Published: April 29th 2012April 20th 2012
It’s the time of the year…our warm summer days with its blue skies, hot humid air, and the scourging heat; it was a fine day for a flight out of town except that ours was delayed again. The troop is off for our second time in Bicol, a late birthday trip for me having gone older three days earlier. It was supposed to be just a short 45 minutes flight but when it was time for our plane to descend towards Naga, our captain announced that we couldn’t land due to zero visibility caused by the change of weather and that we would have to go round for 45 more minutes and wait for the clouds to clear up, else we will have to go back to Manila. More than the disappointment, I was more petrified with the idea of staying longer up in the air feeling the occasional minimal turbulence. I’ve since developed this fear of flying since that flight back home on a stormy weather last year where our plane dropped a few feet after encountering a bad bad turbulence; I have not gotten over it. I dread about landing and take off, and turbulence the worst; although I
Calaguas' clear water
Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
can pretty much tolerate it, It would be so much better if someday I’ll enjoy flying again.
Luck was still with us; our brave captain went through the clouds half an hour later and we landed at the Naga City Airport on a warm gloomy weather. We took a cab to metro Naga, secured our accommodation for the night, and had lunch shortly after at Geewan in P Burgos Street. Now our favorite part of every trip, tasting the local food; we got to try their delectable Pinangat known as Laing in Manila (blend of leaves, chili, meat and coconut milk wrapped in gabi leaves and tied securely with coconut leaf) and Kinunot (stingray or shark meat with moringa leaves, coconut milk and chillies). Their most popular delicacy is the Bicol Express named after the passenger train service traveling from Manila to the Bicol Region – it is a stew made from long chilies, coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, and garlic. The Bicol Region is generally known for its popular use of chili peppers and coconut milk on their food.
It was wakeboarding time after lunch at CWC Camarines Sur Watersports Complex
located at the
nearby town of Pili. I had to excuse myself from the activity though since I was not quite feeling well and so I spent the time looking after our stuff and taking their photos (bummer!). I really enjoyed it the last time so I was pretty jealous – but looking at the positive side, I get to be spared from the pain, soreness and bruises. By 07:00 in the evening we were back at the city courtesy of the free shuttle service which in our convenience dropped us off at the SM Mall. After doing the groceries for our island getaway the next day, it was dinner time at Biggs Diner enjoying their surprisingly good food – juicy crispy fried chicken, the baby back ribs which I quite enjoyed, and pork cordon bleu.
With barely three hours of sleep, we had to be at the van terminal by four in the morning the next day for our next destination, Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. Our contact had told us beforehand to be in Daet by 07:00AM (2 hours travel time from Naga Camarines Sur to Daet Camarines Norte) and since the van won’t leave until it’s filled with 15
passengers, we had to pay for the rest of the seats. We left at 04:30AM making it to Daet at 06:15AM, giving us enough time for breakfast before our contact picked us up at 07:00AM. It was another 15 minutes drive to the port located at the town of Vinzons, the jump off point to the island.
It was a pleasing view of nature on the way to Calaguas. The summer sun was beaming brightly as our boat started moving away from the dock. The two hours boat ride started through a river lined with nipa palms and mangrove trees. There were small communities by the shore with fishermen doing their daily chores, the young and old skillfully paddling away in their small wooden bancas (boats). The clear turquoise water looked inviting as we approach the island and the rounded hills covered in different shades of green were particularly soft to the eyes. Its powdery bits go lightly with the wind as I kick on the sand; it felt softest on my feet. Excluding amenities, comfort, and the loud music played until midnight, the island moved easily to #1 spot as the best beach I’ve been to – it
may be a little hard to beat. A little hike uphill at one side of the beach will take you to a full view of the long stretch of the island’s white sand and the best view of sunset. Our meals were served Bicolano style, spicy!
Even though we have quite a few disappointments regarding our paid package, the island was definitely yet an untouched beauty, it couldn’t beat that. Next time we are eyeing Caramoan Island!
The 2009 trip to Bicol: A Series of Unfriendly Encounters
and Sleepy Little City of Legaspi
There are more photos below