Patar Beach
The Milky Way

Countless times have I tried to take a picture of the stars and finally I have my own set to be proud of, and I'm not surprised that I was able to take the photos in one of my favorite places, Patar beach in Bolinao. After almost a year. I was finally able to make it back to this place, and was lucky enough to have clear skies during the trip.

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Hide Away Resort, Surip, Bani, Pangasinan

It was a scene straight out of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. We’ve been driving for what seem like an eternity through a rough path surrounded by thick bamboo trees on both sides. We had no idea where we’re supposed to go or what we were looking for to know that we’re there. We checked our phones – no signals. Our colleagues told us earlier that it was a resort, but failed to mention the name. So naturally we thought there would be lots of lights to guide our way, but no. The forest-like trail was jet black except for the small areas that the beam of lights from the car’s headlamps shone through. The sound of crickets filling the air did not help to calm us down either. By then our imagination just started to ran wild. We kept thinking that a ‘white lady’ would appear in front of the car to stop us and the next thing we know she’ll be sitting beside us hitching a ride and holding our hands. As we continued to drive along holding back emotions of fear, we passed by a spotted dog - kinda like a local Dalmatian, o sige askal na - with his eyes glowing brightly reflecting the beams from the car’s headlamps, natural right? Then all of a sudden a huge – when I say huge I meant tall and thick - Acacia Tree appeared blocking our path creating a fork on the road, my eardrums busted as my seat mate shriek in fear as the tree appeared out of nowhere. We tried moving on, but things just kept on getting weirder and weirder. For instance, we passed by the same exact dog twice after our first encounter, and every time we see it, a huge Acacia Tree appears either in front or on the side of the road. For a moment we thought of taking off our shirts and putting it back inside and out, thinking that a super-natural being decided to play with us and we have to counter its curse. And as we were about to expose each other’s body, a sign caught our attention, a sign that sent chills down my spine personally, the hair at the back of my neck stood up as I still try to grasp what I have just read, still thinking that this can’t be true, my knees by now started to tremble, ladies inside the car started crying and yelling.
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Despite the modernization of present times and the majority of the Filipinos adapting to Western culture, I was dumbfounded to find out that there are still places in the country that practices true Filipino family culture and values.  I mean, I should have not been shock, the Philippines, after all, is one of the most diverse countries in the world. We still even have a lot of different native tribes scattered all over the region, still preserving their culture, living their way of life as their elders has lived before them, not succumbing to the changing times, though able to adapt but still holding on to their identity and tradition.
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Launched way back 2004, Kicaco Caffe is one of the very first establishment to introduce gourmet coffee to the Dagupenos. Owned and managed by Ms. Katherine Kiat, an accounting management graduate of UP without any formal training in the field of culinary arts yet armed with a passion to cook, she started Kicaco Caffe on October 2004 along Tapuac District and later on transferred to its present location along Perez Blvd. corner Rizal Street conveniently situated at the very heart of Dagupan City.

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The third instalment for my Bolinao series, I’ll be featuring one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, The Bolinao church or historically called St. James Parish, The Great Fortress. Located in the town’s center just beside the public market, this grand century-old stone structure has served as a fortress against pirates, Americans, Japanese and the English in the past, and has become a major tourist attraction for the town in its own right over the years.

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Continuing my Bolinao series, you can read the first part here, one of the main reasons I go to Bolinao is to relax and unwind on the white sand beach of Patar. This long stretch of white sand along the coast of cape Bolinao is slowly gaining popularity particularly because of the classy resorts situated along its shore and the numerous rock formations scattered the area which has become a favourite by photography enthusiast.
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Bolinao, as a coastal town, is mostly known for its white sand beach, yet there are a number of things to see, do or try in this humble coastal town located about two to three drive west of Dagupan City. I myself have been in and out of Bolinao for numerous time the previous year, and would like to share some of the interesting things that you may want to consider when visiting here, through a series of post that I shall aptly name... the Bolinao Series and to start you off, this is the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
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Since last year I’ve wanted to step foot in the sands of Palawan, but due to time and budget constraints that wish stayed in my bucket list unscratched and and carried over to this year’s list. Fortunately my cousin called me early January and asked if I wanted to go, I guess wishes do come true, I didn’t think twice and said yes ofcourse.

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It was Halloween 2011 when my group of travelling buddies went to Sagada, Mountain Province primarily to witness the ‘Panag-apoy’, a ritual to coincide with the observance of the All Souls day and All Saints day where locals would literally lit the whole cemetery on fire, a ritual that is steadily gaining a wide audience from curious souls like us year by year.

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Sagada Cemetery :  Going to lit this place on fire for the Panag-apoy

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