Friday, October 9, 2009

Liloan Trippers Pay Tribute to Benjie Ordonez

On October 7, 2009, at 10:00 pm, one of the most active and skilled photographers in Cebu City passed away due to a stroke. He left behind a legacy of pictures, knowledge and a friend to most of the people that survived him. His name is Benjie Ordonez, an active photographer, as well as administrator of

Indirectly, Benjie Ordonez helped the Liloan Trippers during the early days of this blogsite. We used one of his pictures in order to put a graphic description to the story of the American lighthouse as an introduction to the Liloan Trippers project. To view the blog, click here.

This is the picture that will continually remind the Liloan Trippers of this great photographer that now is in the warm embrance of our Lord.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Liloan Trippers: Advanced 1st Year Anniversary Outing

As an advanced 1 year anniversary celebration, the Liloan Trippers organized a second tour of the town courtesy of Archie once again and his uncle last June 17. Unfortunately, Swerver wasn't able to participate as he got problems at the last minute. Work-related so he had to forgo this against his heart. We'll have another one soon.

This time I was with two new recruits: Christian and my friend Don.

We just came back from Mulao and having a late lunch, so please forgive the somber expressions we all had. We were bone tired.

Anyway, the tour started as it did when we first had it with Archie and Rolly way back. In a way, this brings back memories but this time, we have managed to snag our first foreigner (Don) and the third recruit to the town after Roniel in the person of Christian.

The first place we visited, just like last year is Silot Bay. What I found out there was that Silot Bay's waters have been cordoned off from the seafaring public because it is already a marine sanctuary. No one can get in there without the Bantay Dagat peeps firing warning shots at them. Here are some pictures (the place looks the same though).

After that, we went up to the former golf course in Appolo, where I saw the shrubs had grown up around that tree which I took a picture of last year. Check it out here for comparison.

Here are the pictures of the site now, including that tree:

We also were able to visit that wharf Swerver and I had been looking for. We were looking at the wrong direction. It was located just below the Appolo Golf Course, and only a few minutes from it. However, it was weird that we were not allowed in because we had an American with us. Anyway here are some pictures that I managed to take there:

Last but not the least were the rocks of Mulao. I really didn't want to go there, but Archie mentioned it and Don liked it since he saw the pictures. I had a negative experience there, but I won't let that dampen your interests. For merits, Archie found a shorter route to the Stone Boat, but though it was shorter those rocks still make for good obstacles to the destination. I was too tired to remember to take a picture of the Stone Boat. Oh well...

Last but not the least was the Parola. Now, no need to post pictures of these as I have been there a lot of times and took quite a lot in different lighting conditions. In Bagacay Light Point, we had two large Red Horse beers and relaxed after such a tiring trip especially after that experience in Mulao River. The halo-halo was forsaken as well since our American friend wanted beer instead.

There have been several things that we uncovered. Although we didn't visit it, we heard talk about a certain blue stone located forward of the Stone Boat. Like it is named, it is a stone of a blue color. However, since it is located in the same place as the Stone Boat, it seems like the Liloan Trippers might never see it in person unless we spend a lot of time preparing for it: i.e. jogging, stocking up on water, and getting the necessary equipment.

Happy Anniversary, Liloan Trippers!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

What New, Bagacay Point?

What's New, Bagacay Point?
By: Immortalundead

When you talk about Liloan, the first thing that comes to mind is: Bagacay Point. For those that do not know, Bagacay Point is the famous lighthouse that many people from even outside Liloan go to visit and have some relaxation. The place boasts of fresh air -- it is located just a few steps away from the sea.

Besides being a famous tourist spot, the lighthouse is also an important marker for traffic plying in and out of the northern tip of Cebu. Like its predecessor -- the old, dilapidated lighthouse sitting near the sea -- it has helped bring home sailors sailing in the night. For a brief background, check out our very first blog in Liloan Trippers. If you want to see and know more about the old lighthouse up close and personal, see this blog as well.

We wrote in our "Story of Two Lighthouses" blog that the way to the old lighthouse is comprised of tall ferns and grazing animals especially in the afternoon. However, my visit to the place yesterday with Roniel has yielded a few new surprises.

All these high plants that have been impeding our view of the path have been burned down or chopped down in order to make it easier for visitors to find the path.

What's more I found out that the path we had been following during our early incursions to the old lighthouse was not the original path intended by the caretakers of the property for the use of visitors. I noticed it was more dangerous, and Swerver and I agreed that some sort of guide would have to be employed by the property to steer visitors along especially at night. However, since the ferns and grasses were no longer high, Roniel and I found the other path that leads to the old lighthouse:

This is the path or entrance I'm talking about. I may be wrong, but I'm strongly confident because of the marker that stands in front of it. This is the safer place to go. However, we weren't able to use this path in the past because the only path we could see was the one that led to the cliffs and the sea. Not that it doesn't offer a good view; however, it is quite dangerous for some people to use especially at night.

It seems now that the property is no longer government-owned, or at least not wholly owned by the government. It seems like Gothong has some ownership in the place as well judging from this marker in a seneguelas tree. Never mind by the spelling please:

By the way, this tree is located along the way to the old lighthouse.

Roniel and I also spent a few seconds on top of the old light house -- yes, seconds because the drizzle started after we started taking pictures from atop the structure. However, we couldn't help but notice how brittle the structure is: we felt like it just needed a little prodding, and what remains of the "Parolang Putol" may collapse utterly. We urge the municipality and whatever private entity that manages the property to take that into consideration. Given visitors' tendency to climb up the structure, this fact can be dangerous.

Last but not the least, is the revived Sugba sa Parola. We have been here the last time, but we weren't able to take pictures because Roniel and I didn't bring any camera. At last, we give you pictures of the new establishment in town:

So there you have it. Those are the changes that you can find in Bagacay Point, in Barangay Catarman, Liloan, Cebu. That stage you see up there in the pictures is where people who want to sing videoke can sit and face the audience. There is a TV facing up to the singer, giving him the appearance of a big-time performer in front of a crowd? You wanna try it? I definitely don't lol.

It had been quite a trip, snapping pictures of just about everything we can see. At the end of the day, we treated ourselves to a bottle of Red Horse courtesy of Sugba-Sugba sa Parola. It wasn't free, of course:

* all pictures were taken by me and Roniel.

Liloan Trippers is No. 6 at Google's Results

Liloan Trippers is No. 6 at Google's Results
By: Immortalundead

The response had been quite phenomenal when the Liloan Trippers was first launched as per our participation in the Mandaue Business Month's "One Cebu" project, wherein we joined the blog writing contest.

As everyone can recall, even though we lost that contest, we still were able to enjoy the phenomenal support of our contacts in Multiply and in Friendster. Even my neighbors who happened to chance at my Friendster bulletins also viewed and read the blog (although I wonder if they understood or appreciated what they were reading). As a result, we were still able to put up a good stand even though we joined only a week or even less from the supposed date of judging. We were even able to outrank the other two participants' ranking in, all of it thanks to your wonderful support.

For a week, Swerver and I visited a total of five sites in Liloan and wrote about them, namely the famous Lighthouse in Catarman as well as its predecessor, the Spanish lighhouse, and other places such as the Bay of Silot, the Stone Boat in Mulao, the potteries and the landang factories. Swerver and Darmae were also able to visit Titay's Rosquillos, but I was not able to join at that time because of weather and work issues.

We could've visited other places if we had time, but when the contest was over we had to turn our attention to our freelance jobs since it is where we earn our dough from. Noble had our intentions for Liloan been, but reality bites: we still had to earn a living.

From time to time, we do visit Liloan to take some pictures or just relax and have some of that delicious halo2x. I have managed to recruit another person into the fad, namely my friend Roniel Flores from Lapu2x. However, we still haven't found any time yet for visiting those other places we saw in that handbook the municipal office lent us, like the Suzuki Cave.

It has almost been a year since the end of the contest, yet I still continue to post updates or write some supplemental articles to our previous articles because of one reason: Liloan Trippers holds the number 6 spot for search results for the keyword "Liloan" in both and Google Philippines. It's too good to let go, so I will continue to make research through the Internet and perhaps conduct a few more interviews if I could in Liloan. I can't say I'm good at that though; I suck at interviewing but there's always a first time.

Both of us had been quite busy for some time. Swerver is now both an actor, a writer and an active blogger in Multiply. I myself had been swamped with some projects early on at the start of this year, for which I am thankful for. Hopefully, there will be a time when the two of us -- and perhaps the four of us including Eyean and Roniel -- will be able to explore and research once more about the lovely town of Liloan.

Liloan's town fiesta is next month. Anybody planning to come along?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Curious Twist to the Cave Fish Story

Last year, when Liloan Trippers first started, one of the things that Swerver and I wrote about was the story of a primordial fish living under the San Fernando Rey Church. This was said to be the kugtong, a giant fish that can swallow a man whole. It is one of the two reasons cited in this entry about annual disappearances of a bather in the Suba Channel, right next to black fairies.

Swerver expressed doubt that the specie ever existed in history of man. Actually, I found out that it is merely an abomination of the delicious delicacy called pugapo, a type of grouper fish. Doesn't ring a bell does it? How about lapu-lapu? Yes, folks, according to folklore as cited in this blog by Rankm the early Filipinos believed that the kugtong was a giant pugapo or lapulapu, and it swallowed men whole.

So, we could say the kugtong exists but in a smaller scale.

Last night, the co-founder of the Cebu Anime Manga Society that I am currently spearheading made a few comments about the kugtong legend. She lives in Opon, just like Swerver. And just like Swerver, she also been to Liloan many times. She said something about the kugtong that I didn't expect to hear.

One is a detailed description of how the kugtong looks like. She said it's merely a giant lapulapu, but with a twist: it has razor sharp teeth with which it tears apart its prey. Perhaps the normal pugapo does have that, but the kugtong has bigger ones. The other description is that its scales are as hard as the barnacles that stick to the columns that you see partly submerged in water at the pier. To be brief, you can describe the kugtong from now on as a huge, armored lapulapu.

This has led me to speculate on the exact size of the kugtong. Since it can swallow a man whole, it could be as big as a great white shark or perhaps even bigger. Who knows? What we can say is that the kugtong is so big that it ends up living underground and not moving around.

As if this wasn't scoop enough, Ren13 shared another surprising revelation about the kugtong. She said there is a kugtong that lives below the General Milling Corporation compound in Mactan Island, and that she was surprised to read that it is also found in Liloan. This is quite curious because, the way I look at it, there are two kugtongs in the islands of Cebu province.

Now, this is merely my interpretation of the story. At first glance, you will think that it is just the same story spoken in different places. It's entirely possible, because we're dealing with folklore here and not facts. However, I cannot help but speculate that, somewhere in time, there may have been more than one kugtong that traveled the deep waters of the Tañon Strait.

Let us look at the similarities. First, both live in underwater caves. In the case of the GMC kugtong -- which I dub it thus -- its cave terminates right below the GMC compound. The Liloan kugtong on the other hand lives right below the San Fernando Rey Church. Ren13 again shared something with me which she got from her late uncle, that there is a big hole in the basement of General Milling Corporation covered in glass. As the Trippers have heard from some stories in Liloan, there is also a supposed hole in the San Fernando Rey Church.

Swerver tried to interview Fr. Eric Jecong of the local parish but, typical of the Catholic Church, the priest shut the story down and denied the legend. This is the Catholic Church we're dealing with, after all. You can read Swerver's entry here, for a recap.

Here comes the differences. They are quite subtle. According to Ren13, there is rarely an incident that somebody disappears from the seas adjacent to the General Milling compound. According to her, the kugtong is fed by a whole live pig annually to prevent it from swallowing someone whole that year. If that doesn't happen, it's either the GMC kugtong throws a fit and shakes the ground, or -- you guessed it -- some poor soul will disappear from the waters of the Strait.

In Liloan, however, it is already part of folklore that somebody will disappear each year. They attribute it to two reasons: the black fairies or the kugtong, as mentioned in our earlier blog. If the body is not found, then it's the kugtong who has taken that poor soul. If you compare it to the Mactan version of the kugtong legend, the difference lies in the sacrifice. The Catholic Church will not condone such superstitious actions as it is not part of the doctrine, an inaction which one can attribute to the yearly disappearance in Suba Channel if we treat the kugtong as a real, living creature and disregard the black fairy version entirely.

I couldn't help but speculate. Are these two stories separate or just one story that was spread down to other places. How come, however, we don't hear such stories in other northern towns like Danao, etc.? What's curious is that both kugtongs live in similar conditions, yet act differently. Could there be something behind this? Are these two kugtongs separate and are actually long-lost siblings that have been driven to seclusion because of the rise of modernization and advancements in technology?

Come to think of it, how deep are the waters of the Tañon Strait exactly? I seem to have heard vague rumors years ago that companies can drill for oil in its waters. I'm not sure, but isn't that very deep enough indeed, almost like the sea or ocean? Who knows what secrets the Tañon Strait has beneath its waters? One thing is for sure: there are still creatures there, like the kugtong, that live deep down as they are more acclimated to the cold and frigid temperatures of the deepest parts of the sea.

And so, the legend lives on...

- Immortalundead

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Liloan Trippers Goes to Bebot Alegre's Shop

... I wonder if we'll be called Opon Trippers because of that? Ultimately, we'll turn into the Cebu Trippers when we start touring more and more places within the province. Not really, I think. Liloan Trippers is a trademark, or a brand, that marks our nature as travel bloggers because that is what we really are: Trippers at heart.

Actually this is just a plan that is being hatched. This is educational, as usual. We're planning to go to Bebot Alegre's guitar shop in Pajac, Lapu Lapu City. I have been there two Sundays ago as described in a previous blog that I limited to certain contacts because of the things I described. I'm still going back despite my negative experience with my companions, because of two reasons:

First, the Liloan Trippers have been inactive lately and we need a new adventure. Second, I've always wanted to write about how guitars are made ever since I saw the workshops beside Bebot Alegre's showroom. I thought this coincides with our Trippers project: although the trademark will always be connected to Liloan, this can be taken as an extension of our interest to within the entire Cebu province as a whole.

Plans are still being made, but I'm making sure this will definitely push through. Keep your fingers crossed.

Immortalundead of the Liloan Trippers