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Friday, May 31, 2013

On The Road Less Travelled

Daet.  This town used to be the official gateway to the Bicol region (even though you have to go through Camarines Norte's first town of Sta. Elena). But ever since another diversion road was created for road-trippers (whose final destination is either Naga, Legaspi or Sorsogon), just before entering Daet, this town has since been almost forgotten.
We found ourselves quite fortunate though that on a previous occasion, a friend recommended for us to visit the town and stay a bit longer than just pass through it.  We were brought to Bagasbas Beach and was billeted at Bagasbas Lighthouse Resort Hotel. 
Driving through the busy market road, people and cars became less dense towards the shoreline.  And upon reaching the tip, we first sensed the salty air, then saw the clear skies, plump clouds, and the crashing waves.  This whole vista took our breath away.  The beach was dotted already by several people, with a few riding the waves on their surf boards.  Yes, you read right.  The waves on this sea are good enough for surfing.  In fact, we were told that one can take surfing lessons from the professionals who are always found there. 
Turning right, we noticed honky-tonk bars and cafes line the adobe-paved street towards our hotel.  Some offer facilities for "banlaw" (quick shower) for Php10.00.  It has to be underlined, however,  that the entire area was so neat and clean.  Quite a refreshing difference compared to other beaches in the archipelago.
Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort stands like a beacon.  It really doesn't have a lighthouse, but it is different from the rest of its neighbors starting with the façade of one of its restaurants, Roberto's Sports Grill, greeting you first with its open terrace looking out onto the sea, then the building itself, wrapped all throughout by windows. Further in, we noticed a swimming pool beside its second restaurant, Catherine's, then onwards to the front desk.
We took the trailer rooms for the novelty of staying in converted trailers that is comfortably furnished, with coffee/tea amenities, air conditioner, small LCD TVs with cable, and mini bar.  The bathroom, however, is quite a departure from the bedroom itself. It was spacious and made good use of organic materials to accent the fixtures.

However, Bagasbas Lighthouse has regular hotel rooms if you prefer them.  Or if you are on a shoestring budget, they have backpacker or dormitory-style rooms where you enjoy the cool sea breezes.  But our standard trailer room at PhP1,750 with breakfast for two persons was already a good deal for us.  Take note that their a la carte breakfast will leave you more than satisfied.  There's no scrimping on servings and flavor.
For happy hour, Roberto's Sports Grill makes competent cocktails, cough out a variety of beers, and creamy milk or fruit shakes.  They have flavorful pizzas, nachos, burgers and some more bar chow.  They also have private videoke rooms in case you and your friends are in the mood to belt out a few tunes.  The billiard table and the fuzball machine can be rented at PhP150/half hour. But if the waves are calling, one is welcome to go night swimming, or wading, or just enjoy the breeze, as there is even more people in the water at this time.
Staying in Bagasbas, we enjoyed the quiet atmosphere and a bit of solitude, even while we shared the beach with other groups or families.  And with amenities at the hotel, we can't help but feel self-contained.  Bagasbas Beach is a good reason to go to Daet.  Its simplicity is equally attractive with the glitter of Boracay or the show-stoppers of Caramoan.  Come, stay a night or two, you too may be beguiled by its gentle whispers of comfort amid the thunderous waves.

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