A housewife's ordinary and extraordinary days. A hobbyist photographer, love-giver, mother.
30 May 2016
The Place Named Coto
On the way to Coto
Before I write my story about this place, I checked first of any news or reports that happened here. So far, not much. One is dated July 3, 2015, a governor faces graft charges over mining take over. The other one I have read is on the Zambales Tourism page. It describes this place as "the mountainous terrain of primary and secondary growth forest of relatively unspoiled and pristine quality."
Now, I am featuring Coto in my blog, with my own description and let the world read, the enjoyment I have had there with my family. I knew Coto a long time ago. I have been there many times. My first boyfriend lives there because his parents were Junior Staff in Coto Mines under Benguet Corporation.
My last visit in Coto was February 2015, yes, that was last year, with my husband and our son. It was a group excursion because my sister, her children, the girlfriends of her two sons, her workers were all with us. We were in the Philippines for our five weeks holiday and also to visit my family in Iba, Zambales. My Dutch husband loves The Philippines, the warm weather, and likes to have some adventure. I have thought that he will enjoy in Coto.
the mining site
Coto is in Masinloc, province of Zambales. Coto is at the top of the mountain. It is a chromite mining site but I describe, a mining site with very splendid view front and back. To get there, we rented a heavy duty jeepney because Coto is almost 28 kilometers away from town's national highway. It is a 28 kilometers of narrow, winding, and rough road. We know some friends who still live there until now and they served as our passes to enter this private mining site. If you want to go there and you are just a common visitor, you must secure a gate pass in Wharf, it is in Baloganon, at the highway where security personnel of Benguet
Corporation held their post, and each person must pay I think 60 pesos. It's been so much fun! It was a Filipino way of excursion. We brought many foods and drinks to feed us all day. We travel nearly two hours. We're almost getting impatient because it was hot, dusty, and the view is like of a wilderness, very dry. But when we reach the kilometer 7, the view started to change. We started to see a great panoramic view of Coto that I once knew: mountain and river. Along the way, we passed many bridges, a kind of short and narrow bridges, some are wooden bridges but are safe for passage. Before, I know how many they are. When we reach km 23, we stopped for a while and we look for Tatang Batnag. Me and my sister know him since we were teenagers. But we can't find their house. In those years, km 23 has many changes already. After km 23, we have a clear view of the actual mining site. It is now very different. The mining site is old, closed, and looks like a ghost town. There was a checkpoint, since we know Tatang Batnag and the family of my former boyfriend, they let us enter right away. My husband started making some photos. Photos of the old mining site. He starts to enjoy our trip. Finally, we arrived in Coto. It was nostalgic. I remember my younger years with some people and friends. Not many homes there now, only a few company owned cabins. At the far end of Coto is our destination, the Kidz Pool Mountain Resort. I knew it as KIDS, where we used to spend summertime. The years did not make its beauty fade, it is still breathtaking. Only the name, they named it now as Kidz Pool Mountain Resort. I wonder why it is z instead of s for plural of the word kid. Before, Kidz Pool has no hanging bridge, now it has two. The water is very clean, clear, fresh from the mountain, sparklingly dark green. There is a diving board that in my estimate, installed by some boys living in Coto. The view is tranquil and relaxing. We made barbecue. We swim, we eat, I made many photos. My husband who is a beach lover and a diver found the place something very different from the rest that we already visited in The Philippines. They enjoyed so much diving from the hanging bridge to the water. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, we started our trip back to Iba. This time, my husband and the boys sit at the top of the jeepney eating cornik along the way. Cornik is dried corn. It was a different experience for my husband. I love Coto the way it is. I like it that it remains reserved, exclusive. Before we left Coto, we have met one of our former friends there, ate Winnie. One of the sisters of my former boyfriend still live there and works as a teacher. We did not see her because she was having a conference in the town. My last visit brought nostalgia. I can point where their house located there before. I remember those summer vacation that we enjoyed free movies, free bowling, provided by Coto Mines. After reading this and looking my photos, maybe you will also wish to visit Coto and see yourself its unique beauty from the other beautiful places in the Philippines. Make sure that you get a visitor's pass first. I already visited many beautiful places in my country Philippines, as well as here in Europe. But there is something in Coto that I love to preserve that makes it different from the rest: the tranquility, the simplicity, and those happy memories I had there with some good people that once had a special place in my life.