If you haven’t heard the weather agency, PAGASA, declaring the end of summer, the heavy rains in the past days would definitely drive home the point that the Philippines has two seasons — the rainy season and the very rainy season. Well, it has been fun while summer lasted. We sure have enough memories of sunny days to last us the entire rainy season. We’re also sure that you guys saved enough photos of summer. So, in memory of Summer 2017, let’s feature some of your photos.
Life’s a Beach
The best beaches in the world, including El Nido and Boracay, are found in the Philippines. But the Philippines has more beautiful beach paradise to offer. There’s Onok Island in Balabac, Palawan, with this photo (above) courtesy of Krist Joseph J. Cadlaon (check his Instagram account @krisanto.lakwatsero for more awesome shots).
Of course, you can still visit the beach anytime, even during the rainy season. People, in fact, flock to Boracay during the semestral break in October. It’s not quite the same, though, when the weather forecast is “rain with a chance of sunshine.”
We know there’s a lot of beach-ready bodies tagged with #visitpinas and it seems wrong not to post all of them here. So we came up with a middle ground. Perhaps we can have a separate post exclusive for those beach bodies, but for this article, let’s have something equally sexy yet less revealing. For the general audience, we suppose, like this photo from Jhay-Ann Santos (check her Instagram account @belleofjune for more photos).
Flexing those muscles, with enough justification to avoid the “bragging” tag, is perfectly ok not only on the beach, but also on the mountain trail in summer, like this photo from Rowel Golloso (check his Instagram account @lakbaywelwel for more photos).
Healthy living is a year-long affair. It’s not limited to summer. Still, whether we like it or not, a lot of people still prepare for summer, pigging out the entire year and then burning those fats off as the sun gets warmer. Each one has a reason. We suspect that one common reason is this — the best way to show off your well-chiseled body is on the beach or mountain trail in SUMMER. If you bare your skin, on the beach or elsewhere, during the rainy season, there’s simply no finesse, just outright bragging. So yabang, you know.
There are more variations of halo-halo in the Philippines compared to, say, the number of times our President uttered a cuss word in public. Anything ice-based, we absolutely love during summer in this tropical island-paradise called the Philippines. Ice cream, the basic flavors and the more adventurous fruits of summer. Fruit shakes. Ice candy, even “ice water.” Here, in this photo by Oliver Gumboc (check his Instagram account @whereisoyi for more photos), is ice scramble.
There’s no stopping you from enjoying these cool treats during the rainy season, although it’s just not the same. Under the rain, you appreciate the taste, not the ice. During summer, you appreciate the ice, then the taste.
It’s a Rainbow of Fun
Just by looking at this photo alone, without knowing additional details, gives you that sense of warmth summer embrace. It’s the same rationale for the blind auditions of that TV show, The Voice. The lively diverse colors of the kayak, as opposed to the gray non-kayak colors of the rainy season (who in their right mind would go kayaking on rough seas?), the strong shadows cast by trees against the intense summer sun, the rolled-down beach umbrellas because who needs the shade when you have sunscreen, the sand and the sea.
What if we throw in a few words in describing this photo — Cloud 9, Siargao Island, Isla Cabana. Yes, this photo by outbound.ph (check and follow the Instagram account @outbound.ph for more awesome shots) is from the surfer’s paradise in Surigao province, Siargao Island. Does that make the photo even more, uhm, summery? In our book, very much so, yes.
During the rainy season, there’s one dominant color throughout the day — dark gray. People may enjoy the first few days of the rainy season, with the class/work suspensions and the perfect mix of conditions conducive to sleeping, but sooner or later people would long for the warmth of the sun. The whole gray motif is too depressing. We’re in a tropical country, a land of warm colors and even warmer smiles. The Philippines is known for its sunny smiles. And we Filipinos need our daily dose of sunshine, even a glimpse of the fiery colors of sunset.
We’ve featured a number of sunsets in VisitPinas, but let’s see the sunset at Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan, courtesy of Monalyn Eduardo (check her Instagram account, @monalyneduardo ). The touch and sound of the rolling waves, the whiff of the salty Philippine sea, the soft breeze that soothes the skin and makes one forget the harshness of the sun throughout the day, a reminder that the night brings a whole new set of fun memories — all wrapped up in a blanket of bright orange-red colors. Ahh, Philippine summer. Absolutely gorgeous.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Whatever the season is, rain or shine, you can’t avoid getting wet crawling inside Sagada’s beautiful Sumaguing Cave. It’s a bit of challenge to the physically fit, definitely scary to those physically-challenged. If you can’t get out of the sofa by rolling down from the backseat, you probably can’t get farther than the cave entrance. See the photo above? (Photo courtesy of Louise Valenzuela; check her Instagram account, @louisevalenz, for more photos) That’s not a simple photo op that you can opt out of. That’s somewhere you have to crawl through on your way to the bottom of Sumaguing Cave. Here’s the fun part — it’s the same wall you have to climb on your way out.
It’s going to be cold up in Sagada in any weather. Perfect cuddle weather. However, it’s much safer to go spelunking down Sumaguing Cave during the dry season. Even experienced cave guides (warning: do NOT go inside unless you are accompanied by accredited guides; register at the town hall) lost their lives when heavy rainwater swept the bottom of the cave. Exciting, ain’t it?
We’re just getting started. We’re combing through the latest submissions of our fellow VisitPinas travelers through Instagram. It will take a week or two to complete this post, so we suggest you guys tag us in Instagram with more of your summer photos.