Tag Archives: what 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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Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave in Albay, Philippines: A Place to feel nature

Caves are fascinating because of how they are formed and how it will vanish after few centuries.

In Albay, there are two caves that are well-known, one is the Hoyop-hoyopan cave and the Calabidongan Cave. If you want a harder course for your spelunking adventure, I suggest you go to Calabidongan as Hoyop-hoyopan is just walking inside a cave–it doesn’t have the swimming, climbing, and sliding which is expected for a spelunking adventure.

The main entrance of the Cave

The cave that we went to is called as Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave. The cave has 3 main entrances and 3 floors, and what is fascinating is that it has its own ventilation. The wind passes through the openings of this cave which makes it cool inside and also, that is where its name came from. Hoyop, which means (ihip) blow.

Sign near the entrance of Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave

The cave also doesn’t stink unlike other caves that I have visited

What is also interesting is the formation of stalagmites and stalactites–although you need a great imagination to enjoy the tour

Can you see a giraffe???

Hoyop-Hoyopan cave is located in Camalig, Albay, about 30 minutes away from Legazpi City. As far as I know, there is no direct transportation which will take you in this cave. What you can do is hire a tricycle or a van in Daraga (instead of Legazpi, so that the price will be cheaper) to transport you in this destination.

The Exit 🙂 When i see this, I remember Pan’s Labyrinth 🙂
My Brother and the Exit 🙂 Mind you, he got out nicely!

When you arrive in the site, there are people who can assist you and tour you around the cave, but the service is not for free it is for a minimum fee of P300.00 or $7 USD. The price is per group, so it doesn’t matter how many people you are. And also, it include the entrance fee but excludes the parking fee. The parking fee is P25.00 or $0.55 USD.

I suggest that you hire a guide since they know where the beautiful stalagmites and stalactite formations are located, and also, they will warn you when to lower your head or not. Please be pretty careful while walking in the cave since you might bump your head in the stalagmites/stalactites.

DEAD MAN ROCK FORMATION (You can see a lot of interesting rock formation inside this cave)

The cave is not “au naturale” there are man-made structures inside the cave for visitors’ safety. There are stairs and bridges; and also there are lights hanging in some of the areas of this place. that is why you don’t need to bring some flashlights. The stairs are made because there’s a lot of visitors slipping when they go up to the higher level.

Bridge in Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave

There is also a man-made dance floor where people of Camalig go and party during the Martial Law era. This is funny but this is real. They go there during the night and enjoy themselves although there was a curfew set by the Marcos’ government.

Even though there’s man made structures inside the cave, it doesn’t really affect how natural and beautiful the cave is. The man made structures are just to protect the tourists from any untoward accident.

Here, you can also see a nice view of the Mayon Volcano. However, when we got there, it was raining so Mayon is hiding from us.

Just look at the greeneries while going towards the other cave opening.

You can also buy some crystals as souvenirs here. They cost at an average of P10.00 to P1000.00 ($ 0.23 – $23.25 USD).

Souvenirs

 

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