My Birthday Trip (part 1): Bagasbas Beach.


My friends and I (together with the boyfriends) planned an out-of-town trip to celebrate our birthdays last May.   Our destinations?  Bagasbas Beach, Calaguas Island and CamSur.




Day 1
20 May 2011


Getting There

To get to our first destination, we flew an hour and a half via Cebu Pacific Air from Manila, Philippines to Naga City in Camarines Sur (Camarines South). Then from the airport in Naga City, we rented a van and traveled for two hours to Daet in Camarines Norte (Camarines North).




It's more fun to have a road trip when going to the Bicol region but if we traveled by land, we'd be on the road for more than half a day. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of time to do that because we all just squeezed this trip in our schedules.

But in case you're going on a road trip, here are the driving directions:

Go on the SLEX and head south. Take the Batagas exit. Follow the Maharlika highway going to Lucena City in Quezon. Just go straight and as landmarks, you'll pass the towns of Agbilao, Atimonan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Lopez, Calauag, Tagkawayan, Sta. Elena, Talisay and Labo before reaching Daet. You'll probably see buses on the way to Daet also so you can use them as guides.


Accommodation

There are a couple of inexpensive places to stay in Bagasbas beach especially if you're a big group. Some rooms go for as low as P500-800 ($10-12), just ask around. And if it's not the peak season, you probably don't even need a reservation.

My friends and I decided to stay in Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort even if it's a bit pricier compared to the other resorts because their rooms seemed so much nicer.
 



Don't be fooled by the name.  There is no lighthouse nearby, just a tower ;)




The resort allowed us to check in at 11am but for a fee. I asked if they could waive it since we were leaving early the next day and they agreed. (And good thing they did because of our little "situation" you'll read about at the end of this post).





There are different rooms available in Bagasbas Lighthouse Resort. But what caught my attention was this room situated on top of a tree called the Surfer's Room! Too bad it was occupied during our stay. 




T and I got the Oceanview Trailer, which was actually an old container van converted into a room. It doesn't look that pretty in photos but it's really surfer chic, complete with a balcony facing the ocean. However, they failed to inform us that there was a construction going on around the container vans so T and I weren't really able to hang out in our balcony.




The inside of the trailer took us by surprise. The room is really clean, all-white and newly painted. On one corner is a queen size bed with fluffy pillows and a comforter.




On the other side is a flat TV with cable. The room also has a fridge and some snacks for sale that aren't overpriced unlike some hotels.  There's even a painting to brighten up the room.




T was happy there's a TV set because he was able to watch his NBA games.




Another surprise is the bathroom. It has a bathtub! There is also hot water which is a must for me. However, the bathroom was not cleaned thoroughly when we checked in.   I really like the lamp beside the sink. 





Food and Drinks

Hungry from the flight and the road trip, we headed to the resort's restaurant.




We discovered that they serve the best fruit shakes!  Me and my friend Polay Rivas ordered watermelon shakes.  They were so good!




Again, we were surprised. The serve a wide array of choices from meat to seafood. Plus, the prices are really friendly.  T got a Cheeseburger




I got Blue Marlin with Mango Salsa.  It's one of my favorite combinations: fish + mango.




But I kind of felt weird eating it with all the live fishies nearby.




They also have a bar beside the restaurant. T and I really like the vintage decor.




I love how they arranged their liquor.




The bar is beside the pool so it's a nice spot to just drink and hang out.





Surfing

Bagasbas Beach is not the white sandy beach that I usually go to but for some reason, T and I were really drawn to it. Below are some of the amazing photos of the beach and of us surfing taken by my friend, Kat Rances.


Image credit: Kat Rances

We rented our surfboards and got instructors from the resort. Boards are P150/hour ($3/hour) and lessons are P200/hour ($4/hour). I think you can rent out the board for a whole day for P400 ($10). There are also skim boards for rent but I chose to stay away from those things for fear of spraining my ankle.

Our instructors offered to get us better boards from another resort for our surfing session the next day but beware.. It cost us more than double the amount! So based from experience, it's better to get the boards and sign up for lessons straight from whatever resort you're staying in so you'll get the fixed prices I posted above. If not, the instructors will charge you sky high amounts for their lessons and board rentals. 

 This is me and my friend Polay with our instructors, waiting for a wave to ride.



 This is T finally getting his groove on ;)


Image credit: Kat Rances

This is my first time to try surfing and I love love love it!


Image credit: Kat Rances


I completed the whole "wave" without falling.. Yay!


Image credit: Kat Rances


Food and Drinks.. Again

We surfed the whole afternoon and until the sun went down. T was so hungry that he ordered an Angus steak after eating a whole burger.








They also have something called Mango Beer. I don't drink beer so I can't describe how it tastes like but T had a couple of mugs so I guess it was good.





The Nightlife

Our surf instructors asked us if we wanted to experience the Bagasbas nightlife. We thought, 'Why not?'. So we met them at this karaoke place called "Earl's Bar", which is a home just converted into a small bar.




We ordered the cherry lambanog. For those who don't know, lambanog is a local wine made from coconut. It looks harmless but it's alcohol proof is normally from 80 to 90%!

After finishing a bottle, we each ate a cherry at the bottom. Augh. I think that was what killed me. The alcohol got so concentrated inside the cherry that after eating, I felt like I drank half a bottle straight!




Like that wasn't enough, they ordered an even stronger drink. I don't know what it's called but it tastes like red wine.  I passed this round.




If you get a bit dizzy from the lambanogs, just walk a few meters to Leo's and order the calamari to go. I swear, it's the best calamari I've ever tasted.. EVER! Or you can head over to the store beside Earl's Bar to buy 20-peso (that's about 50 cents) jelly shots.






But what I didn't know was that even the jelly shots were deadly. I felt dizzy again after consuming just half of a really small plastic cup of Pina Colada.

 


After a whole day of surfing and a whole night of drinking, eating and singing, we weren't ready to leave Bagasbas beach just yet. But we had to move on to the next leg of our trip --- Calaguas.




Just a little note before ending...

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort if not for the last day. There were some problems regarding the resort's laundry service which they admitted was 100% their fault. All we were asking for was a refund since they weren't able to clean our clothes. And worse, because of their delay in giving us our clothes, a part of our group almost missed their flight back to Manila. Talking to the supervisor Michelle didn't do any good. I told her that for less than P1,000, they will be losing customers --- not only us but our friends and family to whom we could've recommended the resort to. Her answer?

"Ok lang, accepted naman namin yun."
(It's ok, we don't mind.)

They don't mind losing guests because of a stupid laundry problem? Wow. The supervisor could've saved everyone the trouble by giving us our clothes back so our friends can catch their flight back to Manila and offering a refund so we would at least be appeased. But no. All that we received were empty apologies and a thousand excuses.

My friend Kat then talked to the general manager over the phone who initially apologized and offered a full refund. But when it was time to get our money, the supervisor only gave us 50%, claiming that it was the general manager's instruction. Kat called the general manager again to clear things up. After what seemed like eons, we finally got our clothes and our money back.

The point wasn't the money. It was only a measly amount. It was more of customer service and good guest relations. People go on vacations to enjoy and to relax. As a resort, not only should they be providing rooms but also happy memories that would make guests come back again and again.

But because I want to give them a chance, I'll still post Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel and Resort's contact details for those planning a trip to Daet. I just hope the resort learned from our little situation last month.


continue to part 2...


My Birthday Trip
Travel Date: 20-23 May 2011



Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort

Daet, Camarines Norte
Bicol
Philippines

Tel No.: +63 (54) 441-5855
Mobile No.: +63 (916) 520-6783

Official Website
Facebook Page














20 comments

  1. your pictures make me green with envy:-)

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  2. My favorite item is the bathroom lamp! A lot of times bathroom decor at hotels lacks character, and this lamp totally sets the mood, love it. It's also the first time I'm hearing about mango beer!

    BUT, even if you do want to give them a chance, they can be sure I am never staying at their hotel after hearing your laundry story. Bad service is a huge no no.

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  3. belated happy bday joei!

    the place looks nice.. too bad they have poor service... =(

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  4. Sounds like a really amazing birthday! Hope you had a great time!

    Leia

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  5. you seem to be enjoying the place if not for the laundry. you know what, I'm actually planning to go there, nice to see this post :)

    btw, i've followed you and add your link on mine. Belated happy bday to you :)

    http"//adventurousfeet.blogspot.com

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  6. WENDY. Thanks Wendy!

    JULIA. Sigh. We really liked the whole experience if not for the laundry!

    HONEY'S HAVEN. Thank you love :)

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  7. LEIA. I did! Im composing the second part now :)

    ADVENTUROUSFEET. I followed you also :) thanks!

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  8. Looks like you had an amazing time although it is a shame they ruined the last day and memory of your trip. It was very wrong of them. The lady obviously had an attitude problem.

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  9. CARIBBEAN PRINCESS. I know :(

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  10. They should be thankful na kahit na nagkulang ang management sa kanilang services,you still posted the name of the resort.They still owe you something~nakakagigil ang ganyang management(T_T)

    You looked so cool on your surfing photo~kudos to yah!^_^

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  11. CLARISSA. I know :/

    Thanks for the compliment on the photos! Hope I get to take surfing lessons again soon :)

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  12. Hey :D
    Thanks for visiting my blog!
    I follow back <3


    http://sofiehn.blogspot.com/

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  13. Looks like you had a lot of fun! :) I'm happy for you and thanks for the pictures!

    I felt like I was there with you guys! <3

    xoxo, Bree

    http://vivalabreee.blogspot.com/

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  14. Thanks for posting Bagasbas LH in your blog. We apologize for the problem. We promised to build up our services through your feedbacks.

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  15. kinilig ako to see your surfing photos. bago kasi rahsguard ko, so excited to use it. hehe sana swerte ulit! =)

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  16. beautiful pictures, hope you had a fabulous birthday!

    www.justfaabulous.blogspot.com

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  17. I've seen bagasbas only through photos of my friends. The way I look at it, ang lapad ng beach, which seems great for photography. Something to add to my list.

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  18. belated happy birthday sis!
    nice photos..

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  19. Hi Joei! just want to ask how much is the van u rented (naga to daet)?? thanks :)

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  20. BERNICE. I think it was around 3,000-3,500 per way. You might be able to get cheaper though. Around 2,500 per way :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for the love!

I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

♥ joei