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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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April 27, 2015

villa pilarosa : cagbalete's best kept secret

Crystal clear
Dubbed as the "Boracay of the Pacific", Cagbalete's popularity has grown over the years, especially among the budget conscious travel crowd. There was a time when the island was Quezon's hidden gem, with only a few photos or blog articles about its crystal clear water and surreal low tide.
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April 20, 2015

rizal : pililla wind farm

Pililla wind turbines at sunset

Standing like white giants on the rolling hills of Pililla, these wind turbines are symbols of clean and sustainable energy source.  They are definitely eye candies too! The place has now become a popular location not just for shooting landscape photos but for model and commercial shoots as well (saw one car commercial)

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April 7, 2015

samal | talikud island : laid-back weekend at dayang beach

Swaying palm trees, azure waters, fine sand, cool breeze, and a dose of hot sun. Summer officially started as I stare at this beautiful beach in Talikud island.

Samal, known as Island Garden City of Samal, is a favorite island destination in the gulf of Davao. Its popular beaches (from the high end to camping styles) draw visitors all year round. Spend a few days in Samal and you'll appreciate its official name. The fact that its very easy to get to Samal from Davao City adds to its appeal.


Those looking for a more rustic setting usually head to Talikud Island, a small gem beside the main Samal Island. The island's name came from the word "likod" which means "back", which aptly describes its position relative to the main island.

Isla Reta is one of the more popular resorts there (and can get crowded during the weekend) as its near the port and some of the ferries head directly to Isla Reta. But if you can hold off from jumping into the clear waters once you reach the port, and take another short boat ride to the other side of the island, then you can find yourself in a little piece of paradise called Dayang Beach.

Laid-back Dayang

Dayang Beach

From the number of ferries we missed because they are already full, to the number of folks elbowing each other trying to get a seat number in one of the remaining ferries (the one that my family and I were finally able to catch has a capacity of 100, and we were able to get seats 96-100), I found it refreshing that this part of Talikud was relatively crowd-free on a Saturday.

Dayang beach front

Dayang's beach front is just about 150 meters long, but with less crowd it felt really secluded.  We spent most of the day doing nothing, occasionally interrupted by a quick swim.

Old pier

Water was particularly nice around the ruins of the old pier.  There you'll find the broken columns of the pier lying under the water like remnants of an ancient city. Imagination can run wild when you have all the time in the world :)

Sunset and twilight

Dayang Beach at sundown

The beach faces west, perfect for watching the sunset.  There were heavy rain clouds that afternoon, obscuring what could have been a great light display. What was lacking in colors was made up for by the mood.

Old pier at sunset


I realized that a bustling city is actually very near and just across the island when the city lights of Davao turned on as dusk settles. It actually made the place more detached, and as the cool evening breeze blew, it made me appreciate the contrasts.

Dayang beach at dusk

Davao city lights

Dawn by the pillars

Pillars at Dawn

Dawn the next day was more subtle.  The rain clouds were gone and the mountain range clearly visible on the mainland bathed in the warm glow of the rising sun. I initially did not appreciate the significance of that mountain range until it dawned on me that one of prominent peaks there is Mt Apo - Philippines' highest mountain.

Planning your trip to Dayang

Did this piqued your interest? Consider a trip to Talicud island or specifically to Dayang the next time you are in Davao City. Here are details that can help you plan your trip:


  • Davao/Sta Ana Wharf to Talicud: There are several ferries that have daily trips to Talicud from Sta Wharf (fare: Php 50 pesos). There are no hard schedules, but sure to get to Sta Ana wharf before 9AM. Last trip to Talicud is usually at around 2PM. The some ferries would dock at Isla Reta resort first before heading the nearby to Sta Cruz port. I researched the ferry schedules only to find them practically useless when we got to the wharf. The ferries will leave once full and once ALL its cargo had been loaded, which in our case took a good 1.5 hours. Travel time is 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Davao/Sta Ana Wharf to Kaputian: Another option is to go via Kaputian on the southern end of Samal Island. Ferries are in Sta Ana wharf as well. From Kaputian its just a short 20 minute boat ride to Talikud on the Isla Reta side. 
  • Davao/Sta Ana Wharf to Dayang: If you are large group you can rent Dayang's own boat (Php 3,500 one way, 30 pax capacity). You may contact +63-918-386-8793. 
  • Talicud/Isla Reta to Dayang: If you took the Sta Ana - Talicud ferry, you can get to Dayang via habal-habal (motorcyle, Php 50 per person) or rent a bangka (usually Php 500 per trip). Travel time by bangka is around 20 minutes.

Accommodations in Dayang

Dayang Beach huts

  • Closed cottages : Fan room rates starts at Php 700.00 (4 pax capacity, with a small veranda). Entrance fee for day trips is Php 50.00 per pax. 
  • Electricity : Available between 8AM to 11PM. However they don't have outlets in the cottages. You may need to bring socket adaptors that you can use with the light bulb sockets. 
  • Cellphone/WiFi : Good signal for all carriers. WiFi is available but you'll have to pay 100 pesos for 4 devices. WiFi is OK, if you stay close enough to the owners' villa. 
  • Food/Water : There is a store where you can buy basic stuff. You can bring your own food (no corkage fee) and can also cook for you if you buy fresh catch (which can be overpriced). Cooking fee is Php 30.00 per kilo. Fresh water for washing or rinsing can be bought at Php 15 per 4-gallon container.

Babu Santa Beach

Did I mention that Dayang is beside another beach resort in Talicud? :) Babu Santa, which is right next door, is a favorite lunch stop for beach hoppers (usually organized by hotels in the city). Babu Santa only have open cottages, but the place is a great spot for those who want to rough it out a bit. They have a nice camping area.  The day-trippers keep to Babu Santa, unless they pay another Php 50.00 to step on Dayang's side of the beach.

Beach hoppers at Babu Santa

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