Showing posts with label Camarines Sur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Camarines Sur. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Camarines Sur: Wakeboarding at CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)

Wakeboarding at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) has long been a popular watersports activity in the Bicol Region. From Donsol, Sorsogon, we drove all the way to Pili, Camarines Sur, where CWC is located, right in the compound of the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol.

As soon as we got there, we checked-in at the Villa del Rey Cabanas.

Villa del Rey Dwell Homes at CWC
Villa del Rey Containers at CWC
There are several options for accommodation at CWC, from the high end Villa del Rey Villas (Php6250) and Mansion Suites (from Php2700 to Php5000), to Wood Cabins (from Php2750 to Php3750), Dwell Homes (Php3750) and Cabanas (Php1700), to the lower end Containers (Php1500), Tiki Huts (Php1100) and EcoVillage (as low as Php350).

Since it was getting dark, we went straight to CWC Cable Park to start wakeboarding. There are several options for everyone's wakeboarding capabilities, including a beginners cable for first timers, and a cable where many pros from around the world train, owing the the great facilities and very affordable rates.

Rates begin at Php125 for the hourly rate during the day, and Php175 at night. There is also a half day rate of Php370 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 to 5 p.m.), whole day rate of Php610 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and night rate of Php500 (5 to 9 p.m.). Equipment rental (lifevest and helmet) is Php40 per hour, Php90 half day or Php140 whole day with a Php500 deposit.

I tried wakeboarding at the beginner's cable. And after an hour trying, I'm definitely sure I'll the leave the pro cables to the pros for now!

How to get to CWC
Take a flight to Naga Airport which is actually in Pili, Camarines Sur and take public transportation from them. Or you can take a bus to Pili and get off right at the gate of the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol.

More photos of Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur in the Ivan About Town FB page.

Thank you to Director Verna Buensuceso and Christie Navarro of the Department of Tourism Team Europe for arranging the trip of Nellie Huang and Alberto Molero of to Bicol! Thank you also to Director Maria Ravanilla and Amy Detera of Department of Tourism Bicol Region, and Donsol EcoTour for their valuable assistance and warm hospitality!

Camsur Watersports Complex
Provincial Capitol Complex
Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur
Contact Number: (054) 477 3344 / (054) 477 3349
Fax Number: +63(54) 477-3347
Mobile number: +(63) 917 8954156 or +(63) 999 8893697

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Camarines Sur: River cruise on the Bicol River

The Bicol River is the eight largest river system in the Philippines. We were invited by the owner of Steady Eddie Dive Center (a family friend of my host) for a river cruise on the Bicol River using his private speedboat.

So after watching the Peñafrancia festivities and resting a bit, we drove to the town of Camaligan where his port is located. The boat is actually used for his diving tours since the Bicol River drains all the way to San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

It was a relaxing trip and we were afforded really nice views of Mount Isarog and Mount Iriga (Asog) and the surrounding countryside. Aside from munching on boiled peanuts and downing a can of beer, I actually was able to take a nap which was a good thing since I lacked some decent sleep. Since we didn't have much time, we weren't able to cruise all the way to San Miguel Bay. But it was an experience nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Camarines Sur: Peñafrancia Military Parade & festivities at the Naga Cathedral

The day before the Peñafrancia Fluvial Procession, a Military Parade is held around downtown Naga City to honor Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Participants of the Military Parade include C.A.T. and R.O.T.C. units from the different high schools, colleges and universities of the Bicol Region.

I didn't expect to see over a hundred contingents in the parade which lasted over five hours! Each contingent was led by its cadet officers followed by a bevy of majorettes and a marching band. Then at the end are at least two platoons of cadets, one male and one female, in very colorful and snappy uniforms! I most definitely enjoyed the pomp and pageantry of the Peñafrancia Military Parade.

There were so many contingents, we decided not to finish watching the entire parade since the heat started to get unbearable. I could imagine what these young students had to endure to participate in this parade.

From Rizal Park, where we spent the whole morning watching the parade go by, we proceeded to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to see what was going on there. The image of Our Lady of Peñafrañcia was currently enshrined in the main altar of the Cathedral. After the Translacion Procession transfers the image of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Divino Rostro from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Cathedral, all activities of the festival are centered at the Cathedral.

When we arrived at the Cathedral, a contingent from the Armed Forces of the Philippines had just completed a military drill in the church patio to honor Our Lady of Peñafrancia. After the military drill, students from Ateneo de Naga filled-up the entire patio and performed a dance of praise to Ina.

I noticed the line of devotees who wanted to get close and touch the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia was starting to get really long. In fact, when I returned later in the evening, it stretched all the way to the gates of the Cathedral, testament to the strong devotion of Bicolanos to Ina. In the evening, a band from the AFP held a concert at the patio.

Since this year is the tercentenary of the devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Archdiocese of Nueva Caceres erected a massive arch to commemorate this momentous event. The arch is called the Porta Mariae and is no doubt Naga City's newest landmark.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camarines Sur: Penafrañcia Festival 2010 marks the 300th year of devotion to Our Lady of Penafrañcia

The Penafrañcia Festival is arguably the largest Marian festival in the country gathering thousands of pilgrims from Bicol and all over the country to Naga, Camarines Sur to fulfill their devotion to Our Lady of Penafrañcia or Ina to the Bicolanos.

Penafrañcia Festival 2010 marks the tercentenary or 300th anniversary of the devotion to Our Lady of Penafrañcia which made the celebration bigger and more significant. It was in 1710 that Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias ordered the making of an image of Our Lady of Penafrañcia based on the original one in Spain.

While there are so many religious events and processions held to mark the Penafrañcia Festival, there are three major processions you should not miss. The first is the Translacion Procession where barefooted male voyadores and a sea of devotees ferry the image of Ina and the Divino Rostro from the Penafrañcia Shrine to the Naga Cathedral amid spirited chants of Viva la Virgen! A voyador is a person who helps carry the andas of the images. This four-hour procession is held (always on a Friday) nine days before the Solemnity of Our Lady of Penafrañcia which is celebrated on the third Sunday of September. The day begins with a Penitential Procession from the Penafrañcia Basilica to the Penafrañcia Shrine at 4 a.m. The Translacion Procession leaves the Shrine at about 9 a.m.

Another of the major processions are the three Penitential Dawn Processions which leave the Cathedral at 3:30 a.m. on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the Solemnity of Our Lady of Penafrañcia. The images of Our Lady of Penafrañcia and the Divino Rostro are taken around Naga West, South Downtown and Naga North respectively. I got to attend the last of the Penitential Processions which was held on Saturday, September 18 of this year. I was surprised to see thousands of people up so early in the morning, a testament to the strong devotion of the Bicolanos to Ina.

The first to exit the Naga Cathedral door is the Divino Rostro. As the anda is brought out, devotees would chant Viva el Divino Rostro! This is followed by the anda of the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia which exits the Naga Cathedral amidst cheers of Viva la Virgen! As the procession leaves the church, the church bells are pealed.

Finally, the biggest of the three processions is the Fluvial Procession held the day before the Solemnity. The images of Our Lady of Penafrañcia and the Divino Rostro are returned from the Cathedral to the Basilica on a pagoda via the Naga River. Unfortunately, I missed this one since I had to fly back to Manila in the morning right after the Dawn Procession.

Aside from the religious events, there are civic and military events including a five-hour Military Parade participated in by CAT and ROTC units of over a hundred schools around Bicol which I will talk about in another entry. Experiencing first-hand the massiveness of the festival and fervor of the devotion made me realize the festival is worth returning to next year.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Philippine festivals and other cultural celebrations

Philippine festivals or fiestas are among the most colorful in the world! I recently got to read the book "A Year of Festivals: A Guide to Having the Time of Your Life" published by Lonely Planet. It features the most unique festivals in the world. The first thing I did was to check how many Philippine festivals were featured.

There are five in the book, two of them in San Fernando, Pampanga! The five were the Feast of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo, Manila), Ati-Atihan (Kalibo, Aklan), San Pedro Cutud Crucifixion Rites (San Fernando, Pampanga), MassKara Festival (Bacolod, Negros Occidental) and the Giant Lantern Festival (San Fernando, Pampanga). There should have been more since the Philippines is known to be a country of colorful festivals!

That's what I've been saying about making sure festivals are unique. Festivals that cannot be found elsewhere are those which attract attention. With so many festivals and events flooding the Philippine fiesta calendar, I decided to pick my favorites from the crowd and came up with my own list of unique festivals worth visiting. Most definitely, these festivals have become iconic symbols of the towns and cities where they are held annually.

January 9 | Quiapo, Manila
On this day, the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene is pulled through the streets of Quiapo by male devotees clad in maroon, in an intense mammoth procession. This has been a tradition for over two centuries and some people who have touched the Nazarene during the procession claim that they have been healed of their diseases.


Third weekend of January | Kalibo, Aklan
Held every January to commemorate the feast of the Santo Niño, many consider the Ati-Atihan Festival as the Mother of all Philippine Festivals. Among the wildest, if not the wildest of Philippine fiestas, revelers paint their faces with black soot and wear bright, outlandish costumes as they masquerade and dance in revelry around the streets of Kalibo to the beat of ambulant ethnic troubadours. This is the original street dance fiesta of the country and many of the later street dance festivals in honor of the Santo Niño were inspired by Ati-Atihan.

The origins of the festival are said to date back to the 13th century when a group of Malay datus fleeing Borneo purchased land from the local Ati people. This agreement was commemorated with a celebration, where the datus and their people painted themselves black to honor the Ati people. This was later converted into a religious celebration with the arrival of the Spanish.


Third weekend of January | Cebu City
The Sinulog Festival is one of the grandest, if not the grandest, and most colorful festivals in the Philippines. It is held in honor of the Santo Niño. Just like the other Santo Niño festivals, it features a street parade with participants in bright-colored costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. The day before the parade, a fluvial procession is held in the morning with the image of the Santo Niño carried on a boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City. In the afternoon, a more solemn and larger procession makes its way around Cebu City.


Fourth weekend of January | Iloilo City
Another Santo Niño festival, the Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival held the weekend after Sinulog and Ati-Atihan. The festival is also characterized by street dancing, frenetic stomping of feet to the beat of ambulant ethnic troubadours.

The festival saw its birth in the late 1960s but was just confined to a parish. It was in the 1977 when President Marcos ordered various regions to come up with festivals that would boost tourism that the Dinagyang as we know it today began to take shape. In fact, as a testament to how it has grown and evolved, Dinagyang was voted as the best Tourism Event for 2006, 2007 and 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines.

February | Baguio City
Panagbenga, or the Baguio Flower Festival, is month-long annual flower festival held in Baguio. The first one was organized in 1995. The next year, it was renamed Panagbenga, a Kankanaey term that means "a season of blossoming, a time for flowering." The highlight of this festival is the Floral Float Parade usually held during the last Sunday of February (or first Sunday of March).


April to May | Pakil, Laguna
The Turumba commemorates the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary with seven pistang lupi. The first pistang lupi is held on the Friday before Palm Sunday (the first of two feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and the seventh is done on Pentecost Sunday. During these days, the image of the Nuestra Señora de Dolores de Turumba is borne on an anda and brought around the streets of Pakil in a procession amidst dancing. Other processions are also held aside from the seven pistang lupi, the last being on the third Sunday of September, the second feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin May.

The schedule for 2009 is Unang Lupi (Biyernes de Dolores, April 3), Ika-2 Lupi (Pistang Martes, April 14), Ika-3 Lupi (Pistang Biyatiko, April 20, 21 & 22), Ika-4 Lupi (Pistang Biyernes, May 1), Ika-5 Lupi (Pistang Linggo, May 10), Extra Lupi (Pistang Pakileña, May 12), Ika-6 Lupi (Pistang Pag-akyat, May 22), Ika-7 Lupi (Pistang Pagpanaog, May 31), Ahunan sa Ping-as (May 30), and Domingo de Dolores (September 20).

Good Friday | Marinduque
A pageant of wooden masks called morion, the Moriones Festival is celebrated in the towns of towns of Boac, Mogpog and Gasan. Men are colorfuly garbed and masked as Roman centurions. The festival culminates in the reenactment of the beheading of Longinus.

Good Friday | San Pedro Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga
The San Pedro Cutud Crucifixion Rites is arguably the cultural event most visited by foreign tourists. It's mentioned in almost every guide book about the Philippines. It's actually the center of bloody flagellation practices that happen in Pampanga every Holy Week. The very first crucifixion happened in 1962 as part of a passion play of the barangay. Ever since, more and more penitents followed suit and thus began a cultural practice that went beyond ordinary flagellation.


May 14 | Pulilan, Bulacan
An annual festival held the day before the feast of San Isidro Labrador, it features hundreds of decorated carabaos and colorful floats parading along the streets of Pulilan, a celebration for a bountiful harvest.

May 15 | Lucban, Quezon
An annual celebration to celebrate the feast of San Isidro Labrador and to usher in a bountiful harvest, homes in Lucban are decorated with the town's agricultural products. The most distinct of these decorations is the kiping, a brightly colored rice dough rolled into thin wafers and shaped like leaves. Other decorations include fruits, vegetables, grains and straw hats.

Also visit the Agawan sa Sariaya and Mayohan sa Tayabas the same afternoon in the neighboring towns. The highlight of Mayohan is the famous agawan ng suman in honor of San Isidro Labrador.


May 17 to 19 | Obando, Bulacan
A three-day festival where childless couples, praying that they bear children, do the pandango or "fertility dance" on the streets of Obando as a procession carrying the towns patrons Santa Clara, San Pascual Baylon and the Nuestra Senora de Salambao, makes its way around town.


June 24 | Aliaga, Nueva Ecija
To commemorate the feast of Saint John the Baptist, the people of Brgy. Bibiclat, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, transform themselves into mud people or taong-putik. The ritual, called Pagsa-San Juan, begins at dawn when devotees wear dry banana leaves or vines, smear themselves with mud and walk the streets to ask for alms in the form of candles which are lit at the plaza.


June 24 | Balayan, Batangas
Another celebration to commemorate the feast of Saint John the Baptist, the town of Balayan parades dozens of lechon (roasted pigs) in outlandish costumes. Imagine roasted pigs wearing wigs, sunglasses, hats, and clothes! And just like in any fiesta for San Juan Bautista, expect to get wet!

June 28 to 30 | Apalit, Pampanga
A three-day fluvial festival, the Pampanga River comes alive with gaily decorated motorboats and colorful bancas during the feast of Saint Peter. At the center of the fluvial processions is a lavishly-decorated pagoda mounted on a barge that carries a centuries-old ivory image of Saint Peter which the locals call Apung Iru.

Third Saturday of September | Naga City, Camarines Sur
A festival honoring the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Patroness of the Bicol Region, on the last day of the celebrations, the image is returned to the Basilica in a fluvial procession along the Naga River. The procession is lit by thousands of candles from devotees in boats escorting the image.

Weekend nearest October 19 | Bacolod City
The MassKara Festival is held every October to celebrate the Charter Day of Bacolod City. The festival features carnivals, fairs, and a Mardi Gras-like street parade of costumed and masked dancers. It was first held in 1980 during a period of crisis. The local community decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city is the City of Smiles, in order to pull residents out of the gloomy atmosphere.

Second Sunday of October | Quezon City
The La Naval de Manila is a grand procession held in honor of the Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary) along the streets of Quezon City. Before the destruction of the grand churches of Intramuros during the liberation of Manila, this tradition was held in the walled city. The image is said to be the most lavish and most celebrated Marian image in the country, and is brought around preceded by carrozas of St. Joseph and various Dominican saints.

November 23 | Angono, Rizal
A festival held in honor of San Clemente, it's one big party around the streets of Angono with a loud, rambunctious, and wet & wild Mardi Gras-like parade (it's actually a procession). The procession culminates in a fluvial procession in the Laguna de Bay. Higantes are colorful paper mache giants measuring about ten to twelve feet in height.

Saturday before Christmas Eve | San Fernando, Pampanga
The date of this spectacular festival is a bit confusing but it's usually held the Saturday before Christmas Eve but not too close to it (so that would be sometime between December 15 to 21). The festival features close to a dozen 18-foot lanterns made by competing barangays of San Fernando. Each lantern is fitted with thousands of light bulbs that are controlled manually. The dynamic interplay of lights and color that precisely moves with the rhythm of music is unbelievable! It is because of these giant lanterns and the San Fernando lantern-making industry that the City of San Fernando has been dubbed the Christmas Capital of the Philippines.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Albay & Camarines Sur: Exploring Bicol's Pacific coast

I was on my own today since the heritage sites I was going to visit next were in Camarines Sur, particularly those along the Pacific coast in the southeastern part of the province around Lagonoy Gulf. And I was going to take the road less-traveled, a short cut from Tiwi to Sagñay, Camarines Sur which few people use. It was so remote and rarely used in fact that only one jeep plied the route leaving Tiwi only three times a day at 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

I set the alarm at 4:30 a.m. but I was just too tired so the next thing I knew, the caretaker of the guesthouse was knocking at my door at 5:15 a.m. Good thing I told him I planned to leave early. I took a jeep to the central terminal from outside the guesthouse, that was PHP7.50.
At the terminal, there were FX taxicabs to various towns around Albay, Tiwi included. But after waiting for thirty minutes, still not much passengers and I was worried I would not make it in time for the 9 a.m. departure from Tiwi. So I heeded the advice of one of the dispatchers that I take a bus to Tabaco City where jeeps to Tiwi left regularly. Good thing I did since when I arrived in Tabaco, I was easily led to a jeep to Tiwi.

I made sure I sat on the left side of the bus as it offered the best views of Mayon Volcano. The mountain was nice to me today since there was not a single cloud in sight and I got to see about 180 degrees of it. The ordinary bus to Tabaco from Legazpi was just PHP20. While the jeep from Tabaco to Tiwi was PHP15.50. I arrived in Tiwi at about 8:30 a.m.

The jeep actually goes as far as Tigaon. The cost of the jeep from Tiwi to Sagñay was PHP45 for the approximately one and a half hour ride that took us along a road in surprisingly good condition that zigzagged high up on cliffs that hugged the Pacific coastline of Bicol, offering breathtaking views of the black sand beaches and outlying emerald colored islands. It was a pity I couldn't tell the jeep to stop so that I could take photos.

In Sagñay (pronounced Sangay), I went straight to the church. I was met by a CAT troop complete with a marching band practicing for a parade of sorts. Nice! The church was a little altered outside but still ok. When I got inside, I saw that an upcoming renovation was in the works as seen from the billboard. They plan to make the interior to look like that of the St. Peter's Basilica. We need to educate our priests and parish pastoral councils that Philippine religious art is unique, its elegance in its folksy simplicity.

Sagñay, I took a quick motorbike ride to the next town Tigaon which was PHP15. Nice facade which I heard was funded by a family in the 1930s from money then won in the Sweepstakes. But again, when I got inside, another billboard announcing the need for P10.8 million! The church was also up for renovation.

From the detailed plans, it showed they were going to replace the original clay tiles with granite. That component alone was a million pesos! I didn't see the need to change the flooring. It was an unnecessary and ostentatious expense that would make happy only the contractors and the priest whose whims and caprices were satisfied. Such money which priests extract from the townsfolk through all this fundraising hullabaloo could be used for the real pastoral mission of the Church which is definitely not construction.

I talked to the parish priest but you could see that his mind was set on wasting all that money for the renovations. And to think Tigaon is just a 4th class municipality. Such hypocrisy from the Church if they spend P10.8 million or even more for the renovations. You can contact the St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Tigaon, Camarines Sur at (054) 4523004. Tell the priests there what you think about their plan to spend millions for construction to emulate some church in First World Europe.

From Tigaon, I took a jeep to Goa which was PHP10. Goa had a large church with its courtyard dissected by a road which passed in front of the structure. The original gates and walls were still standing. But there was a permanent concrete structure in the middle of the patio (the one used for the salubong which had four posts each with balconies for angels and a hole at the top for the main angel to be lowered from) blocking the view from the main gate. I would later learn that this was a staple structure for churches in Camarines Sur. The sad part was that some were right smack in front of the church such as in Lagonoy, when they could have been put on the side.

I had lunch in Goa and good thing there was an air-conditioned fastfood joint there. From Goa, I took a bus to Lagonoy. That was PHP8. Along the way, I saw the church in San Jose and decided I would stopover on the way back. As I mentioned, Lagonoy had a very charming church which was constructed amid a backdrop of mountains. The old gates and walls were still standing and it would have been a classic example of the lay-out of colonial churches had it not been for that concrete canopy they constructed right at the gates, in front of the church itself. Again, the inside was renovated! So it was off to San Jose.

Although it was not among the churches suggested to Gemma, I decided to stopover, attracted by the facade. Thus I was so surprised when I entered since it turned out to be the best-preserved of all the churches I visited in the past two days. Inside, I could easily distinguish the smell of age as I marveled at the well-preserved wall and ceiling murals (see photo below) the colors of which reminded so much of Tayabas. The San Jose Church definitely deserves to be declared a national historical landmark at the very least! What a shame if I decided to skip this church entirely!

As I left, a funeral procession was about to enter the church and you could hear the play of the church bells. I remember that the tune played by the bells announced to the public a message, that someone was getting married, that it was fiesta time, that a male or female died and there was a requiem Mass, etc. and each had a particular tune.

From San Jose, I took a bus straight Naga City. It wasn't difficult to board one since they left Lagonoy quite regularly. It costed PHP40. The view along the way was also great since you had Mount Isarog on your right and Mount Iriga (below) on your left. While on the bus, it started to rain which was good since it brought down the temperature.

I arrived in Naga at about 3:30 p.m. and the first thing I did was to purchase a ticket back to Manila. This time I made sure to purchase the Philtranco Gold Service ticket since their executive buses had airline seats and were more spacious. It costs PHP200 more than the regular aircon bus at PHP800 plus PHP6 for insurance. The bus was going to leave at 9 p.m. so just enough time to explore Naga.

When that was done, I took a tricycle from the terminal to the Naga Cathedral which had a large centuries old seminary building right beside it, the Holy Rosary Seminary. The Naga Cathedral was itself monumental. But inside, you could see that the interior had already been renovated, seemingly by the same group which is planning to make St. Peter's Basilicas out of the other Camarines churches. Indeed, St. Peter's is a work of art but we have our own Filipino church art which we must endeavor to preserve. Let's not try to erase what makes us uniquely Filipino.

From the Naga Cathedral, I took another tricycle to the Peñafrancia Shrine. But along the way, I chanced upon the Camarines Sur National High School's Gabaldon building and told the driver to drop me off there instead. I had known from old photos that the old Pampanga High School building had a twin in Naga and finally, I found it! It was quite well-preserved so I immediately texted our friends in Pampanga that we now have a basis for the interior of the old PHS when we restore it since the buildings are close to 100% identical.

From there, I walked to the shrine. A wedding has just finished and the floor was full of rose petals. The original image of Our Lady of Penafrancia was no longer there and had been transferred to a bigger church, the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore a few meters away. Except for the finish of the facade, the church and its convent remained mostly untouched. I noticed the gravestones on the floor had been smoothened out, obviously by the large number of devotees visiting the shrine and there was no longer a trace that a name used to be carved on them. Sad!

From there, it was off to the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore which was another tricycle ride away. This was the second time I visited the church. There was a restaurant in the compound so I decided to have dinner there.

I realized that I had forgotten to visit another site, the monument in downtown Naga dedicated to the Fifteen Martyrs of Bicol. So by the time I got there, it was dark. Nevertheless, I was able to take photos of this elegant monument. They don't make monuments like these nowadays.

It was then back to the station where I decided to wait it out at the airconditioned office of Philtranco. At least I was able to rest.
I got on the bus expecting to get a good night's sleep. But I was rudely awakened somewhere in Tagkawayan, Quezon since we were driving along the worst roads I've ever seen with more potholes than craters on the moon. The rough roads and the zigzagging kept me awake for most of the southern Quezon leg. But I was able to sleep better as we neared Manila since the next thing I knew, the driver was waking me up since we were already in Pasay, and I was the only one left on the bus. It reminded me so much of my trip from Vientiane to Bangkok on executive class as well since I was in still in lalaland when we arrived in Bangkok.

Anyway, until the next trip. Do visit my travel photos at and my heritage photos at since there are more photos of the sites I described in this entry as well as previous ones.

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