PHILTOA Bicol Adventure Day 2: Matnog and Bulusan Escapade

It’s the second day of our Media Familiarization Tour sponsored by the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA). 

We woke up a little bit early and traveled from Sorsogon City to the town of Matnog, Sorsogon. 

Long before, I know knew Matnog as a port town. This is where the bus from mainland Luzon bound for Visayas gets loaded to RORO vessels and travel to Allen Samar. Matnog 

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But it was only recently that I discovered that Matnog also has its own charms. Little did I know that it has also its own fair share of paradise. A paradise just waiting to be discovered. 

Upon arrival at the port we were greeted by a drum and bugle corps, with young girls doing some aton twirling acts. From the port we took a pumpboat that brought us to our first destination: Tikling Island. 

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The island got its name from a kind of bird of the same name. It is said that e island is also shaped like a bird. 

Wow. It was a sight to behold. The island is blessed with a white powdery sand and aquamarine waters.  The beach is lined with coconut trees. So pristine. So virginal.  

Immediately after we disembarked from the boat, we had fresh coconut juice. So good. It’s so refreshing!  Of course I wasted no time when we got there. i immediately changed clothes and dipped in the water. It’s a bit cool, since it was gloomy all day and was even raining the night before. But just the same I enjoyed every moment we stayed at the island!   

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After spending almost an hour enjoying the beach, it was already time for us to leave Tikling Island.  One by one we boarded the pumpboat again and headed towards our next destination,Juag Lagoon and Marine Sanctuary. 

You know how much I love marine sanctuaries. And this one’s no exemption. Juag Marine Sanctuary is actually one of the better sanctuaries I have ever been to. The fishes are big! And what I love here is that they do not feed the fishes with bread, but with krill and smaller fishes which is the natural diet of these fishes.  And yeah they also have giant clams and lobsters at the seabed! 

Then it rained. 

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We left the sanctuary and were heading to another destination. It was cold.  But who cares. I’m enjoying the trip and the view! Before we arrived at our next destination we had to pass by some interesting cave formations. Maybe someday I could explore these caverns and see for myself what’s in there. 

Then we passed by a light house. According to our guide, the lighthouse stands at 40feet and was built during the first American regime. The view deck from the lighthouse gives a commanding view of the San Bernardino Strait extending up to the Pacific Ocean. Map of the lighthouse here

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In no time we were approaching another island. I know this is where were headed to. From a distance I can already see some kids waiting for us to dock. 

After our boatman dropped anchor, we were welcomed by a rondalla ensemble and some young kids giving us garlands. 

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Welcome to Subic Beach. Map here

Oh Dear God. It’s sobeautiful. The sand is very fine. And the water’s very clear too. Just like in Tikling Island. But dyo you know what makes Subic Beach standout from the rest?

Its sand. Yes, it’s fine and powdery. But it’s not white. It’s pink! 

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This happens when a certain type of coral, which is red in color, finally dies, gets crushed by the waves until it becomes part of the sand. Kaganda ganda talaga!

Syempre, pwede bang hindi ako mag swimming? I dipped in the water just before we had, our seafood feast for lunch. 

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Lunch was an overkill. It’s seafood festival, and i’m so tempted to created a separate article about the lunch alone. Hahaha

After lunch we finally goodby to the pink sand of Subic Beach. It’s time for us to pack up and go back to the mainland. 

Upon arrival in Matnog Port, we rode our coach then headed towards the town of Bulusan.

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Our next destination was the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park. Aside from climbing the volcano’s peak other activities can also be done here like kayaking and boating at the Bulusan Lake. 

The lake was foggy when we went there. It was so serene. And if only there was no rain, I would hae volunteered to kayak around the lake to explore the area.  

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During our visit the the park, we were briefed with the various activities one can experience in the park complex, as well as some numbers about tourist arrivals, etc. 

Oh, and becuase we’re in Sorsogon we were served with locally made snacks like taro chips and of course honey glazed pili nuts! And to complete our Sorsogon Merienda experience, we had hot chocolate! Sorsogon is also known for making local chocolate known as tabléa.  Masiram! (delicious!)

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From Bulusan Sorsogon, we had a long drive of about 2 hours heading towards Legazpi City.  It was past sunset when we arrived in the capital city of Albay. Our last stop for the day was Oriental Hotel were we stayed for a night. 

It was a fun filled second day of our Media Tour. A bit tiring but totally enjoyed every moment of it. 

Our Sorsogon excursion is part of our 5-day Media Familiarization Tour organized by the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) as it launches the 24th Philippine Travel Mart to be held September 6-8 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. 

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During the Philippine Travel Mart, tour packages for popular tourist destinations like Bicol, Boracay, Palawan, Batanes, cebu Davao, among others will be offered at an incredibly low prices! 

So mark your calendar. See you at the SMX Cnvention Center this September! 

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