Oh I got myself a date last weekend. I had to travel more than eight hours to get there. Despite being cramped inside a van, I’m not about to leave her hanging in the air. Yes, I caught your glance when I went to Calaguas last year. I knew there was more to you than what I’ve initially seen. It was time to get to know you more. Would a weekend suffice? Let’s see. It’s a #DateinDaet then! Yes Daet! The underrated town in Camarines Norte has something to share.
Greeting the Sun in Bagasbas Beach
“Daet” was derived from the Bicol word dai-daitan which means “close to each other”. The term daet in Bicol-Spanish dictionary also means “to make friend”
It was great to finally stretch my legs after arriving early morning in front of the DLTB bus station where our host from Daet would pick us up. I was with a group of travel bloggers from Manila – Ayan, Jun, Elal, Darwin and Chino. After a quick breakfast from the nearby tapsilog house, Norj and Ryan from the LGU of Daet whisked us away to Bagasbas beach to kill time because the resort we’re staying in would only check us in by 7:30am. I hopped at the back of the pickup truck and we enjoyed the countryside scenery – low structures, vast farm lands and streets with dedicated biking and jogging lanes. Daet have a 5km road leading to Bagasbas and many locals were enjoying their morning runs and bikes. If I live here I would take advantage of the luxury of running on a street cutting through the verdant farm fields while taking in some cool clean air.
Bagasbas Beach was teeming with activity early that morning. There was a zumba session, people enjoying an early surf and families simply having a splash. We even had a small chat with Daet current mayor Tito Sarte Sarion at Bagasbas after his morning walk with his young niece.
Pineapple Island Resort
It’s ironic to call a resort an island when it’s in the middle of a plain. But Pineapple Island Resort does have a river surrounding its property like an island. Kayaks are even available to do a round. Even if the resort is seven years of age, it is well maintained. There’s a new wing with rooms ideal for families. We got a huge room with high ceiling and a loft area with two large mattress on the floor. It was enough for us the six of us bloggers from Manila.
What we really liked about the resort are the pools and slides. They have pools as deep as six feet adults can enjoy but there’s a kiddie pool too. The slides was the main attraction here. The same evening when we arrived, we were like crazy kids going up and down the slides taking the splash of our lives.
History and Monuments
It was a fine day for walks that morning. After setting our things down at the resort and a quick freshening up, we visited the Provincial Capitol of Camarines Norte. Its yellow facade and intricate balusters simply stood out from the cobalt sky. We also caught up with the other Bicol Bloggers who traveled from Naga and Legaspi and we did our interesting round at Museo Bulawan. The museum highlight was the chunks of rocks where gold is chipped out and panned. Camarines Norte is know for its gold mining industry.
National hero, Jose Rizal, never really ventured in this area but Daet has the first Rizal Monument in the country by the banks of Daet river. Its three-tiered pylon is based on a Masonic design in which Rizal was part of. Built in 1898, two years after his death, the unique Rizal Monument is a testament of the people’s reverence of Rizal and his ideals.
Finding my Stoke in Bagasbas Beach
Surfing has always been a curiosity. I have been contented just taking pictures of the wave riders having their time of their life riding the waves. This time I decided to turn the tables and try it out. White Wave was the outfit that helped us get oriented with the basics of surfing. I thought it was pretty easy and maybe my experience with skateboarding would help in my balance. Once we got into the water, it was all excitement. It did help that we had instructors with us at that time so we could get a feel of the surf immediately. There was an exciting tension building up as I hear the rumbling waves closing in. Timing my stand was another challenge aside from balance. After several wipe-outs, I was able to get my bearing. It was so fun that I just had to do it again and again and try to go further and further into the shore. According to my co-bloggers, the waves here is ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers. There’s the right interval between waves and beach is all sand. Why didn’t I take up this sports earlier? Well it’s never too late to enjoy surfing.
Fascination with Pineapples
The Queen or Formosa of Daet is one of the sweetest pineapples in the Philippines.
I never really imagined Daet to have a pineapple industry which was a pleasant surprise. Late in the afternoon we visited one of the backyard pineapple farms. It was a hectare of land by the road. It wasn’t like the large pineapple farms I’ve seen as there were a mixture of grass growth in the area. Their pineapples are small but juicy and sweet.
Interestingly Daet Mayor Tito Sarte Sarion has this fascination with pineapples. We were invited to have dinner at his humble home and we saw the iconic symbol and items of pineapple all around the house – from his doors, his wooden chairs, displays and even ceiling. They even have a room of memorabilia revolving around items related or about pineapples. A very curious thing indeed. I’m just glad though we had pineapples for our fruit dessert for our dinner.
The first day of #DateinDaet was packed. I haven’t even included the places we ate here (watch out for the post at Happyfoodies.com). I did get to know Daet more. It’s a progressive quaint town building a unique character of its own apart from its neighbouring Bicol regions. It’s not just a transit town but worthy base for exploration.
Daet in Camarines Norte is 370 km away from Manila. If going to Daet by land, public buses in Pasay and Cubao are the best options. Travel time is from 7-8 hours and fares range from Php 500-800.
- Superlines Cubao (414-3319, 414-3321, 0922-522-5192)
- DLTB Pasay (55-8040, 855-8071, 484-7449)
- Philtranco (www.philtranco.com.ph)
If going to Daet by air, the nearest commercial airport is at the City of Naga. From Naga, there are vans to Daet that leaves as early as 5am until 7pm. Travel time is two hours.
Pinapple Island Resort
Brgy. Calasgasan, 4600 Daet, Camarines Norte
Contact: (054) 440 1356
For Rates and Booking Click Here
Surfing Lessons and Surfboard Rentals
White Wave Hotel, Bar and Restaurant
Purok 2 Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte, 4600
Rates: Surfboard rental at Php 200/hr; Surfing lesson at Php 200/hr
DATE IN DAET (#DiD2014) is tourism advocacy campaign organized by AppleAllison of SoleSearchingSoul.com in partnership with ChoosePhilippines.com, supported by DigitalFilipino.com and co-presented by the Local Government Unit of Daet
headed by Mayor Tito S. Sarion under the Daet on the DOT Program.
Visit www.solesearchingsoul.com for more information or email[email protected]. Like Sole Searching Soul on Facebook, follow @SoleSSoul on Twitter and add on your Google+ circle.
Please use the hashtag #solesearchingsoul in your posts.
Don’t forget to create your own Choose Philippines Meme now to visually share your discoveries.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS & SPONSORS:
Accommodation – pineapple island resort – daet / Pineapple Island Resort – Daet, Camarines Norte
AM Snacks – KICK Milk Tea
Lunch – Bigg’s Diner Daet SM Hypermart Branch
PM Snacks – #Kundalini Healthy Cuisine
Dinner & other arrangements – Mayor Tito Sarte Sarion & LGU #Daet
Breakfast & Boat ride to Apuao Islands – LGU Mercedes
Lunch – COP
PM Snacks – Alvinos Roast, Grill & Fry
Dinner – Chef Mama
Yummy Goodies & Gift Packs – Jannah’s Pasalubong
Giveaway & Prize Tshirts – Gush Shop
#Calaguas Getaway Prize – Travel and Sand
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.