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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur

       Caramoan Islands are located at the tip of Caramoan Peninsula, a group of islands isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur. It is the perfect adventure for island hopping, rock climbing, caving or wading and swimming thru its fine white sand beaches.

       The municipality is situated between east longitude 124°59" and 13°46" north latitude. It covers approximately 27,741 square kilometers with approximately 71 kilometers of irregular coastline surrounded by the vast ocean, bay, seas and swamps. It is approximately 501 kilometers away from Metro Manila; 95 kilometers from the municipality of Pili, where the seat of the provincial government and the Pili Domestic Airport are located; and 110 kilometers away from Naga City, the heart of Bicol. Composed of 49 barangays, the municipality has a total of 134 sitios.

       Caramoan Islands were unknown to commercial tourism because of its remoteness. You will experience a bumpy ride and at least 1.5 hours boating from Sabang beach to Caramoan. Thus, its natural beauty was hidden and only few adventurers were go there. Although in recent years, Caramoan was already being visited by some foreign and locals, it was still not as jammed-packed as the Boracay Island, until “Koh-Lanta Caramoan 2008”, a French version of the reality show “Survivor”, had Caramoan Islands particularly the Gota Beach as their shooting location. That was an opportunity to recognized the Caramoan Islands as a Philippine island destination for foreign and local tourist that gives a high percentage of visitors every year until today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grotto of Our Lady of Peace

      Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of Peace Grotto is located at the top of Caglago Mountain in Barangay Tabgon, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. It has 546 steps to the grotto leads to the 26-foot image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

       The construction of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of Peace Grotto began in 1989 under the leadership of St. Dominic of Guzman parish priest Rev. Fr. Felix F. Barella. During its construction, the people of Caramoan had to climb Mt. Caglago to bring the materials. It was completed the following year through foreign and local funding. The grotto opened its door to the public in 20 May 1990 led by Archbishop of Caceres Most Reverend Leonardo Z. Legaspi OP. D.D. 

       Here we go to take the 546 steps, you must bring water to drink and make sure you don't have any heavy bags. 

       At the top, there is a small chapel. The Eucharist is celebrated in the Shrine every first Sunday of the month and other occasions such as the anniversary of the foundation of the image (20th of May), Triduum, and feast of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of Peace (4th of October).

       When you reached on the top, you will see the beautiful views of the islands surrounded by the water. So nice and awesome.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ibon Ebon (Bird Egg) Festival

       Ibon Ebon Festival was celebrated every year, in the month of February in Candaba, Pampanga. Ibon means "bird" and Ebon means "Egg". This festival makes the town a favorite destination for tourist and bird lovers from all over the world. It was started on February 1 and 2 in the year 1998. 

       The festival participated of different schools in Candaba and for those who want to join the events. The events include harvest fest, trade fair and tiangge, jamming with "Ibon" dancers, grand street dancing parade and dragon boat race. 


        The wetlands of Candaba Swamp in Pampanga is known as a sanctuary of nearly 17,000 registered migratory birds. It consists of more than 80 species from different parts of the world. The Candaba Swamp serves as the birds’ home and stop-over point as they migrate from point to point in Asia and other parts of the globe. 

        The town of Candaba makes proud of this festival, as they introduce the migratory birds and own eggs industry. 
Photography: Mr. Allan Borja