Saturday, August 8, 2009


Bicol (part 2)

Continuing our Bicol trip, from Albay we went all the way to CamSur straight to Caramoan. Going to Caramoan was such a very long ride for us, especially we came all the way from Legaspi and just took an overnight stop in Eme's home. Funny thing was we got lost since we dont have any maps and we didnt have the time to research on how to get there, we just gave up all to our luck and charm. Hehe. So including the lost route that, we took a bus to Naga. Then in Naga terminal, we took a bus going back and straight ahead to the jeepney terminal. From there we took a short ride that brought us in a small port where we rode a boat going to Caramoan port. I cannot forget the boat ride, the ride that knocked us out. But that's not the final ride, tricycle made the final punch... then we're asleep. Our whole trip ate almost 7 hours of our time that day, dealing with change of vehicles we rode and a lot of people we asked. It was totally an adventure and a challenging trip. Whew!

We took our dinner in a small restaurant where they served a lot for an affordable price called 'Caramoan Bed and Dine', they will only cook your food as soon as you order them. And for a good sleep, we stayed in BC Hometel which offers a v
ery cheap overnight stop in a very cold room and they also serve food only if you tell them to cook breakfast or dinner for you.


So we took a boat in Bical port at early 6am, this boat was with us for a whole day trip and island transfer in Caramoan. It is hard to describe the islands here actually, i'm running out of words right now, oh sh*t. Anyway, our first stop: Lahus Island.

Sunrise (left) | Picture taken from Lahus island (right)
Uhm, I have no pictures on what the island looks like from a far because we were all stunned by its beauty. Lahus has a fine white sand sitting between two huge rocks, parang may sand bar sa gitna ng dalawang bato pag malayo, ang galing. Hehe.

Next stop: my most favorite island - Matukad
Ohemgee! What makes this my best island so far, because the island was empty and parang kami lang ang may ari. Hehe. But above all, this island has so much more to offer that haven't been discovered yet, a very very beautiful unspoiled island.
Super fine white sand

Gorgeous Starfish in Matukad

Caramoan was featured in Matanglawin a week before out trip, and lucky us we were able to watch that episode so we really got an idea on what to look forward to. Our bangkero also told us where to go so we can see more. But we never expect that so much adventure awaits us in return, we have to do rock climbing for us to see the big fish in a small lake and for a better view of the island. Although the peak is pretty mababa lang naman, but still we dont have gears (rubber shoes, etc.) and the rocks are so sharp, they can cut our skin easily in just wrong step. So what we did, is GO pa rin, with our flipflops and naked hands we reached the top weee!!!

Left pic: is a Sea snake (nope hindi po yan bulate) and we have seen this in Matanglawin episode and tagged as one of the most venomous snake in the world that's why we ran up again to the rocks (takot eh hehe). Eme managed to took a photo at least before climbing up again to the other side.

Right pic: is the island's view from rock's peak one side, on the opposite side is the center pic

Center pic: a small fresh water (i guess) which is a home of humongous fishes (as seen in Matanglawin). We never get the chance to go down in the lake because of that snake and a warning from our bangkero. Also, a big eagle is flying above our h eads that time, as in roaming around the island, pero wala kaming kuha, sayang!

Next stop: mini-Honongan island
This island is so small and standing there felt like we are castaways. Water here was pretty cold but you cannot get too far when you swim because there are a lot of jellyfishes and you would not want to swim with them, won't you?
mini-Honongan island | sitting in the rock from left pic


Last stop: Honongan
from the right pic above, you can see a beach on the other side and that is the Honongan beach. Yes there are small rest houses built there already but it is still a nice place. From this point, we can see most of the islands that we get to visit.

view from Honongan

Because we are running out of time, we have to leave the place sooner, we didn't get the chance to see the Gota beach and other beautiful beaches, they have a huge monument of Jesus (i think, yung parang sa Brazil) na nakaharap sa mga islands, and of course they also have a cave which they built a small grotto inside. Sayang!


*pictures credit to Emerson and me. :)
Bicol (part 1)

Alright! This is just about our Mt. Mayon in Cagsawa Ruins, Albay.

The moment i get out from the plane and s
eeing the volcano standing so proud I was like, OMG! I'm getting goosebumps all over my body! It was really different when you see it with your naked eyes than looking it from a picture. I cant even tell how a huge mountain like that exist and how come it was alone, I mean no other mountains near the volcano, 360 degrees view of the same shape wowed me in my own feet. It was a little cloudy when we were there but the heat was welcoming us, well summer in the south was really hot. Whew!

Cagsawa Ruins, Albay

From Legaspi airport, we took a tricycle going to Cagsawa Ruins where we can have a better view of Mayon. Yes tricycle is enough to carry us three (I was with my two friends) and yes again there were just the three of us who took the adventure in Bicol, no we dont have a travel sponsor.

So we did tambay mode for I think 3 hours in Cagsawa taking pictures and feeling the wind blowing on us. Actually the Cagsawa church remains was already modified by the people there to maintain the build itself. As seen in the pictures, only the church's top part of the tower was saved from the volcano's erruption long long time ago. There were huge rocks which are part of the church that were thrown everywhere and there were crosses beside the remains which will be used for holy week.

When I saw the volcano, I was amazed again seeing it so alive and active. The smoke never stopped going out from its mouth, parang nagyoyosi lang hehe. The volume (volume ba?) of smoke is not consistent every minute, one that I'm afraid of when we were there, we can never tell when the volcano is going to be wild.

smoking volcano

We had this trip mid-March, a good time to travel around the country because it is summer! Although Bicol is one of the places that typhoons like to visit, during summer south part of the map is hotter. Kapag mainit sa sentro, mas mainit sa ibaba. Hehe.

Let's get not too far, a ride 2-3 hours away from Manila - Laiya, Batangas.

For those who wanted to have a pool and an ocean at the same place and will accommodate a people in a team, in a project or even in a company, Laiya Coco Grove should be on your list. An airconditioned room in a tree house is one of their room's best seller, our project chose this resort because first of all it is affordable and near in the city. It is suitable for just a short time outing and offers a nice and relaxing atmosphere.

The pictures above were taken end of March this year, although the resort has only one pool but it is big enough for I think 40 persons. What I dont like in their pool is that it is shallow, having 4-4.5 ft as the deepest knowing the fact that it is an adult pool, so I prefer the beach instead. Sorry I dont have so many words to describe what it was like being there, I would say if you are looking for a relaxing place then this is a good place for you. :)

You can visit their site here if you wanted to know more about them.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SAGADA (part3)

SAGADA (part3)

Where else? and What not?

Aside from the nature's best Sagada has to offer, here's the additional fun to share with.

Ready you voice when you walk towards the Sagada's one of attractions, the Echo Valley. Shout loud once and hear your voice bounce back a few times, cool eh? Hephep! kindly choose the words that you will be shouting else you are going to wake the remains from the hanging coffins. Hehe. Just a little advice, dont yell the words 'traffic' or 'confetti' or same, have respect and remember echos can only bounce back the last syllable. :)

Hanging coffin (left) | Echo Valley (right)

We didn't have enough time to trek down the valley to have a near view of the hanging coffins there, they said the last wake hanging in the rocks was happened last year (2008) - this is part of their tradition, instead of burying the dead body, they put them in a coffin and hang the coffin in the rock, I dont know what that means though. Maybe if we will be having chance in some other time to view the hanging coffins a meter away, I would not hesitate to share the pics and experience of course, I believe there is a little river somewhere near down the valley which we never got the time to see.

Sagada's Pottery is a definite place you dont want to miss. As in oh-em-gee, I'm pretty amazed not only on their work but get this - I'm stunned with the potter herself.

Sagada Pottery

Sample works

Uhm, I forgot her name (the female potter) but she is sooo entertaining in a way that I realized I'm drooling with amazement. She speaks in foreign tongue fluently all throughout the time we were there, she answered our questions in English and even had a pot demo in a non-native accent. She already at her age, but man! we were amazed... very very nice place and people not worth missing. :)

Orange Farm is also a great place to visit in Sagada... this is suitable for those who wanted to eat a lot (hehe), why? Because here you just have to walk towards the orange plants, pick an orange and eat it.. take note: FOR FREE! Yeah. You have to eat those oranges if you wanted them free, if you just want them as pasalubong then you have to pay for every kilo of oranges you picked, well at least it is you yourself who picked the oranges from a tree... nice experience dont you think?

Orange Farm

Yes, Sagada people are Catholics that is why they have this famous church - St. Mary's Church.
The church interior is simple and sacred, there is a huge Jesus crucified figure in the middle of the altar, it is small but can accommodate Sagada people. Near the church is a cemetery where you have to climb a high stairway and have a few steps to get there. You will pass this when you're going to the echo valley which is just behind the cemetery.

St. Mary's Church and the Cemetery
But why do they have the hanging coffins while they already have their cemetery? hmm.. it's for you to find out.

Time to eat!

Java Chicken and Carbonarra in Yoghurt's House


I always look forward for the food whenever I go to places like this, it is something that you cannot share when you got home, I mean the dine in thing. There are a lot of restaurants in Sagada that offer great cuisine with an affordable price, one of the most popular is the Yoghurt's house, a very accessible place sitting in the heart of the town, just near the inns. They were serving a single plate that looks like for two persons, it definitely make you full. Other restaurants serve good food too like in Straberry Cafe, a small eatery but has the best adobo in the town, thumbs up!

So for the remembrance and goodies, Sagada opens their market in the street early in the morning if you wanted to bring some fresh food at home like dried fishes and dried fruits. People there were so busy every morning, starting to work hard, so are the expats who buy so hard. hehe. For the things that you just wanted to keep or give your friends, you can easily find the stores where you can buy a lot of stuffs like shirts, keychains, etc.. People there were so accommodating, they would even give you discounts and let you take pictures with their kids. :)

Street Market and Goodies Store

For sidetrips, you may want to visit Baguio when you are on your way home. Of course on the way down to Baguio, you dont want to miss a stop over in the Mountain Province's gate and take some pictures. Also, dont miss to visit our Philippine Pali, the highest point of highway system in the country.

Mountain Province Gate and Philippine Pali

Goodies in Baguio

At last! On behalf of my batch, we would like to thank of course the people in Sagada for being hospitable and accomodating in every second we were there and for taking pictures with us ^_^. Many thanks to our tourguides - the SaGGAs, an association of trained tour guides in the place. For helping us and keeping us safe in every place we visit and of course for cracking your jokes just in time, we really appreaciate how you treated us, you people in Sagada are one of the kindest here in out country. I recommend for those who read this site to visit their blog,, there are a lot of infos there about Sagada which is being maintained by one of the SaGGAs. Kudos!!!

SaGGAs Headquarters

Also, Taking credits for our organizers (discoverAsia) for a job well done, serving us with a great itenerary throughout the Sagada days, and giving us warm company! Wee! Please visit their site.

Thanks for stopping by!!!
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