Monday, September 10, 2012

Things To Do In Bicol

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol
In Bicol for the Peñafrancia festival happening this month? Check out some of the activities you can do while in this beautiful southern Luzon region.

Eat: Sweet, Spice, and Everything Nice!

Bicolanos are known for their heat-tolerant tongues. Home to spicy fare such as the Bicol Express, pinangat, and laing, this southern Luzon province is a destination for daredevil, spice-seeking foodies.

But aside from these tongue-numbing dishes, there are plenty more to try when in Bicol. Case in point is the kinalas, which is a noodle soup with a gravy-like sauce-- a favorite among the locals.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol

Not to be missed are Naga Garden's Toasted Siopao(best eaten fresh from the oven), rice puto with bucayo sold along Magsaysay avenue, and J. Emmanuel's pili nuts in all its variations.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol
Toasted Siopao

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol
Puto with Bucayo

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol
Pili Nuts

From restaurants to carinderias, home-cooked goodness to street food faves, there's no shortage of masiram na mga kakanon in Naga.

Pray: Viva la Virgen!

Every third weekend of September, all devotees of the miraculous "Ina" flock to Naga City to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. A patroness of the Bicol region, "Ina" is one of the most revered Marian images in the Philippines.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol

The religious observance starts nine days (the second Friday of September) before the feast day itself (third Saturday). The first highlight of the festival is the traslacion during which the image of the city’s patroness is transferred to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. The festival reaches its climax during the fluvial parade down the Bicol River, where a raft (pagoda) bearing the Holy Image then brings it to the Basilica. Escorting the pagoda are canoes, other bamboo rafts and decorated motorboats. All the while, resounding shouts of “Viva La Virgen” and “Viva El Divino Rostro” meant for the Holy Images (the second being a framed image of Jesus) are heard.

For more information about this renowned festival, check out our Peñafrancia articles below.

Play: It's more fun in Bicol!

Not only is Bicol a destination for foodies and devotees; it's a fun playground for thrill-seekers, too!

Try wakeboarding.

Just a 5-7 minute car ride from the Naga airport is Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC). A haven for extreme sports, CWC is a six hectare complex for wakeboarding and sand dune riding.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol

But if the water skiing isn’t your thing, you can opt to do lighter sports. CWC also has a pool, clubhouse, restaurant, pro shop (where you can get wakeboards, life vests, helmets, board shorts, and crocs, to name a few items), and an area for beach volleyball.

Swim with the whalesharks.

At the southern tip of the Bicol province is Donsol, Sorsogon-- home of the whalesharks.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol
Butanding photo by Ivan Henares

The whale sharks or butandings of Donsol, Sorsogon are the rock stars of the province. Each year, especially from February to May, thousands of tourists flock to Barangay Dancalan for a chance to spot and swim with the gentle giants of the sea.

Read Ivan Henares' account on his whaleshark interaction in the article below.

Discover a paradise: Caramoan.

You can have a day trip (pre-arranged) to the picturesque Caramoan Peninsula.

Eat Pray Play Things to Do in Bicol

Beach bums will love Caramoan's fine sand, amazing rock formations, and caves scattered in the different islands that comprise it. Andrei Martin Diamante attests so, in his article.

Bicol is a must-see destination for both local and foreign tourists alike. Whether you're a foodie, a devotee, or a thrill-junkee, you would definitely find something worth loving in Bicol.

Getting There

Air Philippines flies daily to Naga Airport in Pili and to Legaspi City. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air also has daily flights via Legaspi City. Ordinary and Air-conditioned buses travel the Manila-Camarines Sur Route daily.

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