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Fusions of Bicol
(Donna Marie Nisperos-Gojo/ Jul 28, 2017)
You know what’s cool in Bicol? It’s the feeling when you get mesmerized with the beauty of the perfectly shaped volcano, Mt. Mayon! It was all but a dream for me and seeing it up close just melted my heart. Well, there are a lot of beliefs about Mt. Mayon and my most favorite is “when you clearly see it and not hiding behind the clouds, it means that you are a good person.”
Mt. Mayon & Cagsawa Ruins
It was a rainy, gloomy day when I and my friends set our feet to the famous Cagsawa Ruins. We really never expected to see a perfect sight of the volcano and it all caught us in awe when it showed itself to us. Did I just mention my favorite belief? We did see the volcano perfectly!
Sumlang Lake
But Bicol is not all about Mayon Volcano or the Cagsawa Ruins. Surprisingly, we found ourselves being lulled while on a floating bamboo raft in Sumlang Lake in Camalig. We were lucky to have the lake all to ourselves and after a very long day, we found ourselves relaxing and at peace with nature. Visiting Daraga Church made me feel renewed.
Tikling Island
Rain never stopped us from exploring more of the province. A 4-hour land and boat trip to Matnog, Sorsogon was all worth it seeing the beautiful beaches that Bicol could offer. We took advantage of the Island Hopping activity and our first stop was Tikling Island, a combination of white sand and pebbly shore. It was indeed a different feeling owning an entire island for a while as we were the only visitors that time. It may have been gloomy but we still enjoyed the beach with the sun peeping once in a while.
Juag Lagoon
We did not waste our time so we headed along Juag Lagoon, a sanctuary for different kinds of fishes and had a close encounter with jaw breakers! Remember not to bring your gadgets close to water because according to locals, these big headed fishes just had enough in their tummies! You won’t get disappointed as cute, colorful and friendly water creatures are there too, to welcome you.
Calintaan Cave
Calintaan Cave was third on our stop. Quite a challenging way to enter it because of the waves but it was indeed a splendid work of nature! This is not like any other caves – it has a pool where you can just relax as you listen to the soothing sounds of the soft waves.
Subic Beach
Lastly, there is Subic Beach in Bicol where you’ll surely be delighted to see its fine pink sands.  Others spend the night here before going back to the mainland. Mind you, last trip of jeepney going back to town is at 4:00pm. And since we came back half an hour past it, we took our chance hitch hiking the ro-ro buses from Visayas. Unfortunately, there was none so we rented a tricycle and took us an hour and a half ride back to the main town of Sorsogon and rented a van going back to Albay. Still, lesson learned and an irreplaceable adventure!
The Famous Sili Ice Cream
Of course, travel without food is boring. As we all know, Bicol is known for its smoking hot delicacies. We headed straight to Colonial Grill, famous for its Sili Ice Cream. It has it levels of hotness from 1 to 4 to volcanic! As I am not fond of chili foods, I only tried level 1 and found myself loving it! No chili feeling at first, but the kick is an after taste. I also noticed that the hotter level you get, the redder the ice cream gets. Must really be the fresh chili paste!

Photo Credits: thebicolanoman.wordpress.com
The Cheesiest Halo-Halo
The town of Tiwi is not only known for its chili desserts but also for its famous halo-halo! Even locals from different towns come here just to have a taste of it. What makes it different? If Sili Ice Cream is chili, Tiwi halo-halo has a little salty taste because of its freshly grated cheese topping. Works for the taste buds though!

Bicol dishes in restaurants are already a fusion of modern and native style cooking. If you wish to really have a feel of the luscious Oragon dish, befriend a local and let them cook for you. Home-cooked meals in provinces are still the best!

Talking to locals during our stay just made me want to book a flight, plan a visit again to explore more beaches and beautiful destinations of Bicol. Our adventure was indeed a happy and memorable.
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Tags:   Bicol   Mt. Mayon   places to visit in Bicol   Sili Ice Cream   Sorsogon   Subic Beach   
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