Back to Bicol

Back to Bicol


Legazpi City, Naga, Donsol, Bulusan, Matnog
Tue 05 Apr – Tue 12 Apr


Day 1 – Onwards To Bicol

Legazpi City

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Plane was able to close doors early, but airport traffic means we have to wait our turn to push back and taxi to the runway for take off.

My right ear is giving me problems again. I hope the cabin pressure doesn’t do much damage.

We touched down in Legazpi earlier than the ETA listed in our tickets, despite our late departure. We’re on to your strategy, airlines.

We hired a taxi to take us around Legazpi, or to be specific, Mayon Volcano. We headed to Mayon Sky View, which is supposed to give us a gorgeous view of the majestic cone, if the daragang Mayom wasn’t feeling shy. She refused to emerge from the clouds that shield her from prying eyes, so we had to make do with marveling at the landscape below and shivering from the brisk mountain air.

We stopped at the parish of St. John the Baptist in Tabaco, my brother giddy with excitement at the church’s interesting architecture. It was made with dark stones piled upon each other, accented with white paint on the window sills. Inside, huge chandeliers hang from the high ceilings, while graceful arches line the sides.

We continued on to Ligñon Hill. Though the midday sun was shining brightly, we did not mind the heat due to the gorgeous views from the top. Mayon is still not showing herself, but there were plenty to distract us. My sister-in-law faced her fears and flew through a zip line on the side of hill, while I was haunted by the telltale souds of airplanes landing and taking off. The Legazpi airport is practically at the foot of Ligñon Hills, and you get a pretty nice view of the runway from the top of the hill.

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We went to the Cagsawa Ruins immidiately after, but instead of heading straight to take photos of the belfry, we filed past souvenir shops, zeroing in on the only eatery in the area for a late lunch.

The carinderia serves a very interesting dish of Sinigang sa Buko, and though we were all curious of this sinigang variant, our stomach reacted violenty at the thought of waiting 30 more minutes for lunch.

It was easy to forget that the ruins were there as you check out the merchadise inside the souvenir stalls that line the path to the carinderia and restrooms. Bags and household items made with abaca and other native materials proved to be temptation that are hard to resist. All of us were holding shopping bags when we finally took photos of Cagsawa with the volcano in the background.

We wanted to wait until Mayon shows her perfect cone, but we had to leave for Naga. She relented and gave us a peek as we were driving off and we had to stop by the side of the bridge to take her photo.

The drive to Naga took two hours. Though this is my third trip to the city, it was my first time to see the city center. It was small and compact, brimming with shops and community spaces.

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All of my visits in Naga included a meal at Biggs’s Diner. I passed on thr fried chicken this time though, ordering their Extreme Supreme Burger instead. Juicy patty paired with their herb mayo and topped with bacon. Mmmm.

After dinner, we trooped back to the Naga Regent Hotel. We’ve been traveling the whole day and we need to be fully rested for CWC.

Taking pictures at the St. John the Baptist Parish
[Map]
Flying above the fields at Ligñon Hill
[Map]
A glimpse of Mayon Volcano
[Map]

Day 2 – Wakeboarding, or at least trying to

Naga

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It was another early day as we headed to the CamSur Watersports Complex at 7am. The facility doesn’t open until 8am and the cable park start operations at 8:30am, but my previous visit taught me that getting there early is best if you’re a beginner or if you don’t like crowds.

Beginners are taught how to knee board first to give them a feel of how it is to be in the water and pulled by the cable.

You don’t have to be a swimmer to try this activity. Life vests and helmets are provided, and they must be worn every time you go into the water. When you fall off te board or fall flat on your face, you just grab your board, swim to the shore, walk back to the starting point and try again.

Those who felt that they’re ready to stand can go to the winch park, where beginners can try and practice. This is a smaller pool with a cable that just go back and forth, unlike the bigger cable park that goes around a loop.

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The Camsur Watersports Complex is a world class facility that has played host to a number of international wakeboarding competitions. It’s a year-round destination and even on a weekday, amateurs, intermediate and professional wakeboarders flock to CWC.

Use of the cable and winch park costs Php 125 per hour, while equipment rental costs Php 40. This requires a Php 500 deposit per persob, which is fully refundable after your session. Outside food and drinks are not allowed, as they have their own restaurant. Local and international dishes are in the menu, but if you can only try one thing, go for the Bicolano pizza: laing with chicken bits and mozzarella on crunchy pizza crust. It’s surprisingly good.

CWC Cable Park
[Map]
Learning to kneeboard
[Map]
Kneeboarding
[Map]
Preparing to jump
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He can fly!
[Map]
Whoops!
[Map]


Sent from my iPhone by My Vacation app (www.myvacationapp.com)

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 7 Comments
  1. chyng says:

    Food and Drinks not allowed..
    yeah right, kaya pala may dala tayong choco chips + C2, wala namang nanita. haha! inferness, what stands out the most are the staff, very much into customer satisfaction! (free 2hours of wakeboarding! ^_^)

  2. RV Escatron says:

    thanks for this info Nina!

    this entry comes in handy next week.
    10 of my students and i will go on a week-long field trip to bicol! can’t wait!

    i’ve been wondering though how much is the bus rate (lazy boy seat) now from araneta to naga v.v.
    looking forward to your next post on Naga CWC! 😀

  3. Glad to see you at Mateo, sayang di na tayo nakapag-chikahan ng matagal, umalis din ako after ko maligo, masyado mahal for me yung overnight fee

  4. Tripper10 says:

    Hello Ms. Nina…

    I like to try wakeboarding… is it hard?

    • nina says:

      First timers are encouraged to try kneeboarding first to get a feel of the water. When you tire of that, you can start trying to get up on the wakeboard. I’ve been told it’s not as easy as kneeboarding.

  5. […] I first learned that I need to apply for a US Visa. I had just walked back to our table at the Camsur Watersports Complex after taking pictures of wakeboarders showing off practicing. The first thing I did was to check my […]

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