Amazing Travel in the Philippines - The Hot Springs of Albay
'Injured, lost and broke'
I think, after the Penafrancia fiesta in Naga City...the best getaway for an 'injured,lost and broke' parishioner like me is to try a hot spring spa being visited by foreign and local tourists in Albay. Come...let us discover these spots once more in the towns of Tiwi and Manito of the said province here in Bicol, Philippines. Welcoming you is not enough to enjoy such natural spots. You should be here one day if you have enough budget to do it.
Many anecdotes of adventures were posted in the internet through blogs and here on HubPages but I will still add my personal account on this one.
The invitation to be there this week came from my friend, Lestat (changed his true name Lester for a more appealing feel on Facebook..hehe!). I said, I don't have much budget. he replied that everything will be okay (I trust him, you know). They've been busy at their TENT CAMP last week in Santo Domingo Albay, where you can visibly observe the Mayon Volcano activities and take photos at every angle you desire.
So, off I go this week. But allow me to share with you photos and other stills that came from fellow Bicolanos whom I had to get the credit because my original photos are not enough as my digital camera is not functioning so well these days (due to the nth time 'accidental fall'. I had to share with you this hub this early . My itinerary started Friday morning that ended in the evening back in Naga City; so, I hope you'll stand by with this hub for further adventure of yours truly, travel_man1971.
Hotspring in Parong, Manito, Albay c/o ka2aldea
A day in the life of travel_man1971 (Destination:Manito, Albay 24Sept2010)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Manito Tourism Council's archive
One-Day Fast Forward Adventure of Travel Man in Albay
Here's my travelogue going to my target destination this last week of September, 2010...Manito Hot Spring. It's just 40 kilometers away from the city of Legazpi, the commercial hub in Albay.
So with my backpack in tow, I rise early Friday morning and ride the first jeepney trip going to Naga City. The 30-minute ride to the CBD II (central business district) allowed me to choose an early trip to Legazpi City for almost 3 hours. From there, a 1-hour bus ride is all you need in order to reach the town of Manito, where most of the hot springs are located.
- The jeepney terminal at the central business district of Legazpi City, along with passenger vans is located beside the new mall (Save More) at the tahaw road. To get there, trimobile drivers (motrocycle with sidecar) will ask for a Php 20-peso ride (just 10 minutes or so, from the main road of the city.
- I rode the first jeepney with an indicator Manito-Legazpi route. I met a call center agent from Manila who's also on vacation going to Manito.She said that there are two places (adjacent barangays offering the 'hot springs' I was looking for). She said that there are two famous 'hot springs' among locals and foreign travellers (like me). the 'hot spring on the sea' at Sitio Parong (means smell), barangay Pawa and the Nag-Aso (Smoke) Boiling Lake (Largest Boiling Lake in the Philippines), Hulogan all of the town of Manito. I failed to be with the first jeepney ride because my wristwatch stopped that I looked for a watch repairman to change its battery. The second jeepney was the lucky one. A Day Care worker from Barangay Hulogan, named Juliet Dawa suggested that I should made a courtesy visit at the municipal tourism office. I thanked her for the brilliant idea. She already oriented me about what to expect in the area regarding the two most-visited hot springs in her town.
- The jeepney ride from Legazpi City terminal to the Manito Municipal Hall (along the highway) will took more than an hour (plus the stops-goings and out of passengers) that will cost you Php 50.00 (about USD 1.50). Don't mind how crude some parts of the road (some parts were cemented, asphalted); just appreciate the locals, the greens (plants, coconut trees, flowers, etc.) on the two sides of the road. I also enjoyed the Taysan, Legazpi vista (left side of the road if you're going to Manito) with the Mount Mayon volcano at the background and the coastal area of Manito. I reached the townhall of Manito (from the word nito or rattan that once abound the place) past 12 pm.
- Madam Miriam Banzuela of Manito Tourism office was very accommodating. She let me register on the tourism logbook and asked for my intentions. I said that I am interested about the local attractions of the town (hot springs) and the fact that I write articles on the internet, particularly in HubPages. Mrs. Leticia Apatan (also of tourism office) also encouraged me to go there with the hired motorcycle driver (an employee of the Manito local government unit). The tourism office have an initial photos of the revered sites and other interesting facts of the town. Unluckily, I wasn't able to meet the present Mayor Cesar Daep for my personal thanks.
- The road to the two barangays, Pawa and Hulogan detoured from the town's cemented road into a graveled one. The helpful driver said that it is about 6 kilometers to go to the Hulogan's boiling lake. We passed the barangay Pawa first ( written at the elementary school's banner), but he insisted that I should see the farthest tourist spot first. He pointed me to the Manito geothermal plant's white smoke from the mountain, overlooking the 'Nag-aso Boiling Lake' which was really 'smoking' hot! He said that there was a tourist who braved to dip his hands on the water and was hurt badly due to the pristine but smoking-hot water of the lake. A ten-minute photo shoot and short descriptions of what I've got was supplied by my driver-guide. After enjoying the scenery ( I cannot sacrifice myself from being 'burned' by the hot water (it looks harmless if you see the running water spout). From there, we proceeded to the 'most visited' hot spring on the sea' (visibly seen during low tide-from early morning until 12 noon). I was cautioned to go near the place due to the temperature of the water. The locals said that prior to me, a group of college students were able to see the Pawa hot spring closely. I took photos in the area then thanked the locals and promised to be back for a more slow-paced adventure.
- The one-hour ride was fruitful enough for me as I personally visited the local attraction in this side of my place (Bicol, Philippines). I was transported back to the town hall, thanked Mrs. Banzuela and bade goobye. They promised to open my account here on HubPages for the next day or two.
- I rode the town's available bus and enjoyed taking photos while on the move. You can see the 'uniqueness' of some of my stills due to the bus movement. I didn't stopped at Legazpi. I proceed to Naga City (around 9 pm), rented a single-bed room at the new CBD (central business district) hotel (this is another hub in the making) beside the city's central terminal and passed the night comfortably. The frontline/hotel crew informed me that all hotels in Naga were fully-booked due the forthcoming International Marathon (sponsored by Camarines Sur provincial government) on September 26th (Sunday). I had to be there, too.
Did I enjoy it? Just taking photos, admiring and gawking at the hot springs, I felt like being close to nature (and to the Creator) at the moment. I'm glad the locals are taking care of their tourist spots that make a good source of livelihood for them.
Map Locator of Manito, Albay
Hot Spring in Manito, AlbayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hot Spring 'Fever'
Ever imagine yourself cooking an egg in boiling hot spring? Or seeing lobsters still alive, although it is already orange in color (the usual color is transparent white)?
The Bicol region is rich in many hot springs, due to it's volcanoes (active, dormant and non-active) scattered in the peninsula. The most popular active volcano is Mount Mayon in Albay. Because of this, there are hot springs being developed to address the clamor of many visitors.
There are many hot springs to choose from.
- Tiwi Hot Spring - A highly active thermal area, Tiwi has long been a popular place to "take the medicinal waters" and bathhouses abound. The waters are hottest in Naglagbong Lake, a boiling sulfur pool. Tiwi is also the site of the mammoth Geothermal Electric Power Plant, which harnesses steam to generate electricity, and a salt making industry.Misibis Bay - just overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the majestic view of Mayon Volcano at Cagraray Island. They have hot spring here but the features being advertise are its resort and hotel.
- Manito Hot Spring - It is also a source of geothermal energy. It is located between Albay and Sorsogon. One specific site to enjoy hot spring spa is in sitio Parong, Pawa and the other in Hulogan shores. I decided to visit the town for a more concrete and personal account.
A first class municipality that is home of many hot springs and of course, Mayon Volcano.
Sightseeing in AlbayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Trip na Trip - Misibis Bay Part 1 c/o meiyou8
My snacks and lunch, too!
Many travel advisories can be seen on television or even read on magazines. "Travel lightly."
What you'll need to travel lightly are the following:
- backpack - of medium size that can carry your extra clothes, socks, underwear, and toiletries. I decided to carry a pack for just a day.
- camera - or cellular phone with built-in camera; digital camera (digicam) has a video feature that you can use in recording short footage. Don't forget a battery charger.
- medical kit - or similar handy kit that consists of medicines to protect your health, especially for avoiding loose bowel movement (lbm), flu or even dengue. Mosquito repellant is a must.
- map locator or compass - Don't just rely with the instructions of the local residents; some may make a joke on you exaggerating where the place is located.
- Swiss knife - I had one of this. It's handy and very useful.
- Money - If you're a foreigner, then you'll need all the budget. You can befriend your local tourist guide and ask for tips on how to be thrifty with your food and hotel fees, etc.
Aside from this, you must be brave enough to face any challenges or difficulties that may come your way. Be nice at all times. Traveling and discovering new places are both an adventure and suspenseful event in your life. Good luck to me and to you, too!