Angol from Dancalan sea coast

Angol from Dancalan sea coast

It is still early in the morning, my longish shadow (photo below) and that of the two women fish vendors on their way to the Poblacion to sell their husbands’ catch from the early morning fishing shift cut across the road adjacent to the beach. These women judging from the look of the fresh angol  in their basket will not reach the market place in the Poblacion. These fresh from the sea catches will all be sold out along the way before reaching the center town – a walk around 1 km away.

They gladly let me took photos of the angol arranged ‘atado’ style for easy pricing in ‘payaw’ leaves (above photo). Traditionally, these leaves are the original wrap for local fish catches like angol and turos.

Simplicity is the mark of all culinary fish recipes in Bulusan to better highlight its freshness and rich flavor from the sea. It is said that the reason why these angol are so tasty is because of the unique seaweeds and seagrasses that comprise the diet of these local fish species. Pamughaton, a Bulusan web site has the authentic angol recipe preserved in perpetuity.

The marine ecosystem of  Bulusan is a noted biodiversity spot in the Philippines.  Eminent  marine scientist Vic Alvarez of the alvarezii seaweed fame (commercially grown today in the Philippines and in many parts of the world) stayed here (Bartilet’s residence)  for a while for some in situ studies of several local seaweeds.  Our humble abode also hosted 2 marine biologists several years ago for another study on the local seaweeds growing along the Dancalan to Sabang coast.

Angol from Bulusan

Photos: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines, May 26, 2013


Full Moon of May

Full Moon of May 2013

The Full Moon is predictable to my delight. It appears exactly as soon as the sun sets. This means I have ample time to prepare for the nature display that happens only 13 times in a year – intense beauty with golden glow shifting to ethereal whiteness as it rises. I t is something to look forward to if you are a manic obsessive moon stalker like me. Summer full moons however are special – a more or less clear sky is assured and no unpredictable rain showers at least for this full moon of May.

Photo taken on a full moon, May 25, 2013 in
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines by Alma P. Gamil

Two from JJ Cale

The music of JJ Cale came to mind while I was photographing the Full Moon, 25th  of May. I don’t know why, maybe because his music evokes simplicity and yet possessed with that kind of emotional angst that only a legend can deliver in the manner of a perfect blues brew.

Cajun Moon

Cajun moon, where does your power lie
As you move across the southern sky
You took my babe way too soon
What have you done, Cajun moon
Someday babe, when you want your man
And you find him gone, just like the wind

Don’t trouble your mind whatever you do
‘Cause Cajun moon took him from you
When daylight fades, the night comes on
You can hear the silence of this song
Don’t trouble your mind whatever you do
‘Cause he got me like he got you

Note: With special thanks to for added info re JJ Cale and the link to youtube for the video.

End of Summer

Cloudless day at summer’s end.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration announced in a news release two weeks ago that the transition period to southwest monsoon, the prevailing weather system during the rainy season, will start by mid-May until end of May.

Two days ago, the morning of the 26th day of May I was all hurried up. I have only 5 remaining days to get a clear spotless, cloudless view of Bulusan Volcano. I have to make the best of it. So off I go, waking up early like having an early morning tryst at the beach that day. The day was spotless and I just hoped my photos will be too.

Not content with the morning shots I went back at dusk to get a silhouette of Bulusan Volcano.


Wires and agoho included.


Another clear shot.


Dark dusk shot.


Earlier dusk shot.

All photos of  Bulusan Volcano were taken  in the vicinity of Dancalan Beach.

Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

Today is a good day to live!*


Sun drying ‘turos’  in a nigo, an all-purpose native wide tray woven from bamboo.

Sun drying Turos

The beach is the best site to sun dry the day’s catch.


The sea is kind today and the rest of summer – a fisherman gazes to the vast sea that seems to be a gesture of appreciation of this grace.

Drying turos

Dried turos when fried pairs well with sinangag – a personal favorite.

Contentment is relative. Its definition varies from one person to another. For others it is an elusive state. But not for this fisher folk of Riroan who caught my attention on my beach hike mid part of May.
I passed the route twice (going to and going back from Miligabiga). Up close I was able to get a glimpse of a life of a fisherfolk whose life depends on the sea for survival –  content for the day that the sea has been always kind for a  catch that is more than enough for his need.

note: The title is a rip-off from the movie Flatliners’  famous line : “Today is a good day to die!”  My thanks to Elmer who celebrated his birthday yesterday 🙂

Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

Riroan Fisherman

Riroan Fisherman

The route to Miligabiga is an interesting study of colors, texture and of course the inhabitants living along the coastal villages. My favorite is this fisherman (photos)  from Riroan, a sitio of Barangay Mabuhay of Bulusan with his catch for the day. The clear sea waters is transparent enough to highlight the greyish sand of Riroan – a beach that is in itself a beauty in the dominant shades of grey to black.

Riroan Fisherman


Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

Postcards from the Ocean’s Edge

Bulusan town is blessed with several beaches that range from black to white. From fine to textured. From pebbles to boulders. In this gallery, I will begin a series featuring the beaches of Bulusan both the known and the lesser known. The visited and the not so visited. The familiar and the not so familiar. The ordinary and the spectacular.

B is for Bulusan. Beauty. Beach.

I.   Miligabiga Beach


Up close, Miligabiga beach sand has the color of cappuccino.


Milgabiga beach is located at the base of a cliff.


The mountain cliff jutting to the ocean, its sides fringed with light colored sand easily tells me that this is ‘the’ beach – Miligabiga, the object of my long beach trek.


As Miligabiga recedes from view, the sand color slowly shifts to light grey with specks of cream colored sand.

A fresh water rivulet finds its way to Miligabiga cutting a curve shaped water stream on the finely textured sand.

Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

A Glimpse of Miligabiga

A Glimpse of Miligabiga

Miligabiga seascape in Bulusan

I have fallen in love again. And this time it is a beach not frequented by tourists and visitors in an outlying seacoast bordering two villages of Bulusan.

This is my reward (photo) after what seems to be an endless kilometric beach hike to the farthest end of  the coast of  Bulusan.  Miligabiga beach has the most dramatic seascape in Bulusan’s vast Pacific Ocean panorama. It is however widely known in my hometown as an enchanted spot.

Enchanted is an understatement. It is so enchanting.

I was enchanted. Mesmerized. And I know I will be going back again and again to Miligabiga in the days to come.

Photo: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines