naga – pili – albay leg

finally our bicolandia adventure became a reality last weekend. i was really a bugger to my travel buddies on this for weeks, cos it has started to rain already, and i don’t wanna miss the chance of exploring donsol and experiencing butandings*

in my earlier post, i have mentioned our mishaps of the said trip. but all these are nothing if i’d count all the amazing experiences we had when we saw the majestic mayon, the nostalgic cagsawa ruins, the highly sophisticated wakeboarding paradise cwc, the whimsical fire fly watching and of course the splendid humbling butanding (whaleshark) encounter.

we changed our itinerary and headed first to naga. it was M’s request that we pay visit to the penafrancia image at the cathedral. so there, i was expecting that the image resides in an old grand church but it isn’t. we were told that it was relocated there only few years ago, however its old dwelling is just a few blocks away. but we decided not to go there anymore cos we realized how hungry we were and a mean breakfast meal was the only thing we can think of.

then we visited another church, which i liked more btw. both churches have big and beautifully landscaped gardens to boot. its green gives you the much needed calming fresh air.

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we then proceeded to pili to see its latest attraction – camsur watersports complex. a flagship project of mayor villafuerte. i particularly got interested when i saw their gigantic billboard proudly claiming ‘the best cable park in the world‘. i don’t know about it cos it’s the first time i saw something of that kind. but to host an international wakeboarding competition (too bad we missed this last week), there must be a degree of truth to their claim :p

oh well, i like its overall design, both in space planning and aesthetics points of view. and i like the idea that it’s a wifi free zone ;-) woot!woot! was thinking of wakeboarding, but my fancy (now i think it’s so silly of me) over an oh-so-hunky bloke – whom i eventually found out to be paulo paraiso (actor/model) made me just lounge on the side and watch the wakeboarders/kneeboarders instead. hahaha! so showbiz of me! pero promise i never thought he’s that hottie in person :-)

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an hour and a quarter after we left pili, we’re in daraga. cagsawa ruins is another must-see and we spent our late afternoon there just staring at the majestic volcano and the ruins. we climbed the tower and sat on its window facing mayon. it felt good sitting there, whilst sun is peeking through the clouds covering the cone’s tip. up there, all my cares seem to have vanished. how i wish to have the same view…same air…same peace in manila. but it came to me in an epiphany that the very calmness i’m savouring is the very result of a tragic death of almost 500 people and hundreds more missing on top of millions worth of properties and crops that were wiped out by the supertyphoon reming, and the eventual mudslide of volcanic ash and boulders of the then active mayon. *sigh*

it then made me admire bicolanos for their resiliency. bicol is the most badly damaged in 2006, but only a little over 6 months, there they are seemingly unscathed and can even afford to smile to tourists who visit their place. sure there are still some broken roads, some families still living in relief areas and some wooden crosses planted randomly on the field (signifying that on that spot a person was buried alive of the mudslide) but apart from these, bicolanos have slowly risen up and is now restoring their lives.

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haaay! galing talaga ng pinoy! kakabilib! an expat friend J in thailand once told me, we are known to be the most resilient people of asia, we can be bended but we’re never broken. wow naman!

so there next stop: donsol

i’ll post it though separately as donsol is in itself a totally different adventure!!!

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7 Responses to “naga – pili – albay leg”


  1. 1 e-rod 7 June, 2007 at 2:53 am

    hey banggi. i’m enjoying following your vacation. keep ’em coming. i’m just kinda traveling vicariously through your adventures, since i’m stuck here for the moment.

  2. 2 e-rod 7 June, 2007 at 2:57 am

    hmm… don’t remember if i posted already. anyway, enjoying following your adventures here. keep ’em coming.

  3. 3 hitme64 7 June, 2007 at 9:37 am

    very nice travelogue bang…and very nice pics to boot…now show us your swimming with the butandings pics…hehehe

  4. 4 banggigay 7 June, 2007 at 11:13 am

    e-rod, thats what i do too. if i wanna be acquainted with a place i haven’t been, i just hang-out to my fellow nomads’ page. not that their stories are enough already, but it’s just but right to have a glimpse of the experience until i got some extra moolahs and time to experience it too :-)

    hitme64, tnx po. on photos, will have to wait for the weekend. i just hope, we’re able to get some decent shots. you see, we’re so overwhelmed with the butandings :-)

  5. 5 hitme64 7 June, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    heads up bang…

    I got tagged by Hitme64: “Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about himself or herself. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to tag 6 people as well and list their names. Don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged!”

    btw, jaymie has also tagged you…hehehe

  6. 6 banggigay 7 June, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    oh man! let’s see, if i can summarize it to just 6 :-)

  7. 7 e-rod 8 June, 2007 at 3:15 am

    butanding, butanding, butanding


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