Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, December 07, 2014




Exactly a year ago, on what I thought was my deathbed, a cousin of mine from General Nakar visited me at the hospital and got depressed by my anorexic state. My health collapsed from not being able to ingest anything solid and liquid due to an untreated case of frontal sinusitis. I could barely see his figure as his silhouette formed against the bright light coming from the window. He expressed his desire that I recuperate in his house near the beach in Quezon Province after my ordeal. The next day, I sort of received last rites when a priest came to the room.

When I came out of my near-death experience, I was reminded of General Nakar, my cousin and his cottage by the beach. I've only been to as far as my mom's hometown of Infanta but not further up the next town. After a 3 hour-and-30-minute Raymond Transit bus ride, I showed up at my cousin's house to let him know that his act of kindness proved to be an oasis of hope for me.

The mighty Agos River
General Nakar Municipal Hall
A local with a fresh morning catch

Getting back in shape was tough as I still had to eat healthy to gain weight. Muscles were sore and moving about was difficult. The prospect of seeing the beach that my cousin promised me was crucial for my quick recovery.

The Mighty Agos River

Soon, I was aboard my cousin's motorcycle, plying Banugao Road to see the vast Agos River. From my vantage point in the middle of the Infanta-General Nakar Bridge, it seemed impossible how the river could overflow beyond the height of the bridge with flashfloods that came with mud. I was told that four consecutive typhoons (Unding, Winnie, Yoyong and Zenyang) managed to deliver that massive damage in the shortest time possible in 2004. One can only be thankful that the river was even that massive to begin with enough to take that much toll.

Beach seaweed
Swimming In Banugao

Suddenly, I felt melancholic for remembering how I used to bathe as a kid at a stream called Banugao that flows directly from the river. I know it to be filled with dark boulders on both sides of its stretch. I can only imagine how destroyed the terrain was in that area that year and the months that followed.

Before we hit the beach, we stopped by a food peddler along the highway for bananas and spices. It was almost lunch time and we need to eat back at his house after a visit of the beach.

Hitting The Beach

After traversing the well-paved main road, we veered to a rocky and muddy pathway that opened along the beachfront. There were still a lot of spots with uprooted trees and drifted logs. We rode for a few minutes more to reach his friends, the owners of Astrera Beach Resort, in the same town.

Empty lots near the beachfront

Astrera Beach Resort

Infighting Being Whispered About

I noticed that there were a few modern and newly-built houses but were seemingly abandoned which my cousin confirmed to be so. According to him, the persistent crossfire between the military and New People's Army (NPA) rebels would become surprising at times that the owners of the new houses would just abandon the place for fear of getting injured or killed.

Fine, Brown Sand and Barbed Wires

During my visit, there was no such incident as I was able to freely stroll the expanse of fine, brown sand that city dwellers are missing out on because of the brutal infighting. The area looked ideally spectacular for camping spots. I saw a few more beach resorts being run by locals but were clearly needing improvements in the aesthetic side. Some resorts even have barbed wires for fences.

I can't blame the locals for the lack of visitors. They are, after all, only caught between the presence of two entities who aren't even based in the area. The army soldiers are only stationed where they are instructed to be while most rebels are not even from the that part of the province. This rather makes it a bit poignant for some locals for the town be named after the Philippines' World War II hero, Guillermo P. Nakar of Barangay Anoling. As a matter of fact, relatives of mine from Infanta (as General Nakar was once part of it) are slightly not supportive of my visit of the town for fear that I would be mistaken by NPA rebels for a military informant.

Watch a short video of my road trip in General Nakar:

A Revisit In The Offing

I did not realize that it had to take a near-death experience for me to finally reach General Nakar until I celebrated my first year of extended life writing this piece this month. The town shall not wait for more reasons for me to revisit it though. I've found it worth my time once and the prospect of seeing its caves, waterfalls, and the enchanting rock formations in the town'sTulaog Beach is beckoning.

Astrera Beach Resort

Address: Brgy. Sablang General Nakar, Quezon Province
Phone: 0909-735-3990

Check out my other Quezon Province-related blog posts:
Infanta, Balagbag Falls, and Nonok Falls
Real's Tignoan Beach
Cagbalete Island getaway
Attractions in Mauban
Attractions in Tayabas City
Graceland Estate and Country Club of Tabayas


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