Summer of 2013 in the Philippines: Action-Packed Adventures and Life-Changing Experiences

Hot and blazing!

That's how this hubber will describe the summer of 2013 in the Philippines as he embarked on a two-month hiatus from HubPages activities while he was heavily occupied by activities that range from simple to complex tales of adventures.

Enjoying his vacation from his seafaring job, he spent the last week of March by involving in a pilgrim-like mission at Quipayo, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

On April and May, the rest of his self-imposed hiatus was spent on the farm harvesting mangoes and his participation in many local activities in his place. This, aside from the campaign period on the senatorial and local elections that happened last third week of May.

The trail of action-packed adventures and life-changing experiences will be:

  1. Observance of Holy Week at Quipayo, Calabanga
  2. Magtang Dam: An Awesome Summer Getaway
  3. Observing Election Period
  4. Homebound Activities

The Start of Summer Vacation

Going HOME - from Manila to Bicol- usually takes 8 to 10 hours via bus ride (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel-Man1971
Going HOME - from Manila to Bicol- usually takes 8 to 10 hours via bus ride (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel-Man1971

1. Observance of Holy Week at Quipayo, Calabanga

Although, he didn't believe much in the pageantry of Holy Week among Catholic (means universal) Christians, he participated in a charitable act by helping his friends in their involvement with the local church through food preparation and distribution after the night procession. In Bicol region, Quipayo Church being the oldest is one of the country's World Heritage Site.

He personally observed how local parishioners and visiting pilgrims followed the activities, most notably on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

During this period, most of the pilgrims spend their vacation from their city jobs by going home in their provinces and observe the church's day-to-day activities...from holy masses and the procession.

The influence of Catholicism brought upon by Spaniards during the colonization period is clearly reflected with the yearly program that is followed by the parishioners.

Passion of Christ

Scene from the Crucifixion of Jesus - live reenactment (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Scene from the Crucifixion of Jesus - live reenactment (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

2. Magtang Dam: An Awesome Summer Getaway

The Easter Sunday was spent by most of the parishioners by going to the beach or recreational places that feature swimming pools, spas and eat-all-you-can buffets.

For most of the ordinary youths and adventurers, minimizing expenses or almost-free adventures can be shared by you by your peers by going to the nearest local summer getaway.

This hubber and his friends tried the most-wanted attraction near the Quipayo county in the town of Calabanga.

They had to ride a jeepney in order to reach the place in less than an hour. The travel will pass through the downtown area then to the highlands of the place.

I'm talking about the Magtang Dam, situated at the boundary of the nearby town of Tinambac. From the highway, our group had to trek the farm road, almost a kilometer up to the place. The caution for the excursionists, especially children is to keep them on shallow grounds on the water reservoir. The running water comes from the top of an old volcano, Mount Isarog (now extinct), so you can feel the cool, refreshing water of the place.

Most family groups, peer groups and individuals coming from nearby barangays maintain the cleanliness of the area.

Our group cooked our lunch and collected our garbages in a plastic bag.

Local officials also encourage visiting excursionist to observe cleanliness in the place.


Magtang Dam: A Summer Getaway

The Magtang Dam,  where local excursionists visit  the irrigation system the whole year round  (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The Magtang Dam, where local excursionists visit the irrigation system the whole year round (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

3. Observing the Election Period

I am an absentee voter. The option is for all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as mandated by the constitution and implemented by the Commission on Elections. Now it is expanded as it also covers police authorities and teachers who usually administer and guard the election process.

I missed the last two elections in the country. No, I'm not in a boycott but I cannot exercise my rights because I was always out of the country whenever it happens.

I watched how the play-and-tactics of the local politicians gravely influenced the ordinary people. Those who belong in marginal living condition of the society allow to influence their rights with the envelopes of money being dispersed during the period.

Yes, I am a witness of the rampant vote-buying which happens during the campaign period until the night before election or even during the period.

With this threat on the veracity of vote results, I collated photos and videos and compiled it into a rap-music that I uploaded in my YouTube account.

People are aware of the consequences that this nation will get once those cheating politicians win. But they allow it to happen and one can see the effects of maneuvering and influencing the public's decision.

Vote-Buying in the Philippines (Video made by Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)

Homebound Activities

Summing up my summer activities involve:

  1. Supporting local candidates by distributing flyers and posting election paraphernalia at the poster areas in the community.
  2. Harvesting our mangoes, Indian variety, serves as an additional income for my mother. She busied herself contacting local store owners to buy our produce.

Come summer, there are many festivities being held, ranging from barrio fiestas, town festivals, beauty pageants and sports-fest

Barrio fiestas are held in order to celebrate good harvest and serve as a form of thanksgiving. It usually consists of two-day activities, starting with bisperas highlights (before the event) featuring a benefit dance for the youth. The fiesta features holy mass for the patron saint, christening or baptism of babies and even wedding rites. There are also contests, like amateur singing, sports-fest and ballroom dances for married couples in the evening.

Coinciding the summer is the harvest of fruit-bearing trees, like mangoes. Mangoes in the Philippines vary from the carabao-type, indian variety or the Guimaras ones (mostly exported to other countries. In our place, the indian variety abounds and this year, most of the trees bear fruits and served as an additional livelihood for us.


Harvesting mangoes

At the top of an Indian mango tree (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
At the top of an Indian mango tree (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Additional Sources for this hub

This hub was made through the point of view of this hubber.

As he experienced Summer 2013 in his country, he collated data and summarized what happened in this particular period in the locality where he was also involved.

In addition to what transpired here, interested readers and fellow hubbers can also look up to the following sources of information that can give them fresh information regarding the subjects that have been tackled on this article.

Additional update will be available if someone will inquire or make a query through their comments or remarks.


Tips on How to Make Summer Vacation an Unforgettable One!

Mango in the Philippines (available product online)

More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

thesailor profile image

thesailor 3 years ago from Seven Seas

What an unforgettable compilation! Summer is something to reckon with in the Philippines!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@thesailor: You bet it does! There are lots to do during the long, hot summer in the country. It's vacation time so, most of family members and friends go to the nearest beaches and cool off the summer heat. It's also a time to have reunions and recollections.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Very unusual action packed adventures. Although I had expected reading your forays into rain forests, scuba diving, para-gliding, etc, these adventures were much better.

I have learnt a lot to expand my range of activities now :-)

Voted up and rated interesting and shared.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Suhail and my dog: It's what I have in mind (especially para-gliding) but the catchy title will always entice readers to look and read twice my narratives here.

Save for a kilometer-walk in order to reach the excursion site (Magtang Dam).

It's an unforgettable summer, indeed!


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

I agree with you on the catchy title.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Suhail and my dog: Lol! Thanks for noticing my clever way in attracting hubbers, like you. :)

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