Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Tour: Management Rotation in Bicol, Day Three and Four

It was as if it never rained the other day. Praise God! Finally the sun was up. We were all optimistic we'd be seeing Mount Mayon sans the clouds.

We ate breakfast at Bigg's Diner, the local Jollibee of Bicolandia, famous for its goto and burgers.

loving the typography here

The place reminded me of Midtown Diner, one of my favorite places to eat lunch in Manila. The music was from the 60s. The floor tiles and wall decors were from that era as well. And the typography was excellent.

order at bigg's diner
old tiles

I ordered the usual breakfast combo. The sausage was flavorful. I also liked the hash brown.

breakfast bigg's diner

We picked Krushna Canlas up from the airport. We saw the big entourage of the Ad Congress, the main reason why we weren't planning on going to the Camarines Watersports Complex (CWC)—it was fully-booked for the said gathering.

Casti, Bon, and I played card games in the van, but I had to stop because the set-up was giving me vertigo, and I was losing all the time. I also sat beside Sharon Cuneta Carla Bozon.


Our first stop: Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay. The structure we saw formed the topmost part of the Cagsawa Church, built after 1724 by Fray Francisco Blanco. The church was eventually buried by rocks and lava during the eruption of Mayon Volcano on February 1, 1914.

cagsawa church ruins

Many tourists flocked the place, including this Italian father-son pair. The father was probably giving his child a dose of Philippine history, and the child was asking so many questions. In Italian. How heartwarming.

mag-amang italyano

We waited for the clouds to get out of the way so we could see the perfect Mayon peak. It did reveal itself for a couple of minutes. I was in awe of God for His marvelous creation (Psalm 104:24).

the peak of mount mayon!

The rock and water formations were also a sight to behold.


In the souvenir and pasalubong stores, I found these—pili nuts! I ate them raw.

pili nutpili nut

We did spelunking at Hoyop-hoyopan Cave in Camalig, Albay.

rickman carino

Famished, we had lunch at Macariola's Luncheonette, Sipi, Daraga, Albay. I ordered sotanghon. I also got to try the lomi and the pansit served in curry and gata sauce. In this restaurant—as in most places where we ate in Albay—all single-servings are practically good for two people.

We headed to Lignon Hill in Legazpi to get a panoramic view of the old city. (Click here and here for the bigger panos).

mount mayon

We went to the beach. The sand was ash black, a reminder of Mount Mayon's towering presence.

surf group pic

Oh, the sand beneath our feet!


There was a nearby Infinity Pool, and this was what they got for Php 20. At least their feet got wet!

magkano ang nabibili ng beynte peso?

We headed back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner to be hosted by a doctor-couple who had helped us a lot in organizing this trip, but whom we hadn't met yet.


The running joke was that it was going to be a sit-down dinner, and we had to be in long-sleeves. The ladies took the joke too seriously. They were busy picking out their clothes, applying make-up and what-have-yous in the bathroom.

We headed to the big Redoblado home, and we were greeted by Drs. Bernie and Eileen, both of whom were also PGH trained. Dr. Bernie is an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Eileen is a radiologist. And their son, Dr. Alvin, was our resident-monitor during our Radiology rotation. They were such wonderful hosts, opening up interesting conversations, sharing their insights, and giving us tips about the practice of medicine and life in general.

dr redoblado dra redoblado

It was practically a sit-down dinner. The food was catered, and there was a polite waiter beside the food trays. He didn't mind us taking seconds and thirds. The beef stroganoff was delicious. And lychees were so good we were fishing them out of the big bowl, leaving the pineapples behind.

dinner with redoblados

We stayed there until 9 pm. We were entertained by their stories, mostly about their experiences during residency. A snippet of wisdom from Dr. Bernie on choosing which specialty to pick (or whether one ought to continue studying Medicine): if you can't see yourself doing that thing you do when you get to be 50, it may be time for you to find another vocation.

I immediately feel asleep in my bunk bed the moment we got back to the hotel.

On our last day, Leeca and I had unlimited breakfast at an unrecalled restaurant. I liked the champorado there. The rest of us bought pasalubong at the Legazpi Central Terminal.


Lunch was at Colonial Grill, Gaisano Mall.


I tried the famous sili (red chili), pili, and tinutong (the overcooked bottom part of rice) ice cream for the first time! I enjoyed all of them! These were practically all I had for lunch.


Our flight was at 2 pm.


Our view from the top:


Thank You, Lord, for this grand time!

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