Treasure hunters ravished what many considers as a “pristine Pacific paradise” on the eastern coast of Sorsogon’s quiet town of Sta. Magdalena.
Vicky and Nonong Guyala maintain this beach haven for their family and friends to find solace from frenzied urban life. Despite encouragement to cash-in on the viability of their place as a tourist destination, the couple chose to make “Kubo Blanco” (the name the Guyala’s gave to this place) as exclusive as they could, limiting its use only to close friends. They even refused to alter its natural landscape or introduce any hint of commercialism so as to preserve its local flavor.
Among the short list of Kubo Blanco’s frequent visitors is a couple from Switzerland, Eduard Neuenschwander, a well-respected architect in Zurich, and his Bulan (Sorsogon, Philippines) – born wife, Menchu Nepomuceno Asuncion.
Menchu always makes sure she takes a dip into the blue sparkling waters of the beach before she makes a round of her relatives and friends in Bulan. And takes one last dip, before bidding them goodbye every time she returns to Zurich. Eddie, on the other hand, swears to be back whenever “the cold North” starts its heavy toll on him.
Kubo Blanco also hosts to the annual “Golpeo Summer”, a clan’s traditional reunion by Nonong Guyala’s maternal relatives. It also serves as Bandalaan festival artists’ favorite summer camp and breeding ground for its budding artists. This youth-dominated festival promotes love for mother earth and encourages a return to the many uses of the “bandala” (the local name for abaca-fiber) in everyday life.
The Guyala couple was so infuriated at the destruction the treasure hunters wrought at their place. They vowed to pursue them in court and hope to send them all to jail.