10 Reasons to Visit LoocFriday, October 19, 2012Ryan Mach
The town where I grew up is small and languid and everyone knows almost anyone. It's called Looc, which in our dialect means 'strangle'. No, don't judge us just yet. We certainly don't strangle strangers. On the contrary, we smooch and welcome visitors with open arms. In other words, we're loving and friendly people. The name 'Looc' is believed to have originated from a local legend about a giant protector (Talabukon) who saved the town from marauding Moros by strangling them.
You have probably never heard about our town. And that's completely understandable. It's not exactly famous like its neighboring island, Boracay. (I'm sure the mere mention of Boracay somehow sparked a glitter of interest). It doesn't have fine white-sand beaches found in Carabao Island (also a neighboring town) either. I can tell you a few interesting things about our town but they're not enough to make you book a flight and travel down here pronto but I really love my town so I'm pimping it out to anyone who might be interested to visit it. A lot of what our town offers remains unheralded, some hidden, few have yet to be discovered, which can be a perfect avenue for wonderful moments of discovery.
1. Cheap Seafood
Crabs, clams, fish, edible seaweed, shrimp... They're available in the market, which is located near the sea, normally in the morning seven days a week. They're fresh and cheap. Although there's no notable restaurant in town that offers seafood cuisine, you can still buy these fresh sea produce from the wet market or talipapa and have them cooked at the lodging inn you're staying. Best eaten with your bare hands.
2. Interesting Lighthouses
Most lighthouses are found off shore. What makes the lighthouses (yes, plural because there are two!) in Looc unique is their location. Both sit in the middle of the bay! The taller and bigger one is situated between Agojo and Kawit and looks like a sentinel guarding the town. An eerie yet beautiful structure, this old farola has stood the test of time and weathered various storms. Unfortunately, its antiquity is now tantamount to dilapidation and neglect. Visitors are not allowed to come near it because it's gone brittle, it might collapse. The smaller farola located near Manhac is still sturdy and can accommodate a few people.
3. Fish sanctuaries
Looc Fish Sanctuary, hundreds of fishes abound the protected site. They're extremely friendly. The other fish sanctuary is located in Buenavista, a small barrio in the western part of the town.
4. Old houses
5. Secluded beaches
Carabao Island (2 hours ride from Looc) or Boracay (2.5 hour boat ride), but they're pretty decent. It's the seclusion that makes our beaches charming. Buenavista Beach, for instance, is eerily remote and mystic. Another favorite public beach in town is Aliwanyag, located in Manhac. Getting there is quite exciting, as you need to trek down a slope to reach the beach.
6. The people
People in the barrio are more warm and friendly than those who reside in poblacion (town center). It's a personal observation but nonetheless valid.
7. Folklore and legends
|A variety of suman|
9. Talabukon Festival
Looc has a mountainous and rugged topography, endowed with lush vegetation and possibly mineral resources (a mining company was about to excavate natural minerals in some parts of town, thankfully it wasn't given a go signal). While its mountains are not as famous and towering as Mt. Guiting-guiting, they're still panoramic and worth checking out. Only an adventurous soul who's intent in finding its treasures can find hidden brooks, caves and small waterfalls.
Some interesting trivia about us:
It's a different story altogether when we see tourists in town. Suffice it is to say that we're easily starstruck by new faces who go to our place. So don't feel awkward when we stare at you as you hop down the jeepney during your arrival in Looc.