Imelda and the Carabao – notes from the author

Imelda and the Carabao by Steven Wiseblood

Imelda and the Carabao by Steven Wiseblood

It has been a year since I wrote Imelda and the Carabao which is loosely based on my travels to the Philippines in 2012.

During my travels I learned about life on a Philippine farm, growing and harvesting rice, farming equipment as well as growing vegetables and selling them at the Philippine market.

Carabao in water

Carabao in water

kuliglig -  farming equipment

kuliglig – farming equipment

I highly recommend  my book,  Imelda and the Carabao for anyone who wants to learn something about Philippine rural life in the  Cagayan Valley, which is  in the far northern part of Luzon.  Imelda and the Carabao is also available on AMAZON.COM and at a kindle book also. I hope that you will read it and  enjoy it!

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My Impressions of the Philippines

My Impressions of the Philippines

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During my seven month stay in the Philippines from late May 2012 until early December 2012 I was able to accomplish much of what I set out do to.  There was simply not enough time and money to do everything that I wanted to do.

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I stayed in Manila for a little over 2 months and in the Cagayan valley for almost 5 months on 2 separate occasions.

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I wanted to see more of Ilocos Norte and the beaches on the northern coast. I wanted to see Santa Ana and the small islands off the northern coast.

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I will plan ahead so that during my next trip to the Philippines I will take ample time to visit all the places that I want to see. I am looking forward to returning to the land that I consider my second home……The Philippines!    

ripe juicy cacao pods

ImageDuring my  in the stay in the Philippines I saw many cacao trees in the Cagayan Valley which were bearing many cacao pods.  These are the same fruits that can be dried to make chocolate. I tasted the sweet white beans from a ripe cacao.  I wish I could eat cacao all year long.  Nevertheless, I am looking forward to returning to the Philippines, buying some land, and planting cacao trees for my enjoyment.!

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The calamansi fruit

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Calamansi, or Kalamansi, is a citrus fruit native to the Philippines.  I saw many calamansi trees in the Cagayan Valley. This is where I got my first taste of the fruit. It seems to be almost like a hybrid of a Lemon and a Tangerine. It is often called the Chinese Orange. The taste, to me, was a bit sour, but is can be squeezed into juice or tea.

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taking VICTORY LINER buses

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I took the Victory Liner buses on several occasions between Manila and the Cagayan Valley. They were always SAFE, COMFORTABLE, well air conditioned and I was usually traveling in the middle of the night. If you can take the DELUXE version it has a restroom ONBOARD!

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The bridge to Tuao Cagayan

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There are several issues with the bridge as one enters Tuao Cagayan…   The first issue is that the bridge is just wide enough for one full sized BUS or JEEPNEY to pass each way. There is a pull-over land every few hundred feet so if you are in a LARGE VEHICLE you have to pull over and let the buses, jeepneys and trucks coming from the other direction.

The second issue is when the river is full the bridge is not usable, not passable as the water will be high enough to reach the roadway.

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  The buses and Jeepneys park along the river and leave the passengers off to cross inmotor boats to bring  the people to the other side of the river. One you reach the Tuao side of the river, you can take a Calesa several hundred yards to where the tricycles are, which will bring you into the city of Tuao. When you take the motorboat, take care, your shoes will probably get wet!

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The Tuguegarao City Hall

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Undoubtedly one of the most BEAUTIFUL buildings in Tuguegarao.  It is very IMPRESSIVE to see from the road as it sits on a hill overlooking the city!

I want to take more photos of it, from ALL ANGLES, the next time that I am in Tuguegarao…….hopefully next year!  🙂

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taking a tricycle in Tuguegarao

ImageWhat to pay for a tricycle in Tuguegarao, Cagayan?

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I believe that the minimum fare is 10 pesos per person. It  all depends how far around town that you need to go!  If you are  going  to be around the downtown section of Tuguegarao, then, I believe,  10p – 20p is a fair price.  I lived for a while in Carig Sur, which is about 3km from downtown Tuguegarao. The tricycle price for 2 people was always about 50p (25p per person). When in doubt about the fare as the tricycle driver beforehand!

Impressions of Tuguegarao, Cagayan

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My impressions of Tugeuegarao, Cagayan. 

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Cagayan is a province located in the far northern part of the Philippines. Tuguegarao is the Capital city. I loved Tuguegarao because so many things to do there. It is not as big as Manila but still maintains the atmosphere of a larger city. I lived there for over a month and would gladly do it again!  The first impression of downtown Tuguegarao is that there are many, many Tricycles…but many things do do, and many places to eat!

I will tell more about my experiences of Tuguegarao in my future blogs!