Food & Dining Kap & Me My Kids Staycations & Vacations The GOppets

Bicol Day 2, Part 1

Woke up to sounds of splish-splash in our hotel bathroom. I looked at my phone clock – 3am. Huh? Naliligo uli si Kap?! We showered before going to bed na ah, naliligo na naman sya? At bakit ang aga sobra. Excited masyado makakita ng butanding? #iamnotawhale

Turns out, water leaked an inch high in our toilet & he was busy at work seeping towels & wringing them in the sink in an effort to relieve the flooding. “Honey, sana ipinagpaliban mo nalang yan, tawag nalang tayo ng service mamaya. Wag ka na yumuko ng paulit-ulit makakahintay naman yan” I say.

Kap replies: Baka kasi madulas ka pag-CR mo kaya pinatutuyo ko. He knows I get up several times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom so he was worried that I’d slip & break my neck.

Awwwwww. Round 2 ng honeymoon, lol. Now THAT’s true love na hindi matutumbasan ng 10-carat diamond o isangkatutak na birkin hehe.

And that’s how our morning of Day 2 at 3am started. With love spilling out from our hearts. Cheesy I know, pero kung hindi rin lang naman kayo makakahanap ng tulad ni Kap my Kap, aba eh huwag na kayong magasawa. ;)

Oh Kap my Kap, it’s always more fun anywhere with you! :-* Thank you for loving me more than I deserve. <3

We had an early breakfast which was already included in our room rate of 8k/night.

Jasmine Restaurant of The Oriental Hotel is known for its menu of home-grown favorites specially prepared by gourmet chefs with international experience.

Located at the ground floor and serves as the main hub of all hotel guests, the restaurant was named after the owner’s favorite flower.

Jasmine Restaurant has more than a hundred seating capacity and a wide array of cuisines ranging from international to local favorites. I zoned in on the danggit, tinapa & suman.

You can even revel in the view of the majestic Mayon Volcano right outside your window in between mouthfuls. ;)

Then we drove an hour to get to Donsol, Sorsogon for the butandings. Arrived at 8:30 am. Apparently there are only 3 shifts per 30 boats for the whale watching. 7:30/11:30/2:30. Since we got in an hour past the 1st schedule, we had to wait almost 3 hours for the next. Make sure you get there on time so you don’t waste any precious moment.

Only in the Philippines. @_@ It was a slow climb mainly due to jeepneys carrying full loads like this.

First order of the day, registration at the Donsol Visitors Center where you will fill up a form, pay to hire a boat (seats 6) including the services of a BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer), and watch a video presentation on the Do’s & Don’ts of whale shark watching before finally going off on your exciting adventure. The number of sightings varies depending on the season. The best time to visit is during the peak months of April and May.

Whale Watching Interaction Package:

  1. Boat Rental  Package – P3500 maximum of 6 passengers. (Boat rental 2,500; BIO fee 650; Spotter/Guide fee 350)
  2. Environmental Fee (Local -P100; Foreigner – P300 each)
  3. Equipment Rental (optional). Includes mask, snorkel and fins -P300

After the discovery of the whale sharks off the coast of Donsol in 1998, this sleepy fishing village has become one of the top tourist attractions in the Bicol Region. Local visitors and those from all over the world flock this once obscure town to interact with the amazing gentle giants. The area around Donsol is best known for one of the greatest concentrations of whale sharks in the world.

With my water-loving family. Unfortunately, I am a land person, so I was the lone beached whale & camped myself on the boat while they frolicked in the open sea. :P

I’m glad the kids get to experience so many wonderful things because of their amazing Dad. <3 Kung ako lang, wala silang mapapala.

But the distance & time proved to be worth it as Kap & the kids got to swim with the gentle giant SEVEN times! Many thanks to our experienced boatman who passionately searched for the whale sharks & quickly led us to one as soon as he spotted it in the distance.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m (41.5 ft) and a weight of about 21.5 t (47,000 lb). They feed almost exclusively on plankton and are not known to pose a threat to humans.

It’s really a struggle to get to the butanding on time because so many boatmen fight for the prime spot to give their guests the experience of a lifetime. All 30 boats rush to one place, then eager visitors jump off ship, scaring the gentle giants in the process. Kap & the kids only got to interact with the whale sharks around 10 seconds maximum per dive before the sea creature dives deep below in hiding.

We only had a day to do everything so without dilly-dallying & shoving our most memorable experience to date in our vast treasure trove of  memories, we headed off for a quick lunch at BOB MARLIN RESTAURANT as we had to rush for an extreme ATV booking in the afternoon.

Bob Marlin Restaurant & Grill

730 J Rizal St, Brgy 17, Old Albay, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines 4500
Contact numbers: (0915) 843 0887; (052) 742-4836

Bob Marlin Restaurant & Grill is one of Naga City’s popular restaurants and home to Bicolano food. It used to be Cristy’s. Cristy’s, named after restaurateur and founder Cristy Palma, was one of Naga City’s much beloved family restaurants. When Mrs. Palma’s children took over the management of the restaurant, they opted for a younger vibe and image & updated the restaurant decor, but of course kept the food as it is.

Bob Marlin is named after the Jamaican musician Bob Marley, but the last name Marley was changed to Marlin -befitting since the restaurant serves blue marlin -one of the more popular dishes.

Clockwise from left: Laing 114 php. Dried taro or gabi leaves cooked in coconut milk. Marlin Slab 274 php. Grilled Blue Marlin with gravy. And the Beef & Corn Sizzler 229 php. Beef tenderloin sizzlers with corn and gravy.

Clockwise from left: Dinuguang Baka 332 php. The Classic dinuguuan with a beefy twist.  One of our most popular offering is the ‘Sooo Pinoy’ Awardee, the Bob Marlin Crispy Pata 528 php. Bob Marlin Restaurant’s must-try dish. And Ziggy’s Sisig Krispy 217 php.

Kap is very happy with the price points in Bicol. ;) He let us order to our hearts content, lol.

Break muna. Second half of our Day 2 in Bicol, to be continued. :)

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