Bicol

Went with the family on a year-ender trip on the roads of Bicol. We left late at around 9:30AM to avoid meeting the typhoon head-on. The sky was already clearing through our route and it was already sunny by the time we arrived at Gumaca by around 1. We we’re looking for Lita’s Eatery but we missed it. We ended up having our lunch at Jollibee.

From Gumaca, everything was fined. Except, rhe roads between Sipocot and Libmanan which were terrible. It made me think that no matter what you think of the Marcoses, at least they know how to take care of their constituents. The roads in faraway Ilocos were much better maintained. The people in charge in this part of Bicol apparently doesn’t.

Going into Naga, we got caught up in a traffic jam. That’s when we noticed the extent of the destruction wrought by the typhoon. Toppled posts, torn roofs, and pigs out of their pens. It was around 8PM when we finally got through to Naga. We quickly checked in to Nagaland Hotel. The hotel and its restaurant was crowded so we went out for dinner. Most of the places were also crowded and we ended up at Crown Park which was still crowded but we were able to get a table.

The next day, we had breakfast at Graceland then went around Naga. We went to San Francisco Church and Quince Martires ParkPorta Mariae and the Metropolitan Cathedral. After the walk, we went and had ice cream at First Colonial. The chili and pili ice cream flavors are definitely must tries.

To avoid traffic, we decided to leave earlier than planned and just have lunch somewhere along the way. But we ended up in a traffic jam nonetheless. And it was bigger and slower than the previous day’s. It only got better after Baao. By then it was dark.

Then at San Miguel, the road onward was flooded so we had to take a detour to Iriga. But even the way towards the detour was flooded. It was nerve-wracking driving slowly through the almost-knee deep waters. But thankfully we got through. We went on to the detour through Iriga and finally reached Guinobatan around 8PM. We quickly checked in to Casa Basilisa just barely making it before their restaurant’s last call. Because we  lost half a day, we decided to extend our stay in Bicol for another day. Luckily, there were available rooms.

The next day, we went to Cagsawa Ruins and then Legazpi City to have lunch at Sibid-sibid. We also check out Lignon HillSleeping Lion/Kapuntukan Hill, and Embarcadero. We tried to have dinner at Bigg’s Diner but the food looked like regular fare. We tried to go to First Colonial but they were closing (so early). We ended up at Shakey’s. Regular fare. Yesh.

The next day, we went back to Cagsawa to ride the ATVs. Best decision! The ATV ride was a blast! And the view of Mayon was even better than the previous day. The sky was clearer and, with the ATVs, we were able to move closer and have a less-cluttered (with people) view. Pretty much satisfied with our adventure, we returned to Casa Basilisa and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and relaxing.

We left very early the next day to avoid traffic. We made good time and had our breakfast somewhere past Naga. However, traffic was congested heading into Quezon. Still, we made good time and were in Gumaca by around 1. We had lunch. At Jollibee. Again.

After lunch we headed on. I decided it may be a good idea to pass through Lucban. It was actually good going along the back country roads until somewhere between Lucena and Lucban, James’ car suffered a flat. The whole tire was totaled as he hadn’t immediately noticed it had gone flat. His spare was in good condition but needed additional air. Good thing I had an automatic inflator in my road kit. After a few minutes, we were back on the road.

Then every town we passed, Lucban, Liliw, Majayjay, Nagcarlan turned out not to have bypass roads. We had to pass right through the narrow (and busy) roads of each and every town. We finally reached Calauan and had late dinner at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. After that we proceeded home through Bay, Los Banos, then SLEX.

Another fun road trip with the family!

13th Lagare Clan Reunion

We attended the 13th Lagare clan reunion which just happened to be organized by our branch of the clan. It’s my first time to attend and I was astonished by so many relatives. I’m glad to have met some and seen even more. Till next time!

Bonding Weekend

I made a spontaneous (yes, I can be) decision to go to my parent’s place for the long weekend. Unfortunately, Michelle had to work extra hours due to work lost from the days of flooding as well as from the loss of her laptop so it was just Jeanne and I.

Sat Aug 18 – Michelle drove us to the airport. After checking in, we had a quick breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts before going to pre-departure and boarding. Jeanne slept throughout the plane ride. We were met at the airport by my dad, my, mom, and Ioan. We headed straight to a mall where my mom picked up some stuff. Then we had lunch at Road House Cafe where we had corn soup, chop suey, and lechon kawali. Pretty good, but then maybe I was rather hungry. After lunch, my dad headed to the department store, which was holding a sale, to look for good deals. My mom waited while Ioan, Jeanne, and I went to Book Sale and browsed through the kiddie books. I was watching two kids and I survived! Yeah! After my dad was done, we then went on home.

Sun Aug 19 – We went to the beach. We were there early so we had the beach to ourselves for the morning. We swam and treated the kids to a boat ride. When the sung got higher and hotter, we came out of the water and had lunch of lechon and grilled fish. Typical beach fare. There was also durian. I gave Jeanne some but she didn’t like it too much. We left the beach soon after, just when the crowd started arriving. Back home, we had snacks with coffee. This transitioned to early dinner. And then was followed by dinner. It was eat and eat and eat. I felt so stuffed!

Mon Aug 20 – Early in the morning, we went to the plaza for a morning stroll. I the accompanied my dad for a change oil of his trusty truck. While waiting, we dropped by a convenience store where I got the kids some biscuits. We then went home and I spent the rest of the day resting and napping while Jeanne had fun playing with Ioan and Viela. I only went out when we went for dinner at Tatay’s Grill ‘n Bar. We had shrimp sinigang, tuna roe, and tuna belly. Great food! After dinner, the kids headed over to the mini-playground where they had a blast. Then we went to Iliganon for durian shake. Jeanne tried it and she said she liked it better than the fruit. Good idea for those who want to get started on the joys of the fruit.

Tues Aug 21 – We went to the plaza for a morning stroll again. After breakfast, I rested and napped again (hey, it’s a vacation after all!) while Jeanne played with Ioan and Viela. After lunch, we prepared to leave for the airport. My mom and dad took us to the airport. We had a late snack before they headed off to the city to buy stuff. Jeanne and I checked-in and headed to pre-departure. It was crowded! Several flights were delayed, including ours, so there were more waiting passengers than normal. Fortunately, one of the delayed flights arrived and we were able to finally sit down. Soon after, our flight arrived and we boarded. This time around, Jeanne was awake and was constantly chatting all the way till landing. Michelle picked us up at the airport and then headed home for dinner.

Four days of bonding with Jeanne and spending time with family. Now that’s a great weekend! If only Michelle were there, it would have been complete. Next time.

Home

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing home in bed early on a Friday night but when Jeanne cuddles up beside me I know I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Back Home

Got back home just now. Doctor discharged Jeanne with instructions to simply complete the rest of her antibiotics regimen. Whew! What a weekend!

Thanks to the doctors and nurses for taking care of Jeanne. Thanks also to Michelle and Gretchen who took stayed and slept with Jeanne  throughout her confinement (I shuttled back and forth between home and the hospital).