7 Low-Key Destinations in Bicol You Might Not Know About Yet

This is the original post but this has been submitted to When In Manila. Read it here!

Plan on visiting Region 5 aka Bicolandia but wanting to avoid the crowd? Skip the usual spots and/or add these tourist attractions to your list! These places are just waiting for your attention.
1. Quitinday Green Hills

Squint your eyes once more, this is not Chocolate Hills of Bohol but Quitinday Hills of Camalig, Albay. This amazing formation lies just more than an hour away from Legazpi, Albay’s capital. You may forget the worry of having a long trek because it will just take you 10-15 minutes (still depends on your pace), to reach its viewpoint. You’ll also get a glimpse of the majestic perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano. Best time to visit? Sunrise.

2. Nupa Green Lagoon

You may think this is Magpupungko Pools of Siargao Island, but this is actually Nupa Green Lagoon of Gigmoto, Catanduanes. If you’re the type of traveler who avoids the crowd, this spot is perfect for you. Enjoy its serene and tranquil ambiance while watching a petite marine life in the natural pool- only for free! (Here’s a closer look) Ask your guide if you would want to swim. Just don’t forget to apply the LNT (Leave No Trace) principles. Also, don’t forget to check the tides before going! The best time to visit is during a sunny day because it can get dangerous and slippery on the way there if it rains.

3. Balacay Point

If you rented a tricycle and hired a guide for your Catanduanes tour, he/she will recommend you this place. Balacay Point, also called Benticayan Point, is located in Brgy. Benticayan, Baras, Catanduanes. We’re betting you might stay here for an hour because of picture-taking!

4. Binurong Point

Spare your camera batteries for this Batanes-like beauty! Also perfect for unwinding, Binurong Point is located in Brgy. Guinsaanan, Baras, Catanduanes and it offers a wide view of the sea from its cliffs and rocks. The best time to visit is during the sunset as the sun can get scorching hot at daytime. We are now hearing you’re excited to go!

More snaps here! 📷

5. Puraran Beach

After the long and tiring tour in Catanduanes, stay a night or two in Puraran Beach located in Brgy. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes. If you opt to still feel the Elyu or Siargao vibes but with less crowd, this beach is for you. There are a few surf camps/resorts to stay offering cheap but nice accomodations here, and we suggest you to go surfing in the morning. Channel the inner surfer in you!

6. Sunflower Farm

Calling all flower fairy-wannabes! This sunflower farm is just a few minutes away from Legazpi, exactly located in Ligao, Albay. If you happen to include Kawa-Kawa Hill Natural Park in your itinerary, why not also get a sight of this sunflower farm. Best time to go? Catch the flowers bloom at around April-May.

7. Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp

Check out some snaps here! 📷

Looking for a laid-back and chill place to unwind and surf? Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp is the perfect getaway destination for you! This camp is located in Gubat, Sorsogon which also has less crowd and relaxing ambiance. Now, off you go to a place where good beers and cucumber shakes reign! Warning: just be careful with falling coconuts.

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They say you must go an extra mile (or more!) if you want to avoid the crowd. You can reach the Bicol Region via plane for 45 minutes to an hour or via bus for 10-15hours depending on which province you’d like to visit. Yes, it’s a long land travel but it’s definitely worth it. Enjoy traveling and keep safe!

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6 Ways To Spend Your School Break Wisely

If you’re the kind of student who likes to keep your planner loaded with activities even during summer or any long break, or someone who would like to have a productive vacay, this post is for you. Here are six ways on how to spend your vacays productively:

1. Take an online class

Just scroll down your Facebook feed and sponsored ads of sites which offer online classes will appear before you. (Try Shaw Academy or Sap Hana) Some of them are even free! If this doesn’t work, try searching Google for online classes you’re interested to. It can be anything! It doesn’t have to be related or in line with the program or course you’re in, it’s as long as you enjoy doing it and note that you are learning! 

2. Start a healthy lifestyle

Being a busy student who is bombarded with lots of schoolwork can be draining, so before the school starts again, try to start adapting a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of easy home workouts you can follow as guide on the internet. Youtube has plenty of videos that will help you start a fitness program in even just a few minutes daily. Download apps that will help you track your progress (Check Nike App if you enjoy running). Feeling lazy? Ask a friend to join you for a daily morning jog so someone can at least make you hype. Still not motivated? Maybe try hitting the gym and ask an instructor to help you start a workout. Try boxing or muay thai, which many gyms offer nowadays. Also, try making your own healthy snacks at home. Who knows, you might even bring out the healthy chef in you!

3. Learn to play a musical instrument

We know that one of your biggest frustrations is to play a musical instrument but you’re too busy in school to add up a class for it. Now that you have your vacay, you can allot even just an hour every day to learn how to play the piano, guitar, drums or violin. You can take up classes with a personal trainor or if you have the instrument, just watch videos on youtube and start self-learning your favorite songs.

4. Start a blog or journal

This one’s for the people to like to tell stories or document events and things. There are a lot of sites that cater blogs and you don’t have to pay for it. Try and explore Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr. Start blogging the things you love – perhaps food, cafes, studying tips for students like you or even just you personal daily experiences. If you love pens and quirky stationaries, get a notebook and start a journal. You might enjoy this and continue it for the whole year! 

5. Sell your pre-loved items online

We know the feeling of being ‘short’ on money sometimes especially when we have to purchase a lot of school items. Now this break is your chance to start-up a small business online. Dig your closet for the clothes you outgrew, the shoes you don’t like anymore or the books you feel like giving away, post them on Instagram or Carousell for a decent price. For this one, you don’t have to be really busy and hands-on, just learn how to ship and deal with customers online, then you’re set. Save the money you earned for the next tip.

6. Travel

Nowadays, millenial’s favorite way to learn and experience things is by traveling. This doesn’t have to be grand and expensive, so try budget-friendly traveling. We know that being a student can be financially tough sometimes, but if you would want to travel during long breaks, better save money and prepare for it. Make sure you are permitted by your Mom and Dad. Plan ahead to avoid not-so-nice circumstances during your travel. Most importantly, as much as possible, travel with a friend or a group. It’s safer to have a least a companion around, plus your OOTDs are covered. Or, why not ask your family to travel with you? You’ll spare yourself from the expenses plus you will be well taken care of.

There are lots of ways on how to spend a productive vacay but realize that the essence of breaks is to give students like you a refresher and the rest you really need.