Saturday, June 14, 2014

Strolling Around San Antonio, Northern Samar

This is not a big town center. It just becomes bigger if you include the beach resort areas that is not that long anyway too! Just about 3 kilometers long of white sand beach and an interesting cornucopia of rural life! I even leisurely walked it end to end and back via the beach and sometimes via the road. Fun, getting acquainted with this place!

I started from Haven Of Fun going southward, passing by Puro & Seashore Beach Resorts again. Nicer that I did this on a breezy summer afternoon. A relaxing stroll!

Here are some noteworthy things I encountered…

I grinned seeing this signage. Where the arrow points, is the kitchen of a residence!
But yeah, the hospital is that white building behind the yellow-greenish trees. I surmise that this standard DPWH signage originally stood on the roadside but got detached from its post, so the owner of that house made it part of his fence hehe! Yep, the hospital is that compound where the concrete fence does not have iron grills!

This building is their port/wharf area. It serves the purpose even if still unfinished!
However, few souls use that entrance. Why? Because, after that tree on the right edge of this photo, is the big vacant lot that serves as parking/waiting area for departing and/or arriving passengers. And because, the ‘counter’ for fees is also on that side.

This yellow and noisy building is their power plant care of NAPOCOR.
Gate signage says San Antonio Diesel Power Plant. Hmm, isn’t that expensive? Anyway, I remember I was advised by resort crews that electric power was to be gone in the morning (just after breakfast) and it did. Not sure if it’s a daily routine.

I loved analyzing this kilometer marker.
The ‘front’ says KM001 SA23 while the ‘back’ says KM001 SA1. Care to interpret?
Ah, it’s like this: the ‘back’ photo says this place is 1 kilometer away from the heart of town (KM001) and of course SA1 means you’ve got to travel a kilometer more going to center of town. Now that ‘front’ photo also means it is 1 kilometer away from the heart of town (KM001) but SA23 tells it will take you 23 more kilometers if you follow this circumferential road southwards that skirts around the whole island and will finally also get you to center of town. Malayo nga lang hehe.

Read this and this, if you are not yet familiar with kilometer markers in this country.

I don’t see a lot of this during my travels...
What flower is this anyway? It looks like the lowly ‘santan’ but with bigger petals and like lumped together as a bouquet! Hmm.

Alin ang naiba? Yeah yeah, at first I did not notice…
But I know for sure that chicken (especially this young) do not eat ‘copra’! Well hehe, how sure am I, right? Who knows!

And then I saw this by a vacant lot… Prime!
I know, this is already owned but undeveloped – or should I say unadulterated!
I stayed a while here, just savoring the breeze, the peace and quiet…

Definitely still too young to drive...
But he can already reach the pedal when not seated - so he does not sit! He told me he was going to fetch his siblings and cousins from school. Golly!

This one looked like a resort to me. It says Peter & Luisa Garden.
But a woman told me its just a home, yet she thinks it might have been a resort then.

A bit onwards, I saw another vacant lot (where workers were constructing a building), so I asked to pass going to the beach. And this is what I saw. Droooool!
That is one raft, a speedboat, 3 waverunners, 2 little native boats and a dog! Yeah, that dog prevented me from getting anymore nearer. The workers told me though, it is the residence of a foreigner married to a Pinay (local). I just thought “di ba obvious”?!

Then I saw this… Does not look like much from the road. Even looks kinda ‘closed’.
But, I saw photos of this place on FB, and I think this one is a nice fine resort.

Francisco Beach Resort & Lodge.
Constructions constructions! That is what I saw here and there were no guests at my time of visit. The matriarch of the facility welcomed me though and even showed me around. I would say comparable to Seashore Beach Resort in terms of overall appeal.
Or even slightly better – because their restaurant area has a full view of the sea.
And there are only two big day-use huts at both corners of the facility.
Very nice ocean-views, at least from the restaurant and rooms above it!

Awr… after my last shot here, the camera went no-bat! So, I just walked a little bit more to see the other resorts and headed back when it felt like I must have been walking more than 2 kilometers. Just in time… I was back at Haven Of Fun when darkness fell!

In the morning, I walked towards center of town for a clearer view of what might just catch my attention. First I noticed was, there are so many 2-level and big houses in this little town. Hmm, people must be on the upper middle of the economy graph!

I loved this morning view… Kids, bagong-ligo, ready for another rowdy day at school!

I did wonder here why a barangay hall has to be surrounded by concrete fence.
Well, unlike our many barangay halls in the metropolis, this one is obviously not manned 24/7 and what for anyway, right? Am not even sure if they have barangay tanods, because, what for anyway too, right? The whole place is just so peaceful!

Secretly took this picture (because people were looking at my every move), not because of the house (which is era-beautiful) but because of those birds on the roof.
There were too many of them there as I attempted to aim, but when I clicked, almost all were off to another house's roof. Those birds are black (or dark brown) and shiny dark green, just a little bit smaller than pigeons. I am definite, those are not crows (uwak) as they’re rather small and swift flyers. Maybe ravens? Wheh, as if I know what really is a Raven hehe!

Church. I did not go in there. Closed eh! Yeah, at 6:57AM hehe. I was early?!

Session Hall
I wondered here why it is Ramon Magsaysay that has a monument and Rizal is in absentia! I asked one of the men playing basketball and they told me, there probably is a Jose Rizal inside the elementary school beside the church. Ok. fine! As if I care hehe, I was just curious for it is uncommon to see Magsaysay gracing a town square!

Municipal Hall. Beautifully quiet at exactly 7AM of a Tuesday.
Well, I saw two cleaners, a man and a woman, they were busy. And there was one very early lady inside that first door on the left (assessors office?). She even came out to check (osyoso) what I was there for. And she looks like the head of a department (parang principal hehe)! Notice the pavement… maybe the DAP and PDAF does not reach this far!

Reverse view – from the munisipyo to the plaza…

I wondered what this thing is – other than a nice resting area for the two kids.
I wonder too, why they had to put that thing on the busiest corner of their town. It just makes the place hard to negotiate even for tricycles – especially that some of the stores are already on the street’s pavement. Oh yes, I circled around this thing looking for inscriptions or markers or anything like that (to the bewilderment of those two kids hehe), but there is none!

Their “KM Zero Marker” – almost already inside an ukay-ukay store!

And their pier/wharf/whatever, obviously abandoned – because as you would have noticed in my previous stories, all boats use the beach about a kilometer south.
I did ask one trike driver, what/how is this white elephant being used for, and his very candid reply was “urohan” and we both laughed loudly! Yes, "urohan" means toilet!

I noticed this big big house with a big big compound had too many things being sun dried on too many clotheslines. And those sheets and blankets looked familiar to me. The "big big house" is to the right of that gate, not seen in this picture. The roof you see in there is just one of their whatevers inside the whole wide compound!
I asked another trike driver, and I learned that this is the residence of those who own Haven of Fun. I immediately thought “hay naku Mr. & Mrs. owners, you should stay in this compound than sit at the front desk doing nothing but listen and look at me when I transact with your personnel” hahaha!

Well, on this walk, I thought there was nothing else that caught my curious attention. One very obvious hindrance was: I could not just snap pics here and there, because I was attracting the attention of almost everyone awake in this town. They would all stop whatever they were doing and follow me with a curious look as if they were expecting I would spring open to become a giant flower or perhaps suddenly have giant wings on my back hahaha.

One example of those stares was when I went to that bakery (I think also owned by my resort’s owners). People there, patrons and crews were merrily noisy with a lot of banter and laughter. When they saw me approaching, the whole place went deafeningly silent as they all stared at me. And all other customers stepped aside to make way for me. The only voice I heard was that of the woman who attended to me when I asked for 3 pieces of their ‘Spanish Bread’. When I would look at anyone in the eyes, all I would see was a smile and a slight bow. That made me think, am I really my make-believe “My Royal Highness”? Hahaha, in this island-town, I probably am!

Let’s go back to mainland?! Yeah, that’s next!

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10
11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20


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