ABW Sept 2020

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Now nearly the end of September and again the magazine is nearly a

month late due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19

pandemic. Our apologies for this, but it is beyond our control but still

managed to get your favourite magazine out, albeit a little late.

In this issue we have revisited after 6 years the region of Ilocos Norte.

This is one on the better places to visit even during the restrictions placed

on travellers. Just check with local authorities before when planning you

holiday there. There has been a lot of press lately over the handling of

the pandemic and we feel very strongly about some of the government

restrictions placed that have done nothing but cause further economic

disaster for the country, of course this is our opinion and everyone has a

right to an opinion and say they cannot restrict us for that. We only hope

that they come to their senses very quickly so we can get back to living

normal lives and enjoy the things we all enjoy the most, like enjoying a

weekend at the beach or going sailing and to be involved again in sports

on the water, like the RTV Regatta at Lake Taal, The All Souls Regatta at

Puerto Galera and regattas at the Punta Fuego Yacht Club.


Addressing The Covid-19 6

With Common Sense

Stuck At Home Because of a Pandemic? 14

Build A Boat

Cruising With Corona 3 22

The Voyage Home

Sea Tales - Fishing Terrorists 28

And The Coral Carpet

Paolo Soler: Spreading 36

The Stoke Of Surfing

Can Oarfish Predict Earthquakes? 42

Destination - ILOCOS NORTE 48

At 177kph Dubai Police Acquire World’s 68

Fastest Speed Boat To Combat Covid-19

Sailing Tips - The Development of Sailing 72

In our next edition we are hoping to be able to bring you information

on one of the most beautiful Islands in the Philippines, Siquijor with its

crystal clear waters and pure white sands. It is also noteworthy to mention

that Siquijor has had the lowest incidence of the COVID-19.

Until then stay safe and let’s hope that we can return to normal

activities sooner than later.

Barry Dawson Editor


Cover photo courtesy of RAYOMARINE


Destination - ILOCOS NORTE

Published quarterly by: ABW PUBLISHING

House 16, Madrigal Compound, 2550 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City


Managing Editor & Production: BARRY DAWSON

Associate Editor: ROY ESPIRITU

Layout & Design: MAR SUBA

Contributing Writers: BRUCE CURRAN & JAMES WEBSTER

Contributing Photographers: TERRY DUCKHAM & JOHNNY MARTINEZ

Advertising: (046) 489-2087/ 0919-070-3751/ 0917-871-8547

Email: info@activeboatingwatersports.com

Website: www.activeboatingwatersports.com

Printed by: House Printers, Taytay, Rizal, Philippines

Active Boating and Watersports is a copyright© production

No part can be copied or reproduced without the express

permission of the publishers.

The views expressed and advertisements published in Active Boating & Watersports

are those of the authors and advertisers, and not ABW Publishing.

ABW Publishing does not accept any liability whatsoever for errors or omissions.



The COVID-19

With Common



Photographs as Credited

Go ahead, include sailing,

basketball and other

sporting spectacles,

reopening of clubs and

cinemas- but, common

sense should prevail, and

always wear a mask when

large crowds are involved.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered

a “lockdown” of the entire metro Manila

region from March 15 to April 14 (which many

restrictions are still in effect 4 months on) due to

the coronavirus pandemic. Flanked by army and police

officials, the president delivered a meandering, often

contradictory address to the nation, leaving residents

scrambling to prepare for a month of potential isolation in

a region that already struggles to provide access to food,

water, and medical care to over 12 million inhabitants.

Now history will show that our Governing bodies have

grossly OVER-REACTED to this Chinese inspired virus...

to an infection that is clearly MANAGEABLE .Instead we

have NEEDLESSLY destroyed the Philippine economy with

devastating SOCIAL as well as ECONOMIC consequences.

We are now faced with these things that are not just

getting out of hand; they have well and truly got out

of hand! With suicides and bankruptcies occurring on

a daily basis. Our politicians and health bureaucrats

in particular have got to understand , and this includes

the President, that I, you, and the entire population

IMMEDIATELY expect an improving balance between

return to work and freedom of travel—and restricted

work/ lock down. Herein we are NOT making the strides

we should be making on behalf of return to work...not

by half! We know enough now to say to ‘hell with shut

downs‘, ‘to hell with autocratic Prima Donna Politicians,

Mayors and faceless public servants’ making rules which

have ALARMING and DESTRUCTIVE consequences for

hundreds of thousands of small businesses, their families

and their employees. Indeed, what we have in front of us

is a manageable and PROACTIVE return to work scenario

because we have enough information to implement this!

We say:

1. The Number one focus must be on DEATHS. What

proportion of the population is actually DYING dumdum?

Who are they?

2. How many are getting the virus...but NOT DYING?

3. What contains the spread of the virus?

4. If we go back to work much more rapidly than now

what are the likely consequences.

5. If we don’t get back to work, full time pretty soon,


consequences for our economy and our MENTAL

HEALTH as a nation?

6. Looking ahead, I say there is much to be OPTIMISTIC

about viz. therapeutics (imminent) and state of the art

(akin to flu injection)

7. GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to restructure the Philippine


Allow me to answer these 7 referenced points.

(1) The people DYING from COVID are broadly those with

other pre-existing conditions. There are always going

to be exceptions, but this is the broad picture. They

amount to 0.0009 percent of the population. Get it?

Less than 1 percent!

(2) 99 percent + are NOT dying from Covid!

(3) Sensible health practices, if in doubt see a doctor

and get a check-up. Practice sensible social distancing

in heavily populated areas, Take better care of the

elderly and be aware that in some cases they are more

susceptible, especially if pre-existing conditions exist,

like heart disease, high blood pressure. Asthma.

Diabetes etc.

(4) We should expect a SPIKE in virus infections. But we

shouldn’t be unduly fazed or alarmed. It’s the number

of deaths we need to focus on. Those who get the virus,

other than some elderly and other pre-existing

condition almost always recover. Some, with minimal

sickness. Health practises must continue to be enforced

at work including hands sanitation. (Recently I asked

a friend who manages a large complex in Manila.

Now, working restricted hours...as to customer induced

viral infections: apparently they have had NONE and

this has been the case since they reopened.

Go ahead, Include sailing, basketball and other sporting

spectacles, reopening of clubs and cinemas- but,

common sense should prevail, and always wear a mask

when large crowds are involved. Like major sporting

spectacles. Continuing, any person becoming sick at

work reports his/her reason as to non-work attendance

and stays home, working from there, if practical and

returns to work with a medical clearance. But here’s

where the Government does have a specific role. It

must introduce the TAIWAN model, where there have

been minuscule deaths, by enforcing a telephone app

where an infected person is contacted day and night as to

his/her whereabouts, thus containing the spread of the

virus thru his or her known and highly restricted


(5) No more shutdowns. These have driven many people

CRAZY to the point of suicide, morbidity, despair of all

kinds, and paved the way for long spells in mental

homes. How dare any politician or bureaucrat think

they have the right to take away my or your liberty!

Especially, as it is becoming clear, that lockdowns only

destroy the economy. They do not eradicate or

control the spread of the virus. And, just like the flu,

this virus is almost certainly here to stay

(6) The Imminent arrival of more effective therapeutics

and the near certainty of the flu injection equivalent

will enable us to return to normality. And therapeutics

alone combined with good health practices is enough,

right now, to ensure a safe return to work.

(7) COVID is a golden opportunity for the nation to plan

for a new economy and pave the way in which we

conduct our business. Wherever possible we need to

‘build it here’. Thus more manufacturing of our own

goods, creating more employment, more downstream

minerals processing, a national energy plan where


and make this the land of opportunity, if the

government keeps going on its current path it will

become the land of stupidity!

green energy elements are manufactured here and not

imported from China for example in the form of

finished solar, nuclear energy is depoliticized and

becomes a serious integrated energy option, we

mobilise our huge water resources as part of a national

water grid. Because the Filipino people are very

talented and inventive, maybe we can create special

economic zones, we invite the best brains in the

world to pass on their ideas in assisting this to happen.

This national plan must NOT be restricted to politicians.

But that the political circle will have to make ‘things

happen’ is an imperative. We have to work together


cases reported. To handle this we have two possible


We already have a growing

number of anti vaxxers

refusing proven, tested,

well known vaccines that

have been administered

for decades but aren’t

necessarily safe!

Scenario 1

‘The President

said today that

during the past

6 months there

had been a spike

In the Covid

numbers, with an

additional 300

cases reported.


The disaster of Duterte’s Lockdown

Aerial footage of NLEX hours before Manila lockdown due to COVID-19

‘This is very disappointing ‘he said. It means we have

to seriously consider a further lock-down’...We will try

our best to safeguard jobs and minimise time spent in

lockdown’ OR

Scenario 2

The President said today that although there had been

an inevitable ‘spike’ In COVID virus infections due to the

Government’s recent return to work policy ,the amount of

those dying have not risen as a percentage of the population,

and those who were reported as infected were under strict

surveillance due to state of the art surveillance technology.

‘The Government has no plans for further ‘shutdowns’, he said.

He added that the Government’s policy thrust was on

managing COVID based on targeting identified trouble

areas and computer empowerment to contain the spread

of the virus.

The President added that Philippine hospitals will have

no overcrowding issues, neither are we in a Middle Ages

Black Death Plague crisis troubled by calls of ‘Call Out The

Dead’, he added.

“It’s time for everybody to return to work irrespective

of any spike in the virus, because we have the means to

handle this”, he said.

Read and absorb this:

Please just take politics out of it and read this with an

open mind using common sense.

Is anyone out there who can tell me what our end game is

with the Covid 19?

What is the magic formula that is going to allow us to

sound the all clear?

Is it zero cases? The only way that will happen is if we just

stop testing and stop reporting.

Is it a vaccine? It took 25 years for a chicken pox vaccine

to be developed.

The smallpox inoculation was discovered in 1796 the last

known natural case was in 1977.

We have a flu vaccine that is only 40 to 60% effective

and less than half of the world population choose to get

one, and roughly 30,000 Filipinos will die of the flu or flu


Oh, you’ll mandate it, like other vaccines are mandated in

order to attend school, travel to some foreign countries, etc.

We already have a growing number of anti vaxxers

refusing proven, tested, well known vaccines that have

been administered for decades but aren’t necessarily safe!

Do you really think people will flock to get a fast tracked,

quickly tested vaccine, whose long term side effects and

overall efficacy are anyone’s best guess?

How long are we going to cancel and postpone and

reconsider? What if October’s numbers are the same as

Grocery shopping

Military joint task force

Coronavirus quarantine San Mateo

Panic buying

August’s? You moved football to summer? What if next

March is worse than this one was?

When do we decide quality of life outweighs the risks?

I understand Covid can be deadly or

very dangerous for SOME people,

but so are peanuts, strawberries, and


We take risks multiple times a day

without a second thought. We know

driving a car can be dangerous;

but we don’t leave it in the garage.

We speed and we don’t fasten our

seatbelts. We know the dangers of smoking, drinking and

eating fried foods, but we do it anyway. Is hugging Gran

or any other relative really more dangerous than rush hour

at MRT? Is going out with friends after work more risky

than convenience stores 4 day old

sushi? Or operating a chainsaw?

I understand I could

possibly pass it to

someone else, if I’m not

careful, but I can pass any

virus onto someone else

not just Covid-19.

When and how and why did we

so quickly lose our free will? “I

understand the risks, but I choose

a life with Hugs and Smiles, and

the Community Fair and Concerts

and Parties.”

I understand that there is a

minuscule possibility I could die, but I will most likely end

up feeling like crap for a few days. I understand I could

possibly pass it to someone else, if I’m not careful, but I

can pass any virus onto someone else not just Covid-19.

I’m struggling to see where or how this ends.

We either get busy living or we get busy dying.

When it’s your time, you don’t get any mulligans, you die,

so I guess I would rather spend my time enjoying it and

living in the moment and not worrying about what ifs and

maybes, and I bet I’m not the only one.





Stuck at Home

Because of a



Photographs as Credited


Pascal’s backyard in Maasin,

Southern Leyte where he

plans to sail his boat

a Boat!

The World’s first boatbuilding boom happened

in the western world after world war two. Boat

designers wanted to give everyday folk access

to sailing through simple wooden boats, the

Optimist dinghy was one such boat that is still a popular

one-design racing class for young sailors. Introduced in

1947 and designed as the largest boat

that can be built from two sheets of

plywood, the Optimist was a means

for young people to get into sailing

without breaking the bank.

After the war people found themselves

with more spare time and spare

income than before, there was also

an abundance of quality materials

for boat building, such as waterproof

plywood which was perfected during

the war and was used to build PT boats as well as airplanes

such as the de Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber. Boats

such as the Cadet, Sunfish and the International 14s were

designed using similar principles as the Optimist. In a few

years, what used to be an exclusive activity for the affluent

became a pastime for the masses.

New boats made of plywood were built from scratch or

from kits by families looking to get into this “new” sport,

and in a span of a decade hundreds of thousands of boats

were launched, and in almost every body of water saw the

establishment of yacht clubs or sailing clubs to support

these new boaters.

With the majority of the world’s population stuck at home

because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new boat-building

boom seems to be trending around the world. That, or

the world’s anxiousness has highlighted activities that

are usually taken for granted. In any case, a noticeable

increase in building boats at home seems to be the trend.

This was noticed by members of the

With the majority of the

world’s population stuck

at home because of the

COVID-19 pandemic, a

new boat-building boom

seems to be trending

around the world.

Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht

Club (PHBYC), a virtual yacht club

of amateur boatbuilders, the club is

an online community where amateur

boat builders share their experiences

with others and in one way or the

other help each other as a collective.

The increased activity on the PHBYC

social media page is evidence of

this increase in home boat building.

Relatively new members have posted photos showing the

progress of their current projects, and asked questions on

details they were unsure of. Questions asked were mostly on

the availability of some materials specified on their boat plans

as well as local alternatives and where they can be sourced.

Michael Storer, a Batangas based Australian small boat

designer and member of PHBYC confirmed this ramp

up of home boatbuilding, “Since the start of COVID my

income from my overseas agents has been 3 times the

normal rate. Quite a shock to be earning what would be

considered good money in Australia - very unusual for a

boat designer!” Storer said.


Paulo in Legazpi spreading epoxy fillets on the seams of his Chameleon dinghy

“There has been a huge amount of boatbuilding activity in

my internet groups as well, as clients looked at their bucket

list to find something they could do at home or those already

building progressed much more quickly than expected. A

real feeling of busy boat building on the internet is a new

phenomenon with new

Plans were

purchased online

from Duckworks

boat building


projects starting almost

every day and new boats

hitting the water weekly.”

Michael added.

Paulo Limbaña is a new

PHBYC member from

Legazpi, Albay who

is building a nesting

Chameleon Dinghy designed by Danny Greene. Plans were

purchased online from Duckworks boat building supply.

This is Paolo’s first boat build, and he’s looking forward

to learning how to sail on his new boat and exploring the

area around Albay Gulf, his home waters. The Chameleon

nesting dinghy he is building splits in half for transport and

storage, when apart, forward section fits in the aft section,


Amazing craftsmanship of Steve Goodchild,

the three years of work was all worth it.

Pascal working on his boat in his workshop which also doubles as an ALS classroom

nesting boats are popular among big boat sailors who use

the dinghies as a tenders for their larger boats.

When asked about why he started building now he said

that “I’ve always had a fascination for sailboats, warships,

including triremes, to ships of the line, I really think they’re

cool.” Paulo said. “I chose to build now because I have

more time, and probably more capable than before of

understanding sailboat and boatbuilding mechanics and

physics, and how things work”.

A business planning analyst for a casino hotel, he is

currently on an extended unpaid vacation at home because

of the pandemic. Having minimal wood working experience

didn’t matter, information he needed was just a click away,

he found that building a boat is very meaningful, and kept

him sane, “watching boatbuilding videos online helped a

great deal in this boatbuilding journey” Paulo added.

Steve taking his family out on the week that

he launched his newly built boat.

Paulo’s build is well documented in photos and video in the

PHBYC Facebook group page. One step that got people’s

attention was when he cut his boat in half. Nesting boats are


Paulo cutting his nesting dinghy in half with a hand saw

usually built as one boat initially, both halves are separated

by bulkheads that are initially separated by cardboard

spacers. The boat is cut in half by the builder at a specific

stage of the build, a cut is made between bulkhead, cutting

through the cardboard spacers. He is currently working on

the finishing details of his boat, hoping to finish before

Amihan arrives in October.

In the UK, a retired land surveyor saw himself working 13 hours

daily for three months to finish his cedar-planked Stornoway

that he started in 2017. His launch and build got media

attention during the

pandemic because he

To get the boat out,

Steve had to remove

the door as well as

its surrounding door


had to do some minor

home demolition to

get the boat out of

his house.

Steve Goodchild

from Devon ran a

joinery shop in an

earlier life and has a

good woodworking

background, When he originally planned the build of his

Stornoway he knew he could get it out of the patio door,

but boatbuilders being what they are couldn’t leave well

enough alone and made some modifications to the design

by adding a foredeck, this made the finished boat a few

inches wider. To get the boat out, Steve had to remove the

door as well as its surrounding door frame. Considering he

built the entire boat inside a spare room in his house, the

house remodeling job wasn’t that big of a deal.


Steve’s Stornoway now outside his house for the first time

dinghy, but I was determined to get it out and so I motioned

it out of Paignton harbour. I put the sails up and it went like

a bird,” Mr. Goodchild said. “It was absolutely wonderful. I

loved it.”

Over in Maasin, Southern Leyte, Pascal Canning runs a

small hotel with his wife. He is also a master carpenter who

teaches advanced woodworking to out of school youths.

Pascal is building his first boat, the boat that he chose

to build is the Tryst, a 10 foot sailing dinghy designed by

Richard Woods. Pascal also acquired the outrigger option

for the Tryst turning the boat into a trimaran called the


The details of Steve’s build are well documented and was

even featured in several boating and sailing publications,

getting his boat out of the house and launched in the

middle of a pandemic made his story newsworthy and

picked up by several media outfits, including the BBC. “I’m

essentially a fair–weather sailor,” he said. “The trouble is,

the weather doesn’t seem to know that.”

Steve’s boat called “Barnacle” was launched into Devon’s

Paignton harbour just as lockdowns were eased, and he

took Barnacle out for her maiden sail “It was blowing

probably a force five or six, which is a bit much for a sailing

Pascal’s plan is to build the boat for under $500, so far it

looks to be on budget, the plywood and lumber he was

able to source locally, but he had to go online to purchase

the epoxy and fiberglass needed for the build. With

tourism non-existent and his teaching load non-existent

because of the pandemic, he’s using his time productively,

documenting the build on his you tube channel as a means

of continued education for his students.

Pascal teaches woodworking under the Alternative

Learning System (ALS) through their local charity the Star

Apple Foundation. The quality of his work is evident in

his videos, and just like Paulo in Legazpi, Pascal is looking

forward to learning how to sail on his new boat as well as

teaching his daughter how to sail. Pascal’s you tube channel

is called Irish Chippy, where he shares woodworking and

gardening tips as well as an ongoing series on building a

small sailboat.




Cruising With


The Voyage Home

They started moving

some of the ships closer

to us with small tugs,

fine in a calm day but

disastrous if the wind


Words & Photographs by



ife on our barge dragged on past one hopeful deadline

to another, until it was apparent, we needed a new

plan. The impending weather change to typhoon

and rainy season would see us in peril.

Although the yard we were in was in total lock down,

the neighboring yards started to come to life. Constant

hammering and grinding noise were deafening during the

day. They started moving some of the ships closer to us with

small tugs, fine in a calm day but disastrous if the wind blew.

So, we started to see what it would take to leave, no one had

a plan, no procedure was in place. This is all new. Private

yachts are such a small population that we were skipped over

in many regards, leaving many in “no man’s land” of you can

not stay here and you can not go anywhere else. So that left

us swimming upstream in the Filipino bureaucracy river.

We found some new friends who were an incredible help.

The Chairperson of the SBMA took a personal interest

in getting us home, it would not have happened without

her. She passed us on to the needed Port Authorities. Via

another friend we were introduced to a high-ranking Filipino

Coast Guard officer. He got things rolling in Cebu for us. We

had a visit by three CG officers who gave us a list of needed

documents and where to send them. We were on our way, or

so we thought.

The system here is bottom up government, the local

Barangays were given great authority in fighting the virus.

For the most part this worked well. We went to the local

office for our Health Certificates and Quarantine Certificates.

This was my first time off the boat in weeks. It required

hiring a special jeepney with a closed off passenger area

where Donna and I sat, isolated. It was nice to see the real

world again.

Once the local certificates were obtained, we had completed

our list. We emailed all the required documents to the

address provided by the Coast Guard. Half the addresses

bounced, and the others simply did not respond. Next move

was to send the same package, expand the email list and

state basically that I knew they were busy, so If I do not hear

ack, I assume we are cleared to go. That got one response,

of the eight emails sent, and instructions to send this to an

Admiral, which I did with no response.

It became clear the Coast Guard was not the way to go so

we went back local. Donna contacted the Mayor of our

Barangay’s office who said, come on in. Three weeks had

gone by since I received the Subic Bay Clearance and the

local certificates. After hearing my sad

tale of woe, the Mayor gave me a letter

authorizing our travel. We are going


We cleared our bill and bid farewell to

the shipyard and our “isolation Island

Barge”. Stocked up and slipped the

lines pre-dawn on a blustery Saturday.

To add to the

drama, they strung

“DANGER” red tape

all around the boat.

Now we were underway, not sure if we would be stopped

along the way. I do not like to travel at night in the

Philippines, Donna refuses so we did long days, twelve to 14

hours, leaving first light and anchoring in last light. As we

did not have clearance to enter any other area, so we had to

be a bit stealth.

First stop was Gigantes Islands, normally we spend a few fun

packed days there. This year the white sandy beaches and

fresh scallops had to be missed. Next stop was Romblon

Rombon, another of our favorite places to spend a week.

We did not enter the usual protected bay, but anchored on

the outside near a sand spit, the dead calm winds made this


Like most trawler cruisers, I am obsessed with fuel efficiency.

We normally travel right at 7 knots burning just under 2 usg

an hour, (8 liters) if we go faster the fuel usage goes up quite

fast. We left Cebu with full fuel tanks and the news that fuel

prices had dropped to half what we had paid, so I said “petal

to the mettle” and we did 8 knots all the way. Actually, that

was only a 100 rpm bump, but it felt like a rocket.

Our friends at Puerto Galera Yacht Club contacted the Coast

Guard and asked if we might be able to anchor overnight.

They agreed, no one on or off the boat, out by daylight


clearance. We pulled into the familiar anchorage just as

dark fell. It was quite crowded with other quarantine boats.

Our good friend came over in his dinghy, maintaining social

distancing we had a chat. That was the first non-Filipino I

had talked to in 2 months, I did not realize that until he left,

and I went “wow that was nice”.

The last leg is a familiar one, Puerto Galera to Subic Bay.

We departed under a quarter moon at 3

am to insure a daylight arrival. This is was

done to facilitate the people that would

have to clear us in.

I had emailed the port, the yacht club,

and the coast guard four hours out with a

solid ETA. As is protocol we then radioed

the Port Authority as we entered the

bay. They responded, “we are expecting

you, cleared to the yacht club”

We entered the yacht club marina and were greeted by

staff in a small work boat. I had hoped to go right to our

berth, but they took me to an isolated dock across from the

marina. The staff and quarantine officers came to the boat,

inspected us, and took body temperatures. We supplied all

the paperwork needed.

At this point we all realized, we were the first boat to return

to Subic Bay from the lock down. The quarantine doctor was

quite frank, they had no idea what to do with us, this was

all new. I quickly discovered there was no water or power

at this unused dock so the idea of spending 14 days there

was unacceptable. We were assured a better solution would

come tomorrow and it did.

A cooperative effort of the Quarantine office and the yacht

club came up with a unique solution. We needed to be

isolated and unable to leave the boat, but we need access

to water, and preferably power. We were instructed to go to

our normal berthing area where we were greeted by a large

group. As both side of the berth were open, they suspended

us between the two fingers, so we could not leave the boat.

To add to the drama, they strung “DANGER” red tape all

around the boat.

Donna had kept photo records of her daily ritual taking our

body temps. This was a life saver as it showed our travel days

counted off our Q time. So we sat 9 days off the dock with

our DANGER tape. Friends came by to chat at a distance.

We were able to order take out, first time in 2 months Donna

was relieved from cooking. I used an old gaff hook to grab

delivery bags from the dock.

So we sat, clicking off the days until we got the notice via

email, “your Q time ends tonight at midnight” not sure why

midnight? But I told them, “if the security cameras spot an

old guy running up and down the dock at 12:05, it is just me!

Once back to near normal life, we then passed our experiences

on to other boats arriving. There have been four boats

now. Last night we had a “free at last” dinner with our new

neighbor whose Q time was up.

As cumbersome and often frustrating as the experience was,

I must say that everyone we dealt with was sincerely trying

to help. They all have my heart felt appreciation. I want to

personally thank a few of the many who helped us, without

these wonderful people we would not be Home:


SBMA Chairwoman Wilma T. Eisma, Subic Bay Port Authority

Jerome Martinez and John S Quervedo. Quarantine office,

Dr. Joseph Macaraeg, Colorado Shipyard manager Stephanie

Chua, and her staff. PCG Captain Rosario and many others

who helped us wade through the bureaucratic maze.

Most of all I want to thank my family for enduring so well.

Donna was a marvel, cooked interesting meals every day,

participated in all my “celebrations’ with glee, managed

our shopping as I could

But I told them, “if

the security cameras

spot an old guy

running up and down

the dock at 12:05,

it is just me!

not go out at all, (too old

)and kept a positive loving

attitude with both her

playful “boys”. Priam was

incredible, went 2 months

without seeing another

kid, managed to entertain

himself “on the barge”

every day. He became a

wizard poker player as well.

With out the two of them being so wonderful this could have

really been miserable, it was not. I have a extraordinary family,

always knew this but more so now.

I have a newfound appreciation for things I took for granted:

ability to go for a long run, a simple dinner out, shopping.

Most of all, being around friends, chatting on the dock or

sundowners on the deck, these things are now so precious

to me. With an unpredictable future, I hold these things as



Fishing Terrorists

and the Coral Carpet


Photographs as Credited


Nature has mixed a blend of plenty in this

archipelago. Wild life in the Philippines is often

endemic on the larger islands with unique birds

being the most visible, although these are not

easily seen. In the north east of Luzon, there is one of the

ten best preserved lowland forests on earth. There are vast

stretches of mountainous land, which are almost inaccessible

to the trappings of the modern world.

The World Wildlife Organization has

designated 200 special eco-systems

on our earth, and three of these are

in the Philippines. All in all a veritable

pot potpourri of natural wonder.

But in the count of things, nothing

quite compares to the diversity and

complexity of the sea life in Philippine


The gigantic humpback whales use the deep and fast

flowing waters around the Batanes islands (northern tip

of the country) as playgrounds. At least eleven species of

whales have been sighted in these waters, with both baleen

and toothed whales in evidence. Six types of dolphins and

one species of porpoise have been counted, with the playful

Spinner dolphin being the most entertaining to watch, as

they excel with airborne antics.

At least eleven species

of whales have been

sighted in these

waters, with both

baleen and toothed

whales in evidence.

Herman Melville in his famous book Moby Dick talks about

Captain Ahab searching for the white whale in Philippine

waters. It was only in the recent past of the last millennium

that whaler from the Bohol area (Southern Visayas) used

to leap on to the back of whales with large metal hooks

and plunge them deep into the hard leathery hides, and

claim the nutritious meat for the community table. Even

today, there are one or two old men

with twisted limbs that bear testament

to their whaling sorties of yesteryear, to

times when the whale took the upper

hand and flicked men from their backs

as they made good their escape.

In Palawan there is archeological

evidence that shows where whole

communities depended on the dugongs

for their livelihood. These sea cows were

their main diet in the far off years when these mammals

lived in large herds and large numbers. Even recently on

the east Luzon coast, a dugong was found being grazed

like a cow on the end of a soft rope bound carefully around

its tale flukes and tethered to a stake. In spiritual folk law

with some southern islanders, the soul of the dead was

transported by dugongs to the next world far away in the

deep blue sea, and gravestones were often built with an

effigy of the dugong.



Today, divers will be able to see dugong grazing around the

Calamian Islands off northern Palawan. Palawan province is

the heartland of natural diversity, and claims one quarter of

all islands in the Philippines.

In the pristine waters of the Sulu Sea and around the islands

surrounding Palawan, oysters thrive, which need to filter

some 40 liters of purest seawater through their systems daily.

At least six major pearl farms operate around here, with five

of them Japanese- and one French-owned. The Frenchbased

‘Jewelmer’ is a trade name synonymous with diversely

The French-based

‘Jewelmer’ is a trade

name synonymous

with diversely shaped

natural pearls of

subtle complex colors.

shaped natural pearls

of subtle complex

colors. Quite unlike

the cultured pearls

preferred by the

Japanese operators

who choose to farm

mainly by cloning for

sameness. ‘The Pearl

Road’ is a book worth

checking, with the magic of many photos to weave a tale of

Chinese shipwreck in pearling waters.

Tuna fisherman taking his catch to


The splendor of the whale sharks can be viewed by

snorkeling off the coast off Donsol town in the Sorsogon

area of south west Luzon. This is seasonal. The whale sharks

appear with the northeast monsoon winds from October

to May, which sweep in with the plankton from out of the

vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Whale watching is popular

Pilot whales



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Dynamite fishing in the Philippines

around Bohol and in the Tanon Strait between Cebu and

Negros. Around Panay, from the deck of a ferry, you will

often see pilot whales close to groups of dolphins.

Beauty of the Philippines

Palawan oysters


Off the East coast of Luzon, from inside a small plane,

observers have counted pods of pilot whales with as many

as 200 individuals in a single pod. Sailing through the

Balabac Islands, I have seen whale mother and calf on a

number of occasions, and off Busuanga Island, a single

whale, identified by an eight year old on board our sailing

boat as a Minke Whale, using Lory Tan’s book on Philippine

Whales and Dolphins. Mr. Tan says that a lot of new light has

come to bear on these mammals in Philippine Waters, and

the next version of his book will be quite different, with a lot

more observations and many more accuracies.

Around Panay, from

the deck of a ferry,

you will often see pilot

whales close to groups

of dolphins.

Talking about

books, there is a

recent publication

of Philippine Birds

and a new book

on Philippine

Fishes. These are

incredibly detailed

and beautifully illustrated works of major proportions. There

are some 2,700 commercial fish species in these waters,

and the most classic photos are of the tuna fishermen in

Mindanao carrying these enormous fish over their shoulders


Coral carpet

from boat to market. The main tuna runs are down the east

coastline of Mindanao, Leyte, Samar and Luzon.

Eighty percent of the fisher folk are from the Visayas,

the group of islands in the middle of the archipelago.

Thousands of bancas are out at night, sometimes far from

land, towed there by mother ships. Most are motorized and

all of them lie there at night in a show of bright lights, like a

thousand candles prancing over the waters. Often they are

unlit, and fish patiently in the darkness

of the night, or below the carpet of

stars which we often forget about when

going about our humdrum urban living

routines. Some of these fisher folk are

migratory, and spend fishing seasons in

different parts of the country.

Jewel in the Crown

Then there is the carpet of coral

throughout these islands, lying in resplendent colors just

below the sea surface.

In the Caribbean there are a total of 50 coral species, but in

these teeming, vibrant and complex waters there are 490


This is the jewel in the crown of Philippine biodiversity.

Coral is the nursery of life, and umpteen fish and many

other forms of sea life live, breed and thrive in the living

coral reefs. Together with the mangrove forests around the

coastlines of these islands, the coral carpet is the heart and

soul of the living water environment.

Sailing out of Subic Bay, it is possible to anchor on sand

between coral reefs, and the scenery above the water is


In the Caribbean there

are a total of 50 coral

species, but in these

teeming, vibrant and

complex waters there

are 490 species.

spectacular. A light breeze cools the air and a swim around

the boat is a pleasing experience in an idyllic setting.

Then all of a sudden, there is a loud muffled sound and

a shockwave reverberates through the peaceful turquoise


About half a mile along the coast over the coral reef is a

small banca throwing Molotov cocktails as dynamite into

the once pristine waters. The coral is killed together with

a few fish. The dynamite will be here

tomorrow, but the coral will have


The minority of fishermen have

become fishing terrorists and are

bombing the coral carpet for their

short term gain. But in the long run,

the fishing terrorists are shooting

themselves in the foot and cutting

their own nose to spite their face.

Someone, somewhere, is doing something about it. I

know of one incident when fishing bombers were tracked

down, and on being approached, all but one dived into

the water and swam away to shore. The one remaining lay

crouched and out of sight. The trackers fired their rifles

to sink the boat, and were shocked to see a limp blooded

body floating as the banca sank from site. This was a tragic

ending to a good cause.

Education, determined effort, and local enforcement are

important weapons for combatting this type of malpractice.

The choice is plain to see, either the fishing terrorists are

annihilated, metaphorically speaking, or the coral carpet will

be gone forever.


In the late 90’s surfing in the Philippines was virtually

non-existent, or rather Surfing in the Philippines was

more like a closely guarded secret of hardcore surfers

from Australia and the Americas. The Philippines’ first

claim to fame in surfing was in the 70’s when renowned

director Francis Ford Copolla shot the film “Apocalypse Now”

in Baler, Aurora. In the movie there were several references

to surfing and a few shots of servicemen enjoying the surf.

“Charlie does not surf!” was a famous line from that movie

by the same guy who said “I love the smell of Napalm in the


Paolo Soler grew up loving the waves, his dad managed a

resort in La Union and while growing up the beach was his

playground, there were even times when they’d borrow the

hotel’s body boards and frolicked on the waves.

In 1997, as college student Paolo picked up a flyer on

surfing lessons from the Hiroshi Yokohama surfing school,

this piqued his curiosity. That very same weekend he went

to La Union and had his first surfing lesson, and from then

on, like thousands of other surfers before him, Paolo was


His love for surfing grew over the years and he was able

to try known surf spots such as San Juan, La Union; Baler,

Aurora; Real, Quezon; Eastern Samar and Zambales where

American G.I.’s used to surf when they occupied Subic

Naval Base. Surfing became so ingrained in his life that it

was even the subject of his college thesis. His original plan

for a business was organizing surf tours, the major flaw of

this plan was that it would cater mostly to visiting surfers,

because back then, in the Philippines, surfers were few and


Spreading the

Stoke of

Paolo doing what he loves



Photographs by


Surfing became so

ingrained in his life

that it was even

the subject of his

college thesis.


far between. So it made a lot of sense to set up a surfing

school. The surfing tours can come later.

In 2007 Paolo founded the Philippine Surfing Academy

(PSA) and just like his mentor Hiroshi, Paolo’s plan was

to bring students to his favorite surfing destinations. The

first official surf camp he organized was at ABCD beach in

Calicoan island all the way in Eastern Samar. In those days

all known surf spots were just too far

away from Metro Manila and this proved

to be too costly for tours so he decided

to explore the closest beaches to the city

like Real, Quezon where he discovered

Magra beach and setup camp there in

2008. As luck would have it, Paolo also

discovered a hotel resort development

in Taytay, Rizal called Club Manila East,

and one of its key amenities was a large

wave pool. Paolo checked it out and immediately saw its

potential. So he told the owners his idea of teaching surfing

there, they were shocked by the idea initially, but decided

to give it a go.

“Interestingly, we

encourage nonswimmers

to learn

how to surf first

before learning how

to swim...”

surf with PSA at Club Manila East (CME). “Generally, one

of the requirements before learning how to surf is knowing

how to swim, our training sessions at CME do not have that

requirement. It’s a shallow pool with lifeguards all around,

making it perfectly safe, although we do require that

before surfing in the sea, they need to know how to swim.

Interestingly, we encourage non-swimmers to learn how

to surf first before learning how to swim, as with surfing,

they understand firsthand the science of

buoyancy and lose their fear of the water,

surfing is such a fun and exhilarating

activity, allowing them to gain confidence

faster.” Paolo said.

One of the great things about wave pool

surfing is that the waves are really consistent

and are the perfect size for beginners. “Surf

coaches look for these exact types of waves

when they teach new surfers.” Mr. Soler added. To date

more than 10,000 surfers have trained with PSA. Some of

whom have gone on to win surfing tournaments as well as

becoming surf coaches themselves.

Surfing purists would scoff at the idea of surfing in a

swimming pool, but Paolo has this to say about learning to

The PSA Coaches and

Paolo (rightmost)

The surf tours that Paolo originally wanted to do are

now regular events of PSA, they’re called Surfari surf

PSA Coaches posing with a batch of surfing students

Skwala’s finishing room, showing

boards ready for customers


One of PSA’s students learning at Club Manila East

Kenny Tilton in

Skwala’s shaping


camps they’re open to beginners and Surfcuit camps for

intermediate surfers. In an archipelago like the Philippines

there are literally hundreds of surf spots and Surfari surf

camps go to several of them. At each location PSA taps

locals as instructors and support staff growing the surf

industry one town at a time.

One hurdle that Paolo had to overcome was the availability

of gear, so in 2010 he founded Skwala Surf Industries

along with board shapers from Surigao. The company built

surfboards in their shop in Taytay Rizal. Kenny Tilton, a

legendary board shaper from Hawaii even went to Skwala’s

shop and shared his decades of knowledge and experience,

elevating the quality of the shop’s output. Skwala in Filipino

slang means a power slide with a car or half donuts in

motoring parlance. Similar to a snap or a cutback maneuver

done by surfers. Skwala’s boards are made by surfers for


With coaching and surf tours from PSA and surf boards from

Skwala the surfing ecosystem was more or less complete,

with the Philippine surfing industry growing, Paolo wanted

to take it to the next level and bring the Philippines to the

same class as Hawaii and Bali, places synonymous with

Surf Tourism. One essential key aspect the Philippines did

not have was instructor accreditation. Paolo holds a level

2 Surf Coach accreditation from the Academy of Surfing

Instructors (ASI) holding surf rescue and senior first aid

qualifications, This paved the way for PSA to become the

first ASI accredited surf school in the Philippines.


Paolo Surfing in Siargao

Accredited surfing instructors deliver lessons at the highest

levels of safety using the best training methodologies,

together with surf rescue and first aid qualifications,

accreditation adds a level of professionalism required for the

industry to grow. It also ensures that surfing is sustainable

by sharing with students how to care for the environment

and minimise social and natural impact

on shore and in the surf. Surf instructor

accreditation is in some ways similar to

scuba instructor accreditation.

Surfing after all is a

non-contact sport

and being physically

distant from the

other surfers is the

norm if not the rule.

To make surf coaching accreditation

happen, PSA interfaced with the Office

of Tourism Standards and Regulations of

the Department of Tourism and acted as

a conduit between ASI and DOT crafting

surf coaching standards and designing an accreditation

process for surf instructors to help ensure the safety of

learners and new surfers.. The accreditation process was

recently finalized during the pandemic lockdown and once


everything is figured out for the new normal the accreditation

process can begin.

With everything put on pause, surfing took a big hit. These

past few months is probably the longest time Paolo was

stuck in Manila. PSA and Skwala had to close and his newly

established surf camp in San Felipe Zambales

called the Liwalize it Surf Camp had to be put

on hold. But Paolo is hopeful that everything

will become normal or close to it eventually,

Surfing after all is a non-contact sport and

being physically distant from the other surfers

is the norm if not the rule.

Meanwhile, to keep himself productive Paolo

serves up his own brand of roast chicken called

Tito Paolo’s Inasal. Besides surfing Paolo also has a passion

for cooking, this dish was one of the hits served at Liwalize

it Surf Camp along with their brick oven pizza. You can find

Tito Paolo’s Inasal on Facebook and even order online.

1948 to 2020





A Tribute to Bruce Curran, a Sailing and Biking Mate.

“Combing the Coral Carpet- Revised Edition”

Sailing tales and the Cruising Guide to the Philippine Islands.

A comprehensive coffee table book with over one hundred spectacular photos of the

Philippines that includes maritime history, seafaring tales, anchorages and facts & facilities

available along the water ways of the fantastic tropical islands of the Philippines with their

wealth of friendly people.

The new “Revised Edition” that updates the previous edition with new pages of updated and

extra information is intended to be available for delivery October 2020.

All proceeds from the book sales will go to Bruce’s three children; Edward Swayn, Shauna Indra

Salina and Edward Bali.

Bruce Malcolm Curran was born in Edinburgh Scotland on the 26 th of November 1948 and sadly

passed due to cancer related complications on the 17 th of April 2020 at the age of 71. Bruce will

be missed by many, but his memory, legend and legacy to everyone he’s shared the magic of

his time with, especially his children, will live on through his many books and writings.

Pre-purchase your copy of











Bruce had three main phases in his life’s Grand Journey:

‘Land Journeys’ that have taken him to 16 countries from England to Pakistan, Europe, the

Middle East and Africa on his Norton Commando 750cc motorcycle he named “Demeter”, the

Greek “Goddess of Life” which he first purchased brand new in the United Kingdom in 1971.

‘Water Journeys’ by sailing some 35,000 miles on a 40 year old - 37 foot wooden ketch which

was rebuilt in Sydney, Australia. Bruce sailed in this ketch for two and a half years starting from

Sydney sailing up to Darwin, then six and a half weeks non-stop to Mauritius Island, on to South

Africa, then to St Helena Island in the South Atlantic, and finally to Brazil.

This amazing adventure continued on into the Philippines when he first arrived in 1988. It was

love at first sight. Bruce often set sail from Hong Kong, where he was based for 10 years, to

explore the Philippines by water. He finally decided to move to Manila in 1997.

Bruce quickly realised that the only real way to experience the Philippines was by boat, and

he did so by sailing some 8,000 miles around his much treasured Philippines Islands. His

unquenchable thirst for adventure and learning never stopped as he was driven by the beauty,

diversity and people of the Islands of the Philippines which inspired him to write the best seller

“Combing the Coral Carpet” and the 2020 sequel “Combing the Coral Carpet-Revised Edition”

He then progressed to what he called his ‘Head Journeys’ writing about his travels, adventures

and experiences of this magnificent thing called life.

“I like to see myself as having developed a keen ‘third’ eye that embroils me in life at all its

vibrant levels. My passion is writing about what I see and how I see. I aim to leave a legacy of

books, and one way or another see this as stamping my mark on the world as a legend!”

-Bruce Curran

Active Boating and Watersports, courtesy of Mr. Barry Dawson, are generously supporting

“Combing the Coral Carpet-Revised Edition” through this article and advertisement free-ofcharge

in memory of Bruce.

The first publication of Active Boating and Watersports was in September 2010. One of the

most amazing characters involved was Bruce Curran who they’ve known as an author, a sailor,

biker, adventurer and philanthropist.



$100 (P5,000)

As an avid supporter of Active Boating and Watersports, he was a regular contributor of

stories about the many amazing water adventures around the beautiful Islands and places of

the Philippines.

Thank you for your support to keep Bruce’s memory alive.

We trust you will enjoy exploring the exotic waters of the Philippines whilst being guided by

your copy of “Combing the Coral Carpet-Revised Edition”.

Bruce's Ad layout.indd 39

6/15/2020 12:20:05 P




he Oarfish are a large, elongated, pelagic fish found

in temperate and tropical waters around the world

but rarely seen by human eyes. They can grow up

to 18 feet in length, with some reports of them

reaching 35 and 50 feet, and reside in waters up to 1,000

feet deep. Oarfish are likely to be the source of many sea

serpent myths such as the Lochness Monster, as specimens

that have been seen on the sea

surface swim with their head and

ornate crown out of the water.

The Japanese are in total belief

that the appearance of an

Oarfish washed up on a beach is

a forewarning of an impending

earthquake and tsunami. In Japan

The Japanese are in total belief

that the appearance of an

Oarfish washed up on a beach is

a forewarning of an impending

earthquake and tsunami.

the Oarfish is known as ryugu no tsukai or “Messenger from

the Sea God’s Palace”. In the days preceding the 2011

Tohoku earthquake and tsunami which claimed more than

15,500 lives, 20 oarfish were found stranded on beaches in

the area.

Japan, however, is not the only location in the world that

has witnessed this phenomena

before a major earthquake.

On the 13th of October, 2013,

what was considered a once in a

lifetime discovery of an 18 foot

oarfish on Catalina Island of the

coast of California was followed

5 days later by a second 14 foot





Photographs as Credited



giant being discovered on a beach in San Diego County.

Researchers believe that this was a premonition for an earth

tremor that hit further north of the island a day later.

New Zealand

On April 20, 2013, a never seen before, giant oarfish was

washed up on a beach in New Zealand preceding a 7.8

earthquake that shook the area on the 28th of April. In

March 2010 dozens of oarfish were discovered by fisherman

just before an 8.8 magnitude quake shook Chile.

We here in the Philippines are not without instances of this

phenomena with two previously unseen examples of Oarfish

being washed up on beaches before an earthquake. A 12

foot and 14 foot oarfish in apparent good health were found

on beaches a day before a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit

Luzon on August 18, 2017.

On February 9th, 2017 a 10 foot oarfish was found beached

in Carmen, Del Norte the day before a 6.7 quake struck of

the coast of Surigao del Norte. Oarfish were again found on

beaches in the same area in 2019 before a series of quakes,

beginning with a 5.5 on April 26th.

Researchers believe

that this was a

premonition for an

earth tremor that hit

further north of the

island a day later.

Oarfish in Albay



Surigao del Norte

Scientists are divided over whether these and many more

are just coincidences or does the oarfish really detect

differences in the earth’s behavior which influences their

own behavior. Some say that there are many earthquakes

that aren’t preceded by the appearance of these fish. That

maybe because they only live in temperate waters but there

is enough evidence to create an interest.

A further minute or so

and we were shook to

our foundations that

almost split our new

home in half.

Scientist has

proven that animal

behavior is altered

by impending

seismic activity

and I have my own

experience which

leaves me in no

doubt. I purchased my first house in a rural location in Albion

Park, South of Sydney, Australia. It was the first house in an

estate about 400 meters form the mountain surrounded by

dairy farms My wife and I were put to sleep every night by

the mooing of cows which actually became quite soothing

until we were woken in the early hours of a morning in 1972

by a deathly silence. We went to out front verandah and the

silence was eerie. Not a moo could be heard. After a minute

or so it seemed a signal went up and every dog in the area

began barking all at once. A further minute or so and we

were shook to our foundations that almost split our new

home in half.

Oarfish believed to predict earthquakes

So do oarfish really sense an earthquake? I guess it is still up

for debate but if they started appearing on beaches near me

I would certainly be taking precautions.



efore Spanish colonization of the Philippine

islands, on the north western tip of Luzon there

existed a region renowned for its gold. Traders

from China, Vietnam and Japan often visited

the area to trade textiles, ceramic wares and beads for

gold. The inhabitants of the region called their part of

the world “samtoy”, from “sao mi ditoy”, which literally

meant “our language”.

When the Spanish conquistadors headed north to seek

new lands to occupy, they travelled by sea from Manila.

On 13 June 1572, Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Spanish

Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in presentday

Vigan and then proceeded towards Laoag, Currimao and

Badoc. As they sailed along the coast, they found several

sheltered coves (lo-oc) with local peaceful communities. As

such, they named the region Ylocos and its people Ylocanos.


As they sailed along

the coast, they found

several sheltered coves

(looc) with local peaceful

communities. As such, they

named the region Ylocos

and its people Ylocanos.


With the Spanish occupation christianity spread throughout

the Ilocos region large churches were built with tall bell

towers that also served as watchtowers for Spanish garrisons

at the peak of occupation. Uprisings were common,

stemming usually from abusive colonial masters, in fact, the

Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Philippine Independent

Church has its roots in Ilocos, when Ilocano priest Gregorio

Aglipay was excommunicated because of refusing to cut

ties with revolutionary forces of Emilio Aguinaldo.

The widespread conflict throughout the


region led to the division of the old Provincia

de Ilocos through Royal Decree on 2 February


1818. The old Ilocos was divided into two,


Photographs by





Laoag longganisa


Wind farm

Ilocos Norte and Ilocos sur, soon after the provinces of Abra

and La Union which was part of the province were also

split off. Its most abundant agricultural

output is Tobacco, and it is also known for

processed meats that are known delicacies

from the region, such as different kinds of

longanissa (sausages) as well as bagnet, a

crispy slab of pork similar to pork rind but

with the meat included .

One of the recent developments in the

region is the establishment of wind

turbines or wind farms in several areas around the region

providing a significant source of power. Ilocos Norte



pioneered wind power in the country, wind farms are also

a popular tourist destinations in the region. So much so

that there are even souvenirs featuring

these windmills.

Ilocos Norte

pioneered wind

power in the country,

wind farms are also

a popular tourist


Getting there

The province of Ilocos Norte is 477

kilometers north of Manila, or about an

8 hour drive if traffic isn’t too bad. If

going by road, stop by the town of Vigan,

Ilocos Sur to see classic Spanish style

architecture preserved through the ages. One can also fly

to Ilocos using the Laoag Domestic Airport and like most


Aurora Park, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

Pamulinawen Festival



places in the Philippines it’s just an hour more or less by


If going by boat or cruising yacht, one can utilize numerous

sheltered coves that province was named after, check

your charts to find out which one is a suitable anchorage

for your vessel. Traditional places are Port of Salomague

in the neighboring

province of Ilocos

Bangui where one of

the first wind farms

in Ilocos is located,

has Bangui Bay which

faces north west is

relatively sheltered...

Sur, it has a jetty

and a coast guard

station, a little up

north is Pog Os

Beach in Cabugao

the first town of

Ilocos Norte, one

sheltered area is

Cabugao island

and Pinget Island

between Salomague and Pog Os. The town of Currimao

also has a port where one can drop anchor, they also have

a jetty. Another potential anchorage is Pasuquin cove

near a place called Virgin beach. Bangui where one of the

first wind farms in Ilocos is located, has Bangui Bay which

faces north west is relatively sheltered, the peninsula

beside Bangui bay is Pagudpud, it has a windward and

leeward side depending on the season and is one of the

places to visit in the province.

Saint William’s Cathedral (Laoag Cathedral)





Ilocos Norte provincial capitol

If going by plane or by car, the start of your Ilocos

adventure will most likely be the provincial capitol, Laoag,

the hub of everything Ilocano. A good starting point is

Museo Ilocos Norte, right next to

the province’s main government

offices and universities. A visit to the

provincial tourism office will give you

access to pamphlets and brochures

of tourist destinations as well as a

schedule of events happening around

the province during your stay. Should

you require a guide, they can arrange

that for you as well.

While in the city drop by Museo Ilocos Norte the province’s

official museum to know the history of the region and

see artifacts unique to the area. Near the museum is the

Sinking Bell Tower, one of several bell towers that also

doubled as observation posts for Spanish garrisons. Built

by Augustinians in 1612 it was once

The tower is slowly

sinking because of its

sheer weight, it was built

on sandy foundations

and is slowly sinking.

Sinking Bell Tower

said to be the tallest bell tower in the

country. The tower is slowly sinking

because of its sheer weight, it was

built on sandy foundations and is

slowly sinking. When it was newly

built, a person on horseback could

enter through its entrance, these

days one person of average height

will have to crouch to make it through


Laoag - Museo Ilocos Norte


Imee Marcos at the opening

of Taoid Museum


the door. If Pisa has its leaning tower, Laoag has a sinking


A new attraction in Laoag is the

Taoid, A Museum on the culture of

the Cordilleras. “Taoid” is an Iluko

(native ilocano) word meaning shared

heritage. The museum is divided into

seven sections, which feature various

aspects in the culture and lifestyle

of the Cordillerans. Taoid Museum


The San Agustin Church

or the Paoay church is a

UNESCO world heritage

sight and was declared a

national treasure.

located at La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center. Ilocos and the

Cordilleras are neighbors that have been co-existing in

peace for centuries. Some of the most notable items in the

collection are human skulls, coffins

for storing the bones of ancestors and

replicas of the indigenous people of

the region. Other artefacts to be seen

here are traditional clothing, wooden

utensils, and carved figures that

are usually displayed in Cordilleran


Paoay Church


A short drive away from the provincial capitol is Paoay,

expect to stay a whole day here because of the various

places to see and things to do. The San Agustin Church or

the Paoay church is a UNESCO world heritage sight and

was declared a national treasure. Completed in 1710, the

church is famous for its distinct architecture highlighted

by the enormous buttresses on the sides and back of the

building. San Agustin Church is a popular tourist destination

with several good restaurants in the vicinity, best to drop

by the area around lunch time or late afternoon before

dinner to treat yourself to a great meal.

For those looking for some adventure there’s the Paoay

Suba Sand Dunes, 88 sq. km of parched earth that has

been turned into a popular tourist site by enterprising

Ilocanos, it is one of two such locations in Ilocos Norte, the

other one being in La Paz, Laoag. One of the attractions

in the area is a 4 x 4 Jeep ride over and around the dunes,

a thrilling ride some visitors compare to being on a roller

coaster without a seatbelt. The variable sandy terrain has

Sand Surfing at the Sugba Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes


4 x 4 Jeep ride


a Jeep trail developed by the operators to excite anyone,

just make sure to hang on. Another activity one can try

out in the area is sand boarding, think of it as the tropical

equivalent of snowboarding. You can ride the board sitting

down or upright, just try not to wipe out or else you’ll

have sand everywhere. The Suba sand dunes face the West

Philippine Sea and is a picturesque setting to catch the

setting sun.

Ilocos is the hometown of the deposed dictator Ferdinand

Marcos, his residence whenever he was in Ilocos is in

Paoay, and is now a tourist attraction, the place is called


Paoay - Malacañan of the North


(046) 489-2087


Malacañang of the north. Built by the Philippine Tourism

Authority in 1977 for Marcos’s 60th birthday. It is a twostory

mansion overlooking Paoay lake. The Sandiganbayan

anti-graft court stripped the Marcoses of the property in

2014, after it voided a 1978 agreement between Marcos

and the then PTA, deciding that since it is a national


Make sure to try out the Ilocos Empanada

Paoay Lake National Park

park, Marcos had no legal rights over it since national

parks are “inalienable public domain”. It is currently being

administered by the local government of Ilocos Norte. The

place commands a great view of Paoay lake, a great place

for watersports although it is currently limited, we saw a

few paddle boarders but that’s about it.

One of the things Ilocos is famous for is the cuisine.

Fresh and seasonal vegetables and quality produce add a

degree of Ilocano freshness. Ilocos empanada is popular

street food originating from the region, fresh vegetables

chopped sausages called longanissa and a fresh egg

wrapped in dough

Fresh and seasonal

vegetables and

quality produce add

a degree of IIocano


and deep fried in

front of the customer

is the best way to

enjoy this delicacy. A

popular place to try

this authentic Ilocano

delicacy is located

in the town of Batac

near Paoay. The Batac

Riverside Empanadaan is visited by locals and tourists

alike, the empanada is hit but also try out the miki (noodle





20 kilometers north from Laoag is the municipality of

Burgos, for those who love nature and do not mind a

short hike through the forest with the possibility of a

cool swim at the end, please do visit Kaangrian falls. It

was discovered in 1998 when the local government was

looking for a water source. It’s a beautiful place, layered

waterfalls with big clear pools, nature, showing off what

it can do best. Best to go there during Habagat or rainy

season to see the falls in all their glory.

Miki ng Ilocos another local delicacy

One establishment gaining acclaim as an ecotourism

destination is the Refmad Dragon Fruit Plantation, visitors

can see how the fruits are planted and can even pick them.

While there you can try out several delicacies made from

dragon fruits such as; ice cream, spring rolls, candies and

cookies. The farm readily shares its secrets to other growers

and visitors on how to maximize their crop by using all

organic methods and minimizing wastage through value

added product development.

Cape Bojeador lighthouse also known as Burgos lighthouse

was first lit in 1892 set high on Vigia de Nagpartian Hill

overlooking the scenic Cape Bojeador, until this day it still

Cape Bojeador lighthouse in Burgos


Kapurpurawan rock formations

Cape Bojeador lighthouse


provides guidance to boats and ship passing through the

area, the lighthouse marks the northwestern-most point of

Luzon island. It was declared a National Historical Landmark

in 2004 and is one

Limestone cliffs eroded

by nature and time to

form some of the most

amazing natural sights

in the area.

of the few Spanish

era lighthouses in

the country still in


Down the road

from the lighthouse

is another nature

lovers’ favorite, the

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Limestone cliffs eroded by

nature and time to form some of the most amazing natural

sights in the area. The term Kapurpurawan is from the

Ilocano word “puraw“, which means white, describing the

color of the rock formations, on a bright sunny day they

can be seen from far away. The best way to experience the

sights is being up close, there is some trekking over rugged

terrain to get to the area, but there are also horses tourists

can hire if they prefer that.

The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is right on the western

side of Bangui bay and if you look to the east you will

see your next destination, the Bangui Windmills. In 1996

National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a wind

resource analysis of the Philippines and determined Bangui

and Burgos Towns in Ilocos Norte to be two of several ideal

locations to have wind power generation facilities, other

sites identified were in the Visayas, Palawan, Eastern

Mindanao and Batanes. The Bangui wind farm was

established in 2005, there are a total of 20 70-meter high

wind turbines generating a total of 33 megawatts of power,

together with the larger Burgos wind farm that generates

100+MW, they supply 40% of Ilocos Norte’s energy needs.

Bangui Windmills


After Bangui is the northernmost point of Luzon island, a

place famous for its white sand beaches and burgeoning

watersports activities. Pagudpud is a great place to be

if you like the wind, the waves and the beach. There are

dozens of resorts to cater to your every whim, all sorts of

board sports are available in the area from surfing, to stand

up paddling, sailing, kite surfing as well as the newest

water sport gaining popularity, wing boarding.



Pagudpud is becoming a kiteboarding haven, especially

since Australian kiter and kite designer Dano Sy uses the

area as his base of operations. His company DSD Mfg.

designs and builds kites and boards and product testing

is done at the Kingfisher

Pagudpud is a great

place to be if you like

the wind, the waves

and the beach.

resort. If you want to

learn to kite surf Dano’s

kite center also provides

lessons. Other than

board sports, Kingfisher

also has a couple of

Hobie sailboats for rent

for guests who want to try out sailing. The Amihan season

or north east monsoon season provides constant kiting

and sailing weather between the months of October and



Patapat Viaduct

On the eastern side of the Pagudpud peninsula is the

famous Blue Lagoon beach, a place considered by visitors

as the “Boracay of the north”, the fine white sand, crystal

clear turquoise blue waters in a protected cove makes

it picture perfect spot to have picnic on the beach.

Development in the area is booming and it’s starting to

get busy in the area just like Boracay.

Just like La Union, there are several surf spots in the

province from Badoc near Paoay, all the way to Pagudpud.

Popular ones are in the area around Blue Lagoon and a few

places around Balaoi, If you’re a surfer you’ll know where

to look and are bound to find some amazing gems.


One relatively new destination in Pagudpud is Kabigan

falls, it is also in the barangay of Balaoi, a short 30 minute

trek to the forest will reveal the breathtaking scenery that

will invite you to take a dip in the cool fresh water pool

under the falls.

One instagrammable spot on the eastern side of the

Pagudpud peninsula in the barangay of Balaoi is the

Patapat Viaduct or the Patapat bridge. It’s a 1.3 kilometer

stretch of elevated road that connects the Maharlika

highway in the Ilocos region to Cagayan valley. The bridge

rises from the coast and leans on the north Cordillera

mountain range, it offers a great view of the west

Philippine sea and Pasaleng Bay, along this bridge you’ll

pass Kalbario-Patapat national park and a shipwreck dating

from the World War 2. It is the fourth longest bridge in the

Philippines. Just make sure that when you park to take

selfies that you are in an area visible to oncoming traffic.

Likewise, when driving down this stretch to drive carefully

because there might be tourists posting on instagram.

The Pandemic has put everything on hold, this includes

tourism and everything else, if you do plan to go

somewhere, but if you come from somewhere where

COVID-19 is prevalent, chances are, the province or the

town will not let you in. We are looking forward to the time

where travel and leisure activities can resume again. Until

then, keep safe.





MAP of



Apart from catching criminals, the boat is also

designed for rescue operations. The police

converted the two-seater to accommodate four


At At 177kph Dubai Pol

Fastest Speed Boatt


The Dubai Police have a drool worthy fleet of cars

and now, they’ve added a super boat to this list!

Yes, you read that right. The world’s fastest police

boat is now in Dubai. Costing a whopping $400,000

the speedster was gifted to the Dubai Police by the Dubai

Crown Prince- Sheikh Hamdan. The 700-horsepower HP

2014 XCAT boasts a light carbon fibre body, a material used

to make racing vehicles.

The Police boats definitely need to be faster than the normal

private boats and this speedster does not disappoint! The

HP 2014 XCAT slices through the water at a speed of 177

kmph, (90knots) Two outboard four-stroke 350-horsepower

engines power the boat, helping it achieve the speed. So, if

someone tries to get away from the police, one phone call

and you’ll have the world’s fastest boat chasing you.

Apart from catching criminals, the boat is also designed

for rescue operations. The police converted the two-seater

to accommodate four occupants. And on occasion, they

have used it in celebrity promotions. Simply put the XCAT

is a Multi-Hull made of advanced carbon technology and

accommodates two engines up to 6000cc of horsepower

and is capable of speeds up to 180KPH. On that note

Dubai Police hit the Guinness World Records for having the

world’s fastest police car in service. The Bugatti Veyron, can

reach speeds of 407km/h which is just one of its 14-strong

fleet of supercars. The fleet also includes a bespoke Aston

Martin One-77, of which only 77 were ever built, a Bentley

Continental GT, three hybrid Porsche Panameras and two

BMW i8s. A fleet of luxury supercars may sound outlandish,

but it fits perfectly with the ethos of Dubai.

lice Acquire World’s

o to Combat Covid-19


Over the past few months, Dubai Police have been doing

the very best to ensure we stay safe. From supporting the

massive sterilization drive, to patrolling in streets to ensure

residents stay indoors- our heroes have got it all bang on.

While we’ve seen the swanky fleet that our cops boast on

the roads, but during the pandemic, the Dubai Police upped

their transportation game and how!

This time, it wasn’t a simple four-wheeled vehicle! The

video kicks off with a Dubai Police driving a Lamborghini.

After this is the icing- he then gets out, walks towards a

gyrocopter, and takes off in true James Bond-style.

Wait, there’s more! What follows next is something like a

race-sequence in a Hollywood movie. The chopper flies

parallel to more police cars driving on the road below.

Lastly, they all follow a speed boat zooming along JBR.

Flying over the JBR beach, the chopper is seen alerting

messages, asking residents to stay indoors.



Sailing Tips


excerpts reprinted from the book



You’ve always been interested to sail, but you know little about boat parts, the confusing techno-babble, and what

little you know is making your head spin in four different directions! Worry no more. This continuing series of articles

is for you: it covers tips regarding hardware present on most boats, as well as common sailing techniques, terms and

definitions, the names of the different pieces of hardware, and much more. This will keep you informed about most

things you will need before you begin your own sailing excursion. Be sure to consult with an experienced sailor and someone

knowledgeable about boats.

Sailing is a rapidly growing sport with enthusiasts in most

parts of the world. Its development as a sport, however, is

relatively recent. What had formerly

been the province, in the 18th and 19th

centuries, of the rich alone was brought

to the bulk of the population with the

mass production of fibreglass boats

after the Second World War.

The sea has, of course, fascinated

man for many thousands of years and

from the very earliest times he found

ways of turning it to his advantage.

With considerable ingenuity, using

whatever materials were at hand, he fashioned boats to suit

his own needs and those of the local conditions. Rivers and

lakes provided not only a rich source of food, but also the

opportunity to move around from one place to another in a

country which was often both thickly wooded and hostile.

It is almost certain therefore, that the very first boats were

With considerable

ingenuity, using

whatever materials were

at hand, he fashioned

boats to suit his own

needs and those of the

local conditions.

produced for use on inland rivers and waters rather than the

open sea, since man had no knowledge of navigation, and

the limitless expanse of the oceans was

regarded with fear and awe.

These very early types of boat were

probably simple logs which were

propelled by the current. Gradually man

began to lash theses together to make

rafts, paddled with a roughly shaped

piece of wood, in areas where wood was

not available, he used bundles of reeds

instead, and reed boats were of the same

simple construction are still to be found

today on the Nile and on Lake Titicaca, high up in the Andes

in South America. With the advent of flints, man began to

hollow out tree trunks to form dug-out canoes, powering

them with wooden paddles. They are still to be found today

in parts of Africa, in South America and the Solomon Islands.


Reed boat

Gaff cutter


Bermudan Sloop

Bermudan Yawl

Dutch Boeier

Gaff Ketch




Sail power

By the time of the Bronze Age, ships were being made of

planks nailed together, and the concept of the sail had been

introduced. The first sailing boats are thought to be on the

lines of the model ship discovered in a tomb in Egypt in 1906.

Dating from 2400BC, and rigged with

a single square-sail mounted on a

short central mast, the boat was

steered by a large paddle shaped oar

strapped to the stern of the boat.

The Egyptians retained this form of

ship for some time, and the Egyptian

square-sail rig spread eastward – it

is still seen today around the waters

of Malaya. The Lateen sail was also,

presumably, an Egyptian invention.

A trapezoidal with a short luff. It was

bent to a yard arm, set obliquely to

the mast. The design was revolutionary in that it enabled the

boat to sail towards the wind to some extent, as well as away

from it. The precursor of the fore-and-aft rig adopted by

most modern cruising boats, the lateen sail is still used today

by Arabian dhows. A slightly different, squarer form, known

as the lugsail, was developed by the Chinese. It consisted of

a single sail, made up in sections, stiffened by bamboos and

is also still in use, known as the junk rig. Like the lateen, it

is bent to q yard, but then slung towards the leeward of the

mast when hoisted and set, with its tack forward of the mast.

The lugsail is practical in that it can be easily handled and


and ketches all plied the coastlines of Europe, each designed

for a particular purpose – the type of cargo carried or the type

of waters sailed in.

By the 19th century, the large cargo boats had been much

modified and streamlined.

Competition on the trade routes

to the Far East and to Australia

inspired the boat designers to

find important rigs to increase

speed and efficiency. One of

the most revolutionary was the

clipper design originating in the

states, of which the Rainbow, built

in 1845, was a prime example.

“The vessel will never be built to

beat her,” declared the skipper.

His confidence although proved

wrong some half a century later, was not surprising. The

clippers could cut the sailing time of other vessels down

by half. Their design was based on that of the Chesapeake

working boats, with a very narrow bow, a streamlined hull and

a combination of the fore-and-aft and square rig. With the

Early boatbuilders realized

that the efficiency of

the sail was directly

proportional to its size

and the larger the sail a

boat could carry the faster

it would travel.

Staysail Schooner

To understand the design of modern sailing craft, it helps

to know something of the development of the original hull

constructions and types of rig, as many of these aspects of

these ancient forms have been incorporated in modern designs.

Then, as now, one of the main concerns of boat builders was

for speed. Early boatbuilders realized that the efficiency of the

sail was directly proportional to its size and the larger the sail

a boat could carry the faster it would travel. However, large

sails were both unwieldy and uneconomical to use, except in

parts of the world where labour was cheap. Boat builders in the

Western World in Particular, resolved the problem by splitting

the canvas area into several smaller sails carried on more than

one mast. This square rig, with a beamy, sturdy hull and a high

freeboard, was for many centuries in Europe, the preferred boat

design for large cargo boats. As new oceans were discovered

and mapped they were built in ever-increasing numbers to take

advantage of the new markets.

Around the coastlines of the northern countries of Europe,

however, different considerations applied, and the variety

of rigs which developed to meet specific local needs were

numerous. Although the square-rigged ships, were suited

to sailing downwind, could exploit the steady breezes of the

trade winds, the craft plying coastal waters needed a more

adaptable rig. A combination of the square rig with a foreand-aft

one (a modification of the lateen sail) was developed

which allowed the boats to sail well toward windward. Barques

and barquentines, brigs and brigantines, snows, schooners

advent of the industrial revolution, the first experiments with

powering ships with steam engines were to be made. These

early vessels were unreliable and much scorned by the sailing

masters, but by the turn of the century, steam had overtaken

sail for many of the large cargo and passenger boats, and in

the years that followed only small fishing and working boats

still operated under sail power alone.

By the early part of the 20th century, engine power had

virtually eclipsed the use of sail. However, people were

beginning to turn to sailing for recreation and pleasure,

and the now redundant sail-powered working boats were

occasionally converted into cruising boats. Since those times

the art of sailing has been kept alive by enthusiastic amateurs.

Thanks to the increase in popularity of various forms of racing

boat design has been modified and improved to make boats

not only safer and faster, but easier to handle. The double

advantage of both adventure and a sense of freedom has

spurred many thousands of people to take to small boats, and

to cruising in particular, all over the world.










• Subic Bay 0939-922-3238

• Manila 0918-963-8148

• Cebu 0939-902-0494

• Boracay 0918-963-8155

• Davao 0918-963-8151

• Puerto Princesa 0912-309-6305

CR 1522


• Auto acquistion tracks up to 50 targets

• Overlay radar image and AIS on the chart

• With PIP Zoom capability of zooming in

to emphasize small target on screen

CS 1522


• Built-in 1kW output power sonar module

(50/77/200 kHz & dual-channel CHIRP)

• Built-in 500W CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü

scanning sonar module

• Side by side quad frequencies display mode





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