Bicol Day5: Mayon Encounter


Ever since we arrived in Bicol Region, to see Mayon with all her naked glory was on everybody’s list. Unfortunately, she was too shy on our 1st day. Thus the anticipation to see her up close grew even more. Everyone has been waiting for this day.

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First ever pose with Mayon’s beauty. Had to asked the van driver to stop. 😀

Things You Shouldn’t Miss To Do in Legazpi, Albay

  1. Don’t go home without a Mayon background. She is a little tease so having a picture without a cloud mask covering her tip is truly worth a thousand words.
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Despite the grogginess from the almost 5 hours travel since Caramoan, we never let this view go. It’s one of those rare moment when you got to see Mayon’s perfect cone.
  1. Take a leap of faith and try the ATV ride to Mayon’s lava ground. The looks maybe deceiving but it’s really just a piece of cake. Nothing bad will happen if you’ll just follow the rules…and OF COURSE…enjoy the ride.
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Just meters away from where we started Ate Malot said “If only I’d known that this is part of the trip…”. I just smiled. After the ATV journey, I asked her how she is. What she answered completely astound me. Oh yeah! It was not only me who’s been changed by the ride. COOL!
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While waiting for the others to take their post on the group picture!

We availed the Php 1800 per person Basic ATV Tour from Your Brother. Their service van pick us at the apartelle by 6 AM. Few minutes passed and we were at their office where our extreme journey started.

The trail is around 13 KM back and forth consisting of rivers, roads, coconut fields and dark sands. The whole tour was estimated at 2 hours. We finished it with an hour extension. The delay was just okay considering it wasn’t peak season. It would be a different scenario otherwise.

  1. Give in to your natural ability to pose by cam whoring at Legazpi’s tourist spots.

Lignon Hill is a place atop a hill much like Cebu’s Mountain View. Yet this time, the view is not just mountains but some fields, city view and Mayon.

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After the ATV, the service van dropped us there. We were supposed to have a free zip line ride each. Nobody did. We just had snacks and picture taking. It has an awesome view of Mayon. We walked downhill to the highway after where we hired a tricycle to Cagsawa Ruins.

Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of an 18th century Franciscan church, the Cagsawa church, built in 1724 and destroyed by the 1814 eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

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At Cagsawa, Mayon shied away. We didn’t get a view so we had our time playing with the tower ruin. When we had our fill, the focused change to pasalubongs.

We didn’t have much time so we just hit 2 spots. You could do better. 🙂

  1. Eat somewhere not from your home world…err I mean home province. As for us, tried 1st Colonnial Grill for our dinner on our first night in Legazpi, Bigg’s Diner for our lunch after the ATV ride, then finally Gilian’s Seafood at Embarcadero for our last supper.

We were always hungry that I often forgot to take pictures of our food. Next time, I will! 😀

And this is the last of the day series- my pre-summer escapade 6D/5N in Bicol Philippines. Till the next adventure!

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Bicol Day3: More of Caramoan Islands


There are about 50 islands discovered out of more or less a hundred. Most of the discoveries were from the staffs of different “Survivor” reality franchise that had its home in the islands.

Cotivas Island

For this day, we covered 3 islands and a mountain. The day started in Bikal port. After a long boat ride we reached what we thought as sandbar. It’s not…just Cotivas island where we had a little taste of the great Pacific Ocean.

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Unlike the islands visited the other day, this one didn’t have a rock view. We’re there for its cream colored sand and clear waters. We enjoyed doing jump shots. Despite the quick stop, most took the chance to dip in the blue green water. I wish I did.

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Busy doing my stuff in the sand while the others are swimming.
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Enjoying the water!

Manlawi Sandbar

It’s almost 11 am when we left Cotivas.  Next, Kuya Mike took us to the real sandbar in “Manlawi” island where we had our lunch in floating cottages.

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Floating cottages on the background.
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Cottages up-close!
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Souvenir shells sold for Php 10 or Php 20.
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Our cottage!

Manlawi’s sandbar was huge, but smaller than that of Bais’ and can be completely submerge in water unlike Camiguin’s White Island. It was high tide when we arrived so we had the chance to enjoy the knee deep water. We were not allowed to linger because we need to catch the high tide to be able to take the short cut to “Sabitang Laya” island.

We were not able to catch the high tide as planned. Our journey to the next island was therefore compromised.

Sabitang Laya

“Sabitang Laya” took forever. My butt started to get numbed of seating. Glad I’m not one of those people who can’t sleep on a boat. It made the journey bearable.

And finally, Sabitan Laya, our last island destination – the 7th wonder. We were given an hour to enjoy the island. But due to tide issues, the stay was extended. Lucky! We were able to camwhore at rock formations again. This time less jagged and sharp compared to that of Busdak’s.

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When we left the island, we save our energy for the feared 587 steps to heaven.

And heaven it is. Despite shaky knees, short breath, and what was left of our energy, we were still able to reach the top and enjoy a magnificent view of some of Caramoan’s islands. Truly worth the climb.

After cooling down, we decided that it’s time to go thinking of the perils of night boat ride. We were back at Rex’s by 6:30 PM. Dinner was served 30 minutes after. And off we retired for the night…dreaming of the adventures we had. And sadly…bye, bye paradise the next day.

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Up next: Bicol Day 4 & 5: Mt. Mayon Adventures

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Action


I’m a reluctant photographer because I’m still confused whether I want to be the one in or behind a beautiful photograph. But ever since the boyfie had this signature craze pose in every places we went and mountains we climbed, I just had to get better.

These jump shots were taken from our last trip in Bicol Philippines. I still can’t get the perfect angle in all pictures though. But I’m determined to be. 

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Cagsawa Ruins in Legazpi City, Albay.
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CWC Wakeboarding Complex in Camarines Sur.
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Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur.
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Cotivas Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur.
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Lava Ground from the eruption of Mt. Mayon, Legazpi, Albay.
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Lignon Hill, Legazpi, Albay

Jump shots are tricky. Even if I did it countless of times already, I still can’t get the hang of it. The boyfie is also very strict so I just had to take the shot he would approve. Sometimes, it would take up to 5 jumps. 😦 Anyhoo, I’m happy to be learning things. And though I still don’t own the camera I’m using now, I’m considering to have one. Cheers to photography!

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The bottom picture was the first shot. We decided it was cool to have a series shot so the other 2 were done. Taken at Cotivas Island in Caramoan, Camarines Sur.

PS: This is my first post from Sue’s “A Word A Week Photo Challenge”. I have this monthly goal…for the month of March, I aimed to improve my travel blog. Along with that goal, I promise to grab everything in the blogger web that would help me get better.

This is a good starting month for me. I’m thankful to all the new friends I’ve known as seen in my Community widget. I was still not able to know and connect to all of them yet but one day, I will.

Hang in there friends. 🙂 Thank you for all the inspirations. It gives me the energy to blog more…but this time…BETTER!

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Bicol Day2: Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur


From CWC, we travelled 2 hours by van to the port…and another 2 hours to the island aboard a ferry. In total we’re 6 hours away from Legaspi airport which means by Sunday most of our day will be spent on the van.

The views consisted mostly of farmlands lying infront of a giant Mt. Isarog. It reminded me of the dream house I had when I was in elementary…house in the corner of a field with a mountain on the back. It took me 27 years to see that it does exist.

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Views to Guijalo Port

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When we reached Guijalo port, we had to take another 30 minute ride  to our accommodation.

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Our home for 2 nights.
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Across the inn.

After lunch we had siesta in preparation for the Caramoan discovery at 12:30 PM.

Island Hopping Day 1 (Half Day)

Covered 4 islands Busdak, Matukad, Lahos and Nilaos.

Each island has its individual charm but the magnificent rock formations were common.

Busdak Island

A quick stop at Busdak island gave us the time to cam whore in the jagged and sharp rock formations. One wrong step and you’re own the way to the emergency room. But that didn’t stop us from climbing the rocks just to get the perfect view. 😀

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Matukad Island

Our guide, Kuya Mike shared that most of the names of the islands were taken from their characteristic. Matukad (means steep) is best known for its lagoon hidden behind a steep rock. We had to climb for a glimpse.

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On the way to the hidden lagoon of the lonely Bangus.

Once there lived a family of Bangus in the lagoon, Mother, Father and babies. The Mother was captured  and eaten by a fisherman who later died of an unknown cause. Now a lone Father Bangus was left in the lagoon because he ate all his babies. My friends were able to see it. I didn’t because the guide says there are snakes in the water. And snakes creep me out.

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The 2 girls below were trying to get a good look at Father Bangus. The guy? Well…I don’t know what he’s up to. Hmmm!
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The rock just above the lagoon. It was a scary climb but worth it.
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The rock where the guy holding the camera has an awesome view. I climbed up there but was too scared to take a picture. Haha!

 

Aside from it’s steep rocks, Matukad island is also known for it’s powder-like fine white sands.

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Enjoying the powder-like sand. I actually rolled over them. Haha!
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Us enjoying the view, the sand and everything about the island. Feeling survivor eh?!

 

Lahos Island

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Lahos in vernacular means “went through”. The 2 rock standing in the island looks like a gate in both sides where you can went through. In between the rocks are fine sands as smooth as sugar. The view in between is perfect for a “Survivor” shot. Kuya Mike says Survivor series had its opening there. Cool. And off we did our own shot too.

Nilaos Island

Since Nilaos island was our last stop, we spent most of our time swimming. It was conveniently situated between large boulders. The coastline was small. Glad we were the only group there. And since I was busy swimming…the pictures were forgotten. Haha! Will grab some pics from my companions soon.

Up next:
Island Hopping Day 2 (Whole day)

Gone to 3 islands (Cotivas, Manlawi, Sabitan Laya) and went up to Holy Rosary Church with almost 600 steps in Tabgon, Caramoan.

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Advextreme: ATV to Mayon Lava


Unlike wake boarding, I wouldn’t put the ATV adventure to my bucket list even it is just as awesome because I really wanna do it again. But before that I should learn how to use the breaks first. Haha!

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Spot the difference. 😀
(Pic courtesy of Kuya Guide from Mam Faith’s Cam)

It was my first time and was scared to suck so I choose to be on the last. Unfortunately, the arrangement changed after our first group picture. And I wasn’t given the chance to argue.

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Later I learned that it was actually a blessing. Because I didn’t want to hold the line, I forced myself to learn fast…And it seems I was doing REALLY great.

I love the thrill of the ride. The feeling that I am in control of almost anything…well, except the breaks. My hands were too small. The accelerator grip is stressing my hand so much that it makes grabbing the breaks an ultra extra effort. It appears I don’t really need the break that much though.

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From Left, Top, Bottom.
(1) Opps, Kuya…Don’t push me.
(2) Look Ma, I’m AWESOMELY driving!
(3) Aha…Aha…Ahahaha!
(4) Now…I’m DOING IT RIGHT.
(Pic courtesy of Kuya Guide from Mam Faith’s Cam)

But I know I have to learn how to use it. Next time, I’ll pick an ATV that would fit with my little hands. Maybe then…no more banging of plants, trees and rocks. Haha! I truly enjoyed the ride so much that the views didn’t matter that much.

Wasn’t even that sad when Mayon was covered in clouds when we reached the Lava ground. I was too excited to go back and be on the ATV again. 

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The trail going up is different on the way down. I like the first trail because it is of different terrains. There were rivers, coconut trees, grasses and roads. The 2nd trail was mostly dark sands and stones. I don’t like it very much. But it was great to have tried them.

Things learned on this activity: 1. It looks harder than it actually is. 2. Believe in yourself. Nothing is impossible when you do. 3. Always find the beauty in learning something new. 

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Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Bicol Day4: All Day Ride


Ferry schedule from Guijalo Port to Sabang Port start at 5 AM and every 2 hours until 11 AM. Since were quite battered the day before, we opt for the 3rd trip. Reached Sabang by 11 AM where our van to Naga City awaits. The 3rd league of the all day ride comes after lunch at SM Naga City. Left SM around 2 PM. The van ride from Naga City to Legazpi City took 2 hours. At 4 PM, we arrived at Mayon View Apartelle.

Took an hour rest then mass at San Raphael Parish church followed. The mass was in English but there are vernacular excerpts in homily. It amazed me because I actually understood most.

From the church our next stop was Pacific Mall for dinner. The dispatcher advise us not to take the tricycle so we waited for a jeepney to Tabgon. Unfortunately, those jeepneys were rare, 1 in every 10 jeepney bound to Daraga. He helped us to get a Daraga jeepney that would detour to Pacific Mall. Just paid Php 10 each for that detour. I was thinking it would cost more.

Decided to have our first meal in Legazpi at a place not in Cebu. We dined at 1st Colonnial Grill. It was a delicious banquet. Loved their unlimited tinapa rice, chicken and ice cream in rare flavors of chili, lemon, ginger, tinutong and pili nuts. Thumbs up!

After dinner, had grocery for breakfast the next day. Retired early. Had to be physically fit for another extreme adventure – ATV Tour to Mt. Mayon.

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Bucketlist: Wakeboard


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Actually it wasn’t on the list but the experience was so awesome that it is bucketworthy. And being on the list means, I’ll never do it again.

It was good. Yes. Heart pumping. Yes. Awesome. Didn’t I just mention it?

But it is not something for me. Realized it when I couldn’t do it again after completing “the dream” on my 3rd and 4th try.

I was a fast learner indeed for going halfway on the 1st and 2nd try. Yet that was it. I planned to stop until I can complete one round and getting it too early was unexpected that when the boyfie suggested I should not stop yet, I obliged. But the next 2 rounds were horrible. I wish I followed the goal.

In life we wish for something hard to fulfill. Then put in our heads to stop when we have the goal. Yet when we do, often times we don’t. Aren’t we being untrue to our words? Or are we just putting on goals just to have something to struggle and fight for but not to follow in the end?!

Oh well, I’ll leave you with that. Now back to my wakeboard…

I was glad and happy to have tried. And I think surfing is next. This time I wouldn’t plan to quit after learning. Yay!

How bout you, have you experienced wakeboarding? What are your thoughts about it? Is it a sport for keeps or just a one time thing?

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Camsur’s Wakeboarding Facility


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The 2 hour ride was quite tiresome but the view that welcomed us at CWC were enough to return our energy.

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While our reservations were settled, the views around the place keep us company. I especially like the 2 cute chairs in the receiving area.

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The rooms were unique and of different types.

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At lunch, we had the chance to see the rest of the complex. The lake for the wakeboarding and some equipments.

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More views…

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After lunch, we went back to our rooms for a little siesta…getting ready for the main event.

WAKEBOARD!!!

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

Bicol Day1: Hello Legaspi City, Albay


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Hello Mayon! Touchdown Legaspi Airport in a very sunny thursday morning! May this weather continue till the 5th day! Yay!

After an estimated 2 hours of travel and Php 3500 for a van, our journey has finally begun at CWC.

Wakeboarding!!!

But before that here’s Asta’s( is my smartphone) first taste of capturing views…

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Till the next stop…

Bicol Posts:
Day 1 Hello Legaspi City, Albay
Bucketlist: Wakeboarding at CWC Facility!
Day 2 Hello Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Day 3 More of Caramoan Islands
Day 4 Travel from Caramoan to Mayon Accommodation
Bucketlist: ATV Ride in Mayon
Migo’s Jumping Shots
Day 5 Mayon Encounter
Day 6 Flight Home

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great life ahead:-)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

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