I was born in a place where life is lived as simple as possible: no fuss, no pretensions. It is a place where I can freely set my heart out to happiness without the usual distractions of a highly “technologized” world (if you know what I mean). I can totally disconnect myself and at the same time find time to get in touch with my roots, in the province where I first opened my eyes, where time can really pass by without you noticing it.
Being born in Panukulan, one of three municipalities of Polillo Islands and located at the islands’ northwest part, it was total bliss to enjoy the beauty of nature, whether land or at sea. The Polillo Islands is part of the province of Quezon, which is well known for being one of the largest producers of coconut and other coconut-based products like Lambanog, Copra, Coconut Lumber, and others. Before, I used to dream of going to so many places but then, I thought, why not explore my hometown first?
But first, let me tell you about two places where I’ve been to in our province.
Balagbag Falls, Tignoan, Quezon
To get there from Manila, take a bus going to Infanta, Quezon at the Raymond Transport terminal along Legarda Street in Manila near Sta. Catalina College and Arellano University. But there is also a Raymond Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City for those coming from the northern part of the city. You can go to http://www.phbus.com/raymond-bus/ for more information. If you’re taking the day tour at Balagbag Falls, better leave Manila at midnight to avoid the traffic. Travel time usually takes 4-5 hours.
Just inform the bus ticket booth personnel that you will alight at Tignoan in Real, Quezon to avoid being charged the wrong fare. At the bus, tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the Tignoan Baskeball Court. Bus fare costs only Php 177 per person. You can pay roughly Php 40 as entrance fee.
Floating Cottage – Agos River
The calm and serene Agos River in Infanta, Quezon is where you can see the Bungko Bridge that connects Infanta to General Nakar, a first-class municipality in the province.
From Tignoan, just take a tricycle or jeep going to Infanta. Fare is around Php 35-50 for a tricycle and Php 25-30 for the jeep. The trip takes 1 hour, more or less. You can spend around Php1,000 a day, depending on the hour but it is totally negotiable. Quezonians are known to be kind, courteous and caring to guests and visitors. Generally, they can accommodate your every request.
Next Up: Jomalig Island
Am so looking forward to going back to this picturesque spot where I have many childhood memories, hopefully by summer 2019.
Jomalig is made famous by its long—and “golden”—sandy beaches, and is one of the islands in Quezon facing the mighty Pacific Ocean. It takes quite a while to get there (about 4-5 hours by boat from Real, Quezon) but the best and worthiest thing about this island is it remained isolated throughout the years, away from the avarice and for-profit-thinking of many developers.
Call me cheesy if you want, but I can’t wait to go back and spend time in my home province, where I can recharge and reflect after a busy life here in the metro. For me, going home to Quezon has always been the most precious and the best experience in my quest to attain solitude and serenity. No need for fancy gadgets or expensive clothes to enjoy life. For me, traveling is what I enjoy the most, but the best part of it all is when I’m with my family. They remain to be my greatest treasure in this world, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Zel is a young talent in the Public Relations industry. She currently works as a Media Relations Officer of Mode Devi PR.
By Zel Ann Total