Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bicol Escapade - Prologue

Flashback to March 2012, exactly 2 years ago, me and my husband were rushing to the airport to catch our Manila to Naga flight. Due to some random unfortunate events, we ended up being late and to make the story short, our little Bicol escapade did not push through. 

March 2014, we found ourselves lining up to a ticket terminal in Araneta Bus Station. Call it trauma or whatever but I decided to take the bus going to Legazpi instead. Why not, we haven't tried that yet! And besides, the one we took was super comfy. I specifically chose Cagsawa Travel and Tour's Royal Elite bus due to its good reputation. Sure there are some with a more affordable price but having Tado's bus accident still fresh on the news, made me a little bit more careful and choosy. 

For 950 Pesos, this ride is not so bad at all. Look how wide their seats are. Leg room is also superb, I even reclined mine in a sleeping position without fearing that the person behind me will kick the back of my seat in annoyance. Each seat has arm and leg rests. And of course, the bus is equipped with WiFi. Manila to Legazpi is a supposed 12-hour ride. We left at 8pm and arrived at 7am. I slept peacefully until sunrise. 

Upon arrival, we walked around to find a good spot to eat breakfast. We found a nice eatery near the sea wall which served authentic local dishes. I am a fan of gata and spicy food so I had a feeling Bicolano dishes and I will get along. I was not wrong. I loved it!

After breakfast, we immediately walked towards RJM Apartelle. It's where we'll stay for 2 nights. It's a very decent yet affordable place which accepts check-ins at any random time of the day. Their 24-hour rate is just 650 Pesos, which is crazy, considering its convenient location and complete amenities. 

We both came with cough and colds and my husband's even feverish. We spent our first day resting, exploring around, eating, watching television and just mustering our strength. 

We observed and talked to locals that day and Bicolanos captured my heart. I think they're my second favorite people in the Philippines now (next to the Kankanaeys). They are very nice and humble people. Kids don't bug tourists around. In fact, we even seemed invisible to them. They're very disciplined too! Did you know that the whole Legazpi City is a smoking-free zone (and spit-free too)? They don't even have a little piece of smoking area somewhere near building exits. Tanods even roam around subdivisions to catch violators. Pretty amazing!

Our next three days were jam-packed with crazy commutes, misadventures and activities. Let me try to squeeze them in the next post! For now I'll leave you with my very first Mayon Volcano sighting whilst still inside the bus. I literally gasped with this one, it was just surreal!

A perfect mountain and a farm - doesn't this remind you of one of your childhood drawings?

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