Featured Posts

Featured Posts
Featured Posts

JADSpirits Travel Log

JADSpirits Travel Log
JADSpirits Travel Log

Daday's Kitchen

Daday's Kitchen
Daday's Kitchen

Undas 2014: Journal of Our Bicol Road Trip

Travel time from Mabalacat, Pampanga to Paracale, Camarines Norte during ordinary weekend would only take us about 9~10 hours by car with an occasional restroom break and one coffee or snack break.

Our regular route: North Luzon Expressway > Skyway > South Luzon Expressway > Maharlika Highway > Road leading to our barangay.

This Undas 2014 was so different…in a big way. Getting there took us 14½ hours as well as going back. It’s due to traffic jam caused by the surge of commuters which was expected during this time. But the major reason was the collapsed bridge in Santa Elena, linking Camarines Norte to Metro Manila, due to the onslaught of Typhoon Mario (with international code name Fung Wong). IMG_9621

We, and all the commuters to and from Camarines Norte, had to endure the long journey via Rolando R. Andaya Highway (commonly known as Quirino Highway). It is a regional highway traversing the towns of: Tagkawayan, Quezon; Ragay, Camarines Sur; Lupi, Camarines Sur and Sipocot, Camarines Sur. It is the shortest way to Naga City and the province of Camarines Sur.

But when it was used as the emergency detour going to Camarines Norte, it means an additional 3 ~ 4 hours travel time. With this route, we have to travel across Sipocot to reach the other side of Maharlika Highway passing the busy side of Sipocot and Lupi and then the towns of Camarines Norte which are: Basud, Daet, Talisay, Labo and finally, Paracale (my home town). We use same route, in reverse, in going back to Pampanga…with a few difference when we used diversion roads to avoid the long queue of vehicles on the national roads.

During the entire road trip, I posted bits and pieces of information with pictures on Facebook. And when I reported for work, most of my FB friends who followed our road trip commented, “napagod ako sa byahe ninyo” (I got tired with your travel).

I decided to consolidate all those FB posts plus more of the pictures we have taken along the way. I will be using the time the pictures were taken…not the time of the Facebook post. The trip hashtags: #JADSpirits, #roadtriptobicol #longesttriptobicolever,

October 31, 5:48am

We just passed the “Welcome to Bicolandia” arch (boundary of Quezon and Camarines Norte when I posted the first Facebook post.
Good morning, Everyone!!! Rise & shine! After more than 9 hours on the road…from Pampanga. From the gateway to Bicolandia…at least 100 kms, around 2 hours travel time to our destination.
IMG_9619IMG_9624 IMG_9622 

October 31, 6:08am

We were traveling along Tagkawayan, Quezon…
Sights of Quirino Highway! Emergency detour to the towns of Camarines Norte due to downed bridge in Santa Elena brought about by the recent typhoon.
IMG_9635IMG_9627 IMG_9629 IMG_9631 IMG_9633

October 31, 7:33am
Part of the comments of the second FB post and some. We were on the Camarines Sur part of the highway…120 kms away from our destination.
Quirino Highway - Ragay, Camarines Sur
  Sipocot, Camarines Sur...5kms to Maharlika Highway
IMG_9649 IMG_9650

October 31, 9:30am,

After seeing endless roads, trees, sky and vehicles of different types and sizes, we reached the capital of Camarines Norte…Daet.
After almost 13 hours on the road…

We had brunch, Dada were able to have a short rest, stretch his back. And look at our Daniz in her PJs…as if she’s just inside our house…wagas.
IMG_9652 IMG_9653  IMG_9658IMG_9656
This is Froggy...13 hours after it left the car wash in Mabalacat, Pampanga

October 31, 10:45am

Not part of my FB post.

We reached the archway to my hometown…around 20 minutes more to reach our final destination.

  • Some part of Quirino Highway is under construction…so we experienced “stop” and “go”. From time to time, we also braved some sudden rain fall.
You may also read: