My route for that day said that I should be heading south so I thought of Legaspi City, Albay. Albay’s capital is famous for the majestic Mayon Volcano. As the locals say, “magayon” (beautifu) but deadly as she has killed thousands of people for the past eruptions she had. If you haven’t seen it in person, just imagine a fat ice cream cone upside-down. She is so beautiful that many has made her the cover photo travel books and magazines about the Philippines. One of the most recent, the Lonely Planet Philippines 2012.
But before that I want to talk about my tiring journey from Naga City to finding a cheap place to spend the night in Legazpi City, a 2-hour bus ride away from each other.
After having tsokolate batirol and pan legaspi with cheese for breakfast at Ruivivar Quality Cafe just near the Naga Central Plaza I rode a van to Baao (pronounced as Ba-aw), Camarines Sur. Baao is exactly 405kilometers away from Manila and was a stopover when PNR train was still in operational three decades ago. Ms. Shiela’s friend, Ms. Bernadette, invited us at La Huerta Organic Farm for a sumptuous lunch of dinuguan with green beans and a refreshing lemongrass juice, I felt at home right away. Her place was filled with flora, paintings and weird wooden sculptures. It was a secret spot and I really don’t think people would recognize that there is something like this in CamSur. Indeed, there are “secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.” It was a short meeting and I need to tarry down south again.
La Huerta Farm Baao with Ms Christine and Ms Shiela
From Baao I took the bus until I reached Legaspi City. I have been to Legazpi a couple of times before but I still got lost this time. I started looking for a cheap accommodation like Php250 or less- dorm-type. I think I walked at least four kilometers trying to find one that I can afford. You see, this is the most tiring activity in my backpacking, finding a perfect spot in the city especially when you have to live within your budget. Not to mention the 7-kilo backpack I was carrying.
Finally I was able to find Xandra Hotel for only Php235 for a single room aptly categorized, “Salesman (Single).” Apparently, this caters to the salesmen that vend different products to further towns of Albay and Sorsogon. I got a room at the 4th floor, with fan no frills. After settling down, I went to Embarcadero to wait for the sunset. Mayon Volcano was shy that time, veiled with think clouds and all I saw was the base. Nonetheless the sea beside Embarcadero was enough to relax the body and mind.
Embarcadero and Legazpi City Seaport
After barbecue dinner in a place near the jeepney terminal I went back to the hotel to wash my clothes. I hope that the electric fan would make it dry so I have something to wear tomorrow.
Route: Naga City – Baao – Legazpi City, Albay
Expenses for Today: Php 534
54- tsokolate and bread
59- naga to baao
90- nabua to legazpi
20- legazpi to embarcadero
235- hotel xandra
40- beer and chips