Week-long Bicol Vacation Last Day

Megan baked Banana Cake for me today. Advance birthday gift daw. Probably she made a new one because I wasn't able to eat the Chiffon Cake that Ate Cel prepared yesterday. Gifted talaga sa kusina ang batang ito. Sarap, sobra. Inangkin ko na nga, I put it inside the refrigerator so the maids can't eat everything up again. Hehehe, damot ba? Ate Cel prepared lunch again and brought it to us at Tita Ops'. Sarap talaga ng may relative ka na caterer, parang special occasions everyday. This time, she cooked Beef Chow Fan and Sweet and Sour Fish.

After lunch, we went to the LCC Mall with the family. We bought school supplies, uniforms, shoes, and bags for Megan and Olec. It was just a small token of appreciation on our part. Ate Cel and Dong really go out of their way to accommodate us everytime we spend our vacation here. It's a big help for them financially that they will not need to worry about their kids' school supplies this coming school year. We went to downtown Naga afterwards for our pasalubong shopping. We bought different pili products at the RPM store and abaca slippers at the store beside it. I also bought a Rubik's Cube in a Taiwanese store. Before going home, we stopped by Casa Moderna's bakeshop to buy Palabok, Pan Bonete, and Toasted Siopao. While waiting, Dong started to teach me the techniques on solving the Rubik's Cube.

Our trip was scheduled at 8:30 pm so we had an early dinner of Palabok around 6 pm. Afterwards, Dong and his family brought us to the bus terminal. We were still quite early for our trip and the bus was not yet there on its slot. We had to let Ate Cel and her family go home and not to wait for us to get on the bus. The terminal was jampacked with travelers that Ate Cel started to get an asthma attack.

Around 8:15 pm, we were already allowed to board the bus. The Lazy Boy Extreme bus is really amazing. The seats are so wide, it's as wide as our bed at 54 inches! Buti na lang talaga we didn't pay an extra seat for Rap because the two seats were just enough for the three of us. The leg space is big enough for our trveling bags to fit even if the leg rest is up. It was a very comfortable ride that I slept as early as 9 pm. I am writing this while on a quick stopover somewhere in Quezon Province. I guess we'll arrive at the Cubao terminal as early as 4:30 in the morning. From there, we're back to reality. My next week-long vacation will probably be due in a year or so.

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Week-long Bicol Vacation Day 6

We were able to catch the American Idol results show live at 8 am. This saved us another day of checking in at Sampaguita. I was surprised but most thankful that Cook is the new American Idol. He's the first rocker American Idol. I guess the Americans just felt how I felt about David Cook. Some say that he's a conceited guy. I don't mind, he has every right to do so because he really is a genius.

The show ended at 10 am and that's the only time that we went out to grab a late breakfast at Naga Garden Restaurant. Dadijun and I ate 2 toasted siopaos each, sobrang gutom talaga. Rap ate fried chicken and rice. By 11:30 am, Dong and the family went up to our room to pick us up. We were scheduled to have lunch at Tita Ops' place. I thought that it was just a simple lunch for the family but I was surprised that they prepared a small feast that they set-up in the garage. Our catch yesterday was already fried and ready. We were joking around and reminding Dadijun that he can only eat what he caught which was the tiniest one in the batch. Olec gave up his bigger fish for Dadijun, naawa yata ang bata, hehehe.

After lunch, Dadijun and I went with Tita Ops, Ate Cel, and Dong to the municipal office of Canaman. We went to the Assessor's Office to have the quotation of real estate taxes due for the old house and lot that Ate Cel and Dong are planning to buy from GSIS. We discovered that the old owner did not pay even a single cent of real estate tax ever since the property was bought. We were lucky that Canaman is just a small municipality with low real estate taxes that the 158 sqm house and lot's real property tax for 10 years was just less than ten thousand pesos. Ate Cel and Dong has to settle this first before their application with GSIS pushes through.

I slept the whole afternoon as soon as we returned from the municipal hall. My nostrils are now clogged with colds and that made me really drowsy. There's still no improvement on my coughing condition. I guess I need to visit a doctor as soon as we get to Manila to have some antibiotics. Its getting harder to breathe now and my back and throat muscles are starting to ache from the constant coughing.

We went out tonight to Avenue Square with the family for our scheduled despedida dinner at Lady Crab. It was Dadijun's plan to eat out during our last night ever since we got here. We assumed that Lady Crab will be just as close to Red Crab in Manila but to my dismay. The food is cheaper but the menu choices are less too. It didn't quite meet my expectations but it was all in all acceptable. What is important is that we enjoyed the company of each other.

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Week-long Bicol Vacation Day 5 (Gone Fishing!)

After our early breakfast, I accompanied the kids to the big pool.  They had the place to themselves that made them free to frolick and even play with the garden hose that was around. Rap's skin has become so dark, I just kept on reminding myself that it's ok because he's a boy.

Around 9 am, we left them to the supervision of Ate Luz and Belle, Ate Cel's maid.  Kuya Edward, Ate Cel, Dong, Megan, Dadijun, and I went to the Camsur Watersports Complex to watch wakeboarders. Dadijun chickened out of wakeboarding this time. He did fine the last time we went there. Maybe he just wasn't in the mood. The last time we went there, the place was still in its soft opening stage. The hotel was not even available yet. Now, the place has greatly improved and is very tourist friendly. I even got the chance to check my mail and blog a little because WiFi is available. The accomodations here are a little bit more expensive than EcoVillage but it's worth it especially for the watersports enthusiasts who want to be closer to the facility.

We went back to the Ecovillage for our scheduled fishing activity. We rented fishing rods for 20 pesos each that came with free bait. I thought that fishing was an easy sport but I was surprised that it wasn't. It took me about 20 minutes before I caught my first catch. It was a modest sized tilapia. Megan was the first one among us to be able to catch a fish and hers was a big one!  She was like a fish magnet, there was really no stopping her. I think 50% of our catch was hers. Rap started to get impatient seeing his cousin catch fishes. But after an hour of waiting, he finally caught his first and only catch... a jumbo tilapia that made his eyes glow with pride. At the end of our 2-hour stay in the fishing area, we were able to catch a little less than a kilo of tilapia. My 2nd catch was the biggest of them all, 2nd biggest was Megan's, and the 3rd biggest was Rap's. Dadijun caught teeny weeny fishes that we gave to Totoy as pets in his aquarium. Ate Cel caught none.

We left the Ecovillage around 1pm. And since we haven't eaten our lunch yet, we passed by Jollibee along Panganiban Avenue. It started to pour by the time we got inside. Rap ordered a Spicy Chickenjoy meal, his favorite. His face turned red once he started eating the spicy chicken. It made me laugh out loud because he sudddenly realized that we're in Bicol and what's spicy in Manila is not yet spicy here. I tasted the chicken and it was really,as in blazing, hot! Hahaha, our tastebuds suddenly got a reorientation on what's spicy and not! I just bought sundaes for dessert just to make our tongues numb. Rap's cousins were so happy to be eating at Jollibee. I know that for them it's a luxury to be eating in a fastfood. That was what I reminded Rap about. That he's lucky he's more fortunate than most of our relatives so he should be always ready to share his blessings.

We checked in at Sampaguita Tourist Inn, a local inn at downtown Naga. It's the finals night of American Idol and we wouldn't want to miss it. Tita Ops and Ate Cel do not have cable subscriptions in their homes. It was also unfortunate for us that QTV11 is not available in Camarines Sur so checking in was the most favorable option. We initially planned on checking in at a hotel but the hotels were fully booked because of the upcoming Kaogma Festival. Foreign tourists were everywhere in downtown Naga. We got an airconditioned room for 650 pesos. After the American Idol final showdown, we went out and had dinner at Red Platter which was just a walking distance away from our inn.

As I'm writing this blog, I'm having anxiety attacks of David Archuleta winning American Idol this season. I am really a David Cook fan from the start. Archuleta bores me with his very predictable balladeer personality. Tonight, I felt that the judges were in favor of Archuleta especially with Cowell saying "Archuleta wins tonight." or something to that effect. Oh please, I hope not! David Cook is a musical genius and he deserves to be the new American Idol.

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