PAROLA ISLAND IS CAMARINES NORTE’s LITTLE KNOWN PARADISE

BY RICKY MONTECILLO

Jose Panganiban in Camarines Norte used to be called Mambulao, meaning land of gold.

There used to be a lot of large scale gold mining operations there but nowadays only small ones still exist.

Parola Island Paradise

We went to Jose Panganiban to see the Parola island, famous for its pinkish sand. The Municipal Tourism director Ms. Ruth Marie Forteza arranged for our activities for our adventure camp and ride last March 29-31, 2018.

Restie, Ms. Ruth Marie and Ricky

The Long Riders (TLR) has the distinction in the Philippine motorcycling industry as the group that dares to take their big adventure bikes to off the beaten destinations in the country.

Led by artist and adventurist Restie Renia, TLR is composed of a loose group of people who come from diverse backgrounds and who share a common passion for motorcycles, nature and adventure. Oh, and booze.

Bong, Randy, Rodel, Wern and Olan

From the Caltex station in South Luzon Expressway where we met up, we started our journey by 6:30 am, made a few stopovers for breakfast and hydration.

The fun part was the bitukang manok road from Pitogo all the way to Camarines Norte. It’s called that because it resembles the zig zag shape of a bituka.

The ride took about 7 hours and we arrived at the Jose Panganiban Municipal hall as the sun shone its brightest and hottest at 2pm.

The Long Riders arrive at Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte

We met with Ms. Ruth Marie who briefed us on the sites and arranged for our boat ride and island hopping the following day.

First stop, we rode our big bikes to the JSM Yellow Green Agri-Eco tourism farm. Yellow-green represents the gold mining turning into farming.

Abijit the artist and farmer

The farm director is called Abijit, his yoga name. He is an artist and is developing the farm to become a diverse and self sustaining commune. They have vegetables, cattle, carabaos, sugar cane and also a man made fish pond. They even have a water supply run by solar.

JSM Yellow Green Agri-Eco tourism farm

JSM Yellow Green Agri-Eco tourism farm

JSM Yellow Green Agri-Eco tourism farm

The owners want to promote organic farming and they are developing the property as a local tourism spot.

We spent our first night in the Turayog view deck. It is a high point of Jose Panganiban where one can see the Camarines Norte at the best vantage point. But before going there we bought food at the public market. Sael Requierme, our kusinero and master chef, did the marketing.

Palengke time

Turayog View Deck

Buboy who turned out to be the owner of the Turayog view deck property is also into small scale gold mining and is fixing up his place as a resort.

Camping at the Turayog view deck

Ricky, Cris, Tim, Olan and Randy

We camped right there on the clearing of the view deck where it was cool and breezy.

Randy with best view

The next morning, we set off to go to the famed Parola island. We rented a big boat which brought us to the island.

Restie landing at Parola

Parola island does not disappoint.

It is a beautiful island. It is like a small sand bar with coconut trees and mangroves. It has two beach fronts on both sides. Its sand is white but pinkish especially during sunrise and sunsets.

Sunset at Parola

West side of Parola

West side of Parola

Lush Mangrove and Coconut trees

Presently it is controlled or owned by a private person and there is only one family who lives there in a shack and some tables for day trip visitors.

Visitors are not allowed to stay overnight in Parola. So what’d we do? We stayed overnight there.

Camped at east side where the winds blew

Winds stopped at 1 am and turned to the West side

We had the island to ourselves and we camped by the east side shore where the wind was blowing.

Mike and his sexy lingerie tent

Wern, Cris and Restie at the Parola (lighthouse)

We had good ole’ riding buddies fun over alcohol and Sael’s cooking. Imagine, having an entire island to yourselves, Survivor style.

Food and drinks time

Cris and Tim

Jose Panganiban is not yet on the popular tourism map. But through the efforts of Ms. Ruth Marie, Abijit and Buboy, they hope to promote it as an upcoming adventurers’ gem and tourism spot.

Lush mangrove

Sael the master kusinero

Lush path

On the boat ride back to the port, Capt. Sonny Yutuc, a retired airline pilot said, “Ngayon ko lang na experience ito!”, with the expression of an overjoyed kid.

Capt. Sonny said, “Ngayon ko lang na experience ito!”

At his senior age, riding a motorcycle, camping in the Turayog view deck and sneaking an overnight stay in Parola island in the middle of the ocean, he seems to be enjoying life at the fullest.

I guess he’s also been bitten by the ride and camp adventure bug.

The Long Riders Enjoying Paradise!

This entry was posted in Experiences, Motorcycle adventures, People, Places, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to PAROLA ISLAND IS CAMARINES NORTE’s LITTLE KNOWN PARADISE

  1. Sonny Yutuc says:

    Thank you for the experience, gentlemen. This is the kind of adventure I have been dreaming of for the longest time. Once again, many thanks to the gang.

  2. Ruth Marie P. Forteza says:

    Thanks so much for visiting our place! Hope to see you all again, and I assure you, you still have many places to visit, and double the fun in Jose Panganiban! And Camarines Norte as well! It was really nice to have you here, if I’m not just so busy with my defense, I want to spend and guide you all to our different destinations here. See you again, and thanks for this blog Sir ! God bless and more power!

Leave a Reply to Sonny Yutuc Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *