Presidential sister Kris Aquino explores Ilocos

Presidential sister Kris Aquino visits the Laoag La Paz Sand Dunes, part of the Vigan-Laoag feature on KrisTV

Friday last week, we received a call from KrisTV informing us that they were coming over to shoot sand adventure at the Laoag La Paz Sand Dunes. Reny, the LEAD Movement President (of the NGO that innovated sandboarding in the Philippines), asked if Kris Aquino would be coming over, and we got a “yes.”  Initially, I thought it was a prank call. Weirdly, we get one of those crazy calls every once in a while. After an exchange of emails with KrisTV researcher Cyrill Tajanlangit, I was still sort of speculative until Wednesday pm when two of Kris’ close-in security aides visit Reny at our home. Don’t get me wrong, of course, we appreciate protocol, after all Ms. Kris is a presidential sister and the undisputed Queen of All Media. Elation sets in.

So real, Ms. Kris Aquino tours Ilocos. Watch out for the airing of the Vigan-Laoag feature on ABS-CBN KrisTV. Its new timeslot is 8AM.

We were more than pleased to have the show’s special guest, the irrepressible John “Sweet” Lapus, on a LEAD Movement sandboard. We watched him go through an emotional roller coaster ride — from a state of frenzy to pride and exhilaration. At the end of the descent, he yelled, “Bongga!” (A Filipino term that means fabulous or awesome.) He heaves a sigh of relief  and adds, “Bandang gitna nakakalula. Pero ang sarap, Kris!”

Sweet, Bimby and Kris AquinoJohn Lapus gears up while Kris Aquino and Bimby watchJohn "Sweet" Lapus on LEAD Movement's sandboardReady, set, go!"Nakakalula...""Bongga!"Kris Aquino and Bimby

With Bimby in tow, mom Kris goes back to offroad with Junior Fariñas, youngest son of 1st District of Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo ‘Rudy” Fariñas.

Kris Aquino tries offroading at the Laoag La Paz Sand DunesDarla Sauler and LEAD's Benny Arce

Entertainment writer Darla Sauler with LEAD Movement Executive Director Benny Arce. In the photo below, with KrisTV segment producer James is LEADer MC Manangan.

MC Managan with JamesPicture 039

Everything went on very quickly. Stole the moment. Sorry, high noon heat!

With special  thanks to Ms. Krs Aquino, Sweet Lapus and KrisTV.

Our LEAD Movement, sandboarding innovators in the PhilippinesHappy to be a member of LEAD Movement, the innovators of sandboarding in the Philippines

No blinking now. Proud Ilocano moment. LEAD, which stands for Laoag Eco-Adventure Development, conceptualized sandboarding in 2009 in hopes of attracting more tourists to Ilocos Norte.  Although Reny likes to call it a backyard project, we aimed to market the unproductive, idle vast centuries-old sand dunes for niche tourism helping the essential trickle-down effect. It was a long and ardous road.  Those who have followed the blog early on are familiar with that road. It’s almost as old as BlauEarth. We never thought sandboarding would reach this far, this big. We’re moving on to a new adventure. In the works…

On a personal note, I wish to extend my thanks to all those who’ve helped the group in one way or another, to the media for the exposure, and to all those who found hot Ilocos sand adventure cool.

LEAD Movement

Also to the LEAD Movement sandboarding team who never tires. And to you, lovelies, who follow the blog, like my posts, and keep me inspired writing about anything under the Ilocos sun. Can I say, you give meaning to my world?

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

The Poetry of Palpalokada

The horsey set

LEAD Movement found time to go to Burgos to experience horseback riding in a place local vaqueros call Palpalokada. Other townsfolk call the rustic locale Bantoc, but I like the 5-syllable Palpalokada better — the sound fits the enchanting outback totally.

Remember that spelunking exploration I posted in November? I just discovered another delicious component of the whole enchilada.

Dori ti KabalyoExplorationPrimeval 2Two men and a baby{Burgos Mayor Cris Garcia and the hubby.}

MarcBudak 2BudakGetting around on a horseOutbackFresh PerspectiveI've been to paradise!Up on the reef, I got the most stimulating scene I’ve ever seen. Arizona meets Hawaii… magical, but real… legitimate awesomeness:)

Everything is photo-worthy, from the rock’s surface to the entangled thorny vines to the bewitched expression on the faces of Marc and Sean.


Windmills from a distanceWe made the most of our time til sundown.


Read more about Palpalokada on

*Special thanks to Mayor Cresente Garcia and the Pasto Communal of Burgos, Ilocos Norte

For inquiries, contact the Burgos tourism office at +63-77-7861408. Or call Mayor Cris Garcia: 0928-5510452, 0917-5190665  and Jonas Tesoro: 0928-5510381, 0905-3520633, 0915-5211885.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Northern X-posure on Monday (Magazine) Issue 5

Yes!! It’s out!! My eco-adventure group, the LEAD Movement, in rockin’ sand adventure photos in Monday, a 3/4-inch thick corporate culture/consumerism/lifestyle mag in the Philippines. FYI, it is the Laoag Eco-Adventure Development Movement that innovated sandboarding in Ilocos.

Grab a copy and see more of the best of my beloved Norte!

With special thanks to Monday, Karl de Mesa for the story, and Paolo Seen for the photography!

Also to Mark Castro and Ericke Tan who gamely posed under the scorching heat in Norte!

Photographed by Blauearth  Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Photo courtesy of Paolo Seen (seated)