Tag Archives: camiguin

@JamieInTransit: Trips to Remember in 2016

5 Jan

http://jamiefournier.com/jamieintransit-trips-to-remember-in-2016/

Wrote about my favorite trips in 2016 to remember as we start another year. 😉 By the way, do follow my other blog, http://www.jamiefournier.com.

Happy New Year my WordPress friends!

Year 30, Day 1

29 Oct

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Four more hours to go before I bid my 29th year goodbye. Here I am again writing my annual blog-slash-informal-summary of what the year has been like as I always do. This year is a bit more special as I am kissing such an essential decade of my life farewell. It is true, what they say, your 20s will truly make you understand who you are and what you want in life, if you use your years well.

The last few hours of my 29th self are invaded by nostalgic and happy thoughts of where I was 10 years ago, and all that has happened in between then and now. Being the only girl of six children and to add to that, being raised by my grandparents, I have always been the girl with the curfew, the girl who was NOT allowed to hang out with boys, the girl who was not allowed to go out of the house, the girl whose granddad (bless him) would wait for me to get home at 6 pm even when I already was in college.

I could have chosen to be that girl forever, but I didn’t. I gave my family an ultimatum. Okay, I’ll stay in my hometown for college but I must, and I mean MUST, leave for work the minute I graduate. And that is what I exactly did. Was I scared? Hell yes! Scared to walk alone, scared to commute, scared of almost everything. But not for too long.

More than two jobs and a sum of 10 years after, here I am, doing what I always thought I should be doing… living far away from home, sans curfews, sans protective brothers hovering around (well occasionally they’re around which I love lol), but mostly sans the fear instilled in me since I was young.

I was once told I should pursue a certain profession to live a happy life. I knew what my heart wanted and I never forgot the passions I have always vividly understood since I could remember thinking for myself. And that is precisely why this year, my 29th year, proved to be such an important phase of my life. It is truly this year that I have fallen madly and COMPLETELY in love with my passions in life and that I am slowly but surely pursuing what I think I was meant to do in this universe.

I, The little girl who once painted on her bedroom door (against her grandmother’s wishes), finally got to join an exhibit! I would never have known that this would be possible as I have never pursued it in the last 9 years. But I believe if something is meant for you, it will find its way knocking on your door if you keep your love for it alive. Aside from that, I am doing a job I love, hosting. Talking to people, performing, and it keeps my heart alive and full.

I think what I am most grateful for this year is how my life took an unexpected turn which forced me to reorganize my priorities and plans in life, for the better. Looking back and remembering how that particular experience affected me at first, I know it had to happen. It gave me a new perspective of the next steps I should focus on.

With all that has happened, I only have one piece of advice to give those living their splendid 20s, remember to love yourself first. KNOW yourself. Pursue your dreams. Make mistakes. And don’t be in a hurry to give your life to someone, unless you have given YOURSELF your best shot.

I am close to that, close to saying wow, I made it happen. And I can’t help but be joyful for having faith in my dreams and in what I could do with them.

Yes, I am turning 30 soon, and I am welcoming this whole new adventure with arms wide open.

I’m Jamie…I’m 30 years old and happy. 🙂

Memories for keeps, highlights of year 29.

*New sunsets, new places, new friends, priceless. Bali, Siem Reap, Bangkok.

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*Love revisited. Friends’ special moments. Brothers. CDO. Camiguin. Family.

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*Unforgettable Events…I’m one lucky host! 😉

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*Travel Finds Jcaf Art Bags and Throw Pillows – 2nd Collection. My babies. My heart skips a beat every time I see a random person using the bag/pillow or when I see posts online. Indescribable!

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*My artspired year!<3 I go through days when I can’t stop thinking about an idea and I feel like I just have pick my paint brushes up and paint away. That’s bliss for me… This year I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in an exhibit called Babae to remember a great Philippine artist Petrona Nakpil and showcasing female artists.

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Thank you year 29… You have been the most interesting year of my life. Year 30, I’m ready for you!:)

Wanderlust: Camiguin 2014

17 Jun

When I was younger, a year would not be complete without heading to my grandparents’ favorite island, Camiguin.

I have the best memories of our Along family trips there. All my cousins. All the great home-cooked meals our caretaker Manang Sela and lola would prepare. The swing by the coconut trees at our garden. My grandparents’ 50th anniversary when we all performed for them on the steps of our cottage. Story telling sessions with dads and titos. My favorite person, my lolo, at the porch drinking his Tanduay with his sons. My lola busy preparing food and activities for the next day. Paras Beach Resort where we would sometimes stay. Their Pizza Paolo. White Island, my favorite place. My mom getting kicked by a horse while carrying me when I was still a baby (lol). The first and only time I saw falling stars. Ardent Hot Springs. Sto. Nino Cold Spring which was my favorite tourist spot when I was younger. The Blue Lagoon. Long walks on the shore with my tita-slash-mom Ninfa while picking seashells. The rocks where we used to hang out at (or you could say on :p). My brother Desi’s beautiful wedding on the very same rocks.

Yes, I can go on and on to share more priceless memories about this place but I would bore you to death because that will take forever. The bottom line is this place will forever hold a special place in my heart as it reminds me of my grandparents and my childhood.

So when I was told we would go there for a day, I could not help but be extremely excited about it. You see, the last time I went was five years ago when my brother chose to marry the love of his life on the rocks in front of Paras Beach Resort where we used to go to, play at, and hang out at as kids. Yes, five years ago! So even though I only had one day to enjoy there, I was more than thrilled to go despite the long travel time.

For those who have not gone, below is a breakdown of hours to get there from CDO:

*Road trip from CDO to Balingoan – Approximately 2 hours (We left at 9 am, got there before 11 am)

*Boat ride from Balingoan to Camiguin – About an hour and 30 minutes (We left at 11 am and go there at about 1 pm)

*Our cottage and the resort we stayed in, Paras Beach Resort, are both in Yumbing and the road trip going there took about another hour or less.

The travel time was well worth it though! Even just spending a few hours there got us so relaxed, it was definitely a day well spent!

Sharing some pictures with all of you from my most recent quick trip to Camiguin.

Our grandparents’ quaint little cottage. When they were around, you’d see my grandfather always at the porch and my grandmother either busy with her beautiful garden or busy cooking the most delicious meals at our kitchen. The rest of us were out and about, either at White Island, by the rocks, or walking along the shore.

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What we normally do is stay at Paras Beach Resort and have our meals at our cottage. Manang Sela, who is still our caretaker, cooks amazing fresh dishes which you can mostly only have in provinces like Camiguin. Below are pictures of Paras Beach Resort. Oh and by the way, our room which is good for six individuals was only for P3,500. It’s a loft-type unit which is perfect for friends traveling around the island. My brother Jackie and I wanted to take home their pillows because of how comfortable we were, which we didn’t do of course. Jackie who spent his holiday drinking nights away found himself asleep at 9 pm. Yes, that’s what Camiguin does to you.;)

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When we were younger, it was a must to go to all the tourist spots. Now though, the only place I really always want to visit whenever I’m there is White Island. It’s a 15 minute ride away from Paras Beach Resort which only costs P450 for the boat.

You’ll see why I love this sand bar just by looking at the pictures.

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We stayed at White Island from 3-5:30 pm. Oh, and by the way, we bought drinks before heading to the island.

By the time we got back, all we really did was have dinner, a few drinks, and we slept early.

The next day, we had Manang Sela’s cooking for breakfast. She makes the most amazing scrambled eggs, by the way, and we hung out till we had to leave at 10 am.

Our last stop was one of my grandfather’s favorite restaurants in Camiguin which is what we often call The Blue Lagoon. We didn’t have the time to eat but we had their coconut shake which was really good.

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For those who are going for the first time, a day is simply not enough! There are so many places to see! Below are a few suggestions:

1. Ardent Hot Springs – I suggest you go here at night. Quite a relaxing experience, if there aren’t a lot of people around of course.

2. Sto. Nino Cold Spring – It’s nice to have a picnic here with the family. Be prepared, the water is extremely cold but I used to love it when I was younger.

3. Katibawasan Falls – I don’t remember much about this place because it’s been a while since my last visit but I remember this being beautiful and cold! Be prepared to hike though as it is part of getting there.;)

4. The Sunken Cemetery –
I feel it’s necessary to share the history of this tourist spot with you, so here
‘s TripAdvisor’s description of the place:

“The whole capital of Camiguin, with its cemetery, sunk under the sea. In the following years, the sunken land and the gravestones can still be seen. when the tide is low. But in 1948 until 1953, Mount Vulcan erupted again, sinking the whole area deeper, to around twenty feet. In 1982, a large cross was built on the solidified lava to mark the site that became the graves of the ancestors of the Camiguin people. It has become a sunken cemetery.”

Source: http://www.silent-gardens.com/camiguin-sunken.php

5. Old Gui-ob Church Ruins

This is to witness a bit of the history of the island. Here remains the remnants of the 1871 Vulcan Daan eruption. It gives you a glimpse of how Camiguin was during the Spanish era.

6. White Island – Which I have already mentioned above. The pictures I’ve shared are, I believe, enough to convince you to go!

7. Vjandep Bakeshop – I know it’s a bit odd to include this but I’ve witnessed the growth of this bakeshop and it’s just nice to see where it all started. When I was younger, we’d normally have this as our last stop so we could bring home boxes. The business grew exponentially and all I hear from people when I travel to CDO is “Please bring me Pastel.”

I believe the first bakeshop is still there, but I didn’t get to go during my last trip so I’m not exactly sure. The boxes of pastel are also available at their bakeshop in CDO, almost all the stores in the said city, the Laguindingan airport, and even here in Manila.

8. If you are going during the Holy Week, you’ll see quite an interesting sight! Loads of people walking around the island with one goal in mind: to go around just by foot for their religion. Some also, which I’ve done before with the family, hike up the Stations of the Cross. It’s always crowded during this time of the year but, again, it’s great
to witness all the activities that they have during this time.

9. They also have the Lanzones Festival which is held every third week of October. It’s to celebrate the Lanzones fruit, which constitutes the most important livelihood in Camiguin. Street dancing competitions, parades, parties, and beauty pageants. That’s the list of activities you’ll enjoy if you go at this time!

10. Last but definitely not the least: Do yourself a favor and try out their Lechon there! It is, by far, the best lechon I’ve ever had. In fact, whenever we’re there, we always have it. I’m not scared to claim this but, for me, it is even better than the Lechon from Cebu.:p

Those are my suggestions for you if you ever choose to go. Sometimes I think I’m a tad bit biased because I am completely in love with this place for obvious reasons. I mean I did grow up having summer vacations there with my family.

When people used to ask me to describe it years ago, I’d always say “untouched, virginal, our little paradise away from home.”

I’m proud to say that now, even years after, I can still say the same thing.

Camiguin is the place to go to if you’re seeking a little paradise far away from the city. Yes, it is still very much untouched and virginal. It still is and will forever remain one of my favorite places in the world.

Random Pop-up: Camiguin

21 May

This island, soon. Hopefully.

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Wanderlust: Camiguin

27 Dec

I grew up going to this island more than twice a year when i was younger. My grandparents loved it there. We had our own cottage which was right in front of a resort which evolved into one of the best ones in Camiguin, Paras Beach Resort. All of the Along kids loved going there. We’d go camping (right in front of our cottage-lol), we’d have storytelling every night, we’d swim in the ocean, we’d hide out on the sea wall, and we’d always go to White Island, the sand bar which is about 20 minutes away from our place.

A lot of our good childhood memories have this cottage, this island, as its venue. It was our place as a family, the Alongs.

Even now that we’re older, we talk about this place with fondness. We still go back every chance we get. Whenever we’re there, we remember our grandparents and their love for each other and for us.

My grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary there. My brother Desi had his wedding on the same sea wall which we used to run to and use as a hiding place. My cousin Dox also had his wedding on the same sea wall.

Infinite memories, good ones. This place will always be special to me.

Here are some of the pictures I took during my last visit there:

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Our pictures. Me. My brothers. My family.

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My Heart: My Brother’s Wedding

27 Dec

Pictures by MangoRed:

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Pictures taken by me and other guests:

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