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Exploring the Beauty of a City in Progress - Naga City, Bicol, Philippines

On November 26, 2011, me, my wife and two of our friends traveled by airplane to the eastern side of the country. It was only a one hour travel to reach Naga City in the province of Bicol, Philippines. At Cebu Pacific, our flight became so relaxing and the cloud’s beauty surrounding us 15,000 feet above truly bring us the excitement and amazement. At about 12 noon, we landed safely at Pili Airport in Naga City. From there onwards, it was all about exploring a city that is almost similar to the life in Manila but far more different in terms of the nature’s beauty, culture of people and varieties of tourist destinations.

On the Photos: Our Cebu Pacific Flight Highlights (Terminal to Terminal)

From Pili Airport, we rented a pedicab (bicycle with side car) going to the main highway where buses and jeepneys headed to Naga City proper are passing by. It was like reminiscing your childhood while riding on the pedicab and breathing the sweet air being exhaled by the plants and trees along the way. That was how Naga City welcomed us that day. We then take the bus going to the main city together with some passengers whom from their carriages and custumes can be distinguished as the true native "Bicolanos".

The bus runs too fast as if not only us are excited but also the whole of Naga community is also waiting to welcome another batch of tourists who will explore their very own holistic and lovely place. Naga City is home to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Filipino catholic’s religious image symbolizing their strong faith and love for religious traditions. Our 30 minutes ride brought us to the main city terminal. It was our first time to taste Bicol express, a hot and spicy dish where Bicol is very famous about, right on the territory of the Bicolanos.

On the Photo: Naga City Main Terminal

We then rode on a tricycle, Philippines’ convenient and unique transport vehicle aside from the jeepney, going to Peñafrancia Basilica and National Shrine in barangay Balatas. This is where we discovered Bicol’s diocese subdivisions. After taking photos, we headed next to Naga’s most attractive spot, the public market. As a general information, public markets in the Philippines are the real trade venues of every town, city and province’s original products. And what’s also authentic to Naga and the whole of Bicol is the pili nut (from where Pili Airport could have been named after). Pack on different styles and jar sizes, this sweetened nut delicacy is what actually bring us here. And so we buy a lot of pili nuts at Naga public market.

For about an hour, we explored more the whole market and we observed that there are bread shops on almost every street corner. Bayong (handicraft bag), pancit bato (specialty noodle only made from barangay Bato in Naga) and lots of delicacies and authentic meals most of which are our first time to see (especially the toasted Siopao – this is delicious and weird) are what made our first day complete - and fully amazed.

On the Photos: Visit to Peñafrancia Basilica and National Shrine

On the Photos: Pili Nuts and Pancit Bato at Naga City Public Market

At about pass four o’clock in the afternoon, we then look for the best inn to relax. We luckily found Sampaguita Tourist Inn, one of the best and most affordable hostels in the city. We check in and we were so amazed with this view from the fourth floor where our chosen room was located. After two hours of rest, we then decided to take our dinner. We went to Naga Garden Restaurant, a mysterious restaurant along the road where we passed by earlier going to the inn. Dinner is served and that was simply our best meal ever at Naga City. I eat special mami, sizzling kinunot (white shark meat with chili) and of course another Bicol express recipe, the Laing. It was so memorable eating together in one of the Bicol’s finest restaurants in terms of authenticity of cuisines and hospitable welcome of the restaurant staffs.

On the Photo: Sampaguita Tourist Inn

On the Photo: Foods Serve at Naga Garden Restaurant

What made everything unusually funny was that on our airplane trip to Bicol, the Philippines Basketball Association’s (PBA) commissioner and staffs was there with us. I’m only seeing him on TV during PBA games and now he’s here about two seats away from me. I asked one of his crews about who are scheduled to play that day. He said that the Petron Blaze and the Meralco Bolts are scheduled to play in Naga City Coliseum that day. Basketball, basketball, basketball! Who would dare not to watch a live PBA game? And so immediately after our sizzling hot dinner, we wave our hands for a tricycle and request the driver to bring us to the basketball arena. For 100 pesos only, we happened to watch the best of Philippines basketball teams. Petron Blaze won by one point. It was an ouch for me as I’m a fan of Meralco’s Macmac Cardona. After the game, which was at around 9pm, we headed back to the inn. We spend the evening watching cable TV programs with some finger foods we bought from the public market.

On the Photo: PBA Game at Naga City Coliseum

Sunny morning greeted us on November 27, our second day on this Bicol tour. Naga City is in Camarines Sur, Philippines. If this is your first time to hear Camarines Sur, then this might be your first time to know CamSur Water Sports Complex or CWC. This man-made sports and recreational park is what made Camarines Sur as one of the most progressive provinces in the Philippines today. The province is also famous for the Caramoan Islands, Mount Isarog Hot Spring and Falls and the Peñafrancia Festival. We traveled there by bus, then by pedicab and then everything was a big WOW! They call it wakeboarding. This is where CWC is very well-known for. Foreigners are there with their wakeboards or simply surfing boards with a twist. Wake boarders hold a rope attach to a circular rope system similar to that of cable cars. From that setup is how they can manage to flip in the air and land in acrobatic fashion on the water. It was fun to watch them and there is an element of surprise on every acrobatic jumps. Looking around the whole park was like seeing Naga City’s beauty summary. However, as we are incomplete with swimming apparels, we decided to go back to Naga City after an hour.

On the Photo: A View of Naga City in the Morning

On the Photo: Naga City Church Ark

On the Photos: Best Shots of CamSur Water Sports Complex

After one hour stroll at SM City Naga, we buy our tickets at the main bus terminal. The Raymund bus departed at Naga City at around 3pm. We said goodbye to Naga City with good memories of that two days stay. It was a short vacation but lots of things have been accomplished. From the NAIA Terminal 3 airport, going to Naga City Coliseum, then CamSur Water Sports Complex and then on the major streets of the city (where there is Panganiban street – my family name), our trip is absolutely a success. After 9 hours of bus travel, we were back to our home at Cavite, Philippines.

On the Photo: SM City Naga

I actually asked that tour from the Creator who gave me lots of success this 2011. My blog site is like a window of many opportunities for me and its great that it was granted unto me. I prayed in Naga City that the year 2012 would be lots more of success for me (this was actually answered as I was able to find a work in Singapore by November 2012). I am about to open my self-proclaimed online business early next year. I named it Project Noriel Online Marketing Group. This is all about my other sides. This is me and my God. I went to Naga to give praise and ask guidance that if not totally a complete success, Project Noriel Noriel Online Mrketing Group would at least become another fulfillment of my dreams. Amazing things happened in Naga. What's more amazing is having a website created by me, owned by me and controlled by me. Naga City and Project Noriel are now both existing into my mind.

On the Photos: Naga's Beauty of Nature

About this Blog

Did you find Naga City a perfect spot to visit in the Philippines? You can find more exciting places to visit in this country by exploring more this blog site shared to you by Noriel Panganiban.

Thank you for reading this blog post about a place in the beautiful country Philippines. It is indeed a wonderful experience to visit Naga City - you can learn the other sides of the Filipinos. Visit our website for more information about blogging and also learn on how to delve with the new generation’s way of marketing and operating an online business. It’s

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