tough choice isn't it?
yeah right. u-huh, as if i seriously believe that you'll believe that.
here's a short video clip showing the sandy coastline of mallbowl.
but as they say, the destination is just an ending to a trip. boy, what a looney trip it was.
for the visually impaired (click on the image for a bigger pic), err... visually inclined,the map shows moalboal south west of cebu province - that's about two hours drive from Cebu City.
while you're on the trail, don't forget to drop by Carcar (the map, click the maaaap) and get some heart clogging, artery busting meaty chicharon (crackling pork rind) - same feeling you get when you fall in love, less the fat. From there, you cut accross the island travelling through some lovely mountain pass and fantastic scenery. be carefull of chickens crossing the road (why did the chicken cross the road? to run them over duh...), or the habal habal that magically weaves itself in, out, front and back of your vehicle.
habal habal (check the smaller pic) is a local mode of transport used in the mountainous region of the country where dirt roads are literally just that, dirt. a habal habal is a motorcycle where six people hang on for dear life. our people got inspiration from the circus act where they balance a pyramid of midgets riding a bike, except that were talking about full sized adults.
i am not lying, i swear you can fit a full sized adult on top of the handlebar of the motorbike. never mind the driver who has a full frontal view of your ass. yep, truly magical ride indeed.
that aside, make sure to do a stop at the Molave Ice Cream Station in Barili. You won't miss that one, it's along the mountain road and they serve fantastic vanilla ice cream (i'm biased, vanilla is a paborito of mine). well, for one it's also a dairy farm so i won't be surprised. i won't be so enthusiastic about chocolate ice cream though - makes me wonder where they get the "chocolate" color + cows and it makes my mind wonder. i really wonder.
barili has got some interesting sights and i've covered that in a previous entry (Mantayupan Falls, Palalong, old structures in town etc) and some decent white sandy beach front as well. from barili you breeze through the coastal towns of dumanjug, rhonda, alcantara and end up in mallbowl. unfortunately, for this particular part of the trip i was beezee counting sheeps hopping in my dreams.
once you get to mallbowl it is a relatively easy drive using a dirt road to the strip of coast lined with resorts bumper-to-bumper in all sort of budget, design and preference. side note, our service was a bus longer than long. when i say "relative" it really means ad hominem, purely appealing to personal consideration rather than to logic or reason. one advise, bring a regular sized car or truck so you won't get stuck trying to maneuver a corner going to the resort and walk the last hundred meters or so. so close yet soooo far. tall wide buses plus low hanging electrical wires multiplied by trees creeping up the side of the road divided by the narrowest of roads plus cars coming from the other direction is an equation that equals a testy and frustrated bus driver. never heard so many expletives in my life. oh shit, there goes the side mirror. dang, ripped ceiling mean automatic sun roof. feck, the tires went kaput. you of course know these are just exaggerations.
as i said earlier, the destination is just an ending to a trip. and boy it was a pretty nice ending. Club Serena is the posh resort thereabouts and they're developing their lots by phase. We stayed in Phase Out, you know, just beside the resort but nice and quaint nevertheless.
the beachfront is powdery white sand around that area and a few meters from the shore the coral bed starts coming to life with tiny colored fish. About twenty meters from the shore the coast line drops to a pretty decent depth (read: panic inducing darkest blue-while-snorkeling-sort-of-depth). i heard the jaws cinematic theme song playing in the background, i swear.
towards mid afternoon we all got on a boat to head off to the marine sanctuary and saw some interesting islets near the coastline. i had visions of buying one of those and declare an independent state. we never got the chance to drop off (dang) and the boat captain took us to Pescador island - they kept on repeating that it is probably one of the best kept secret for global diving enthusiasts. except that our boat is loaded with kids and we didn't have a single diving equipment around. duh, we should have stayed in the marine sanctuary.
i can't help but notice the structures that lined the coastline. the architecture is a mix of united nations with swiss chalets, balinese inspired, american bungalows, french villas smattered with the pinoy payag (hut) in between. i sort of found it sad, yeah a bit sad.
not to end this entry on a sad note, i really enjoyed the trip and plan on doing another one. this time around, i'll be lugging a tent and settle in the pubic beach area where you can rent a small open-walled hut with a long table and benches for a pittance. fishermen hawk some of their day's catch on the beach and if you're lucky, you'd get a whole load of fish cheap and grilling on hot charcoal for lunch, dinner, breakfast, merienda, midnight snack, sneaking-around-at-two-am-snack. that and the prospect of lying down under a gorgeous span of sky twinkling with glittery stars winking down at you.
Click on this link to view the album