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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Nature Photography

Tuburan Escapade: Better than your chocolate-and-flowers kind of date

Valentine’s Day… also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. A time of the year when the world is filled with songs, flowers and gifts. When smiles are warmer, hugs are tighter, and sweet nothings are exchanged. An annual celebration of love in all forms.

And who said you can’t celebrate this day with friends?

The last time I traveled via Transcentral Highway was in 2017 when my friends and I hiked Mt. Manunggal and Mt. Mauyog in Balamban. It has been quite a long while since my eyes feasted to the view of Cebu’s highlands. The cool wind, the uninterrupted ride (no traffic, yes!), and the long winding stretch of scenic mountain view are already a treat to every traveler’s heart. Going farther north with me are my SMS peeps, James, Chiarra, An Jurvel, CJ Estrada, Kevin, and Belle.

After two hours of van ride, we reached the municipality of Tuburan. The town got its name from the Cebuano word “tubod” which means “spring.” We stopped at the covered court across the San Antonio De Padua Parish Church which is also a pilgrim destination for devotees of the patron saint of the poor, the lost, and more. After a quick lunch and last-minute errands, we charted motorcycles to take is to our first destination.

Sea, sand and sunny smiles
Eve’s Beach Front Home and Garden Resort is a slice of paradise situated not too far from the heart of Tuburan. Their two-storey beach house offers guests enough rooms and space for a weekend getaway. Here, you could either spend an intimate time with your loved one or go with family and friends without worrying much about a crowded shoreline.

Peace and quiet. ©CJ Estrada

It was past noon when my friends and I checked in. Had we been younger, we would be quick to scan the place. Take pictures of whatever Instagrammable spot we find. Chase the sunset. Run straight into the high tide. But, inevitably, time has turned us into titas and titos ─ a little older yet still young at heart. We have a new priority on top of photographs now.

And that is none other than food.

My friends and I quickly turned on our kusinera and kusinero modes. Everyone got busy with slicing, grilling, cooking, with punctuations of lots of laughter and banter in between. As usual, we had a feast enough to last throughout our late-night conversations, swimming, and Tiktok marathon by the beach.

YUM! ©Chiarra

It was only during the morning that we got to explore Eve’s. The beach is lined with tropical trees which also makes it an ideal spot for hammocks. They also have a camping area for guests who opt to pitch their tents.

Helugoodmorneeeeeng!
Striking some ‘child-friendly’ poses

A spring of hope and a ‘hole’ lot more
Tuburan is also known as a “spring of hope” with its abundant water sources. One of their many springs that is recently making rounds in social media is the Blue Hole Spring located in Brgy. San Juan.

Look at that gorgeous view! ©CJ Estrada

Locals and tourists alike visit this natural pool to take a quick dip and enjoy its mesmerizing blue water. On a great day, one can bask in nature’s best with the sun shining warmly over the surrounding green trees and refreshing spring.

Ready to dive?!

But aside from the picturesque view, what makes Blue Hole Spring likable is the kindness of their locals. Kudos to the LGU for the good tourism management. The entrance is free and there are locals and tanods who oversee the order place and the safety of the people. Tables and chairs or cottages are available for rent at a reasonable price. They also have bamboo rafts that you can ride above the blue waters.

What goes up must come down
Of course, our sea to summit experience will not be complete without a taste of the mountains. We headed next to Brgy. Marmol where the infamous Atabay Peak is located. From the circulating pictures we’ve seen, its limestone rock formation could be likened to that of Mt. Mauyog and Licos Peak.

Bird’s eye view of Atabay Peak. ©CJ Estrada

But trust us when we say that Atabay Peak is much scarier than those two.

Not sure if it was the rainy weather, the slippery rocks, or the delicate scaffolding that pushed us to fear but the experience was literally breathtaking. Only a few of us braved to go on the edge and we all came down hurrying away from the intimidating cliff.

Our kind habal-habal drivers offered to take us to a nearby open hill instead which gave us a 360-degree view of the town’s coffee-scented highlands. This hill is located in the Plantation 1 part of Tuburan’s coffee farm which offers the Cebu-grown robusta beans.

Finally, happy faces after the knee-trembling climb!

Centennial Dao Tree (Dracontomelon dao)
The last part of our round Tuburan escapade is a trip to Brgy. Jagbuaya where the centennial Dao tree is. According to locals, this giant tree is approximately 200 years old and could possibly be one of the oldest trees in the country. Years of rain have eroded parts of the bank yet you could see how this Dao tree continues to thrive and survive.

Kataas… sa kahoy. LOL!
Capping our Tuburan escapade with one last happy groupfie!

Overall, this weekend was a wonderful celebration of Valentine’s Day (and birthday). No fancy dates or flowers and chocolates, just pure fun. Here’s to more moments like this! ❤

Check out CJ’s vlog during our Tuburan escapade on YouTube:

Let me have happy instead

Change my mind
Melt the strand
Of icicle that pierced
This chest

Let me believe
In magic,
Mermaids
And fairytales

And if, in case, you can’t hand a happy ever after—

I’ll have happy
Let me have happy instead.
I’ll take it any time,
Any day.


Facebook memories reminded me that I wrote this piece three years ago on this day. A lot of things have happened since then, but one thing remains: I’d still choose that happy any day. Sending virtual hugs to those who need it. 😊💛

Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort: A retreat for escapists

In less than a 30-minute drive from a side street in the town center of Carmen lies a quiet place that escapists from the big city will truly enjoy. Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort easily rings a bell for most Cebuanos. It is one of Carmen’s quadruple treat when it comes to cold spring waters, alongside Middle Earth Mountain Resort, Mt. Uragay Spring Resort, and Alhibe Farm.

A natural retreat

Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort is situated not too far from the main road, but far enough to be considered remote. The place is teeming with lots of trees and plants that will captivate the eyes ─ especially those of plantitas and plantitos. I appreciate how the management try to preserve its natural ecology by limiting the number of structural changes in the resort.

What I found interesting in Durano were their homestays. In this day of skyscraper buildings, the sight of treehouses and nipa huts is a breath of fresh air. They have an option for visitors to pitch their own tents too, but I personally would not recommend it. Not the best camping spot.

Continue reading “Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort: A retreat for escapists”

Whispers of the Wind

I wish the wind whispers you the secrets
I’ve been trying to keep.
I hope it tells you that you are not alone—
That I, too, am afraid

Afraid to make another mistake,
Afraid that this is a mistake

Afraid to get wounded all over again.

But for what are the hearts that beat louder than drums
If they can’t be brave?
What’s the point of having hearts that beat?

So, here I am, wishing for the wind to whisper my plea:
Just as the waves stroke the shore,
Just as the setting sun kisses the sea,
Just as the darkness embraces night,
Let us give in to destiny
Without having the fears of the past.


Three years ago, I wrote the Tagalog version of this poem. Back then, I took a writing hiatus too and it was going out in the natural world that awakened my muse. This year, I can’t say how long this break will be. I guess I need another dose of the outdoors! 🌻🍃

Monday Musings: Extra Baggage

I remember this climb. In the darkness of the dawn, we hiked in full packs between huffs, pants and coughs. I remember asking myself, why did I have to bring so much load? I should have left that extra shirt. I should have left that extra jacket. Did I really need an extra pair of pants? As the earth gradually piled up under my feet, I realized that climbing mountains is not so different from living life.

Truth is much of what weigh me down are not mine to carry — the troubles of the world, other people’s problems, inexistent futures and such. Like how I pack for a climb, I also tend to carry things that does not fit. Things that I should have outgrown and moved on with. Like emotions and memories.

Some nights, my knees and chin almost touch as I lay curled on the bed. Tired of living. But just like mountain climbing, no matter how hard the climb (and life) is, the peak will always be worth it. Those moments of ups and downs will not be wasted if we take every step by heart.

And I hope what I felt when I ascended 2819.78 MASL to reach the summit of Mt. Wiji — that pure happiness and bliss — will be just the same when I reach the summit of my years. I want to be able to let go of all those extra baggage in the end. Arms wide open, surrendering to the beauty of nature. To the beauty of life.

Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take

The pandemic has opened our eyes to a world that seems to always take. Lives and livelihood are lost. Every day feels like another step away from time, opportunities, relationships, connections, sanity and peace of mind. It’s the ultimate survival test — and the animal in each of us is out.

I honestly never thought we’d get this worse. Our panic and fear turned to greed and selfishness. There is a me-first mentality that runs on a global, national, local and personal scale. We push and shove one another, determined to keep our spot of existence. This is not a health threat anymore. This is a threat to life.

As I started doubting the future, I looked for comfort from the past. I came across old photographs from last year’s hike for a cause that we held in Carcar City. It not only reminded me of our exciting experience in Mt. Kalatkat, but it gave me the much-needed assurance that there is still goodness in people’s hearts. That we are capable of caring and giving, too.

Continue reading “Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take”

Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls

With the world in utter chaos today due to COVID-19, we are reminded of our mortality — our vulnerability despite having played like gods over other creatures. As death threatens to knock on our doorsteps, we realize the value of living.

To live, not merely exist. But have we made the most of life?

Continue reading “Fallin’ Down South: A weekend of feast, fog and falls”

Silent Spring: A Triolet

It was a spring without voices, devoid of man and his obsessions
Warm light bathed, for once, the stricken world that was silenced
For what worth were our gold and our Earthly possessions?
It was a spring without voices, devoid of man and his obsessions
Love is what carries weight, not money or possessions
Nor hatred and greed can answer mother nature’s siren
It was a spring without voices devoid, of man and his obsessions
Warm light bathed, for once, the stricken world that was silenced

© doodlescribbles


Sharing this piece that I’ve written for #WorldofWords prompt that I am doing with Jade M Wong and A Reading Writer on Instagram (Jade’s IG, Rose’s IG and my IG). This one is inspired by the current global pandemic and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a nonfiction that became one of the most-influential writings in the modern environmental movement. The book documents the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate and eloquently questions humanity’s faith in technological progress.

Triolet is a short poem of eight lines with only two rhymes used throughout. The requirements of this fixed form are straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme. Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines.

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Vignette: That familiar color of fire

I was taking a bath when a streak of light hit my skin. From the gap between my wooden window, it came with the color of fire — the kind of orange you get when you light a lamp in the midst of a dim room. The ones we used to play with during brownouts.

Shadows. Silhouettes.

The clock strikes 5:49 pm and a wave of nostalgia begins.


Was amazed by today’s sunset and I had to write a little something. Also, linking this to this week’s OLN hosted by Grace. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Head over here to join the prompt!

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