My Best Buddy/Driver M and I just came from another Crazy Day Trip. This time we went to the Gateway to Bicolandia, Camarines Norte. Below is the Itinerary of this Crazy Trip.
Time of arrival at Towns and Cities on the Route to Daet are also detailed. No Stops in between places unless otherwise noted. We ran on the average 120.
1:50am – Left house for Daet, We were supposed to leave at 3AM but M called me at 1:30am to say that we should leave early.
2:26 We Arrive at the last SLEX Toll Gate, paid Php87.00 (from C5)
2:38 Sto Tomas Batangas
2:40 Stop at Vulcanizing Shop to have the Tires checked and pressure balanced
2:46 Continue Trip
3:02 San Pablo City
4:15 Quezon National Park
This is in Calauag
5:20 Full Tank at Caltex Calauag Php 1404
5:47 Daet Tagkawayan Junction
5:58 Sta Elena, Camarines Norte
I cannot remember if this is in Sta Elena town, but it most probably is. This is a beautiful park along the Main Highway. While I was taking a picture of this, an elderly lady with her Shih Tzu approaced me and asked me why I was taking a picture of the Park, I said it was for a souvenir and that I will be posting it in the Internet, she introduced herself and said that she was the daughter of Silvestre Del Moro, and that her father donated the Park.
6:17 Labo Arch
7:16 Labo Town
This is the welcome Arch to Daet, at the middle of the Arch is a Pineapple to symbolize the abundance of Pineapples in Daet.
Upon arrival at Daet you will notice that there are more Tricycle Pedicabs than Cars, On the wat we passed by the Elevated Town Plaza, and then we proceeded to Bagasbas Beach to look for a Resort where we could rest. Unfortunately most of the Resorts looked either closed or run down. There was a Tourist Inn which looked open but there was nobody there. The place (Bagasbas Beach Resorts) looked like it had seen better days but it seemed nobody bothered on fixing up the area again.
Elevated Town Plaza
Airport of Daet
Travellers Hotel, Near Bagasbas Beach and very near the Airport
With no Resorts to be seen in Bagasbas Beach we proceeded to Mercedes to look for more resorts. Unfortunately, the locals said that there are no Resorts there, it is just a Fishing port so we did not bother to go to Mercedes Town Proper anymore.
10:30 Basud/Mangcamagong Beach
We saw signs pointing to a Little Tagaytay Resort, Krystal Beach Resort and to a Palms Farm and Resort on the way to Mangcamagong Beach. We were positive that we would be able to eat and rest this time. After around 30 minutes of pot holed roads and unevenly paved roads we arrived at the Palms Farm and Resort. The resort looked nice, it had native cottages all over the property, the beachfront was clean too. But, but it turned out that they did not serve any food!! (a resort without food??) So we left and went to the resort nearby, the Krystal Beach Resort. We asked if they served food or if you can have food cooked. The man we asked said that the owner was in Mindoro and that they did not have any kitchen (Duh?? ) Oh Well. We just decided to go Back to Daet
11:00 – Daet
I stopped by the noted attractions of Daet before heading for Breakfast (or Lunch). First was the Provincial Capitol and beside it the Most Holy Trinity Cathedral. Just near the Capitol is the first Jose Rizal Monument in the Country (built in 1898) and the Daet Heritage Center.
The Jose Rizal Monument
This is the first Jose Rizal Monument in the Country, built in 1898 using boulders and mortars from the Old Spanish Jail in Daet.
Provincial Capitol of Camarines Norte
11:20 – Lunch at K Sarap
We were supposed to eat at Lutong Bahay, a Eatery in Mercedes Avenue but there was no parking space available. The front was riddled with Tricycle Cabs parked recklessly so we ended up with K Sarap which is located in Vinzons Avenue.
You need a strong jaw to finish off this Sisig! hehe Obviously my Jaw and M’s Jaw were not strong enough as we were not able to finish this dish.
12:00 San Jose Beach / Vinzons
We decided to try our luck in finding a resort at San Jose Beach (Near Vinzons) but it seemed that there are no more resorts here either. Though there are remnants of it. San Jose Beach is an extension of Bagasbas Beach, sand here is Fine Grey and water is clear. There is an Island which is very near here and which it has white sand.
After another luckless search for a resort we proceeded to Vinzons. We went to the Wenceslao Vinzons house. It is an Old House where the World War II hero, Wenceslao Vinzons grew up in. I forgot to visit the most important site in Vinzons!! The Vinzons Church which is one of the oldest in the Philippines.
Marker placed by the NHI to inform people about the Historical Significance of the Vinzons House.
The Wenceslao Vinzons house
12:30 Paracale / Pulang Daga Beach
Nothing to see at Paracale town so we headed straight to Pulang Daga Beach to try again in looking for a Resort.
Pulang Daga Beach is a Paradise. The fine white sand here and the clean clear blue waters are enough to rival the best beaches like Boracay and Pagudpud. Like the other resorts before, this looked rundown also.There is a sign at the front that entrance fee is P100 per head, but no one approached us. The only persons we saw were fishermen fixing their nets. There are Native cottages here which you can rent for the day. There is no food here also, so better bring your own food if you plan on going here.
Pulang Daga Beach
Pulang Daga Beach
01:00 Jose Panganiban
I think this is their Grand Stand. This is in the Center of Town
A Public Elementary School in Jose Panganiban
Monument of Former Governor Roy Padilla
Town Hall of Jose Panganiban
Church in Jose Panganiban, just across the Town Hall
Jose Rizal Monument in Jose Panganiban
02:30 Sta Elena
02:48 Daet tagkawayan Junction
03:08 Petron/Calauag Full Tank 1214
Manila – Calauag Marker in Calauag
03:10 Stop at Vulcanizing to have our tire vulcanized
03:40 Continue Travel
04:51 Quezon Natl Park
Koffee Klatch, Dealo Bakery
06:15 Continue Home
07:05 Caliraya, Lumban, Paete, Mabitac, Pililla, Tanay, Teresa, Antipolo
We decided to take the Laguna-Rizal Route going home since M said that the Lucena-SLEX route would probably be Traffic. Here there is no toll fee.
09:30 Home Sweet Home
My Thoughts on Camarines Norte
Camarines Norte sorely lacks needed infrastructure needed to bring in tourists. Though the province has lots of beaches to choose from, it is not enough to bring in tourism. There were probably more resorts here, but from what it looks like, lack of customers forced these resorts to close down. Buth then again lack of tourism may be beneficial, since a lot of the islands and beaches here are still unspoiled.
Where to Stay in Daet
Majority of Hotels are in Vinzons Avenue. The first one that will greet you upon entering Daet Proper is the Villa Mila Garden and Resort, there is also the Mines Hotel, Wiltan Hotel and Dolor Hotel all along Vinzons Avenue.
How to get to Daet
By land it will take around 6 Hours. Check my Itinerary as it details our route to Daet.
What to do in Camarines Norte
Swimming, Snorkelling, Surfing, be sure to bring your own food when going to the Resorts as they usually do not have any food.