asia · philippines · travel

Kaladkarin Gets Charmed by Bicol

The best thing about this picture? Not the sun. Not the beach. It's sharing the shot with friends as awesome as these guys.

There was no way I was leaving the land of glorious beaches without one last trip. Since Jan already had a trip set with her high-school++ friends, Alex, Ralph & I invited ourselves to Jan’s hometown for the Holy Week break (hehe =P).

8 hours on the bus + 1.5 hours on the back of a pickup + 2 hours on a boat = sore butts. By noon, we find ourselves arriving at Caramoan, with a welcome lunch waiting for us prepared by Caramoan’s parish priest. After several bouts of conversation about boat trips, islands, sharks and malunggay, we proceeded to a house in a barrio by the seaside to settle. It was nice to be reminded of the trips I had before HP happened — where electricity and a shower were luxuries, but nothing could beat the sights and calm. Roselyn, Jan’s HS buddy, was an awesome cook and led the troops in the kitchen. After dinner, we literally laid down on the road right outside the house, chatting the night away under the stars with beers at hand. This is the life.

"Lord... hopefully next time, there'll be an elevator."

Next morning, we got up early to go island-hopping. First, we paid a courtesy visit to the Grotto; it was an unexpected climb. The statue of the Virgin Mary watches over the island from her stoop 500+ steps up; tiring, but the pics made it worth it. Next was my favorite — Matukad offered the best beach out of the 4 we visited. We hit Lahus next, before we went to our last island (I forgot the name!); we had to go through a small cave that opened up to a beach spot where reef rocks tried to break the waves before they hit you. It was like swimming in an outdoor wave pool, complete with the view. I’ve never seen anything like it before — simply awesome. Another thing that I haven’t seen anywhere else were waves that swelled up from out of nowhere and crashed in the middle of the sea. Astig!

Jumping for joy in Caramoan

After island-hopping, my camera battery ran out, but not the adventures. Tope, our team’s new hire, joined us when we went back to Naga and invaded Jan’s home with for pizza, ice cream, and Jan-stories, courtesy of her mom. =) Jan lived near Magsaysay, a street lined with coffee houses and restos for night-owls. We trooped over for some billiards and beer, before retiring to our room at the Golden Leaf Hotel.

Not the least shy about photo ops.

Jan had to leave for Sorsogon, so Tope was our tour guide for the final day. Fortunately, we had time to go kneeboarding at the infamous CWC. Yep, Tope was the only one who managed to finish the whole course, but we had tons of fun. Will definitely go back here again! =)

This was before I 'face'-boarded into the wakeboard course

Three words for the rest of the trip — FOOD TRIP GALORE. Kinalas. Kinunot. Laing. Pinangat. Bicol Express. Ice Blink’s Halo-Halo. Toasted Siopao. I have a feeling it’s going to take days before my craving for Bicolano food runs out.

I'll never get tired of Bicolano food.

Thanks to Roselyn, Osette, Jess, Ronan, Fred, Jan and Tope for hosting our merry band of trotters. =) To the Bubong People — Jan, Ralph and Alex — thanks for making this last trip oh-so-memorable. Astig kayo. Love you guys!

[ Pics over at ]

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