ATV Challenge: My friend really wanted to drive an ATV so we arranged it with the Your Brother Travel and Tours group. At 6am, a car picked us up and brought us to the trail. Since I’m not a fan of ATVs, we decided to just get the bigger ATV which can accommodate two people (P1200). My friend would be driving all the way. I just tried driving it at the practicing area. Haha! A tour guide drove ahead of us and we’d just follow. We would have stop-overs where the guide would take pictures of us. It was pretty fun since it was off-road, so a lot of bumps, rocks and streams, up and down small hills. We took the simplest trail so it lasted for about 45 minutes which was not bad since we just wanted the experience. You may also opt to take the other longer trails like the lava trail. As I mentioned, the volcano was safe and there was no need to worry about it erupting suddenly. Afterwards, we were brought back to the hotel.
Kamias: At EL, we again arranged with the tricycle driver to bring us to the Cagsawa Ruins plus to the different churches available (P500). On the way to Cagsawa Ruins, we stopped by for breakfast at Kamias, which I’ve also read about in blogs. We ordered the Bicol Breakfast (P280) which was a really big meal consisting of longganisa, adobo sa asin, daing, scrambled eggs, a side of tomatoes, fried rice and your choice of native hot chocolate (which was good) or coffee (which was bad).
Cagsawa Ruins: Arriving at Cagsawa Ruins (P10 entrance fee), I was again underwhelmed since it looked so different in photos. Haha! I always thought it was in the middle of nowhere that we had to ‘hike’ or ‘trek’ for a few minutes but actually, the tricycle literally brought us to the entrance and bam! there it was, surrounded by souvenir shops and sari-sari stores, with Mayon as its background. We didn’t do any trick shots though there are locals who would offer to take photos of you. Thankfully, the Mayon showed herself to us. There’s actually an old saying that Mayon only reveals her full self to uhm, let’s just say, kind and “conservative” people. Haha!
Daraga Church, Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Albay Church and Church of Legazpi: Out of all these churches, I only recommend Daraga Church and perhaps the Shrine if you’re into hiking a bit. The other two churches are fairly new and there was nothing special about it, almost like our tricycle driver “forced” the churches to be tourist spots. I like the Daraga Church because it overlooks Mayon and is pretty old. It has a unique architecture to it. Inside, there were two huge paintings: one of a saint and one of Mayon. I like the painting of Mayon since the artist showed it both during an eruption and during its calmness.
1st Colonial Grill: Lunch was at the famous restaurant serving the sili ice cream. But first, we had lunch consisting of their local tinutungang manok (P250), fresh Ceasar’s salad (P180) and tinapa rice (P35 per cup). We were supposed to have pinangat but they ran out of it. The tinapa rice was really tasty. I highly recommend that one. Can’t say the same for the tinutungang manok since I didn’t expect it to be that bitter, though I probably should have. Haha! I just doused it in soy sauce to mask the flavor. Their salad wasn’t bad, the bacon was crispy and there was a variety of veggies on it, plus cheese, croutons and egg. I would have wanted a bigger serving though, considering the price.
But the best part was the dessert. They had more than 10 quirky flavors – including malunggay, taro and Bailey’s – to choose from that I had a hard time deciding! Haha! Tip: If you want to taste more that one flavor, you may opt to get a different flavor per scoop as compared to ordering their cup (P45), which is more expensive. So for three scoops, we only paid P79. Though I had a bad experience with the tinutungang manok, I still wanted to try their tinutungang ice cream plus salabat (ginger tea) and pipino (cucumber). My friend ordered the sili, kalamansi (local lemons) and pili ice cream. I loved all of the flavors, especially my order! Haha! The tinutungang ice cream actually tasted like cocoa while the pipino was very refreshing! Loved it! Visit the 1st Colonial Grill for their ice cream!
Legazpi Bus Terminal: We then headed to the terminal via trike (P30) for some pasalubong. Though there was a pasalubong area located downstairs of our hotel, we wanted more choices so this was our best bet. Not really a pasalubong buyer/ giver, I only bought their pack of three pili tarts (P100), a bottle of spicy laing (P90), a bottle of pork bicol express (P120) and a small ref magnet (P25). Unfortunately, the tart I chose was really not good. Trike to hotel was P60.
Spa: What’s a vacation without some good ol massage? I forgot the name but we booked the spa located at the hotel. Since we went there during off peak hours, between 2-6pm, they were on 50% off. I availed their 1-hour full body massage and their 45-minute body scrub (P250 each). Their spa room is near the lobby and is pretty nice and clean. Service was good too! So yes, I recommend this if you’re into spas.
Small Talk Café: As I mentioned, we really enjoyed the food at this resto so we went back for seconds (plus the fact that it was open until 10pm). This time, we ordered their Mount Mayon Pasta (P120) and their 12-inch combination pizza (P265) with laing and hawaiian flavors. Again, so gooood! I finished off 5 slices of their thin crust pizza and I could probably finish the whole thing! Haha! That’s how good their food is.
La Mia Tazza: Dessert and night cap was at their local Starbucks, as a blogger described it, which had a branch near Small Talk Café. A lot of people were there so they must be doing something right. I ordered their Hot Peppermint Mocha (P110) and Green Tea Pili Cake (P90). Sadly, their coffee was too sweet with almost no taste of mint while their cake was disgustingly dry. I only ate the bits of pili just so it wouldn’t go to waste. That was P200 down the drain. They’re open until 1am during weekends so that’s the silver lining.