Gone for the Weekend: The Roadtrip to Quezon Province…

I make it a point that every year is a travel year for me. After all, life is too short to just stay at home and do nothing. It started back in 2009 when I decided to just abandon anything work-related (got burnt out so bad!); hit the road with a bunch of old air heads and off we went to Baguio, the city of pines. 2010 is just another good traveling year for me too and it was a bit new since for the first time I traveled with my friends from college. We went to Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. It wasn’t my first time there. Last 2008 I was able to sample the beauty & mystic of the islands of Zambales with friends from the office. This year is extra special since our destination is one of my dream destinations. In fact, it was listed in my bucket list, to be able to see & experience Borawan, an island situated in Padre Burgos, Quezon. I first heard of the island about 2 years ago in a local travel TV show Trip na Trip of Bayan Productions and since then I fell in love with it and was dreaming to set my foot there. It took us a while before we were able to pull this trip off since the island is practically a virgin island. It was rarely visited by tourist and locals. Internet articles were scarce. There were just a few articles available and you can’t even call it as decent source of information. But it suits me just fine. I don’t mind the long travels and countless walks I should make and I take pride as one of the very first who set foot and visited islands such as Borawan. There’s a certain thrill in conquering unchartered terrains and undiscovered island and I guess that’s what draws me to Borawan, to be the very first to see the island. I’ll try to be as detailed as possible but if you guys know anything about the island and how to get there, I’ll gladly accept any additions and/or corrections. =) Day 1: March 26, Saturday at JAC Liner in Kamuning, Quezon City Our travel starts at JAC Liner in Kamuning (near GMA 7’s building). There are several liners that offer trips from Manila to Lucena Town Proper but we chose JAC Liner. Their buses are clean and spacious, fare is reasonable enough (at P218), and they offer free WI-FI to their passengers, not to even mention that their crew & the drivers are very courteous and always make it point to assist their passengers (especially those who carry heavy luggage). Trips start as early as 2 in the morning and the last trip is at 12 midnight (kindly take note of the time to avoid hassle). We boarded the bus at exactly 5:30 in the morning and the bus was on the roll at exactly 6 in the morning. It usually takes 3 to 4 hours before you reach Lucena. We opted for an early ride so we’d have time to scout the place, look for transportation to take us to Padre Burgos and of course to shop for our food. You’ll pass by several towns along the way to Lucena: Laguna, Sto. Tomas, Batangas, and then several towns in Quezon province. The bus will take you directly to Lucena City Grand Terminal. In the terminal you’ll find everything that you might need. It houses almost any transportation towards to any destination, fast food chains, pasalubong stores, and most importantly, clean comfort rooms. After a quick breakfast in Jollibee, we split the group into 2. Gerry & Rachelle took care of finding transportation to Padre Burgos while yours truly and Bong went to the local market of Lucena to buy food and supplies (You can find jeeps in the terminal that will take you to the local market for a fare of P8). Clock hits 1pm, we were able to find a jeep that will take us to Padre Burgos and we’ve completed our supplies list, then we’re off to hit the road. Travel time from Lucena to Padre Burgos was a bit long, we’re on the road for an hour and 45 minutes before we reach Padre Burgos town proper (you’ll know you’re there when you see the QCRB Bank in Padre Burgos). Then it’ll be a 15 minutes tricycle ride for P10 each to “aplaya” where we’ll take the boat ride to the islands. In aplaya, we met Kuya Ote the boatman who’ll take us to the very first island we’ll visit and where we plan to stay for the night, Dampalitan Beach. You can rent boats starting at P800 to P2,000 depending on how may island you want to visit or your haggling skills. We got our boat for P800 and Kuya Ote agreed to takes us to Dampalitan then pick us up the next day and will take us directly to our rented resort. It took us 30 minutes before we reached Dampalitan. In Dampalitan beach we met Ate Eileen, the island’s caretaker. Take note that there are several fees you have to settle: P30/head for the island entrance fee, P200 to P250 for the tent depending on the size of the tent that you’ll be pitching there, P200 for the rent of the table, and P40 for clean fresh water you can use for food preparation, etc. We have the island practically all to ourselves since it’s already Saturday and people who visited Quezon were off to Manila again. What I love the most in these undiscovered islands is the peace that it offers. Nothing’s more precious to me than having the quiet and peaceful time to think, rest, and meditate. Now if you’re the kind of person who digs peace and quiet then I definitely recommend Padre Burgos. Dampalitan also offers a good backdrop for the shutter bugs. It offers good view of the sunset (given that the weather’s good when you go there) and a picturesque view of the island in the afternoon. The island dwellers and their pets are also a good subject for your pictures.

Here are some of my works of art, taken from Dampalitan Beach… =)

dusk at the island

this photo was taken on our first day there in Dampalitan. it was a bit gloomy, no sun at all and it was drizzling a bit… but i couldn’t pass up the chance to take pictures..  =)

boat in the water

I was doing some test shots, I scanned ALY and I saw this.. reminds me of the super old Bench commercial, remember Richard Gomez??? In briefs, rowing on a boat in the middle of the sea… hehe.. it was near dusk here…

dampalitan shore

here’s a sample pic with adjusted exposure compensation (about 1.7 I guess, couldn’t quite remember)… it’s almost 6pm when i took this picture, did some adjustments then viola! it looks like its dawn not dusk.. hehe..

high noon at dampalitan beach

this was taken the 2nd day at the beach.. luckily, sun was up that time so we took the opportunity to take pictures..  it was low tide that time and when its low tide in Dampalitan, you can see foot bridge made out of sand, shells, & rock… follow that path and you’ll end up in a little island in the middle of the sea where you can actually take pictures of endless sea and horizon… =)

dampalitan in black & white

high noon but i turned it to black & white… =)

mah good friend gerry in the middle of the sea

did i already say that we practically have the island all to ourselves? yeah said it and its true! haha! see, i can’t find any subject worth taking a snap at so here’s gerry & euran.. =)

kamusta sa abs??? :))
ala bench scene! haha!

i couldn’t just upload everything here since most of the files were as heavy as 18MB…

ok.. to sum it up, here’s the total cost of our first day in Padre Burgos (including fares, food, and all, computed per head, for a group composed of 4 people);

P218 – Bus Fare (Manila to Lucena)

P70 – Breakfast at Jollibee (in Lucena Grand Terminal)

P16 – Jeepney fare (Lucena Grand Terminal to Local market and back)

P35 – Jeepney fare (Lucena Grand Terminal to Padre Burgos Town Proper)

P15 – Tricycle fare (Padre Burgos Town Proper to Aplaya)

P200 – Boat Rent (to and from Dampalitan beach)

P30 – Entrance fee at Dampalitan Beach

P60 – Tent Pitching fee

P10 – Potable Fresh water

P50 – Table rent

P156 – food budget for overnight stay at the island

Total: P860

For the food, Ate Eileen can cook for you but the price will depend on what you want to eat and the food will depend on whatever’s available that day. =)

ok, got to get back on working on my reports so day2 of the Quezon trip will have to wait.. =) till the next post!!! keep on moving your feet!!! =)