The secret to happiness is curiosity and low expectations.
There is a map of CamSur on my desktop; it has been sitting there for more than three years now. Among the dots on the map, what caught my curiosity the most was the unfamiliar town in the north western tip of the province – Siruma.
Named after the local dialect for tiny red ants, Siruma is often overlook because it isn’t the usual travel destination unlike its more popular neighboring Calaguas and Caramoan Islands. Expecting there will be less crowd, I was lured to explore this sleepy, below the tourist radar coastal town.
From Manila, I board a night-trip Naga-bound bus. Arriving in Naga the morning after, I took a jeepney bound for Siruma. I was the lone tourist passenger; the rest were locals. By commute, I had to endure being on the road and in a cramped vehicle for more than four hours. Travel time took longer than the usual two hours by private car mainly because of the lengthy lunch stop-over and a little discovery I found out - the door-to-door “pabili” service being offered by the jeepney driver to families in Siruma, who can’t personally go to Naga, the capital of CamSur. Halos buong taga Siruma ata andaming pinapabili – water dispensers, several sacks of rice, grocery and household items (I saw a refrigerator!), construction materials (like 50 pieces of nipa to be used in building houses), just to name a few. And these were all delivered to more than a dozen houses before my final stop. Anyway, I had a learning cultural experience already, even before I reached my final destination.
I chose Angelica Resort as my homebase in Siruma. Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by Ate Janet, the caretaker and the dogs. The resort is a former private rest house of the family of Thomas Arejola, who is now based in the US. When it was converted into a resort, Thomas named it after his second and favorite daughter Angelica. When I asked Ate Janet “hindi ba nagseselos yung ibang mga kapatid dahil pinangalan ang resort kay Angelica”. She replied “Minsan tumawag dito yung bunso, si Anabelle, sinabi kung pwede daw palitan ko ang pangalan ng resort ng Anabelle.” I can’t help but laugh.
The resort is located on a hilly terrain, overlooking San Miguel Bay. It is quite romantic. And since it is near the Pacific Ocean, a strong gust of wind is often felt.
My room has a balcony with a panoramic view of the rolling hills and the sea. Even though I was tired from my long journey and would just like to sleep the remaining afternoon away, I chose not to miss the beautiful scenery right before my eyes. On the uppermost part of the main building is a viewdeck that offers a 360 degree view of surroundings. I swear, I can get used to it.
The resort has a swimming pool that looks photogenic because of the verdant mountainous backdrop.
I made a special request to Ate Janet if I could have seafood for my dinner and breakfast. She prepared adobong pusit and alimango seasoned with oyster sauce and lots of garlic. Those gentle-looking crustaceans, which tastes super delicious, made my Siruma stay quite unforgettable.
Just a few minute downhill walk from the resort, passing by a man-made mahogany forest, is a secluded white beach, a portion of which is abundant with pine trees. The beachfront is an extension of the resort. There are some cabanas and native huts by the beach for guest who prefer to stay in rooms with sea-view.
The resort offers water sports activities such as jetski, as well as boat rental to visit nearby beaches. The town boasts of pristine, white sand beaches minus the horde of excursionists.
Walking and trekking on the nearby hills is also a good morning exercise and recreational activity. The hills, punctuated by coconut trees, are so alive with the sound of music and sound made by birds, cows and carabaos.
Siruma exceeded all my expectations. Every corner is bucolic; every angle looks like a travel postcard, far away from the noise and commotion of civilization. When the time comes that all the roads are completely paved going to this scenic town, perhaps more development would come and I hope they would all be positive.
And as I bid farewell to Siruma, I can’t help but admire the simplicity and raw beauty of the place. People seem happy and contented with what they have. I wish more people would stop wanting too much or lessen talking about the negative things about their lives. I wish they would think more positively. Because there’s always a sunny side to life. We just have to look for it.
From Manila, Siruma can be reached via plane or bus to Naga City, Camarines Sur. From Naga bus terminal, ride a tricycle going to Queborac terminal. Be sure to board the lone 9 am Siruma jeepney going to Brgy. Tandoc. Upon arrival, ride a habal-habal going to Angelica. There is another jeepney from Naga going to poblacion of Siruma; if you ride that one you need to rent a boat going to Angelica.
Angelica Paradise Beach and Resort
Brgy. Pinitan, Siruma
Tel. No.: 0915-2271670