We drove for about three hours before reaching Sariaya, and surprisingly without the usual Saturday AND post-All Soul’s traffic at SLEX. We were to look for a private port in Talaan, Quezon, or “Port of Talaan”, as the father-in-law says. That’s where their crew was docked and where we’ll meet him for an overnight in one of the resorts in town.
As it turns out, there is no such name. Even Google Maps couldn’t find where Talaan is in Quezon, much more a port in Talaan. It also didn’t help that there are two Talaans in Sariaya: Talaan Pantoc and Talaan Aplaya.
Dirt road upon dirt road, we searched till we finally found Nation Granary Inc., a privately held port in Talaan Aplaya. We stayed a minute to ask locals and to take a whiff of the cool, salty air from the beachfront property before heading on for miles of rice paddies and towering coconuts on either side of the road, and the majestic Mount Banahaw looking out from the west.
|Farmlands by the Talaan Aplaya road|
Similar to the narrow, winding towns before this, the road went on for kilometers without any establishments in view: not a local turo-turo or a sari-sari store, or even a house. No public transport either. We plied seven kilometers on the Quezon Eco Tourism Road before reaching Dalampasigan Beach Resort where we had prior reservations.
|Guisguis Beach during low tide|
were scattered across the seabed, along with empty sachets of hair conditioner and nuts. The shore was sprawling with twigs and shavings of coconuts, a primary source of livelihood in the area. Unfamiliar as it is though, it is serene and relaxed even on a weekend.
|Them locals burn coconut shavings by the beach.|
(On the other hand, if this was some totally primeval rural community, I’d probably think twice and go paranoid about worms).
How to get there:
Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), then exit to Sto. Tomas. Follow the route through Pan Philippine Highway (the same route going to Bicol), and go straight past the towns of Alaminos, Tiaong and Candelaria. Once you reach Sariaya town proper, there is a signage past the town arch (by the town hall) that points towards the town of Talaan Aplaya. Turn right at this point. The sign however was covered by a palm tree when we went, so you have to drive slow when you reach town.
Just go straight; there will be signs pointing to Talaan. You will first pass by Talaan Pantoc, followed by Talaan Aplaya. At the end of the road, there is an intersection where the dirt road and a paved highway meet. This is the Quezon Eco Tourism Road. Ply right onto this road and go straight.You will pass by the town of San Roque, followed by Guisguis. Resorts line up the highway, there are signs. You won’t miss it.