Sunday, April 29

Survivor USA is Filming in Caramoan

There are billboards like this put up in practically every major intersection in Camarines Sur these days. It says "This is to inform the public that Gota Village Resort and Hunongan Cove is fully booked from February 2012 until August 2012. The following islands: Sabitang Laya, Tayak, Pitogo, Catanhawan, Inayun-ayunan, Matukad and Lahos, will also be inaccessible due to a special project from February 2012 until August 2012."

no Sabitang Laya island...
no Gota beach either
Survivor USA filming in Caramoan is an open secret. We were supposed to spend the past Easter there with my balikbayan relatives but this notice from the CamSur provincial government made us reconsider our plans.

but Manlawi sandbar is open & worth the trip alone...
I have asked my local contacts there and they said these "inaccessible" islands are open for tourists if there are no scheduled shooting that day, but we chose not to risk it. So we went to Aguirangan aka Rose Islet in Presentacion instead. I would have loved to explore more of Caramoan this summer, but Survivor USA will introduce it to even more people, so no complaints here.


Monday, April 2

Holy Week: More Fun In The Philippines

I'm spending Holy Week in CamSur for the first time in over a decade. I don't know, but since I left home for med school, I have always found myself busy working at this time of year.

I filed for a two-week leave because my nephew's graduating and they might leave for Canada by the middle of this year so I wanted to spend this occasion with my big sister's family while they are still here. Also my cousin JR is getting married after lent and assorted relatives from Europe are coming over so I was excited to spend time with everyone.

It's really nice to see folks participating in parades and passion plays. We even drove by one on the way to my hometown this morning. There were kids dressed as Romans and there were even two carrying crosses. I guess one represented Barrabas and the other one was supposed to be Jesus.

Things like this just take me back to my childhood. This kind of parade was a big part of my lenten season memories as a kid and it's nice to experience them again after all these years.

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