Albay in A Day: ‘Coz there’s More than Just Mayon

When one is set to visit the lovely province of Albay in the Bicol Region, it seems that the foremost sight-seeing, must-see or must-do on their list is to to see the world famous Mt. Mayon. Who wouldn’t want to see that perfect cone shape beauty well-known for it’s destructive grace?  But what if she’s too shy to let you have a peek during your visit?

As one who grew up under Magayon’s magnificent nose, I’ve seen how playful she can be at times. But don’t worry, the less you are keen to see her, the less shy she will be. So while you play pretend that you are not “that” interested in her, what other things can you do or see around Albay?

February 1st, we took off with some Couchsurfer friends to explore Albay’s hidden gems. The experience is both a revelation of new spots and also kind of reconnected us with the places we’ve been to years before. We hopped on a rented van (Php 2500) which could have accommodated 15 but we were only 9 (with two kids) and started our tour at 0900H.

Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga

Been here so many times since my childhood but you can never have the same view twice! Cagsawa Ruins is one of the best places to see how destructive Mt Mayon can be. The kids here will gladly tell you about the historic eruption in 1819 that brought Cagsawa in ruins. There are also plenty of shops in Cagsawa that offer souvenirs and ornamental plants at very affordable prices. Alternatively, you may also try out the ATV ride offered here.

Photo Credits: Bong and Gino


Hoyop Hoyopan Cave, Camalig Albay

According to the guide/storyteller (Php 300/group of 6), Hoyop hoyopan Cave was discovered in 1950’s but it was only in 1970’s during Marcos regime that it was opened. The cave was home to our ancestors, “cavemen” as he claim. The cave actually has three floors or major chambers and only the middle chamber is open to the public. It was cool and breezy like there is wind blowing in at all times and this is also how it got it’s name “Hoyop” means blow.

Photo Credits: Bong and Gino



Kawa – Kawa Nature Park, Ligao City

A hill with a “caldera” of sorts for a crater. “Kawa” is a local term for a wok which is what the hill looks like from afar. It was developed and turned into a destination for pilgrims wanting to do a “Station of the Cross” during Holy Week. It also became famous because of the sunflowers that grow abundantly around it during summer months.

Photo Credits: Bong and Gino


Photo Credits: Bong and Gino


Tip: Try out Bergs Ice Cream while you climb. It is the best dirty ice cream I’ve tasted in my life and having it as company while you struggle with the steep climb will make it a more enjoyable experience. If you are visiting close to meal time, there is a restaurant where you can place your orders before your trip to the cavalry err hill so that they will be ready once you come down.

Mayon Rest House / Mayon Science Center and Planetarium, Tabaco City

Many years ago, Mayon Rest House is a hotel seated four kilometers beneath Mt Mayon’s summit. A major eruption called for it’s closing for several years until the area was left to deteriorate. During our high school years and sometimes after college, I was able to visit Mayon Rest House and reveled in the wonderful view it offered.



This year however, sightseeing at this are was moved indoors because of the rain. The Mayon Science Center and Planetarium has been revived and provided lots of additional information for visitors. The kids we have with us enjoyed looking at the huge photos of the heavenly elements. Teloyskie learned a lot from the posters and photos of different types of volcanoes. Additionally, a film showing inside a small amphitheater showed interesting facts and stories about the beautiful volcano called Mayon.


Vera Falls, Malinao, Albay

We were to set to visit two different falls during this road trip but because it was fast getting dark, we decided to make our last stop at Vera Falls. I’ve written about Vera Falls before and you can read about it here. Upon exiting the road that leads to Mayon Rest House, we traversed Sabluyon Roads towards Malinao, the municipality were Vera Falls is located. When we reached our destination, we all could hear the loud roar of the water. It is more forceful than when we visited last summer- prolly because it just rained hard right before we get there. Teloyskie played around with Choco while our companions took their time taking pictures. And just before the clock strikes 5, we unanimously called it a day and headed back to Legazpi for our dinner.

April 30-May2: Tagaytay/EK Weekend

April 30

After work, me, jane and azi decided to just meet up at Pasat/Taft terminal to catch the bus going to Tagaytay. Our friend Sheng is on vacation here in the Phil. and she wants to bond with the tropa. Sheng comes home for a month’s vacation every year and this year she decided to explore tagaytay and enchanted kingdom with her family and us, her friends.
We arrived late at Olivares and discovered that they are staying at Golden Rooms in Brgy. San Antonio. It was a few minutes drive to the tourist places. I think it very practical to just rent out these types of apartment when you are a big group because it is much cheaper and you are also allowed to cook your meals. The Golden Rooms charge P2500 per night stay on a room with 4 double beds. They also charge 250 for the LPG for the duration of your stay.

May 1 Saturday

Most of us woke up late because we missed each other so much and we had to update each other about the things that happened while Sheng was in Dubai. After lunch, the party decided to visit the people park in the sky (i forgot what the place was called). We started out late so this was the only place we were able to visit on this day. But it was good just spending the time with Sheng and her family.
May 2 Sunday : Enchanted Kingdom

When me and teloy came to this place last year, it was raining badly so were not able to enjoy much. This year, the weather was good, Teloy would have loved to run around the park but this time i don’t have enough budget to take him here. So i just rode all the rides i can.. This is a treat from Sheng and we also got to enjoy ice monster delights and pizza for lunch. The day ended with the party all tired and gas filled from all the screaming and shouting on the rides!
One of the best things in spending time with friends in carnival is the way it brought back the kid in us. It was fun playing around and forgetting all the grown up worries and problems for a while, after this we are all set again to face the challenges of the real world.

Links and Tags: Ten Years Ago?

…I was sweet sixteen!

Thanks to fearywoman for this tag.
Answer these questions. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leave a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What were you doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago, I was a fourth year high school student, excited to see my friends and eager to finish my last year in high school.

2. What are 5 things on your to-do list today?
Finish my political and administrative biography, post at my money making sites, check GT, submit my papers at NCPAG and cook penne for dinner tonight. =)

3. Snacks I enjoy
mac or potato salad, ham sandwich, cookies – oreo, chips.

4. Places I’ve lived
i’ve lived most of my life in Daraga, Albay thats for 23 years, lived in Naga City and Pili Camarines Sur for a while because of my job. then finally here in Manila for more than 2 years now.

5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire
i don’t know, buy houses in different parts of the world – bahamas, paris, hawaii, us(florida, calif, new york and texas) and uk… build hospitals and schools, invest in hotel and housing business, buy agricultural lands (hacienda and ranch).

6. People I want to know more aboutpatrick dempsey, keanu reeves, john daniels.

Okay, that was fun. Now, I’m tagging… twnx, natsie, cara, yhen, badz and jason.

My 26th on the 26th

the first birthday i celebrated here in manila was a day of distress. the morning sickness (which usually happens in the afternoon) started attacking me by noon. i was able to file for my SPL(special privilege leave) even when I had just started working on the 18th. i was hoping to have a day of rest and relaxation, being broke and problematic bout my current situation, I had no interest in any suggested activities by my cousin-malling (alone, hmm no way! baka dun pa ko mahilo!), eating out (then just throw up minutes after eating?)… it all turned out okay anyway, thanks to… =)

my 25th birthday last year was way better than the last one. my took time off to visit my son earlier in april. he was just 5 months then, a wide eyed baby.. with non-stop kicking legs and rattling hands.. he was eager to taste solids then, and had started with his walker. babies grow real fast.

and a few days after my birthday we celebrated it at my roslee’s place. its a happy happy birthday for me! i even got one of my wishes for my birthday, a new pair of shoes!

no wonder i’m spoiled!

a few more hours from now, i’m celebrating another burpday.. hmmmmmm… its nothing to look forward to this time, im broke but im sure i’d get along fine. broke as i am right now, i still feel blessed with a wonderful baby boy, a thriving career that’s giving a lot of opportunities to expand my horizons, friends who spoils me a lot(and soon will also be spoiling my son), a family that accepts me and welcomes me back each time I fall down even crushing their hopes and expectations. He has given me everything I prayed for, and there’s a lot I am thankful for. Another year of blessings is coming, for me and my son, and I sure gonna make the most out of it.

ninong taz’s birthday!

Teloy with jane and the celebrant, ninong taz. happy family! =)

There were no plans for his birthday and said he would just spend his birthday at home. Jane wanted to surprise him though and had already ordered a cake from Joa’s mom, and with Taz’s sister Jing’s help made Taz stay put at home. On that day, Jane texted me that we’d just meet up at Roslee’s place before going to Pawa.
I had take Teloy with us coz his yaya (his 5th in 2 months) decided to resign.. hehe! Joa, Pam and Niben also arrived at Roslee’s.
Jing later told us that their whole family knew of the plan to surprise Taz. Even his dad connived with plan and wouldn’t let Taz leave thinking of reasons such as they’d be attending mass and not mentioning that the mass would still be hours away (10:00PM, we were at their house at 4:00PM). =)

A History of Friendship

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kulang kulang 9 na taon na ang nakakaraan ng unang narining ko ang inyong mga pangalan. dahil sa kayo’y kaibigan ng aking kaibigan, narapat lamang na tayo’y magaka kilakilala. isang maliit na tropa ng magakakaibigang may totoong malasakit sa bawat isa ang naging kabuuan.

kulang kulang 9 na taon na ng mundo nati’y nagulo. sanlibo’t isang kalokohan, kwentuhan, problema, at tawanan ang ating pinagdaanan. Nakita natin sa bawat isa ang hirap, saya at pag ibig na atin kanya kanyang narasanan. bawat problema, walang nag iwan, bawat saya, sama sama. sa ngalan ng pag-ibig? nandyan ang walang kamatayang asaran at kantyawan.

nakita natin bawat pagbabago at pag “mature” (kung nagmature nga) ng bawat isa. mula sa pagiging mapang asar at kawalan ng direksyon ng buhay, naging seryoso at determinado sa pag abot ng kanya kanyang pangarap.

natatandaan nyo pa ba? anong ingay ang nagagawa ng mga nene at totoy na pinagsama sama? may mga mapanuring tingin dahil sa di nila maintindihan ang ating tropa?

naalala nyo pa ba? walang katapusang kwentuhan habang wala ring kaubusan ang ating redhorse? kaya nga nagkaganyan mga tiyan nyo di ba? sa bawat okasyon, simple man o kahit pa walang kwenta, nagiging dahilan para mag usap usap, magkwentuhan at magkaroon ng pagkakataon para maharap harap sa ilang bote ng beer.

noong hawak pa natin ang ating oras at pag aaral lamang ang tanging pinagkakaabalahan? bawat bakasyon sigurado na naman ang swimming at jamming sa amater. kelan kaya mangyayari ulit yun? ngayong may kanya kanya ng buhay at trabaho, may pagkakataon pa kaya gawin ulit ito?

nakakamiss. sana kahit anong problema at pagsubok pa pagdaanan natin, mas maging matatag sana ang ating samahan. wag makakalimutan ang ating mga pinagdaanan. dahil dito mas naging matatag ako. salamat, alam ko kahit anong mangyari nandyan kayo.