Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bicolandia: An Invitation

I have never been to Bicol in my entire life. So when my husband was invited to be a ninong (godparent) to a friend's son in Albay, our immediate answer was, YES!

I started researching all the nice places to visit about 1st week of August. Did not really expect that there will be more sights in Albay aside from the Mayon Volcano and the Cagsawa Ruins. Other places to visit are Lignon Hill, Hoyop-hoyopan Cave, Calabidongan Cave, Bacacay Beaches, Busay Falls, Vera Falls, Mayon Resthouse and Pottery in Tiwi. 

My initial plan was to take the Mayon Limited of PNR to get there, but found out later on that the train is only up to Ligao, Albay. This means that we need to drop off at Ligao Station of PNR then transfer to a bus/van that will pass through 3 more cities, Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga before getting to Legazpi City. 

Another thing about the Mayon Limited train is that trips are scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays which leaves 8:30PM at Tutuban. Not a possible option for us since the event we will be attending is on a Friday at 11am. In addition, this would be regular aircon seats, not reclining. I can just imagine my back and ass aching for the duration of the 10-12 hour trip to Legazpi.

Mayon Limited Deluxe

One of my husband's office mate suggested that we take the Bicol Express trip of PNR for comfort's sake. This is one of PNR's newly acquired surplus trains from Japan with Sleeper Coaches. The train leaves Tutuban Station 6:30PM every day. This route of PNR is up to Naga City only, which means we have to get off at PNR Naga Station then transfer to a van/bus bound to Legazpi at Naga Central Terminal. 

Bicol Express Sleeper Coaches

After thorough deliberation of what method of transport we should take, we decided to take the Legazpi bound bus. Reason being, the PNR Bicol Express Train fare is 650php, then the bus/van bound to Legazpi costs roughly 200php. That would total the same amount of money we will pay for fare via bus bound directly to Legazpi City.

Here are the contact numbers of the buses bound to Legazpi City:

Cagsawa Tours
Phone Number: 913.1514 / 439.3787
Bus Type: Royal Class 2x2; 850php fare

Penafrancia Bus
Phone Number: 913.1528 / 480.3050
Bus Type: Aircon 2x2; 800php fare / Benz Solo; 900php fare

Isarog Bus
Phone Number: 913.3551
Bus Type: Aircon 2x2; 800php fare / Lazy-boy Seats; 1100php fare

Phone Number: 913.7127
I have planned the places we will be visiting ahead of time. The following were our (supposed) itineraries for our three day (technically 2 day) weekend in Albay.

Day 2: Bacacay - Malilipot - Tiwi - Malinao
  • Bacacay Black Sand Beaches
  • Busay Falls in Malilipot, Albay
  • Experience Pottery in Tiwi, Albay 
  • Eat DJC's Famous Halo-halo
  • Vera Falls in Malinao, Albay
Day 3: Daraga - Camalig - Legazpi City
  • Lignon Hill in Daraga, Albay
  • Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay
  • Hoyop-hoyopan Cave in Camalig, Albay
  • Calabidongan Cave in Camalig, Albay
  • Embarcadero de Legazpi 
I set up the itineraries in such a way that we visit towns next to each other, to save time and maximize each day. It is ideal to visit the eastern coastal towns Bacacay - Malilipot - Tiwi - Malinao in succeeding order. All 4 towns can be reached by taking any jeep or bus bound to Tabaco City.

Our friend Jason and his wife, especially his mother-in law was gracious enough to let us couchsurf in their home for 2 more days, we did not incur any cost on lodging. However, I took note of some budget pension houses incase we decide to extend our stay. Here are some of them which are listed in Byahero Philippine Travel Portal.
  • Aeroville Tropical Resort, at Brgy. EM, has cottages, restaurant, a swimming pool and training hall.
  • Albert’s Inn, a lodging house along Elizondo St., Sabang, has non-aircon rooms (PPhP150-300). Tel: 214-3245.
  • Anvil Bed and Breakfast - Quezon Ave., Oro Site-Magallanes
  • Arimbay Shell Inn, along Legaspi-Sto. Domingo Rd., Arimbay, has aircon rooms with bath (standard, family, suite, PhP1,100-2,000).  Tel: 820-0954 and  482-0387.
  • Azupre Resort - Padang
  • Carlos Hometel Bed and Breakfast, a pension house along Penaranda Ext., Rawis, has aircon rooms with bath (single, double, triple, PhP750-1,350).  Tel: 482-0738.
  • Catalina Boarding House - Rizal St. (tel: 480-7841)
  • Casa Avelina Apartelle (lodging house) -Pag-Asa Drive, Pag-Asa, Rawis (tel: 820-5097)
  • Catalina's Lodging House, at 96 Peñaranda corner Rizal St., has non-aircon rooms with or without bath.  Tel: 480-7211.
  • Corner Place Hometel, at Lakandula Drive cor. Barriada Rd., Gogon, has aircon rooms with bath (VIP, de luxe, PhP1,000-1,500).  Tel: 480-5821.
  • Dreams Inn Café - F. Imperial St., Kapantwan (tel: 820-0885)
  • Galoso’s Lodging House - Narra Drive, Pag-Asa, Rawis (tel: 820-5008 and 482-0193)
  • Great Pacific Tourist Inn, along Rizal St., has non-aircon single/double rooms with common bath, non-aircon single rooms with bath and TV and aircon single/double rooms with bath and TV (PhP475-600).  Tel: 820-6348.
  • Greenwood Inn ((lodging house) - Legaspi-Sto. Domingo Rd., Arimbay
  • Josam Lodging House, a lodging house along Rizal St., Cabagnan East, has aircon (PhP450) aand non-aircon (PhP200) rooms.  Tel: 820-1780.
  • JR Lodging House, a lodging house along the Legaspi-Puro Rd., Binanuahan East, has non-aircon rooms (PhP200-25). Tel: 480-5261.
  • King’s Lodge (lodging house) - Peñaranda St.
  • Legaspi Lodging House (lodging house) - Mabini St.,  Brgy. Rawis (tel: 2-2257)
  • Legazpi Pension (pension house) - Legaspi-Sto. Domingo Rd., Brgy. Rawis
  • Lita’s Lodging House, a lodging house at Rizal cor. Mons. S. Reyes St., Cabugao, has aircon (de luxe, PhP620) and non-arcon single/double (economy, PhP150-250) rooms.  Tel: 481-1123.
  • Micka’s Inn, along Kap F. Aquende Drive, Kawit-East Washington, has aircon (PhP500-600) and non-aircon (PhP200-300) rooms. Tel: 481-4900.
  • Mila’s Lodge - Rizal St.
  • Nueva Villa Home Lodge & Conference Center (pension house) - Balading, Pawa (tel: 820-0880),
  • Peking Lodge, along Magallanes St., has non-aircon rooms with or without bath and aircon rooms with bath.  Tel: 2-3198.
  • Rawis Pension House, a pension house along Penaranda Ext., Brgy. Rawis, has aircon single/double rooms (PhP200-400).  Tel: 820-1702),
  • RELC Dormitory, at the Regional Center Site in Rawis, has aircon dorms (PhP1,500-3,500).  Tel: 820-8418.
  • Reynaldo’s Lodging House, along Kap Aquende Drive, Cruzada, has non-aircon (PhP400) and aircon (de luxe, family, PhP600-900) rooms.  Tel: 481-0290.
  • Rex Lodging House, a lodging house at Peñaranda cor. Aguinaldo Sts., Pigacale, within the Port District, has non-aircon rooms (PhP275) and aircon rooms with bath (PhP580). Tel: 480-7101 and 820-4613.
  • Salvador Manor de Legaspi - Kap Aquende Drive, Cruzada
  • Shirman Lodging House, a lodging house along Peñaranda St., PNR-Penaranda, has aircon single/double/triple rooms (PhP270-600).  Tel: 214-5219.    
  • Tropical Gardens Apartelle, a pension house at Pag-Asa, Rawis, has family rooms. Tel: 820-3663 and 482046.
  • Villa Consuelo Pension House, along Penaranda St. in Brgy. Bonot, has aircon rooms with TV (PhP600).  Tel: 820-3813.
  • Vine Café Inn, at 481 Peñaranda St., Bonot, has aircon (PhP600-1,000) and non-aircon (PhP300-450) rooms.  Tel: 480-8041 and 214-3029.      
  • Vista Al Mayon Pensionne, a pension house along Kap F. Aquende Drive (the road going to the airport from Albay District), Bagumabayan, has aircon rooms with bath (de luxe, matrimonial, family, executive, PhP1,450-2,100) and a swimming pool.  Tel: 820-5814  and 481-0308. 
  • Xandra Lodging House, a pension house along Peñaranda St., Oro Site-Magallanes, has non-aircon rooms with or without bath (PhP270-450),  aircon rooms with bath (PhP600-900) and a restaurant. Tel: 820-4808, 8217598 and 4813309.

No comments:

Post a Comment