Showing posts with label beaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beaches. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bondi Beach

I thought it would be nice to post about the beach as it has been raining hard the past few days. Well, the sun finally came out last Saturday and yesterday was quite warm. Today looks like another bright, sunny day. 

While going around in Sydney, my friend suddenly had an idea to go to the beach to admire the sights there. Bondi Beach is famous for its waves and is lose enough and very accessible from the city. I have read about Bondi Beach and it being very crowded during the summers. When we got there, it turned out it also attracted quite a crowd during winters! None of the bikini-clad women that we joked we probably would see in the summer but mostly people out on picnic, a walk or...surfing! Aussies seem a hardy folk and most came with their wet suits so they could brave the chilly waters. Some didnt even bother to wear wet suits and just donned their trunks or bathing suits before wading into the cold waters with surf boards in hand.

Bondi Beach as seen from our bus
Many people were just seated, walking or picnicking at the park facing the beach
The waves were inviting to a lot of people and a lot brought their cars and surf gear to the beach
Here's an idea of the parking situation that afternoon at the beach.
There was quite a crowd at the beach itself
The scene is not what you'd expect during the winter. But how can you blame people for enjoying the sun when the temperature was 21 degrees C?
The boulevard was line with shops, cafes and restaurants.
Someone even proposed via a aerial message and that added to the sights that afternoon. We stayed there for a couple of hours before going back to Sydney to continue our "walking tour" of the city.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Lingayen Beach

My recent trip to Pangasinan afforded me a change in environment. I think I've been in the office too long and despite the outdoor environment provided by the university where I work, I longed for some fieldwork outside Metro Manila. Pangasinan has so many interesting places to visit that you would have to be satisfied with going to a few for such a short trip. Near Dagupan is the provincial capital of Lingayen, which is also along the sea, sharing the coastline with Dagupan. Lingayen Bay is both life giving and historic. Life-giving because of the bountiful seafood it provides a lot of fishermen, their families and other people who benefit from marine resources. Historic because it has been witness to a lot of events including those in World War II when Japanese forces landed here to start their invasion of the Philippines. The beach is now a public space and enjoyed by many who come here to relax or perhaps contemplate (mag-muni-muni).

The main road from the provincial capital makes the park and beach accessible to the general public. Parking is along one side of the road while the other side is occupied by food stalls. Either side of the road is lined with coconut trees.
The food stalls are mobile - most are carts like this of a coconut juice/water vendor
There's a lot of street food here and they are very popular.
Popular street food includes fishballs, kwek-kwek, isaw, etc.
We spotted this corn vendor and decided to get some for our healthy snacks. We went for plain corn instead of what seemed to be a popular order with grated cheese toppings.
I remember scramble being quite popular after school during my grade school years. Scramble though has taken a lot of bad PR as it has been associated with food poisoning, bad stomachs, diarrhea and has generally been regarded as dirty. Though we didn't sample the scramble shown in the photo above, we thought that scramble has gone a long way and remains popular. This version seems to be clean (read: prepared under sanitary conditions) and a lot of people enjoying it likely means no one's getting sick from consuming it.
Its not white sands but it is clean and cool to the touch. A lot of people weren't swimming despite what we saw were clean waters. Most people just stood and looked beyond, enjoying the cool wind and perhaps the ocean scent.
I was able to capture this beautiful sunset with what looked like the mountains of Zambales in the background.
The sound of waves hitting the shore is relaxing for me.
Footprints in the sand
The main access road to the beach is clear of motorized vehicles.

Lingayen beach is something that many people should be envious of. Not many towns can boast of access to the sea nor of clean beaches and waters. Not many towns have public spaces like Lingayen's beaches and parks. I think local governments should make a good and honest effort to develop or maintain public spaces.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

On open spaces for the general public

This long weekend is something a lot of people were looking forward to to have a break before the long Christmas season. Undas is a time for homecomings as people flock to their respective hometowns to honor those who passed away. These cemeteries and memorial parks become very crowded when, for most of the year, these are usually quiet areas where few people venture to. But what if we had more open spaces where people can enjoy walks, picnics or simply getting together or perhaps do some solitary time? We don't have much of these despite so much encouragement as well as studies and example pointing to such open spaces (e.g., parks) enhancing quality of life and health of people. What I wanted to point out here is actually that we need to have more public areas in our cities and towns, and local governments should invest in these for the welfare of their constituents.

Here is a couple of panoramic photos I took at Lingayen during a recent trip showing the expanse of the public park near the beach and the beach itself facing Lingayen Bay.

Lingayen Park behind the Pangasinan Provincial Capitol complex is a wide expanse where people converge to picnic or take a walk. There are no structures here, which I thought was not necessarily a good thing considering the area is very exposed to the environment. I guess the local or provincial government can design and construct a few structures for shelter but these structures need to be designed according to the locale and using native building materials. And then there is also the need for proper maintenance. Perhaps considering all these concerns help make a case against structures in the first place?
Sunset at Lingayen Beach - its not white sands like what attract tourists to Boracay, Bohol or Cebu but the beach is clean, the waters are also clean and warm. You can become envious of what people here have in terms of public open spaces. Historically, maybe its hard to imagine for some that these beaches were where Japanese forces landed en masse in 1941 during the Second World War as they invaded the Philippines, which was then under the United States. I can imagine these beaches and Lingayen Park swarming with soldiers and military equipment, and with warships filling the bay to provide naval support to landing troops.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Puerto Princesa Beachscapes - Part 1

There is something about landscapes and seascapes that I have always enjoyed looking at. Whether these are photos, prints or paintings, I have always preferred them over other subjects. Perhaps it is because there are just so much variety with landscapes and seascapes? My recent trip to Palawan allowed me to marvel at more impressive sights from our beachfront hotel room. Here are a few photos among the many I took using either my BlackBerry phone or Ixus camera. All the photos below are from the BlackBerry.

Three mangrove trees make their stand across from the hotel
More mangroves in the surrounding areas
The view of the beach from our room

More photos of the beach in future posts!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Break before burnout

It is always nice to have a change in environment. It helps keep burnout in check. It's already mid-April and usually this time of year I am already on vacation as the second semester at university concludes late March or late April. Fortunately, there are opportunities for some change in pace. I will just share a few photos from where I am "working" for a few days and let the photos speak for themselves. All bets are off whether I am going to be able to work or just type away on my blogs or social media.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Honda Bay island hopping - Cowrie Island

Cowrie Island was not on the itinerary of islands in my previous island hopping trips in Honda Bay. I recall that it was mentioned as a possible itinerary but it was undeveloped at the time (about 4 years ago). This time though, it was the last stop of our island hopping and we found the island already developed for visitors with its cabanas and eating areas able to accommodate the steady stream of tourists going on the Honda Bay packages.

Safety guidelines at the docking area
Our banca was among the first to arrive at the island; affording us time to practically enjoy the island before all the other tourists arrived.
Our early arrival at the island meant there were few people and lots of opportunities for good photos without crowds to ruin the scenery.
Cottages can be rented by groups while they wile away their time at the island, which is usually the last stop in island-hopping tours of Honda Bay.
I took this photo of our hut against the backdrop of pristine waters
Another attempt at a post card photo with my trusty BlackBerry Bold
Despite many people already at the island when I took these photos, there are still opportunities for shots where there's few or no people shown. At right in the photo is the eating area where all visitors converge for their meals (a lunch buffet is set-up in the area).
A jet ski for rent sits in the shade. There are also huts where you can have a soothing massage.
A fallen tree is alive and well, and provides a certain atmosphere.
Drift wood and trees with the main island of Palawan in the background.
Cowrie Island is a good example of a well-preserved and maintained tourist destination contributing to Palawan being regarded as a top island destination in the world. 
This was my 4th island hopping in Honda Bay and I will probably go on this trip every time I have the opportunity to do so whenever I am in Puerto Princesa. It is a good opportunity to enjoy the beaches in those island and the scenery is definitely for recharging your batteries. Palawan is definitely one if not my favourite destination and I am glad that there are opportunities to visit and enjoy the attractions of this island.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Honda Bay island hopping - Luli Island

Our guide told us the Luli stands for "lulubog, lilitaw" that translates roughly into "sinking and surfacing." This is a reference to the islands sandbars that are exposed for most of the day and especially during low tides and submerged during high tides.

The sign on the island is obviously popular with visitors for souvenir photos.
Long stretch of fine white sands at Luli Island
There's a warning sign on the beach stating "no swimming allowed" in an area where poisonous jellyfish and stonefish have been found. There is a line and net separating areas safe for swimming from areas where its risky to take a dip.
Another warning sign along the long sand bar at Luli Island reminding visitors about the hazards in the area.
Pristine waters and sands of Luli Island with the literal "footprints in the sand" in the photo

We spent a few minutes swimming, wading and walking at Luli Island. By the time we got there, there were already a lot of other visitors at the island and the swimming area was quite crowded. We decided to leave earlier to head for the last island in our itinerary - Cowrie Island.

Honda Bay island hopping - Starfish Island

Back in Palawan after almost 5 years, we made sure we had time to go on island hopping in Honda Bay. This was my fourth time but it was always an enjoyable activity to go to some of the islands of Puerto Princesa to swim and enjoy and the scenery/beaches. Our first stop this time was the so-called Starfish Island. Previously, the first stop was the so-called Snake Island, which had a long sandbar from which the name of the island was derived. However, according to our tour guide Snake Island is now owned by a (in)famous actor notorious for his behavior and antics on and off the screen. The actor was said to have been enamoured by the island's beauty and decided to buy it and make it his own private vacation spot. Boatfuls of tourists have since been barred from the island - definitely a loss to local tourism.

We were among the early birds that day so there were only a few boats and tourists when we arrived at Starfish Island.
Starfish Island also featured a long stretch of white sand beaches. The main activity at the island was basically swimming and snorkelling. There was an area where there were lots of fishes and you can enjoy swimming with them or feeding them (popular if you had kids with you). The swimming area was a few minutes walk from the shelters on the island.
The island was obviously well-kept. The surroundings were clean and the mangroves were thriving. 
I took this photo during the squall we experienced. The sudden heavy rains were perfect substitute to showering to wash off the salty sea water from our swim.
You can enjoy some snacks or a full meal on the island but since it was the first of three stops on our schedule, we decided against eating. Instead, we had coconut water fresh from the shell to quench our thirst after our swim. We had our drink as we waited out for the sudden rains to stop before we proceeded to the second island in our itinerary that morning.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rained out in San Antonio, Zambales

We were at San Antonio, Zambales last May 11-12, 2012 for our office's annual planning workshop. After our sessions on Friday, we checked into our rooms to rest before getting in some swimming or wading time at the beach in the late afternoon. We weren't so lucky as there was a thunderstorm in the afternoon and it rained until sunset. To while away the time, we ended up exchanging stories and jokes under a makeshift cabana in front of our cottage. Some of us had a few drinks and snacks while also exerting quite an effort to avoid the water leaking from the thatch roof above our heads.

During the rains, there was very low visibility for the surrounding areas
We couldn't even see the mountains including Mt. Pundaquit (642m) shown here after the rains.
The following photos are a bit more dramatic as they showed the sea and the islands of Camara and Capones in the horizon as the weather changed.

Photo taken while the storm cloud were above us and pouring rain at the beach
The rain clouds passed us and headed towards Camara and Capones Islands
The weather eventually cleared just before sunset