Tag Archives: Things to do in Albay

MISIBIS BAY: YOUR LUXURY ISLAND PLAYGROUND REVIEW.

How do I define luxury? Simple, it’s Misibis Bay.

misibis bay

Misibis Bay Infinity Pool
Misibis Bay Infinity Pool
facade of main building
facade of main building

The staff, architecture, facilities (even the shampoo, conditioner, bath soap) define luxury at its best. The shampoo, conditioner and bath soap are made of high end brands. The buildings stand tall, showing its grandeur design. The staff are well trained. Trained enough to make everyone smile.

Let me tell you that this is not a sponsored post, I’ll tell you my honest opinion about Misibis Bay. No sugar coating. My real review. My real opinion.

Misibis Bay

I went here last September 2012, only for a day tour which costs more or less P3500.00 per person. We were told to meet up in Hotel Venezia at 6am which is located inside one of the luxury subdivisions in Legazpi City, called Renaissance Garden.

We rode a van in order to get there, the van contains separate seats and  a spacious leg room. The staff will hand you a bottled water just in case you get thirsty. and the way towards the resort is not that rocky, so, it is not tiring at all. Just hate the part, when we waited for the other guests to arrive, or to get ready, the other guests that we are sharing the van with are late, knowing that they’re staying in Venezia itself– which is managed by the same company that holds Misibis Bay. The hotel should have told them to hurry up or else they’ll be left behind without refund, instead, the hotel staff did not do anything but let us wait– which I think is too wrong and too long.

The travel time is about 1.5 hours, and during the whole trip, I was wide awake, because of my curiosity as well as my excitement. I just can’t contain it.

main building misibis bay
main building misibis bay

When I saw the gate, I felt my heart thump more than the usual. When the gate opened, smiles and greetings are in the air, although I can’t hear it myself since I’m still inside the van. I just saw them smiling so kindly to us. Giving us a warm welcome. And just few seconds after, I can hear a loud sound, and there it is,  the Ibalong dance. 2 youngsters are dancing to greet us with their lovely costume and dance moves, after which we were brought to the main lobby.

Ibalong dance in Misibis Bay
Ibalong dance in Misibis Bay

The staff is courteous, always smiling and the best part is, they make you feel like a King or queen even just for a day. Upon arrival in Misibis Bay, My brother and I were greeted by the Ibalong dance (Ibalong is a tale/legend about Albay). Provided us with our own complimentary juice, and waited by their staff who answered our every whim– but, we didn’t overstep our boundaries though, we just asked information regarding the resort. All throughout that day I spent in Misibis made me think that I can feel rich even for just a time.

Complimentary juice
Complimentary juice
reception desk
reception desk

About the facilities, It has everything that you ask for a resort, except for the horse riding part (though I’m not sure, if they don’t have this). 🙂 They have hotel rooms which costs about P20,000 per night. Which is expensive for the Filipino middle class. But, hey, what they are selling here is the exclusivity, or may I say the luxury, and their target are those people who love it.  So, if you want to feel a little luxury yourself, and you can afford it, then why not spend it here.

The facilities include the gym, which is quite small in size, about 40sqm, but has 2  treadmill, and the usual things that you see in a gym. Pardon my brother, I asked him to pose for me. 🙂

Misibis Bay gym

We didnt bring gym clothes. I just asked my brother to pose for me. It's not real. haha
We didnt bring gym clothes. I just asked my brother to pose for me. It’s not real. haha

In Misibis, there are 3 pools. The best pools are the ones near the villas and of course the infinity pool, since the other one is for the youngsters. Isn’t the view awesome?

Misibis Bay Infinity Pool
Misibis Bay Infinity Pool

Misibis Bay

AS FOR THE BEACH… Well, all I can say is that it is so-so. Why? The sand is not as white as they claim. For me, it is brown. The sand is inconsistent, some powdery while some sandy. And the beach itself is not amazing, it is only a small stretch of beach. The water is not the boracay blue—light blue–instead it is dark blue with a hint of a green. And while swimming, you’ll realize that you are stepping in rocks, which have this green moss or algae, or whatever, so I guess, the hint of green color was from those. And mind you, it is a bit slippery, so be careful. If I’m the person who wants to go here just because of the beach, then you’ll be disappointed, just like me, who thought that it has a long stretch of white sand as the pictures and the promo materials depict, but the truth is it is not the same.  I’d rather go to Caramoan or beaches in Sorsogon if my main point is to go the beach. .If you are planning on a vacation where you can walk or jog in the sand, then this is not the resort you should be looking at. Stay in Boracay or other resorts instead. .

The beach is the downside, but hey, there are only few people who will share the beach with you, so it is not that bad, especially if you are looking for privacy or exclusivity, which Boracay’s white beach can’t offer you.

Misibis Bay

Misibis Bay

AS FOR THE FOOD. Well, it’s buffet and it’s included in our day tour package. The buffet table has variety, few but enough.I love the dessert table too. I ate halo-halo from there. Although I would say that the taste is just so-so. It is good but not that good to say WOW! And if you buy an ala carte food here, the lowest price you could get is P300.00, expensive yes. But, you are in the right place to spend, and you went there to spend anyway, so why not?

Ambiance of the restaurant. So beautiful.
Ambiance of the restaurant. So beautiful.

Misibis Bay buffet food

Misibis Bay buffet food

Misibis Bay buffet table. only a few variety of food.
Misibis Bay buffet table. only a few variety of food.

Misibis Bay buffet food

Misibis Bay dessert table
Misibis Bay dessert table

Misibis Bay buffet food

Halo-halo corner
Halo-halo corner

AS FOR THE STAFF. Part of what I love in Misibis are the smiling, ready to help staff that serves your every whim. Ask them and they will answer. All I can say is Filipino hospitality at its finest. I have no qualms about the staff, and also… they make sure you are safe in every way, they always remind you to wear your life jackets, and life guards are just within your sight. It is amazing to see how they make sure that you are having a great time.

WHAT MADE ME ENJOY MISIBIS ARE THE RESORT ACTIVITIES. Sports or other activities are free for day tour guests. I tried ziplining, hobie cat sailing, snorkeling and touring cagraray island, and of course swimming…swimming..swimming.

Zipline. (which is crazy, because it was my first time, and is part of my bucket list). The area you’ll be hanging into, is a cliff. Yes, a cliff. And it is about 400m long. By which IF… JUST IF.. IF the cable holding your dear life snaps, then just close your eyes, say your prayer and wish that you’ll be getting into heaven. I loove the zipline here. It’s adrenaline pumping, heart thumping and of course an experience of a life time. My first zipline is in here, and it is a 400m and below is a cliff, not those sissy types of zipline like that in the mall of asia, that is only 6-7 m high from the ground- I call that sissy zipline. I’m glad that my first time was as scary as this! hah!

The zipline here though has a stop in the middle, so it is not a straight 400m. But, the stop is in the middle of a cliff, so in any way, to get back to the main road, you need to ride it again, this time, in a not-so-scary part… and mind you, I was scared during my first “flight” but I don’t have a choice but to get to the other side by doing it again.

I told you it's a cliff!
I told you it’s a cliff! and by the way, it’s just the other half.
I'm coming!!!!!
I’m coming!!!!!

Snorkeling. That was my first time that I touched the expensive yet yummy sea cucumber that East Asians love to eat. And the fishes that surround you is really amazing, A lot of different fishes. Schools of fishes (yes, fishes, since there are different schools of them). This is fun and I was really happy that I tried it. All the snorkeling gears are free, the bread that you’ll feed to the fish and you’ll have your snorkeling guide too.

Having a non-water proof camera sucks. so that's the only pic I got.
Having a non-water proof camera sucks. so that’s the only pic I got.

Hobie Cat Sailing. I just love sailing with this light-material looking boat. ha! I don’t know how to describe it, just look at the pictures below: Well, I love riding it because it was my first time and that I love how we move because of the wind. We are sailing fast and went so far beyond the boundary because the wind is powerful, which adds to the excitement. Those who are scared to try this, don’t worry you are required to wear a life vest.

The hobie cat. focus on the hobie cat.
The hobie cat. focus on the hobie cat.

Kayaking. It was hard. I just kept on circling and circling, and a bit scared, so I stopped. Although it is just for a while it was fun!

Stand Up paddle surfing. I’m telling you, this is impossible! haha! I tried this one and knew about it because of the Amazing Race and I tried to imitate it. Although it looks easy but it is not. Really, it is not. haha. This is where you will need to stand in a surfing board and paddle yourself to move while you’re in the water. It’s fun but seriously hard.

Then the tour. The tour took us to see what’s in the Cagraray Island. We were touring using a golf cart, we went to the theater, the beautiful church/chapel, the part of the resort for the middle class, where the hanging bridge is located, and 2 pools can be seen.  zipline site and the snorkeling site. 🙂

In the golf cart to see the whole Cagraray Island.
In the golf cart to see the whole Cagraray Island.
Misibis Bay Hanging Bridge
Misibis Bay Hanging Bridge
The theater
The theater
the view
the view
Misibis Bay Church
Misibis Bay Church
Inside the Church. The altar. It is overlooking the sea.
Inside the Church. The altar. It is overlooking the sea.

Relaxing. My brother and I waited until it is not that hot anymore to swim or try the activities. So, the first thing we did was to go to the building where the facilities like table tennis/ billiards *(if I remember it right), and the soccer game table, lots of sofas, tables, magazines, televisions and internet-ready computers. We stayed there and played everything until we got bored, ate lunch and started the activities that I mentioned above.

Misibis Bay Entertainment Hall
Misibis Bay Entertainment Hall
Misibis Bay Entertainment Hall
Misibis Bay Entertainment Hall
The pingpong table
The pingpong table

Swimming. We went to every pool that we can see. But we didn’t even try to dip ourselves in the kiddie pool. haha. But my first instinct was to go to the beach, and we swim there, although just for a few minutes. I noticed that there is bar in the beach, so you can order your drinks, alcoholic or not in that bar. There’s also a bar in the infinity pool itself, you can buy your ice cold shakes or alcoholic drinks while swimming in the infinity pool and savoring the blue sea amid the blue sky.

Misibis Bay Pool
Misibis Bay Pool. My favorite pool among them all.

In short, I enjoyed Misibis. It is hard to tell otherwise, especially because of the list of activities they offer, especially the zip line. But most of all, what I loved here is the exclusivity of the resort. You will think that you’re the only guests in the place. I experienced having the beach and pool by myself, and not only that, I felt that I’m being served by the staff as if I’m a queen. Although they can improve in terms of the food, but I don’t know how they’ll improve the beach. hah! 🙂

If you’ll ask me whether the money is worth it? YES, for the experience. But I can say that once is enough.

My judgment: MISIBIS IS NOT ONLY A PLACE: IT’S AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF.

For more information: Visit http://www.misibisbay.com/resort.html

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Lana’s Halo-Halo: The Best Halo-Halo in Legazpi City

Halo-Halo means a mixture of everything that is yummy and of course, edible! It is one of the sweet treats that you can see in almost all of Filipino restaurants. It is eaten during any day of the year, especially if the weather is too hot to contain.

The yummy Halo-Halo 🙂

It consists of tapioca, gelatin, milk, yam, sugar and shaved ice. Sometimes they add leche flan or ice cream to make the taste yummier.

In Legazpi, there is one halo-halo shop that is worthy of my praise- Lana’s Halo-Halo. This shop opened even before I was born, and now, they are still alive and kicking! The yummy and rich flavor of this Lana’s treat is really something you should try once you are in  Legazpi– trust me, the taste is really great!

Lanas’ Halo-Halo

What makes this different to other shop? because of their signature taste. I ask you to try them and you will never be disappointed

Moreover, -the ice are shaved to perfection. the ice definitely melts in your mouth without even munching it—unlike other halo-halo’s where the shaved ice are really big that when you munch the ice you can hear your teeth grind— and from this you will be too tired eating the whole halo-halo because your jaw is already tired trying to munch the ice.

Lanas’ Halo Halo Store

If you tried Razon’s in Manila, I think you will also like this, or worse, you will think that Lana’s Halo-Halo is better 🙂

Aside from the mouthwatering treat, you will also love their price! The price is only P35.00 or $0.81 USD. Half the price of other well-known brands.

Well, this shop is not located in a fancy restaurant, the mall or any place you might think that it is located, instead it is in the Legazpi Market Area. Where dry and wet goods are being sold. But don’t worry since the area where the stall of Lana’s is in the food area, so you won’t smell any stink from fish, meat or even vegetables 🙂 It is located in the 1st floor and the back area of the Market.

And also you shouldn’t worry about your stomach’s safety because even since when I was a kid until today, I always eat there and nothing weird happens in my stomach! So I can say it is perfectly clean and safe to it 🙂

THIS IS A MUST TRY!

So, how to get there?

1. Ride a tricycle/ taxi and tell the driver to drop you off in the back portion of the Legazpi Market and then ask where Lana’s Halo-Halo is (the driver might even know where it is) It is famous, so he probably know where it’s located.

Tip:

1. order the ordinary halo-halo it is much better than the one with ice cream! 🙂 trust me on this! 🙂

HAPPY WANDERING!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES (ITINERARY, HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES ETC.)

Things to do in Albay, Philippines

There are a lot of activities open for tourists and locals alike in Albay.

Honestly,  I haven’t tried some of the things listed here  but I promise to try it when I go back to my hometown this May. 🙂

Those in asterisks are the things that I haven’t tried. But I will update it as soon as I set my foot in my lovely hometown

THINGS YOU CAN DO IN ALBAY

  1. Sightseeing — savor the captivating beauty of Mayon Volcano
  2. Swimming — swim in the black sand beaches in Bacacay, Albay, the black colored sand came from the beautiful Mayon herself or you can go to the nearby Cagraray Island which has a stretch of white sand beach and where the infamous luxury resort Misibis Bay is located.
  3. ATV-riding — ride the ATV and go around the foot of Mayon *
  4. Hiking — hike the treacherously steep slope of Mt. Mayon * or the Lignon Hill
  5. Spelunking — explore the long and winding caves of  Camalig, Albay
  6. Church-hopping — there’s a lot of centuries old church in Albay that you might want to explore and visit especially if you are an architecture buff 🙂
  7. Bar-hopping — The bar scene in Albay, especially in Legazpi City, doesn’t lack character. Moreover, there are a lot of bars that offers cheap prices that will definitely make you wanting for more!
  8. Zip-lining — you can zipline in Lignon Hill while you enjoy the beautiful view of Mayon Volcano as a backdrop *.
  9. Rappelling — you can do this in Embarcadero, a newly opened mall and lighthouse in the foot of a mountain which was called as sleeping lion 🙂 *
  10. Eat Bicol Express or Pinangat — this is Bicol’s specialty so don’t miss this when you go to Albay! (I’ll make a post about this, so tune in! 🙂 )

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

  1. Eat Pinangat or Bicol Express
  2. Buy Pili nuts for souvenirs (Albay is well-known for growing yummy pilinuts!), you can buy these in Satellite terminal
  3. Go to Cagsawa Ruins
  4. Try the pinangat-carbonara in Small Talk Cafe (I’ll make another post for this, so tune in! I’m just waiting for my brother to upload the photos.

In the video below, you will see a sneak peek of what Albay can offer you. This is a teaser from the Philippines well-known TV show: Sports Unlimited. (No Copyright Infringement Intended; Invoking Fair Use policy)

LOOK IN TO MY NEXT POST: I CREATED a sample itinerary for your travel which is SURELY BUDGET-FRIENDLY !

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES ( HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES, TRIVIA ETC.)

Bacacay, Albay: A lair of black sand beaches

Black sand beaches are rare in the world. Only few places in earth has this kind of sand– and one of this is in Albay, Philippines.

Black Sand Beach in Bacacay, Albay —Oops.. the R in wanderer is missing! 🙂

There are a lot of white sand beaches in the Philippines, but rarely you can see a black colored one. Here in Bacacay, Albay you can see long stretches of black sand. These stretches are caused by natural erosion of volcanic rock and sand–so in short, it came from Mayon Volcano.

The sand coming from Mayon was said to be the best for constructing buildings and such, however, it is not as powdery fine like any other white sand beaches. But it is still sand– and beach so it is enough for me.

Bacacay is another municipality of Albay, It is 45 minutes to 1 hour ride going to this majestic black sand beaches. You can either ride a van or jeep going to Tabacco or Bacacay. You can go to Satellite Terminal Station where you can find a van/ jeep that traverses Legazpi City to Tabacco or Bacacay. Ask the driver to let you off at Brgy San Jose junction. Then ride a tricycle to take you to the resort you wanna go but you can just ask the locals where the best resort is located. Tricycle Fare is P7.00/ person ($0.16) and P 50.00 or ($1.16 USD) for special trip; which means you don’t need to wait for other passengers to ride the tricycle, it is like riding a taxi. Or wait for the Jeep going to Sogod for P 7.50/person (0.20 USD). One of the best beaches is located in Sogod.

Don’t worry about prior reservations or such, there are a lot of resorts in Bacacay which you can have your overnight stay. But I suggest that you just make a day trip here since there’s nothing going on at night–unless, of course you really wanna swim and enjoy the black sand beach.

I’m sorry but I wasn’t able to get a good picture since it was raining when we went there.

We went there last December 🙂 The only trash that you can see is only seaweeds 🙂

This place might not be appealing for some… but just take note: the same color of sand is what you see in Hawaii and Maui 🙂 Just imagine you are out and about in these overseas places….

seeing a black sand beach in the Philippines is something worth of your time and effort.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES (ITINERARY, HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES ETC.)

Mayon Volcano, Philippines: Truly Wonderful

I was born and raised in Legazpi City where a perfectly amazing landmark is located– The Mayon Volcano.

Being used in seeing this Volcano since I was young, I wasn’t really that amazed on how unique and beautiful it is. I always say to myself– “It’s no big deal, It’s just a freaking Volcano”

I went to Manila to pursue my studies thus, I’ve never seen this wonderful volcano for a long time.. Since I am far from it, I’m kind of missing seeing this volcano..And the real deal is that every time I go back to Legazpi for a vacation, and upon deplaning… There’s always a realization which always runs in my head……

I realized how beautifully crafted it is…

How different it is from other volcanoes out there…

and how  it made my heart flutter when I see it…

And every time I see this natural wonder I really feel that I’m finally home…

I realized that It’s something important in my life. In other sense, it witnessed my life.. from being toddler to a full-grown lady… and being away from it makes me feel incomplete….

Mayon Volcano (taken in Embarcadero sept. 2011)

This Volcano is always in your periphery when you are in Legazpi, it sits perfectly in your line of sight… Just sit down somewhere (where no buildings will kept the view out) and you can savor the beauty of this beautiful Mayon Volcano. One of the places where you can really savor the beauty of Mayon is in Cagsawa Ruins, Embarcadero (during sunset) and in Mayon International Hotel (Now, named as The Oriental Hotel), Lignon Hill and the Legazpi City Airport.

Mayon Volcano before I ride the plane going back to Manila (Taken in Legazpi Airport)

The name of this volcano is “Mayon” a shortcut for “Magayon” which means Beautiful in Bicol’s dialect. The name suits it very well because it has an almost perfect cone…and its beautifully laden landscape in rice paddies.. and also, you will be amazed on how it kept its natural beauty for centuries.

And… That’s not it; Mayon Volcano is part of the 7 Natural Wonders in the Philippines, so It’s really a MUST-SEE!

However, Mayon is quite shy and always cover herself with Clouds, so some unlucky visitors in Albay can only see her wonderfully shaped figure only once or sometimes not even once…There’s a legend that explains why Mayon is always covered with Clouds

Mayon covered in clouds in Cagsawa Park

THE LEGEND SURROUNDING MAYON:

The Legend of Mayon Volcano is that once upon a time, there lived a beautiful young maiden named as Daragang Magayon (Beautiful Lady), she is the daughter of a tribe leader of Rawis (a place in Albay, which is still called as it is until now). Since Magayon is really beautiful, a lot of young men from different tribes likes her and one of her very daring suitor is Pagtuga (in english, Eruption), he is really in love with Magayon… But Magayon doesn’t like him because of his boastful attitude and unkind heart.

Magayon was playing in the Yawa River (A river in Rawis, Legazpi City which is still existing until today) when she suddenly slipped and unfortunately she doesn’t know how to swim. Luckily a young man named Ulap (Cloud) was walking near the river and he saw the damsel in distress and helped her. Magayon was shocked on how and why Ulap saved her, knowing that Ulap is from a rival tribe. But Ulap was also shocked on how beautiful Magayon was and fell in love with her in an instant. Magayon also fell in love with Ulap upon knowing how kind and loving he can be.

When Pagtuga learned about the relationship of Magayon and Ulap, he kidnapped Magayon’s father and told her that if she doesn’t marry him, he will kill her father; Magayon told this dilemma to Ulap, then Ulap being the prince of another tribe went towards Pagtuga’s lair and killed him… Magayon saw how victorious her love is and went towards Ulap when she was suddenly hit by an arrow from Pagtuga’s warriors; Ulap went towards her not knowing what to do and suddenly he was also pierced by a spear which caused his untimely death…

Magayon’s father decided to bury the two together, and in shock, the people realized that the grave became higher and higher until it formed what it is today…

It was said by my teachers when I was in grade school that once Mayon is covered with clouds… Ulap and Magayon are kissing each other and their love is being reconciled… while when it errupts… they say that Pagtuga can’t still rest in peace and still harasses Magayon… While others says that it is Magayon’s own wrath about how she was killed and her beloved… and how their love untimely ended.

Beautiful Mayon Volcano 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT ALBAY PHILIPPINES (ITINERARY, HISTORY, REVIEWS, PLACES TO EAT, MUST SEE PLACES ETC.)

Albay, Philippines: An Introduction

This place is where the majestic Mayon Volcano can be seen.. And I’m proud to say that this place is my domicile although I’m currently a resident of Manila…

Legazpi City, the main city of Albay is located South of Manila, it is 45-55 minutes by plane and 8-10 hours by bus. It’s somehow far, but the natural beauty that awaits you is jaw-dropping.

If ever I’m feeling tired and lonely… I think of this place and felt relieved by reminiscing my great memories attached to this beautiful city…

Before, I don’t know why there are a lot of tourists visiting this place, and I don’t really think that Mayon Volcano is worth of the time and visit… But, after some time I was stuck here in Manila for study purposes, I appreciate how beautiful it is and how worthy it is to be visited by flocks of flocks of visitors each year. Let me share you why I can say that this is worth the visit.

And also, let me share you some of the tips and my experience in living and traveling in this wonderful city.

So, tune in for my next posts! 🙂

THIS IS MAYON VOLCANO (I didn't take this picture.. Watch out for my photos in my next posts, I found this pic in Wikipedia:)

HAPPY WANDERING!