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Nature Tripping - Quezon Province

Nature Tripping - Quezon Province

December 2019 · 7 min read · Quezon

Mt. Banahaw

The locals call it The Holy Mountain. Mount Banahaw is a three peak volcano considered to be active and the highest volcano in the Calabarzon Region in Luzon. It is located between Laguna and Quezon. The myth is that according to the locals it has mystical healing power. Spirtually, many locals go here for their religious vows and God worship. The volcano has an elevation of 2158 meters/ 7080 ft. and is one of the most loved hiking and trekking mountains in Luzon and is well protected by the government.

Sariaya... In My Bucket List

One of the places that was in my bucket list for a long time was the town of Sariaya in the Quezon Province. My coming there didn´t materialize earlier because every time I made a visit to the Philippines I only had a maximum stay of 14 days due to my job and limited time. At last, I finally made it last July when I visited my family for three weeks.

The Rural Scene

Sariaya is the hometown of my sister in-law, the wife of my youngest brother. I knew her mom when she was still alive, a hardworking and very nice lady who always invited me to visit them in their farm. I felt so sad when she passed- away untimely. So, I promised that when I made my vacay in the Philippines, I would visit her grave. So, we hired a van, we got our things ready for the trip and drove the following day , it was a 3 hour-drive from Manila to Quezon Province.

The trip had been enjoyable as we passed-by various towns of the provinces Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. I have never done this for decades because I live in Europe since the mid80s. First stop had been the cemetery as one of the first things we did when arriving in Sariaya. Then, we headed to my brother´s father in-law who had been very happy to see us especially because he was seeing his four-year-old great granddaughter for the first time in person.

The town´s church which is located near the Municipal Hall.

Sustainability

My sis in-law´s family owns a small coconut farm and rice field. Her farmer father planted all the coconut trees in their land and hires someone to harvest the coconuts and sells them to a dealer who picks them up directly from his land. It´s this small income from the sale of the coconuts that he earns for his living. The harvested rice is his yearly supply, so he didn´t need to buy from the store.

Some Farm Fruits

It was my first time to visit a coconut farm and aside from the coconuts there were lots of other fruit-bearing trees too such as mangoes, cacao, avocados, bananas, guavas, atis, chicos and native fruits called santol and kamias plus other fruit trees. So one can live in this farm without spending so much for the daily living since there is so much abundance as the soil is so fertile.

The cacao tree with its fruit... in the pod are the beans coated with white pulps that are sweet in taste, once harvested, they will be fermented to separate the sugar from the beans and then will be ready for the drying process. The beans will be aged before they are ground.

As far as the sustainability of the farm is concerned, my sis in-law´s father is self-sufficient as there were veggies that are planted in the plot year-round. He has poultry and the only food he needs to buy are just the basics such as coffee, milk, fish and a bit of meat.

Fresh Air

We roamed around the farm and were careful not to stand under any coconut tree as there were many fruits that might just fall off and might hit our head, LOL!

I immediately felt so refreshed when we arrived at the farm, the kind of unpolluted air that is so fresh and cool. There were no industries in the area and the one thing that was breathtaking was the view to Mt. Banahaw. It was so majestic and mystical to see it from a far distance.

The Bamboo Trees

While roaming inside the farm, I saw three bamboo trees, am not sure whether to call them bush or trees, Lol! Bamboo poles are one of the best building materials you can use to build a rural house called Bahay Kubo or Nipa Hut.. Since the temperatures in the Philippines are almost constant at average 31°C all through out the year, you´d have a cool house ...as such, this kind of material is very robust and resistant to wood worms and could last for decades. You can see the Bahay Kubo samples here.

At The Beach

Unlike Cebu in the Visayas, Luzon is not famous for white beaches, in fact almost all of the beaches there have dark sand. The following day we went swimming in one of the nearby beaches. You can choose many resorts mostly those visited by the locals, the entrance fee begins at 100 php per head, children pay half and anyone can use their facilities like pools, playground for kids and the beach area as well for about 6 hours. and there are those that ask for 300 php entrance fees + extra 1K pesos for a reserve round table with shade . A room in one of the expensive resorts costs around 4.000 Php overnight and this price is a bit high by Philiphine standards. The exchange rate is 1USD = 52 Php.

We made a boat trip to an area farther than the beach to do snorkeling. It was a primitive boat ride since the boats that sailed were owned by local fishermen in the area who earn extra money on weekends when the boats were idle.

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We paid 100 php per head and we were given a life jacket that was made of styrophor inserted inside a green homemade life vest. However primitive, the vests were funtioning real good. We were not ready for the ride so the young guy who sailed the boat lent me his mask so I could do snorkeling.


It was lovely to see the sea ground with lots of corals and fishes, I had my adventure and fun on that day. When the boat ride ended I gave the young fisherman 100 php tip which he did not expect and he gave us a big smile thanking us in return.
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At The End Of The Day

On our way home we passed by green fields where cows were tied to the grounds to eat their grasses. I was kind of irritated because it was very hot and they were there without protection from the sun. But, they told me that it is normal for the cows there and that they are happy they have plenty to eat. We stopped the car on the street side so I could take a souvenir photo with one cow. With all respect, I did not go so near and maybe that was a good decision so as not to irritate the animal. I thought she liked the idea that I posed near her.... look at her smiling face... Lol!

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We slept so good on our 2nd night for we were so tired after the beach activities. The following day, we had a great lunch , then we prepared ourselves for the ride back to Manila. I thanked our host, it was such a fun adventure and I am sure I will be going back to this place soon as I have the chance again!

All images on this post are my own. Footer...courtesy of @gremayo

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