"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Saturday, March 08, 2008


"A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act,
and life's worthwhile."

--Author Unknown

1st of march 2008 | saturday
gurls' day-out in southern luzon

maybe together we can get somewhere
any place is better
starting from zero, got nothing to lose...

the plan was to drive from calamba, laguna all the way to pagbilao -- one of the municipalities of quezon province nearest to bicol -- and enjoy a pristine whitesand beach in pagbilao grande island. well, we had more than that!

from calamba to batangas to san pablo to nagcarlan to majayjay to lucban to pagbilao grande island and all those places in between that we had to pass by...


one car. five gurls. one long road trip. unexpected destinations. wonderful day. fantastic way to start a month!

first spur-of-the-moment stopover
san pablo city

multiply photo album: roadtrip: san pablo city stop-over

san pablo city of laguna is one of the philippines' oldest cities and home to seven lakes -- sampalok, palakpakin, yambo, bunot, pandin, muhikap, and calibato.

we made a stopover and went to see one of the said seven lakes.

03.01.2008. san pablo city stopover: one of the seven lakes

another spur-of-the-moment stopover
nagcarlan, laguna

multiply photo album: roadtrip: nagcarlan stop-over

03.01.2008. nagcarlan stopover: nagcarlan underground cemetery

nagcarlan underground cemetery was used as a burial site from 1845 until 1981. it also served as the secret meeting place of the revolutionary leaders in laguna in 1896. in 1981, it was declared a historical landmark and placed under the responsibility of the national historical institute.

ghost stories? don't ask why we didn't take pictures while we were underground. just visit the place and, if you want goosebumps, ask the site custodian :P

by the way, nagcarlan is also famous for sweet lanzones.

03.01.2008. nagcarlan, laguna: all gurls

spur-of-the-moment stopover #3
majayjay, laguna

multiply photo album: roadtrip: majayjay stop-over

from nagcarlan, we continued with our trip, and passed through liliw -- a place in laguna province known for very affordable footwear. we decided not to stop to shop around so we satisfied ourselves with just looking at the footwear shops through the car windows. we drove through slowly, eventually passed through more country roads, and saw more countryside sights.

then, we made another stopover.

03.01.2008. majayjay stopover: taytay falls

it was drizzling and all, the drive to the place wasn't easy (thank God, we were on a 4WD!), and it's a long walk to the falls but... the sight's all worth it!

stopover for lunch
lucban, quezon
multiply photo album: lucban stop-over

for lunch, we swung by kamayan sa palaisdan in lucban, quezon. ambience there was great and we got precious memories of awesome-tasting food!

03.01.2008. lunch in lucban: kamayan sa palaisdaan

it felt nice to be walking on bamboo bridges to get to our choice of floating bahay kubo (nipa hut). all the food we ordered tasted way soooo good -- and that's not because we were just so hungry. it's not a crime to admit that we'd been munching on the way.

for our lunch, we ordered ginataang sugpo sa pako, pork sisig, laing, spare ribs, sinampalukang manok, inihaw na tangigue, and rice. we got calamansi juice, green mango shake and fresh buko for our drinks. while waiting for our order, we had pilipit -- a native delicacy.

i was beyond being "officially" busog because food tasted very, very good. i told the gurls, "help! busog na busog na ako pero gusto ko pa kumain. parang nasusuka na nga ako sa sobrang busog." haha. actually, we all felt that way.

destination: pagbilao grande island
pagbilao, quezon
multiply photo album: pagbilao grande island

the drive after lunch got more exciting. we passed through tayabas, calumpang, sariaya, and lucena before we got to pagbilao and the whitesand beach that we were after.

pagbilao grande island is a beautiful place.

03.01.2008. trekking to the beach

to get to the whitesand beach, we parked the 4WD and went on a trek... first, through a narrow footpath, then through a walkway, down a riprap, on a rocky shore, up a hill, through a forested area, through the caretakers' gate, down another footpath... until the beach, aptly named puting buhangin, revealed itself.

03.01.2008. experiencing pagbilao

the sight was... wow! we had fine white sand flirting with our feet! everything looked so clean and serene. the best thing was, for an entrance fee of PhP50 per person, we had the place (including kwebang lampas -- the nearby cave) all to ourselves.

03.01.2008. destination: pagbilao grande island

when it was already almost sunset, we left the beach and went back to the hill where we spent a little bit more time watching the awesome play of colors in the sky.

03.01.2008. almost sunset in pagbilao

truth be told, i did not know of pagbilao's existence before. southern luzon residents, especially those from pagbilao, ought to pardon me for my ignorance. i first heard of pagbilao only two weeks ago, when my certified gala officemate mentioned it and coaxed us to go there with her. she volunteered to do all the driving. fuel expenses? travel party's responsibility.

03.01.2008. members of our travel party

all in all, each of us shelled out PhP750 for the trip. that amount took care of our contribution for the fuel that took us all the way to pagbilao (including our sidetrips) and back to calamba, for our sumptuous lunch, for entrance fees, and for the food & drinks we took with us on the road.

03.01.2008. all that in one day

in just one day, we went to see a lake, we visited a historical site, we hiked our way to a waterfalls, we had lunch on a place defined by floating nipa huts, and enjoyed spending time on a beautiful beach --- all for a good budget.

03.01.2008. some sights along the way

...and the sights we saw along the way were priceless.


  1. wow, just looking at your pictures made me feel like I took a vacation. good thing I dropped by today, I thought I was going to have to imagine staying home (which IS what i'm doing). Instead I got to imagine what it would have been like to go where you went. :)


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