- August 07, 2016 21:57
by Brit Charles Quevedo
Countless hours spent listening to lectures, sleepless nights sacrificed for reviewing, and restless days gone through to get those A’s—these sum up Tamaraws’ college journey. So upon hearing the dismissal bells ring by the end of class, we realize that maybe all we need is that exciting escape—that getaway from everything. The only question is, “Where do we go?”
At some point when the month of May and June fast approaches, you will stop roaming the streets of Morayta and Lerma for a while, for summer vacation! Well, there is nothing better than being away from stress and hassle, yet around family and friends making the days worthwhile.
In an interview with FEU Advocate, Nursing freshman student Steffi Jane Yadao said that nothing beats vacation back in her hometown, Camiguin—an island province in the Bohol Sea, a few kilometers off Mindanao’s northern coast.
According to Yadao, Mambajao, Camiguin is her father’s hometown as her relatives from her paternal side reside within the province as well.
“Over the past years, we would book a vacation on the island every summer, usually in the months of April to June, as it is one of the best seasons to visit the province since it is when most barangays celebrate their fiestas. My family lives in the municipality of Mambajao wherein they celebrate the fiesta every 20th of May which we look forward to yearly,” she stated.
Given that modes of transportation were not yet established in Camiguin back then, the trip back to Steffi’s hometown requires two connecting flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and from Cebu to Camiguin through Camiguin Airport. The flight takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes.
With so many tourist spots in Camiguin, a voyage to the province is definitely fun-filled. It features different attractions like waterfalls such as TuasanandKatibawasan, beaches like White Island Camiguin and Burias Shoal, and water springs notably the Sto. Niño and Ardent. More spots can be found in Camiguin including Mt. Hibok-hibok,which explains why the province is also referred to as the “Island Born of Fire.”
The province is also famous for its best-tasting and sweet lanzones. Every third week of October, the residents even hold a festival to honor the fruit. It is also the home of the famous pastel—bread filled with yema and piniato, which is a peanut brittle delicacy.
"Every moment spent in Camiguin is indeed a memorable one. The very welcoming and kind people, mouthwatering dishes and treats, the mesmerizing spots, clear sand beaches and springs—everything about the island born of fire will definitely make you come again," Yadao added.
As of the moment, Steffi lives in a condominium on Padre Noval Street, Espana Boulevard.
However, that was not the case for the Medical Technology senior, Molly Efericto. An interview with her revealed that Camarines Norte is the exact meaning of paradise. Vinzons, Camarines Norte (CamNorte) was her birthplace along with her sister Jara Faye, who is currently a freshman. CamNorte is a province in the Philippines located in the Bicol Region of Luzon.
“Recently, I moved to the city because of face-to-face classes but ideally, I would love to visit my province this coming semestral and Christmas break to reconnect with my family, friends, and of course, my dogs,” Efericto explained.
Taking up nine to ten hours of time, travelling to this province sure takes a while. Considering the huge amount of passengers heading in and out of Metro Manila, one must book a ticket days ahead of planned departure.
With three-hour intervals, the trip offers three to four stopovers to let travellers rest and eat within short periods of time. However, using private vehicles might only take eight hours of travel time.
Like a beacon for explorers, Camarines Norte never disappoints in terms of places you can go to. The province has the longest boulevard in the Philippines which is in Daet, and a variety of islands to visit such as MercedesGroup of Islands, MaculaboIsland, Apuao GrandeIsland, and Parola Island.
Other than their famous Filipino staple Bicol Express, the province also has delicious native delicacies like suman (sweetened rice cake), pili roll(soft cake roll with nuts), and angko (sugar-filled glutinous rice ball).
“One of the best moments I had in our province is the beautiful sunset of Bagasbas Beach. Just eating by the beach after a very long tiring day—having this simple but really special time with my loved ones,” Efericto shared.
The Efericto sisters are currently staying in a condominium in Ermita District, Manila.
For Joshua Fernando, Romblon, an archipelagic province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region, is the only place there is to visit during vacation. Fernando used to live in Santa Fe, Romblon with his parents until he had to leave and venture to NCR for work. Now, an on-the-job (OJT) trainee as a security guard at FEU Gate 3 here in Manila—going back to the province makes him feel like returning home.
“Huling uwi ay nitong July 2022 dahil inuuwian ko ang mga magulang ko. Nito lang ako lumuwas papuntang Maynila para magtrabaho. Ilang beses lang ako umuuwi ng probinsya at balak kong bumalik sa susunod na taon (My last return was this last July 2022 because I come home to my parents. It is just recently that I had to set foot in Manila for work. I only head back to the province a few times and I am planning to come home next year),” he mentioned.
The route to Romblon is not as easy as it might seem. From Manila, one must take the bus to the pier of Batangas City, which takes around three to four hours. Then you have to ride a ferry to Odiongan, Romblon for about eight hours, and find a trike or jeep headed to Santa Fe.
With over 1,356 square-kilometer land area coverage, Romblon is packed with a long list of places to go to. As its tourism mainly revolves around maritime activities, some of Romblon’s attractions are the beaches and coasts of Bagulayag, Gakot, andTiamban. Also famous for its astonishing landforms, the province highlights Lambingan Falls, Kuding Kuding Point, and Cathedral Cave.
Not only does Romblon pleasure your eyes, but it fills up your stomach with bountiful appetizing dishes as well. This province presents a wide spectrum of meals from viands like taghilaw (pork intestines cooked in vinegar), gayabon (mashed gabi leaves), and sarsa (shrimp mixed with coconut milk and chili).
“Doon, kasama ko ang mga kamag-anak ko, mga pinsan, kapatid, at magulang pati sa pagsalubong ng bagong taon. Mula kapanganakan, kabataan, hanggang kinalakihan ko, sa Romblon ako tumira (Back there, I am with my relatives, cousins, siblings, and parents even when welcoming the new year. From birth to my youth, up until I grew up, Romblon is where I lived),” Fernando said.
He is now residing in Antipolo Street, Espana Boulevard which is close to his workplace.
Even the professors at FEU will earn their much-awaited vacation this summer, just like Hardie Gieben Cruz from Quezon—a province located in Southern Luzon, specifically the CALABARZON Region. According to Cruz, his family from the maternal side currently lives in Infanta, a municipality of the province.
"One specific memory I would like to share from my province is my childhood memory and determination to finish school. Growing up, my mother instilled in me to study harder to pursue my dream in life. This pushes me to work harder to help back. In addition to that, I also wanted to share the beautiful ambient view that I can see every time I wake up, which is not seen in Manila," he shared.
Passing by two provinces, Cavite and Laguna, the trip to Quezon province usually takes four to five hours from Metro Manila, depending on traffic.
Regardless of how time-consuming the trip may be, Quezon is still a province worth visiting with varieties of tourist spots you can go to in a day. Several landmarks preserving cultural and historical importance are seen in the province like Lucena Cathedral and Kamay ni Hesus Shrine. Sitting off the coast, Quezon also has beautiful, serene beaches and islands such as Cagbalete, Alibijaban, and Jomalig.
Feeding both your eyes and stomach, that is how Quezon does it! The province highlights delicacies that range from beverages like lambanog (distilled coconut palm liquor) to sweets like suman sa gata (sweetened coconut milk-flavored sticky rice) and dishes like pancit habhab (dried flour noodles).
"Due to the pandemic and the transition to face-to-face classes, I usually go there once a year—during the death anniversary of my mother. I’m planning to go there this coming November 18 since it’s my mom’s death anniversary. However, I still don’t know if I can make it since due to my work schedule," Mr. Hardie stated.
Going through the journey of life will never be easy. You may be confined within your four-cornered classrooms, stuck in your twin-sized bed, on a bus trip, train ride, plane flight, or a ferry cruise away from better places. Set a foot and make a re-route! There could be sudden delays, heavy traffic, or even long trips ahead, but never let anything stop you from reaching your destination—a life full of memories with a camera full of captures.