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Monday, September 24, 2012

Bicol Adventure with Mom and Steph

After a 2-week birthday break, I finally started writing again.  

Well, as my first article after my 36th birthday, I will be basically de-clogging my writing backlog.  I have visited quite a few places in the past 3 months and I need to start putting it in this blog before the hard disk space of my Macbook runs out.

Around a month ago, I went to Legazpi City, Albay as part of mom's annual or bi-annual visit to the Philippines.  One of my uncles is based in Bicol and he says that he cannot travel back to Cebu anymore. My mom promised to visit him this year as he was celebrating his 80th birthday. At first, I was kind of hesitant to go with her due to some work commitments and it was just days after Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash from Cebu on his way to Bicol. In the end, I was sort of compelled. It so happened that my wife had a long break in the Cebu Doctor's University Medical School. 

My first ever visit to Bicol was special.  Not only was I able to see Uncle Pastor, I was also able to see Mayon and somehow had a taste of what Bicol had to offer. 

When we arrived in Legazpi we immediately checked in at Hotel Venezia. We asked at the reception how much their rates were for a city tour and they gave a price list. Well, I know that tours booked from a hotel are more expensive than usual, so I looked for an alternative.  I looked up in the internet for someone to drive us at a reasonable rate.  I was referred to Noel Sarcilla by a fellow poster at and fortunately, he was available.  Noel is based in Albay and he is some sort of expert in tours in the area.  He drives his own 2012 Toyota Grandia Van and he knows practically all the nice places in Bicol.  For 3 days, we received excellent service from Noel.

In day 1, we went to Cagsawa Ruins, Lignon Hill and Legazpi Boulevard.  We also had a taste of famous Bicolano dishes like laing, Bicol express, pinangat, and inulokan at Let's Pinangat.  For dessert, I had pili and sili ice cream at the First Colonial Grill. 

In day 2, we had a belated birthday celebration for Uncle Pastor at the hotel. We went back to Cagsawa Ruins and Legazpi Boulevard, had shopping at Albay Pilinut, and capped the night with a dinner at Waway's. 

In our last day, Noel took us to Mayon Volcano Natural Park and Kawa Kawa Hill.  We had lunch at Alamo's before heading back to Cebu. 

Here are some pictures of our adventure:

Lobby of Hotel Venezia
Hotel Venezia Lobby

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back after a semi-long break...

I haven't been able to write much in the past couple of weeks.  It was really busy in the family side.  First my mom came to visit from Sydney.  We went to Bicol to see her brother Pastor and the Mayon Volcano. A few days later, Auntie Alice came back home from Arizona. I had to spend a lot of time in Bohol with mom because Auntie was sick.  Cousin Jan-Jan and her eldest daughter Trizia came to visit Auntie. Then, they along with my mom went back to Australia.  After sending them off, I have to bring Lot-lot and family to Bohol.  A week ago, I was back in Bohol because Auntie Alice died just a few days before my 36th birthday.

It was a roller-coaster fortnight and I never had the chance to update any of my blogs. Now I am back I will start posting what I have been up to in one of the most emotional times of my life. Glad to be back in blogger. ;)