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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

Carlo Olano at the Cagsawa Ruins
At the Cagsawa Ruins

Sony A57 shot at Cagsawa Ruins
Playing with the cam @ Cagsawa Ruins

Hot Bicol Express!!

Mount Mayon from Lignon Hill
The famous Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano from Lignon Hill
Posing at Lignon Hill

Sili Ice Cream in Bicol
Try the Sili Ice Cream

bicol van for hire
If you need a Van in Bicol call Noel Sarcilla at 0919-4765556 just tell them that Carlo of Cebu referred you ;)