Family Weekend Celebration of Many, 06.12-13.15

Our so many things to celebrate on this island. – 06.12-13.15

>>>>>

20150612_143702

Our tradition mid-year family trip is this time extra special in celebration of many – 30 years of Mother Goose and Pop, Pop’s day as a father and someone a year older (:D). With no particular itinerary, it was a weekend we managed to fill with tummy fill with that yummy buffet and room service meals, fun at the pool, long naps and meals at the comfort of our villa, singing while waiting for the rain to stop, standing not-so-tall in that amphitheater, that encounter with the staring lapu-lapu and other activities at sea. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, I am more a budget traveller. I suck at getting the cheapest airfare (in the Philippines, domestic flights can go as low as 1 peso. Piso fare, baby!) but I try to save as much as I can with my accommodation by staying in hostels that are near public transportation or within walking distance to areas where I would wander often. (Yep, I sometimes even end up in red light districts!) This trip then is slightly different as it is in a luxury place (and well, for a change, I am not traveling solo). If my mother equates her birthday tradition to Baguio, Pop’s version of that is this traditional June family trip is going off to new places and splurging a bit more since according to him, there is little need for saving as both of us his kids are already working anyway. For this year, an option was Dakak in Mindanao but due to unavailability of rooms, we decided to go to Misibis Bay which we have been hearing as one of the nice yet accessible beach places. Knowing that I am a beach person, Pop was considerate and wanted us to go in a beach with calm waves so I can enjoyably swim.

20150611_224015Met with the parents at this hotel in Manila the night before

~~~

It was a smooth trip going there except that there too many people at the Manila airport boarding gate. We were picked up at the airport by our van transfer (oh this comfort more likely when booking in hotels) and while it was 45-minute ride there, an interesting view a few minutes to the resort made it all worth it.

20150612_071924Wait time at some other flight’s gate (because Cebu Pacific’s was so crowded)

~~~

20150612_075411Pop in his favorite window seat!

~~~

20150612_085902My view from the window seat upon touchdown. 

(Come on, Mayon Volcano, don’t be shy)

###

20150612_091307Pop somewhere getting their checked-in stuff

~~~

20150612_102418This view on the way to Cagraray

###

20150612_102431Here’s a slightly better view of the islands

###

Upon arrival, we were shocked (take note: not surprised) as we were welcomed by those guys dancing to tribal music. Free bracelets too upon arrival which I even questioned to which the crew person said — “free bracelets, Maa’m”. (Yep, I can see that. What I wanted to know was why).

20150612_103109Dance it out! 

###

20150612_104421What a welcome view

###

20150612_105857So inviting

~~~

We were there prior to check-in time and it was a looong wait. Lunch was an option but it was around 30 minutes earlier than buffet so we went first to the recreation center, Pop and Ayks played some tennis on the table while Mother Goose and I watched. Then I suddenly wanted to try the pool so I went solo. For 15 minutes, I enjoyably ‘swam’ in that predictable 4-feet pool. Little did I know that that would be place where I would spend most of my time in the resort. I was hoping to swim more in the beach but it turned out scary. Online pictures failed to capture but bed is unpredictable, suddenly goes deep. It could be because spot was not meant for swimming anyway. They just built some breakwater to ‘stop’ the waves. It was about 12 noon when we had lunch – buffet so we were on food coma right after. While my parents and my brother slept through it though, I fought it with the sea and pool. It was only late in the afternoon when they joined and I almost feel like being all cheesy in saying that “the family that swims together, stays together”. It was just that I feel we were having some swimming lessons there as Pop was trying to teach my brother and I. Apparently, it’s my Pop who can swim in the family really. Come dinner time, I guess my parents were not much into such meal at that time of day that we just had room service that night. I had some private dinner arranged for the next day but I heard from Pop and Mother Goose that they would rather spend it with us that I decided to just cancel.

20150612_105945Set-up at lunch area

~~~

20150612_110106Yey to the beach!

~~~

20150612_110402‘Intense’

~~~

20150612_110653Stripes overload on this frame

~~~

20150612_111121Some interesting wall art

###

20150612_111231Some place to burn those buffet calories

~~~

20150612_123644Back to the waiting at the check-in counter

~~~

20150612_124421

On our way to villa 16!

~~~

20150612_124918I hope my umbrella’s big enough for what those clouds carry

(Luckily though, it didn’t rain)

~~~

20150612_135514Who would not want to wake up to this?

~~~

20150612_143726Bench on this side of town

~~~

20150612_143744Our villa somewhere there

~~~

20150612_145603Step on ‘someone’s heart’. Bad

~~~

20150612_151416From our villa’s terrace

~~~

20150612_151432Breaking the water

~~~

20150612_163426From where I was sitting

~~~

20150612_163443Fellow guests enjoying non-motorized water activities 

~~~20150612_165622Another bar pool! Reminded me of one in Plantation Bay in Cebu

~~~

20150612_170004Tartols! (Turtles)

~~~

The following day was spent with again more food followed by singing because it was raining. We were supposed to ride the ATV to someplace but only one double is available that Pop thought we could just snorkel. (Tsk. If only I knew how to ride that thing.) They were trying to fix the other one so we were just waiting until around 930 before deciding to do plan B which is to snorkel.

20150613_054716Great morning! 

~~~

20150613_054830Giant ball of cloud

~~~

20150613_064911And now there is more sun! 

~~~

20150613_071206Good morning, Mother Goose and Pop!

~~~

20150613_083843Some pool this time

~~~

  20150613_085702

Then we discovered free videoke

~~~

20150613_103605I started it then they could not be stopped

~~~

20150613_110103Play time despite the drizzle

~~~

SNORKELING which is done at the Marina is about 5-minute drive from the resort. It is included in one of the activities that one gets to do for Php750 per head (others include kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle). Activity is inclusive of use of vest and snorkeling gear and help of a guide.

It was still drizzling when we did snorkel but luckily, water was still clear. Mother Goose and I had to be with the guide with the rubber float while Pop and Ayks wandered on own in their life vests. It sucks I have no camera for it but I remember vividly that encounter with the colorful parrot fish and that tuna who seemed to be staring at us. Kudos to Mother Goose for going with us! She ended up feeling all puke-y afterwards though. Even Pop and Ayks even felt bad after, which according to them could be due to the too many food during breakfast.

20150613_121643After meet with the clams and fish

~~~

20150613_122129Rock stood out

~~~

  After snorkeling, our next activity is at around 2 in the afternoon. They decided to sleep as expected while I just stayed in the room watching TV and charging my phone. Our ALBAY CRUISE lasted for about an hour and included trip to the Albay Gulf, Sulu Channel as well as bridge that was built to connect Cagraray to main Albay. It was a rather cloudy day but we had not so  much time for this trip that we could not be choosy. We were also fortunate to be able to join other guests for the trip that we did not have to shoulder the extra cost for 2 more persons to make up for minimum. Php 1200 savings, baby! (Okay, there comes the cheapskate in me!)

20150613_140613Before take-off during ferry cruise

~~~

20150613_140852Boatman took a photo of each group on tour

~~~

20150613_140932Aww it was a gloomy day! 

~~~

20150613_141657At one of the stopovers – one of limestone karsts in Albay gulf

~~~

20150613_142506Interesting to pass by these small island towns

~~~

20150613_142716Sula Channel between gulf and Tabaco Bay

~~~

20150613_142738Oh that calm water

~~~

20150613_142842I super wanted to go and pay those houses a visit

~~~

20150613_142935Livelihood

~~~

20150613_143014Sula Bridge which made land travel between Cagraray and main Albay possible

~~~

20150613_143251Passed by under the bridge then back

~~~

20150613_144115Used to be busy before the bridge

~~~

20150613_145244Back to the island. Our villa somewhere there

~~~

20150613_145651Gloom didn’t stop them

~~~

We were back to the island around 330PM and we had to immediately go to the Recreation Center office for our next activity which is tour to the chapel and ampitheater. We shared the van with another couple and it was another short ride.

First stop was the chapel of Misibis which is oftentimes venue for weddings due to its view of Mayon Volcano. A modern one, its high ceiling and predominantly glass wall gives contrasting impression of its bigness amidst a yet bigger place in this town.

20150613_151144Mother Goose immediately went to altar to pray

~~~

20150613_151210Oh such clean

~~~

20150613_151239Even the main altar was minimalistic

~~~

20150613_151301And the altar too!

~~~

20150613_151418Spot Pop and Ayks

~~~

20150613_151433Awww. We could have on of those ATVs to the lava!

~~~

On the same compound as the chapel is an activity place for high ropes which unfortunately is no longer operational. According to our tour/driver, this has been no longer open since the resort turned it over to the government. Maybe just not that much of a priority, huh.

20150613_152128This no longer operational. Sadly

~~~

A very  short drive (less than 5 minutes) from chapel and ropes place is a personal favorite spot – the amphitheater which according to some online articles is the last pit stop for Amazing Race Asia. While it remains unclear to me what this place is actually used for on ‘normal’ days, I still love this place – the view, the many angles one can play with. Personally, it felt like it was just put there and unexpectedly, how it is placed with with the sea and the mountains just made all perfect sense. (Hope you get what I mean from the photos!)

20150613_152357One of my favorite views

~~~

20150613_152558A mandatory shot from our photographer

~~~

20150613_152713This I just love

~~~

20150613_152613Anot her suggestion shot from our tour slash driver slash photographer

~~~

20150613_152848This one proposed by I…

~~~

20150613_152855And this because I was made to look

~~~

20150613_153155From down to up

~~~

20150613_153236This couple taking their fun picture while our couple watches

~~~

20150613_153456Back to the top and another shot

~~~

We were back to the resort from the eco park tour around 4 and remaining part of the day was reserved for rest of non-motorized activities included in the package with snorkeling. We first did kayaking (which unfortunately we did not have pictures of). A first for me but it was relaxing  and quite a learning moment too because we were taught basics of controlling the kayak.

It was around 5PM when we were back on shore. Non-motorized activities were only until 5PM but Pop got curious with the windsurf that he tried it out for a while.

20150613_163421Got curious with this windsurf

~~~

20150613_163435Oh brave girl tried. She kept on saying it was heavy later on 

~~~

20150613_164408Not candid at all

~~~

20150613_164511Now Pop’s turn to try. And previous guy who tried (and failed) could not help but STARE. 

~~~

20150613_164537According to Pop, in this photo he looked like the instructor 😀

~~~

20150613_164552Woot. Photo op moment

~~~

20150613_164732Pop able to stand up and hold it. Then.. that was all. 😀

~~~

After windsurf, brother and I decided to have cocktails by the pool bar while parents slept it out. A crew member mistakenly got his unfinished PIna Colada when it started raining that we get a free glass of cocktail each! We were there until sundown until we get back to room to have our dinner at the room.

20150613_180608As we just had to document moment

~~~

20150613_181153From the far end of the pool

~~~

20150613_181229Orange amid blue

~~~

20150613_183138Spice Market from the infinity pool

~~~

Second day ended with great sleep tired from activities throughout the day. A trip to the city before heading back home on my next entry! OTHER PRACTICAL DETAILS We flew in via Cebu Pacific to Legazpi then got picked up by the resort’s airport transport for Php950 per head.  Travel time from airport to resort is roughly 45 minutes to an hour. There was one restaurant in the resort called Spice Market where each time of day buffets are served. They offer ala carte too. There’s a bar by the pool too. For their activities, please see rates here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s