Camarines Norte Travel Guide

Come Forth to Cam North – The Series Pt. 3

Day 3     Unspoiled Beaches

I have been to the best beaches in the country, but CamNorte serves the off white, the pink, the brown and the red beach all in one plate!

Don’t believe me? Indulge in their four course menu:

Off white appetizers – Apuao Grande and Apuao Pequeña with Pagasa beach sider

Apuao Grande is a secluded island where you can camp underneath the pine trees with crystal blue waters for a dip. On the other hand, Apuao Pequeña, is the sanctuary of flying foxes and wild boars, this private island offers breath taking view of the Pacific. Both are connected by sandbar and just two of the seven islands Mercedes has in store for us!

Apuao Pequena
Apuao Pequeña
Apuao Grande
Apuao Grande

How to get here:

By Land (Philtranco, DLTB and Superlines)

8-10 hours- Bus from Cubao/Pasay, Mero Manila  to Daet, Camarines Norte

15 mins- Jeep/ Trike from Daet, Camarines Norte to Mercedes

By Air (Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, Philippine Airlines)

45 minutes- Plane from NAIA, Pasay to Pili Airport, Camarines Sur

15 minutes- Bus from Pili Airport, Camarines Sur to Naga City, Camarines Sur

2 hours- Jeep from Naga City, Camarines Sur to Daet, Camarines Norte

15 minutes-  Trike from Daet, Camarines Norte to Mercedes Camarines Norte

Contact person: Ms. Nanette Ibasco – Municipal Tourism Officer

‘+63 54 444-1261 | +63 54 444-1151 | discovermercedes@yahoo.com

Pagasa beach

Pagasa beach

Entrance fee Php20
Open cottage or cabanas at Php 250-300; Closed cottages at PHP 500 to 700. Camp for free! Tricycle (special) going here will cost you Php 100 one way. There’s a nearby fish sanctuary where you can snorkel or scuba dive, just bring your own gears.
For more info, contact Ruth at +63910 – 827 – 3547.

Red salad – Pulang Daga / Pulang Lupa beach

Yearning for a fiery sunset? Fret not, Pulang Daga beach is exactly what you’re looking for.

How to get here:

Hop on a Superlines bus in Manila that will directly take you to Paracale, it can cost you to about Php 900-1000. If you are in Daet already, take a van going here at Php 60 or bus at Php 45.

Brown main course – Bulalacao beach

Bulalacao beach is located at Luklukan Sur, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. It is approximately 49 kms away from Daet. You will see a creamy fine sand, crystal water, coconut trees, fruit bearing trees and beautiful rock formation with some corals around it. Bulalacao beach is another good spot for picnic, swimming, kayaking and pictorials.

Bulalacao beach

How to get here:

  • You can ride a van for only 70 pesos or a bus for only 50 pesos going to town proper of Jose Panganiban.
  • When you reach Jose Panganiban, you need to ride a jeep for only 25 pesos going to Bulalacao Beach, Luklukan Sur.

Pink Dessert – Parola beach

I managed to capture the beauty of this uninhabited island with the help of these gorgeous bloggers Travel With Maria & Charlotte Anne. Go check these ladies out.

For details on how to get here and relevant information, please visit my article in this pristine island here.

Tip: If you have more time to spare, you can do a side trip to Mercedes from Vinzons in 30 minutes and do this!

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By the way, that’s Marco, our Pinoy Traveler, go check out his Parola travel guide, too.

“CamSur is popular but CamNorte is handsome” words of our tourism officer Sir Abel.

 

Day 4     Locals, heavenly Bicolano cuisines and worthy pasalubongs

Aside from the colourful beaches, secluded islands, historic land marks and century old churches, Camarines Norte boasts its good natured and gallant people where our past can confirm how this lands became the cradle of heroism in Bikolandia.

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Mercedes’ Tinapa : Perfect Pasalubong

Undeniably the best tinapa in town! So thankful I hopped off the van and bought my one kilo of tinapa, fresh from Camarines Norte waters! I enjoyed it, my mom and brother loved it, my officemates devoured it! The best indeed. Whenever you are around the area, make sure to bring these goodies with you back to Manila. 

Some of the famous delicacies I tasted and complemented my food palette were these jaw dropping menu –

Villa Eusebia’s: Sinantol (You should not miss this!)

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Mercedes’ Tinapa plant

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Sugar cane juice at JSM Yellow to Green Organic farm

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Candist’s Kitchen: original bicol express and tinumok

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Mamitas’ burgers

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Jannah’s Pasalubong

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As we head back to Manila, we stopped by the pasalubong center in Daet. Normally, I don’t bring home pasalubong but it’s a good thing I made an exception this one time. For one, their tarts are the bomb! Legit AF. The tinapa from Mercedes sold out like pancakes at home and in the office!

Still craving? Let the expert take you to a gastronomic ride, here’s Rowena’s five must try Bicol dishes.

As my sponsored trip comes to an end, I can’t help but say my huge thanks to the people behind this effort who made our CamNorte trip fun filled and memorable. Thank you to the locals for your heart-warmingly generous welcome, even though the weather was giving us a cold treatment (literally with strong winds and heavy rains). #ByeJolina

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Thank you to Sir Mike of Katooga Ph and my new found friends slash bloggers during this 4 day adventure – I won’t forget all the laughs and good times we shared. You guys really opened my eyes on the ins and outs of the blogging world, while CamNorte offered such a humbling, memorable and educational experience all rolled into one.

Quickies, out.

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Quezon Buffet – Best Sisig in the Metro

Traveling at my own cost really took a toll on my personal savings (or what’s left of it). Laughs – not really. Reviewing a newly opened buffet restaurant was definitely a breath of fresh air. Since it’s free, that’s where I gotta be.

When you had something for free and it was bad – you don’t have a say. On the contrary, if it was good and free at the same time – it’s like winning a raffle. In my case, a lottery.

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I arrived at Fisher Mall at half past four – way late from the 2:00 pm call time. Although, I came all the way from Cavite, I thought to myself, well if the event’s done, I deserved it cos of my ever reliable time management. Lo and behold, it’s as if the event waited for me. The counters were all served with sumptuous offerings. Other dishes being replenished as I salivate at the side.

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What Quezon Has To Offer

Quezon buffet boasts its decadence array of strong Filipino – Spanish tie through its immaculate dishes of gastronomic proportions.

I couldn’t even put to words my exact thoughts when I had my first sisig bite. It just exploded in my palate. Their sisig dish comes in three’s: Bangus, Chicken and Pork. I know sisig isn’t for everyone – but please take my word for it to drop by whenever you’re around the area.

I’m not skipping the best part (for most foodies). Not far where I left my heart lay another heart wrenching dish – lechon! Yes I’m not that of a huge fan; but, oh boy, the crispness, texture and flavor can be compared to the infamous Cebu’s Zubuchon. And they serve it at a buffet – how dope! Lechon Chili Belly all-you-want definitely sounds my cup of tea.

I know, I know these dishes must be paired with rice, right? Quezon buffet didn’t disappoint offering yet another scene stealer – Paella. Filled with mussels, pork bits and veggies. Kanin pa lang ulam na!

Other food choices include Beef Kare Kare, Sinigang sa Pula, Dinakdakan, Callos, Bulalo Steak among others. I had a few portions and came back to refill my plate. Nothing is going wrong for Chef Kalel and his team!

How rude of me not to talk about desserts! Their leche flan (crème caramel) and brazo de mercedes were to die for! Not literally of diabetes cos they have a balanced level of sucrose – not too sweet making me feel less guilty I gave in to temptation. Make your own halo-halo, turon with langka, sticky pudding with mango purée, palitaw and other kakanins completed the line up of the desserts. Very Pinoy, indeed.

Ambiance & Staff

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Faint lighting from their posh chandeliers wrapped around the banquet making the ambiance very cozy and relaxing. The restaurant can host around 200 people – perfect for all occasions. Although the opening was swamped (not seen in the photo) and looked undermanned, the staff were accommodating and more than willing to satisfy everyone’s needs. They sure replenish the food fast – perhaps because it’s the opening with media and celebrities gracing the event.

I do wish they continue this going forward – cos it makes or break a buffet restaurant.

Price

Absolutely affordable. Treat your family, friends, colleagues here. Quezon buffet will do the rest.

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So it is now safe to say I am a travel foodie. Thank you thewanderjunkie for accompanying me gatecrash this event.

We sure had a lot of laughs and our stomachs full.

Thanks again Quezon buffet for showcasing and being the forefront in promoting our rich Filipino cuisine.

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