perhaps around 40 meters high.

I brought some friends to the farm in October 2002. Then our caretaker guided us to the waterfalls.

Blurred photo (scanned from the hard copy), from left: Ozone Azanza, Grace Alindogan, me, Carlo Borlaza. October is still rainy season, so the river bed of this waterfalls was clean, no lumot, the water was clear.

Ozone jumped, I "kicked" him from behind :-) 

The water was deep too.
This photo is from a blog post, Besay, a beauty yet to be discovered, dated January 9, 2014. The author wrote, "it’s actually a hidden beauty in the mountains west of Bugallon, it is not yet developed and very people had been to this place."   

Well, not exactly. This waterfalls is famous among barangay residents, also with many municipal residents. During the four-days holiday of the Holy Week each year, this place attracts hundreds of visitors coming from many places. Some come from Manila, Dagupan, Lingayen, etc.

The last time I visited this waterfalls was around 8-10 years ago, or longer. I heard that the volume of the waterfalls is decreased due to diversion of some water to the barangay nursery and tree planting. I just hope that the municipal government will improve this place.

See also, Majayjay Waterfalls, Laguna, 1994, April 24, 2014