Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | March 29, 2008

Summer out there

The post before this directs you to a site you should visit every now and then for quick, satisfying reads. Search through its archives and you’ll get a glimpse of some of the top beaches in the country outside of Boracay.

And with summer here, might as well try to make the most out of the country’s coastlines and slap that tan on your backs. I’ve already started my summer by taking a trip with the UP Cum Laude to Cebu City, where the family is from, and making a side trip to a couple of beaches, including Bantayan Island and Virgin Beach, which is a 10-minute boat ride off Bantayan’s shores.

I’ve got Boracay scheduled late April and a belated summer trip to Camiguin Island in July. In between those, there might be trips to some of Luzon’s beaches.

Several posts have already been written about what to do when heading for the beach, including over at the kitten’s den, where she writes about a Bora checklist and the do’s and dont’s on the beach, complete with fashion tips.

Having grown up in the coastlines of Cagayan de Oro and spent part of my childhood beside Cebu’s coral reef-lined shores, I should pretty much be an expert on beach life but I can’t think of any beach tip to share. Except maybe there’s no need to duck underwater when it rains.

My grandfather taught me how to swim when I was five by walking into the sea neck (his neck) deep, tossing me 10 meters away and then telling me that if I don’t manage to swim back to the shore, there was this slight possibility that I might drown.

That’s my grandfather, with my brother, Brian. I think I was still trying to make it back to shore when that photo was taken.

Speaking of Brian, while he was trying to look busy at work one day, he dug up some old pictures of himself and compared it to present pictures of his son, Bryz Anthony Nicholas. For example, that picture above? He matched it with this picture of Bryzee and our grandfather:

He then found an old photograph of him unloading excess baggage:

And then matched it with this:

He also found an old photo of our sister, Peaches:

And then made Peaches’ daughter Cheska wear a similar dress and strike the same dancing pose.

Okay, I’ve strayed.

I did manage to swim back to shore and pretty much mastered the art of swimming since then. Still, my grandfather taught me a valuable lesson: Never, ever underestimate the power of the sea. Cross-currents and undertows are traitors and even calm, waist-deep waters can take your life if you’re not careful.

Here’s another tip: When in Cebu, you might end up trying Tambuli resort, which is good since you get the chance to enjoy both the beach, where you can jetski, and an 8-shaped pool to wash the salt off your skin.

jet-skiing in tambuli

But whatever you do, never, EVER, order mango shake there. Because a) Gold is an ingredient in every glass of mango shake ; b) Their mango shake, according to the li’l sis, endows you with superhuman capabilities; c) Tambuli beach owners think mango will be the next major worldwide currency replacing the dollar or; d) The mangoes at Tambuli are plucked from the Garden of Eden.

Because, this:

 …was not a typographical mistake. We know. We clarified it. We checked the receipt and asked if someone had mistakenly bar-coded the price of the entire resort into the mango shake.

But no, Cebu Beach Resort, which owns Tambuli, said the mango shake was worth that.

So, when going to Tambuli, bring your own mango shake. Or bring lots of cash. Or settle for the P104.50 version.

For those who want a taste of Boracay, minus the wonderfully chaotic nightlife, try Bantayan Island. White sand, crystal clear water plus access to other nearby beaches make this place a summer must.

Grab a banca ride and 10 minutes off the shores of Bantayan, there is a quiet little island with powder-soft white sand known as Virgin Beach.

Putting the virgin in virgin beach

It’s a great place to just soak in the sun and the sea, getting a heavy tan and lunching on freshly-caught (and cooked) squid and fish. There are great snorkeling spots too. Even close to the shore, you can dive into rich marine life with fish zinging by you.

there's fish in there, somewhere

When you’re done with the beach, you might want to try to experience some of the things that make Cebu, well, Cebu. There’s the Shrine of Lapu-Lapu, which you should pass on the way to the line of resorts along the Mactan coast.

Freshly-caught seafood can be bought and cooked depending on how you want them done. And when we say wide-array of seafood, I mean some that you don’t see regularly on the table, like sea snails the size of your fist.

fear-factoring on a part of a sea snail

a lotta fish

Of course, don’t forget to try the other regular Cebu staples.

sto nino church

of course, you have to try cebu lechon. yum

Nightlife isn’t exactly dead. At Ayala Center, coffee shops and bars last until past midnight. The Waterfront hotel offers casino services which, had it not been for our hectic schedule, I would have really indulged. Acxross the street from the side entrance of Waterfront is the IT Park. I was told there are still several bars maintained despite its current preoccupation. The whole place used to be a cacophony of lights and sounds.

And of course, you can try videoke-ing at night. And try that song about a suicidal Middle Eastern dude who thought his life was meaningless and he wanted to end it until some self-help group told him there was a calling for people like him.

But really. If you go to Cebu, do try to go beach- and resort-hopping. It’s the best way to enjoy what is known herabouts as the Queen City of the South.

I’m still on the lookout for more beach holidays for the next two months. So, if there’s anybody out there who can suggest beaches I can crash, especially those within Luzon that I can make back-and-forth, one-day trips to, please do leave a line or two at the comments section.

Summer is young and so are we.

(More photos on the Cebu trip here)



  1. Cebu is a great choice for summer beach getaways!


  2. thanks John!
    I’m very much familiar with Cebu already. Right now, I’m looking for Luzon beaches where I can drive in-drive out in a day because the office won’t grant me too many leaves this summer.

  3. sabi sa inyo kamukha ni cheks si ate peach eh! :-))

    zambales! sa san antonio — pundaquit kung nasaan ang capones and camera islands. we just went there yesterday and it’s lovelovelove! :-D (mag-ingat lang sa mga nangri-rip off ng mga turista haha.)

  4. puwede bang one-day trips dun. punta umaga alis gabi? directions please…

  5. i like your writing style. looking forward to read ur future post.

    yet another pinay-blogger.


  6. thanks! thanks! thanks!
    looking forward to having you drop by smallville more often too. thanks!

  7. oo naman puwedeng day trip! parang nag-laiya lang pero pa-north. :-) madali lang mag-commute. sakay kayong victory sa monumento pa-sta. cruz or iba (zambales), best time 4am. baba kayo sa san antonio, sakay ng traysikol sabihin nyo sa pundaquit kayo. pagdating ng pundaquit may mga resorts na dun na maga-assist sa inyo para makapunta sa capones or camera.

  8. at paano idetect yung mga nangriripoff. mukha pa naman akong turista. isang full-blooded european with a french (fries-fattened) mother and a german (shepherd) father

  9. […] Summer out there […]

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