I was invited by a group of bloggers to join them in exploring Camarines Norte. It was an unforgettable and fulfilling experience. Exploring a new place gives you good vibe – learning their culture, exploring unknown spots and meeting the locals.
We left Manila at nine(9) in the evening for 8-9 hours of travel going to Camarines Norte. I was a having a severe headache at that moment but washed it away so I can jive in with my new found blogging team. I slept the whole travel.
First Day in Camarines Norte
At 4:30 AM, we finally arrived at our hotel accommodation.
Prime Suite Hotel is located at Maharlika Highway, 4600 Daet, Camarines Norte. Check their facebook account here.
We took a few hours of rest and sleep before starting our day.
It was 9:00 am when we headed for our first stop. The day was quite cloudy as there are bits of rain showers when we left the hotel. Luckily, the rain stopped when we reached Vinzons.
Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol – Vinzons
The stunning façade of this church was our first stop. Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol is the oldest church in Camarines Norte built in 1611. It’s a 400 years old church that lies in the heart of Vinzons.
According to Rev. Father Augusto Jesus B. Angeles, the church was destroyed by a fire on December 26, 2012, right after Christmas. All of the historical artifacts were not saved but the whole structure of the church stood firmly. The church walls stood strong despite the catastrophe.
With the help of the local government of Camarines Norte, they renovated the whole church which turns to be one of the most stunning churches that I visited. The 400-year old limestone church with chandeliers and ceiling murals signifies the restoration of the whole church.
100 Years Old Ancestral House
A 100-year old house owned by Don Ramon Pajarillo lies across the oldest church of Vinzons. Vinzons gives the Vigan vibe as there are some ancestral houses along the way. The old veranda of the house is a perfect place to converse. I always enjoyed the old wooden houses that lined the streets, especially in out-of-the-way provincial towns. The caretakers preserved the historic elements of the house.
After appreciating the history of Vinzons, we dropped by Estela’s Garden for a snack. Estela’s Garden is famous in Camarines Norte as it serves some of its province delicacies. It was my first time to taste “Ginataang Sinantol” – a dish made from the grating of santol (Sandor or cotton fruit) meat mixed with coconut milk.
Capalonga, Camarines Norte
From Vinzons we travelled for about two hours going to Capalonga, another town in Camarines Norte. We had our stop at Mommy Teri’s Bulalohan to meet one of the tourism officer, Sir Joel and to have our lunch before exploring the whole Capalonga town.
The Black Nazarene of Capalonga
Near the municipal hall of Capalonga lies a church called the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus.
There is also a separate church for Chinese people at the back of the Catholic Church.
A long stretch of Capalonga beach welcomes you when you reach the starting point of the town.
Capalonga name was derived from “Palong Manok” which is the rooster’s comb. Later, it changed to Kapalungan.
The best part about Capalonga are the locals. We went to visit this one oldest bridge which signifies how they unite despite a rural place.
It may not look that strong as other bridges but this construction is a perfect way to describe Capalonga’s tranquility and beauty for me. I love how the kids happily plunged under the bridge. This gives them a simple joy to embrace province life despite a rural place.
We left Capalonga with big smiles and hugs to this beautiful secluded place. The green grass along the road, cool breeze of the sea and the fresh air gave me the best feeling away from city’s noise.
The day was filled with lots of experiences and new learnings. Camarines Norte is a one-stop destination when you really wanted to break out from the main city noise. This is the place where you can find calmness of the sea, the tranquility of the place and the relaxing atmosphere vibe.
Thank you, Camarines Norte tourism office for this great opportunity in discovering your place.