Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Bicol Getaway!

Jojo, Kent, Dru and I flew early last Saturday to Legazpi City for a quick weekend in Bicol. We started having these volcano hiking trips recently and our original plan was to see the Mayon Volcano and hike up if weather permits. This trip fitted into perfect timing since I have been uber stressed these past few days and needed to do something to unwind.

We touched down half-past 8 in the morning in Legazpi Airport. First thing I noticed when I deplaned was a beautiful scene of the volcano and the plane side by side.

We stayed in Hotel Venezia, an experience that I liked so much. I was surprised to see a full service hotel in a city which I find very relaxed and laid-back. The experience is great having the hotel shuttle picked us up from the airport, a junior suite, spread of breakfast and cookies waiting in the room every night after turndown service.

We just settled for about an hour in our room and off we went to Cagsawa Ruins. This is where most of the postcards of Bicol and Mayon Volcano is taken from. The belfry on the right is the only remnant of then a church after the volcano's eruption in 1814.

The cloud is covering the tip of the volcano while we were there. We tried to wait and see if things will get better but, after an hour of waiting, we got tired and decided to leave. This is the best view that we got - the volcano partly covered by the cloud!

As we leave the ruins, we were amazed by this ingenious stick invention being sold outside the park. Rub the companion stick on a stick with propeller in one end, shout "hoy!" and the rotation of the propeller will reverse. We were teached how to "trick" others after we bought a set. Pretty neat!

Mount Mayon is famous for having an almost perfect cone shape (that is if it's not covered with clouds). After lunch and on our way to other places, we stopped by different points when we see the volcano is worth taking a picture of.

the volcano and some other "ruins"

Our next stop was in Busay Falls. However, we just dropped by and didn't stay long because it seems that my companions are allergic to people. argh! peace! :P

We wanted to get to this other falls, which is an hour and a half away. The party got lost on the way and after passing through some unpaved roads, we finally reached Vera Falls. We had to climb down what seems to be a kilometer of steps going down and this scenery greeted us!

It's all worth it! We were the only visitors during that time so we practically had the place for ourselves! A beautiful and serene place to relax and unwind!

I didn't swim, because I didn't expect that we'll be swimming today so I don't have extra clothes with me at that time. Instead I just dipped my feet and legs and focused on taking pictures of the place.

kent, dru and me

The next day we left early for Donsol, Sorsogon to do the "Whaleshark Interaction". The place is about 2 hours away from where we stay. After registering at the local office, we went to board our boat for the activity.

How it works? Basically the guide will circle around the area and spot a whaleshark. If we happen to see one, our motorboat will stop around 20-40 meters away so that we don't disturb them.

Next is that you will have to jump to the water and follow the whaleshark. This is Dru, Kent and Jojo, about to jump to the water.

You will have to swim around 20-40 meters and try to get near a whaleshark after jumping.

This is a picture taken by Jojo underwater. Unfortunately it's hard to get a good picture of the whaleshark.

We had a good number of sightings, so they jumped off the boat and tried to catch up with the shark about 5 times. For the record, I did jump in twice to the water. However I did not succeed and was not able to join them in this activity. I stayed on the boat, watched the whalesharks from aboard, and ate choco chip cookies.

Like all good things, this has to come to an end. We left early today to fly back to Manila and I went straight to a client call. It was a quick trip but it definitely got me recharged and I was back alive and kicking again after having a few days of being down. It was a nice experience considering we only went there for Mayon Volcano and we ended up doing some other great things.


Jasper said...

thanks! i have more pictures in my multiply :)

Lifecruiser said...

I agree with Kerstin, very nice photos. I'd love to be there in reality though :-)

Oh, and you got a very cool jeans blog template here! *thumbs up*

JLaine said...

I love the Mt Mayon pictures! Beautiful!

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Kikey Loo said...

that is a nice place!

p/s: I believe you will have chance to experience beautiful spring. :D
thanks for visiting my blog.

eunice said...

hello Jasper! What a dive with the whaleshark! I never thought we can do that too!!! Is it scary when you see such a humongous creature underwater? I already got a fright when I met a big grouper face to face while snorkeling... it has a very big mouth!!

Jasper said...

thanks JesuLalaine and Kikey Loo!

eunice - nope, the sharks are friendly. they are not like those that eat humans :)

Ian | GoingRoamingWandering said...

i like your travel adventures... Bicol is really such a wonderful place... 'wish to visit it too.

Care for link ex? I'm also into travel blog see mine at

Unknown said...

Woaah... I wanna go to Bicol! Just why can't my friends get their minds on this trip?!~Cagayan de Oro jobs