Camarines Sur, known as Camsur for short, is widely known for wakeboarding due to the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) - a very popular cable park designed for wakeboarding.
CWC is a very successful attraction and a favorite destination of many wakeboarding athletes and enthusiasts looking for quality facilities where they can play, practice or simply watch people enjoying wakeboarding.
Just like everywhere else, summer is the busiest days at CWC. With the influx of both local and foreign tourists all wanting to witness wakeboarding sports, and at the same time relieve themselves from the summer heat at the pool of Villa Del Rey Hotel, CWC becomes one of the country's highly visited destination in Camsur. CWC also has a restaurant that serves all-time Filipino culinary favorites and other Asian dishes pleasing to the taste buds.
Another reason why tourists frequent the place is because the local government makes sure there are also a great number of programs and activities for everyone to enjoy. Integrated as part of the Kaogma Festival are events such as the Uproar Camsur music festival organized by Disruptiv led by Ben Hunt, and the 9th Philippine Wakeboard Nationals organized by John and Monique Ong. Too bad the Miss Kaogma beauty pageant was held earlier. Our schedule from May 28 to June 1 only gave us the chance to experience the events that were held within the said dates.
We were in luck that the wakeboarding competition was happening at the same time as our coverage of the Uproar Camsur music festival. This allowed us the opportunity to watch the wakeboarding competition during the day, and then party during the night with performers, bands like The Dawn, Razorback and Wolfgang, DJs led by husband and wife The Ramplings, and other celebrities like Boy2 Quizon, Sam Pinto, Bianca Manalo, Vandolph Quizon, Bubbles Paraiso and a lot more personalities.
Our group of nine from WazzupPilipinas.com, Wazzup Pilipinas TV of IBC 13, Vigattin Radio of Radyo Inquirer, Family Business of Radyo Uno, and bloggers from the Wazzup Pilipinas community, stayed at the comfy Starview Hotel located at Central Naga. A very nice spot since we were just opposite the park and church, and was surrounded by several conveniences such as restaurants, banks and other establishments, that were just walking distance from our hotel.
A few more days at CWC and the nine of us would have been able to order everything in their menu. Truly a foodie paradise because four days was not enough to taste them all. You'll savor their uniquely prepared "kare-kare" to everyone's favorite Crispy Pata, Sinigang na Baboy or Hipon. They also have burgers, pizza, California Maki, Korean Bulgogi, and more. I guess the only letdown is 15 to 30 minutes of waiting for our food to be served.
Some of us spent the mornings exploring the nearby neighborhood before having breakfast. Those who stayed late at night had their breakfast for take-out and ate them nearing lunch time. But that didn't stopped all of us from enjoying great meals at CWC together, admiring the talented wakeboarders and the foreign judges, dipping into the pool and meeting all sorts of people who came from different places, making sure we got plenty of photo and video ops, and trying out wakeboarding for beginners afterwards. Since we had a shuttle service, traveling back and forth from hotel to CWC for our event coverage was very convenient.
The sea of people that were present at the Uproar Camsur music festival only means we are really happy people that appreciate the power of music to entertain and inspire. The music festival, being highlighted by both local and foreign artists, is another proud moment for Camsur, its leaders and its people.
Since we were part of media, we were fortunate to have VIP access both up the stage and back stage. Top it with the special appearances of the young and stunning Governor Luis Miguel "Migs" Villafuerte (known as the youngest to become Governor) and his dad Governor Luis Raymond "LRay" Villafuerte, who were actually giving their very own kind of performances to delight the crowd. The festivities were truly memorable for everyone who were there to celebrate with the people of Camarines Sur.
Seeing the Camsur leaders dance, sing, rap and mingle with their constituents and guests also made the people feel that they are approachable and just like us - enjoys the good simple things in life that sometimes makes us crazy to belt out a song even if we are out of tune, or show off some steps even if we have two left feet. These very rare moments bring them closer to their people, and shows everyone that it's not all serious time for them and that they also know how to have fun with their constituents.
Though the organizers may have not been able to satisfy everyone who had their own expectations from the events (aggravated by the 10 hour ride from Manila to Camsur - now you know why some were grouchy), the effort to immediately address all concerns and issues were visible. The experience also allowed room for improvement for next year's rerun.
I believe everyday is an opportunity to improve and become better. It is understandable that there may have been a few hiccups along the way, what was important was that the organizers, and everyone else caught in between, took the responsibility to remedy all faults and shortcomings.
Seriously, it would take time to reach the Caramoan islands, so we would rather reserve that at a time when we can leisurely spend hours easily at our disposal. To enjoy a place is to go about the experience not rushing to go back home because we have pending tasks and obligations.
Honestly, the 10 hour bus ride from Manila to Camsur (and vice versa) was tolerable. But maybe a plane ride would make it more enjoyable so we could maximize our time more productively. The additional cost for transportation would be all worth it. But we do understand that it maybe asking too much from the organizer.
We got back in Manila sometime the morning of June 2. All of us were still craving for more and missing Camsur already the moment we reached home. Hopefully we could visit again next year for better coverage not only of Uproar Camsur but the entire Kaogma Festival events.
We will definitely come back again next year if not within the year, and perhaps the organizers can include a tour of Camsur of which a visit to the Caramoan islands will be within the itinerary.
I have plenty of stories, photos, and videos to share but I cannot flood this article with so many. Please just check out our official Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/wazzuppilipinas for the Camsur photos we have recently uploaded, and watch out for the upcoming videos soon at the Wazzup Pilipinas YouTube page.