Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Traveller’s Magnificent Cone (An Unusual Outlook Of Mayon Volcano)

                Here we go again, I am about to embark myself on another long odyssey, to set sail again on a set of Provinces. A Second Series but unlike no other, this time, it is bloodier and harder. And I call it “THE SOUTHERN LUZON CHALLENGE”. I, your Pambansang Manlalakbay, Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson would take an Adventure on these Provinces, namely Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon. This challenge is the same as my First Series in Northern Luzon, a 1,500 Philippine Peso Budget for each Province, where and how far would it take me? Would it still be a success for the second time around? Well, here is the story…

                I was only given six days to complete my mission in these Five Provinces situated in Southern Luzon. My First Province is ALBAY. So from Baguio, I travelled six hours to Manila for only 356 Philippine Pesos & right away, I rode the earliest bus to leave for LEGAZPI ALBAY and it took me fourteen long but smooth hours to arrive at my destination which have only outlaid me 400 Philippine Pesos.

                As I have arrived in Legazpi terminal, I rode the jeep going to this new attraction found within the City, the EMBARACADERO MALL, an open shopping center along the Legazpi Bay with a spectacular view of the Ocean and the Famous Perfect Cone Shape MAYON VOLCANO. It was cloudy and windy at that time so the setting for me was perfect! I went to Embarcadero mall because this is where my Hotel is located too. Yes! There is a Hotel inside the open mall which has a Great 360 Degree view of what Legazpi can offer, its name is ELLIS ECOTEL and it only costs 288 Philippine Pesos per night. With it is already a beautiful, clean, classy air-conditioned room & outside of it, is a marvelously built mall with awesome attractions.

                I rested for a while and after that I went to one of the mall’s restaurants named Gilian’s Sea Wharf Chef, oh I missed Seafoods! I ate their deliciously mixed grilled blue marlin! After that, I walked to their town proper and was amazed because it’s as if I was in another Country. Honestly, it is only for the first time that on a very urbanized place, I didn’t see any garbage or trash in the streets, it was very clean! I can’t help but say “Great Job!” to the people of Legazpi Albay. You are truly Role Models of Cleanliness and Discipline in one’s own neighborhood. I double salute you for that!

                On the second day, I visited the popular destinations around Legazpi, from Embarcadero Mall, I rode the jeep going to Daraga Albay for only 10 Philippine Pesos, it is where the Famous Landmark CAGSAWA RUINS is located, as well as LIGNON HILL, the place where Extreme Adventures are offered. While I’m at Lignon Hill, I saw that this company YOUR BROTHER TRAVEL AND TOURS has a promo, an offer I can’t resist, Thanks to the owner’s nephew, Mr. Joefel Salarson for giving me a great deal, the regular rate of the ATV Tour to Mayon Volcano’s Lava Front is 1,800 Philippine Pesos but I got it for only 599 Philippine Pesos, the experience would usually last for 3 hours with an 18 kilometer non-stop drive through riverstreams, dirt and rough roads. That’s why you should prepare for Extreme wetness! After arriving at the Lava Front, I hiked the rocky hill and had an up close and flawless view of the Grand Perfect Cone Shaped Mayon Volcano. Whew! It is just plain AMAZING!!! To end my Mayon Volcano Adventure, from the top of the Lava Front, I Ziplined down to its foot for only 250 Philippine Pesos, care of MAYON ADVENTURE LAND’s Mr. Nad Agao, that was an Exhilarating Finish! After that, I went back to my Hotel and had a quick shower then I walked for about twenty minutes to “PURO”, a long boulevard facing the Legazpi Bay where along it are bright and lively restaurants & bars. I had my dinner there, in Rock Port Cottage, another Seafood retreat! All in all, my second day in Legazpi was very memorable, I really had so much fun, my Soul was alive again…
                On my third day, I tried Legazpi’s latest attraction, the EDGEWALK and Zipline at Embaracadero Mall’s Outdoor Recreational Activities. It is similar to Cebu’s Skywalk, although Skywalk is 500 feet high while Edgewalk is 200 feet high but the best thing about Edgewalk is that you can see the whole of Legazpi, its Bay just fronting the Embarcadero Mall and a very tremendous view of the Perfect Cone Shaped Mayon Volcano. I definitely had a worthwhile walk at the edge of Legazpi! To sum it all up, I had to go down the land via its 350 meter Zipline! This Zipline is unique because you will be Ziplining above the Legazpi Bay! What an Experience!!! Later on my third day, I was planning on a more priceless memory, one of my faithful supporters Ms. Krista Barbara GueriƱa is from Legazpi, so I surprised her at the place she is working, in CHED Region V, just imagine her face being surprised – that one was even better than what I’ve expected, above priceless! So we went out to eat at 1st Collonial Grill where I had my fine tasteful dinner of Laing. Bicolanos are really Great Chefs, they’re perfect in mixing their Recipes! Thank you to Krista for surprising me, she treated me and even gave me a gift of Legazpi’s sweets!

                At night, I went to “Puro” which means “Dulo” in Bicolano. It’s a very long boulevard by the Bay where I just walked and thought of my Grandfather, the GREAT “ARMANDO Q. LEYVA”, asking questions to the Ocean while sitting on the Seawall… In this place, you can jog in the morning and there are cheap restaurants fronting the Bay too, serving delicious Seafoods. So it’s a perfect place where you could just hangout and relax for the rest of the day.

                All in all, if I were to rate my Legazpi Adventure on an out of 10 scale? It would be a Soaring 15!!! "For me, I have dubbed Bicol as the EXTREME CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES! They love it Spicy and they love it Extreme!"

                Oh and by the way, I just spent 2,525 Pesos on my three days stay in Legazpi, I was over my set budget but I had the best and most worthwhile treatment I could possibly imagine from the Bicolanos! It’s still Awesome! And I give them a Huge YEBAH!!!

- Happy Loner Traveller

*** This Article is dedicated to the "GREAT" ARMANDO Q. LEYVA. Tatay, I always miss you and I love you so much...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Traveller’s Suburban Neighborhood (An Urban Jungle Outside The Metro)


                To narrow down my bucketlist in finishing off my Extreme Adventure commitments, I went to Magalang Pampanga to experience their Ultralight Plane, I went to the safest and famous agency that offers this and it is in the ANGELES FLYING CLUB. Their Introductory Flight only costs 1,650 Philippine Pesos and "with a twenty minute absolute feel of being above the World, just like Superman floating in the air, 1,000 Feet above, colliding your body through the wind and overseeing everything that GOD had created for us, it just feels like Heaven…" Now, I could fully understand what the privilege of Birds and Eagles have… Ultralight Flying is a better encounter compared to Commercial Planes because it is open, you could actually feel the wind bumping into your face. Having to do this in an Extreme way and knowing that you are safe & secured is nothing but a worthwhile experience to escape Life & Death for a glimpse, and just having that opportunity to enjoy what you have, even for just 25 minutes…

                After my Super Great Adventure in Angeles Flying Club, I continued to explore the Urban Jungle of Pampanga, outside the skirts of Metro Manila. Kapampangans are known for being Great Chefs, that is why my goal is to discover the best restaurants in their City… So I’ve tried TIGER’S GRILL (best served steaks), DIDI’S PIZZA (best served pizza), ANGELES FRIED CHICKEN (best served chicken) and TOLL HOUSE (best served food varieties). All in all, inside of me, I feel like a Kapampangan too. I found my similarity in them, I love to cook and especially, I love to EAT! I consider Pampanga as my Third Home…

                I would like to thank Captain Max Guevarra (Pilot) and one of Angeles Flying Club’s Staff Ms. Jonalyn Datu for your warmest hospitality to your Pambansang Manlalakbay Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson. YEBAH!!!

- Happy Loner Traveller

 *** This Article is dedicated to the "GREAT" ARMANDO Q. LEYVA. Tatay, I always miss you and I love you so much...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Traveller’s Boarding Addiction (A Surfing Hobby)



                Now, I already understood why many people who have tried Surfing became so addicted to it, that the sport got stuck with them because for the very first time, your Pambansang Manlalakbay Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson has finally experienced Surfing and the feeling is very mutual with others who can’t let go of the unexplainable addicting sensation brought about by the muscular sport of Surfing…

                I was in large regret because for several years, I took the sport for granted and it was only now that I have tried Surfing. Eventhough, I’m only just an hour and a half away to one of the most famous Surfing Spots in Northern Luzon which is in “SAN JUAN LA UNION”. Until now, I still can’t believe that I never even tried Surfing there but after my exposure to it, it changed my whole belief to the idea of the sport. It was one of the greatest experiences in my Life. My first ever try was a “Job Well Done” because I stood up and balanced myself well on the Surfing Board. "It’s as if I felt that I’m soaring so high while I’m gliding above the cloudy bubbled waves formed by the immense Sea." Once you have learned to stand up and balance yourself longer on the board – that is where the addiction to the sport comes in because you just can’t get enough of it, you’ll just want more and more and more… Great thing, I could already stand up on my first ever try. Just imagine how fast I learnt in an hour...

                Now that Surfing is my newest sport and hobby, as well as my latest workout regimen (because you will use every bit of your muscles here), I am recommending the sport of Surfing more rather than going to the Gym… I will always be Surfing every week and the best time to Surf is at six in the morning during weekdays, as you can own the whole Beach by yourself which is what Happy Loner Traveller wants!!!

                At four in the morning, I would go down to San Juan La Union and Surf there for an hour or two & then I’ll come back right away to Baguio and return to my daily duties. Thank you so much to my Professional Surfing Instructor, Benjamin, for encouraging me to love the sport! Thanks also to the Surfing Instructors of SEBAY SURF RESORT namely Badz, Allan & Freddie, who always welcomes Happy Loner Traveller with a Big “Surfer’s Aloha Sign” and to the owner of the New COSTA VILLA BEACH RESORT, Mr. Ferdinand “Ding” Farnacio, for your very warm hospitality & for sharing your very beautiful resort to me. This is to the New Surfer Addict, your Pambansang Manlalakbay Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson saying YEBAH!!!

- Happy Loner Traveller

  *** This Article is dedicated to the "GREAT" ARMANDO Q. LEYVA. Tatay, I always miss you and I love you so much...