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Something About a Guy Named Jose

“I heard you fancy a guy and you’re traveling to Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao just to follow him,” a friend of mine teased me in January.

“Yes, I am,” I said, winking at her.

So I did follow this guy’s steps. You see, this guy named Jose has something about him that inspires me.

He. Inspires. Me. To. Love—

To love nature.

To love reading.

To love expressing myself in writing.

To love what he stood for.

To love my country.

This guy named Jose is Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero.

From January to May of this year, I went on a tour that took me to new places, gave me a glimpse of many historical facts and sites, strengthened my love for the country for whom he willingly gave his life, and gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of all that he died and fought for.

I did the tour in participation of Lakbay Jose Rizal@150, a joint project of the Department of Tourism, National Parks Development Committee, Heritage Conservation Society, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Intramuros Administration, and Cebu Pacific. The project encourages everyone to visit the places that have played an important role in Rizal’s life.

The above photo shows the front of the “passport” which every participant must secure from the office of the Department of Tourism before doing the tour. When unfolded, the passport looks like this:

When the participant reaches a site listed on the passport, he or she must have the passport stamped. The stamping of the passport officially kicked off last year, on Rizal’s 150th birthday. The first 100 people to visit all the 26 sites and have their passports stamped before June 19 of this year were to receive special tokens as well as a certification that he or she is a “Kalakbay ni Gat Jose Rizal.”

Yep, I am now officially a proud “Kalakbay ni Gat Jose Rizal.” Yay!

Thanks to my travel buddy who have kept me company. We timed our trips on holidays and we patiently waited for promo fares. Oh, and halfway through finishing the tour, Guyito joined me 😉

ALAM KO ANG INIISIP MO NGAYON: Iniisip mong sana ay nakapag-participate ka, na sana pwede ka pa ring humabol. Tama ako, di ba? 🙂 Puwes, pwede pa rin naman! The rubber stamps are still available even after June 19, 2012. Iyon nga lang, you won’t receive a token and a certificate after finishing the tour. As I have written earlier in this post, these are just for the first 100 people who have finished the tour from June 19, 2011 to June 19, 2012. But, you can keep naman your passport with stamps on it, isang wagas na ebidensiya na kinarir mo talaga ang pagbisita sa mga lugar na naging bahagi ng buhay ng ating pambansang bayani 😉 And what’s more rewarding than learning so many things from your trips?

Ano pang hinihintay mo? Pumunta na sa Department of Tourism o tumawag sa telephone bilang (02) 523-1930, 526-7545, 524-2254. Huwag mahiyang magtanong kung may available pang Rizal passport.

After this post, I will be writing a series of posts which will give details on each of the 26 sites. So please stick around. Sama-sama tayong mamasyal and let’s all get to know better this guy named Jose 😉

Posted 5 years ago at 12:40 pm.


Farola de Isla Capul: A Silent Sentinel

In Barangay San Luis in the sleepy town of Capul is a hill called Titoog Point. This grassy hill in the northernmost tip of Capul has a very picturesque view. On clear days, one can see the outline of Mt. Bulusan, an active volcano in the nearby province of Sorsogon. Looking at the edges surrounding it, one will see the swift rush of current washing over the San Bernardino Straight which separates Bicol from Samar.

On the other side of the hill, one will see a stretch of rugged coastline. The water was calm the day I visited. But when the weather is bad, big waves usually lash the island town. The strong, eddy currents sometimes make it almost impossible for boats to go in and out of Capul.

Perched atop Titoog Point, standing proud 143 ft. above sea level, is a silent sentinel: the Farola de Isla Capul, known to locals simply as “Parola.”

The lighthouse has every right to stand proud. Recently, the National Historical Commission bestowed upon it a marker for its historical significance. The Spaniards started building the lighthouse but it was finished, with modifications, during the American occupation. Since the American period, it has warned countless of ships of the narrow treacherous waters between the Port of Matnog and Capul.

Notice the half-circle spot near the tree (first picture). It is one of the three circular World War II gun emplacements where big guns were mounted to be used by the Japanese Navy against the American soldiers.

Beside the lighthouse is a pavilion, which, sadly, is already dilapidated. But I heard from a tourism officer that this will soon be repaired. I say, it’s high time.

So…I hope you, my dear readers, will also visit this 7-hectare complex someday. It is a great place for having a picnic, picture taking, dating, and some soul-searching 😉

How to get there:
From the town proper of Capul, look for a habal-habal and ask the driver to take you to “Parola.” Ask the driver to wait for you as the place is far and it is hard to get a ride back to the town proper. Rate as of today, Sept.14, 2012, is Php200.

How to go to Capul:
Click here.

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 6:50 pm.


And The Journey Begins #22

We keep telling each other we would take it nice and slow. Like how people should swing hammocks under the trees. Nice and slow….nice and slow….

The sensible thing for us to do: nice and slow…nice and slow…we let go….

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 3:50 pm.