A couple of years ago, I went to Bicol for the first time to cover the Pe├▒afrancia Festival. There were numerous side trips, including one to Camarines Sur, which has the CamSur Watersports Complex or CWC. The first in the Philippines, it is a man-made attraction where wakeboard, kneeboard and water-ski enthusiasts can get wet and wild. Like I said, it was just a side trip, so I wasn’t able to check the whole place, taste their food or even try the sport myself.

Last week, I went back to Cam Sur for an assignment, checking out a bed and breakfast by the Gawad Kalinga people. We also spent a night at Caramoan, reportedly the next Boracay.

I’m saving most of my stories for the paper, but what I enjoyed the most about this trip was definitely the food and the company.

Again, I want to save most bits for my stories for the paper, but let me just say I immensely enjoyed eating laing and Bicol express, not just as dishes but also as add-ons to anything and everything, from makis to pizzas. I also went crazy over this turon from one of the places we stayed at. It was nothing extraordinary, really, just a little more brown sugar coating than usual – but it tasted extraordinary. The type that would make you think of ordering another at your first bite. The type that would make you want to order some out. The type that you’d be craving for the next few days.

Over at Cam Sur, there was a lot of water and land trips involved – really long and exhausting ones that tired us even if we were just seated and dozing off from time to time. Thankfully, I was in great company so everything kind of just flew by. I enjoyed discussing reality TV shows (especially ANTM and The Hills) with Celine and Ginggay. I had a blast giggling and downing Jagermeister with Mitch and Becca. I learned about weddings and sweets from Marichelle. I discovered Shauna and I love-love chai tea and a bunch of other things. I had a fabulous time interviewing Governor LRay. I had a great time listening to all of David’s travel stories. Everyone else was superb – Em, Roana, Melba, Philip – and it’s such a shame we only had a couple of days together.

It was a great trip – full of positive and passionate people, giggles, yummy grub and Kodak moments – and I can’t wait to go back and see everyone.