Pulong Niyugan – Lopez, Quezon’s Hidden Sanctuary

***Erratum: It was brought to my attention that Pulong Niyugan is part of Hondagua and not Lopez. This was commented on by the locals at the end of this post. I sincerely apologize if I was not able to research on this further. According to the Quezon’s Local Government Page, Hondagua is part of Lopez and this was what I believed in up until it was corrected. Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it sincerely. I hope no one would get offended further as this was an honest mistake, –something that someone who’s not a local, and is looking from a tourist’s point of view, would not know (I cannot change the title of this blog as well, as the URL of the blog is dependent on the title. If I do this, all links will render futile. I hope you guys understand.)

Even research could not provide this information as it is an internal dispute as stated from the words of Maymiskem on the comments:

“For so long, my barangay has never been transformed into a town and we were living under the shadow of Lopez. But my barangay, from 1960s brings more than 50% income to Lopez, and that maybe the reason why we were not allowed to be a town.”

Thank you, whole-heartedly. For me, these are opportunities to learn more. Thank you!!! ^___^

—with so much love, Janni

It all started 2 years ago, when I first visited Lopez, Quezon. According to my partner, growing up on that province is as typical as it can get…and…of course, I needed to prove that otherwise. There are no dull places in the Philippines. There’s always a beach to build sandcastles to, a mountain to climb, falls to rappel on, and a cave to discover.

I started researching through the world wide web. It even came to a desperate point of plotting using Google Maps! In the end, I came up with this interesting town name, Barangay Hondagua.

It took me 2 attempts to reach the place, the interval was a year or so. Whenever we would try asking the locals in the capital, they would say the town’s not really familiar. Hmm…a bit odd, right? This is the same reason why I itched relentlessly to look for the place. My very own treasure hunt!

While Typhoon Chedeng was threatening the Quezon Province, we were on a bus ride crafting our plan. The objective was to not ask just any local, but the older ones–those who have been residing in the place for a very long time. The plan was a success. We found a local fisherman who gave us directions to the paradise.

The first step to getting there was to ride the tricycle to Barangay Hondagua. The terminal for this route is situated at the back of the market, familiarly known as the “Bagong Palengke“. The trike is for sharing and once it’s filled, you’re good to go. The ride is around 30 minutes wherein you will be passing steep roads and a nice view of treetops that would make you wonder if there is really a beach nearby.

11120083_10206003428385747_1914115282_n

Ask the tricycle driver to bring you to the port, and once there, you can rent a small fishing boat to bring you to the island. Turns out, Barangay Hondagua was just a jump off point! The ride to the island is fairly fast. Kuya Tet, our bangkero, showed us the beaches that most locals go to before we got to our destination. According to him, we were off to Pulong Niyugan. This place is not as famous as the common beaches around but it’s a beautiful place with epic rock formations, sandbars, and tons of shells and corals.

11118125_10206003427505725_1992579191_n

11106529_10206003427385722_1362284595_n

11116070_10206003426345696_541089840_n

11087108_10206003425825683_355210062_n

We got there thinking we’ve heard it all. There were several people at the front of the beach so we decided to explore the island first before joining them. We walked to the opposite side of the island, and lo and behold, a sight that makes travelling worth the exhaustion and fatigue.

11106529_10206003420145541_645683894_n

Mangroves, rocks, deep teal waters, white sand… it was every beach-goers’ dream! It was undisturbed, secluded even from your thoughts of the city. The silence was loud enough to amplify nature’s song of monkeys and parrots. It was to a point, frightening because the peace envelopes you that you would not want to go back.

11077944_10206003419225518_1593637496_n

11120960_10206003418225493_1111390904_n

11128185_10206003417145466_760160202_n
11125460_10206003419945536_2066368966_n

11130746_10206003416905460_780380563_n

11146140_10206003421305570_2078211928_n

There were day cottages around, crafted by the locals so they can spend time relaxing on the island. Should you wish to bring food, or mag-ihaw, by all means, you can do so. Just remember, CLEAN AS YOU GO!!! It’s very unfortunate that there are some people who leave their trash behind and carve their names on the stone formations. This makes me angry.

I went batshit crazy hunting for beautiful shells to bring back as remembrance and ended up with a handful. There were also hermit crabs that I sang to (♫ labas labas umang ♫ — my mom taught me this when I was a kid ☺) and played with while my partner headed for a swim.

11106276_10206003419185517_1320248173_n

11130738_10206003423905635_2058016477_n

At this point, I knew the typhoon was too chicken to come. Quezon may be every storm’s favorite target but this just shows how resilient the people here are. No tempest too savage!!!

We decided to leave early and take on Kuya Tet’s kind offer of showing us around. We went to Pulong Ulong Pato, believing all the while that it was just 1 island that looked like a duck’s head and beak. Turns out, it was made up of 2 islands next to each other. There are some residents on the “beak part” of the island, and believe it or not, they have electricity.

11117779_10206003410985312_2046797892_n

The next island we headed off to was Pulong Barko. Unlike the previous island, this one is deserted. What’s amazing about this isle is that if you’re not from around the place, you can easily mistake it as a real cargo ship from a distance. Just a thought, actually.

We went past the fishing posts the communities leave in the middle of the ocean. The place is very abundant in marine life and the local government is extremely vigilant to excessive fishing. They have strong laws against dynamite fishing and the locals equally and honestly follows this. According to Kuya Tet, this is their main source of living and something they cannot do without. There is no point in abusing it.

11136893_10206003424305645_85872601_n

There were also sea urchins around and my stomach craved for Uni Sashimi that instant. Suprisingly, the locals didn’t know they’re edible. They avoided it, as a matter of fact.

We plan to go back this July 4th for the Fishing Festival where bangkeros will compete for the fastest boat title. Or probably, we can go back in June for the Butanding’s annual scheduled visit. The locals mentioned that this brings them good fortune as the whale shark brings in thousands of smaller fishes, that they promise not to harm it and leave it be. I sincerely can’t wait!

As we were heading home, I kept on thinking whether or not to make this blog entry. The islands near Barangay Hondagua were all beautiful and far from careless and irresponsible tourism. I know that my blog isn’t that influential and wouldn’t bring as much traffic on the place however, exposing the virgin islands proposes a risk of having it discovered and eventually exploited. However, not writing about the place would kill me inside. The attraction is too much to selfishly own it for myself. Besides, this could be an opportunity for the Hondaguans to earn more for themselves and for the preservation of their paradise.

11139696_10206003424825658_663317045_n

I leave the responsibility to the local government. Should this blog reach views to bring tourists on the place, please take control of the situation and never succumb to greed. It’s a long shot but this heaven deserves to live.

How to Get There and Breakdown of Expenses:

1. From Cubao, ride Jam Liner to Lucena Grand Terminal – 218 Php
2. From Lucena Grand Terminal, ride any bus that passes through Lopez, Quezon. We usually take the ordinary fare, AB Liner – 80 Php
3. Disembark at Lopez town proper and walk to the Bagong Palengke and ride the trike heading to Hondagua – 25 Php per head

4.Boat Rental (to and from Pulong Niyugan) – 350 Php to 400 Php or more depending on the number of people riding the boat. More people means bigger boat.

***I strongly suggest you contact Kuya Tet, which I can provide the number upon request. He’s a very kind, and honest bangkero. 🙂

***Should you need a place to stay, I heard that Rospan Lodge is a good hotel. Warm and friendly staff, plus clean facilities. Although I haven’t stayed there yet, based from the look of the outside, it’s a fairly good spot to crash for the night. Plus if you inquire through Facebook, their response time is pretty quick 🙂

***And before I end this, I can never reiterate enough the importance of responsible tourism. Please. If you love the place, take care of the place!

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “Pulong Niyugan – Lopez, Quezon’s Hidden Sanctuary

  1. great post! hey! i have a new update for you in DreamPlay. I called their number 8008080 to really ask about their fees. But then again I forgot taking notes. 😅 This is just what I remembered. 😂

    There are 14 activities inside. Someone mentioned about the 4D theater, library with performers, cooking lessons, play area, hologram for kids, and many more.

    you get to take turns so each activitiy have a specific time to stay then you need to go to another area when time is up. the fees are more expensive so I suggest to go there during a weekday so u dont have to deal with too many kids and falling in line.

    1 hr = 400+ for kids; 200+ for adult
    2hrs = 600+ for kids; 300+ for adult
    *somewhat impossible for u to finish all 4 activities in just 1-2 hrs
    4hrs = 1000+ for kids; 500+ for adults
    whole day = 2000+ for kids; 1100 for adults

    again, it’s just on the top of my head. 😆 so forgive what I just remembered. 😉 hope this helps.

    Like

  2. Thank you for getting back with these info 🙂 I really appreciate it. I will be going there probably before the month ends and will tag you definitely ♥ Thanks again!

    Like

  3. amilelong says:

    Thank you for featuring Hondagua and pulong niyugan, this is the first time I heard thAt it has a name, growing up in there we always referred to it as “pulo”. It is indeed a beautiful placeand ceratinly part of alot of my friends childhood days.

    Like

    • You’re welcome! It’s the least that could do 😀 The place welcomed me with open arms. I love the people and the sea. I love how I can still see a lot of sea urchins there plus the idea that the butanding visits every June and July 😀 I love the place really and thank you so much! 😀

      Like

  4. I like your piece, well written and really defined our place. Pulong Niyugan is part of my childhood. I only have one request, if you admire the place, please change the title to” PULONG NIYUGAN: HONDAGUA, QUEZON’s HIDDEN SANCTUARY”.. not Lopez, Quezon. For so long, my barangay has never been transformed into a town and we were living under the shadow of Lopez. But my barangay, from 1960s brings more than 50% income to Lopez, and that maybe the reason why we were not allowed to be a town. And of course, there are other reasons to qualify being a town, but that is the main reason. We want our barangay to be known as the REAL location of this place, although you mentioned it in the whole article.

    Like

    • Thanks. This is noted. I will be placing an erratum at the end of the blog. Sadly, I cannot change the title name as this will affect all links to this because of the URL placing. I am sincerely apologetic for this. But rest assured, I will be placing the erratum and informing you as soon as it is up. 🙂 Cheers!

      Like

  5. Magaling ang pagkakasulat at pagkakadescribe mo ng bayan kong sinilangan, kapatid. Puwede ba palitan mo ang title ng article mong ito. Gawin mong HONDAGUA ang Lopez, kasi talaga namang sa Hondagua ang lugar. If you love the place, ibigay mo rin ang credit sa mga mamamayan dito. Malaking pasasalamat namin sa iyo kung HONDAGUA ang ilalagay mo. Maganda ang lugar namin, halos balansiyado ang Agrikultura, Industriya at Komersiyo. Nagkakamali lang ang mga tao, dahil laging Lopez ang nababanggit. Meron kaming malaking Pabrika, malawak na pangisdaan, malawak na bukirin – niyugan, palayan, mga prutas, mga gulay.. at ang mga mamamayan ng pulo ng Alabat ay sa amin namimili. Please lang po. Ibigay mo po naman ang credit sa aking mga kababaryo.

    Like

    • Salamat po sa pagbisita!

      Gaya po ng sinabi ko kay Maymiskem, gagawa po ako ng erratum at ilalagay ko sa ibabaw ng artikulong ito na ang Hondagua ay Hondagua at iba sa Lopez.

      Pagpasensiyahan niyo na po kasi po base sa pagsasaliksik ko bago po ako makarating sa bayan niyo, ang Hondagua po ay parte ng Lopez. Bilang hindi po ako lokal ng Lopez at Hondagua, hindi ko po malalaman ang ganitong sitwasyon liban na nang sabihin ni Maymiskem. Tanggapin niyo po ang aking pagpapa-umanhin.

      Ang credit po ay sa inyo, mga mamamayan ng Hondagua, bilang ang Pulong Niyugan ay matatagpuan sa lugar niyo. Wala pong umaagaw sa inyo ng pagkakakilanlang iyon. Maganda at maasenso ang lugar niyo at ang lahat ng tao ay palabati at matulungin. Gusto ko nga pong banggitin ng banggitin si Kuya Tet at ang kanyang pamilya na naging bangkero namin at naging tour guide namin sa mga pulo. Hindi po ito questyon ng “if I love the place” or not. Isa lamang po itong blog ng isang taong bumisita at natuwa sa kagandahan ng lugar niyo. Wag po sana natin itong gawing basehan ng pagkakalalang ng Hondagua dahil ang Hondagua ay matatag, maasenso, at malakas whether or not kasama ito ng Lopez o hindi.

      Like

      • AldinValencia says:

        Parang namang hindi mamamayan ng Bayan ng Lopez ang mga taga Barangay Hondagua? Kahit ano pang research ang gawin talagang ang Barangay Hondagua, Lopez, Quezon ay isa lang sa 95 barangays ng Bayan ng Lopez at ang Bayan ng Lopez naman ay isa sa mahigit 40 bayan ng Lalawigan ng Quezon… Anumang pagkilala sa isang Bayan ay pagkilala din sa kanyang lalawigan…. Kaya kagaya ng Cagbalete, Balesin, Borawan at Pulong Niyugan, madaling hanapin kung ang hahanapin mo muna ay ang lalawigan ng Quezon bago ang Bayan kung saan naroon ang magagandang lugar na yun. Kaya kung sasadyain mo puntahan ang Pulong Niyugan,,, sasabihin mo na it is in Lopez, Quezon and then where in Lopez is the next question…

        Like

    • Bob Ong says:

      Mr. Calvario, instead of confusing the people and twisting the facts, why not work for the townhood of Brgy. Hondagua? The blog owner already did her part; due credit was already given to Brgy. Hondagua. It’s now your turn to do your job… the right way.

      If Hondagua is a legitimate municipality, separate and distinct from Lopez, why do its residents vote for Hondagua Brgy. Captain / Chairman during Barangay elections? And during local elections, do the Hondaguans vote for their own mayor, vice-mayor and municipal councilors? No. Am I right?

      And one thing that I’ve noticed: “Ibigay mo po naman ang credit sa aking mga KABABARYO.”
      See? Eh di BARANGAY nga lang talaga ang Hondagua.

      Like

    • Hi Bogie, Pasensiya na po kung Lopez linagay ko kasi base po sa pagkakalalang niya sa mapa ng Quezon, parte siya ng Lopez. Pinaalam lang po sakin ni Maymiskem ang tunay na storya. Pasensiya na po sa pagkakamali pero po sa taong hindi Lokal ng Hondagua o Lopez, hindi namin alam ang ganitong sitwasyon. Sorry po.

      Wala po kayong dapat ikasama ng loob. Parte po ng buong Quezon ang lugar niyo at napaka swerte niyo na bahagi kayo ng kaloob ng Diyos na ito. Wag po natin ikulong ang pag-iisip natin sa Taga Hondagua vs. Taga Lopez. Ipagpugay po natin ang kagandahan ng Quezon bilang parte ng Pilipinas! 🙂

      Maraming salamat sa pagbisita at nawa’y patuloy pangalagaan ng mga taga Hondagua ang lugar! Mabuhay!

      Like

      • AldinValencia says:

        Parang hindi taga Lopez ang mga taga Hondagua? Dahil lang ba na dun itinayo ang Philippine Flour Mills? Look at their birth certificates and their voter;s ID at ibang pang identification na kailanman hindi pwede iba ang Hondagua sa Lopez… Dapat isa alang alang din nila ang ginagawang pagkilala ng mga bayan sa lalawigan ng Quezon na sila at taga QUEZON at hindi ibang lugar ang Quezon Province sa bayan nila… Bahagi pa rin sila ng lalawigan ng Quezon…. ang credit ng Hondagua ay credit din ng Lopez at credit din ng lalawigan ng Quezon.

        Like

  6. che says:

    Thanks for the blog.
    How long travel time po sa boat going to the island fom hondagua?And yung boat po ba how much and for how many pax?

    Ty

    Like

    • Hi Che! Travel time is somewhere around 15 to 30 minutes 🙂 We rented a boat for 2 and we paid 400. lahat na yun. Pero I guess if you guys are around 5 to 6 pax, mas malaki bangka and tataas yung price. Would you like to get our bangkero’s contact number? 🙂

      Like

  7. Artemio A. Brondial says:

    Official na po bang bayan ang Hodagua, ako po ay isinilang sa bayan ng Lopez at may mga kamag-anak po akong naninirahan sa Barangay Hondagua at Barangay Mandoog at noong kabataan ko po ay madalas akong dumalaw sa kanila.

    Naaalala ko pa nga po na kapag election kami po ay nakakarating sa ilang mga karatig barangay ng hondagua upang mangampanya.

    Ilang taon na rin po ako sa maynila at halos 15 taon nang nasa ibayong dagat at sa kasalukuyan ako po ay nasa Dubai ngayun.

    Ano po ang nangyari bakit gusto nilang humiwalay sa mismong bayan nila? na bayan ng Lopez..
    Kung gagawin pong bayan ang Hondagua dapat pala gawin ding City na ang bayan ng Lopez at ihiwalay na sa Capital City ( Lucena City). Nagtatanong lang po dahil medyo matagal na akong nawalay sa ating mahal na bayang sinilangan..

    Like

    • Sa ngayon po, nung tiningnan ko po yung website ng Quezon, hindi pa po siya ginagawang bayan.

      May mga comment po sa page na ito na nagsasabi ng mga rason nila bakit gusto nilang maging bayan ang Hondagua. Kung ano pong makakabuti sa lugar ang hangarin ng lahat 🙂

      Sana po makabalik muli kayo. Napaka ganda po at masagana ng inyong bayan! 😀

      Like

  8. Bob Ong says:

    Hondagua used to be the catalyst for the growth of Lopez town. But that was until a score ago. Lopez is now booming, with or without Hondagua, and this is very evident in the town center and its peripheries while the “50% income of Lopez that is derived from the taxes paid by the factory in Hondagua” has steadily declined over the years.

    People must be reminded that Hondagua remains an integral part of Lopez, Quezon…until this time. The erratum at the beginning of this article is not necessary and, actually, misleading. In this age of Google, we can get whatever info we need, with just a few mouseclicks and keystrokes, without sweat. TRY IT.

    By the way, A NEW OR REVISED ERRATUM IS NECESSARY.
    I guess the site owner should do it, especially when she’s promoting this site as a travel blog which requires accurate information.

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback! I sincerely appreciate it. If you would further read through the erratum, you would notice that I mentioned that I did make a mistake and apologized for that. However, I never mentioned that the mistake was tagging Hondagua as not part of Lopez, Quezon. I apologized because I did not research further and that I could not change the title.

      Now, if I would give way to you which proposes the opposite side of the others who commented prior, then they would be offended yet again–an endless cycle brought about by discontent. So as a resolution, I will stand by what I have initially posted. I hope you don’t mind. I am recognizing Hondagua as part of Lopez, Quezon (as I have initially and originally blogged prior to the erratum) while I apologized to those I have offended when I couldn’t give way to their request and not researching on a beautiful place’s history.

      I did try researching and made sure that I maximize the use of Google, to address your point there. At this day and age, I believe no one with an access to the Internet does not know this. But we must understand that not everything in Google or the World Wide Web is reliable and real. The littlest of what you call “mouseclicks and keystrokes” can actually put you into more trouble, “without sweat”.

      Please read through the blog though. There is more to Hondagua, Pulong Niyugan, and Quezon as a whole. Let’s not let conflicts get in the way of nature’s beauty. 🙂 If you do not like what you are reading, then I’m sorry I cannot please such an intricate mind as yours. Enjoy and cheers to good life! ❤

      Like

  9. AldinValencia says:

    Pulong Nyugan is part of Brgy. Hondagua and Brgy. Hondagua is one of the 95 barangays of the Municipality of Lopez and Lopez before was part of Gumaca, Lopez like Gumaca and all of their barangays like Hondagua, Matinik, etc are all in Quezon Province.

    Like

  10. Paul says:

    LOL hindi pa din matanggap ng mga taga brgy. Hondagua n Lopezeño sila…. Even in may college day, my classmate in PUP Lopez. says they are not a citizen of lopez … Any way thanks to feature our place.. Pls make another blog featuring another town in quezon.. Marami p pong mgandang beach na hnd p alam ng marami…

    Like

  11. it’s a very nice blog! Credit to you Ms. Janni! Whatever title it is, you promote the place and you also promote the people of Lopez, Quezon. And that’s all the Fact! You just shared what you’ve experience with so much appreciation. Thank you so much for that! Keep on blogging. cheers

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s