Brankolei Pizza Italian Vero

It was the day we’re about to leave Daet and go back home to Albay but since my colleague still has a meeting to attend, I decided to meet up with my friend from college first.

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The guys from my office were raving about the pizza place that is owned presumably by an Italian so according to them, the food there is something I should try. I eagerly contacted her and set up a short meet-up for brunch. After getting lost in downtown Daet trying to look for the elusive “Allaga” which was in fact found at every nook and alley. She finally decided to meet me at Jolibee along Bagasbas Road and we started walking towards David St. The corner has a furniture shop and Brankolei is housed in an orange building (or was it red?) at the back of this furniture shop.

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At 10:00Am the pizza house is just opening up for the business day. We requested seating at the second floor for more comfort and privacy, plus it has air conditioning. We had the place to ourselves so we started taking pictures. According to my friend Myra, her agency uses this place for meetings that is why the waitress knows her already.

I first ordered the “Daet on the Go” pizza which was highlighted one of the tarps in the room but the waitress said they no longer serve this because it has seasonal ingredients that they do not have in storage.

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So I went for their “Daet Overload” instead. Myra also recommended their Bolognese and the Tiramisu Ice Cream for dessert. Their menu is filled with mouth-watering varieties so I couldn’t help but order two more pasta dishes for take out.

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Our pizza must be one of the best ones I’ve tried in my entire life (n0 exaggerations here!). It was just the way I liked it, thin crust, crunchy without going flaky or oily. For toppings, it has ham, beef bits, olives, bell pepper, pineapple and corn kernels! Every bite is heaven!

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My friend’s reco on the other hand was just okay. But the real deal here is their super affordable price! Teloy and I also enjoyed my take out from Brankolei – another Bolognese and some 3-Cheeze Pasta!.

 

Where to Eat in Daet, Camarines Norte

Daet has recently been awarded as one of the most promising municipalities in the country. When in town, you can’t help but notice all the bustling activity going on around you. The market, the stores, businesses… yes this place does  seem to be making it’s mark in the economic zone. But really, Daet has slowly emerged from it’s sleep mode when a growing number of tourists and travelers flocked town on their way to Calaguas Island.

Bagasbas beach which is also a part of Daet also made itself known by drawing in surf enthusiasts not only from around the Philippines but from around the world too! It’s no wonder, several food joints have popped out to satisfy cravings of different tastes.

Catherine’s +Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort

Teloyskie and I first visited Camarines Norte for a group tour of Calaguas Island. The fee covered for everything we needed on the island. Upon returning to Daet, we were encouraged to try surfing in Bagasbas and sample the treats at Catherine’s, a restaurant inside the Bagasbas Lighthouse Resort. There we tried their smoothies which are soo yummy and got that double thumbs up mark from the tot.

Earl’s Burger (Bagasbas Beach and Brgy 1)

Recently, I was able to visit Daet once again but this time it was for some seminar that I had to attend. My co-workers based in the area suggested I try out the best burger in town – Earl’s. They had two branches – one in Brgy 1 and the other in Bagasbas Beach. They took us to the one in Bagasbas Beach and I was warned about the ambiance of the food joint. Yep, it looks like a drinking den of some sort. It was dark and everything was rickety or improvised. Tables and chairs are from beer and soda cases, lights were those yellow/orange incandescent. But the food… the food.. are just awesome. (Well the two we’ve ordered anyway!) If I get another invite from this side of the region, I’m sure I’ll be dropping by the other Earl’s branch in town and sample more of their mouthwatering delights.

Brankolei Pizza Italian Vero (David St., Daet)

Here’s another delicious discovery I had during my recent visit in Daet. One of my high school friends is assigned here in Camarines Norte and I decided to contact her while I am still in town. I asked her to take me to the pizza house my co-workers are talking about. So after getting lost finding Allaga and the “furniture” shop, my friend finally decided to meet me near Jollibee Sentro. Brankolei Pizza Italian Vero is actually located in David St. Daet. I think this food joint deserves it’s own blog post!

Other talked about food places in Daet include KSarap and Mario’s (I’m not sure but I know the place’s name starts with the letter M!)

Bagasbas Beach Surfing and the Bagasbas Lighthouse Beach Resort

This is part 2 of mommy and Teloyskie’s first ever backpacking experience together in the Bicol Region. We first explored Calaguas Island before coming to Bagasbas.

Soon as we landed in Vinzon’s port, our group boarded 2 tricycles and headed to Bagasbas. I was really very excited to see the waves here and boy they did not fail me! I’m no pro at surfing but the big waves in Bagasbas seem to call on to me, I got goosebumps just looking at the continuous waves coming in, but our tummies got the better of us and we started the search for food.

We wanted somewhere we can rest and rinse, but the establishment lining the stretch of Bagasbas beach disappointed us a bit. They were more like beerhouses and bars, so we settled for the pricey-looking Catherine’s  in Bagasbas Lighthouse Beach Resort.

The resort itself looked comfortable with a pool area, restaurant kiosks, kiddie jungle play area and coffee shop/bar. The shower area was open even for us diners and we asked if we can leave our stuff in the kiosk while we find surf instructors since the resort can’t provide for us. We had a hearty bicolano lunch and yummy milkshakes before heading down to the beach and finding surf instructors.

Except for Teloyskie who is still quite terrified of the waves and the water, the whole group enjoyed being pushed and splashed on by the waves. Teloyskie kept playing with the camera and behold, there’s no one single shot of mommy’s wave riding spree!!

A Dip in Calaguas Turquoise Waters: A First of Many

It’s been a month since Teloyskie moved in with me and we started living a sedentary life. He got summer school and photography workshop for the whole month of April, while mom worked at the adjustment required from a mom. Our world then revolved around one another, his summer classes, mum’s office, adventure time and hotdogs.

Outings were limited to malls, cafes and fast foods until that one fateful invitation – are you going to Calaguas with us? You and Teloyskie?

That fateful day came like a breathe of fresh air. I left the office at noon that Friday. Hurried home and packed my stuff, I was anxious at the getting good seats in the van from Daraga going to Naga and from Naga to Daet, Camarines Norte.

This is my first time to go traipsing with Teloyskie in a place we both don’t know and I thought it would be that easy. Sitting in the jump seat of a cramped van with my kid on my lap and his pack on his lap, my only though was…

“how in the world can they do this and make it all look so flawlessly easy?”

After more or less 5 hours of land travel, we arrived at our destination for the night – Daet, Camarines Norte. We stayed in Pink Diamond Hotel and explored downtown that night. The hotel is more like an apartelle, it has crappy internet connection and cable but it sufficed. Come morning we’ll be off to Calaguas!

We met with our companions at 6AM in Jolibee Daet-Bayan and soon found ourselves in a jeepney bound for Vinzon’s port.

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yawn… are we there yet?
Teloyskie was soo cool about everything and never did he complain about the 2 hour boat travel to Calaguas nor the oversized life jacket that swallowed him whole. He just ate, slept, looked around, slept and woke up when we arrive at our destination.

A Blue so Blue

Ate and I cannot find the exact words to describe the blue, the aquamarine, no the turquoise waters of Calaguas. It was so darn beautiful for words and Teloyskie turned to the temperate clear blue waters at once!

The long stretch of creamy white sand reminded me of Boracay Island. It was so powdery soft that you wouldn’t feel stones poking your soles when you walk around. The only issue we had was it was HOT! It was considered peak season for Calaguas beach camping thus the limited trees on the beach was surrounded with tents wishing for shade. The water was dotted with lots of service boats obscuring what could have been gorgeous view of beach.

There was a multitude of beach combers and the island was full of activity. I suddenly felt a pang of nostalgia for the true blue beach camping experience I had in Anawangin and Nagsasa were you can count the campers in your hands and you prepare all your food from scratch (or from the can/pouch). But that would have been an experience with a capital E for one with tot that keeps vanishing from sight every 10 minutes or so.

Teloyskie spent most of his time playing in the water in the morning, after lunch I successfully convinced him to rest and take a nap for him to re-charge and have more energy for more playing the afternoon. At sundown, asked one local to get us some water for rinsing at P10 per balde. After dinner, we settled down and prepared to sleep. Teloy still is reluctant to do so and make incredulous comments just to irk mommy. I know he’s enjoying this activity and I can see that he’s taking backpacking like a duck to water.

Woke up from a comfortable sleep and settled outside our tent to admire Calaguas at sunrise. My little lion still sleep soundly in the tent, but soon he stirred and stretched. And while he was stretching, he said “Mommy, I’m gonna swim…” so we did.

After brekkie, we spent all our remaining time down the waters and baking “siopaos” and “siomais” in the sand. And even when we are about to leave, ate and I still can’t find the blue that is Calaguas.

Our Calaguas experience was made oh-so-convenient by a local tour operator. Andy and Rocky of Calaguaslocal.com made sure that each and every one of their guest enjoyed Calaguas.

My little backpacker even had the privilege of occupying the “top deck” of the boat to and fro the island.