Sunday, October 16, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
Trevally Travel and Tours make sure that our customers are well secured. We have started as a travel agency on February 2012 and has been a Department of Tourism (DOT) Accredited Travel Agency in 2013. Since then, Trevally Travel and Tours has been a DOT Accredited Travel Agency in Bicol. Always deal with DOT Accredited Agencies to have a secured booking.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Monday, November 17, 2008
"Everyone has to experience the whale sharks at least once in their
Albay's neighboring province to the south, Sorsogon, is host to one of the highest concentration of Whale Sharks in the world. These creatures have been frequenting the waters off Donsol, Sorsogon for generations and in 1998, the Philippine Department of Tourism declared this area an official sanctuary for the Whale Shark, thus protected this fascinating species.
Although Whale Sharks, or "Butanding" as they are locally known, are enormous in size and power, reaching lengths greater than 15 meters, they are remarkably gentle and docile enough that it is generally safe to swim among them. Swimming among the whale sharks is a captivating experience. If you are not comfortable swimming in the waters, then it is just as amazing to experience them from the boat. The Butanding swim along side the boat all the time.
Generally, the whale sharks at Donsol swim very close to the surface of the water. Some basic snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins and a water vest) are just about you'll need in the water to be able to experience swimming among them.
Getting there: Donsol, Sorsogon is approximately 1-hour drive away from Legazpi City. The roads all the way to Donsol are well-paved, scenic and very accessible. There are several Taxis available that make daily routes from Legazpi to Donsol, Sorsogon.
What to bring: Although food is available at a number of locations in Donsol, you can bring your own if you want to enjoy a picnic there. If you plan to eat at Donsol, check with the Donsol Tourism Office for accredited eating establishments. Bring plenty of water.
You can bring along your snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins and water vest) but if you don't have any, these are also available for rental at the Donsol Tourism Office. Bring your swimsuits, towels, camera, some sun screen, sunglasses, a change of clothes, slippers, as well as sealable plastic bags to keep valuables. You can bring your own Life Vest, but these are also available on the boat.
Arriving at Donsol, Sorsogon: Once in Donsol, proceed to the Donsol Tourism Office. If you drove in your own vehicle, there is plenty of space to safely park your vehicle there. If you took a public vehicle, make arrangements for your return trip to Legazpi. At the Tourism Office, you will be required to register and attend a brief orientation session prior to heading out to see the Whale Sharks. You will also be required to pay the fee for: Boat Rental and Crew, Registration, and snorkeling equipment rental (if needed). The maximum number of registrants per boat is 7 people.
After Registration: After a brief orientation period on the rules and guidelines, you are ready to head out to sea on a 12m (40ft) boat. Your group will be accompanied by a BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer) who will serve as your guide while you're out in the water, one Spotter, on the look-out for the Butanding, and two crew members to man the boat.
Out in the Water: While there are no guarantees of being able to see the Whale Sharks, you can count on it that if you are there in the right time and season, it can literally take only a few minutes after leaving shore before you come across the first Butanding! Generally, you do not need to be out in deep waters in order to interact with the Whale Sharks. Your BIO will point them out and educate you on how to spot them, as well as provide additional information you need to know during the experience. The BIO's are quite knowledgeable and friendly, and are willing to answer your questions. When the BIO feels that the situation is ideal, he will instruct the crew on the boat's approach to the whale shark, and take the lead in getting you ready for the experience.
Seeing the Butanding for the first time is an extremely exciting experience. It is very important to keep the safety procedures in mind, and always follow the lead and instructions of your BIO.
Duration: The whole experience can last anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on how long you want to be out in the sea.
Season and Timing: Although Butanding are spotted year-round in the waters off Sorsogon, the season starts around November and goes on through May. The peak season is February through April. The best times to go are in the morning, as the waters are clearer and it easier to spot the Whale Sharks. According to the locals, the Whale Sharks are also more abundant before noon. On peak season, it is very common for each visitor to see more than a dozen different Butanding.
WHALE SHARK INTERACTION: Important Notes
Seeing the Whale Shark for the first time is a very exiting experience! Keep in mind the safety precautions discussed during the briefing period, as well as those dictated by your BIO (Buntanding Interaction Officer).
Inspect and test your equipment for proper function prior to jumping in the water.
If you have not used basic snorkeling equipment before, inform your BIO that you will want to take a few minutes to get acquainted with your snorkeling equipment. Practice breathing through the snorkel and swimming around with the fins. You can practice in shallow waters before heading out.
Do not jump in the water without the go-ahead signal from your BIO. Always make sure you are a safe distance away from the boats parts before focusing your attention on the whale sharks.
Underwater photo equipment is allowed, although any artificial lighting or flashes are prohibited.
Do not touch, ride or impede the movement of the whale shark.
Maintain a distance of 3 meters from the head and body of the whale shark, and 4 meters from the tail section.
Maximum of six swimmers and one boat are allowed per whale shark.
Keep the environment clean, dispose of trash and waste in proper receptacles.
Good luck and enjoy your Whale Shark Interaction experience!
WHALE SHARK SIGHTINGS in Albay GulfThe world’s largest living fish (and shark) is becoming a more frequent visitor to the Albay coast. They say the creatures were a common site in Albay waters, but have become far more common during the past months while the Mayon is in the state of “quiet” eruption. On August 23, around 3:56 p.m. nine sightings and five encounters with the Butanding (local name) had been recorded.
LEGEND OF MOUNT MAYON
By: Anastacio C. Canciller
A long time ago when the Philippines was not yet separated by a wide stretch of water from the mainland of Asia, there was neither then high mountain nor volcano in the region now known as Bikolandia or Kabikolan the old name given by the inhabitants to this place. There once dwelt a distinct group of people composed of beautiful women and sturdy warriors. Many suitors from far away regions went to Kabikolan purposely to court its maidens. They, however, returned home dejectedly because it was the unbroken code of that place that no strangers could marry its daragas (maidens). So strict were the fathers with regard to the marriage of their daughters that tribal wars would frequently mar the beauty of the village. The inhabitants, of course, were secure from the onslaught of the invaders from all of them were mostly experienced warriors.
Of all the women in Kabikolan, none was more winsome than Tiong Makusog’s daughter, Daragang Magayon, whose name literally means woman beauteous. That was why in the whole region, she was the kabinibinihan (modest) of them all. Among the native who fell madly in love with her, was the wealthy but selfish Paratuga. Thrice did this suitor thrust his spear near the stairs of Tiong Makusog’s house as a sign of his love of Daragang Magayon, and thrice did he present valuable gift of pearls, diamonds and gold, only to be answered with firm words of refusal. “He is not the man for me, father,” the beautiful woman would say whenever she was enjoined by Tiong Makusog in behaolf of the native lover. Since the old man was open-minded, he could do no other but follow her wish.
One midnight, while silence pervaded the place, Daragang Magayon unexpectedly confessed to her father of her love affair with a certain man who lives beyond the border of Kabikolan.
“Tatay”, she began tremulously,” it will mean eternal disgrace to our family if I am known to be in love with a stranger who lives on the other side of Kabikolan (the boundary river that separates Kabikolan from Katagalogan, the region inhabited by the tagalogs). To me he is the handsomest of all men I have ever seen. I owe my life to him, because he was the brave man who saved me from the mad currents of Kabikolan, when one morning while I was bathing in the river, my feet unfortunately slipped on the rock I stood upon”.
Tiong Makusog became grief-stricken after learning that his only daughter had already chosen her life-partner without his knowledge. Nevetherless, he controlled himself, and queried, although scarcely intelligible, who her strange sweetheart was.
“That is it”, Daragang Magayon seemed to have trailed her father thoughts, “I am sure you don’t know his name because when you arrived, I was already saved from drowning and he had immediately told me, “Namomotan Ta Ka”, (I love you) he told me one sunset when we met again at the bank of the river. “Namomotan ta ka man,” (I love you too) I replied, whereupon, I felt his lifps tenderly pressing on mine. What shall we do father? I don’t love Paratuga. I prefer a thousand deaths than wed him!” She ended firmly.
“I will help you to find the best way out, my daughter,” Tiong Makusog, albeit heavy was his heart, assured her.
Unfortunately one morning, while Tiong Makusog was hunting in a nearby forest, several strong henchmen of Paratuga suddenly seized him unawares. He was taken to the home of this treacherous suitor where he was demanded as ransom, the hand of his daughter, otherwise death from the wounds of hundred arrows would be his punishment.
That same day, a few hours after Tiong Makusog had been taken as captive, Linog, Paratuga’s chief messenger arrived at Daranga Magayon’s house and delivered to her a letter written on a piece of white bamboo...It contained a demand for her hand in marriage to Paratuga, or her refusal would mean immediate death of her father. Realizing the futility of a further refusal, Daragang Magayon forgot her gentle Panganoron, the man who had saved her from drowning. She at once rushed down the stairs and proceeded to Paratuga’s village to accept his terms to be his wife, to save her father.
The date of the wedding of Daragang Magayon to the wealthy Paratuga was immediately announced. Pearls, diamonds, gold and other precious stones were given lavishly to Tiong Makusog as gifts to the would-be bride. Messengers with swift heels were sent to al villages in Kabikolan purposely to broadcast the news and to invite every one to attend the nuptials.
As if aided by the wind, the news of Daragang Magayon’s proposed marriage speedily spread far and wide. It finally reached Panganoron’s ears whom upon learning the strange happening, was moved with surprise. For did she not assure him of her love, whatever consequence might befall on her? Indeed, the real lover could not believe what he heard. To him only force could make Daragang Magayon accept the marriage to that hated man. So with a bold determination to save his sweetheart from an impending danger, the daring warrior, with his trusted guide, Amihan, gathered all his men in Katagalogan to invade Kabikolan.
Panganoron and his followers arrived in Kabikolan on the day of Magayon’s marriage with Paratuga. The invaders were determined to slay the unwanted suitor and his people. Before the altar sat Tiong Makusog, with Daragang Magayon and Paratugaon each of his side. In front of them was the high priest who was busily mumbling words of incantation prior to the formal proclamation of the two parties as husband and wife. To the thousand pairs of eyes that witnessed the splendid ceremony, Daragang Magayon appeared immensely beautiful. Never before had they seen such a winsome woman. However, they could see that grief had lodged on her lovely face.
In the midst of the wedding ceremony, nevertheless, a sharp cry of “Tulisanes are coming!” from a villager outside suddenly put the scene into a medley of shrieking voices. Men, women and children speed away for safety. Only Daragang Magayon, Paratuga and his warriors remained to await the invaders headed by Panganoron. In a moment the battle was on. The sharp metallic clash of blade filled the air, and mounds of dying warriors gave a horrible sound in the fight. Paratuga was the first to gall, at the hands of the bold Panganoron. Seeing her returned lover, Daragang Magayon at once rushed to him, but sadly enough, a stray arrow fatally hit her. In his efforts to lift the weakening body of his sweetheart, Panganoron was unnoticeably attacked from behind. He reeled to the ground, bleeding and breathless. His men, sensing that their leader was dead and realizing that they were outnumbered, took to their heels and left him lifeless to their enemy.
The next day, all the natives of Kabikolan were sad. Daragang Magayon was dead. Tiong Makusog buried her beside the sea. In her grave, he laid all that she had possessed, including the priceless gifts of Paratuga. A week, however, after the burial, all the inhabitants of that place were surprised to find the grave mound of Daragang Magayon steadily rising into a hill. They were amazed, too, why sometimes a flock of white clouds floating over the hill would suddenly turn black and burst into a cloud and heavy shower strangely enough, pouring particularly on the crest of the hill. At night the people would be awakened by strong earthquakes that seemed to emanate from the grave of Daragang Magayon, followed by a thundering noise of rolling stones, along its steeply slope. This horrible occurrence frightened the natives so that in a short period, the place had become deserted.
During the countless years that followed that incident, the burial-hill of Darangang Magayon had kept on growing and growing until it was transformed into a high mountain, with its top almost piercing the clouds.
Nowadays the Albayanos, believed that the spirit of Paratuga is the cause of the occasional eruption of the mountain that was formerly the grave-mound of Daragang Magayon. The legend tells us that in order to avenge his failure to wed the beautiful daughter of Tiong Makusog, the spirit of Paratuga, with the help of Linog’s, is trying every once in a while to exhume her grave to emit all the pearls, diamonds and gold he had given to her as gifts. Instead of the gifts, however, large masses of stones with heavy layers of ashes, are thrown out, as when a volcano erupts.
The spirit of Panganoron, on the other hand, so the legend says, is wandering in the form of clouds above the peak of the mountain. These clouds usually visit the burial-place of Daragang Magayon and never fail to kiss it. Apparently the spirit of Panganoron seems to be grieving over the death of his sweetheart, for whenever clouds gather at the top, they usually disperse into volleys of raindrops, thus keeping the plant vegetating on the mountain slopes fresh all year round. The people of Albay contend that these frequent visits of the spirit of Panganoron to the mountain of Daragang Magayon, in the form of clouds and rain may account for its having a heavy rainfall every year.
Today the imposing mountain of Daragang Magayon still stands in Albay, perpetually clad with the green foliage of plants. Indeed, what a striking parallelism to find this mountain, like the winsome lady of former Kabikolan, always a radiant symbol of hope, to honor and remember the memory of Daragang Magayon, the mountain that marks her resting place is now called Mayon (short for Magayon) and the village by its slopes is at present a thriving town as Daraga (derived from Daragang) which is still noted for its pretty women.
· Mayon Volcano is the most perfect cone volcano in the world?
· “Tabios” (mystichy’s luzonensis) found in Buhi, Camarines Sur is the smallest fish in the world?
· “Butanding” (whale shark), found in Sorsogon waters is the largest fish in the world?
· Pili, a nut extensively grown in Bicol, have a quality comparable to the macadamia nut?
· Manila hemp and Manila rope originally came from Bicol’s abaca?
· The first bus company in the country (the Alatco) and first modern coconut oil mills in the country were established in Bicol?
· Tea bags, paper currency, baby diapers are made from abaca?
Hey, Do you know that our BICOL EXPRESS was “invented” by a Non-Bicolano?? According to documents I have gathered, this spicy concoction was invented by Ms. Cely Kalaw, who was born in Los Banos Laguna but spent her childhood days in Bicol particularly in Naga City. This spicy dish is "Tita Cely's" version of a long-standing Bicolano dish "GULAY NA LADA".
WHAT’S COOKING AT TITA CELY’S?
By LAI SUAREZ REYES --The Manila Bulletin Online
They say that a good cook doesn’t follow recipes...he invents them! Well, that’s if you have the talent, guts and the palate for good food the way Tita Cely does!
Regarded by food critics as the doyenne of Filipino cuisine, Cecilia "Tita Cely" Villanueva Kalaw set the Pinoy tastebuds on fire with her "invention"... a fiery dish popularly known as Bicol Express.
Contrary to popular belief, Bicol Express didn’t originate in Bicol. It was a labor of love of two siblings who shared a passion for all things spicy and yummy!
As the story goes, Tita Cely and her brother Demetrio "Kuya Etring" Kalaw had opened a hole-in-the-wall eatery on Oregon St., Malate, Manila, which they called "The Grove Luto ni Inay." This was way back in the 1960s.
There were only a few tables and chairs and no waiters but immediately the eatery was swamped with foodies hungry for good homecooking! This prompted Tita Cely and Kuya Etring to move to a bigger place on M.H. del Pilar St., in Ermita.
The Grove became famous for its buffet which offered 54 kinds of Filipino dishes. "I was the first one to put up a Filipino buffet. At that time, it only cost R7.50 per head. It was such a big hit! Over the years, the price of the buffet went to as high as R175/head," recalls Tita Cely.
Tita Cely’s regular customers included the late food writer and critic Doreen Fernandez, journalist Jullie Yap Daza and former senator Francisco Kit Tatad.These people just couldn’t have enough of Tita Cely’s laing, served quite spicy."But Doreen told me that some of our “sosyal” customers who wanted to eat laing, could not tolerate the chili in it. So, I told my brother Etring that we should come up with a tamer version of the dish," narrates Tita Cely. For customers who want their laing spicy, Tita Cely and Kuya Etring invented a dish similar to Bicol’s "gulay na lada" which they mixed with a less spicy laing.
"It’s actually a separate dish. One could either mix it with the laing or just add a bit of it (chili dish) according to one’s taste," explains Tita Cely. Once again, the siblings experimented in the kitchen with chopped siling haba and coconut milk. By now a kitchen pro, Tita Cely wielded her ladle like a witch concocting potions in a cauldron. In a snap, the chili dish was cooked!"So, I’ve invited Doreen and other friends for an intimate lunch to try our “new” laing. At that time, we didn’t have a name for the chili dish yet! Our house was located at the back of the restaurant along M.H. del Pilar, where the PNR train passes. It was 11:45 a.m., we only had 15 minutes left to think of a name before our guests arrived," Tita Cely continues. "Kuya Etring was taking a shower, while I was seated on the sofa. Suddenly, we heard the sound of the train and so I shouted: “Kuya Etring, biyaheng Bicol!” And he shouted back: “Cely, let’s call the dish “Bicol Express!” Well, the rest is history," Tita Cely laughed.
Tita Cely is not a Bicolana but she spent her childhood days in Bicol. Born in 1938 in Los Banos, Laguna, Tita Cely and her family moved to Naga City, when she was 3. Most probably, that’s the reason Tita Cely loves "luto sa gata" dishes. This is evident in the menu of her new food stall, "Tita Cely’s Sinigang Bar, Atbp." at the foodcourt of Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Tita Cely graduated with a degree in agriculture from UPLB. But she’s more proud of the following "degrees" appended on her name: Cecila V. Kalaw, C.CS.P.S.
"C stands for CONCERN; CS stand for COMMON SENSE. P is for PRACTICAL while S stands for SYSTEMATIC. These words are synonymous to SUCCESS," Tita Cely says with a grin.
The Bicol Express
A savory and delicious dish made with succulent pork and coconut cream that will have you expressing how much you adore the taste!
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic chopped
1/2 cup onions chopped
1/4 cup ginger fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons dilao fresh, (tumeric)
1 kg pork cooked and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 tablespoon hot chili peppers (siling labuyo, chopped)
1 1/2 cup bagoong alamang
6 cups coconut cream
2 cups hot green peppers fresh (elongated variety), sliced diagonally into 1/4 inch strips
1 1/2 cup sweet red peppers, fresh (elongated variety), sliced diagonally into 1/4 inch strips
Saute garlic in hot oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in fresh ginger, dilao, and the sliced cooked pork. Stir continually for 5 minutes. Add bagoong alamang and chopped hot chilli (siling labuyo). Stir until the pork is completely covered by the mixture. (about 15 minutes.) Pour in 6 cups of coconut cream and add the sliced hot green and red peppers. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Add salt if necessary.
Note: chillis and peppers to be added according to spiciness desired.