From Legazpi, I went to Naga City to meet up with my MBA friends. Clarice, Marvin, Sir Don and Ate Pinky were already in Camsur the previous day; they had a great Caramoan Adventure that I wasn't able to join because of work. While Jamel, Clarisa and Jason just arrived that day straight from Manila. Among our group, I was the last one to arrive at Naga City. I met up with the group who came from Caramoan at SM City Naga. Then we proceeded to Moraville Hotel where we have our reservation.
Day 1- Quick Tour upon Arrival in Naga City
Plaza Quince Martires
Built to honor the 15 Bicolano martyrs during the Spanish regime. It can be found at the corner of Elias Angeles St. and Peñafrancia Avenue. A marker was installed by the National Historical Institute in the monument to honor the bravery of the 15 Bicolano heroes.
San Francisco Church Belfry
The bell tower of San Francisco Church is what remains of the old church building that silently witnessed the historic event on September 17, 1898, when rebels led by Elias Angeles and Felix Plazo besieged Governor Vicente Zaidin, together with the remaining Spaniards in Bicol, who was at the church premises for the Peñafrancia fiesta. Despite the siege, the rebels harmed none of the Spanish women and children. The Spanish governor later signed the papers of capitulation which marked the end of Spanish rule in Bicol. (Source)
Built in front of Naga City’s Metropolitan Cathedral, a commemorative arch in celebration of the tercentenary or 300th year of the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The arch is 18 meters wide, four meters deep and 11 meters high. A 10-foot tall brass image of the Lady of Peñafrancia and two angels have been placed on top of the monumental gate. It was inaugurated last September 9, 2010.
Holy Rosary Minor Seminary
Several national heroes and patriots including Jose Maria Panganiban, Tomas Arejola, and Jorge Barlin had walked the corridors of this brick and tile structure. Built in 1785 as a vocation house, the seminary has become the center of ecclesiastical education in the Bicol region. It underwent renovations but has retained its distinct colonial style and ambiance. On January, 29, 1988, it was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark. (Source)
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
Incredibly 15 years in the making, being constructed from 1816 to 1831, the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral is the biggest church in Bicol, and was seat of the Archdiocese of Caceres for many years. Under the archdiocese are the six Bicol provinces. The miraculous image of "Ina" is transfered to the Cathedral for the customary nine-day novena. (Source)
Universidad de Sta. Isabel
Formerly named Colegio de Santa Isabel, this educational institution is said to be "the first college for women in the Orient". It is considered one of the top schools in the country being sought not only by Bicolano students, but by residents of other provinces as well. (Source)
Ateneo de Naga University
The Jesuit university in Bicol. ADNU is the first university in the Philippines to achieve PAASCU Institutional Accreditation, on top of its Autonomous Status, Level III Status, and its Center of Excellence in Teachers Education, Center of Development in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology. (Source)
DAY 2 - After Camsur Marathon
Naga City Market
Few corners from our hotel, you can find the City Market. This is where we bought our pasalubong. A lot of best buy souvenir items available here! Be sure to bargain. And of course, Pili nuts are the best!
Located at the recently completed Plaza de Nueva Caceres. It was inagurated last June 18, 2010, in time for Naga's 62nd charter anniversary and also as part of the city’s cultural renewal program. It was crafted by Jose Barcena Jr., the grandson of Federico Barcena, the artist behind the Plaza Quince Martires monument. According to the sculptor, the monument depicts the bravery of the Bicolano in the face of war as well as in times of peace.
Built in honor of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It is located at the intersection of Elias Angeles and Gen. Luna Sts.
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia
Built in 1985, the Basilica Minore was constructed as the new home of the miraculous image of "Ina", the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bicolandia. The Basilica was intended to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims from all over the country, as well as devotees from overseas who come for pilgrimage just to visit, pay homage and venerate the Our Lady during the annual September celebration of her Feast Day. (Source)
Penafrancia Diamond Jubilee Pavilion
"A collective gift of all Bicolanos of good standing and of the devotees of Our Lady of Penafrancia from all over the world". What makes the Jubilee Pavilion unique is its beautiful dome with stained glass murals depicting significant historical and religious milestones in the devotion of "Ina". (Source)
We checked out of our hotel room at around 3:00 PM, in time for our 5:20 PM flight back to Manila. Hinatid kami ng coaster ng hotel. We were only five, pero sakop namin ang buong coaster. Hahaha!!!
On our way to the airport, dumaan muna kami sa Bigg's Diner. True to its slogan, it is the biggest food chain in the Bicol region. You can see it almost everywhere, meron nga sila sa Camsur marathon eh at dun ko cya unang natikman - I ordered their cheesy burger. But this time, we all ordered the Bacon Cheese Burger. Masarap talaga and mura pa. You have to try it when you visit the Bicol region.
We were at the Pili-Naga Airport at around 4:00 PM. We waited for our AirPhil Express flight scheduled at 5:20 PM . It was a bit late, but it's okay.
The flight back to home went fine. Thank God. We landed in Manila at around 6:20 PM. Flying to Naga city was one of the many means of transportation. Many tourists who have time drive, take the bus, train and ride boats. It allows them to make several stops and visit different cities. From Manila, the first stop would be In Batangas, then Lucena, Lopez and finally Naga. To be organized it is advised that you book a hotel in Batangas and the other cities in advance.
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