We discovered a picnic grove by accident. We left our car in the open field infront of Bayview Accommodation For Staff and guests of Pagbilao Power Plant. We decided to walk upon seeing the narrow road ahead. We asked the security guard of Bayview for directions to the coast. We obviously looked like strangers in the place so locals stared at us with curious looks. Along the way, we met Mang Mario, a local who was going to the "aplaya" (beach). He smiled at us and asked where we were going. Hubby told him we just wanted to have an ocular survey of the coastline. He was going to the beach to have some fresh air and to check on his fishing boat. He led us to a shortcut through a private fishpond. There was a "piknikan" (picnic grove) between the fishpond and the beach. He introduced hubby and I to the caretaker, Aling Linda, and told her we were just passing though their place to have a good view of the coastline. Since it was very hot, hubby and Mang Mario stood under the canopy of trees. I thought the trees were "camachile" dwarfed by the sand, but Mang Mario said they are called "aroma" trees. According to Aling Linda, "aroma" is the same kind as the tree from which the branches with thorns were formed into a crown and put on Jesus Christ's head. (I later researched on aroma trees and learned that its scientific name is acacia farnesia and it is mostly found in the beach area.)
I gathered that tourists who go island hopping usually go there to rest and have a picnic. On early mornings, fresh fish can be bought from the fishermen at nearby "apalaya". The fish can then be grilled for the picnic. Picnic tables are rented out for only P50.
From the picnic grove, we saw fishing bancas neatly lined up in the "aplaya' (beach). Mang Mario, who himself owns a fishing banca told us that the fishermen have already arrived from their early morning fishing, and have already sold their catch to the traders. We saw some already cleaning up their boats and hanging their nets. He tipped us to go there before sunrise if we would like to have some shots of the scene.
We learned that tourists who like to get cheap boats for island hopping usually go to that side of the "aplaya" in Brgy. Bantigue "Ibaba" to negotiate with the fishermen. Boat rental is from P800-1,000 depending on destination(s).
We were looking for an inactive beach resort which hubby's photo buddy said was a nice site for photo shoot. It reportedly had nice rocks and mangroves which make good foregrounds for seascapes. When I asked some locals for directions, I was surprised when the teenaged girls told me it is just infront of the haunted house we passed by the road. Stunned, I asked hubby if he saw a house that looked haunted; he said it must be the big, old house. We drove back to the place; I thought the girls were referring to an old wooden period-style house, but we saw a big, unpainted and unfinished 2-story house instead. It didn't look eerie from the outside, but hubby and I decided not to go down from the car anymore to see the beachfront.
We asked around. There were conflicting stories. Some said there were really testimonials of sounds and sightings of people in the house, often on full moon. Others said the people sighted/heard were actually lovers meeting in the house. When our grandson heard the stories, he wanted to go inside the haunted house, but we rejected his wish because he is psychically sensitive and we were afraid of what he'll see/ experience there.