Alex’s Bicol trip

There’s nothing like going to an unfamiliar place and having a local take you around. We’ve been to Legazpi City and neighboring towns (see the posts from that trip) and never got to visit the places that Alex went to last week. We just spent so much time getting lost and getting pissed. Alex was luckier this time.

Last summer, Alex asked permission to spend Holy Week in Bicol. Her schoolmate and friend, Chesca, who hails from Legazpi City, was spending Holy Week there and invited her to come along. We didn’t know Chesca at the time except for a few casual hellos when we saw her at their school. That changed after the summer. Over the next twelve months, Chesca, along with other schoolmates, would spend several weekends at our house here in the suburb. And we got to know her — all of them, in fact — quite well. When Alex asked permission to go to Bicol with Chesca this summer, we said yes.

Alex, Chesca and their friend, Ardy, traveled by car. SUV, actually — Manila to Bicol is a twelve-hour drive and too punishing for a car meant for city driving. They travelled all of Wednesday, spent the next three days sightseeing and drove back to Manila on Sunday.

These are the photos from the trip. They were taken by Alex, Chesca and Ardy. THANK YOU, you three, for allowing me to publish them here.

No, there are no photos from the first day because they just slept for most of the twelve-hour drive. I think they only woke up when it was time to eat.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

Day 2: Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon

Alex can’t remember how long the drive from Legazpi City to Matnog took. She just said, “Long.” Legazpi City is in the province of Albay while Matnog is in Sorsogon.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

From Matnog, they took a boat to Subic Beach in Calintaan Island.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

Now, that is my idea of a beach. Not Boracay which is too commercialized and too crowded.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

Ardy, Chesca and Alex.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

So, they spent all of Thursday at the beach. And took more photos on the boat ride back to Matnog.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

No, the boat didn’t go inside the caves.

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

casaveneracion.com Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon, Philippines

On page 2: Cagsawa and Ligñon Hill

Day 3: Cagsawa and Ligñon Hill

When we went to Albay a couple of years ago, in all the days that we were there, there was never a moment when the top of Mayon Volcano was not covered with clouds.

casaveneracion.com Mayon Volcano0

When I downloaded the photos from Alex’s memory card, I didn’t know whether to gape in awe or bang my head on my keyboard in envy. Most of the Mayon photos had NO CLOUDS hovering over the top.

casaveneracion.com Cagsawa Bell Tower and Mayon Volcano

Chesca shot the beautiful photo above. I asked Alex if she took similar photos — Cagsawa Bell tower with Mayon Volcano in the background — she said no, she didn’t want to take any more Cagsawa photos. I think that means she took enough when we were there a few summers ago.

casaveneracion.com IMG_9794

Ardy took the photos above and below. For some reason, these two photos make me shiver. Beauty, death, disaster.

casaveneracion.com IMG_9799

casaveneracion.com IMG_9803

casaveneracion.com Chesca Gonzalez and Ardy David

That’s Chesca and Ardy. It was Ardy’s first trip to Bicol.

From Cagsawa, the trio went to Ligñon Hill.

casaveneracion.com IMG_9836

They walked up the hill.

casaveneracion.com IMG_9871

And Ardy took fantastic sunset photos from Ligñon Hill with Mayon Volcano in silhouette.

On page three, Botong Twin Falls, Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field and the EDC Butterfly Garden.

Day 4: Botong Twin Falls, Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field and the EDC Butterfly Garden

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

casaveneracion.com Botong Twin Falls

The following photos were taken at the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field.

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

casaveneracion.com Bacon-Manito Geothermal Production Field

Now, the deers.

casaveneracion.com feeding a deer

casaveneracion.com feeding a deer

casaveneracion.com feeding a deer

casaveneracion.com foot path

And the butterflies. Although I already knew the answer, I asked Alex who took the photos of the caterpillars and the cocoon. She said she did — among the three of them, she’s the only one who takes photos of things like that.

casaveneracion.com caterpillar

casaveneracion.com caterpillar

casaveneracion.com butterfly cocoon

I’ve seen a lot of caterpillars in my life but not a cocoon this beautiful.

casaveneracion.com caterpillar

casaveneracion.com IMG_9987

casaveneracion.com IMG_9991

On page four, riding and trekking to Mayon Volcano.

Day 5: Riding to Mayon Volcano in all-terrain vehicles and descending via zip line

Now this has got to be the most exciting thing that they did.

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

So, they drove these all-terrain vehicles to go to Mayon Volcano. I always wanted one of these.

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

So cool.

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com riding all-terrain vehicles to Mayon Volcano

casaveneracion.com IMG_0183

They reached a point when they could only proceed by foot.

casaveneracion.com IMG_0186

And they ascended to that area where the ground was covered with nothing but volcanic rocks.

casaveneracion.com IMG_0195

And they posed.

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And posed.

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And posed some more.

casaveneracion.com IMG_0211

When it was time to go descend, Alex couldn’t. She has a problem with heights. Yes, like me. Going up was easy because she didn’t have to look down. But walking down the volcano was another story.

casaveneracion.com Going down Mayon Volcano via zip line

So, they went down via zip line.

casaveneracion.com Going down Mayon Volcano via zip line

casaveneracion.com Going down Mayon Volcano via zip line

Read the expression on Alex’s face. It’s clear enough how much she loves heights.

Again, thank you Ardy David, Chesca Gonzalez and Alex for the beautiful photos.

Comments

  1. Karen says

    Very nice pictures especially the three of them in front of the majestic Mayon Volcano.