Last February, we had our Convention in Naga City, Camarines Sur, it was my second time going to the Bicol province, my first one was way back 2011 for the Ad Congress which was held in the CWC. I didn't have time to conquer the province that time because I was still an OJT for the AdCong.
This time, I planned everything so that we would get to see the attractions for the limited time that we had.
This trip was quite an adventure, we only had a day to spend in the beautiful Legazpi City. So this was our itinerary.
We arrived around 8am in Legazpi City from Manila via Isarog Bus Lines. We rode the JR Extreme Isarog Bus which costs Php1100. The trip was about 11 hours.
Honestly, we really booked a plane to Legazpi from Manila, however, we had a problem with the name of my companion, Joy, long story short, we weren't able to take the flight because of that problem (I also blame the customer service representative of Cebu Pacific who speaks fast, I wasn't able to catch up and I being the idiot that I was that time kept on agreeing on what she said, hence the flight got fucked up.). Water under the bridge, we still managed to enjoy the travel via bus, it was a new experience because that was the first time I encountered a lazy boy chair on a bus.
|The Majestic Mt. Mayon|
We directly went to our Hostel, the Mayon Backpackers, see we're cheap travelers, we managed to get a bed for 350 per night per person. It was a dormitory type room. We shared a room with others who happened to be foreigners. The trike from the Bus terminal to the Hostel costs 60 pesos.
First stop: ATV
Upon arrival, the hostel personnel got us a deal with an ATV Company for our morning ATV ride with the view of Mayon Volcano, The Albay ATV Adventure. The ATV Costs 699 per person. The ATV Company fetch us at the hotel.
|Kuyas who accompanied us during the ATV ride.|
Don't worry about driving or your photos, Kuyas, the guides will help you if you encounter any problem with you vehicle. It's also okay for you to lend them your camera, so they can take your photos (for ig-ing) while driving.
Our timing was just right because the day was clear and there's no rain (see, the day after the convention, our colleagues went to Albay, but the weather was not cooperative)
|Souvenirs can be bought near the ATV|
PS: Wear Sunblock please, or wear long sleeves, cap and sunglasses.
Next stop: Cagsawa Ruins.
Entrance to Cagsawa Ruins is 10 pesos. You can buy souvenirs at the side of the Cagsawa Ruins. We spent about 30 minutes there, ate Empanada with Chilli sauce (15 pesos) and mango shake(45 pesos). They also sell Sili Ice cream, but we skipped that one because we planned on having it in another restaurant.
A must jump shot.
|The must-photo with the Cagsawa Ruins and Mt. Mayon|
See, I've learned about Mt. Mayon, The Perfect Cone Volcano from Bicol from my elementary days. But I never imagined it to be so beautiful, in my mind, during my stay, I kept calling it Ms. Perfect Cone. Someone, also from Bicol said that the other perfect cone in the Mt. Fuji, which also I already saw, though only from afar. But nothing compares to the beauty of Ms. Perfect Cone. The view was surreal.
I'm looking forward seeing Mt. Mayon from the air, mom said she swears she saw it before, while aboard a plane going to CDO.
|The entrance to Cagsawa Ruins.|
Cagsawa is located at Busay, Albay.
Next stop: 1st Collonial Grill for our taste of Sili Ice Cream.
I had Kandingga (Bopis for lunch) and we had Sili Ice Cream and Pili Ice Cream for dessert.
The 1st Colonial Grill is located at Daraga, Albay
|White-Pili Ice Cream; Pink-Sili Ice Cream, level one.|
Both were delicious, if you're with a companion, I suggest one of you to order the Sili flavored Ice cream and choose another flavor, just like we did. The SIC (Sili Ice cream) was spicy, so to balance the taste the Pili Ice Cream was a nice neutralizer. The SIC had three levels of spiciness, but the level one was just the right level of spiciness for us.
PS: If you're in CamSur, the resto have a branch in SM Naga
Next stop: Black Beach
It is located at Sto. Domingo, Albay
Sto Domingo, Albay is around 45 minutes away from Daraga, Albay.
How to get there: go to the Daraga Terminal Comples, look for the jeepney going to Sto. Domingo, the fare is 18 pesos. Trike to resort costs 10 pesos.
We just asked the driver to drop us off to where we can find the Black Beach. There's a resort, we paid 60 pesos for the entrance fee.
Tip: You don't need to go to the resort though, since the beach is a public domain, the beach is FREE! Just find another way to get to the beach without entering the resort, we paid for the resort but didn't get to use its amenities (well, we used the bathroom to change clothes, but that was it)
Tip: Just don't be shy, ask people around, that's what we did all through out this Bicol trip.
|The Black Beach. The waves are BIG, we didn't get to swim in it, swimming in that was so scary. Maybe, it's suitable for surfing instead.|
|The beach was almost empty, you can get your bikini on just to bask some sun. ;-)|
Next stop: Sto Domingo Church
I'm not a Catholic, but my friend, Joy, is a certified Catholic person, so one of the things we did during our Bicol trip is to Church Hunt. I also included Church in our itinerary during our stay in Naga. Who could resist though, churches are pretty, I'm not an architect or anything but I appreciate its structure.
How to get there: From the Black Beach, just wait for a tricycle, ask the driver for the jeepney terminal going to Legazpi, the terminal is right in front of the Church.
If you're from Legazpi, the last stop will be the church.
Next stop: PNR
How to get there: Arriving at Legazpi, just ask the driver to drop you off nearest the PNR station. If you're from the terminal, ride a trike.
I know PNR can be considered a common place, but see, for me, it's an attraction, this PNR is the last PNR Station in the South. We also plan to go to Naga the next day via PNR. I can't remember why we haven't secured a ticket, there's no schedule of PNR the following day? I honestly can't remember, gomen ne.
Next stop: Legazpi Boulevard
How to get there, ride a trike from any point of Legazpi, tell the driver to drop you at Legazpi Boulevard. There's also the Taxikel, it rides 10 persons, which is cheaper than the tricycle, it's route includes the Legazpi Blvd.
It's nice to spend sunset in Legazpi Boulevard. There are families strolling, eating isaw, ice cream. There are also some who fishes. Unfortunately, the clouds were in the way of Mt. Mayon, twas cloudy that afternoon.
You could just sit and enjoy the view of Mayon, maybe it's more fun if you have you're koibito with you. ;-)
|Sunset is at the mountains, I normally encounter sunsets at the sea, but this one's different, it's a very beautiful scenery.|
|It's windy though.|
Next stop: Dinner at Zagitzit
We are on a tight budget but we also want to taste a legit Bicol Express and Laing.
We were almost at the hostel, but thought better to have dinner outside. We keep repeating that we're budget travellers, so we didn't want to eat at a fancy restaurant. So here's what we did. We asked a police officer where we could find an authentic Laing and Bicol Express, a place that's not expensive. He directed us at Zagitzit. Riding a trike from the Cathedral, we went to Zagitzit (15 pesos fare)
Zagitzit is like an eatery with Ihaw-Ihaw, they also serve beer and has tv. The food was delicious.
Joy is hungry already, btw, that was the night of the first presidential debate, we only watched snippets. Sayang.
We had Pinangat, Bicol Express, and Ginataang Tilapia.
It was Ginataan Overload. All cost 100 pesos for the two of us. Cheap but delicious.
Last but not the least
Last destination for the day: Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great
We weren't able to go inside, because out attire was inappropriate for the church
(See photos above, sayang di kami nagchange costume)
The hostel was walking distance the Cathedral. So we just walked home. :)
We did this for just one day. Twas fun!
My tip: Make a plan.
I don't really believe in the bahala na kung saan tayo pupunta attitude, unless I'm with my mom, kasi mahahighblood lang ako, mahahighblood lang sya sa akin, so I just let her decide.
See, I love planning trips. I love doing itineraries. I spend days thinking of where to go and making schedules. Also, it saves you a lot of time, if you're going to think on the spot. If you plan ahead, you'll know where to go next without being worried.
Don't be shy to ask the locals
They know the place, and they could also give you advice on what's the easiest route, what to eat and where's the cheapest. Also, you'll discover the personalities of the locals. Example: Illonggos are very malambing and mabait. Vietnamese are masusungit and handang sagasaan ka using their motors. Cambodians think Filipinos are pretty. Like that. :)
Also, bring a Sunblock
This is one of the things I regret the most during this trip, I forgot to bring sunblock!