Saturday, August 8

Seeing Mayon Volcano in an epic ATV ride

Hi, you!

This has been a productive day with a few hours to spare. I've been able to revamp my closet, finish my laundry, wash the dishes, and clean up my bed. Although I have two things left to do (if I didn't miss anything out that's it) - write a new entry on my blog (which I am doing now) and cleaning up files on my Mac (which really isn't easy after all). Wow, noticed how many times I inserted parentheses in my statements. That is a lot of second voice happening in my mind put in writing.

Anyway, going back to my narrative of our Bicol Tour... Let's re-visit my third day in the region! We traveled back to Legazpi shortly after we had our breakfast and went straight to our ATV meet-up point. It was roughly 30-45 minutes away from the city and practically near the Mayon Volcano.

The ATV was a high! We went for a few rounds of practice and woosh off we go! I tell you, more than the exquisite view from up high and the perfect cone-shaped volcano, the ride was equally fun and exciting. And since my words wouldn't do enough justice... you should see it for yourself through our pictures!

We had a few stop overs along the way like the picture shown above. This was taken at Cagsawa Ruins - it was built in the 17th century but was later on destroyed when the volcano erupted on 1814. From this spot too, you can view the perfectly shaped Mayon Volcano, too bad though it was blocked by clouds when we got there.

We finally reached the peak of the trail. Can't believe we were able to go that far, it was nearly half of the whole height of the volcano! Although on that distance, it was still blocked by the clouds. We were almost weeping when suddenly on the way back...

Tada! The perfect cone of the Mayon finally showed up! It was pretty awesome. There's actually a cute folktale regarding when the Mayon shows up or not and thankfully we were saved. You should definitely ask the tour guides about that folktale, guys. The view was definitely worth the ride. And hello, it obviously gave us a lot of fun, not to mention dirt and ashes too. We finished at around 7 at night, went to the hotel (thanks to the kind hearted kuya's from Bicol Adventure ATV Tour who offered to take us there), straight away showered, and had dinner! Took us 30 minutes each to scrub all that ash but no complaining! It was one of the best things in Bicol, you better not miss it!

Hit me up or drop a comment the next time you go to Bicol and I might be able to give you some useful tips! E-mail: 

Happy travels!


Thursday, August 6

Survivor Island: Caramoan

Hello, I see you again! After exactly three months of no show since the paper works at work have been crazy, I finally decided to catch up on where I left of. Not the lessons I learned on being an overseas Filipino worker though... More of resuming my travel stories only. 

Since the last post was about Day 2 in Boracay and we didn't do much anyway for Day 3, let's go and discover the next place I've been to - the survivor islands of Caramoan in the Bicol Region.

Aside from the best tour guide I've ever experienced, Caramoan is not to disappoint. The travel can be long, presumably also because we hit the wrong airport (Legazpi instead of Naga) and the 2 hours boat ride is sure to put your ass on heat, but no need to worry as the view along the way is almost perf.

The first day was merely spent on traveling to the island but we had a short tour when we arrived which is already at sunset. We went to this exquisite old church which makes a beautiful backdrop and prayer house for the people of Caramoan - St. Michael the Archangel Church.

It was founded in 1619 by Franciscan Missionaries and the church is like a 10-minute walk from our accommodation, the West Peninsula Villas Caramoan. You should check it out if you're planning to stay and have island tours in Caramoan. Kuya Ryan, one of their tour guides was prolly one of the best tour guides that I will and have experienced in my whole life! No exaggeration.

Anyway, we went back to the inn after that to lie down, rest, have dinner, and pretend to play billiards. We gave up eventually and decided to catch up on zzz's...

We went ahead on breakfast the next day and immediately went for island hopping. Be prepared to ride the waves though, I don't know if it was just unusually large when we went there or the boat was small but it was quite scary. I was silently praying and hoping that I get the courage to swim ahead just in case something happens.

Mind you, the travel between islands can be long. Considering we rolled two days tour into one (supposed to be 4 islands each tour), we were able to go to 8 islands in one day. Although forgive me as I will not be able to remember all of them...

First stop, Manlawi Island! Caramoan's ever famous sandbar. I think this one was the farthest that's why we had it first, and oh the water would rise soon if we don't get there in time.

This for me is the best island out of all the islands. Although you would probably argue that every island in Caramoan has something special and unique in it but this one gets me real hard since I have always been a sucker for sandbars.

Proceeding to the next stop... it wasn't really an island. It was also a sort of sandbar but when we arrived the water was already knee length. Nevertheless, the view was exquisite. I could wake up to it every day.

And followed by some water hair tricks...

We swam a bit and since the place for lunch was quite far (30-40 minutes boat ride) we headed for it right away. It was also a gorgeous one! I think the first three were the ones who stole my heart.


The next islands that we visited didn't have decent photos of me and some of it we just dropped by so I wasn't able to take photos. To explain (since it's so abnormal of a travel blogger to not take photos), my bag which carries the camera is inside a plastic bag full of our bags. Since the wave was a bit huge, our tour guide suggested we put all the things inside it. If anything in case.

We visited roughly around 7-8 islands in my count. Each of it was unique and mostly all of it were pretty small. Travel time from one another is a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 40 but all of it was worth it!

Kuya Ryan, he was a cute one - undoubtedly very cool when taking photos, patient with all of our kaartehan and rough linggo, and super protective of his clients. We almost cried when it was time to leave.

There you go, my first day in the Bicol Region. See you tomorrow for my ATV adventure!

Happy travels!