From the stunning white sand beaches of Caramoan in Camarines Sur, Tikling Island in Sorsogon and Burias Island in Masbate; Bicol, my hometown has another island to be proud of. Calaguas in Camarines Norte is another beach paradise that will inspire you to go out on a sunny day to reward yourself of a refreshing getaway you will surely enjoy. I thank my friend Sam Casuncad for showing me his picture of the island where I was awe-stricken by its beauty. I vowed myself; I will visit this soon. Now, I am on my way for an exciting beach escapade in this pristine island.
Aside from pili, pinangat and chilly ice cream, Bicol has this cheesy halo halo that will complete your Albay getaway.
I’ve heard DJC Halo Halo and Snack Inn in Tiwi, Albay from my mother and friends who had tasted their creamy halo halo with their comment, superb! For our 2014 summer vacation in my hometown, I vowed myself dropping by here with my family.
Kawakawa Hill is a 236-meter hill located in California Village, Barangay Tuburan in Ligao City. The hill got its name from “kawa” a local dialect which means a native cauldron. That wonderful shape could be seen upon reaching the crater through walking in a well-paved walkway and passing the five trails of Stations of the Cross.
It was Holy Thursday and before we head off to our vacation house we visited Kawa-Kawa Natural Park. It was three pm and the sun was still on its shining glory when we arrived in Ligao City. It was easy to find for there was a directional signage along Maharlika Highway. Twelve-hour travel time from Manila was exhausting but everyone was still in full energy. We did some stretching as we hopped out from our van.
There’s no entrance fee in this religious park. From starting point, the life-size figure of Last Supper will first greet the visitors. Mama was left for she can’t afford to walk uphill. Going up we saw Philippine eagle on a big cage. We stopped at every station, paused for a while until we passed the five stations. The sixth station is on the summit.
There were little stores which sell bread, crackers and cold refreshments. There was a comfort room too. At last we reached the most awaited part. I instantly forgot the strenuous walk we had seeing a vast green scenery. Below is a wide playground with recreational facilities like volleyball net and obstacle course for scouting or basic army training.
Adrenalin rush was pumping as I imagined myself walking on the hanging bridge, running here and there and completing the obstacle course. But since we need to retire and rest after this visit, we just continue walking and stopped at every station on crater ring. The panoramic view of Ligao City, the nearby towns and the sprawling field of denorado rice, pine-apple and other vegetables were indeed a refreshing treat.
The surrounding was very clean. Workers were busy cleaning in their respective areas. There were small cottages and wooden benches near the walkway for those who want to sit and rest for a while. I’ve noticed the last station was seldom visited as it was situated in an elevated hill. I was about to tell my buddies of its location but they were halfway down. Me and my husband were left behind.
There I felt we were on top of everything as we finished our conquest. We had a better view of the beautiful Mt. Masaraga and the majestic Mayon Volcano which was said the mystical twin peak of the latter. There were beautiful flowers too.
It was so amazing how nature had kept this sight so magical. Indeed, this will heal your weary soul, a respite from the usual day-to-day activity of busy city life. What a perfect day to unwind and to reflect on certain things. It’s good that I brought my family here. They enjoyed the tranquility and the wonderful view that laid upon on their eyes.
Going down was easy. There were souvenir stores near the entrance where items were sold at low prices. Key-chains-P10, necklace made of shell-P20, hanging shells-P100 to P300. There were also little stores which sell biscuits, kakanin, soft-drinks and buko juice.
I was so thankful to former Governor Fernando Gonzalez who bought the hill from different owners and making this scenic spot an ideal tourist and religious destination here in Albay. His advocacy of developing and preserving the eco-tourism of our hometown was something we, Bicolanos should be proud of. Next time we visit, we will indulge ourselves with outdoor recreations. I’m looking forward for the next summer vacation to do that with my family.