Philippines: Catching-up with high-school friends in Tandag

I am very lucky to have some really amazing and crazy bunch of friends around, who bring so much positivity and make my life wonderful and lively.

It’s been a while since we saw each other last; I’m grateful that they were able to squeeze in a little time off their busy schedules to make my short break in the Philippines worthwhile and I’m so glad I had the chance to catch-up with them.

…with my high-school friends through the years!

How did we catch-up?

  • I invited them to my sister’s wedding and to the house blessing of our new home.
  • Chaperoned our children (who happened to be classmates and friends) to their own catch-up time at VML Hotel.
  • Went for a sunset walk at the Riverside in Telaje.
  • Played badminton at ELG Badminton Center.
  • A coffee group date at Brew Central

…with my high-school friends at my sister’s wedding.

What did we talk about?

We talked about life in general – memories (loads of them and we laughed at them), work, family, food, fitness, travels, friends we have in common, etc – just a bit of everything. It was just pure fun and laughter. Everybody was cool, calm and casual, so there was a natural flow to conversation as if we were just talking a few weeks ago. And when one was talking, we were all ears!

…with my high-school friends through the years!

They were still the same guys then, even though I didn’t get to see many of high-school friends since it was December/Christmas break – in the Philippines, it’s a time of the year for so many family gatherings. I really missed them. It was so great to catch up with them after all these years! And I hope to see them again soon.

when we chaperoned our children…

Personally, I think when I met my high-school friends, emotions speak more than words. And when we met, we thought we were still in high-school and we wished to go back to those good old days when we were carefree and relaxed from the stresses of life. It’s like all that mattered was that we were together again.

…with Daryl.

…with Grace and Eowyn, her daughter.

Certainly, I reckon meeting up with a friend you haven’t seen in years and being able to chat for hours is one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had. Cheers to 25 years of friendship and counting!

in the wilderness?

sunset walk at the Riverside.

…with Daryl and her love of her life.

How about you – how often do you meet your old friends?



Philippines: Breakfast at the beach in Tandag

Amongst the many things I love about my hometown is a wonderful beach breakfast or brunch at Mabua Beach in Tandag, where we only live 5 meters away from the sea.

Breakfast with family at Mabua Beach in Tandag

Mabua Beach in Tandag

It was a beautiful day after Christmas, all of the big events in the family (my sister’s wedding, Christmas Eve celebration and house blessing of our new home) were over, so we decided to have breakfast at the beach.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

We brought all the leftovers from Christmas, plus mom’s cooked fresh tinolang isda (fish soup) with freshly harvested vegetables from her garden.

Everybody had good appetite. Everybody was delighted. Everybody savored the moment.

  • Got thrilled out by the unlimited karaoke on the beach. Don’t you know that it is part of the Filipino passions?

Mabua Beach in Tandag

  • Had fun with the big waves – swim through, dive under or ride over them.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

  • Luxuriate in with one of my favorite books.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

  • Got a kick out of a tranquil walk on the seashore.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

Mabua Beach in Tandag

  • Dug on the beach and buried up to your neck in the sand.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

Mabua Beach in Tandag

  • Wallowed in the luxury of tranquility and togetherness.

Mabua Beach in Tandag

Mabua Beach in Tandag

Certainly fun!

Mabua Beach in Tandag

How I love to smell and hear the warm early morning sea breeze, listen to the sound of the crashing waves, watch the sun glorious rising hues, and bask in the stunning view of the sea. It was so warm, relaxed and breathtaking!

Enjoying the laid-back town of Tandag, Philippines


Tandag is a magnetic little town,

which pulls in travelers,

who are looking to take things slowly.


Do not worry though if you’re the active sort;

there’s plenty to keep you occupied in and around the town as well.

This year, I spent 14 days

for holidays,


indulging in idleness some days

and out exploring on others.

One morning,

the sleepy sea seduced me.

So I took a morning walk along Mabua Beach,

had some fresh fruit juice and beers

and listened to the different tunes of karaoke there.

Thank you to Dr Grace for taking this picture.

The next day, I wanted to try a new sport,

but the time left in Tandag was too short.

Glad I managed to learn the basic

and I realized that skim boarding is fantastic.



I jogged along the boulevard with High School friends.

Then we headed off to Jollibee

for breakfast and coffee.

Chillin’ with friends. – Photo by my friends Rodrigo Paganpan and Dr Grace Cacho de Jesus

When in Tandag,

I spent great time with friends,

tried good coffee at VML,

and had loads of fun with them.

Chums you’re the sweetest bunch of all.

Another beautiful day had come.

I decided to go to the farm.

Walked through the rice paddies with my son,

and enjoyed birds’ sweetest melodies.


During my stay,

my family and friends

pampered me a lot with plenty of seafood,


grilled Gangis, kinilaw na Malasugi,

crabs, Tinola na Katambak, and a lot more.

Not to forget other Filipino foods too


like roasted pig, dinogoan, ginataang langka

papaya pickles, laing (pangat) to name a few.


Many days have passed,

I realized I haven’t done much.

I visited Saint Pio’s Shrine with my family in the morning,

hiked up Tandag Grotto in the afternoon,

and spent the rest of the day

lazying at the beach.

I stayed one more night,

and took one more sunrise swim.

In Tandag, it’s so easy

to laze through one day

and the next to sneakily begin.

Suddenly, I remembered all the activities

I said I would do but I didn’t do. Such as –

Bicycle trip in the surrounding countryside.

Island trip in Mangcagangi Island.

Camping at the beach.

Fishing and sunset watch at Lapaz bridge.

Enjoy the breathtaking Green Falls in Cagpangi.

Swim in the jungle at Villa Azarcon.


Caving in Danakit’s Cave.

Visit the sweetness of Laswitan Lagoon.

Spend a day trip in Magkawas Falls.

And chillin’ in Cagwait Beach.

With further reflection, I recalled.

I haven’t done much at all.

It’s not my fault.

The town’s easy rhythm

and quiet charms,


lured me into its laze,


looked like I will just have

to stay one more day.