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Τα κόκκινα λουστρίνια, Ειρήνη Μάρρα

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Εργασία του Κωνσταντίνου Τσιλιμπάρη στο μάθημα της Ν. Λογοτεχνίας Α΄Γυμνασίου, 3ο Γυμνάσιο Βύρωνα, 2011-2012.

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News Report:


The hidden paradise of Surigao del Sur’s Britania Islands

The island of Hagonoy.

Breath-taking Britania Islands are Surigao del Sur’s best-kept secret—a fact that I, photographer Roland L. Jumawan, and his family only found out when we visited barangay Britania in the municipality of San Agustin last week. Jumawan was in search for a nice place for a photo safari and I was looking for the perfect place to while away some of the summer.
 
Britania Islands is a six-hour ride from Davao City and about three hours from Butuan City.  You can reach there through private vehicles or by public utility vehicles plying in the area. If you take a bus, alight at the Salvacion junction where there’s a tourist assistance center. Since Britania is still 2.8 kilometers away, you can hire a motorcycle to take you there.

Reaching the gateway

It was almost dark when we arrived at La Entrada Resort and Restaurant, where we were billeted for the next two days. Mercy Alameda, the resort proprietress, welcomed us and oriented us about the place.
 
“We call this place La Entrada because this is the gateway to Britania Islands,” she informed.
 
Actually, had it not been for La Entrada, Britania Islands would have remained relatively unknown. Mercy’s husband, Manuel Alameda, Sr. saw the potential of the islands when he was still the town mayor.
 
Mercy recounted how, in one of the conferences Manuel attended in Luzon, he saw foreigners who were shouting and having fun when they saw the white sand beaches. Alameda was surprised, since white sand beaches in his hometown were so common that no one paid attention to them.
 
So an idea was born: he could develop Britania Islands into a tourist attraction. He called a meeting with the people living near the coastal areas of barangay Britania and told them about his plan, but no one seemed to be interested.
 
His last recourse: make a resort which will serve as jump-off to island hopping at Britania Islands.  In May 2011, the resort held a soft-opening. To the couple’s surprise, people started coming, one after the other.
 
“From 80 guests when we had a soft opening,” Mercy said. “We now have an average of 100 people coming to the resort each day. Some of these people stay at our rooms or just use our facilities.”
 
The resort has a boat which can be rented if guests want to go island hopping. It costs P100 per person with a minimum of ten passengers, accommodating as much as 20 persons.

Wherefore art thou, Britania?
 
The island of Boslon.

Britania is an ancient term for Roman Britain. It is actually a Latin name which is derived from the Greek form “Prettanike” or “Brettaniai,” which means “a collection of islands with individual names.”
 
Facing the Pacific Ocean, Lianga Bay has 24 islands and islets scattered all over its water. Most of the islands are uninhabited with minimal or no vegetation and surrounded with crystal clear waters.
 
Each island is blessed with powdery white sands which can be compared to that of the well-famed Boracay Island. National Geographic Channel featured it as one of the best spots in Asia. We managed to visit only three islands, however.

Six islands from paradise

The first we visited was Hagonoy. According to our guide, the island was named after the weed that used to grow there.

From a distance, we were mesmerized by its beauty. There were a few coconut trees growing there; these served as shade during our brief stay.
 
We immediately took a plunge into the clear water, savoring the feeling of the powdery white sands beneath our soles. We grew brave enough to run here and there. Roland and I kept taking snapshots of this place, which had already become a haven in the 45 minutes we spent there.
 
The island of Naked was only 10 minutes away from Hagonoy. When we stepped into its surrounding waters, we immediately knew why it was named as such: there were no trees or huge boulders anywhere on its face. It was made up of just plain white sand floating on top of the water.
 
The last island we visited was Boslon, the largest among the group. Signs of habitation graced the place, such as a cross and a statue of Virgin Mary standing to one side of the island.
 
While waiting for our lunch, I dove into the cool, irresistible waters and really had fun time swimming. It was the perfect island to chill and stay for a while, and it felt too good to be true. We were, indeed, lucky that there were only very few people.
 
Our guide said that during low tide, visitors can walk onto two nearby subsidiary islets. The twin rock promontories, both named Panlangagan, contain a secret cave and a pocket forest. The cave was reportedly an old burial ground of Japanese soldiers during World War II. However, our growling stomachs did not allow us to explore these.

The island of Hiyor-hiyoran.

It was almost one in the afternoon when we left Boslon. Our final stopover was supposed to be Hiyor-hiyoran, the island with the most vegetation. But since we were tired already, we decided to go back to La Entrada to take our much needed rest. — VC, GMA News





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