Food Trip in Bicol

Tinuktok and Mother Bangus
In Guijalo Port, my dad and my brother bought kinunot and fried saltwater milkfish from a canteen. Kinunot is made with shark or stingray meat cooked in coconut milk with malunggay leaves. The milkfish, or Mother Bangus as the locals called it, is a huge one and it tastes better that those grown in freshwater. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take photos of it :\

Bigg’s Diner
Bigg’s diner offered burgers and spaghettis since their atmosphere is somewhat like an American diner. But since they’re based in Bicol, it only seemed fitting that they offer Bicol’s delicacies as well, like laing and pili pie ala mode.

bicolfood_01 bicolfood_02

Porkchop with laing

Porkchop with laing

bicolfood_04

Fried milkfish with pinangat

Fried milkfish with pinangat

Pili pie ala mode

Pili pie ala mode

Pinangat and Tilmok
The town of Camalig is known for their pinangat and tilmok and so of course, we didn’t pass the chance to buy some! 🙂 Pinangat is made up of folded layers of taro leaves cooked in coconut milk. Tilmok consists of shrimp or crab meat wrapped in layers of taro leaves which is then cooked in coconut milk. Customers have the option of buying spicy and non-spicy ones 🙂

bicolfood_07

We bought ours from two stores: Let’s Pinangat and a store near it but I forgot the name :\ it was cheaper in the other store though 😉

Laing is somewhat similar to pinangat except that the taro leaves are not layered and folded up 🙂

Smalltalk Cafe
After our ATV adventure, my family had late lunch in a cozy restaurant called Smalltalk Cafe. They offer Western food with a Bikolano twist 😉

bicolfood_08 bicolfood_11 bicolfood_12 bicolfood_13 bicolfood_14

Laing pasta

Laing pasta

Laing ravioli

Laing ravioli

My dad and I had laing/pinangat pasta, my brother had laing ravioli and my mom had tilmok (no photo). We were asked if we wanted or dishes spicy or not. My parents and I said we’d want ours to be a bit spicy and my brother had his dish regularly spiced. To our surprise, our dishes were muh spicier than we expected!! Haha! And for someone like me who has LOW tolerance for any spicy dish, this was very overwhelming. Hahaha! Well, I guess these local cooks are very used to spicy dishes that what they served us was just a bit spicy for them. LOL 😛

P.S.
bicolfood_15
On the way to Legazpi, we passed by locals selling maruya (banana fritters), kalingking (sweet potato fritters), etc. along the road. I got no pictures of those food though as I was driving when we bought and ate them hehe 🙂

Road Trip: Bicol – Naga

Ack! Late post again. Been very busy :\ Anyway, here is the last leg of our Bicol trip 🙂

Our second to the last stop for our vacation was Naga City. We arrived the place at around 8pm so the first thing we did was check in at Sampaguita Inn, a cheap but clean hotel near the center of the city. Right after that, we had dinner then we strolled around the plaza. The place has several food stalls; there was also an area where people play chess. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo of it. When I was a kid, there used to be a giant chess board and pieces in the plaza.

bicol_501 bicol_502

The next day, we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.  Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia is the Patroness of the Bicol Region. A church was built for her honor near a river bank because of a promise made by Fr. Miguel when he was miraculously healed from his illness. Many more miracles have occurred through Our Lady of Peñafrancia a reason why devotees are increasing in number.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine

bicol_504 bicol_505

The image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia

The image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia

bicol_506 bicol_507 bicol_508 bicol_509

A stained glass window in Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine.

A stained glass window in Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine.

bicol_510 bicol_511

Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

bicol_513 bicol_514

Ateneo de Naga. My mom's alma mater :)

Ateneo de Naga. My mom’s alma mater 🙂

Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. St. John the Evangelist Parish

Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
St. John the Evangelist Parish

bicol_517 bicol_518 bicol_519 bicol_520

After visiting relatives, we started on our long trip back to Manila. Along the way, we stopped by Daet and Bagasbas beach — a local surfing destination in Camarines Norte.

Altar of the church in Daet we visited. My mom used to live near this church when she was young.

Altar of the church in Daet we visited.
My mom used to live near this church when she was young.

The vast beach of Bagasbas on my right!

The vast beach of Bagasbas on my right!

The vast beach of Bagasbas on my left! :P

The vast beach of Bagasbas on my left! 😛

After buying local produce from the market, we went back to the road bound home. And that ended our 5-day vacation. 

Aside from going back to Donsol, Sorsogon, we also plan to go to the beautiful, undeveloped beaches in Calaguas, Camarines Norte ❤ I can’t wait! With so many vacation destinations here, it truly is more fun in the Philippines 😉

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

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 🙂

bicol_401 bicol_404 bicol_402 bicol_403

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.

bicol_406

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

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

bicol_408 bicol_409

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.

bicol_303 bicol_302 bicol_301bicol_304

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.

bicol_310 bicol_311 bicol_314 bicol_313bicolteaser_7

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

bicol_316

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. 🙂

bicol_201 bicol_202

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.

bicol_204

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 🙂

bicol_205 bicol_206 bicol_207 bicol_208

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