Malalison Island

It takes several months of planning this summer trip. It’s been in my mind since last year when I saw pictures of Malalison from Facebook friends who went there. Last January, my friends and I decided to choose it as our get-to summer destination during the Holy Week break.

Days before the Holy Week break, my hometown has experienced rains due to tropical depression. But luckily, on April 19, the day we are going to Malalison, the weather is sunny.

The island is 15 minutes boat ride from Culasi, Antique. It is an hour’s driver from my hometown to Culasi. There are no resorts in Malalison, so we bring along our packed lunch and water. From afar, the island looks like a brownish mass of land, because of the summer heat. The sea is azure blue because of the sky reflection. We were charge P700 for the banca ride, or P100/person back and forth. Not bad, already.

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Before arriving in the island, you can already see the clear greenish waters and the reef underneath it. The sand is off-white. All visitors must log in the tourism office in the island and pay an entrance fee of P10/head. Yes, that cheap.

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If you wish, they can provide you a tent along the beach for a fee (P150) so that you can put all your stuff there while you explore the island, and swim in the beach.

Malalison Island is a sight to behold. Its hills are reminiscent of Mt Pulag and Chocolate Hills, while the beaches are not crowded. When I was at the top of these hills, the view of the Sulu Sea is so gorgeous! I never realized before that Malalison Island had this beautiful view. I will just let the pictures I took speak for itself.

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It was one beautiful, summer trip I had ever experience. My province, Antique, has so many beautiful spots that are yet to be discovered and explore.

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Bugang River

Bugang River is voted consistently as one of the cleanest rivers in the Philippines. It is located in Pandan, Antique where I came from.  It deserves all the accolades because from the looks itself, it makes you want to throw away your shirt and jump over the cold water.

Yep, the water is cold because its source is  a cold spring where another famous place is located, Malumpati.

Last Easter Sunday, I invited some friends to dip in this river because the weather is just so humid and warm. Perfect time to go swimming, and since I already did sea swimming the previous day in Phaidon, a river swim is well-deserve.

They say that the famous Pasig River used to be as clean as this 100 years ago. I was fortunate to experience swimming in a clean river on this day and age of environmental decadence. I hope that the local government, and with the cooperation of local stakeholders, will maintain the cleanliness of this precious gift from God.

…and Raining!

It’s been four days of overcast sky, cloudy afternoon, and scattered rainshowers from time to time. That means three days of “house arrest”, staying indoors due to bad weather. But not really.

The other night I was in a friend’s house for dinner. It was their barangay fiesta. Some of my high school friends are there. It was jovial because some of the faces I have not seen in a long time.

Guia

And because it is raining, everyone was in a rainy getup as reflected from the picture above. Hector, Dennis and Venice are in jacket and caps. Most are donning shorts because going to Guia (the barangay) is like going to a Motocross competition complete with muddy, wet and bumpy road.

As always, the sinful foods are present. Predominantly meat. And scattered vegetables on the sides. And after gluttony comes the great equalizer: booze.

Inom

San Mig Light for the waistline conscious, and Generoso Brandy for those who don’t like the bitter aftertaste of beer.

The contagious laughing was override by the chill factor of the weather. Rain and the cold breeze are to be blame for the subdued atmosphere of the get together. Everyone’s curling up a bit, we are not as noisy as we want it to be, we have gobbled up not enough bottles as we want it, and the noticeable lethargy is just evident. See the proof below:

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Ian is texting, maybe to kill time and the cold?

Mae

Mae is sleepy and not in the mood. May LQ daw ba?

Joy

Pointy and skinny.

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Everybody’s face is downward sloping. Please, can somebody stop the rain? And this gloomy weather.

A shot in the heart.

It’s like a shot in the heart when you read an article so raw and honest. Add to that the fact that its so close to you because–one way or the other–you either experience or see the same situation before.

The Youngblood article in the Inquirer today, entitled “Two faces of courage” by a fellow Antiqueno Eric James Sotomil reminds me of my childhood memories in Pandan, Antique. I don’t have a military for a father, but there was sometime during my childhood that the municipal hall of our town was also attacked by NPAs. I was so young then, and all I can remember was we were hiding in the CR. You could hear gunshots from outside. I don’t even remember if I was afraid then, because I don’t even know what was happening.

It was only years later would I realized that it was something; that you cannot comprehend why fellow Filipinos fight over something and not discuss this on the table.

Its the anniversary of Martial Law this week, and every Filipino should guard against going back to that dark part of our history.