|So refreshing view after 300 steps from the shore.|
If you have never been to Baguio City, then going to Lobo, Batangas is a must-try just to have an idea of long, hanging and winding roads. For me, who have familiarity with the bitukang manok and the Atimonan road, I think I have a bit of idea. Bitukang manok, by the way, refers to the crooked way to Daet, Camarines Norte (from Naga City) which is like bitukang manok (chicken intestine) while the Atimonan road that goes to the national park of Quezon have so steep parts. In totally, it's quite fun that I have never been to Baguio City. My feet have already reached as far as Sapporo, Japan but not yet in Baguio City, the summer capital city of the Philippines.
After about three hours of land travel from Quezon City, we reached the town of Lobo in Batangas province. We exited via Batangas City; that's the end of a very long highway, and dropped by Batangas City Fire Station as call of courtesy before heading to Lobo. It was late afternoon but then I wondered why there are lots of bystanders in the downtown. At that time, I expect people to be rushing to go home, finishing some last minute grocery shopping and filling the tricycles or jeepneys soon. However, why are they there? I had a few meters walk outside the municipio (municipal hall) and figured out what's going on. Well, Anne Curtis, the famed actress in the Dyesebel (mermaid) soap, is coming to Lobo for a regular taping.
|Early morning in Lobo beach town|
The town of Lobo can be described in some words like beaches, atis and Malabrigo. The rest, I still have to know. There is a long stretch of beaches in Lobo. Some famous showbiz personalities even own resorts in Lobo. As a beach area, I could say, Lobo is worth to discover. I saw an area designated for the banca's (boat) of locals. There is an area for swimming where sand is abundant while there is an area with more stones, good for snorkeling perhaps. Bantay Dagat is active in Lobo. Tourists travelling by boat to hop from one beach to another or to reach Malabrigo are expected to wear life vests. Bantay Dagat follows boats with tourists whom they see aren't in life vests. Not only that because Malabrigo is a reason for having a vigilant Bantay Dagat. Malabrigo is a sanctuary, where no fishing is allowed. For me, who hails from a town in Albay with a vast protected sea area, I see the importance of vigilance in protecting our environment.
|Malabrigo Lighthouse, a historical landmark of the Spanish colonial period.|
More of Malabrigo, Lobo is known for the historical Malabrigo Lighthouse. Now being powered by solar panels, the Malabrigo Lighthouse is still operational and has served as beacon to sea vessels at the Verde Island passage. Known as Faro de Punta, it was designed by Guillermo Brockman in 1891 as a cylindrical tower with metal staircase, adjacent pavilion and machine room. The lighthouse was built by the Chinese contractor Jose Garcia in 1896. It is an outstanding work of architecture from the Spanish colonial period making it one of the country's historical landmarks.
From the newly-opened resort where we stayed, a motorized boat brought us to the Malabrigo Lighthouse for 30 minutes. It takes 300 steps from the shore in order for one to reach the tower's base. At the top, the view is breathtaking. I viewed the boat we boarded; it looks so tiny already. The view of the neighboring islands of Verde, Mindoro province will make a big "wow!"
|What can be seen only in magazines is a real view from the window of guesthouse.|
We stayed in Barangay Olo-Olo, where one will literally see mangroves. The area is known for pawikan nestling. There about ten more identified sites to see such as Jaybanga rice terraces, Malagundi point, simbahang bato and others. I did not make it to see them all. It is noteworthy to mention that Lobo is said to be the atis (a tropical fruit) capital of the Philippines. It was not season for atis when I visited so I only got to see atis landmark in the town plaza. From the daily hassle of living in Metro Manila, visiting nearby towns like that in Lobo is indeed a rewarding activity.