Life is a journey. Come and join me as i spend moments with interesting people, visit astounding places, attend meaningful events, or just pondering things out.
Despite the absence of regular teambuilding activities at CBC CardOps, each member felt that they are part of a caring family. When I was still there, I ensure that I talk to each member often, discuss their work, provide advice, and build trust.
Resignations at the office last 2016 made us set aside our plan for another teambuilding activity after our memorable CardOps Goes to Tagaytay road trip on 2015. Guilty that I was also leaving them soon, I gave in to this Borawan trip for our last hurrah as a team.
Off to Anaud Residence
The trip started literally right after my last day at the office. Instead of becoming emotional on my final day at CBC, excitement wraps me as we drove-off to Cavite going to Anaud residence in Imus.
Myra and Manny were such a gracious hosts. We had our dinner at their cozy house while waiting for Arlene and Paulo who arrived around 2AM. It has been a long time since I last spent an overnight bonding with CardOpsteam. Whoa, my 10PM bedtime was compromised.
Borawan Island Resort
Padre Burgos Pier is the gateway to Borawan. The 6AM planned arrival at the pier was actually just a wishful thinking. After a long and arduous drive to Lucena we arrived at Padre Burgos Pier around 8:30 AM. Borawan is probably the nearest and the most popular island in the area closest to Padre Burgos pier, it was a mere 15-minute boat ride away.
Needless to say, Borawan got its name from Boracay and Palawan. This due to its Boracay like sand and Palawan like rock formations. It could be the reason why it became popular among tourists, plus the fact that it is near. I can say that it is a cheaper alternative to both Boracay and Palawan. I didn’t expect much from it, but I find the beach to be beautiful. It’s water though becomes murky sometimes and jellyfish are common which explains the reason for netted area where tourists can safely swim.
The resort itself is far from being impressive. The room is not something that you can cocoon yourself during day time because it gets extremely hot when the sun is out. Electricity in the island is only available at night, so that means no aircon, no electric fan, no facility to charge your gadgets while precious electricity is absent. But no one goes to an island getaway to cocoon, right?
Its resto on the other hand is charming, as it is open air and facing the beach front. Don’t expect though that food price is reasonable. Typical breakfast meal P150 per person. Stay away from Tapsilog, the team said its comparable to dried vulcaseal.
Kuwebang Lampas/Puting Buhangin Beach
We proceeded to this beach after our late breakfast. It’s around 30 minutes away from Borawan. I understand that it is already part of Pagbilao unlike Borawan which is part of Padre Burgos. I had an appreciation of Quezon Province seascape in this boat ride. We passed some small islands and the Pagbilao Power Plant along the way. Puting buhangin beach appears to be the most swimmable beach in the area. It has fine white sand and clear blue waters.
On the extreme right side of the beach is a small cave where it probably got its name. A lot of local tourists stay in this island by renting cottage or tent. There’s no resort in the area. It was like a marketplace with tourists, vendors, cottages and tents abound. Most bring their own food, but there are some sari-sari stores in the area. If you want to pee, you can do it on the vast sea, or avail of pay-per-use public toilet at P10 per visit.
We left the place late afternoon and returned to Borawan Island Resort for that much needed rest, anticipating a sumptuous dinner.
It was on our second day at Borawan when we went to this sandbar. According to our new boatman it is 45 minutes from Borawan and that we are fortunate if we can still see its entirety upon arriving there since the tide was already rising. We had a rift with our first boatman and it’s a long story to tell.
Fortunately, the sandbar was still there when we arrived. But I guess we are not lucky enough since a big part of the island was already submerged. The team immediately hopped-out our boat and did their photo op in no time. The island was indeed a pristine beauty with proliferation of starfish and some jellyfish. The sand was not as fine as that of Boracay but it was nonetheless lovely. Our boatman said that the sandbar used to be wider and much longer before but somewhat deteriorated due to quarrying. Thankful that we were able to enjoy it even for a few minutes and made meaningful by experiencing it with the camaraderie of my CardOps members.
As if it was not enough, the team still managed to do a banana boat ride upon returning in our resort. This teambuilding event in Borawan really doesn’t happen every day so some members said we might as well do these things while in there.
Bangihan ni Kuya
We left Borawan Island Resort around noon. Everyone agreed to have lunch along the way. After buying some pasalubong items like pianono, pinagong, and tikoy in Sariaya, we headed to this quaint restaurant along diversion road in Candelaria called Bangihan ni Kuya. I learned there that “Bangihan” is a deep tagalog word for ihawan. This could also have some influence by nearby Bicol since some Bicolanos also use bangihan to mean ihawan.
Food at Bangihan is so scrumptious. The place is known for its Filipino boodle feast that consists of glorious crispy pata, kare-kare, crabs, prawns, pinakbet, some fried fish and pancit habhab together with liters of ice cold coke. What a way to spend our last meal together as a team.
The Last Goodbye
Silence embraced us inside the van as we headed to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Maybe because we are tired with all the activities we did for the past two days, or maybe because we know the vacation is about to end and we will soon be back to our normal lives. In my case, it was both plus one thing more. It was the day I will bid the team my last goodbye.
It was already nighttime when Miko and I alighted at Sta. Rosa exit. Sadness hit me when I utter my parting words to Myra, Arlene, Paulo, Glenna, Leo, Paul, and MJ. My heart was tearing apart but I need to make a stoic front. My journey at CBC CardOps was indeed an unforgettable one. Challenging yet productive. Short but meaningful. I can’t thank them enough for everything.
Farewell my CardOps team. I’m not sure if I will still see you again or spend another moment with everyone again sometime in the future. But one thing is for sure, you will always have a soft spot in my heart. Thank you for being part of my journey.
** Credits to the Arlene, Glenna, and Leo for some of the photos.
*** You may click HERE for the rest of the photos.