Camarines Norte: Calaguas in Portraits
While others find loneliness in solitary traveling, others see it as an opportunity to immerse themselves within the locale. People we encounter in our journeys are equally important with regard to the destination itself. In this post, let me introduce you to the good people who came along the way during our tours to Calaguas -through portraits.
I’m good with faces but I’m bad with names. Same thing goes with our good friends from Sula (a small baranggay in Vinzons) and Mahabang Buhangin who knew me, not of my name, but recognized me on how my hair looked instead. Due to my long, fuzzy and curly-tipped hair, I was dubbed with either “Kulot” or “Longhir” (long hair). But I don’t mind. I kind of like it, actually.
Preparing for lunch.
From left to right: Hapon, Chef Atog, and Kuya Putong.
Situated on the river mouth from Vinzons is the small fishing village of Sula wherein the local crew calls home. Leading the wolf pack is Mang Putong, our point person and main boatman, who has also been our go-to guy on Mahabang Buhangin trips since our second trip last year. Brothers, Kuya Puti and Kuya Danny navigate their boats into Lamon Bay together with Mang Putong’s outrigger fleet. Kuya Danny’s son, and Mang Putong’s inaanak, “Hapon” (his nickname) tags along to aid his father or uncle or godfather. Together, we voyaged into the vast seas and I entrust to them the safety of travel buddies, and of course, mine.
Unnamed #2, caretaker
Unnamed #3, the local carpenter taking a break.
Unnamed #3, #4, and #5: Guardians of the “poso” (hand pitcher pump).
Heartfelt smiles welcomed us to Calaguas by the locals who were also the caretakers of the campsite. “Kamusta?” (How are you), and Ilang araw ka dito sa isla?” (How many days are you staying in the island?) were the “hi’s” and “hello’s” of our return. Same words came from the local storekeepers 7-11’s (that’s how I call the small sari-sari stores in the island. Even if they’re closed, you could just knock and ask for supplies during the nights). Again, a few knew my name, and I knew them as Ate’s, Kuya’s, Nanay’s and Tatay’s.
Kids swimming in Mahabang Buhangin’s crystal clear water.
Local kids on the hill.
This kid saw me picking up shells, and she helped out.
In my experience, most but not all, the Filipinos have been ranked as one of the friendliest countries, thus, being dubbed as “The Land of Smiles”. According to my FILPSYC (Filipino Psychology) Professor back in college , the unparalleled hospitality of our countrymen rooted from “hiya” (Loosely translated as ‘shame’ by most Western psychologists, Hiya is actually ‘sense of propriety’, from Wikipedia). We take pride in our names to the extent that we don’t want it smothered with negative feedback, even a little. With utmost hospitality, we offer what we can, even if we have none, just to make sure our visitors would feel welcome and safe within the vicinity of our homes. This is one reason among my millions of why I am proud to be a Filipino.
ATV Rides. It’s More Fun in Calaguas.
Never had I felt alone while in Calaguas, for in paradise, no man is an island. Each one, whoever you are, is welcome. Names don’t even matter. Thanks to all our friends in Vinzons and Tinaga Island for making every trip safe and unforgettable. We’ll see each other again soon. Cheers!!! ==================================================================== 1. More destinations in Camarines Norte.
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4. Enjoy your travels and be safe.
Biyahe Lokal tropa in Calaguas Island.