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Thursday, September 19, 2013

BICOL (Caramoan-Naga) : The first 2 Days at West Peninsula Villas

We opted for a land travel at night so we can spare ourselves from the agony of waiting to get to Bicol. At 6am the next day, our feet held the grounds of the province. As we went off the bus, I roamed my eyes around the neighborhood and i thought it was bland at 1st. Aside: "I feel like I didn't just come from a 12 hour ride. This is much like a Laguna (my province) ambiance, though it was a little more rural than where I grew up." Nevertheless, the scent of the salty ocean and burnt leaves in the morning, plus the cluck of chicken pets, old women with walis tingting as the thing's ends draw lines against the earth made the place quite distinctive from what I felt. Wait though till we get to those islands!

Agitated by the then weather in the metro, which was mostly raining and there's a typhoon pestering the North Eastern part of the Philippines, we thought of offering eggs to Sta. Clara thinking that by doing so, the weather would not jeopardize the trip. Luckily, we were welcomed by a weather reminiscent of summer. Yey!

We spent two days in Caramoan for a series of island hopping and lodged at West Peninsula Villas situated at San Andres, Solnopan, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Since Caramoan once became a set of the international reality TV show franchised SURVIVOR, it was reported that the staff of the show's Filipino version was happily accommodated by West Pen. Hmmmmm... Feeling the Survivor vibe huh.

From L: Kashogi, Kim, Ram, Con, Mie, Pren

Our two day stay at the hotel was quite silent since it was only us and another three men that booked an accommodation that time. We were followed by about some 25 guests on the night of our 2nd day but they left early in the morning the following day. 

Family Suite
Air conditioned, Hot and Cold Shower,
3 beds (which can be shared by 2 people per bed), Cable TV


The room was pleasant. Our wash room was spacious. We had enough room for our things/clothes with the help of the cabinets and hangers. Plus the outside of our room had a receiving area. 

Pool area inside West Pen

Lake Bar

          Open Dining Area with mini refreshment bar (ODA)

A quick tour around West Pen: 

In a capsule, West Pen's a recommended place to lodge in. Aside from its ambiance that is relaxing and the clean rooms, I think the service is fine. Not to mention they serve good food too. Their WIFI connection, that is available for the rest of the guests, is not bad too (probably because there's not much people using it). :) And if your vanity as a man can't stop you from working out to sport that arm out of your sleeves, they have a mini gym available at the back. 

The accommodation we paid for, by the way, is inclusive of the tour/island hopping for two days. You'll be provided with a West Pen owned boat and van for transfers from Bikal Port to West Pen and vice versa. Our tour guide, who was a former employee of the hotel, was very proactive and assisted us all the way through. I recommend you find him in case you want a good customer service.

Our tour guide, Mark Peter Breis. He uses Mac as nickname.
Wasn't able to get his number or FB acct. but you can ask for him at West Pen.

Gallery Here:
Sabang Port
1st & 3rd image: Man made bridge

Bikal Port

Lajos Island (LJ)
LJ 1
LJ 2
LJ 3
LJ 4

Matukad Island (MI)
MI 1
There's a Bukohan station in this island. A few men with a sack of
buko ready for the tourists. 
Buko at 25php apiece.

MI 2

MI 3

MI 4
The Rocky trail we had to go through just to see this legendary Bangus. It was believed that there was a pair of bangus in this lake until a fisherman caught the other bangus, cooked and ate it. After some time, the poor fisherman died. From then on, they left the other bangus alone in that lake and never bothered it. This has become a tourist attraction in this island.

MI 5
There's more that happened behind this image as they tried molding

a sexy body below my head. *Bloopers*

MI 6
The finer sand in this island. This would definitely compete with Bora's

Cagbanilad Island (CI)
CI 1
CI 2
This is not exactly at Cagbanilad Island. This is a snorkeling site near the island. We just opted to really swim during the last hours of our 1st island hopping day. Maycon got tired of the earlier activities so she 
was left at the boat with our bangkeros and took pictures instead.

Paniman (P)
P 1

Definitely a treat after the whole day's agenda! I was asking for vinegar to match it with this BBQ but they've none. They offered me this Atsara as sauce. Oh boy, suka suddenly ranked at 2nd best!

Note: This place is not really part of the island hopping adventure. It served as another port. Our service van fetched us here then went back to West Pen after relaxing for like an hour.

Shrine Of Our Lady Of The Most Holy Rosary (SOOLOTMHR)


Manlawe Island (ManI)
Where the sand bar is, which only shows up during low tide.
Luckily, we were able to catch it.
Manl 1
Manl 2
Manl 3
Manl 4
Maycon and The Kids

Cotivas Island (CI)
CI 1

CI 2
The skeleton type Nipa Huts

CI 3

CI 4
And this island, by the way, gave birth to this short, funny clip edited and directed by Efren Belen. See full video here: Lovers in Isla Biyak Naba to?

Sabitang Laya (SL)
SL 1

SL 2

Snorkeling (S)
S 1
S 2
S 3

The Old Town Church (OTC)
This is the oldest Church in Caramoan




That's all folks! Hope we didn't bore you with the pictures. We have way too many shots, it was really hard to choose which among them are worth posting. Meanwhile, above's the result of the hard time I had while discerning which images should come out here. hihi. ♥ 

See our next post to see what happened during the last 2 days of our adventure in Bicol.

By the way, if you need to see the IT we used and the breakdown of the expenses, we have an entry for that, which you can find here. :)



More ♥,

Wandering Venus


Nomad said...

Interesting yung sa bangus ah though I really don't believe in superstitious beliefs but I respect them just don't force it to impose in me. Haha!

Wandering Venus said...

All you have to do is make believe. haha. We respect their belief. :) but definitely a site to visit!

acey dela cruz said...

Who was your contact at West Pen? I made a deposit yesterday and sent them a copy of the bank slip, but I did not get any confirmation. I called all their numbers this morning and nobody answered. Sent messages, but nobody cared to reply. I just sent them a personal message in FB. Our trip is next week! :( Sigh...

Nice post and pics btw! ^_^

Wandering Venus said...

Hi Ms. Acey Dela Cruz. Aw! The only contact #s we have of West Peninsula Villas are these: 09177901624, 09153295669 and 09212642538. I can't remember the name of the guy I spoke with and which # I'm always calling then, but they always answer my calls. With the receipts I have kept with me, I can only manage to provide you with their email (westpenvillas@yahoo.com), their contact #s mentioned earlier. I threw our deposit slip after the trip. Now I dont have the copy of their bank acct name and #! I hope you get a hold of them. We had a nice experience there and hoping for yours too! :) Hope that helps. Thanks! Have a safe trip. :)

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