It’s definitely MORE fun in the Philippines!

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. has been quoted as saying, ”What differentiates the Philippines from every other place in the world… is the Filipino. It’s his special gift for transforming what is already a beautiful place into an unforgettable special place.”

“You take two identical islands, put FILIPINOS in one, and it’s going to be more fun in there where they are!”

High five to that.

Well, here are my initial takes to the new DOT tourism slogan which has triggered an avalanche of memes in the internet…

Communing with nature at Hagimit Falls, Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte

Taking care of Lola at the airport, Tacloban City, Leyte

Fishing at the rock formations, Biri Islands, Northern Samar

Power napping at San Pedro Island, Hinunangan, Southern Leyte

Tacloban Port Area, Tacloban City, Leyte

Tacloban City, Leyte

Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte

Birdwatching at Samar Island Natural Park (SINP), Paranas, Samar

Zip Southern Leyte – the longest (1km) zipline ride over the tallest bridge in the country today, Agas-Agas Bridge in Sogod, Southern Leyte

Stargazing at Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte

Calle Mena Crisologo in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur – dubbed as the Heritage Lane

Tubing at Ulot Rapids Torpedo Boat Adventure, Ulot River, Paranas, Samar

Bitukang Manok, Atimonan Natural Forest Park, Atimonan, Quezon

The music scene at 6500, Tacloban City

Calayucay, Sto. Domingo, Albay

 

 

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We were windswept as we went back to island camping at our fave Kalanggaman Island (shades of summertime!) taking in the sun and the sea for the 1st 15K Kayak Marathon (open invitational)  – a 15-kilometer kayaking marathon race from Kalanggaman Island to Palompon town proper last Friday, Oct 28, 2011.

It was island party time Thursday night, then up early at the crack of dawn the next day for the 6AM start of the race.

There were a total of 14 tandem registrants, some coming from Tagbilaran, Bohol; Basey, Samar and Tacloban, and one German tandem. The out-of-towners, however, were out-classed by the local fisherfolks who grabbed all the top prizes – their knowledge and familiarity of the race route undoubtedly serving them well.

It took the 1st placers, Lloydan Cabagte & Judy Singson (Kayak # 02) roughly 2 hours and 10 minutes to navigate the 15-kilometer distance from the island to the Port of Palompon over a relatively calm, early morning sea.

The winners:

Champion: Lloydan Cabagte & Judy Singson (Kayak # 02)

2nd Place: Willy Booc & Junior Bregildo (Kayak # 03)

3rd Place: Ariel Ilaida & Elmo Lagat (Kayak # 01)

4th Place: Alberto Yaon & Diosdado Parader (Kayak # 09)

Prizes: 1st Prize – PhP15,000 + trophy; 2nd Prize – PhP10,000 + trophy;  3rd Prize – PhP7,000 + trophy; and 4th Prize – PhP5,000 + trophy

The kayak race was the opening salvo of Palompon’s “Lawig ni Señor Iko” – a month-long series of activities leading to the town’s fiesta celebration honoring its patron saint, St. Francis Xavier.

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Ever since I started posting photos of Kalanggaman Island here in my photoblog, I’ve received a steady stream of inquiries and, on some instances, requests from close acquaintances to accompany them to the exotic islet of Kalanggaman in Palompon, Leyte.

Last week was what exactly happened. A friend’s friend was home for a vacation from work in the Middle East, and goes, how about a quick trip to Kalanggaman before he heads back to work in a far away land?

Noting they were childhood friends, and, more interestingly, two recently got new DSLR’s and were now sharing new passions – it was something that perked my attention. Besides, a previous engagement cancelled out leaving me free for the weekend. Suddenly I felt the urge to get away from the madding crowd and seek solace in a secluded island. Unspoiled beach, pristine waters and camping out with cold beer – gee,  I needed no further urging!

Although summer’s officially over and the weather was quite windy, we nevertheless enjoyed the pristine beauty, serenity and solace the island graciously provides.

Thanks to Mark Doctolero, Bobbie Alota and Archie Omega for the hospitality! Photos taken August 5 & 6, 2011.

View better image quality photos >>>

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Guess what? Yep, we went back to Kalanggaman last weekend. Couldn’t say no to friends. ;)

So here are additional photos taken at the island gem.

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© 2013 gerryruiz photoblog mark II Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha