Road Trip: Bicol – Around Legazpi

On our fourth day in Bicol, we spent the day going to other tourist destinations in Legazpi City. Our first stop: Ligñon Hill. In this hill, you can have a good view of Legazpi City and of Mt. Mayon. It is also a park wherein various activities like zip-lining, trail climbing, etc. could be done 🙂

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When we entered Ligñon Hill, we were offered their promo of a 2 to 3-hour ATV ride with a zip-line ride for only Php 1,800. My brother and I took the offer and we were off to the best activity we had! Biased opinion since I was looking forward to the ATV ride since…forever! Hahaha 😛

The ATV ride is offerd by Your Brother Travel and Tours. From Ligñon Hill, we were guided to the starting point which was in the baranggay Pawa; it’s located behind Ligñon Hill. Before starting the tour, we had an orientation and test drive of our ATVs so we’d get the hang of it. Then off we went!

bicol_405 bicolteaser_9Thanks to our guide for taking our photos! 🙂

We arrived in the base camp wherein we started our trek to the lava wall. The wall is from the 2006 eruption of the Mayon volcano; it is mainly composed of big rocks.

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My brother and I at the foot of the lava wall.

My brother and I at the foot of the lava wall.

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Creative shots by our tour guide. Haha!

Good thing it was a bit cloudy that day. The noontime sun didn’t burn us as we took the ATV tour haha! We were done by around 1pm and we headed to a cozy restaurant called Smalltalk Cafe. Details on that on a separate post 🙂 After our filling, late lunch, we visited other relatives before heading to Naga City where we spent the night 🙂

Read about our previous activities in Bicol too!
– Caramoan
– To Legazpi
Sorsogon

Road Trip: Bicol – Sorsogon

My family went to Sorsogon City on the 3rd day of our vacation. Initially we planned on going to the town of Donsol to see and swim with whale sharks or butanding, as it is called locally. It was quite unfortunate though that June is no longer the peak season for those creatures in the area as they travel around the Philippines in search of food. My uncle suggested that we can go to Bulusan Lake if ever we won’t get to spot a whale shark.

We left Legazpi City by about 7am to head to Donsol, Sorsogon. It was quite a long, zig-zagging drive. We passed by shops selling lamps, bags and other local goods. There were also houses that were drying out anahaw leaves. Those are made into fans which is called abaniko here in the Philippines.

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When we arrived Donsol, we went to their Tourist Center where arrangements for the butanding-search is made. It is here that the tourists are oriented on the butanding, the dos and don’ts when such creatures are spotted, etc. Here the boatmen and divers told us that the chance of seeing one that day was very slim but we could take a chance since no one could tell for sure if the whale sharks would show up. However, we calculated the costs and decided to just come back between Novermber to March haha! With that, we headed to Mt. Bulusan.

The drive to Bulusan was about 2hrs but those 2hrs were worth the relaxing wind and fresh air we breathed in 🙂

bicol_306 bicol_307 Mt. Bulusan lake

When it was mid-afternoon, we went to the nearby Dancalan beach. It was low tide when we got there though — the water was just up to our knees! And the beach was level for many, many meters haha! That didn’t stop us from swimming though. We even enjoyed the fact that we didn’t need snorkels to see the fishes living in the rocks.

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By about 5pm, we headed back to Legazpi — only stopping to have take a picture in a church and to buy cheap goodies 🙂

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Read about our previous activities in Bicol too!
Caramoan
To Legazpi

Road Trip: Bicol – To Legazpi

From Tugawe Cove, the boat brought us to a different port (a kilometer or two away from Sabang Port) then we headed to Pili to have late lunch. A popular restaurant in Bicol is Bigg’s Diner. It used to be called Mang Donald’s but McDonald’s filed a case against them since the former’s brand sounded like the latter’s. Mang or Manong is a term for older men here in the Philippines. Bigg’s Diner offers burgers, pizzas, spaghetti and fried chicken in their menu. They have to offerings which consisted of local food, laing and tinuktok. I’ll discuss more of the local food in a separate post. 🙂

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After lunch, we proceeded to Legazpi City where we’ll be attending Sunday mass and spending the night. Papa let me drive this time! I was both excited and nervous since it would be my first time to drive in a province. It wasn’t so bad; I just have to be careful when were passing by houses with kids playing outside of the house haha! We spent most of the afternoon driving to Legazpi 🙂

We also dropped by Cagsawa ruins hoping we’d get a good picture in the place with the Mayon volcano in the background. Unfortunately, it was quite rainy that day and so the volcano is covered in clouds. Cagsawa ruins is what is left of the church before Mt. Mayon erupted in 1814.

Only the tower is left.

Only the tower is left.

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Plaque of St. Raphael Parish Church

When arrived Legazpi, first thing we did was go to mass in St. Raphael Parish Church. Good thing my brother and I understand Bicol’s dialect as the mass we attended was said in Bikolano. After mass, we had dinner then proceeded to Legazpi de Embarcadero to pass some time before heading to my uncle’s home where we stayed. Embarcadero is a docking port where you’ll also find a mall and a hotel. In my opinion, Embarcadero is best seen at night because it looks better with the lights hehehe 🙂

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I bought this shirt from their store. Magayon means beautiful :) Mt. Mayon is named as such because of its beautiful, almost symmetrical form.

I bought this shirt from their store. Magayon means beautiful 🙂
Mt. Mayon is named as such because of its beautiful, almost symmetrical form.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia

Our Lady of Peñafrancia

Read about our previous activities in Bicol too!
Caramoan

Road Trip: Bicol – Caramoan

Yay, I’m finally done sorting through the photos and drafting some of my articles! Haha! Sadly it took me longer than expected to publish my first post. I didn’t feel well for the past few days so I wasn’t able to attend to my blog right after work. Anyway, here is part one of our family’s 5-day vacation 🙂 ..and this is quite a lengthy one 😀

June 7 was an exciting day for me! Aside from the fact that it was a Friday, I was really looking forward to our 9-hr road trip to Bicol. Seating for 9 hours straight in a car may not be really comfortable but our family enjoys long drives and going around the country in our car. So as soon as the end of work hours hit, I rushed home as we left at 7:30pm to arrive our first destination in Bicol before 5am so as to catch the departure of the first boat.

And our first destination was Caramoan! If you’re a fan of the reality series Survivor, this place would be familiar to you. Survivor US was the last one to use the islands. To get there, we left our vehicle in Sabang Port where boats will take you to Guijalo Port. Each boat can accommodate about 50 persons and a ride will cost Php 120/person. It takes about an hour and 45 mins. to reach Guijalo Port.

The sun was starting to rise.

The sun was starting to rise.

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Mt. Mayon could be seen from our boat.

Mt. Mayon could be seen from our boat.

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Guijalo Port

Off to Tugawe Cove!

Off to Tugawe Cove!

bicolteaser_2bicol_109From Guijalo Port, we waited for Tugawe Cove’s boat shuttle to take us to their place. Tugawe Cove Resort is one of the many resorts in Caramoan but I think this is one of the best ones 🙂  But unfortunately, the shuttle got very delayed which kind of irritated us since we took the 5 o’clock boat from Sabang Port to reach their resort the earliest possible time. They however made up for it by giving us free lunch 🙂 Their servings were BIG!! Haha! Or it might have been big for us since our family’s on some sort of diet LOL 😛

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Clockwise: Cream of…err, um I forgot — soup, tuna steak, rice, sauteed bitter-melon and fried chicken

Anyway, I like the way they constructed the resort. They didn’t cut down majority of the trees in their area for them to put up the cabanas/cabins. In fact, when their boat shuttle slowed down when we were nearing the resort, I was sort of surprised that all I saw were trees and a few beach beds! I wondered where the resort was haha! And when we got down from the boat, I could even hear birds chirping! I instantly loved this place hahaha 🙂

The beach front

The beach front

Reception area

Reception area

A refreshing glass of melon juice for the guests. Yum!

A refreshing glass of melon juice for the guests. Yum!

The cottages by the lagoon.

The cabanas by the lagoon.

The lagoon.

The lagoon.

Our room :D

Our room 😀

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My parents with the infinity pool and view of the islands as their backdrop :P

My parents with the infinity pool and view of the islands as their backdrop 😛

After our extremely filling lunch, we headed out to go island-hopping! We went to the islands Survivor used in their shows.

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In Lahus island

Matukad island. Matukad in Bicol means steep :)

Matukad island.
Matukad in Bicol means steep 🙂

My brother rock-climbing to see the enchanted lagoon where a gigantic milkfish lives.

My brother rock-climbing to see the enchanted lagoon where a gigantic milkfish lives.

Click this photo and you'll see the fish near the tip of the rock in the lower half of this photo hehe :)

Click this photo and you’ll see the fish near the tip of the rock in the lower half of this photo hehe 🙂

This was how high we were :)) it was kinda scary

This was how high we were :)) it was kinda scary

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Tinago island. Tinago means hidden.

Tinago island.
Tinago means hidden.

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My dad tried fishing :)

My dad tried fishing 🙂

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Pitogo island.

Pitogo island.

After going to the different islands, we wanted to do some snorkeling. However, when my dad jumped into the water he immediately saw a sea snake which obviously scared all of us! Hahahaha! So we just went back to the resort and snorkeled in the are where we saw anemones, small fishes and LOTS of starfish.

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Then we decided to have a swim in their infinity pool. As we were climbing up to the pool, it started raining and we got really cold. Good thing the pool’s water was warm — thanks to the Jacuzzis! Haha! We then ate kinunot and fried milkfish for early dinner. We actually bought them in Guijalo Port and was suppose to eat them during our island hopping but because of the delay we got free lunch. Of course, we didn’t want to waste food so we ate them before washing up and going to the restaurant. Kinunot is shredded stingray or shark meat cooked in coconut milk with malunggay leaves.

However, after we were all done taking a shower, the four of us felt so exhausted from our 9-hr road trip (my dad had no sleep at all!) and all the island hopping and swimming… and so by 8pm (a VERY early bedtime for me LOL), we were all sleeping soundly haha 🙂

Come 6 o’clock the next morning, I felt very refreshed 🙂 and I soon headed out to the restaurant to take photos of the resort’s surroundings.

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You may go to the lighthouse. Just ask your personal butler to take you there :)

You may go to the lighthouse. Just ask your personal butler to take you there 🙂

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It went to our cabana! Haha

It went to our cabana! Haha

By 10am, it was time to say goodbye to this place. Tugawe Cove is a recommendable resort. Their staff are friendly and very helpful (each cabana had their own butlers); the amenities are good. The view is breathtaking! I really wouldn’t mind going back to this peaceful place 🙂

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Jeepney. A commuter's ride.

Jeepney. A commuter’s ride.

Tricycle. Another commuter's ride but this one is for short distances only :)

Tricycle. Another commuter’s ride but this one is for short distances only 🙂

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Road Trip: Bicol

Hello there! It’s been more than a week since I last posted a blog entry. And if you’ve noticed my latest posts have been all about food; it may seem like I forgot the travel part of my blog. Well, I have a series of travel posts in the coming days since my family and I went on a (late summer) 5-day vacation last week to their home-province, Bicol 🙂 That is also the reason why I didn’t have a Sunday Special post hehehe 🙂

I still have to sort through hundreds of photos so I’ll just leave you with a sneak peek for now 😉

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A view from one of the islands in Caramoan -- the place where Survivor took place.

A view from one of the islands in Caramoan — the place where Survivor was held.

Cagsawa church ruins.

Cagsawa church ruins. Mt. Mayon volcano is completely covered by the clouds due to the rainy weather.

Embarcadero de Legazpi

Embarcadero de Legazpi

Mt. Bulusan lake

Mt. Bulusan lake

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Mt. Mayon hidden in the clouds

Mt. Mayon hidden in the clouds

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A stained glass window in Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine.

A stained glass window in Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine.

Bagasbas beach: a local surfing destination

Bagasbas beach: a local surfing destination. It was low-tide when we arrived

The beauty of Mt. Mayon :) This photo was taken a year ago.

The beauty of Mt. Mayon 🙂
This photo was taken a year ago.

Stay tuned! 🙂

BTW, you might not see food in the upcoming travel posts since I decided to blog them separately. Stay tuned for that too 😀

Some photos are from my brother 🙂

—-
P.S.
Happy father’s day to all fathers out there! 😀
No Sunday special yet again since we celebrated this day in a restaurant hehe 🙂