Majestic Mayon Volcano, Food and Sights Tripping When You’re in Albay

My family originally hails from Bicol, specifically in Camarines Norte. My father is from Daet, while mom was born in Jose Panganiban. Every trip back home is dearly cherished because for me, home is where the heart will always be.

I also advise my travelling friends to come and visit Albay province because of our majestic Mayon Volcano. I ran out of words on how to describe its unique beauty and sheer dominance of the province the very first time I saw it many years back. It’s also true that every angle wherever you go Mt Mayon looks back at you with wonder!

Albay is one province with many hidden and known beauties, it bears beauty that is pure, basic and grand.  Albay has a certain charm that will sweep you off your feet and bring you to the time that was or give you a majestic feeling that is simply indescribable.  With fifteen  15 municipalities and three 3 cities, Albay bears so many things to see and experience.

Governor Al Francis Bichara was a gracious host as he welcomed us to his place. Hospitality reflected on the people, from the people  and this was reflected by the people of the various local government units (Dept of Tourism and Dept of Agriculture) and that of Human Explore Travel and Tours.  The tour given to us was both informative and time worthy.  Tiring as it may be BUT truly worth every moment. Our gratitude to Ms. Dorothy Colle and her people from the Department of Tourism Provincial Division Region V – Albay, Ms. Che Rebeta of the Provincial Agriculture Department and Ms. Farah Sobremisana – owner partner of Pepperland Hotel.  They truly made our visit such a wonder thru their efforts and time generosity.

Albay is filled with old churches, old craft making, worthy places to go to, old houses, natural beauties and beautiful festivities.  With magnificent places around the majestic Mayon Volcano, if you do a whole 360 tour like the one we did ours, one would get to see this natural wonder in all its beauty.  Try to learn also the story behind this famous volcano and and unconver the Daragang Magayon mystery.

From the ruins of Cagsawa (with a average guest of 150pax per day) to the churches in Camalig, Ligao, Sto. Domingo and Daraga, to the calm Sumlang Lake and the historic Japanese caves in Quituinan Hills, to the traditional way of metal smiting in Tabaco, farms and various beautiful parks and landmarks all over Albay, you will never have a dull moment when you decide to do a full exploration of the province.  It is also filled of noteworthy food places that you could and should try out (story and review in another write-up).  Albay also has spring resorts with water source coming from near the volcano or underneath the ground making it cool or even cold depending on the time of the year – such resort is D’ Hacienda Spring and Nature Resort in Guinobatan, Albay.

For active people, I would highly recommend for you to try out the Japanese tunnels/caves in Quituinan Hills.  The trek is not that stressful but the crawling (should you be adventurous enough) is like having an archeological dig.  For historical buffs, try seeing the various churches of the different municipalities and compare notes in terms of its style and story behind it.  Should you wish to see various craftsmanship of the place, go to Sumlang Lake to see the woven beauties of Albay, the metal smiting of Tabaco, pottery shops in Tiwi and pili delicacy making in Legazpi.  Don’t forget to visit the various farms in the province that show the resiliency of the people as reflected in their farms – some of them are IG worthy too.

Experience Albay and, you get to see this natural beauty in all its grandeur.  With clouds or without, Mayon will surely captivate you may it be morning, noon, mid afternoon or sunset.  With its romantic yet tragic story behind this beauty, you will definitely want to be welcomed by it every time you are in the said province.

So when you are in Bicol here in the Philippines, don’t miss out on Albay in your must see list.
It’s one of those memorable trips that you will cherish and come to over and over.

Make lots of travel memories! ☺☺

 

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My Mom, My Travel Angel

When was the last time you said “Thank You” to someone?

I guess this written post is an overdue tribute in saying Thank You to a special someone in my life.
230834_220761107937357_6274623_nI have always expressed my Thank You’s and gratitude to my beloved Mama in private. And as far back as I can remember, I say it through love letters or small Post It notes then I would sneak it inside her bag, under her plate or even her blouse pocket. Once she finds out, she would always respond and give her feedback by writing me back or throwing me a big, tight Mom hug!

I guess I am more of a Thank You daughter than a saying I Love You person. Well, from time to time I do. But the impact of saying “salamat” is vast and wide and to be specific, I am extending an eternal Thank You to my everdearest Mama when it comes to travel. Because of her, I am able to go, see and enjoy places domestically and internationally. It is true that everytime you travel, appreciating the culture of a new place and territory and it’s people makes it even more exciting!

Mom is the most energetic travel bug and outdoorsy person I have known. Travel is her way of communing and being one with nature. And everytime she goes out of town it’s when she releases tension and stress from work and sometimes from stubborn daughters like me and my sister. Ouch!
29785_129130587100410_225939_nA dedicated and passionate teacher even before I was born, Mom has gone to many out of town provinces thanks to the travel subsidy of their school which they call “Lakbay Aral”. So every summer, she and her co-teachers pick a really good destination and get there. My sister Michelle at times was able to tag along and join her in many wonderful trips to Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, Leyte, Bukidnon, Cebu, Bacolod and even Thailand which was her first ever international trip. And what a memorable trip to Bangkok they had from staying at a great hotel, haggled shopping, riding the “tuk tuk”, food trip galore and being impressed with a 747 boeing plane.

And speaking of airplanes, I came across this “Thank You” video campaign from Air Asia Philippines during my research online for a blog I was doing. The ad was a brief reminder especially this Yuletide season that we must indeed spread gratitude. That we should be grateful to whoever and whatever. Very touching isn’t it? I believe that appreciation be not limited to Christmas, but should be expressed for all time.

So thank you to my travel mate Mom, I was able to enjoy our unforgettable mother-daughter bonding when we went to Beijing, China! Too bad my sister was unable to come along because of work. Climbing the historic Great Wall of China was extra memorable with her and so were our street food tripping, thrift shopping and cold evening walks outside of our hotel. The best international travels we had with my sister were our trips to Hongkong and Singapore where we teased Mom to be the girlfriend of The Merlion because she literally did not want to leave the famous iconic symbol for some weird and strange reason after seeing it upclose. Well, that’s my Mama! ♥ 
29785_129130557100413_5059594_nShe would always remind me to travel when budget allows and to travel while we were still young with family to better appreciate the many wonderful and awesome spots out there waiting to be seen. Speaking of budget during our family travels, she would collect our monthly share of a thousand pesos for like a year or six months depending where our itchy feet would take us. Our ever favorite destinations are Baguio and Boracay and for the latter, we would patiently ride the RoRo bus getting there which takes like 16 hours to do so. But once we have arrived, we kick back and relax and enjoy the best sunsets along the beach in between Stations 1 and 2. Su-weeeeet!!!
sgBut Mama’s ultimate dream travel destination is the Holy Land and visit all the places Our Saviour went to. She dreams of even taking a relaxing cruise with my Dad. Everytime she see Bethlehem on TV or in cable, I would always here her say, “One day I am going to get there by the grace of God.” She never ceased praying.

In the past couple of years, Mama travelled less due to health reasons. She got herself into various medications. Good thing she took a lot of travel videos and would play them from time to time and it made her feel really good. There were so many accumulated clips my sister and I transferred them on CDs coming off the video cam. There are still a lot of short videos left in our cellfones waiting to be relocated.

October of last year I received an exclusive invite to travel down Coron, Palawan aboard a vessel that specializes in going to Tubbataha Reef. I have never been to Palawan before so I excitedly told Mama I am going there with a limited number of media people and the rest would be experienced divers. Mom had been there before but she was opposed to the idea of me joining. Maybe it was the mother instinct in her that she felt something was not good. But after convincing her not once but a few more times, she gave the green light. On the day of my departure for Batangas, I hugged her really tight and informed I shall share all my great Palawan experiences after five days.
196010_209049915775143_4970169_nMom reminds me to always pray especially when travelling. Along the way en route to Batangas Pier she sent me several text reminders and to pray the rosary for safety and guidance to our destination. She’s really a loving and caring mother. And when our group finally arrived in Palawan after two days I was ecstatic and thankful for experiencing this side of paradise. Coron is such a beautiful piece of nature! Makes you want to stay there longer. I took lots of pictures and videos for me to show Mom afterwards.
217252_220761687937299_4761167_nBut for some reason, fate did not allow me to share all my selfies, videos and wonderful and unforgettable adventures of Palawan to her. Mama went to heaven on the day our group arrived back to Batangas en route to Manila. I was crushed…so devastated and emotional to the point of breaking down in big sobs when my sister broke the sad news on the phone. I was in denial she was gone. Moreso, I was away but on my way back to her when she left. I was really looking forward to hugging her and sharing all the stories comparing notes of beautiful Palawan. If only she waited for me much longer…
200152_210758472270954_441294_nThat was more than a year now. It still hurts everytime I would recall that very bittersweet moment. The pain of losing someone you love dearly will never go away. Her personal travel videos are more meaningful and seeing her so happy in them makes more sense now. As family we miss her so much! I still cry a bucket everytime I watch the vids.
11143570_1175819105764881_1294158158339650966_nMy Mom…My Travel Angel has gone to the Holy Land. And tomorrow or later, she’s at Vatican City or on top of the Eiffel Tower or sipping a juice or two by the shoreline of her favorite beach spot in Boracay…

Thank You Mama…for everything… and for the lovely gift of travel which I will continue to do because by visiting and exploring more places, you are very much alive! Love youuuuuu!!! ♥♥

1521537_950154808331313_4890712711350786131_nSo please say and express THANK YOU not later…but now…
ty

Coron Island and Apo Reef Onboard Discovery Palawan

coronI have always wanted to visit the islands of Palawan eversince my Mom and sister had a trip to Puerto Prinsesa many years ago. Thanks to an invite from one of our dear PR associate I was able to uncheck Coron in my travel bucketlist and I spent five days and four nights in paradise!

coron2
Discovery-Palawan1This sturdy boat, Discovery Palawan brought me to Apo Reef Island and Coron and Paradise Island, Palawan.
palawan
11419088_1464393260526451_1156966494_nMore of my stories and adventures here. Check back again real soon! 

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tubbataha-reef And yes! I was able to see a lovely “pawikan” in one of our snorkeling sessions in Apo Reef, Mindoro. Super cuteeeey!

When In Baguio, It’s Got to be Azalea Residences – Part 1

azalea-5azalea-8azalea-7azalea-9AZALEA HOTEL AND RESIDENCES
Baguio City
June 26-28

My travel experience and over the weekend stay in at this Holiday Haven coming up…

 

The Nissan NV350 Drive and Ride Adventure

Fun Van  (3)

The all new Nissan NV350 Urvan
Media Road Test 
Fun Van Adventure 
June 18-19, 2015 
Tagaytay and Pico de Loro

Details coming in a while here… Please stay tuned! ☺☺☺
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La La Laboracay 2014! Love It? Or Hate It?

Heard over at 24 Oras during an xtro spiel of news anchor Mike Enriquiez before a commercial gap is this year’s
jampacked #Laboracay2014 that with so much people there now, one can hardly
see or notice its famous white sand anymore!

Mom and Ilaughed so hard and having been to Boracay before, we can
certainly imagine what Mr. Enriquez was talking about. Despite the holiday
falling on a weekday, most of the peeps have declared themselves absent
from work or duty today. Lucky for those who filed vacation leaves.

According to the report delivered by Pia Guanio, more than 8,000 people were in the
island yesterday May 1 Labor Day holiday. Hu-woooow! One of the biggest gatherings to date!
It was partey-partey left and right in the island graced by of course very notable local celebrities and what-have-you’s.

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