Connect with us

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Cagwait White Beach: Boracay of CARAGA

When he discovered Cagwait White Beach, dubbed as the “Little Boracay of CARAGA”, John Ryan Mendoza said he automatically expected to feel the powder-like consistency of Boracay’s sands. But he was dismayed. Here, the sand is… coarser. But the initial dismay was overshadowed by the fact that Cagwait offers what Boracay couldn’t: serene isolation.

Published

on

Cagwait White Beach

After our whole day habal-habal adventure to the Tinuy-an Falls and Enchanted River, we all felt that we needed a lazy day at an isolated beach.

“Cagwait White Beach!” exclaimed our friend, a local of Bislig.

It was off-peak season and she said we would be treated to a tranquil stay at the “Little Boracay of CARAGA.”

Cagwait2And so we took the early morning bus from Bislig and got off at the town of Barobo. At the Barobo bus terminal, we took the 85 peso van ride to Cagwait, a fourth class municipality of Surigao del Sur; and which faces Mount Diwata on the west and the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the east.  It is approximately 32 kilometers southwest of Tandag, the capital town of the province.

Locals in the area say that a young traveler who escaped the Spaniards in Leyte saw this horseshoe shaped white sand beach. “Mura og wait,” he was said to have mentioned, likening the beach to that of the human mouth; thus the name, Cagwait.

Cagwait White Beach is also the venue for the Kaliguan Festival, held every third week of June to honor St. John the Baptist.

Cagwait White Beach – with its lush backdrop of coconut and vegetation, and its expanse of aquamarine waters – was also referred to as the “Waikiki of the South” by American aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh after his chance discovery of the area on his visit in Surigao.

READ:  Law granting rights to trans people passed in Uruguay

When we arrived, my mind automatically expected to feel the powder-like consistency of Boracay’s sands, but I was dismayed. Here, the sand is… coarser. Nevertheless, the view that welcomed us did not disappoint. The white sand shores embraced a portion of the great Pacific Ocean and invited us to its pristine, cool, and clear turquoise waters. My initial dismay was overshadowed by the fact that Cagwait offers what Boracay couldn’t: serene isolation.

I didn’t expect what I discovered next.

We rented non-aircon rooms for 300 pesos a night and the window view was just a spectacular display of the white beach and its gentle blue waves. I just immediately thought of endless days of waking up to the sights and sounds of this view. Spending lazy mornings and afternoons writing and just gazing up to the multitude of stars and seeing their reflections on the bay at night. All the more perfect with my partner.

The whole day was just pure indolence. After feeling hot under the sun with the book I have longed to finish reading, the cool blue waters soothed my sun-kissed skin. The gentle sea breeze was my companion in the long and slow barefoot walks in the stretch of white sand.

I was in a dilemma of writing about this white beach. I was like a little boy unwilling to share my discovered hiding spot. The peace was just too rare to risk for it to be overtly commercialized as what happens to a lot of our island beaches. Yet still for those who truly love beaches, Cagwait offers this true unspoiled experience.

READ:  Failed marriage hitting your friend hard? Here’s how you can help

A registered nurse, John Ryan (or call him "Rye") Mendoza hails from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao (where, no, it isn't always as "bloody", as the mainstream media claims it to be, he noted). He first moved to Metro Manila in 2010 (supposedly just to finish a health social science degree), but fell in love not necessarily with the (err, smoggy) place, but it's hustle and bustle. He now divides his time in Mindanao (where he still serves under-represented Indigenous Peoples), and elsewhere (Metro Manila included) to help push for equal rights for LGBT Filipinos. And, yes, he parties, too (see, activists need not be boring! - Ed).

Travel

In first for Asia, Taiwan parliament legalizes same-sex unions

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize marriage equality, as it passed a bill that allows same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and another clause that would let them apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies.

Published

on

All photos taken during Taiwan's Pride parade in 2015

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize marriage equality, as it passed a bill – by 66 votes to 27 – that allows same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and another clause that would let them apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies.

In 2017, Taiwan’s top court ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates the constitution, with judges at that time giving the government until May 24, 2019 to make the changes or see marriage equality enacted automatically.

The law, however, only: 1. allows same-sex marriages between Taiwanese, or 2. with foreigners whose countries recognize same-sex marriage. It also permits adoption of children biologically related to at least one of the same-sex pair.

But while this development is monumental, there are members of Taiwan’s LGBTQIA community – much like in Western countries where marriage equality has also already been legalized – are also lamenting the over-emphasis on same-sex marriage as a seeming “end-all issue”.

In 2015, for instance, during Taiwan’s Pride, some members of Taiwan’s LGBTQIA community lamented the “hijacking” of an LGBTQI event because of the lack of opportunity to highlight “non-mainstream LGBTQI issues.”

LGBTQIA activist 徐豪謙, for instance, noted at that time that “people only talk about the politically correct and popular issue of same-sex marriage, as if we don’t have other issues to face.”

In other parts of Asia, only Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage celebrations in 2015, even if it stopped short of giving full legal recognition for same-sex unions.

READ:  Club BuddhaKan: Disenchanted in Mandaluyong

In the Philippines, various government officials – including Pres. Rodrigo Duterte – have expressed support for civil unions, not marriage equality per se. To date, however, even the anti-discrimination bill is failing to gain traction in Congress, and is still stalled after almost 20 years.

Continue Reading

Travel

What you need to know in planning for a getaway

Staying near the action will help you get the most out of the getaway. That might be a campsite or a cabin in the outdoors, a condo on the sea beach, or just a resort in the near vicinity of the city’s must-see points of interest.

Published

on

A getaway can be the ideal opportunity for any individual to unwind far from the hustles and bustles of the hectic city life. However, it requires some doing while planning for the getaway and one needs to be meticulous while doing so.

In the following paragraphs, we mention some essential tips that will aid you to plan for the getaway in the best possible way.

1. Pick an interesting destination

In case you adore the water, it will be sensible for you to spend some time basking on the sea beach, going for a picnic near the lake in your locality, or kayaking down the river. Maybe you prefer exploring the streets in your city or wandering through the wilderness. Although the getaway might not take you far away from your abode, it will be a sensible idea to follow your interests which will provide you with a memorable time out there. In case you want to organize a getaway cruise for you as well as your companions, it will be imperative to make a decision on the size of the ship which you’d like to go on. You’ll come across lots of articles on the Internet which will provide you with genuine and authentic info. Feel free to browse them and take your time for research till you find a cruise which is reasonably affordable as well as comfy too.

2. Take into consideration your accommodation

Staying near the action will help you get the most out of the getaway. That might be a campsite or a cabin in the outdoors, a condo on the sea beach, or just a resort in the near vicinity of the city’s must-see points of interest. Whatever accommodation you pick, loitering nearby will allow you to enjoy your time to the fullest.

READ:  The annoyances of modern gaming and gaming tech

3. Venture out with a partner

Traveling solo has its own advantages, but a getaway at the weekend can be enjoyed much better while you are with a partner. A good company will allow you to share your feelings and he or she can likewise come of help to you in case you are in need.

4. Pack light

In case you are going for a two or three-day trip, there is no need for you to pack many items whatsoever. Simply take one casual outfit for the day and another one for the evening and perhaps an additional set of apparel will do just fine. Look for any transitional piece such as jeans which can be combined with a casual T-shirt while you’re venturing out at the daytime and a trendy jacket for the evening. In case you are planning to do lots of walking, make it a point to take with you a pair of sneakers as well. There is no need to carry any extra items like shampoo, lotion, or conditioner given that you’ll find them in the hotel where you will be staying.

5. Pack some snacks

It hardly matters whether you are driving, flying, biking, or hiking, it would be a sensible idea to bring some mouth-watering snacks along with you. Eating these treats every couple of hours will boost your energy and will likewise motivate you to have a nice time along with your companions. It will likewise help you save your cash by keeping you away from expensive and unhealthy airplane or gas station foods.

READ:  Law granting rights to trans people passed in Uruguay

One of the best ways to plan for your weekend will be to design the outline of the trip on your laptop or PC. You may likewise discuss with your friends and family members regarding some essential aspects like the ones mentioned above. Preparing yourself in advance will save you from lots of unexpected problems afterward.

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Lesbian, gay and bi adolescents at elevated risk for engaging in polysubstance use

Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents were more likely than heterosexual adolescents to be polysubstance users versus non-users across multiple classes of use: experimental users, marijuana-alcohol users, tobacco-alcohol users, medium-frequency three-substance users, and high-frequency three-substance users.

Published

on

Photo by Đoàn Ngọc Thành from Unsplash.com

Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents were more likely than heterosexual adolescents to be polysubstance users versus non-users across multiple classes of use: experimental users, marijuana-alcohol users, tobacco-alcohol users, medium-frequency three-substance users, and high-frequency three-substance users. In general, sexual orientation identity differences in polysubstance use class membership were larger for females, especially bisexual females, than for males.

These are the findings reported in “Latent Classes of Polysubstance Use Among Adolescents in the United States: Intersections of Sexual Identity with Sex, Age, and Race/Ethnicity”, an article published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The study by Robert W.S. Coulter, Deanna Ware, Jessica N. Fish, and Michael W. Plankey aimed to estimate latent classes of concurrent polysubstance use and test for sexual orientation differences in latent class memberships with representative data from adolescents (in this case, living in 19 US states). The researchers also tested whether sex, race/ethnicity, and age moderated the sexual identity differences in polysubstance use class memberships.

The researchers analyzed data from 119,437 adolescents who participated in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Latent class analysis characterized polysubstance use patterns based on self-reported frequency of lifetime and past-month use of alcohol (including heavy episodic drinking), tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco), and marijuana. Multinomial logistic regression models tested differences in latent class memberships by sexual identity. Interaction terms tested whether sex, race/ethnicity, and age moderated the sexual identity differences in polysubstance use class memberships.

READ:  Failed marriage hitting your friend hard? Here’s how you can help

A six-class model of polysubstance use fit the data best and included nonusers (61.5%), experimental users (12.2%), marijuana-alcohol users (14.8%), tobacco-alcohol users (3.8%), medium-frequency three-substance users (3.6%), and high-frequency three-substance users (4.1%). Gay/lesbian- and bisexual-identified adolescents had significantly higher odds than heterosexual-identified adolescents of being in all of the user classes compared with the nonuser class. These sexual identity differences in latent polysubstance use class memberships were generally larger for females than for males, varied occasionally by race/ethnicity, and were sometimes larger for younger ages.

“Compared with their heterosexual peers, gay/lesbian and bisexual adolescents—especially females—are at heightened risk of engaging in multiple types of polysubstance use,” the researchers concluded, recommending that “designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions will likely reduce these sexual orientation disparities.”

Continue Reading

Health & Wellness

Teens face health and safety risks exploring sex online

Online sexual experiences can predict whether they become victims of sexual assault one year later.

Published

on

Photo by Sergey Zolkin from Unsplash.com

Teens spend hours every day on internet-connected devices, where limitless opportunities to explore sexuality online. These opportunities don’t come without big risks, though. A researcher from Michigan State University found that online sexual experiences can predict whether they become victims of sexual assault one year later.

The findings, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence and funded by the National Institutes of Health, are part of a study that is the first of its kind to investigate online sexual experiences using a person-centered approach, which identifies specific patterns of behaviors in sub-groups of people rather than general observations across a large group. This approach allowed researchers to track the girls’ online experiences – and subsequent offline experiences – more intricately than prior studies.

“It makes sense that engaging in risky behavior online would translate to offline risks,” said Megan Maas, research author and MSU assistant professor of human development and family studies at MSU. “But we were able to identify specific online behavioral patterns that correlated with susceptibility to different offline outcomes – which was never captured from conventional approaches before.”

Maas and colleagues assessed data from 296 girls between 14- and 17-years-old, who self-reported their online and offline sexual experiences over five years. Additionally, the girls would visit a lab each year for a trauma interview to measure experiences such as sexual abuse, assault or violence that may go undetected in a survey.

“By assessing the teens’ online sexual experiences using the person-centered approach, we were able to group the teens into four classes of experience patterns, which predicted sexual health and victimization outcomes one year later,” Maas said.

READ:  Pakistan passes bill to protect rights of trans persons

The four classes were:

  • Online inclusive: These teens have a high probability of having several online sexual experiences, including looking at internet porn, chatting with strangers about sex, sending nude photos and posing provocatively on social media. This class often has strangers posting sexy comments on their social media accounts, requesting nude photos and soliciting them for sex.
  • Seekers: These teens purposefully seek out internet porn, chat with others about sex and post sexy photos on social media, but purposefully do not have a sexy profile picture and do not receive a lot of online attention from others.
  • Attractors: This class of teens gets attention from others online, though they’re not explicitly looking for it. They had a sexy social media profile, had people requesting nude photos, received comments about how sexy they are and have strangers solicit them for offline sex.
  • Online abstinent: This group had little probability in having online sexual experiences.

The goal was to pinpoint online patterns of sexual experiences related to three offline outcomes one year later: HIV risk, sexual assault and intimate partner violence, Maas said.

They discovered that attractors were more likely to be sexually assaulted than the seekers; online inclusive were likely to be sexually assaulted or engage in risky sex, especially if they’d experienced prior sexual abuse or assault; whereas, the seekers were more likely to have a physically violent romantic partner, especially if they’d experienced prior sexual abuse or assault.

READ:  Looking for the rainbow in Kampala, Uganda

Maas explained that her findings demonstrate how critical it is for teens to receive education to understand how online sexual experiences may shape their offline experiences. Specifically, she hopes that schools and families will educate youth on sexual health and consent as well as healthy relationships, as their online experiences could have serious consequences.

“Rather than trying to tackle the impossible – like eliminating teens’ exposure to porn or ability to sext – we can and should educate them about these realities and risks and offer alternatives for learning about and expressing sexuality,” Maas said.

Maas hopes that her findings will inspire parents to proactively talk to their kids about risks they face online, as well as to establish rules early in their lives that can prevent girls’ from putting too much emphasis on their sexy social media presence.

“The best strategy for parents to follow is to limit time and space for internet usage,” Maas said. “Establish a time limit they can be on a device, and don’t allow screens in bedrooms. There are apps for parents that can help control screen time – and plenty of ways to involve their kids in activities that don’t rely on the internet at all.”

Next, Maas plans to explore why these online experiences predict offline risk and victimization. For instance, if teen girls feel obligated to engage in unwanted sexual activity if they have already sent a nude photo, or if boys feel entitled to sex from girls with sexy social media profiles. She hopes this follow-up study will clarify these findings to provide more specific guidance for sexual health and internet safety programming without attributing blame to survivors.

READ:  Club BuddhaKan: Disenchanted in Mandaluyong

Continue Reading

Travel

Brunei halts death penalty for gay sex after massive outcry

Brunei backtracked on enforcing laws introduced last month that would have made sex between men (along with adultery) punishable by stoning to death.

Published

on

Photo by vyngor from Pixabay.com

Brunei – a small Southeast Asian country – backtracked on enforcing laws introduced last month that would have made sex between men (along with adultery) punishable by stoning to death.

Last month, Brunei rolled out a strict new interpretation of Islamic laws, or Sharia (first introduced in 2014, giving it a dual legal system with both Sharia and Common Law). The first phase covered crimes punishable by prison sentences and fines; and – on April 3 – the second phase covered crimes punishable by amputation and stoning. For the latter, offenses such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad carry the maximum penalty of death; lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail; theft merits amputation; and those who “persuade, tell or encourage” Muslim children under the age of 18 “to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam” are liable to a fine or jail.

But Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah extended a moratorium on the death penalty to cover the new legislation; with the reconsideration following global outcry over the laws. In a speech, the sultan said he was aware there had been “many questions and misperceptions” regarding the implementation of the legislation, called Syariah Penal Code Order (SPCO). “As evident for more than two decades, we have practiced a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law. This will also be applied to cases under the SPCO which provides a wider scope for remission.”

READ:  What you need to know in planning for a getaway

Death penalty is legal in Brunei, albeit no executions have been carried out in the country since 1957.

Continue Reading

Travel

Top tips for LGBT travel in Portugal

If you are planning to travel to Portugal as an LGBT couple, Portugal is known for being safe for the LGBT community, especially in its cities.

Published

on

Photo by @lemurdesign from Unsplash.com

Portugal is generally known for its acceptance of the LGBT community, with vast improvements to its laws and legislation in recent years that put Portugal ahead of many other European countries in terms of its attitude.

If you are looking to visit Portugal, then you should read this guide before you travel to decide if Portugal is right for you and your partner.

Is Portugal LGBT Friendly?

Portugal is known for being LGBT-friendly, especially due to its implementation of recent laws, such as the country’s legalization of gay marriage in 2010, which is considered early considering that the UK only legalized gay marriage four years later, in 2014. Not only this, but adoption for same-sex couples is legalized, and so is IVF for lesbian couples.

Lisbon also produces the Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival every year.

What to Do

  • If you are looking for nightlife, there are a range of gay bars and nightclubs surrounding the city centers such as Lisbon, where they are centered around the Barrio Alto area of the city. 
  • There is an annual Gay Pride Parade in Lisbon every year, and this often attracts over 50,000 visitors to the city. The theme differs each year, and the annual festival is typically held in June. The events normally centre around a large party held at the Terreiro De Paco, and the festival is organized by a number of local LGBT associations.
  • Lisbon also produces the Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival every year, which is a week-long festival in June which focuses on the best LGBT films that have been produced in the past year.
READ:  When hookup apps can save lives

Where to Stay

  • Many Portuguese resorts are LGBT friendly, and there are many beaches in the Algarve region that are popular with those from the LGBT community. Resorts also often have exclusive gar bars and clubs or will display a rainbow flag to state that they are friendly towards the community.
  • If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Portugal as an LGBT couple, you should consider the luxury of an exclusive villa for the duration of your stay. James Villas provides luxury accommodation for holidays in Algarve, allowing you to have the relaxation of staying in your own private rooms for the duration of your stay, with all the facilities that you will need to have an enjoyable visit.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Portugal as an LGBT couple, you should consider the luxury of an exclusive villa for the duration of your stay.

How Can You Stay Safe?

Although Portugal is a country that is mainly LGBT friendly, there will always be instances of prejudice against the LGBT community, especially in rural areas outside of the city. However, although you may run into prejudice, this is not any more extensive than elsewhere in the world, and you will probably find that you have an uninterrupted and comfortable stay without any other considerations or prior planning.

If you are planning to travel to Portugal as an LGBT couple, Portugal is known for being safe for the LGBT community, especially in its cities, and there is a range of gay pride events, bars, clubs and entertainment exclusive to the community.

Although Portugal is a country that is mainly LGBT friendly, there will always be instances of prejudice against the LGBT community, especially in rural areas outside of the city.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular