This blog is all about roaming the Bicol Region, Philippines wisely on a budget. We'll talk about what Bicol has to offer when it comes to great hotel deals, good food and where to go on your vacation. So, I hope this blog site will be helpful to those of you on the look out for great deals while you have fun in Bicol. Also, I will be sharing what my life here is like and some of the things that I find interesting in my side of the world.
Summer is here again. There’s no escaping the heat. They said we are experiencing the El Nino phenomenon right now, and there was also the water shortage in Metro Manila which was all over the news a few weeks ago. Yes, it’s summer time, indeed. Summer heat may be aggravating but with it comes the excitement of adventures to come and dreaming about trips that we may or may not actually take but enjoyed planning for anyway haha.
So, my first summer adventure was just within the city, we went to Panicuason Hot Spring Resort and Adventure Park. Everyone in Naga probably has seen this place before, it’s the main go-to destination. Even I have been here before.
The resort is located at the foot of Mount Isarog and if you are the nature lover type, you will most certainly like it.
We had fun in their hot and cold spring pools. The temperature in the kiddie pool was just right (not too hot and not too cold like the other pools) so I lingered there even though it was pretty crowded.
The most fun part though was our adventure uphill to see the infinity pool. We did not expect that there would be that many steps. The best thing about it though was the view (and the exercise!).
A lot more walking than we signed up for…………
Across the fields, we went….
Only to find that the infinity pool was being cleaned and we will not be able to swim. Darn it!
The view was still nice though, so we took more pictures like normal people.
In the canteen, they also sell organic produce and products. Unfortunately, we forgot to buy some to take home.
This trip was a nice way to kick off our summer. I must admit that if it weren’t for that uphill hike, our outing would be kind of bland and ordinary. So, if you visit Panicuason Hot Spring Resort, make sure you’re up for a hike to the top of the hill where their infinity pool is.
Entrance Fee: Adult – Php200.00, Kids – Php160.00
Entrance Fee to the Infinity pool: Php50.00 (additional)
Our trip did not seem very promising. I slept late the night before and initially woke up at 4:30 AM and it was raining heavily. I know we decided to go through with it, rain or shine, but I had second thoughts about bringing Julienne along. Will it be okay to bring her in this kind of weather? Anyhow, the rain was not able to keep us from taking a short trip to Hibiscus Camp in Consocep, Tigaon, Camarines Sur.
Our first stop was along the meandering road on our way up to Consocep. We were on an elevated road and found ourselves enchanted by the picturesque landscape. It was very windy and the sky was gray, it did really feel like we were in “the middle of nowhere” but we loved every minute of it.
As the car continued to ascend on the zigzag road that climbs uphill, we reached our second stop. We enjoyed yet even more picturesque landscapes.
Photo credit: Mam Cha’s FB
There was a little house there and beside it were these fresh produce on display – bananas, sweet potatoes and even avocadoes. The problem was, nobody was around so we couldn’t buy anything. And we really really wanted to buy some. Don’t worry, the only things we ever took were these photos.
We continued to drive uphill and passed by the entrance of Consocep Nature Park. We had to pass that one up because of the weather and the younger kids couldn’t handle the trek. I looked it up online and I know there are three waterfalls to see in that place. A few meters up ahead and we reached Hibiscus Camp. It got seriously foggy in these parts too.
This wooden cabin was the first thing we saw (amidst all the fog). I could have taken nice photos of the cabin but then it started to rain heavily, so we had to rush for shelter. So, grabbin’ this photo (below) from Mam Cha’s FB instead 😉
Hey, did I mention it was foggy?
I like my views misty. Reminds me of the time I went to Sagada with some friends. It was really an amazing place and wonderful people too.The camp has a three-tiered swimming pool but I decided not to go swimming because it was cold, so when the fog cleared up a bit, I explored the place by myself.
I was hoping to not leave a stone unturned but I regret not being able to take pictures of the inside of the cabin. When I got there, someone was cooking in the kitchen and having conversation with another person, and I didn’t want to intrude.
To tell the truth, this place is probably the prettiest I have seen in Bicol so far. It is being dubbed as Bicol’s “Little Baguio” right now and you can see why from the coolness of the place, high altitude, the flowers and the mist.
You will definitely like it if you’re into nature and stuff. It is perfect for celebrations and pre-nuptial photo shoots, but during weekdays maybe. It is fast becoming a popular destination that there is not enough cottage during weekends. Also, the area is not that huge and still under developed but the views are surreal.
They have no rooms for overnight accommodations. It would have been nice though. And it would be best to visit in the summer because when you’re high up on a mountain, I found out that the rain can be a real pain in the rear.
How to get there: From Naga City, take the Diversion Road in Pili, Cam Sur and upon reaching the junction at Anayan, take the left turn going to Ocampo. It takes approximately 30 minutes and you should reach the junction at Hanawan, Ocampo that will take you up to Consocep. Around 8 kilometers along the zigzag road and you will pass by the entrance of Consosep Nature Park and a few meters up ahead, just along the road, is the Hibiscus Camp.
Entrance Fee is P25.00 only per person for those who just want to have a look around and take pictures. For those who want to swim: Adults are charged P100.00 while kids are charged P50.00.
It was easy enough to find and the road, although zigzagging, is solid concrete. It was our first time to go there and we didn’t get lost at all.
P.S. : All photos are mine except those I give credit to whom credit is due =)
Just at the back of ALDP Mall, along Diversion Road of Barangay Triangulo, Naga City, we discovered Agua Vista. Not that we were the first ones to discover its existence, but more like delighted to discover how nice it was. We have been hearing about it for a while and the little one had been bugging us to take her there to go swimming.
This is the entrance way going to Agua Vista, which is located within what they call as the The COMRES 100, a Commercial Residential Park.
Upon entering, the first thing we noticed was the three-storey building that was described in their brochure as “A grand fusion of 3-storey commercial/building in a self-contained and walkable community situated in the highly urbanized city of Naga.” It is still under construction at this time though .
They also have a koi pond where they keep quite a number of koi in different sizes and colors.
The entrance to the pool is through the door of the cafe (behind us in the photo below) where they have attendants who cordially greeted us. We paid the kiddo’s fee inside so she can swim.
This is their going rate: WEEKDAYS: Adults are charged P200/day rate and P250/night rate while kids are charged P100/day rate and P150/night rate. During WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS: Adults are charged P250/day rate and P300/night rate while kids are charged P200/day rate and P250/night rate. Also, they are strict with the dress code, as in swimwear only, and no food or drinks from outside are allowed. You have to buy from the café or if you must bring food, I think they charge for corkage. The good news is the use of their amenities is free (no cottage fee).
So, the pool size was decent and even though it was the weekend, the place was not so crowded.
The kiddie pool was on the small side but there was free flowing water to the kids’ delight.
I am thrilled about Agua Vista because it is a nice clean place where we can take our loved ones that they will surely enjoy. I am happy to learn about it because every time I have guests, I keep on asking Google where I can take them to have fun, and it always tells me the same thing – take them to the Hot Spring Resort in Panicuason or to Haciendas de Naga, which are kinda far and a hassle to go to when you don’t have a car. Agua Vista is in a prime location and very accessible indeed.
We were the last ones to leave so we were able to take photos without ’em photobombers lol.
With the sad lack of beaches nearby, I think we need more of these in Naga City.
It’s September once again and it’s the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Festival here in Naga City. I feel the festive mood as more people flock to the city that seems to have gotten even busier. The sights, sounds and activities are exciting indeed. However, I will have to put you on hold for now with the festival as I plan to write about it on my next post.
As of now, I can tell that many tourists and folks from nearby towns have arrived as I hear different languages and dialects being spoken in the crowds. And really, it has become more crowded at Centro, CBS terminal, at the churches and malls like SM. September is always a vibrant and happy time to be in Naga. However, sometimes all that roaming around and chasing after what events to watch and what things to do next can definitely take its toll on anyone. Sometimes, you just need to relax and really have fun for the sake of having fun!
So, if you travelled to Naga for the fiesta, but some R&R is very much in the order of your business, Haciendas de Naga might just be the right place for you. This resort, located in Brgy. Carolina, has a massive land area where you can do all sorts of activities like horseback riding, pili nut picking, wall climbing, and of course, swimming. Its major attraction is their massive wave pool and water slides.
By the way, the deepest part of their pool only reaches up to about 4.5 feet so it’s safe even for those who are not very good swimmers. Just make sure to stay in the shallows if you happen to be shorter than 4.5 feet LOL, especially when the waves are on so you won’t swallow the pool water or drown. No worries, they also have a very spacious kiddie pool so the kids can swim safely.
If you like water jets, Haciendas has something sort of like that too to massage aching backs, just sit inside of this round elevated pool with the fountains (look for the mermaid).
You can also lie on your stomach on the concrete ground and let the water being spouted by the “dolphins” to massage your whole body. It is a pretty relaxing experience.
You can also explore the grounds and see the massive fish aquarium but sadly, it is so very poorly maintained and the water is stagnant and blurry that I highly doubt a single fish would survive thereat. I don’t have a picture as I decided against taking any. Hopefully, it is all improved by now.
The thing about this resort is that it is kinda far from the Centro of Naga, but the upside is that they offer free transportation if your group is composed of seven (7) or more persons. They will have their van fetch you infront of Nagaland Hotel which is in a very accessible location in Centro. However, if your group is small or if going solo, you can take a jeepney infront of San Francisco Church in Centro going to Brgy Carolina and ask the driver to take you to Haciendas de Naga wherein he will pull over on the tricycle stop that you will then take to bring you to the resort. Waiting for the jeepney to Carolina can take such a long time though as jeepneys going there are few and pass by far in between. The more attractive alternative is to rent a tricycle or one of those E-trikes that are plenty here in Naga to take you directly to the resort. The price will depend on how good you haggle with the driver. Mine was P300 for one way trip only as I had to go solo to join family members who went ahead earlier.
Anyway, the entrance+swimming fee at their Wave Pool is P300 for adults and P250 for kids. Prices can go up and down depending on the season and sometimes they have off-season promos so watch out for those. Better yet, you may contact their office at (054) 228-0375 or 0937-371-2451 and don’t be shy to ask for a discount or for promos especially if you are with a big group during off peak season.
For complete information on their rates and fees, please visit Rates and Fees.
There are a lot of good resorts to visit in Albay for families and friends looking to have fun in the water. One of them is located very near along the National Highway in Barangay 1 Poblacion in the town of Malilipot. It is called Dos Montes Natural Hillside Spring Resort. As the name suggests, you can expect to find free flowing mineral-rich spring water which guarantees that the water is always fresh and cool. The resort has swimming pools both for adults and for kids as well as water slides for guests to enjoy.
Some of their cottages are situated on the elevated reinforced hillside to give a great relaxing view of the whole resort as well as of the lush greens surrounding it. Just prepare your ears for the possible onslaught of videoke machines though, apparently we can’t have fun anymore without them. Lol.
Their charges and fees are very affordable for P90.00 entrance fee for day swimming both for kids and adults and P100.00 for night swimming. For complete information on fees and the rates of their cottages click Fees and Cottage Rates.
Hello again and Happy Mother’s Day to all supermoms out there!
Anyway, since yesterday was Mother’s Day and we really do celebrate every special occasion like Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, every birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Day and the list goes on, we decided to go swimming at Amesola Spring Valley Resort in Del Rosario, Naga City. I remember one of my readers here commented that I really seem to like water. He’s probably right.lol.
Now this resort is very near our place, in fact, we probably got there in less than 10 minutes via the tricycle that we rented for P100. However, if you are coming from Centro Naga, you will need to take a jeepney to Del Rosario (P10.00 each person) and tell the driver to pull over at the corner of Del Rosario-Cararayan Road. It’s hard to miss because it is located just right before you pass the arch that says “Welcome to Naga City.” Then, ride a tricycle to the resort (P5.00 each person). However, if you are coming from the direction of Legazpi or Pili, you may take a bus or UV Express van and pull over at the corner of Del Rosario-Cararayan Road. Then wait for a tricycle to convey you to the resort.
When you get there, the entrance fee for adults is P150 each while the kids go in for P100 each. The cottages are priced at P600 and above and you get to use their three (3) swimming pools where the water they say is always fresh and cool as the source is the nearby Mount Isarog. The newly renovated pool, which is located at the right side of the resort, is bigger and has lounge chairs for those who care to go sunbathing (although sunbathing is not really a thing for Filipinos). Anyway, I recommend if you go to the resort, get a cottage by this bigger pool especially if you are bringing kids along, because the cottage we got was situated by the Twin Pool (on the left) and the water at the kiddie pool thereat had these things floating around (not sure what). And I thought the water at the bigger pool looked more fresh.
The resort is rather basic and simple, but I can tell they have been putting in best efforts and invested a lot of money to turn the whole place into what they hope would be a cutting edge facility someday. It paid off somehow judging from the marked improvement of their pools and amenities. For instance, there is a gym now featuring new modern equipment. There are fitness programs available too. Their rooms (for overnight stay) have been newly renovated and clean, although the prices have gone up as well. What with P1,500 for single occupancy! I don’t think it’s wise considering their location is really far from Centro Naga (where the malls, shops and restos are). I mean, if you are travelling to Naga City solo, you’d wanna get a standard room at Nagaland Hotel (for about P700), which is affordable and pretty much close to everything.
Anyway, Amesola Spring Valley Resort has been under renovation for over a year now, but there is still much to be done, especially in the area of landscaping. The place is spacious and has a forest feel to it that they should put into good use. I guess because people would love an exotic place where they can feel one with nature. They need to maybe spruce the place up with more flowers and fruit trees. And maintenance staff should be on the look out for people who litter by the pool for goodness sake! We have seen litter all over the Twin Pool area. And if guests (especially small kids) can’t be imposed upon to behave impeccably, then the staff must take it upon themselves to keep the place no less than immaculate.
My over-all verdict is: I was pleasantly surprised that the resort is very near where I live but apart from their decent sized swimming pools and noisy videoke, there is not much to offer the day swimmers. A koi pond or a large aquarium, some fruit picking, a vegetable farm, bikes to rent, a zip line, hanging bridge and a wall to climb would have made a world of difference. However, with all things considered, we still had a good time. I guess when you’re with a kid and she enjoys swimming so much, you kinda get the feeling that you’re having fun as well despite the unbelievable noise of three videoke machines playing simultaneously.
I’m looking forward to when they have made the place truly packed with entertainment and more refined, with stricter rules against littering, especially when their videoke machines are finally placed farther apart. I hope to see some more noteworthy improvements on my next visit.
Oh La La Paradise Spring Resort is one of the nicer resorts I’ve been to here in Bicol that I think will not disappoint even the balikbayans or those coming home from abroad. The place is clean, spacious and has a lot to offer such as lush gardens, a pond with koi, spring pools (for adults and for kids), affordable cottages and 15 rooms should you decide to spend the night. The entrance fee is also not so hard on the budget at P100.00 only per person. However, the prices may vary depending on the season I think.
Their cottages can be rented with the corresponding prices as:
10 SMALL cottages : max. capacity 8 persons – Php 500 (per cottage)
10 BIG cottages : max. capacity 20 persons – Php 700 (per cottage)
EXECUTIVE SMALL : 4 x Php 1,000 and 2 x Php 1,500
EXECUTIVE BIG : Php 2,000 / 3,000 / 5,000
And by the way, they have new attractions which are the big water slides.
For those of you planning to spend the night, I am posting their room rates as I noticed nobody was replying to all the queries on their Facebook account. Hope many people will find this information useful:
Micky House : Room Nb 5 (studio type) – Php 2,000
Micky House : Room Nb 6 with air con – Php 2,500
L’Oeuf House : Standard type Room Nb 16 to 19 – Php 2,000 ; Room Nb 20 (aircon)– Php2,500 & the Executive Type w/hot water: Rooms 12 & 23 – Php 3,500
The resort is also great for parties and events like weddings as they have many venues to choose from such as the following:
Vulcan Hall and Restaurant (capacity is 50 persons and being rented out for P10,000.00)
Over-all, the place is really nice and good for relaxing and the source of the water is a natural spring so it always feels fresh. The only let down on this resort I think is the distance from the National Highway, and this can be an issue for those who are commuting as tricycles charge P100 per trip. But if you have a car, there should be no problem getting there with apps such as Waze.
By the way, all information about prices I sourced from ohlalaparadise.ph except for the tricycle charge which I learned when I went home early by myself.
For inquiries, call/text Ohlala’s mobile number at 09185243034.