Across the Country Van Adventure Part 2: Bicolandia

Day 2

We woke up to the sound of bubblewraps. It was 9am and workers from a moving company were already busy packing Sham’s belongings. After almost a decade and a whole container van full of stuff, she is finally moving back to Davao! May and the boys were busy with their laundry. I tried to help with the packing but the professionals were better at it, so I let them be. By 4 pm, Sham’s house was empty (except for some things she’s giving away). So off we went to the much anticipated lunch/dinner at Red Platter, home of the best Kare-Kare (oxtail in peanut sauce). Of course, we had to try Bicolandia’s best: pinangat and Bicol express (dishes in coconut and chili sauce). We visited Ina (Our Lady of Penafrancia) after dinner to pray for guidance and safety on the road. We spent the night at Sham’s house with Sushi (Sham’s faithful dog). Sushi was then Davao-bound too. Sadly, she had to stay behind because she fell ill and was confined to a vet clinic the day before her flight. Everything ended well though, Sushi was reunited with Sham three months later!

Day 3

We left Naga around 3am and arrived at Daraga, home of the Cagsawa Ruins, around 5am. The weather did not cooperate. It rained until 6am and Mt. Mayon was not up to showing its lovely face on such dreary weather (see featured photo above for the ruins and the clouded over Mt. Mayon). We cooked breakfast while waiting for the sun to rise. We over prepare when we travel (we had 80 kilos of checked-in baggage on our flight to Manila) so we brought an entire kitchen with us: 3 portable stoves, 10 butane fuel canisters, 2 cook sets, a kettle, a frying pan, a butcher’s knife, and a foldable dining table so we can prepare good and clean food, whenever, wherever. We said goodbye to Mt. Mayon after a hearty breakfast with a promise of a return trip in the future.


We arrived at Matnog, Sorsogon around 11am, boarded the FastCat ferry after lunch, and arrived at San Isidro, Samar by 3pm. We then drove to Lavezares for an hour, left Joey at the Police station, then boarded a motorized banca to Biri Island around 5pm. Traveling on a small boat for an hour after dark was an adventure in itself. The moon, barely shining on cloudy skies, was our only source of light. That, and a small flashlight used by the boatman as a “blinker” to warn other sea crafts of our presence. One of us, I will not name names to protect their reputation, held on for dear life. Good thing the sea was calm.


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