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September 28, 2013

Galeria de Cagsawa - A Museum of Mt. Mayon's History

We always visit Cagsawa Ruins everytime we were in Bicol. We buy Bicolano products here especially bags made from abaca. While roaming and canvassing for cheaper bags, we saw this structure called Galeria de Cagsawa.

Here you can find the history of Bicol and Mt. Mayon through art drawings and photographs.

There is an entrance fee of Php20.00

There is also a garden just beside it but it's still under construction.

September 26, 2013

Where to Stay in Camarines Sur: Villa del Rey Wood Cabins

For the 4th time, we slept comfortably at Villa del Rey. This time, we had the wood cabins. 
On our previous trips, we already tried the containers and the cabanas. This year, dahil hindi ako kaagad nakapagpa-reserve, small wood cabins na lang ang hindi fully booked. Good thing, may nakuha pa ako, knowing it's hard to have an accommodation in Camarines Sur during the Penafrancia Festival.

The small wood cabin is good for 2 person and cost Php 1,350.00. Additional Php500 for extra person. It has a small balcony, a living room with aircon and sofa bed, cable tv, hot & cold shower, and a room with own aircon.

Compare to the beds in the Container and Cabanas, mas malambot at comfortable ang bed sa wood cabin. Mas malamig din ang aircon at mukhang mas well-maintain ng mga staffs. I heard, the same day na nagstay kami, nandoon din si Kim Chiu staying in one of the wood cabins.
Mas mura talaga ang accommodation sa Villa del Rey compared sa mga hotels/inn sa Naga proper. Hotels in the city charged double during the Penafrancia festival. So, if you plan to attend the Penafrancia Festival, better booked at CWC Villa del Rey para makatipid.

September 25, 2013

Family Road Trip to Naga City

For over six years of visiting the Bicol region, I always sleep during the 10-12 hour long drive. But this time, I tried to stay awake but to no avail, I still slept. But I know the towns we were passing along our journey to Bicolandia. 

We left Santa Rita at around 6pm of September 20 and reached Naga City at around 6am. This 12 hour journey comes with stop over to pee and eat our packed dinner.
from google map

From Manila, we took South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exited at Sto. Tomas, Batangas via Star Tollway.

We passed by the following towns:

  • Sto. Tomas, Batangas
  • Alaminos, Laguna
  • San Pablo, Laguna
We took the diversion road to bypass the town proper of Tiaong, Quezon

Then the towns of:

  • Candelaria, Quezon
  • Sariaya, Quezon 
  •  Lucena, Quezon 
  •  Pagbilao, Quezon
Upon reaching the town of Atimonan, we took the famous Bitukang Manok or the Old Zigzag Road. This is also known as Quezon National Forest Park. You have to be an experienced driver if you plan to take this road especially at night time. These roads are known for its deep steep ravines. But there are volunteers traffic aides to assist the motorist and it’s up to you to give coins to show your appreciation. If you don’t want to take the Bitukang Manok, follow the buses and big trucks as they will pass the New Zigzag Road.

Then the towns of: 
  • Plaridel, Quezon
  • Gumaca, Quezon
  • Calauag, Quezon
  • Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte
Upon reaching Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte, we took the Rolando R. Andaya Hiway or the Quirino Hiway to reach Camarines Sur. This road shortened our travel by 1-2 hours as we bypass the towns in Camarines Norte.

Then the towns of:

  • Tagkawayan, Quezon
  • Del Gallego, Camarines Sur
  • Ragay, Camarines Sur
  • Lupi, Camarines Sur
  • Sipocot, Camarines Sur
  • Libmanan, Camarines Sur
  • Pamplona, Camarines Sur
  • San Fernando, Camarines Sur
  • Milaor, Camarines Sur

At last, Welcome to Naga City!

September 20, 2013

Sinukwan Festival 2013 Schedule

Sinukwan Festival this year is scheduled on November 22-30. Foundation for Lingap Kapampangan Inc. or FLKI (formerly the Save Pampanga Movement) is the organizing committee for the event.

Sinukwan Festival highlights the cultural diversity of Pampanga in form of street dancing, tree planting, dance workshop, beauty contest and cultural shows.

Please see below program of activities.

September 18, 2013

Sidetrip to Donsol Sorsogon

While browsing for pictures in my hardrive, nakita ko ang mga pictures na ito. Nakapunta na pala ako ng Sorsogon! Wala nga lang butanding.

From Legazpi City, it took us almost an hour to reach Donsol, the home of the butanding whale sharks. Dahil isang major tourist attraction ang bayan ng Donsol, sementado na ang daan.

We reach the Donsol tourist center. Walang tao. Napakatahimik ng lugar. Maririnig mo lang ang hampas ng alon sa dagat.

Then may sumilip na tao, isang diver sa Bicol Dive Center. Agad naming tinanong kung posible ba na makakita kami ng butanding. Dahil September, wala daw. Every summer sila nagpapakita. Sayang! Ayun at nagpunta na lang kami sa office nila para bumili ng souvenir. 

Ngayon, sa balita, parang unti-unti ng naglalaho ang mga butanding sa Donsol. Siguro dahil na rin sa climate change at sa maling paraan ng pagpapakain ng mga tao. Sana bago dumating yung time na mawala ng tuluyan ang mga butanding sa Donsol ay makapag swimming naman ako kasama nila. Sana rin ay matutong pangalagaan ng mga tao ang likas na yaman ng Donsol.

September 12, 2013

Food Finds: Carabao's Milk Pastillas from Magalang Pampanga

Being dubbed as Culinary Capital of the Philippines, aside from delectable cuisines, Pampanga is also known for sweet delicacies.

One of the famous sweet delicacies is the pastillas made with pure carabao's milk in San Nicolas 1, Magalang Pampanga.


Pabalan Delicacies is known for its delicious pastillas de leche made from 100% pure carabao's milk. They do not use preservatives so better keep them refrigerated. For us, no need to because we finished the whole box full of pastillas in just one seating.

It doesn't end with pastillas. They also offers variety of sweet delicacies like this caramel pastillas.

Puto Seko and nuts

The carabao's milk pastillas was so good, so soft and creamy. They melts in your mouth with just the right amount of sweetness.


Carreon's Sweet & Pastries also sells carabao's milk pastillas. I remember when I was a child, we used to buy meringue here. But unfortunately, they do not have stock when we went to buy. Since there was no meringue available, we just bought pastillas.

Carreon's pastillas is also made from 100% pure carabao's milk. It also melts in your mouth but a little bit rough in texture.

It just a matter of preference which brand do you like. Nevertheless they both taste good. They both sells at P4.00 each so better taste them both to compare.

Both stores are located at Dizon Street, San Nicolas 1 Magalang Pampanga just beside the San Bartolome Parish Church.

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