itchy feet cravings

Hibernating in Sorsogon and Albay

I was about to forego blogging this month of October, but I guess my spirit just can’t contain the excitement and joy I experienced just a week ago. And so, before this month ends, lemme tell you how incredibly surprised I was over God’s birthday gift to me–a trip to Sorsogon!

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God really never fails to burst open surprises when you least expect it. Sure there were times I find myself wondering why He couldn’t just hand me his gifts in nicely wrapped boxes. But I figure out, that wouldn’t do because He knows for sure just how much I’m craving to satisfy my itchy feet cravings.

Though I did look forward to traveling during my birthday week, nothing prepared me for the present he unraveled before my eyes. I love, love, love, traveling, and it’s my prayer there would be new opportunities for me next year.

A strong typhoon was hovering over the Philippines the day me and my travel mates boarded the flight to Legazpi City via Cebu Pacific. All of us were even thinking flight cancellation is inevitable. But by God’s grace, we managed to reach our destination as early as 6 a.m. and had breakfast at Misibis Bay…

IMG_1068It was raining hard when we got there. I took it as a sign of God’s immense blessings in the years to come in my life. You see, I’ve been to Sorsogon a lot of times in the past but never on a vacation mode. Though I love my work because it brings me to a lot of places, I always look forward to chances I can travel without having to think of work. This is one of it.

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Misibis Bay in Cagraray Island, Bacacay, Albay is surely a perfect venue for those looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of life. Though it was Signal No. 1 over parts of Albay, we were able to go on an island tour. Two of my companions rode the ATV despite the bad weather.

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Later on we moved to another place and traveled towards the heart of Sorsogon City. There’s another hotel waiting for us to try but before we moved on, we had a brief snack/lunch at 1st Colonial Restaurant in Daraga, Albay known for successfully introducing the Sili (chili) Ice Cream in the Philippine gastronomic scene. The Bicol region has always been popular for its delicious cuisines like the Bicol Express (a mixture of pork meat and shrimp paste sautéed in tomatoes, onions and lots and lots of chopped green chili and simmered in coconut cream) and Laing or Pinangat (a special dish made up of bundled taro leaves cooked in coconut cream).

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Aside from the chili ice cream, try 1st Colonial’s Pasta Bicolana, Halaan soup, Tinapa Fried Rice and the chicken cooked in coconut cream. Try also their malunggay ice cream which is a nice way to convince children to eat their veggies. 🙂

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After an hour on a road trip, we finally settled at Villa Isabel Hotel in Burabod, Sorsogon City. We spent the night here and dinner was all seafood specialties. I can’t recall how much I went back to get a share of the fish sinigang (sour fish soup), fried sugpo (giant tiger prawns) and  steamed crabs that night. Lucky me, I thank God I don’t break into allergy whenever I eat seafood.

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Later that night at Villa Isabel, my travel mates surprised me with a birthday cake. I had to keep tears at bay because really, I didn’t expect them to come up with such surprises. Being able to travel with them to this wonderful place was enough birthday gift to me; it’s more than enough actually.

The next day was my actual birthday. No more dark clouds as the sun greeted us warmly as if it agreed today I had to celebrate my Day. We moved on to another place near Mt. Bulusan for breakfast. A new favorite resort landmark has sprouted near the foot of this mountain in Inlagadian, Casiguran, Sorsogon. It isn’t fully operational but I can assure you the place is a promising destination in the years to come. I can’t wait to visit Residencia Del Hamor when all is settled and everything is complete. You would truly love this place for all its worth.

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Because of its marvelous sights and location, we decided to move our belongings here and stay overnight. So after having breakfast, we went back to Villa Isabel to get all our things and check out. On our way back, we stopped by The Ruins in Barcelona, Sorsogon and the old Barcelona Church opposite the park.

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The Park has a wifi connection so its easy to upload your ‘selfie’ or ‘groufie’ with whatever is left of the century old ruins of the Presidencia Building.

The Presidencia Building used to be the seat of the Spanish government around the time the area was governed by governadorcillo. The place once served as a citadel to protect the municipality from pirate attacks. There is an underground tunnel leading to the Barcelona church across the street where they can retreat in case of imminent danger. But according to the historical information posted on the park, the church closed the underground tunnel to prevent precious altarpieces from being stolen.

During the Japanese occupation the Presidencia Building became a garrison and was utilized again as a municipal seat.

Then off again to another destination, this time for a thrilling kayaking experience at Lake Bulusan!

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I’m not into any sports, and so, when my friends cajoled me to try kayaking I was really nervous. It was windy on this party of the forest. However, I decided to let go of my fears and for once in my life did kayaking, something I really won’t do. What a life!

Good thing my guide at Bulusan Volcano Natural Park was really efficient. I wanted to video my experience but my hands are shaking and I really can’t help my guide row the boat. The current was a bit scary but the lush green foliage was therapeutic enough to calm my frazzled nerves.

After that exhilarating experience, we settled at the restaurant for some good ole’ pancit bihon and tsokolate. Then went back to the Residencia Del Hamor where a nice seafood dinner was again waiting for us. 🙂

We were all a bit sad the next day as we prepared to go back to Legaspi City for our noon flight.  We consoled ourselves that we would be back here with a better and complete amenities to enjoy all to ourselves. I’m looking forward to a take two experience here in Sorsogon.

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