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Bicol Express Day 2: Larga! Multi-stop over Sorsogon to CamSur



April 26, 2012. 11:30+AM. Pilar Port, Sorsogon
Touchdown Sorsogon!
after 4 hours++
babaan na!


Sorsogon is at the tip of the Bicol Peninsula and faces the island of Samar to the southeast across the San Bernardino Strait and Ticao Island to the southwest. SorsogueƱos is how the people of Sorsogon call themselves. --from Wikipedia
 Famous for Donsol's Whale-shark encounters. :] 

Like the trip to Masbate, this is just a stopover to our main destination - Camarines Sur. 

Since we haven't had a formal meal in over....something hours, we decided to grub on cooked meals over a local diner. Naks! This also would buy us time to map out how to get to CamSur from Sorsogon.

caption this.
We asked the lady servidora for directions, while answering their basic questions - where we came from, where we're heading, why are we doing this..etc. We initially planned to visit some local churches in Sorsogon but this won't fit in our tight schedule. No whale shark watching for us as Donsol's a considerable distance from Pili. Kaya, we decided na dire-diretso na 'to sa jackpot round.

Rommel, a policeman local to Naga but got assigned to Cebu, helped us map our way to Naga.

Option 1: Bus going to Cubao, Manila.
Advantage = No cutting trips as the bus will pass by Naga. Less hassle because we just have to wait 'til we reach Naga.
Disadvantage = A bit longer travel time considering the bus needs to pick up some passengers on the way. Travel time = approx 4 hours.

Option 2: Cutting trip via van [vhire] from Pilar to Daraga, Albay to Naga, CamSur.
Advantage = Lesser travel time. No stop-overs. No passenger pick-up along the way. Cheaper over-all fare.
Disadvantage = We have to cut trips. Hassle.. Over-all travel time = approx 3 hours.

We chose to option 2 because of the travel time and fare. Nevermind the hassle, we already briefed each other regarding this. Hopped on a van across the local diner, then....

Off to Daraga Albay, we go!


Time Check: 12:00PM ++.
Pilar Port, Sorsogon - Daraga Terminal, Albay
Estimated Travel Time: 1++ hour

No pictures. Too busy sleeping. ;]


Time Check: 1:30PM ++.

Touchdown Daraga, Albay!

Near Daraga Terminal, there was this temple that caught my attention - Macho Temple. I would have wanted to explore the place but due to time constraint, I have to drop off what my curiosity begged. 

We wasted no time and hopped on another van to Naga City Terminal.

Time Check: 1:45PM ++.
Daraga Terminal, Albay - Naga City Terminal, CamSur
Estimated Travel Time: 2++ hour


Thanks to Bob Ong's books and Glaire's iPhone [temple run]  for saving my sanity. I can't contain the excitement evident in the picture below.

lol guy in the house, yoh!
Everything is big in Albay. Saw a giant sardine can, soy sause and vinegar bottle. Naisip ko tuloy, baka pwedeng dalahin yon pauwi. Saktong isang buong taon ko na hindi pro-problemahin ang ulam. ehehehe..

hulaan mo anong brand.
Mayon peeked once in awhile. Wondered what it would be like to actually climb it. Can't stop but feel intimidated and at the same time, amazed with its size. It's scary to think that it might blow up any time.  Noon, sa postcard ko lang ito nakikita. Ngayon, abot kamay ko na siya. Ows.:]


April 26, 2012. 04:00++ PM. 
Touchdown Naga City!
after almost 3 hours ++
...aft

The van terminal is right across SM Naga. We took for a quick stop for supplies and dinner then off we go to our next stop.....

..to be continued.




Bicol Express Series:

Bicol Express Day 2: Arya! Dolphin sightings on the way to Sorsogon



Day 2. April 26, 2012. 5:00+AM. Masbate City Port.
Touchdown Masbate City!
after 11++ hours
grabe kung maka-smoke belching tong transasia oh. tsktsk.
Like people on airplanes, this is just our connecting flight. We need to board another boat from Masbate to the next destination - Sorsogon.


Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. It lies at the center of the Philippine archipelago between latitudes 11°43’ north and 123°09’ east and 124°5’ east; bounded on the north by Burias and Ticao Pass, east by San Bernardino Strait, south by the Visayan Sea, and west by the Sibuyan Sea. ---from Wikipedia 


I couldn't say anything much about Masbate as we were there for about an hour and a half. However, I noticed that there were not that many porters harassing passengers huddling over passengers nor that much trashes floating off the waters. It was a peaceful and clean port, I should say. From it, you can get an idea of how calm and easy-breezy the province must have been.

We immediately went to the ticketing office to buy the tickets to Pilar, Sorsogon, only to find out that we missed the first trip. First trips left at 4:00AM and 5:30AM. The next available trips were 11:00AM and 12:30PM. Dismayed, we agreed to just wait for the next trip. While thinking for better options, Riz and Glaire approached one of the vendors to ask for directions. As per the locals, there are numerous big outtriger boats bound for Pilar, Sorsogon. We just need to be by the docking area and wait.

Off we go to the docking area to try our luck. Alas! We noticed people started to swarm in the area. Confirmed! An outtrigger for Pilar is on its way.
..
Glaire candid nga diba? #photofail
'di baleng gutom, 'wag lang mawala ang poise.


Time Check: 6:00AM. Breakfast: Coffee, Boiled Egg, Biscuits. 
Masbate City Port - Pilar, Sorsogon
Estimated Travel Time: 4+ hours


Time Check: 7:00AM
Off to Sorsogon, we go!


crispy lechon skin. #tomjones
I was busy trying to finish the Bob Ong book along the way when I heard people howling, jeering and clapping. To my amazement, there in the horizon were fins raising up and down the water surface. Dolphins!! We saw about 5 sets of dolphins in groups. I was like a child on Christmas, as I couldn't stop talking and laughing with excitement. Pasensya't first time po ng inyong lingkod na makakita ng dolphins. Sobrang naging excited kaya nakalimutang kumuha ng litrato. I was too busy being amazed that I forgot I'm holding a camera! Dang!

Nasobraan kasi sa excitement eh.
They say that it could be rough on some days but today was particularly special. I noticed that the waters were calm. It was like a on a floater in a swimming pool.



The boat ride to Pilar, Sorsogon was itself like a tour. We saw hidden shorelines, stunning rock formations and free scenic view of Masbate's coastal spots.


Somewhere between Masbate and Sorsogon. Anybody knows the name of these islands?

After the dolphin and island showcase, it was all open sea. The girls took that opportunity to take a quick nap to charge up, but gave an assignment. I, on the other hand, though would like some shut eye, decided to just finish my book and enjoyed the ride. With the wind in my face and the sun's warmth on my skin, it was almost perfect. Beer nalang ang kulang. Chill na chill na. lol

staying put. assignment: on the look-out for that something  interesting.
A book, a temple run high score and a few butt action [to fight the numbness] after, we arrived on our stop-over.


..to be continued.


Whacky Notes: [EXPENSES]
Breakfast [coffee, biscuits, junk] - 90.00 / 3 = 30.00
Terminal Fee - 0.00















Bicol Express Day 1: Vamoose! to Camarines Sur, we go!

No, we didn't actually drove up to northern Philippines. For one, I don't know how to drive and two, I don't own a car. :]

The Plan.
Get to Camarines Sur the old fashion way - that is, to travel via boat, bus, v-hire, habal-habal, tricycle, bike, or by foot from Cebu to Camarines Sur in one piece.

It started out as a dream vacation but it ended as a would-be backpacker's adventure. Unanimously, Riz, Glaire and I agreed on this getaway with a special twist - booked a flight one-way only.

Obviously, all us wanted to be in our comfort zone when having a vacation. But what makes it all worth-it are the twists, turns, bumps and bruises we gather on each journey; much more like life.

That's what we aim for - more bruises and insect bites memories we'll have at the end of the trip.
Magutom na ang magutom, madapa na ang lampa, basta walang aayaw. >:]


mandatory traveller shot. #tryinghardbackpacker


Day 1. April 25, 2012. 6:48PM. Tourist Cabin 97. TransAsia Shipping 2. Cebu Port.
Cebu -Masbate City
Estimated Travel Time: 11+ hours
a journey has to start somewhere.

Bound for Masbate City and cramped in my own little bunk amidst 2 other travelers [Riz and Glaire], I write this entry to start off our adventure. We already have an itinerary planned out for us but we're all up for anything that would happen which is not part of our original plan.

We simmer the night with endless chuckles and updates about our personal lives. With a Jollibee Yum Burger [light plugging] on my hand and seeing the two girls catch up,  I couldn't wish for any other place I'd rather be than here. Paranoid as these girls are, we tuck in with our bags right beside us. While they were all busy chatting, I write this entry as an attempt to document this trip.

Both excited and tired, my mind flies off to what things await us tomorrow. I smile at the thought of frantically catching time and rides to arrive in our destination as scheduled. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. :]

Curtains closed. Sleeping bags zipped. Bags secured. I'm all ready for slumber. Goodnight and goodbye Cebu. Hello Masbate-Sorsogon-Camarines Sur tomorrow.

It's going to be a haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......... ZZZzzzzZZZzZZZzZzzz

kung sa tingin mo natutulog ako, pwes, tama ka. :D




Whacky Notes: [EXPENSES]
Taxi to Pier 5 - 200.00
Terminal Fee - 25.00
Boat Fare Cebu-Masbate - 860.00
Dinner. fastfood. - 200.00 /  3pax = 67.00



Whacky Sidetrip: Malapascua Island, Cebu

Malapascua
Photo Bum. ay naku, hindi po yan syokoy.
Malapascua

Malapascua

Because it’s summer and the memories are just waiting to happen, we couldn't let any moments pass. 
Malapascua
sunset en route to Malapascua Island.
After our Kalanggaman Island Hullabaloo, a few of us decided to go on a side trip to the Malapascua Island. Dropped of some of our friends at Maya Port then off we go.

We docked at the northern port of the island near Los Bamboos Resort. A clearing with bermuda grass was perfect for us to camp. Hurriedly, we pitched up our tents and cooked dinner thinking that electricity would cut-off soon just like my first time here. Well, boy, was I wrong! The island has a 24-hour power source!

beach bums meet moutaineers.
The night was full of stories and laughter as we share a drink [or was that one too many?]. I was pleased that my EWIT Mountaineering friends are getting along just well with Riz and my highschool friends. These are victorious moments - when 2 different worlds collide but instead of rumbling thunderstorms, positive energy radiate from each individual contributing to the driving energy of the universe. Bow. I believe that says it. The alcohol has already kicked in. Lights out.

Morning came and oh, was it a joy to hear the sound of waves crashing on the beach-break.

Red Arrow indicates our camp site.
Blue Arrow indicates where we went to swim/beach-bum.

salamat Google sa picture.

Whacky Trivia:
Malapascua Island was formerly known as Brgy Logon, a part of the Municipality of Kandaya [now known as Daanbantayan]. The island's current name is derived from Spanish words, Mala Pascua, meaning Bad Easter. It was said that Spaniards called the island such when they got stranded during Christmas due to bad weather. 
Malapascua

Malapascua
Malapascua
Does this look like misfortune to you?
But the island is far from being an island of misfortune. This island is considered as a diver's haven. Its coral array is a sanctuary of different species of marine life, not too mention the infamous thresher sharks and manta rays. The lush underwater life has given a hundred-fold of fortune not only to fishermen but also locals who are into tourism.

This is my 3rd time in the island so it's nice to know that not much has changed from my last visit. By that, I mean, it has not been corrupted with too much of technology. 

After we huddled and agreed to cook breakfast/lunch by the beach, we hurriedly went to the beach around Brgy Langob, the side facing away from Mainland Cebu. The sand is finer compared to the one where the resorts are situated. 



The long shoreline is crude and modest - that with all the seaweeds lying on the sides. It's a residential area so no caretaker is in-charge to clean it. But the water's still clearer and cleaner than the side facing the mainland.
Malapascua

Malapascua

Like fishes about to dry up, we wasted no time. We got into the water and had our dose of saline fix.
ang dolphin dive ni Osang. Verdict=fail.

mali ka. hindi galit si Ton-ton sa sunblock
iwasang mapansin ang makatindig balahibong paa ng iyong lingkod. 

Traced the shoreline and went to 'Bantigue' where there's rock formation and shade. We spent until around 3PM swimming, snorkeling and basking under the heat of the sun.
Malapascua
Osang emote. 
Malapascua

Malapascua

Malapascua


Malapascua

Malapascua

No freshwater readily available to wash the saline out since we didn't book for any of the neighboring resorts. Instead, we had to activate our puss-in-boots eyes and asked locals to give us a go at their deep wells.

It was indeed another trip to remember. I don't think this is my last time. I have to try diving and snorkeling above the sunken ships and shallow coral reefs. I also forgot to ask our local guide, Angel, to bring us to the light house.

Malapascua


Special thanks to Angel for being our tour guide, contact and host.

The Cast

Whacky thoughts:
Though hiring an outrigger to bring us around the island for snorkeling or touring the island's spots [all in one day] would've given us the ultimate high on this Malapascua trip. I realized that it may not be destined for us to do so. For one, we don't have enough time and two, the idea came up as we were about to leave. I'm glad we didn't. Those missed out sidetrips are the reasons that'll bring us back to Malapascua.


Whacky NOTES:
Budget Breakdown:
Transportation from Maya to Malapascua - 80.00
Transportation from Malapascua to Maya - 100.00
Dinner/Breakfast/Lunch - 150.00
Night Socials - 20.00
Afternoon snacks (swaki) - Free!

How to get to Malapascua Island from Cebu City?

  1. Ride a bus bound for Maya from the North Bus Terminal. The Cebu North Bus Terminal is about a half kilometer from SM City Cebu. The bus stops at Maya port, which is also the drop off point for the outrigger boats bound for Malapascua Island. Estimated Travel time: 4 hours++
  2. From Maya port, take a 30-minute (depending on weather conditions) boat ride to Malapascua Island. 
  3. That's it! You have arrived Malapascua Island. ^________^


How did Whacky Adventures* end up in Malapascua? Read the story here:
















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