CamSur greeted us warmly once again, this time we brought the kids along and the rest of the family.
We headed to the southernmost south of Luzon on full road trip gear. First to attend Yaya’s wedding, second, to take a mini-vacation in CWC. Yes, we drove some 15 hours from Cainta to Camarines Sur. It was a very long, tiring drive that was way off our predefined itinerary.
We were ready for 12 hours on the road, ready to plunge into hotel beds after a tiring journey, and get up after a few hours rest to wash up, dress up and attend the wedding. But we didn’t expect that we were up for an all-nighter road trip and that we’ll be attending a wedding sleepless, unfed and unbathed.
Attending a wedding in the province is always an experience. The ceremony itself and the reception program is a melting pot of culture, beliefs and traditions as practiced by the families of the bride and groom. The one we attended was held in the town of Baao, Camarines Sur, where the boys’ Yaya hailed.
Baao is a nice, quiet town. There are signs of development as it is right beside Pili, the provincial capital. It was accessible yet remained rural, and income sources were mostly from farming activities. And just like Yaya, the people from Baao were beautiful and quiet and calm.
They boys’ were part of the entourage and Father was principal sponsor. We lost a significant amount of cash in the process, but we enjoyed the humor and simplicity of the occasion. And we didn’t feel shortchanged nor extorted—as we sometimes do in other provincial weddings, where names are called for cash gifts to the couple and the amount you give is counted right in your face as if to show how little you gave, or how much more other people need to give to match yours. We were glad to share some of our blessings with Yaya and his husband, as we owe a lot to her for taking good care of our little boys.
After lunch and the reception program, which Uri slept through, we were all very tired but eager for some airconditioning and bed rest. And so we headed to Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC), where we were booked for the night.
Turo and I were in CWC last Feb as we celebrated his birthday with a tour of the Bicolandia. We so loved it here we knew we had to bring the rest of the family along the next time.
I was worried at first that the kids will get bored because there’s not a lot to do except for wakeboarding, which they can’t, and swimming, which is nothing new to them. I was surprised at how much they enjoyed just watching wakeboarders do their stunts and tricks. We quietly spent a lovely afternoon by the cable park doing just that.
I was never a fan of man-made attractions, I always looked for something nature-y in every place I visit. But CWC changed this perspective altogether. CWC is a government-run facility, mind you. It sits within the vast provincial capitol grounds of Camarines Sur. You get official government receipts when your pay for your hotel accommodation. And, together with Caramoan Island, it has pulled in tourists from all walks of life, making the province the top tourist destination in the country at present.
I especially love the accommodation at CWC. It’s cheap, heck, it’s government rate. And the facilities demonstrate a hint of green and modern architecture. There are container vans converted into double rooms and family rooms. There are solar-powered log cabins and wooden cabanas, affordable tiki huts that have common toilets to cut back on costs. Even the cable park and the winch park has its own water treatment facility so water gets recycled every so often.
Wakeboarding is fast becoming Turo’s favorite sport. Brother tried his hand at it while we were there but the skimboarder had to curse wakeboarding before we even left Bicol. And while sports and me will never go well together, I can definitely say that once in my life I was able to successfully wakeboard, even for a few metres.
And so we left CamSur happy and rejuvenated and ready for another 12-hour driving stretch. I am proud at how much my kids enjoy traveling, even on long road trips such as this one, which is a first for them. We are definitely coming back, and we are tinkering with the possibility of an even longer trip on the road—maybe Davao? Who knows.