Thanks to Stellar I had a chance to live in Naga for 3 months. I am so grateful that I was able to experience Naga in so many ways. This place is just filled with history and just like in Manila, it never runs out of surprises! I personally never felt indifferent because people here are just so accommodating. Bicolanos surely knows how to treat Manilenos properly. Here are some lists that would help you plan your Bicol trip – I experienced these things and I promise that I will be honest with the comments and feedback.
Accommodation: As I was saying earlier, I lived in Naga for 3 months and I must say that I was able to experience living in its different parts. The first 3 days were spent in CBD Plaza Hotel. I’d rate is 7/10. Nice location – in front of SM Naga, Naga Central Bus Station and super near food joints. I wasnt happy with the breakfast included. It didnt really satisfy me (1 piece of hotdog or 1 piece of tinapa) – Seriously. The rate here per night is Php1,500 for a double room.
I stayed in Villa Caceres Hotel for a week. Great place. It’s 9/10 for me. It has a very homey vibe and the breakfast included is buffet. I even befriended the chef (because the chef has a crush on the colleague I was with). The hotel crew is also friendly, they made sure that our stay there was memorable. The rate here per night is Php2,200 for a standard room.
If you’d like a cheaper yet great accommodation, I recommend O&S Residences. Almost outside of town but tricycles are there 24/7. Nice clean rooms with common kitchen. Php1,100/night. Great staff btw.
Places to see:
I’m telling you, you can roam around Naga in just 1 day. With Php8 tricycle fare to anywhere, you can see these spots via tricycles:
- Penafrancia Basilica Minore
- Basilica of Our Lady Penafrancia
- Plaza Quince Martires
- St. Anthony of Padua Church
And maybe in the following days, make time to see these awesome destinations:
We rented a cab to take us to Panicuason Hotsprings which is an hour away from the city. There were 6 of us and we paid 2,200 for a round trip. It rained that day so good thing we had the driver pick us up around 7:30pm.
I met a local, Mico, from Starbucks Naga who offered to take to Malabsay Falls just outside the city. We rode a jeepney in downtown Naga City Market bound to Panicuason (costs Php35). From the drop-off point, we did a 20-minute trek up and down the mountain til we reach the falls. We spent 2 hours here (luckily, no one was around and the place is just scenic!). We had to rent a habal-habal back to the town for Php150/head. Then jeepney of Php35 again back to Naga City.
CamSur Watersports Complex is just 40 minutes away from the City. It is actually located in Pili (a town next to Naga) and it is near the airport. From Naga Bus Terminal (ride a bus to Pili, tell the driver to drop you off CWC). We paid Php80. From the drop point, we rode a tricycle which costs Php50 to CWC Wakepark. You have to register and pay Php500.
You can also do a sidetrip to Mt. Mayon, Albay. Ride a van from Jesse Robredo Coliseum (just in front of SM Naga) to Albay. Travel time is 2 hours max. Drop-off is at Legazpi Mall – Ride a jeepney to Cagsawa Ruins. You can also check out Lignon Hills but you have to trek up for 30 minutes if you don;t have a car/ tricycle rented. Going back was easier, we rode a jeepney to Legazpi Mall then right next to it is a terminal; vans bound to Naga.
Nightlife/ Where to eat:
Everyone loves Magsaysay Street! When I was there, my weekends were usually spent with Naga friends in Magsaysay pubs like Bora Hut 2, Molino Grill, PBar, Kubo, Nikkos Ark, (then 2 of my favorties – Kinamon & Backdraft. etc. Also, we love to eat (i gained weight when I lived here) — Biggs Diner‘s vanilla milkshake & chicken , Geewan, Red Platter‘s red velvet brownie, Bob Marlin‘s Crispy Pata & Sinigang na Salmon, Aling Cely‘s Kinalas, and a whole lot more!