Are you a sunrise or sunset person? I guess if doesn’t matter as both are beautiful. There is a fusion of energy and magic when you watch the sky painting. That morning we woke up early and left Bagasbas Lighthouse still dark. We headed to Mercedes, the next town to wait for the first gleam of the sun. Sleepy and still uncaffeinated, we positioned ourselves on the shores of Mercedes near the fish port just in time for the magic hour- the sky was purple and orange, boats both big and small appear on silhouettes. This town is one a center of marine commerce and entrepreneurs gather early morning to buy and sell both almost all kinds of fish. Like that in Malabon Fish Port, they have this culture of “bulungan” (whisper) where the seller would whisper the amount he is willing to pay the seller. He does this so others won’t hear the price he paid making the transaction confidential. Others would also name their price and of course the seller goes with the one who is willing to pay more. This kind of trading is better for fishermen compared to “komprahan” where a big shot business man dictates the price he is willing to the day’s catch and buys all at a cheaper price and sell at a more expensive rate.
After Mercedes we went island hopping on a turbulent sea. Our destination? Apuao Islands. Still part of Mercedes, Apuao has at least 7 white-island beaches or what they call Siete Pecados (Seven Peaks, yes like that of Coron) and has seen a small group of beach campers in the past decade. With beaches nearing that of Calaguas, this is preferred when the sea is rough. We went to three islands and I enjoyed Apuao Grande and Apuao Pequeña? Got to join some photographers for a model shoot before we went back to the mainland to explore more of what Camarines Norte has to offer.
We visited the nearby towns of Jose Panganiban, Labo and Vinzons got to check out their local products- calamansi juice, abaca clothes, pill nuts and uraro. We also checked out the heritage churches in those towns.
It was a long day and we were back at Daet when the sun had already set. I told them that I still need to reach Naga because I already said yes to the earlier invitation of Ronel (a poet, see Day 31) to join the open mic event they organized for the local artists and poets in Naga City. I reached Naga City almost 9:00pm and hurriedly went to Sosimo bar at Magsaysay Avenue to chill out. It was an inspiring night with locals, drinking booze and listening to their own compositions- poems and songs mostly in their local tongue- Bicolano. I wish Manila would do this too or maybe I’m just not aware.
I was already sleepy but I still have to meet two friends for more booze before I went to sleep. Instead of going to the bar, we just drank the beer we bought in a convenience store in the room I rented for the night. It was past 12 when we said goodnight.
Route: Daet City – Vinzons – Labo – Jose Panganiban – Bagasbas – Naga City
Expenses for Today: Php 358
188- daet to naga
10- centro to magsaysay
150- sampaguita inn
Tour was courtesy of the Office of the Camarines Norte Provincial Tourism