Sorsogon: Inner Beauty of South

“Awaken your soul to the joy and peace of this world. Learn to take the road of sound and calm towards achieving GOALS”

– Fakir

Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary

Features: Tricycle Road Trip, Irosin, Bulusan National Park, Falls, Dancalan Beach, and Mateo Hot Spring in San Benon


The escapades in Albay are delightful. The food, locals and the tourist spots are melting my heart away. I started very early, checked out in Magayon Hotel around 0430. Full packed to Sorsogon, I went straight to Legazpi Grand Terminal via tricycle for Php 40.00. I arrive in the terminal too early, bus bound for Sorsogon are not available at that time. Since its off-peak season, bus coming in and out of Albay don’t follow schedule. I waited for 2 hours before a bus bound for Sorsogon arrived.



I hopped into the bus from Albay to Sorsogon fare cost Php74.00, this is an ordinary bus. You can also take the bus to Matnog, Sorsogon if you are bound to Irosin. The bus left from Albay around 0600, with various stop over the driver drop me off in Sorsogon, Sorsogon intersection where I took jeepney to Irosin for Php 50.00. On my way to Irosin, haciendas and beautiful farm homes are built in between hectares of Koprahan or coconut plantation. The place is luscious green, have fresh air to breath and a developing love for South.



The trip to Sorsogon proper to Irosin took 2 hours. I arrived in Irosin Public Market, waited for my friend and was drove off to rural barangay. The peaceful life in rural place like Irosin will catch you your. I want to live in this quiet place, at least 2 or 3 months. Leaving the buzzing sound of the city life. I wish I can turn my life down here in Manila, drove off far from the hassle of traffic and nosy people around me.



After I digging my breakfast prepared by my friend, we started our day tour in Irosin. I need to take that photo in front of the monumental welcome structure of Irosin. This is the gateway of Luzon and Visayas. Matnog is near the place were the port is located. Transporting buses all over Luzon to Samar or Leyte. Someday, I will go on another road trip to Samar and Leyte to see San Juanico Bridge. We went to Bulusan National Park to see the lake and take a lot of pictures. Unfortunately there was movie shoot that time, the whole place was rented by the production in which we are prohibited to enter.



Still we continue on our road trip, we went to Nasipit Falls. Entrance cost Php 10.00 were you can swim over the fresh cold water spring from the mountain. There were torrential rain because of the typhoon hitting in the North so the place is full of fallen leaves. I took some picture then we were on the road again for our next G. On our way to Dancalan Beach Resort still here in Bulusan, Sorsogon. We stopped in the middle of the highway which actually put me to my inner peace. The highway which is constructed in the mountainous part have this scenic top view of the entire Bulusan shore line. It was just beautiful and right I away, I fell in love again.



We reached Dancalan beach at high noon, dark clouds still forming. It was low tide to the entire diverse shore is showing its glamour. The coral reefs are flaunting their colorful formation. I guess the entire Danacalan Cove is 10 times larger than Anawangin Cove. It was kilometers of white sand and rock formation. I guess summer here will be an EPIC LEISURE. The entrance cost Php 10.00 and nipa hut rental is Php 30.00. CHEAP DEAL ALERT!



Camping is also suitable or you can rent a room ranging from Php 500.00 – 1000.00 which are huge enough to accommodate an entire family or 5-10 pax. Fresh seaweed is free of charge so you make that delicious PAKO SALAD. Before we went to the beach, we bought ingredients and rice for our lunch. We grilled pork and hotdogs plus a bottle of beer. I don’t usually drink but I need to toast for this day with a friend who actually treated me very well in her hometown. Truly grateful for giving me the ride here in Sorsogon.



The tour in Bulusan and nearby town is unexpected. The swirling wind and continues rain make this little town solemn. After the trip to Dancalan Beach, we went straight to San Benon where the famous hot springs are located. We docked into San Mateo Hot Spring, entrance fee Php 20.00 and nipa hut rental is Php 100.00 that can accommodate at least 10-15 sitting capacity.



After being restless from series of hoping from one public transport to another, its time to take a nice dip into the HOT SPRING. Imagining those hot springs from Japan, steam coming out from the pool and you can have hard boiled egg from the source of water. You can choose a pool to dip, the warm, the hot and very hot jacuzzi. I dip all available pool and immensely got BURN from the jacuzzi. It was very hot, I think 40-42 degrees hot tub. The spring made my muscles relax and comfortable after 3 days of soul-searching Bicol region.



My one day affair in Sorsogon is truly remarkable. From the Manila to the outskirt of Albay and the accidental trip to Irosin make this trip such an experience to my traveling career. Going back to Manila leave happy thoughts. Since this way out of my itinerary, night time reached Irosin and jeepney route to Sorsogon last trip left. I packed my bags, prepare to hitch any passenger bus from Matnog Port. Bus route from Samar / Leyte bound for Manila.


It was 2300 in the evening when I was able to hopped in the Bus. It was one of the uncomfortable trips of my life. Since the bus is not full, most of the seats are being used as beds so I settle nearly behind the vehicle. So much bumps and the air-condition is in lowest possible temperature. Stop over in Camarines Sur after 3 hours travel, my neck is incurably painful and my back is killing me because it too cold. Good thing the conductor and driver ask me for Php 500.00 from Irosin to Pasay City. The fare usually cost Php 900.00 – 1000.00 which save me almost half of the budget. I will never ride that bus company again.



The trip is almost over, the experience was quite an adventure. Going solo on a road trip creates so much memories and bunch of travel idea. Learning the ways of backpacking and the lesson of the in0/out of going on trip. To initiate trip accordingly based on experiences by other people, especially reading too many travel blog can be very useful in exploring this world. Backpacking like this open my mind into more possibilities of traveling solo.


Sometimes you need to go on impulsive trip, decide where to go. Make sure you have internet and get all the information you needed. Take the bus with your pack and travel with style!!

See you again PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

ALBAY: Day Zero, Road Trip to Bicol

“Let the sun kiss you in summer, let the rain embrace you in storm season, let the wind brush those weariness from the cold ber days. Two season of LOVE” – FAKIR

Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary


Ultrabus seats are very comfy!


Features: Solo backpacking, Ultrabus, Daraga City, Legazpi City, Magayon Hotel, and road trip to Albay

Do the things that reward your hard work. What do you do on your spare time? On your vacation leaves? School vacation? G with the gang, drink in a pub, party here and there or do you travel? I got another 2 days off the from work plus 2 days plotted leave. Two weeks before getting approve, I got sun-kissed from hiking escapades. Summer is over, July brings the dark clouds all over the country. Frequent rain and thunderstorms. I wanted to go to Kalinga to get a tattoo from Whand Od but Typhoon just enter PAR 2 days before my trip. Changing itinerary in 2 days time from North to South transpired.


Along the way in Quezon Province


My SOLO adventure to the South begins, here I come Albay!!

I want to see Mayon, the famous perfect cone. Come out of my shell when it rains and explore farther away from the city. A dream backpacking trip; butt numbing road trip, new backpack and bag of nervousness. I can hear the beats of my own heart, its deafening the hell out me. I am nervous, it was my first 12-hour road trip. My friends were discouraging though but I never let them enter my mind. So I found myself full packed and traveling to Araneta bus terminal going to ALBAY.


Somewhere in Naga City


Off peak season, bus schedule on the internet are not followed. Instead of catching the 0600 trip, I ride in ULTRABUS Manila to Samar route. The ticketing officer advise me that they will drop me to Daraga. On my itinerary, I am supposed to take off in Legazpi Grand Terminal. Oh well, I am here and I will never go home. (While mustering explicit words inside my head, I am way out of my IT!)


Famous Sili of Bicol. Red spicy hot chilis!


I was early, thinking I can catch an earlier trip. I ate, drink, puff, pee, repeat three times. Around 0800 the bus filled with passengers and loads to Visayas. The bus is not full so I got a row for myself and my pack along side. Driving along EDSA going Southbound, I texted my ICE (In Case of Emergency) people to grant me best on my trip.


Magayon Hotel window view. Php 200 per night fan room.


It is important that someone know where you are if you are planning a SOLO trip, you don’t want your family or friends worry. So tell them your whereabouts!

The bus made its way to South Luzon Expressway. The vibe of this trip is causing goosebumps and nausea so I decide to sleep it off. Ultrabus wifi service is indeed excellent and the seats were comfortable enough to doze off. I woke up after three hours, we’re in Quezon Province highway. The seashore against the dark skies. I ate snack while being accompanied by my phone music playlist. It was surreal to travel a long way. Alone yet so exciting for my itinerary in Albay. To see the beautiful Mayon Volcano.



Its idle time again, slept for the next 3-4 hours. I woke up for a bus stop over in Naga City. Time check, 1700. The sky slowly gaze the night-time as I sip a cup of instant coffee from the vendors. Stretching my legs and arms, done with bathroom breaks. This trip is now sinking into my head. As we go further South, I did not sleep and watch over my window while heading to Albay. From Naga City, it took another 3-4 hours before I soundly arrive in Daraga City. The old Provincial Capital, in the middle of the night standing on a higher ground was the Daraga Church. The busy street of Daraga makes me want to go for a 5 minute walk.


Bed in Magayon Hotel in Legazpi Albay


I asked around on how to get to Legazpi City, 24 hours jeepney transportation is rotating in the entire city. After my walk, I ride to Legazpi to look for an inn to stay for 2 days. The streets are quiet and clean, smoking is prohibited in most part of the city. As I took off from the jeep, I walk around to check for my hotel. It was a sudden halt to know that the hotel where I am about to stay is no longer in service due to renovations so I need to find a new place to stay in.


Me in Embarcadero Legazpi City


Equipped with hotels listing, I walk around to find the cheapest decent inn I can get. I enter a nice hotel but their fan room is fully booked that night. Still on foot, I reached Magayon Hotel. There are few fan rooms available so I settle the booking and got my keys. Magayon Hotel Fan Room cost Php 200.00 per night! CHEAP DEAL ALERT! Common CR for the toilet and bath. A nice little room with cable tv, fan, single bed and pillow. It doesn’t have sheets, good thing I bought my sleeping bag with me. A must have for SOLO TRAVELERS.


I took a bath after that 12 hours trip, change and out for dinner. I ride tricycle to Embacadero de Legazpi for Php 25.00. I thought the place will be livelier since its arcade center for pubs and restaurant. To my dismay, most of the restaurant stop taking orders. One bar open with local band performing, I passed because I don’t even drink. I walked out Embarcadero back to the main city, I went to a street in front of a construction site for SM Legazpi. I saw kiosks selling food so I did not hesitate, took my seat and ordered chicken / chicken intestine barbeque, rice and soda for my dinner. The kind vendor gave extra rice because they were about to closed


Ihaw-ihaw in Legazpi Street

Day Zero ended peacefully with rain pours in my head as I walk back to my hotel. I decide to put myself in slumber at 1130. Tomorrow will be the start kicker of my adventures in BICOLANDIA!!


Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

The Kuripot Backpacker: I WHIP my SHOESTRING TRAVELS

“Adventure doesn’t have price, it has grand memories to share and to remember. The most unforgettable experiences are always PRICELESS”

– Fakir


Features: Budgeting, Financing, Cheap Deal Alert and Traveling in Shoestring Expense.

Most people I know are asking me if my job or writing pays well that I can go to expedition. Traveling is being connoted as expensive hobby. Only for the people who are rich and have the time to spend on going out instead of committing themselves to their day job. I think its a wrong manifestation, I believe that anyone can go out and escape from the town under low budget. I am very stingy when it comes to financing my climbs, backpacking and most of my camping trips. Massive research of places, calculating the risk and the expenses will be the main subject of the trips I have.


Mt Arayat Traverse Repeat Climb under Php 1000 budget from Manila

Splurging if its a dream travel or trimming down the cost depending of my money’s ability. I spend time calculating several times, weeks before my trips before deciding on touring. The usage of internet will serve as an advantage to your travel ideas. The cheapest climb I ever had is day hiking in Mt Tagapo in Binangonan, Rizal that cost me Php 250.00 with 5 pax on the group. We hire a guide and it was near my place. Traveling doesn’t mean going on a plane ride, nor hopping in for a butt numbing road trip. If you like doing something you wanted to do, plan ahead and you will get there soon.


The Camiguin Island Experience under Php 2000 budget from Cagayan de Oro

The cheapest backpacking trip I had is my Albay-Sorsogon trip which cost me less than Php 4000.00. Going solo is not as expensive as you read out from articles and travel blogs. I love what I am doing that is the reason why I plan based on my pocket’s ability. Sometimes, fortunate events will be given to you in the most uncanny situation like what happened to me in Sorsogon.


Masasa Beach in Tingloy Batangas under Php 1000 budget from Manila

I take advantage to plane ticket sale or buying ticket that won’t be used. I went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, my friend’s boyfriend is unable to attend the trip. They sell the ticket for Php1000.00, room share for Php 300.00 per night and cutting the expense by touring with group packages. I take advantages of the offer that come across, quickly deciding if its a good buy or not. Palawan will always be a worthy purchase after all. Hehe.

Burot Beach in Calatagan Batangas under Php 1000 trip from Manila

The large body of water in the Philippines will make you crave for endless summer. Going to the beach is fascinating, best way to relax and get away from the busy streets of the city. Go on a beachineering trip of your life. I spend less than Php 1000.00 going to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas because I want to try camping in the beach. The ever solitary life I have, beach trip alone but I never had a dull moment with myself. I always find amusing things to do with my limited budget.

Lignon Hill in Legazpi Albay during my Albay-Sorsogon Trip under Php 4000 budget

I joined travel agencies for my Ilocos Trip for Php 3800.00 in 2014 which include the entire tour, van service and accommodation. I just brought my pocket money for food, souvenir and entertainment. My trip to Banaue-Sagada is also booked via touring agency which cost Php 3300.00 for 3 days and 2 nights with tour, spelunking, trek to the falls, van service and accommodation. First time in Baler cost me Php 2300 in 2014 for 2 days and night, returning trip only cost me Php 1500.00 for DIY itinerary and birthday treat of a friend. Those barkada package can give you the ultimate adventure of your life and memories to share with your friends. Drag them along with you or join as solo. Regardless, a trip is still a trip even if you hire someone to deal with the itinerary.

Nagsasa Beach in San Antonio Zambales under Php 1500 budget


If you don’t have the money to spend with mountaineering gears or equipment. Find a group who would likely lend you their gears for you to experience hiking at its best. You can always find someone who is willing to help a friend to full fill their life long dream to travel. There are ways if you know someone who do something that make you want to try. This world is limited if you allow yourself to put an end to something you never tried to start with. I am once a dreamer, never believe that I can go to the places I went to. But I overcome the fear and at the present time I am enjoy writing about the travels of my life.

Cagsawa Ruin in Albay, still part of my Albay-Sorsogon Trip under Php 4000 budget

If you want to travel, pack your bags, plan your trip and go elsewhere. Buy the cheapest ticket you can get, travel at least once a year. Get out your safe zone and explore the world. If you will save Php 20.00 per day for all the weekdays of the year, you will have Php 4800.00 that you can used to an adventure that will be kept for life. There are several agencies that offer cheap deals. Explore the world, treasure the memories and mind you that traveling is not always for the rich people. It is for everyone, just plan and budget it depending on your trip.

Escapade in Underground River Tour under Php 7000 budget for 3 days and 2 nights in Palawan


 Make friends along the way or be with your family. Cut the splurge by being a cowboy who can sleep in a tent, couch or a cheap hostel. You will not sleep in your tour, you need to walk to see all the sight seeing places, run if your catching time and take a nap on that long road trip. If you have the money to spend buying a new gadget or expensive food. Don’t reason out that traveling are for people who have more money than you do. This is the best time to start exploring. When it comes to traveling there are no poor people, old, no gender. We all have the extra time, money to spend (no matter how little your funds) and places to go.

Tukuran Falls in Oriental Mindoro under Php 3000 budget for Manila-Puerto Galera Mindoro Weekend Getaway

Please feel free to asked me on saving money for my trips or how I funds my trips efficiently. Comment below or contact me on my email!!

Maculot Rockies Photo under my Php 1500 Manabu-Maculot Climb

See you again PIRATES!

Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

Trilogy Hike: Mt Gola, Mt Manalmon and Mt Matinik

“I hope you remember that my laughs and smiles are 100 times healthier when I am with you.”

      • Fakir into the Mountains


The smells of summer cast happiness to our old dying nation. The heat of the sun is burning all the way, from city to the provincial fields. The mountains are delightful for the brim light coming from the star. It was time to unfathomable adventures until the summer last.


I wish this will be the best summer for me. One of our unimaginable summer. My no more tears formula from loneliness of the warm climate bring sad memories from the ghost of my own past. Now, I want to change and leave nothing but happay memories. After exploring the Burot Beach in Calatagan,Batangas. Still on my 5-day vacation leave, I came to continue my exploration without getting tired to the peaks of San Miguel, Bulacan. Originally, it was a planned hike to Mt Maculot but after learning that overnight seems to be impossible. The plan changed abruptly to Twin Hike for Manalmon and Gola.

Ruining the Batangas escapades, after tanning in Burot (See Related Article: I went back to Manila, slept a bit, change my pack from beach attires to climbing stuff. Meet up with the group and went straight to Cubao Terminal. Hola, from South to North! From Cubao to San Miguel, Bulacan, you can hopped in to bus bound to Cabanatuan via Sta Rita for Php 100-120.00 / $2.00 – 2.70. Day hike is very applicable but you need to be very early. After exiting Sta Rita NLEX toll, you must be an HOKAGE to bypass the traffic.


There will be a bus stop in San Miguel proper, hire a tricycle to Sitio Madlum. Fare is around Php 70.00 – 80.00 / head for a group of 4 or 5 in 1 tricycle. It will take 20 – 30 minutes tryke ride to the Sitio. It was mid morning when we reach the registration hall. We met our guide, Tatay Carling and Tatay Tonyo which were very pleasant to mountaineers. They even have equipment brought to them by hikers. Humidity is high but the dancing bamboos give fresh air around the river.


Registration fee cost Php5.00 and guide fee is Php300.00 day hike or overnight. We started trekking in high noon. The infamous Madlum River, several horror stories were provided to us upon starting the climb. Yes!! It’s killing me softly. I hate horror movies, stories and the monsters below the bed. Madlum have it all. Anyway, back to the trail. The air is refreshing, 10 – 20 minutes later, we arrive near a creek where water source is available. We dipped into the cold water, dive to the murky abyss. After TAKE 30, we decide to continue the hike hitting MT GOLA as our first mountain.



Mt Gola is good for beginners, the trail is diverse with rock formation sulfuric acid seems to melt on the boulders. Reaching the summit will take less than an hour. The sun sets down and the twinkling sky line is on the surface of the Earth. The pretty natural light from the moon is giving us faint light and give calming ambiance to the entire trail. Mulawin trees are all over the place, summer gashed out their leaves and the effect is splendid. Since the darkness started to run unto us, we trek down and start to hike to Mt Manalmon to set our camp.


We reached the camp at full darkness. Nothing beats the night sky during summer over the mountain. It very hard to describe how pretty the stars. Million of stars above dancing with the moonlight. Another FEELS when you climb a mountain. You cannot pay for the beauty seen beyond the city lights. Moving forward from my poetic damnation, we cooked dinner, ate it and socials started once more.



The worst nightmare of the cowardly ME, they started to talk about the headless priest, the big bird who eat humans and the endless river killing. I got enough of it and decided to sleep. I cannot sleep, I can feel the stories lurking from my restless body. It was hot inside my tent, too cold to sleep outside. I transferred to another tent with my buddy because I cannot bear sleeping alone, its haunting me. The cruelty of having vivid imagination, too much horrors can bring worst nightmares.



I can hear the wind whistling all around the camp area, we were the only one who camp out here. The rest of the hikers ducked near the water source. The howling sound of the animals suddenly stop and later I was sound asleep. The morning sun is the greatest of all. I can finally breath properly. LOL! Breakfast serve, chomped the remaining food on our packs and head to our 2nd summit. MT MANALMON peak is wonderful, the entire trail easy to trek and the view can amaze you. After going bananas in the summit it was an official declaration to trek down and finish the last G of the day. Spelunking in Bayukbok Cave (See related article:



But, our guide is very proud of us and asked us if we wanted to trail another mountain. MT MATINIK is privately owned by a local which is our guide’s relative. The trail is not officially open to hikers because they are still waiting for the private transaction being dealt with the owner of the property. Since our guide is a relative, he introduce us this mountain. We are happy to be part of the few hikers that were able to climb this closed trail. YIHAAA! Feeling HARDCORE! HEHE


The mountain do not have permanent trail, locals climb here to get fruits and sad to say Kaingin. Our guide cut out few bushes to create new trail and the name really fits this mountain. MATINIK which means THORNY. Thorns from wild grass immediately scratched us while we hike up. Thorns and heat were not an ideal combination. GRRRR! It was scorching hot, we were in the middle of April’s warmth and thorns everywhere. This peak is the highest out of the 3 summits. We were able to climb after an hour or so. The view differs from every corner of Sitio Madlum.


We trek down on another trail with luscious wild grass and humidity. I managed to drink all my trail water and my throat starts to ache. We reached the field back to the river and WHAAALALALA, finish 3 summits in mid morning. Filing up my bottle from the water source, we head back to the jump-off to rest before starting the caving activity.


Lunch is served, I need to rest for a while now before starting another trail. I find this hammock hanging in between bamboos. It was the most relaxing part of the trip, the sway and the cold wind makes me want to sleep and forget the cave. Of course, my hike mates won’t allow me to sleep and I need to finish our escapades here in Madlum. So we headed to the cave after resting for a couple of minutes! POWER!


My first trilogy was full of surprises and one of the most memorable hikes I had. Remembering it brings bittersweet smiles. But things happen for a reason, and the REASON IS YOU. LOL!



Source: Personal Photos Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.