What Happened in Albay: Our Three-Day Adventure

I know this post is way long overdue, as it’s been more than a couple weeks since I am finally back in Manila. It’s been years since the last time I went on a vacation longer than an overnight (I think that would be my pre-MG years), and so I am too excited to share my Albay adventure with you. I did things I never thought I’d do, things that I never though I COULD do. I was with my fellow MG patients in this trip, and despite being plagued with a crippling chronic disease, we survived and went back home with exciting memories and adventures to share to our family and friends.

Just like many others who were ina holiday, we indulged ourselves with good food, good view and good experiences and adventures. So what did we do during that 3-day staycation? Read on to find out. 

1. Visit the Mayon Volcano. Who would not be filled with awe with that majestic beauty? Mayon Volcano’s perfect cone has already become its distinction, though the clouds hid it so well :|. Anyway, we didn’t really went to it, just to the Cagsawa Ruins. 

The fog seriously broke my dream of taking a postcard worthy selfie. Ooh, well…
Who would have dared think that below the grounds I am standing on in this photo are the remains of the thousand Daraguenos who were killed during the 1814 Mayon eruption?

Most of us are just astounded to the beauty this place could offer, disregarding its historical significance. The 1814 Mayon eruption, perhaps the strongest of all its eruptions killed 2,000 people, including those who sought refuge in the church. 

The mandatory jump shot with awkward leg position.

2. Try the Chili Ice Cream on a Stick. Right. Bicol is a place known for its spicy and “chili-filled” delicacies (during breakfast one of us complained about the spicy longganisa, and our host just said, “Welcome to Albay!”). I think every food in there has the spicy variation. Yes, including the ice cream you’d rather indulge in the middle of a sunny day would further warm you up – it’ll even make you hot!

Yes, it IS hotter than me. 😂

3. Have lunch at Let’s Pinangat. As what I’ve heard, this is the place that serves the best pinangat in Legazpi. We had that for lunch, which was really good, though I can’t get my fork off the Bicol express (pork in coconut milk and chili) and the pork sisig. Move over, Sisig Hooray! 😂

Looks like it’s to hot to handle. It is, but I am still hotter to handle! Hahaha
The pork sisig which easily became the most in demand food on our table.

4. Visit the Divine Mercy Shrine. Whenever I go on a trip, I always make sure to visit a church in order to say a prayer of thanks, and also to offer my intentions and heart’s desires. I’m not sure if the church was newly constructed or just under renovation, though. 

This life-size depiction of The Last Supper is apparently the first of the fourteen stations of the cross. Devotees finish the stations by climbing the stairs, where they could see the suntan flower garden located at the 14th station. I tried, but I gave up after the second station. I don’t want it to be the death, tbh.

5. Visit the Mayon Summit Ridge. When we got there, Mayon was too shy to show her perfect cone (damn the freaking clouds were hiding it for her), and so we decided to just go up the summit ridge. It was a long drive, though not that significant, but long. Along the way, we were able to see Mayon on all its sides, as we drove around its circumference (did that sound right?). 

Checking out the city down below.

6. Ride the ATV. This is my most thrilling experience on that three-day adventure! Fact: I do not ride a bicycle. This four-wheeled all terrain vehicle is such a good thing to ride, but my clumsiness surely didn’t want to be missed. I won’t elaborate anymore what happened, though. And if you’d ask me, despite the fall, I’d still take the risk and do it again (parang pag-ibig lang!). 

My skater dress was now “the” famed blue dress. Hahaha
After the fall. It all seemed blurry.

7. Have dinner at Balay Cena Una. This is said to be the one of the most prestigious restaurants in Daraga. It serves good food, and the ambience is great. What’s more, it’s become the home of state ambassadors and other congressmen and politicians for family Sunday brunch when they happen to be in the area. 

This is chicken breasts in tinutong na laing.
This is beef in creamy tomato sauce.
The table for four.
The table for two where we could dine while watching the thousand stars.
My mandatory selfie by the stairs.
Aaaand the entire crew, with the owner of the restaurant, Tita Med.

8. Drive all the way to Ligao, Albay and experience the waters of Tambac Shoreline. Of course, a summer getaway would never ne complete without dipping yourself in the waters. The beach didn’t look as pristine as one would expect it to be, but its seeming exclusivity is saying something. 

Thank heavens for rashguards.

With the City Mayor, of Ligao.

9.  Go boating to the Ligao Rock Formation. Well, to be honest, I could no longer recall what the rock formation was called. But we were accompanied by the Bantay Dagat folks so we could go to the rock formation and see the schools of different kinds of fish, sea turtles and other water creatures. We’re talking about a 50-feet deep water, greenish and looked immaculately clear you’d think the rocks and sand below are just at your foot’s reach. 

On the way to the rock formation.

10. Visit the Legazpi Church and attend the mass in Bicolano. It may sound like it doesn’t make sense, to listen to something you do not understand, but it is an experience, still. That Sunday’s gospel was about the walk to Emaus (ha, see?). Also, it made me realize that not all churches give round of applause when the mass is ended. 

I didn’t get to take a picture of the church or even the altar. We attended the evening mass so I figured I won’t be able to take a good shot.

11. Walk through the Legaspi Boulevard. I swear this boulevard feels like I was just in Roxas Boulevard along Manila Bay. Perfect for a night walk and picnic brunch. 

My selfies were too dark so I decided to just save them from you to see. Sorry.

12. Visit friends and the sick. Though our main goal was to enjoy the long weekend and somehow forget that we’re chronic people, we cannot have the heart not to visit one of our fellow myasthenics. 

13. Have lunch at the Family Kitchenette. Established in the 1960s, Family Kitchenette has become Albay’s very own version of Max’s Restaurant. Home of the superb fried chicken (better that Max’s, tbh) and of the crispiest crispy pata, you have to experience this goodness before heading back to Manila. 

Again, the entire crew including Tito Don Villanueva.

14. Visit the Daraga Church. Daraga Church is one of the oldest churches in Albay. Most people mistakenly recognize the Cagsawa Ruins as the Daraga Church, but this is totally different from the one whose bellfry is featured in postcards that depicts Mayon. 

15. Buy pasalubongs!  The trip, of course is not complete without shopping for pasalubongs. Aside from pinangat and anything edible with chili, Bicol is also known as the home of pili nuts. And so we went to this store, which is the original place of yummy pili nuts in Albay

With the entire crew and the owner of the store.

16. Capture the view of Mayon and the entire province of Albay from the Oriental Hotel. What could be more exciting that seeing Mayon and her perfect cone when you wake up in the morning? Indeed, she is a beauty to behold. We didn’t want to say goodbye. 

This trip wouldn’t be possible without our MGSPI adviser and fairy godmother, Tita Med Villanueva, and her husband, Tito Don Villanueva. They graciously welcomed us in their home, which also became our home for our three-day stay. 

How do you usually spend a long weekend? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

Spread the looove!

xoxo,

Beth G. ❤

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