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. "It is a wise man indeed who believes that the concept of toil is a myth, and life should be a never-ending vacation."
From my last post, I was talking about our trip to Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, which is Yoy’s hometown. As it turned out, there were only two hotels that popped up when I google searched hotels in J. Panganiban, they were Victor Hotel and Apolonia Hotel, the rest were room/house rentals via Airbnb.
Apolonia Hotel was were we ended up staying in for the night. My early verdict: not the best budget hotel I have ever been in but not the worst (yet) either.
Like every budget hotel, it is pretty basic. As it is located in an old building and the fact that I was already given the heads up prior to the trip that there were no nice accommodations to be had in J. Panganiban, I have kind of also adjusted my expectations to match reality. And avoid much disappointment in the process.
So this was the room. It had lots of cabinet space than we actually needed. I have never been in a hotel room and seen a lot of color pink than when I entered this room. Even with all that pink glory, it still had that unmistakable old place vibe. It was like the feeling of entering the studio apartment I used to rent in Legazpi City, and not like being in a hotel.
Then the bathroom was so dated that the fixtures have obviously seen better days. It was not the cleanest I have seen, but since my expectations have been adjusted, I did not find things very disappointing. Well, except for the fact that the water in the faucet was almost (really!) non-existent the next day. Apparently, the water situation was hard in the area and the hotel was no exception.
More pics of the old building…
Then, this was what it looked like outside of the room. It really reminded me of an apartment than a hotel.
It was an OK stay for the night for Php1,000.00 but the experience made me rethink the wisdom of trying out Airbnb next time around when I find myself again in this part of the Bicol Region.
Hello everyone! It’s me again, updating you on what’s hot and what’s worth your time and money if you ever find yourselves in Bicol.
Last week, we took a trip to Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte and one of our stops was lunch at Lucban’s Ksarap Restaurant, located along Vinzon’s Avenue in Daet, Camarines Norte – just infront of SM Hypermarket.
Mama Pat suggested that we have lunch there as the said resto is best-known in the area in terms of serving good food. The ambiance was not bad either. They even have a machine that produces mist by the entrance to help cool the place from the sweltering heat somehow. They have a pasalubong shop, parking space inside the compound and a koi pond.
Even though the place was packed when we got there, we were able to secure a spot inside and enjoy a few of their dishes like Sotanghon (Php220.00), Pork Sinigang (P130.00) and Lumpiang Shanghai.
We shared a slice of yummy Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert.
I must say, we enjoyed our stopover. I hope you will too! =)
Hi again everyone! Okay, this is going to be very brief. Just need to update on my posting and share with you the new places to go and see in the land of sili and gata– Bicol!
So, if you ever have plans to head south bound and visit the Bicol provinces, particularly Albay, you would probably be glad to know that you can now stop, shop and eat (or freshen up) at the newly opened Xentro Mall in Polangui.
This is what we did on our way back home from Sorsogon to Naga City. Yoy was really tired and hungry, and Julienne, she just wanted to go to the mall, period.
First, we needed to use the rest room and on the way, we passed by the lounge.
Then, the rest room was nice and clean and I liked that they have art works hanging on the wall. The cleaning lady was also helpful and friendly.
As we were really hungry, we then headed to the food court! This is what it looked like.
I ordered Strawberry and Cream Crepe and brewed coffee from this shop called Waffle and Crepe. I don’t remember how much I paid but I remember that it was just a little over Php100.
Yoy bought Sisig (spicy pork skin, bits and innards) and rice meal from I don’t know which shop. He said it costed around Php65.00 and the sisig was not crunchy (soggy) and not that great after all.
Other stuff we ate were kwek-kwek (fried quail eggs in dough) and goto (rice porridge).
After eating and resting at the food court, again we were ready to hit the road. Thanks for travelling with us! =)
As we always do during the long holiday due to Undas (All Soul’s Day) here in the Philippines, we took the opportunity to go home to Sorsogon and see my family. It was Yoy’s first time to take a long drive ever since we got our little car so we were just a bit anxious I guess, but it was more like excited, if you ask me.
There were lots of things that put a cloud over our heads prior to this trip though. One was my disappointment that the trip was pushed back one day because the car’s maintenance check up took longer than expected. Because of this, I had to cancel on our hotel, which I booked for the day we were supposed to be there. I was worried we will not be able to find another affordable hotel when we get to Sorsogon so I was really stressed out.
However, when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, we were lucky enough to get a room in Tentyard Hotel in Pangpang, Sorsogon City. This is what it looked like from the outside. It was very new because it was the newly built extension or annex of the original drive-in hotel (more like motel if anything).
They have air conditioned kubo villas (combination of concrete, wood and thatched roof) instead of the drive-in kind, which made them seem family-friendly as well.
The location is very refreshing as it is set in the heart of a rambutan plantation. However, the trees were still very young and have no fruits yet. Oh, it would have been real nice if there were indeed ripe rambutan fruits on these trees.
They even have a koi pond. The water was murky but I swear there were live koi swimming in the water.
So this is the room we got for Php 800.00 only. It was clean and it had the basic amenities. It was a real relief that it was clean by the way, because we had a nightmare of a stay in Tentyard Roro (San Juan) a few years back wherein we struggled with the dirty CR there. So, I’m really hoping the management will take extra care to keep this establishment clean.
I highly recommend this hotel for the travelers in need of a clean place to lay their heads. It’s got parking space and the staff are polite and friendly.
How to go there: If you are coming from Legazpi City, ask the van/bus driver to drop you off at Tentyard Hotel in Barangay Pangpang. They usually know this place as it is just along the highway. If coming from Centro Sorsogon City, rent a tricycle to take you to this hotel. You may be charged Php 40-50 for a one way ride.
I have not posted anything in almost four months. I have regrettably been MIA in blogsville for quite some time because… life happened. Lots of shitty stuff happened within those months and TBH, they drained the life out of me. And if it wasn’t for my new-found love (addiction) for K-drama, I would have lost a lot of sleep overthinking stuff which could have ended pretty badly with me wearing a straitjacket. Probably. Haha.
So, life happened to dump its crap on me for a while, but it happens to everybody. And while it was all happening, I kept on keeping on and still lived my life anyway, minding my own business – eating, drinking, going on trips, watching my K-drama and even jogging now. And I guess the better stuff of life involves eating a great deal.
Well, since I’m not one to dwell, let’s talk about M Plaza instead. It is located along Diversion Road in Triangulo, Naga City and a good place to hang out and have a fun time with friends and family because they have restos offering good food and a good ambiance.
I have been there around four times already. The first time was with Caressa, a new co-worker of mine . We tried it for the first time and ate at this resto called Oppa, which is a Korean fusion restaurant. Oppa’s food were reasonably priced. We had Samgyeopsal (Php 270.00) or pork belly that we grilled ourselves and Cheese Teokbokki (Php 130.00) which was spicy rice cakes with gooey cheese on top. Yum!
The second time, there was already four of us and we tried the Japanese restaurant near Oppa. Their prices were a little on the high side and the portions were not very much as well, but the dishes we tried were tasty.
We had Naruto Ramen, although the waitress said that three persons can share this one but I’m pretty sure I can finish this bowl alone. The broth was lovely and I especially like the fried pork belly rolls. So good!
I always love California Maki, and this one is good!
M Plaza is a good place to hang out during a cool breezy evening such as when we had soju and beer.
It is also very kid-friendly as they even have a play ground for kids with swing, see saw, a jungle gym and a go-kart rental.
I guess that’s that for now. Thanks for stopping by! =)
Good news for the residents of Del Rosario, Naga City, nearby barangays and towns, All Day Supermarket is now open! It is located at Vista Mall, a mall which is still under construction as of this writing. However, the residents of Del Rosario, such as myself, will find it accessible to do their grocery shopping at All Day Supermarket which opened last June 15, 2018 with Alex Gonzaga as the celebrity guest.
I was meaning to post this real time but I was struggling with my own… oh, just got a bit lazy, I guess.
Anyway, we went there during the opening night because we figured there’d be too many people during the day who would wanna go in first. When we arrived, Alex Gonzaga was just being called to the stage, which was situated outside the mall near the entrance. We stayed during her first two song numbers but went inside the supermarket soon after that because we were really far and couldn’t really see anything anyway.
So, there were still a lot of people inside the supermarket.
I have seen all sorts of food items that you would expect from a supermarket – grains and beans, canned items, eggs, milk, fresh produce and a lot more. They even have various kitchen tools, bags, slippers, toys and even underwear.
In the fresh produce section, I got excited to buy some fresh black cherries because I never had fresh cherries before. It doesn’t grow here in the Philippines and we don’t often see it in our grocery stores. It’s kinda expensive though at around Php500 per kilo so I just bought a few pieces just to taste.
They also have other imported fruits such as peaches, strawberries, kiwi fruits, grapes and lychees.
Local fruits that were on display are avocadoes, guyabano, papaya, bananas and coconuts.
What they have that other supermarkets and groceries around here don’t have are these imported ready-to-heat food such as pizza, pasta, risotto, roti and burrito.
Another thing they have that others don’t is this service called “Paluto” where you can buy fresh seafood and meats and have them cooked inside the supermarket. There are tables and chairs there where you can relax and enjoy your meal, much like Dampa style.
The only thing they have to improve on though is the cashier being too slow. People get frustrated while lining up at the cashier because, let me say it again, really slow. Almost not moving.
The All Home, Vista Mall’s appliance and furniture store, is also now open. This store is huge and the employees are friendly.
I think Nagueños and other town folks will definitely like their display of household items, lighting, home decorations, furniture and appliances. The words I can think of to describe their stuff are updated, affordable and plenty of choices.
So, there it is, if you happen to be in the area, you might wanna check this new supermarket out and pretty soon, the Vista Mall will be opening too.
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 =)