May 9, 2012

Bicol express? Try Bicol impress!

Okay, that was a lame and ungrammatical joke.

Anyway, I was at CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) last May 2-5 for the first ever TAYO summer youth camp (which was btw a real blast so I encouraged you guys to join next year)! Honestly, I didn't expect much when I decided to join the camp, especially because it was free. I thought that at best, it would be mediocre, but I was gravely mistaken. The camp was well planned, well organized, well budgeted, well implemented, and well documented! I was blown away.

HJ, Mae (photo courtesy of her too), Me
Since the camp was held at Bicol, I can't help but put a spotlight on the region, it is a fantastic place after all. That said, here are my top 5 impressive things about Bicol (and the camp).

5. Can be reached via bus (car)
Bus 1
You know I love plane rides but I like long bus rides just as much (especially if I'm with the right people, if you know what I mean, hahaha) However, I advise that you bring a really thick and large jacket because most of the buses will be really cold and you might have a hard time resting if the temperature is unbearable. The bus ride usually takes 10-12 hours, and freezing to death while in the bus is not a very good way to die, don't you think? hihi

4. Bicol Express 
or the Bicol cuisine is known for its use of chilies, coconut milk, and shrimp paste. It's usually spicy to very spicy in nature. I kind of like it since my father is a Bicolano (and he has greatly influenced what I like and dislike). My favorite would be laing (gabi/taro leaves in coconut oil and chilies) although their laing is presented differently since they have it wrapped in some kind of leaf. I actually like the unwrapped laing more because I find it juicier, therefore the spices spread more. Oh well, to each his own.

BTW they made me eat a whole chili (as a challenge that I needed to accept) and I immediately turned bulimic. I swear it is the only time when I am thankful that my stomach throws up everything that I don't like. I remembered the time when I ate a siling labuyo to sober up and I ended up puking every damn alcohol in my body. Well, if you can imagine that, then it's the same ugly sight.

3. Water games (team building)
Do you watch Takeshi's castle? Well, it's basically the same but this one is in the Philippines and this may be relatively easier, but hey it still is fun! Rowing, running, gliding, climbing, jumping, diving, swimming, and laughing. It's a really nice team building/ relay/ competition activity.

2. Bicolanos and Bicolanas 
I'm sure you know the reality show Amazing race. We did the same, except that it will not be shown in AXN, awwwwwe but we have our own videographer and stuff. How cool is that huh?! Anyway, we got to interact with the locals of Naga and I must say that they are really nice, sweet, and helpful people. I first observed it at CWC where the staff were really courteous (to the point that I feel like they're spoiling and pampering the campers too much).

Also, during the ukay-ukay (thirft shopping usually 2nd hand items) hunt challenge, I found a cute maxi skirt that was for 150php which was way over our budget for the challenge so I told the lady seller that we can't afford it but she said that she'd give it to me (along with a top of my choice) for 150php. Sweet niblets!

It's both printed, don't worry I don't plan on wearing it together :D

1. Wake boarding with a smile :)

courtesy of mae
Tadaa! At first I thought that I would fall off and forever be scared to try wake boarding but it was actually easy and so much fun. Oh sorry, I meant knee boarding, beginners are not allowed to try wake boarding right away, and since I didn't have much time, I was only able to try (successfully, HOLLA!) knee boarding. I thought that I would fail during turns because I suck at body coordination and motor movements but no, it was a little simpler than how I imagined it to be!

Advice from the CWC staff: 
1. Grip tight, don't let go.
2. Watch your back if you happen to let go
3. Smile! (bet ko to kasi kabadong kabado na'ko tapos ito pa yung straight face advice nya sakin, hihi)

Seriously, Bicol is way impressive! And I thank TAYO and Coca Cola Foundation for letting me know and experience that firsthand. You guys give awards to youth organizations but I say that you deserve an award as well! Kudos you guys.

Be cool, Bicol! (sorry, ang korni ko kasi eh noh, GYAHAHAHA)


  1. Good thing na kahit papano nakapagrelax ka rin, haha :-)

    1. Yes I have, and actually still am. Malamang hanggang bago mag June ay relax relax muna :)) hihi

  2. Talaga, hindi ka na busy, haha. Check my reply to your question about smartphone under your comment :-D

    1. HAHAHA yep, and yes. Actually kapag tanong yung comment ko, I usually subscribe to follow up answers.

  3. Ahh ok, haha. Smartphone kasi, aside from accessing your email and social sites, you can also download applications like maps, youtube, weather update, photo editor, GPS, popular and high quality games, anti-virus and free VOIP service (voice over internet protocol) and more na hindi mo expect na magagawa ng smartphone. ^_^

    1. And how much extra costs would that be to my monthly bill? Yung sa'yo ba? Do you have some sort of monthly plan? HAHAHAHHA ang high maintenance pakinggan, mej nakakafreak out

  4. Hi! I happened to stumble upon your blog and I saw this post. :) My close friend, Pete Francis Abareta, also went to that camp. By chance, have you met him? :)

    1. Hi Rej, thanks for dropping by. I may have met him but we never really got to talk I guess. I checked his name in our campers' group and yes he's there. GYAHAHA.

  5. I miss Bicol :( Naalala ko tuloy embarrasing moment ko sa CWC when I tried kneeboarding. I don't know how to release the board nung natumba ako twice. Yun pala sira siya. "I called help" kahit ang babaw lang ng tubig haha. Anyway, maganda talaga sa Bicol. Love the blog btw, followed! :)

    1. HAHAHA that means you're already at the end part kasi mababaw na yung water e? Thanks! I checked your blog, it is also a gem!

    2. Yes hahahaha! Dahil sa sobrang nagpapanic ako pano matanggal yung board, nag-OA ako dun sa mababaw na part ng tubig HAHAHA.

      Thanks too Ms. Arlet! Btw do you have a graphics tablet? Maganda rin sa If you have any other questions about digital art I will be very much willing to help. :)

      Thanks again and take care!

    3. Yep, nakita ko nga dun sa post mo na isa, hihi. I followed too. Salamat!


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