Heading Out

Manila Travel Blog

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When I was a kid, the only beaches I was exposed to were the ones in nearby Manila, in Batangas.  I suppose I enjoyed it at the time being all of 6 years old and I never really frowned upon succeeding trips.  But it was during my teenage and college years that I developed an aversion to the beach.  All those memories of dark blue, murky waters which always had mystery objects floating about, and the sand - brown, pebbly and spoilt, were something I just did not want to relive, ever.  Although I had been to Hawaii, I don't remember much and a '97 trip to Boracay still didn't cut it.  Everyone raves about how fantabulously paradise-like it is (believe everything they say about the water and the sand, it's TRUE!), but I just can't stand how it's become an extension of party-hardy Manila, with the entire 3km stretch lined with resorts, restaurants and cafes, each extending their territory all the way down just a few meters from the beach.  It's also littered with way too many people.  For me, it certainly is no paradise, making it more like paradise lost.  That was the last time I'd gone to the beach and never cared for it since.

Until last year when I had been invited to Camarines Sur for a few days by a friend who was working on promoting its ecotourism for the governor.   As usual, I wasn't keen on the beach thing, but since I hadn't seen much of my country, I took this as a great opportunity to finally get on it.   When else than now, right?  Besides, it just might change my mind.

I told C about it, and got really excited since he'd come across it in a book or magazine sometime back in the early 90's.  Unfortunately, hardly any attention was given to the place (hardly anything was known of it back then) and therefore not much information was available anywhere.  But since then, Caramoan had already piqued his interest though he never got around to checking it out.  He was quite surprised that the place had finally picked up and that somebody else had known about it.

So anyway, we set the date for the trip.  My friend was rather uncomfortable about our coming over then as there was a typhoon headed for the Bicol region.  But that was the only time we could carve out of our busy schedules and decided to go just the same.  Besides, if the news report was right, we could at least make it to Pili before the storm hit, and not while we were enroute which would have been more dangerous.

The brave little souls that we are, we packed our bags and hopped on an evening bus bound for Naga.  It would take about 8-9 hours so we could at least get a good night's rest in the bus.

The bus ride was pleasant.  It made a couple of stops every few hours allowing us passengers to relieve ourselves in between naps.  C and I slept rather peacefully, and before we knew it, we were already at the Naga City bus depot.

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photo by: Deats