The year 2013 was a banner year for Instagram as the three-year old online photo and video sharing social networking site saw a dramatic increase on its user base and usage. In fact, as of September 2013, the company has a total of more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide. While the netizens went gaga over Instagram, Lakwatsero also jumped into bandwagon as I uploaded more photos of my travels and adventures last year. A total of 253 photos, all taken using iPhone, were…Continue Reading “13 Instagram Trends of 2013”

Calaguas Group of Islands Vinzons, Camarines Norte [nggallery id=9 template=galleryview images=0] Five years after our first rendezvous with our Happy Beach, we went back to Calaguas Islands this February on a spontaneous trip. It was our fourth visit in a span of five years yet the place still awed us as if it was our first. There were lots of developments in the island, inevitable changes that I am afraid will transform our Happy Beach differently. But some things remain the same – the charm,…Continue Reading “Slideshow: Calaguas Today, Still Our Happy Beach”


With the year 2013 slowly eating up our calendar, let’s have a quick look on which Travel Guides garnered the most clicks and traffic last year.   10. Travel Guide: Bucas Grande Islands / Sohoton Cove National Park (Socorro) Ranking tenth on the list is the emerging eco-tourism paradise of Bucas Grande in Socorro, Surigao del Norte. Famous for Sohoton Cove, Blue Lagoon and the amazing Tojoman or Jellyfish Lagoon which is home to millions of no-sting, friendly and playful jellyfishes.   9. Travel Guide:…Continue Reading “The Most Read Travel Guides of 2012”

Not minding the storm forecast , we went back to Camarines Norte during the long weekend of June to revisit our happy beach – Calaguas Islands. It has been two-and-a-half years since we first set our foot on this paradise, and year after year, we promised to return. Exactly fourteen months have passed since we last visited the place, but the memoirs of our beloved paradise are still fresh on my mind. A picture of a fine white sand on a turquoise and calm water,…Continue Reading “Camarines Norte Revisited”

I am a little over halfway on my pursuit to explore the whole country and in my journey,  there are places that I find remarkably beautiful, there are those that I have no intention of going back, but there are some that made me fall in love. To pick just one destination I consider the best is really a tough decision. But being a “son of a beach” that I am and for the love of Calaguas Islands, I ended up choosing my happy beach over the others.

The best place in the Philippines!

Imagine walking on a perfect beach – pure fine white sand, sunny blue sky painted with pearl white cotton clouds reflecting a lovely gradient of turquoise blue calm water that breaks gently on the shore, producing a soothing music… unspoiled, serene and quiet where you will be able to hear only yourself and the sea, on the backdrop of its natural and unexploited beauty.

The other side, one of the many faces of Calaguas.

Stop imagining now. That place truly exists. It is my place, my beach – it is in Tinaga Island of Calaguas Group. I consider it my own although technically, I don’t have the titles.

Situated off the shore of Camarines Norte, Calaguas Group is a cluster of islands and islets scattered over the Pacific Ocean. It harbors white sand island beaches including Tinaga Island’s Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach) or Halabang Baybay in local dialect, hailed by many, myself included, as the best not only in this part of the region, but in the entire Philippines.

Calaguas’ varied hues and characters add to its natural charm.
Calaguas is incomparable.

I have been to my beach twice, the first time (February 2009) was extraordinarily great, the second time (February 2010) was a blast (thanks to the lovely people I were with). As if the more I visit the place, the more I fall in love with the beauty, calmness, serenity and varied characters of Calaguas.

A sunset you will never forget.
Diverse and unique characters!

Sometimes I regret writing stuff about Calaguas and letting the whole world know that there exists an unimaginable place. Forgive me, I am not being selfish but I find my self being protective of my beach. But most of the time, I cannot contain myself to shout to the world that I have been to a real paradise, where every positive adjective to describe it seems understatement. I will let others envy me and I will feel so proud.

Continue Reading "For the Love of Calaguas"

Paracale, a Camarines Norte town made popular by its active gold and copper mining industry, has hidden treasures that are worth more than the precious metals underneath its soil – one of which is Maculabo Island. Maculabo, a small island off the coast of Paracale, is approximately 300 hectares in land area. Home to a fishing community, the island is almost an hour boat ride from the fish port of Paracale. It boasts of fine white sand beach on turquoise water, a paradise on its…Continue Reading “Maculabo Island, Paracale’s Gold”