One of the best things that I enjoy about my job is to do fieldwork outside Manila, and I’m lucky to have had a client with its main accounting department located in an island! It’s actually a coal mining company located in the island of Semirara in Caluya, Antique (somewhere in Visayas na po ‘to for those who do not know the place; it’s near Capiz, near Mindoro, or better yet, near Boracay!).
FYI, the island of Semirara is the largest source of coal mine in the Philippines.
My first touchdown on this island was on October of 2008 when I was assigned to handle the engagement for the 2008 year-end audit. I was excited to visit the place as I have heard a lot of nice things about it from the previous auditors who handled the engagement. And it was also my first time ride on a 30something-seater private plane! weee! hehehe!
My first impression on the island: “probinsyang-probinsya”! Although I’m a promdi myself, can’t help noticing the very simple life slash environment slash ambiance the island staged before me. Anyway, what I liked about being assigned in this island are the gala moments during weekends—and usually our clients take us to the beach!!! :D Apart from that, I was also drawn to the view of the Unong Lake (formerly a mine pit though) and of course the Panian Mine Pit that’s currently being mined.
L..I..F..E.. S..A.. B..E..A..C..H..!!!
After the toxic audit work, straight from Monday to Saturday, I believe we just deserve some LIFE!!! :D And by life i mean, LIFE SA BEACH! :D Now below are some of the pix that I compiled during my gala moments sa mga beach ng Semirara Island! Ang saya lang! :D
Ilugao Beach – I’ve been in this beach for two times already, back when access was easier. During my last visits, we were not allowed anymore to enter the area as it is being developed. I remembered celebrating my 20something birthday back in 2008 in this beach, after doing a little hike at 5am, with the people from the Accounting Department! hehehe! It was a fun experience, hiking while raining! haha! pero tuloy pa rin ang gala!.
I love this white-sand beach, pero hindi kame nakapag-swim kase low tide, at madaming lumot! Pero ang ganda ng beach! What we did was, nag-balsa kame going to another shore, kahit umuulan, kebs na! :D We got some starfishes!!! hehe! okatokat pa’ko nung una, pero hinawakan ko din! :D
Second visit was during 2009, with my former manager. We just took a look of the place and took some photos–at that time, access has been restricted already. We were only allowed because we were accompanied by the CFO hehe! :D
Tinogboc Beach – And how could I forget the mangrove and boat shots! :) During the weekend before we left the island after doing our interim fieldwork for 2008 audit, pinasyal na naman kame ng kliyente sa mga beach sa Semirara! First stop was at this place called Tinogboc. Super low tide nung time na yun, kaya nagpikchuran lang kame, then decided to look for another beach, where we could swim! hehe! :D
Alegria Beach – Second stop, right after Tinogboc, we went to this place, and decided to stay here until late afternoon. Dito daw yung may bidjokehan hehe pero nung time na pumunta kame, wala na! tsk! Being atribida and all, we (with my two junior staff), rented a banca at binaybay namin ang Alegria Beach! Buti na lang may sumamang Kuya, na tumulong samin sumagwan! hahaha! Ang saya lang! Kebs sa init ng araw! :D
In 2011, I revisited Alegria Beach, after 3 years!!! hehehe! This time, super low tide na yung beach, at hong-inneettt!!! super-duper init kase ba naman around 3 pm ata kame pumunta dun! Buti na lang, may nagdala ng payong!! ehehe! We had some pikchur pikchur of course! :D
Tambak Beach – This brown/gray-sand beach is very good for wave-fighting! hehehe pag high tide! Super lakas ng waves sa beach na ‘to, parang pwede na mag-surfing! ehehe kidding! But in fairness, kahit brownish to grayish yung kulay ng sand, super linis ng beach kaya masarap maligo! Below are pix taken at Tambak Beach during high tide! :D Ang saya lang!
Gan’to naman ‘pag low tide…super kalmado..
Sibutong Beach – And how could I forget this very memorable beach experience in Sibutong?! Anyway, good part of this trip: the beach looked amazing…halatang di pa naabuso! Like Ilugao, this one’s a white-sand beach also, but looked a little undeveloped… When we visited this beach, super low tide that seaweeds were all over the shore! Worse part, there were a lot of those tiny insects na sobrang sakit mangagat! I think it’s called “niknik”. And isa ako sa mga nabiktima ng mga insektong yun!!! Super bad experience, but that’s another long story ehehe! Anyway, below are some of the pix at Sibutong:
And some more creative slash kaartehan shots! :D