Monday, March 19, 2012

Byaheng 24Oras: CWC, Malabsay Falls, PNR

We had our first Bicol express suroy (trip) last August. Initial plan was just to see the majestic Mayon Volcano in Legaspi but was extended to a quick adventure in Naga to experience the famous Camsur Wakeboarding Complex (CWC). It was indeed mini-amazing race for us that we decided to book another flight to Naga to fully enjoy the very exciting and body aching wakeboarding activity. 

Normal rate per hour will cost you 165 pesos, with helmet and life vest.  Every Monday, CWC offers a two-hour beginner course for 200 pesos only, from 8am to 10am, plus another two hour free access to the swimming pool (kung feel mong magswimming from 10am-12nn haha.) Anywway, having this in mind, we booked the earliest flight from Manila to Naga via Cebu Pacific

March 12, 2012

J and I left the house at 5am, to catch our 640am flight.

We arrived in Naga Airport. CWC offers free airport transfer so upon exiting the airport, we heard Kuya, calling CWC…CWC… oh well, we were wearing our CWC shirts, so it was indeed very obvious  kung san kami pupunta. We waited for other passengers until 8am before departing the airport.

For the second time in a year, I set foot in CWC. It was like yesterday, when I saw J putting his best foot forward for his wake boarding attempts, yet he went home unsuccessful. Six months, later, he’s back with a vengeance. More fit and prepared, I suppose.

Last year, I was reluctant to try even knee boarding. Besides, J doubted my strength, so I passed. But once is enough. I cannot be afraid forever. Haha. So we both registered for the two-hour beginner course, along with few guest. We’re supposed to begin at 8am, but for some reasons, we started around 845am with our brief orientation.

Since the beginner cable park is out of service,  we settled in the main cable park - which means, we will be battling against the pro.. hahaha..

Kuya: sino hindi marunong lumangoy sainyo
Me: (raised my hand with pride..haha)
Kuya: oh sige mam, halika dito.
Me: sana di nalang ako nagtaas ng kamay.. hahaha

When we started the real deal, I was the last one to hold the pulley. Scared...kaya pinauna ko silang lahat. Haha. I was thinking, baka ako lang ang di makaikot, nakakahiya. But during my first attempt, I saw two others who lost their balance and fell off the waters… and just before I made my first full round, and before J could take a decent photo of me on my knee board while in action… I crashed myself into those orange balls and the waters swallowed me whole.

I found myself a valid excuse not to try knee boarding again during the entire course. I have a weak back bone and knee boarding somehow made me feel like my spinal cord lost some threads and screws. So I rest for a while, while watching other guests having fun with it. J didn’t bother trying knee boarding, as he was serious about his unfinished business with wake boarding.

But just like six months ago, his semplang moment has yet to end. Haha.

First attempt...

Second attempt...

Third attempt...

..and my embarassing moments has just begun…

Good thing, there were a several of us so there was really no room for embarrassment as we were doing the semplang way. Haha. Mas mahaba pa ang oras na ipinila namin kesa sa pagkahulog sa board... I was even kidding the instructor that he was giving us the wrong instruction because no one among the group was able to successfully stand up on the board and had at least one round in the park… well, except for one na kinainggitan naming lahat… tsk..tsk..

After numerous, countless attempts, we decided to give ourselves a little respect… and gave up for the mean time. Besides, our time was up so we had to return our gears… along with another promise to return to CWC.... for the third time… Haha.

J took advantage the free access to the pool, while I ordered for our lunch. I really needed to get back to CWC, not just for wakeboarding, but for laing pizza. It wasn’t available when we were there. Tsk. Tsk. So we had grilled tangigue (170) and kare-kare (200) for lunch and four cups of rice. Nakakagutom malunod lunod sa park ah.

 lunch by the pool...
The best kare-kare ever, sabi nya...

CWC also offers free shuttle service from the park to SM Naga. In case you miss the shuttle, a habal habal or motorcycle can be your option, like what we did. We left CWC around 1230 and proceeded to SM Naga. From here, we took a trike that charged us for 40 pesos going to the PNR Naga station. We had to reserve tickets for our train ride later at 6pm.

For a cheaper route: From SM Naga, take trike to Centro Plaza or Centro terminal  (8pesos). From Centro, take another trike to PNR station (8pesos).

contact number: 6982132
As soon as our tickets were handed to us, we hurriedly went back to SM Naga for the second part of our day trip: Mt. Isarog National Park and Malabsay Falls. Mt Isarog National Park is the jump off point for those interested to climb Mt. Isarog. I wish we had more time to climb it. Haha.

We asked some tricycle drivers how to get to Mt. Isarog National Park, but it seemed like they’re not familiar with it. For some who knew, they were charging us for 300 to 500 pesos one-way. Huh? Some kind jeepney drivers suggested we ride a Panicuason-bound jeep to get to the park. So from SM Naga, we took a trike to Centro Terminal, and manong driver to alighted us to the Panicuason-bound terminal.

Apparently, Panicuason is a liblib place. And there are only few PUV that serves the small village. The kind konduktor suggested that we just ride jeep bound for Carolina – and then rent habal habal to MINP. If only there were seven to ten passengers bound for Panicuason, they’ll be willing to drop us off in the village itself. But since there were only two of us, hanggang Carolina lang talaga. Tsk.tsk. Sige na nga.

Travel time from Centro terminal to Carolina is about an hour. After getting off the jeep, manong konduktor helped us arranged our habal habal service. My plan was to hit Malabsay and Nabontolan falls. But according to manong habal habal driver, he can only drive us to MINP entrance and Nabontolan falls would take us an hour trek from the entrance. Might not a good idea so we agreed to just settle for  Malabsay falls. And the price? 100 one way…  Hmmm… Pero may disclaimer agad si manong habal habal driver – tingnan nyo po muna ang daan mam/sir, saka nyoko bayaran…! Sige na nga kuya! 

The first part of the ride was smooth… it’s along the highway with the panoramic view of the great Isarog mountain.

 showcasing the grand Mt. Isarog...

near the GSP camping grounds

But upon entering Panicuason town, you’d know the reason why there are only few vehicles that servicing the area. And the hundred buck-habal habal ride is all worth it. Indeed a very challenging ride, the roads from Panicuason going to the GSP camp are rough and bumpy. Not to mention, the liblib effect of the green tree-covered-muddy- one-way trial… We met young people trekking their way back to the town from the  falls… Fyi: only a habal habal can reach the entrance of MINP… you might get some offers from trike drivers who’d promise to bring you to MINP gates, when, I don’t think they can even get near the area… unless you want to trek.

will climb you someday...

Before the last stretch of the trail, we passed by a house to where we paid 20 peso each as our registration.


From the entrance, you’ll hear nothing but the cascading waters of Malabsay falls, as if inviting you to trek fast and take the plunge to the abundance of her nature. But just like any other waterfalls I’ve been to, there are no easy ways to experience them. You need to go through some strength-demanding trek… death-defying-like bangin… giant-uprooted-trees… and more.


Too bad for Malabsay falls, it seems like she has been long forgotten by whoever is suppose to manage her. Lumot-everywhere ang eksena. But her beauty remained enchanting.

At first, we were hesitant to take a dip because of the lumot-covered zone. But then again, the waters are irresistible. We hurriedly changed our clothes, then hit the blueish waters… the fre--eezz--zee---ing waters!!!


We agreed not to stay long, besides the waters are intolerably cold. But nothing beats the freezing waters of Tappiya falls. We hiked back to the entrance as fast as we could, even if it was an uphill trek, alongside the lumot-covered pavements. Tsk.Tsk.

Talk about timing: When we arrive the town of Carolina, the jeep bound for Centro was just about to leave. We paid manong habal habal driver - 250 pesos for his all-around service (driver, guide and cameraman). My apologies if I wasn’t able to get his name and number because we were in a hurry. Tsk tsk. We bought two banana cue before hopping the vehicle.

Instead of getting off at the terminal, J decided we disembark at the plaza. We walked around, and while buying some pasalubong… we saw several stores selling secondhand mobile phones. Oldest would be my once favorite Nokia 3310 that ranges from 390-450pesos.  J was actually hunting for an old Nokia 3210, but failed to find one.

After securing baon for our first time ten-hour train ride (excited lang)… we had our quick, early dinner in Jollibee. Then off we went to the PNR station.

We arrive PNR Naga station. We waited inside their air conditioned pre-departure area. Boarding time is 6pm… and the train departs at 630pm.

I have read somewhere that sleeping in the train can be very cold, especially when you get the upper deck beds. So, I dare not miss to our camping gears. Haha. I brought my ever reliable winter socks and mittens.  I also brought his gloves and his bonnet which he didn’t use (na-OA-han na siguro sya sa dala ko..haha)... two blankets and  two jackets… It’s better warm than sorry! Haha...

Passanger1: Buti naka full battle gear kayo, ako nung first time ko, diko alam panu pagkasyahin ang katawan ko sa jacket ko...

clockwise: lavatory, CR, my upper deck bed, lower deck bed, lobby 

J: parang nasa cabin lang tayo ng barko..
Passenger 1: oo, parang nasa barko tayo na may bagyong signal number two…
me: tumah!

Just few minutes after the train departed the station, I succumbed to my sleep. It was a very tiring day after all. I remember J complaining about his body pains during his first CWC experience, I felt worse.  

Good thing we decided not to eat our dinner inside the train, nakakahilo kasi sa loob. You would really choose to sleep the entire duration of the trip because you’ll end up queasy if you don’t.

March 13, 2012
In fairness, amid the head-churning-ten-hour-choo-choo-train ride, we were able to find solace in our respective comfy beds. Special thanks to our very soothing background music that added a relaxing ambiance to our journey.

After a short stop in Alabang station, we started to pack our things and prepared ourselves for the next stop – Pasay road.

It was drizzling when the train alighted in Pasay road station. The station is not very accessible to PUVs so we had to walk to the next street to hail a cab.

Home again. A getaway doesn’t really need to be long and grand, especially if you’re saving your VLs or you no longer have one. Haha. A day trip maybe short and sweet, but it still can satisfy your itchy feet. At kapag trip ko, go kahit bente kwatro!

*I reserved the next 24 hrs for work and for the much needed rest… because the next morning, I had Mt. Tagapo waiting for me.*