BonPen Festival at Pitogo, Quezon

the beautiful beach

When I saw the invite from Mhel Ignacio asking for bloggers who want to go Pitogo, Quezon for a  2-day trip, I excitedly signed-up and confirmed my participation. Why not? This is another chance for me to experience the hidden gems of the Philippines, and when I told my housemate that I will go to Quezon Province he just told me, "Ingat ka doon, maraming NPA..." But I just shrugged it off and just thanked him for the 'encouragement.' Well, this trip will prove him wrong.

at seaside

October 28-29 is a big day for the Bondoc Peninsula, this is the day where they celebrate the annual BonPen Festival 2011, and this year's host is Pitogo. The festival aims to promote the 3rd District of Quezon as one of the major tourism destinations in the country.

one of the entry at Kulinarya BonPen 2011

Pitogo, Quezon Province is the 4th town belonging to the gateway cluster of the district which welcomes the visitors coming from the National Capital Region. Pitogo is a coastal municipality which boasts of coconut farmlands, beautiful beaches and a fascinating seascape.

opening number at Mr. & Ms. BonPen 2011

This year’s festival highlights activities designed to increase the public’s awareness on the prevailing environmental issues and inspire activism in its protection while promoting tourism in the area. Events included are district-wide simultaneous tree planting dubbed as The Green Mile Tree Planting with JunJun Binay, a fun run called as Takbo at Padyak BonPen Para sa Kalikasan, which is actually the first fun run I participated in, Konsiyerto Para sa Kalikasan and Beerfest, a cook-off competition called Kulinarya BonPen 2011, AgriTrade Fair and Mr. and Ms. BonPen 2011.

the Serbisyong Suarez bus

Come October 27, we all agreed to be picked-up at Shell in Magallanes at 10:00 PM where a chartered bus, en route to Quezon Province is waiting. But since my event at SM Megamall ended not on time, I arrived late too. I had to rushed at SM Makati to buy sunglasses and three pair of socks since I forgot mine at Valenzuela. The mall is already closing actually.

when we visited the beach one random child swimming said, "ba't andaming turista pumupunta dito, 'di naman naliligo.

 I finally arrived around 10:30 PM, where bloggers Aileen Siwa, Aileen Viedad, Galwin Fabian, Marco Dennis Esplana, MarcoPolo Jantoc Demo and photographer JohnKarlo Bateran is waiting. I'm not that familiar with these bloggers back then. But at the back on my mind, I'm just wishing that my roommate is not snoring loud, unlike my other out of town trips with bloggers before :)

our first run, the BonPen Fun Run 2011. That's 5K but we just walk at some part and we did it with just our slippers on :)

I already met Marco and Marco Dennis on previous blog events but we don't really have the chance to talk. But it's my first time to meet Aileen Siwa and Aileen Viedad, they're seating in front and they're busy eating something. Yup there's two Aileens and two Marco on our bus :)

This is also the first time I've met Galwin, but he said to me that he's blogging since 2005. He's aloof and shy and just answer one-liners at first, just like photographer JohnKarlo who just seat at the back of the bus and doesn't talk to us :)

Blogger Pepi De Leon arrived after me. Prior to my arrival, I knew that blogger Florencio Jusay is coming with us, so when he finally arrived around 11PM we don't know if we're still waiting for someone or not, because we don't know who else is coming. After Marco Dennis made some calls, we decided to leave Manila around 11:30 PM. Along the way, someone said that blogger Josephine Bonsol is also coming, but of course we can't go back already.

me and aileen. my favorite photo, obviously.

Our estimated time of travel is 6 hours, so the organizers are expecting us to be Pitogo at around 5:30 AM but since there is no traffic, we arrived there around 3:30 AM. We've met Majoy Amon, our guide who looks like we woke up abruptly.

the antique dolls at the suarez mansion.

The bus dropped us at The Suarez Mansion, a museum-like house filled with antique and rare pieces. The doll collection from around the world is so cool but makes me feel eerie at the same time. Majoy told us, this is the house where we'll staying for the rest of our trip. There are two big rooms, on the first room is for me, Marco Polo, Marco Dennis, Pepi and Galwin. The second one is for Aileen, Ria, Aileen, FPJ and JohnKarlo.

looks scary,  I think this one is from India or Sri Lanka.

We've also met Governor David "Jay Jay" Suarez for the first time. That same morning we've met a blogger from Naga, Ria Rosaura Romero. We already knew each online and this is the first time I've met her personally. She told us that she traveled seven (7) hours just to get to Pitogo, Quezon.

the house where we stayed in, when I posted it on my Facebook wall, another blogger commented, "Ang ganda lang."

That morning I've had my first bite of Longganisang Lucban, it doesn't look that yummy but it's really delish. Such a nice way to start the day! :)

our first morning at Quezon Province.

  • The Green Mile Tree Planting with JunJun Binay (Municipal Plaza, Pitogo)
  • Takbo at Padyak BonPen Para sa Kalikasan (Pitogo Highway)
  • Kulinarya BonPen 2011 (RESMA, Unisan)
  • AgriTrade Fair 2011 (outside of Conversion of St. Paul Church)
  • Mr. and Ms. BonPen 2011 (Quezelco-I Compound, Pitogo

Here are the link to photos, which I uploaded at Facebook :D
  1. Green Mile Tree Planting with JunJun Binay + Agri Trade Fair (+ Suarez Mansion + old house of Manuel Quezon + Conversion of St. Paul Church) [link]
  2. Mr. & Ms. BonPen 2011 at Quezelco Compound [link]
  3.  BonPen Fun Run 2011 + Pipay's Farm Dining [link]
  4. Kulinarya BonPen 2011 (where I'm one of the 5 judges) [link]
  5. Tour with Congressman Danilo Suarez [link]

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.


  1. WOW! Looks likes FUN! i love the photos especially the third one, what is those?

  2. Hotels, motels, guest houses, resorts and other such hospitality ventures those have used a hotel reservation software have definitely earned more profits compared to those days when they were doing sans such an application.

  3. Looks so nice! Great photos! I hope the tourism in this place picks up! :D

  4. what a beautiful place... I knew ria as well she's my kababayan we met at Naga last Sept.nice to meet person behind each blog noh? hayz! looks like you enjoyed a lot ha. and the running slippers talaga teh buti indi ni kalyo ang sensitive skin you hehehe...

  5. ahaha. andito ako. i am mentioned.

    Pepi de Leon here

  6. Hayyy... super inggit!! But, I'm so glad you all had fun. Hopefully, next year, there'll be an invite again. ^_^

  7. WOW!!! what a great photography! i am so amazed. I like it so much.