Hop On: Daet, Camarines Norte

After spending time together talking about what we could never be, we hopped on a city bus going home. You tried to hold my hand but I refused and looked away. You alighted the bus.

Let go, I told myself. I could not think straight, my mind was in chaos.

I need a break.

Claveria? But buses going to Claveria leaves from Sampaloc and at 2 in the morning, I had no chance. Alighted at Cubao and asked around.

Tuguegarao. Bolinao. Naga. Baguio. Bolinao. Claveria. I was decided to check Partas terminal for buses going to Laoag so I can push through going to Claveria. I was to withdraw cash in the nearest 7-11 where I know has BDO atm terminal but it’s offline. I was nearly giving up when a Superlines ordinary bus was set to turn right to EDSA.

How far is Daet?

352 Kilometers.

How much is the fare to Daet?

Four hundred – I can’t remember.

Driver was steering the wheel by that time the bus conductor was giving me details.

What the hell. I hopped on the bus and looked for the best seat.

Can’t I seat there? Pointing to a window seat. He untied the knot of one of the strings and let me had a window seat. Perfect.

What time will we get there?

Around 2pm.

I started counting. That’s nearly 12 hours.

First restroom stop was in Calamba. By that time, one of their manong employees was sitting beside me because he was booted out by a couple who claimed their numbered seat.

That was the first time I took the road to South Luzon. I have never gone farther than Batangas City. I never wanted to sleep while on travel and miss any good worthy sights but it was pitch-black anyway, and I was so tired from the day’s work and drama. I had a good nap and realized we were already Quezon.

Suddenly there was a guy who hopped on the bus selling Pinagong which I thought was “Binagoong”. I don’t know what Pinagong was but I was enticed with the mainit, may gatas spiel of the merchant. I bought it for P35/pack (3 for P100). But to my disappointment, it was a hard piece of bread with milk as one of the ingredients.

Special Pinagong

To add to my disappointment, when the guy left, there was another guy who hopped on the bus selling the same for P30/pack (can go as low as 4 for P100).

We reached Lucena around 6 in the morning; Superlines’ Bus Terminal at Atimonan by 8am where we stayed for about 30 minutes. It was a long time where I wanted to eat already but I have less than 100 pesos, I would need to save it for my need to transport around to get to the nearest ATM.

Nearing Lucena, Sunrise

We had brunch somewhere in the far away land of Quezon. It was around 10 or 11am. After eating (where I managed to pay only P80 in total), I asked the Manong beside me where we were at that time. He mentioned some place in Quezon (duh) and that Daet was still 2 -3 hours away.

We also had a small chat about where I am heading to and casually I said, I don’t know, I just hopped on the bus. I know I should not be telling that to a total stranger but it just felt right to be honest. /Lels/. He told me he has a fighting cock farm business. He shared to me how good money he earns from selling poor chickens until he had to alight.

We arrived in Daet at 1:30pm. The bus conductor insisted for me to save my mobile number in his phone so I dialed my old number. Magkita tayo sa Bagasbas beach, said Manong.

That is, friends, how I got to Daet. Tell you more about it and Batanes Part 1, Part 2, Calayan Island and Indochina all together. I wish I have all the time in the world. TTFN.

Batanes June 2015 Expense Breakdown

Honestly, I didn’t plan my first visit to Batanes well. I purchased my round trip airfare in September 2014 and immediately read blogs. But since I was preoccupied planning for my Indochina trip, I wasn’t able to reread blogs. So budget and itinerary was more of “bahala na lang si Lord” plan. The only great thing was Kuya Mon Imperial of Crisan Lodge gave me an idea how my days in Batanes should be spent and possible cost for tours and ordered food.

Crisan Lodge has a grocery store on the first floor. Thus the grocery items on this list means other food, laundry detergent and other thimajings.

To those who have dreamed of flying to Batanes, keep waiting for that seat sale, keep dreaming.

Travel dates: June 12 – June 18

Day 1

TOTAL1000
Grocery Item15
Mineral Water50
Souvenir (Naidi Lighthouse)200
North Batan Tour Shared Tricycle500
Lunch at SDC (1 viand, 1 rice)95
Bottled drink (Real Leaf Iced Tea) at Octagon Bed and Dine40
Rinbee5
Dinner (BBQ, Rice)95

Day 2

Total2796
Grocery Items63
Water45
Pedicure100
Rinbee10
Faluwa Ride to Sabtang75
Water50
Sabtang Island Environmental Fee200
Sabtang Tour (All municipalities)1300
Souvenir (Vakul and Tubho Tea)350
Dried Fish250
Coconut Crab for Dinner200
Dinner (Fish Sinigang, 1 vegetable viand, rice, paluto fee for the crab)130
Grocery Item23

Day 3

Total2669
Breakfast150
Water25
Water40
Boat to Ivuhus1000
Half Day Tour Fee (Motorcycle)700
Accommodation for 2 nights400
Tshirt bought from Conscience Store222
Dinner (1 meat viand, 1 vegetable viand, rice)120
Snack12

Day 4

Total263
Faluwa Ride to Batan Island75
Grocery Items68
Lunch50
Buko Pandan Dessert20
Tricycle to Naidi Lighthouse50

Day 5

Total480
Grocery Items65
Rinbee15
Honesty Coffee Shop (Juice, Biscuit)50
Lunch Meal300
Vitamilk30
Chips20

Day 6

Total3967
Grocery Item97
Accommodation at Crisan Lodge1600
South Batan Tour (Shared Van c/o Crisan Lodge)450
Vitamilk30
Grocery Item20
Casa Napoli Pizza1010
Bike Rental Fee (First Day)60
Dinner at Fundacion Pacita600
Tricycle to/from Fundacion100

Day 7

Total130
Tricycle to airport30
Terminal Fee100

GRAND TOTAL16603
AIRFARE5298

I know, Rinbee happened and had to treat my friends with pizza on my last day because they treated me with pizza, and dinner! And who does have pedicure in Batanes, right? I had too many unnecessary spending. Solo travel doesn’t need to be this expensive, I tell you. 😉

Should you have questions, go on and ask.

Batanes {June} 2015

Friday, June 12, Independence Day

All Basco flights are scheduled early in the morning. PAL departs at 6am while Skyjet Airlines leaves at 5:30am.

I arrived at NAIA T3 at 5am and immediately went to the boarding area so I can rest and watch that week’s Game of Thrones episode. While waiting to board the plane, I thought of informing Kuya Mon (owner of Crisan Lodge) that finally I was on my way to Basco and inquired how could I get to their place. He said that he would be picking me up at the airport. Well, great I thought. I wouldn’t have to worry that I’d get lost.

Shortly after counting sheep and contemplating if my budget will not and never make me hungry, we were called to board to plane. Plane was circling the terminal and my stomach was growling because of hunger, I just decided to doze off. 30 minutes after, I was awakened because it was damn hot… to realize we haven’t left NAIA yet. That was 30 minutes circling the terminal. About 5-7 mins more of what seemed to be like a forever wait (I wanted to kiss the grounds of Basco already, come on!!!), we finally departed.

I was very delighted to see Calayan Island from above because apart from it’s another haven for me; it was an absolute indication that we were close to landing.

The view down Batanes was picturesque. Green, blue, and blue, green everywhere.

Getting off the plane was, well, I don’t think I should say something about this anymore because duhhh. But apart from I was traveling alone, I was traveling alone to Batanes!!! I felt amazzzzing. This was during the time I needed to prove something to myself (that I was very much independent) so it meant so much. I initially planned to visit in 2014 (and save for the airfare ) but ended up buying a cheaper ticket in 2014 and 9 months later flight.

The wait was worth it. Pwedeng pwede na ako magpaka-Heidi on the hills.

PS. The ticket is not that sale, sale. But at P5298 (P450 airline insurance included), I think it was worth it.