Vera Falls Malinao Albay: Refreshing Summer Destination

A few days before the Holy Week of 2014, our family decided to spend a weekend in Tiwi, Albay. We have a trip coming up so might as well visit the grans while we can. Teloyskie enjoy being in the midst of Lolo Jun’s yard. They have pigs, chickens and dogs running around so even if he’s on his own he never gets bored.

It was early Sunday morning when we thought of exploring Vera Falls in Malinao. We’ve always heard about hiking and trekking to this falls as early as when we were high school. Baba said he’s been here once or twice for a drinking session during his high school or college years but this is going to be the first for me and our little tot.

We gas-up or motorcycle and brought chips right after breakfast and traversed the mountainous road to Brgy Soa, Malinao. The view was astounding as we slowly climb up the sides of Mt. Malinao. The sun is blazing hot but the wind is cool. We passed by travelers or tourist asking for directions to Vera Falls and they were on foot! The road leading to the falls has been improved so we were kinda lucky we don’t need to hike several kilometers to get there.

Vera Falls

It was a long way down but we can hear the loud roar of the water. When we It was a grand sight especially for Teloy. I cannot compare it with the other waterfalls I’ve seen because it has it’s own enchanting beauty. With the sun high up, the pool glisten invitingly. My boys did not require a second invitation to waddle in and enjoy the cold refreshing water.

Teloyskie loved the mini pools and mini water falls that seeped out from the walls and rocks. The two also took their time getting a water massage under one of those low pools. Soon the place is packed with locals and tourist looking for some refreshing treat amid the summer heat.

We decided to go home to Tiwi after a couple of hours. We still haven’t had our lunch and we will still be travelling back to Legazpi. Our little tot seemed to enjoy the place so much that even when he’s already shivering and his lips has turned blue from the cold, he still wants to extend our stay. Our first time (except for Baba) in Vera Falls was quite a refreshing experience. It’s no wonder the place has been talked about since we were in our teens.

Caramoan Chronicles – Matukad Island’s Enigmatic Lagoon

Matukad island boosts one adrenaline pumping activity that other islands in Caramoan do not – discovering the enigmatic lagoon! Soon as we arrived in Matukad the third island on our island hopping itinerary, Kuya Sonny, our guide said that we should go and explore the hidden lagoon. Teloy is left with his companion because he think that my son won’t be able to carry on with the climb (though I think Teloy could have done it easily).

Our guide headed the way and lead us to a rock wall. (My thoughts was: “What? hey that’s a rock wall! Are we going to pass through there and magically come out in another place?”) Then he pointed that we are going up – yep we are going to climb the rocks with jagged edges with all our sweaty palms and soles. The sun was already up and blazing so some of the rocks that we held on to were hot. Thankfully there are sandy spots to cushion our soles as we huffed and puffed our way up then down these jagged edges.

The lagoon is enclosed and kept hidden behind walls of sharp and pointed rocks. We needed to climb a few steps finding stable footing to see the enchanted Milkfish living in the lagoon. According to Kuya Sonny, no body knows how these fishes came to the area and how they grew so big – approximately six kilos at the moment. Also according to our guide, there used to be two Milkfishes in the lagoon, but a local speared one of them and fed it to his family, then they all died the following day. And because of this event, the Milkfish was considered to be enchanted and no one else dared harm the remaining fish in the lagoon.

Aside from this enchanted tale, this lagoon also boasts some of the most breathtaking views of Matukad beach and the surrounding Caramoan islands. We would have stayed longer on the top of the lagoon but we soon worried about Teloyskie who might be throwing fits for being left out of the adventure. So we hurriedly climbed down and enjoyed our time at Matukad Beach.

Sorsogon Road Trip: Bulusan

From Barcelona, jeepneys bound for Gubat and Bulusan pass by just in front of St. Joseph Church, one of the oldest churches in Bicol Region. Our little group wrapped it up and readied ourselves for the next leg of our day trip – Bulusan.

Bulusan is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines – Mt Bulusan and this is our next destination for this day. We arrived at Bulusan town proper and while it is still early, we looked for a place where we can get our brunch. After a hearty meal, we took a tricycle that will take us to Bulusan National Park.

I’ve been here many years ago, I was around 10 years old back then and I was able to go around the lake with my friends without us knowing where it was leading us. We registered and soon started our trek. We felt really proud that Teloy is comfortable with the surrounding vegetation and never complained about the long walk. There were several rest area around the lake but most of them were already in ruins. Me and Baba couldn’t help but compare tourism efforts in other places we have visited.

Still, Bulusan Lake is enchanting and charming than ever. I remembered seeing shrimp swimming near the rocks and there are still plenty of them even today. The place was very peaceful and all you can hear are the sounds of the wind and the birds. We passed by one or two men quietly fishing as if they too hesitate in breaking the calm. You see green everywhere you look, there’s lush green forests that surrounds an emerald green waters. It looked so deep, you’d feel kinda creepy sometimes when you try to imagine what creatures might be lurking underneath!

We arrived back at the entrance and rested for a while. I appreciate the new additions that the management are trying to introduce though the park’s upkeep still lacks a bit. There are kayaks and other water vehicle you can try out to explore the lake. They also offer climb packages for those interest to scale the mysterious Bulusan Volcano.

The trek was tiring, but we still have one more destination for this day trip and it’s going to be a wonderful, soothing and relaxing end to this roughly planned trip.