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Townhopping 2013: To Tingko Beach


Samar and Biliran should have christened my 2013. But with the arrival of a ball of white fur named Mango two days before my supposed trip, I canceled it to supervise her in my small place, to make her feel at home. It is amazing to note that it only needs a day to homify a kitten, unlike us humans. It sometimes takes us years, even an eternity, to feel at home.


But January must not pass by without me treading a new path. Coincidentally, Midori visited Cebu for a month and ached to explore or perhaps experience this place they—the foreign—dubbed as an island paradise. But Cebu the city can be disappointing. The city does not live up with its brochure moniker and often leaves the tourists estranged, the travelers amazed.


So we left the city at five in the morning and took the bus to Alcoy, about three  hours from the city. At six and miles away from the city, the sky looked overcast. We were afraid we would not enjoy the waters and the beach without the lively sun. I would be disappointed since the beach  would not look inviting in pictures. Too trivial a concern, I know. But isn’t the beach the best place to take a dip in trivialities, I believe we are entitled to every now and then.

We basked in the light, waters, and yes, in our trivialities.


We arrived around 8 in the morning with the water so clear and clouds so aimless.  I visited this place when I started townhopping two years ago. What I experienced was Tingko the dusky beach, the dusky sand, the dusky water, the dusky us. The one we just had was a different Tingko.


I cautioned Midori that I would not be a good guide. I would leave her on her own.  Good thing, she was game for it. She wandered through the beach, made friends with the locals, took pictures with them, snorkeled, basked in the sun. So we were in the same place. We were not.


These are my companions, including the woman lying on the sand. I primarily tagged Pawlito (Nikon 3100 with kit lens) along for shooting the falls in a low shutter speed. And, yes, even though I could only squeeze a page or two in our tight townhopping schedule, there is always that kind of pleasure that one is traveling with a good book. After all, books are my most constant travel companions. After all, this blog is born from my ardent love for books and reading.


Five men boarded the boat. I thought they would go fishing at the deeper place. Two paddled, the other two threw the net into the water while one surveyed the movement of the school of lilong, which according to Ate Anna—the owner of the store where we left our belongings—the fingerlings of tuloy. The man directed the throwing of the nets in a jiffy to ensure the lilongs are entrapped.


The locals helped in tugging the net back to the shore. Excitement surged in everyone. They expected a bucketful of catch since the man said it was quite a school of lilong he saw underwater.   Everyone laughed since it was only a fistful.


From the eye of a city dweller yet forever a probinsyana, their efforts were wasted. But looking at them, smiling and laughing, they don’t mind the effort and time wasted. After all, they have plenty of them. We have plenty of them.

Part of the Townhopping Project 2013: Alcoy’s Tingko Beach | Ginatilan’s Inambakan Falls | Badian’s Kawasan Falls 


South Bus Terminal—Tingko Beach, Alcoy : P113 (as of January 2013)

Length of trip—2 hours and a half

Cottages—P200 (the cheapest). It is near the dilapidated sanctuary hall. We didn’t have to pay since we just stayed for three hours.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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