Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In the middle of nowhere between the seas separating Leyte and Cebu, there stands a tiny island that we called "LULI" island (short for lulubog-lilitaw). This tiny island which spans about a hectare or so gets submerged under water during high tide and displays its breathtaking splendor during low tide.

My aunt and uncle, who lived in Toledo knew about the island since they live nearby. The first time we went to Luli island was sometime in 1997. The travel to the island took about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the waves and we were so excited to see for ourselves an island that literally disappears from time to time!

And wow, did our mouths hang dry just taking in the view and the waters. Imagine this- 360 degrees of clear blue waters around you teeming with marine life. You do not even need snorkelling gear or diving gear. Just put your head in the water and fish will literally swim right at your face.

So, each visit to Cebu is incomplete without going to Luli island. I bet there are some other islands all over the Philippines that also disappear when the tide comes in and I bet you also have memories of your own in your paradise islands.

Words could never really approximate the beauty of the island so here are photos of Luli for you to enjoy.

Approaching the island...

Enjoying the scenery... Goofing around paradise.

Enjoying family!

View from the banca...

See the irregular shape of the island? That is because high tide is coming soon!

About a third of the island...

Goofing around with goofs :)

These are just a few of the starfish found in the island. (Don't worry, we returned them to their homes!!!)

Cousin of Patrick... You don't know Patrick? Ask Spongebob.

On our way back...See the island? What remains is just a thin strip of land.

My Baby

It's amazing how this tiny new life could change your world tremendously.

A few days into the world and this little nugget changes your whole life - your sleeping habits, your eating habits, your shopping views and even those tiny glands that operate your tears suddenly loosen up and anything would easily make you cry now.

But those are welcoming changes. And each small sigh, smile, and tinkling laugh would totally erase any ache and tiredness in you because the warmth of love that emanates from a child can never be equaled by any.


One of the most popular cholesterol-ridden foods is the chicharon. For those who came from outer space, chicharon is seasoned pig skin (sometimes with fats still attached to the skin) and deep-fried in oil (how many times? That I don’t know). Though a few pieces of this treat will raise your blood pressure to the dangerous level, each succulent bite would make you want to thank that you were born in this world and given this opportunity to savor such a gustatory treat.

Of all the chicarons that I have tasted, here are my top three favorites:

1. RL Lapids- Their chicaron is really crunchy and tasty. Though at times, it gets a bit salty ( “maanghang na suka” would balance the saltiness though) I love the puffiness of the skin and the balance of flavors in each bite.

2. Chicharon from Bulacan (Ninja’s and BJ’s stand out) – crunchy but each little piece melts in your mouth- it actually sticks to the roof of your mouth. Each bite is heavenly (you would surely reach heaven early if you keep a regular diet of chicharon).

Side note: My brother used to buy this chicharon peddled by his officemate that’s also made in Bulacan. The packaging has no name though. It’s so good that just looking at it would make one fat already. The skin are puffed to perfection and each piece has some “laman” attached to it. Too bad his officemate stopped selling them because their other officemates have started to have headaches and high blood pressure.

3. Carcar’s chicharon- I keep on forgetting the name. But relatives from Cebu bring us packs of these when they visit us and the “laman” attached to each chicharon is so good, that you can make this as your ulam any time of day!

So if you’re not a vegetarian and you want to indulge in something that would clog your arteries, try one bite of chicharon. It’s not just a staple for pulutan, it can be your ulam too, your snack and your any day, every day comfort food.