Last September, before the remaining drop of sanity was whisked away by the year-end madness from work, I kissed the maiden of the Southern Tagalog… and I was captivated by sheer simplicity…
A friend was taking her soon-to-be husband (now they’re married) to meet her family. I got to hitch and invade the family’s intimate moment and funnily mistaken as the groom several times since I stepped my foot on the soils of Daet, Camarines Norte.
Welcome to Daet, Camarines Norte
(in photo) Philtranco Bus Station
We left the Philtranco Bus Station in Pasay City early in the morning and went through the long and very winding road the entire day before alighting at the last stop with the fleeting light of the day as a welcome salvo. We flagged a tricycle to deliver us to our home away from home.
When the morning light broke the darkness, I found myself basking in a misty rural view. I was in a quaint little house in the middle of a coconut jungle. After jolting sleep out of the bloodstream with some dark elixir, it was time to discover the wonders of Daet, Camarines Norte.
Discovering Daet, we started with our ride. We called for Grab Car…
Grab Car simply means grab a carabao 😛
Who would have though we can go Grab in the middle of this jungle? It was fun riding a carabao cart. Navigating the complex maze of coconut trees and unknown shrubs can be very confusing. But thanks to this trusted carabao cart, we managed to arrive at the coconut farm.
Coconut is as fresh as ever! Picked from the tree and cut open to perfection! You can’t get anything more fresh than this one! I’ve had the most filling morning!
After getting ourselves literally high on coconut goodies, we took another carabao ride back. This time we are off to get some refreshing dip at Camarines Norte’s river!
Not a very long time ago I’ve conquered the rapids (as if it was something to battle with) of Magdalena in Laguna.
(in photo) Mampurog, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte
Mampurog River is situated at the nearby town of San Lorenzo. It’s just a jeepney ride (P 10) to the jump off. We walked our way into the dirt road and down a small stairway leading to the river.
The river is clean. Probably one of the cleanest in the country for all I know. It is refreshingly cold minus the slimy scent. There are nipa huts with tables and benches that you can rent (we did not bother to ask how much). We only brought ourselves and our wallet, hence, there is no need for a hut. The big boulders are enough! 😀 (kuripot mode)
Downstream, the water is calm and deep enough for a non-swimmer like me to take a plunge. The local kids were rather more daring doing mini cliff diving on the other side of the river.
Upstream, where bigger boulders are obstructing the waterway, creates white water rapids and sitting in a secure slot makes a perfect outdoor jacuzzi. If you are not as careful…or rather playful you may have to hold on to something before you get carried away! Yes, I mean it literally. 😛
But if you manage to rule over the rapids, you will get that peace and serenity.
My first take at rock balancing
I came to learn about rock balancing on my first waterfall experience in Rizal, the home of Rock Balancing Philippines. Rock balancing is a good exercise of both the body and the mind. It takes a big deal of concentration, focus and balance accompanied with proper breathing and good reflexes (just imagine how painful it is when these river stones hit your feet)!
When it was time to dry, we just have to pick up our stuff and head straight out on the road.
Scratch from the bucket list:
There is no better way of drying our river-soaked selves than riding home top loading style! We insisted on this endeavor only for the sake of scratching it off from the bucket list! The jeepney was barely full and yet we were up on the roof enjoying a 360-degree view of the rural scenery!
In this State of 7, 107 islands, water is the universal tourism flavor. While the country can boast on many shores of paradise quality, its inland water bodies are not far behind. I have no doubt that sometime in the near future, as Daet, the center of Camarines Norte will become a gateway to Bicol’s seemingly limitless flavor. With that, I am thankful that I get to taste it before the world have a glimpse of it! I just hope that this gem in the forefront of Bicolandia doesn’t get exploited. One day I want to return and still experience nature at its best!
More Water, More Fun! Explore the Philippines!
Mampurog River…Daet…Bicol! I shall return! (probably this May 2016) ^-^