of Whalesharks, Bicol Express and Wakeboards

09Apr08

4 Days is not enough for one to experience the beauty of the Bicol region.

Travelling alone will cost you 2-4 hours depending on which town you’ll move to. We took the Legaspi route and headed for Donsol. Our reservations were in Casa Bianca, which was 3-4 resorts away from the Tourism Office in Dancalan. Not bad for its price, Php1,700 for an air-conditioned room fitting 5; though I deem it best to not recommend it instead. Hehe. Perhaps the best lesson learned here’s that planning is soooo crucial. Haha! Thanks to Ate Agnes, a local and daughter of Amor Farm Beach Resort’s owner, transfer and itinerary arrangements were made easier.

apr 5, 08breakfast at Amor\'sFood’s cheap and yummy at Amor’s (sobrang media mileage na to!) too, no surprise that the Presidential kids Luli and Datu were staying there. Hehe. Chismis. We sampled their version of Sinigang with Buko (young coconut meat), Kinunot, Laing and adobo. Breakfast was served there too, funny that they label hotdogs as sausages. Hehe. Banana pancakes anyone?

Registration and a 10 minute orientation at the Tourism office will prepare you for the whaleshark encounter. Our BIO (butanding interaction officer) was the best! Kuya Apollo carries a whaleshark tattoo on his chest, proof that he’s taken the love for these wondrous animals to another level. The tourism also brought livelihood to this otherwise sleepy town. Of course, since it doesn’t involve capturing and disturbing animals, I’m all ok for this trip.

firefly cruiseThe night before our scheduled encounter, we hopped on 2 boats to cruise along Donsol’s river lined with mangroves and palm trees. The sunset-night activity’s perfect for couples… I’m reminded of 2 scenes. 1 is in a Samurai X episode where Kaoru and Kenshin were with flocking(?) fireflies and 2)anaconda! Hahahaha. Ang ganda. Imagine hundreds of twinkling lights, flying, settling on trees and even your arm! You’ll need a high-tech cam with night vision to catch the view.

our BIOsBy 8 am the next day, we were sailing away, watching the seas grow deeper in blue. Until from a little distance, a black formation was moving to the right. Our BIO signaled us to get ready with our flippers and masks. Without any time to back out, he shouts “sa kanan, talon!” (to the right, jump!). The funny thing is that I don’t swim. Haha! If only to save my life, but I’m sure I looked like a poor paddling dog with fins. Heck! I wouldn’t pass the chance to swim with these creatures. We got around with a total of 10 butandings, the largest ones were 9-10 ft. long. They’re sooooo beautiful. The hard work’s been worth it. By hard work, I mean getting kicked by Americans and shoved by Chinese tourists who are chasing after the same whaleshark. Interaction’s limited to 6 per shark but well, that wasn’t the case. Still, that didn’t prevent us from getting as close as less than a foot away from the gentle giants.

After a quick lunch by 11 am, we headed for Gubat, Sorsogon. A plain mistake because it’s a ghost town. We had a ball laughing at how sorry we are for booking the resort that night. The girls ended up sleeping in the same room as the guys’ because we were freaked out. Hahaha! A word of caution lang, the people in smaller towns are not used to tourist, so be more modest in terms of clothing or how you act. It can get uncomfortable, to be honest. But let’s not go there.. I’d rather skip this part and head for the capping stop: CamSur!

Because of the MNC sales skills, we traded our 2 standard rooms for an executive and very exclusive villa and saved ourselves Php4000 more! Villa Del Rey Villas have their own pool. Only one family was staying there so it’s technically ours, haha! The custom bed and zen/Asian inspired interiors of our villa spreads to its personal yard and porch. There’s even an outdoor tub for us to enjoy. Way cool! :p

our own pool!entryporchbedroomtub

Food in CWC (CamSur WaterSports Complex) is reasonable also. Prices similar to Manila’s Dencio’s or Gerry’s. The best part of course is the wakeboarding! But waiiit… since we’re beginners, we have to start with kneeboards first. Sounds wimpy but your body will object. The ge-force left our muscles sore til days after. CamSur’s a good place to stay in too, only 30 minutes away is a white beach and an hour more will lead you to the Caramoan Peninsula. Sadly, it’s closed to the public because Survivor Italy’s using it as their cast-away island. Kewl. By the end of this year, a new lagoon in CWC will open: a bigger one using a speedboat to pull its riders instead of cables.

boardskneeboardingCWC

Okay, so there were some hits and miss but the trip generally rocked!

I have contacts for those of you who’d the same itinerary.

Dali! Whaleshark season’s only until May. If not, CWC’s always a good choice to stay in 😉

Some notes:

-Agnes Amor, Amor Farm Beach Resort- 09176941687

-ask for Kuya Apollo as you BIO J

-Whaleshark interaction- Php3550/boat. Max of 7

-snorkel gear @ Php150/set

-van rentals vary depending on distance, but contact service vans with a route to get a cheaper rate rather than the typical for-hire ones

-Firefly cruise @ Php1100/boat J max of 5 people

-great beaches are in Matnog (tip of Sorsogon), Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte

-For divers, try the Manta Bowl. Jump off is at Donsol too

For more photos, visit my multiply album: http://appsie.multiply.com/photos/album/80/bumi-Bicol_with_the_Hard_Core_

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17 Responses to “of Whalesharks, Bicol Express and Wakeboards”

  1. Wow! Sarap ng vacation! hehehe =D

  2. tapos back to reality bigla dahil sa trabaho. haha! :p

  3. 3 Rob

    Went there last month, biglaang out of town. CWC and Caramoan cramped in two days… CWC is amazing, sad though we never got to try wakeboarding since we arrived late afternoon and had to rest early for our travel to caramoan.

    The journey to caramoan(Gota) took over 5 hours(one way). 2hour by land, 2 hour boat and around 30 mins tricycle. And we have to come back same afternoon as our flight is in legaspi early the following day. It was a great and tiring adventure, one i did not regret but may not want to do again… If your going to caramoan islands, spend a few days and take island hopping(we did best out of 3 hours of stay there thru this).

    We’ll be back in cWC next month, and stay there for just a couple of days, hoping to get another chance at wakeboarding.

    🙂

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