One of the major factors that define the success or failure of a tourism program in an area is the transportation system. Kung pagabat an transportasyon, maski gurano kagayon kan lugar, magiging limitado sana an mga turista na mabisita diyan. Sarong ehemplo an Legazpi City na dawa ano’ng promote ni Mayor Noel Rosal asin Cong. Joey Salceda, dai maabot-abot an potensiyal na bilang kan mga turista dahil sa mahal maningil an mga tricycle drivers.
It’s been years that tricycle drivers are being complained of for overcharging. Imagine a trip for two from Gaisano Mall to the bus terminal covering around 500 meters with a tricycle fare of P60 to P100. This is despite the fare matrix ordinance and the law enforcement efforts of the city government.
When one talks of Gubat, Sorsogon, the first thing that comes to mind is Rizal Beach — the only beach in Sorsogon located at the center of a cove and is popularly known for its fine golden sand. But that was before. Gubat has changed a lot both physically, economically, and even politically.
The first time I visited Gubat was in 1993 through a school-organized field trip to Bulusan. Aside from the Rizal Beach, what stuck to me was the lush vegetation and the sturdy trees which scientific names I have to take note well or else fail in the natural science class. But after almost two decades, and stepping off the bus, I, along with the other passengers, was greeted by playful tricycle drivers: Maligayang pagdating sa Gubat na walang kahoy.
From the bus terminal, the next stop was the Rizal Beach Resort as the Internet is scarce with information on where to stay in Gubat. The tricycle driver (sorry, there are no taxis!) brought me to Rizal along with a question, “Saen po kitang Rizal Beach Resort”? Shocked, I asked, “Pira po an Rizal Beach Resort digdi?” His response, “Duwa po.” Later, I realized, the original Rizal Beach Resort is locally known as Aduana and a newer one is called Vera Maris.
That’s right. Whatever the hell happened to Kapuntukan (or, if you prefer the old Hispanized spelling, Capuntucan)? I might be betraying my age, as being too old to be considered as “out of the loop,” but it beats the hell out of me and sends my Bikol blood a-boiling whenever I hear or read that Kapuntukan Hill is now being called by tourist-oriented Bikolanos as The Sleeping Lion.
I don’t know when this nomenclature first gained currency. Perhaps I’ve been away too long from the land of my birth. But what the f*ck is wrong with the perfectly descriptive, native and robust name such as Kapuntukan? It’s been called by that name since the time of my grandmother (and her grandmother before that) and, as a child who used to listen to his mother about the story of the lazy giant, Kulakog, I certainly knew the hill by its age-old name. K-A-P-U-N-T-U-K-A-N. Meaning, the highest point. Which must have been an accurate description when it was first coined in the pre-Spanish times, when the area at the base of the hill was a wave-kissed settlement known as Sawangan, not Legazpi. The hill was the highest point in Sawangan.
Oh, well. I suppose I cannot fight the wave of change that is now engulfing the City. The last time I was there, I could no longer find the old albeit few watering places of my misspent and profligate youth.
If they insist on calling Kapuntukan as the Sleeping Lion,
it might be a good idea to carve the face of the hill like this.
FEAST WITH ME BY Stephanie Zubiri (The Philippine Star)
The majestic Mayon Volcano dominates the landscape. It is a paradox of nature: peaceful and pleasing to the eye with its near perfection and yet that steady stream of smoke from above its peak is a constant reminder of its fearsome wrath and power. Like a mysterious, beautiful woman, she coyly hides herself under the clouds only to reveal sublimity in moments of clarity. You simply cannot take your eyes off her. No matter where you go, the thought of her lingers and haunts you.
Touching down in Legazpi airport, coming down from the airplane, no garish tourism signs welcome you, just the awesome view of the volcano. Taking a boat ride off Bicol’s pristine coast line, shimmering blue waters contrasting with emerald green tropical lushness, Mayon towers over all, peering out into the Pacific eternally. Atop mountains and hills, or even strolling along the Embarcadero Mall, there is no escape from its presence.
Unknown to many, however, Masbate is one of the early settlements in the Bicol Region. Artifacts dating back to as early as 10th century were found in Kalanay (now Aroroy), and when Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman anchored on the shores of Masbate in 1569, he found tiny settlements spread along the coasts engaged in flourishing trade with China – an explanation why there are a number of Chinoys in the island-province. Masbate is also said to be the place where the Christianization of the Bicol started.
In part because it is the source of class lumber for the construction of galleons during the Spanish period, Masbate was declared a province in 1864. In 1908, this was revoked and Masbate was annexed to Sorsogon. Masbate again became an independent province on February 1, 1922.