Friday, May 25, 2007

Albay & Camarines Norte: More Bicol destinations

On our way back, we passed by Daraga Church and the Cagsawa Ruins, both in Daraga, Albay; and the towns of Daet and Vinzons, Camarines Norte. Our plan was to wake up at 4 a.m. but that didn't work. So we ended up leaving at 6 a.m.

First stop was the great viewpoint of Mayon Volcano along the national highway a few kilometers from the Daraga town proper. You can see the entire town, the church on top of a hill and Mayon as a background. We then proceeded to the Daraga Church to take some photos of the great facade. But we didn't go inside anymore since I knew the interiors were uglified and modernized already.

Our next stop was the Cagsawa Ruins. People have been saying that it was buried further by lahar last year. That is not a bit true. In fact, it was unscathed. Although you'd notice that structures in the park are missing since they were looted after the devastation. Reminds me of the Mount Pinatubo eruption. As people were evacuating, the looters ransacked the entire place. How heartless these Filipinos are, making profits at the expense of a suffering populace.

After a brief breakfast stopover in Ligao City, we started the long drive to Camarines Norte. We finally made it to Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte, in time for lunch. I called up HCS Trustee Melivin Patawaran who is a regular in Daet. What a coincidence since he was on his way there too! He suggested that we eat at Alvino's Pizza in Bagasbas Beach, a popular surfers' haunt. Great suggestion!

Bagasbas Beach in Daet is among the popular surfing areas in the Philippines. Melvin was inviting us to use his long board. But surfing was still later in the afternoon and we had to rush back to Manila. So we had to save surfing for another day.

From Bagasbas, we checked out the very first monument in the Philippines built to honor Jose Rizal. It was on December 30, 1898 that the people of Daet unveiled the Rizal Monument to honor our national hero. From Daet, we drove to Vinzons (formerly Indan) to check out the Vinzons Church and the residence of World War II hero Wenceslao Vinzons, which was declared a National Historical Landmark. Vinzons is popular among UP Diliman students since the student center is named Vinzons Hall.

We were still quite a distance from Manila so our stopover in Vinzons was the last. We got back in Manila late in the evening. Check out these photos in Multiply.

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