Okay, so this post will be a real flashback story from July 2014. During the same period, I was still affiliated with Children International as a field auditor, which I have mentioned before here. Although they only needed my service for a quick three months, I had a really life-changing experience meeting a lot of people and traveling to places I have never been or haven’t heard of.
As you might now know, this post will be about the latter. Manito, Albay, although I am aware of its existence, was basically an unknown place. So when I learned that I would be able to travel to the municipality as part of my scheduled field audit, I was very thrilled!
According to Wikipedia, “Manito is a coastal municipality in the province of Albay in the Republic of the Philippines. It is the southeasternmost municipality of Albay located on the northern foothills of the Pocdol Mountains, a volcanic mountain range with no historical eruptions but with thermally active features. According to the May 1, 2010 census, it has a population of 22,819 people.”
Along with my partner Ellen, we traveled all the way to Manito for two consecutive days. Travel time is about an hour from Legazpi proper. If you will commute via a jeepney, the fare is 60Php.
So we went there for work and not vacation. In a nutshell, work means interviewing sponsored families, recording needed info, and then relocating to the next destination. We basically interviewed around 30 families, which is not much. However considering that they are far apart from each other (they were from 6 barangays I guess) we had to make extra effort to make the most out of daylight.
Traveling from one barangay to another was not as easy as it is in the city. You see there is no formal mode of transport within some areas. Sometimes we had to wait for 15 or so minutes just to transfer. Add to that, we had to ask around as to the whereabouts of certain people. The part that I love most is getting to pass by a lovely bamboo bridge which was the only way you could reach a barangay by foot. That was awesome!
Nonetheless, it was a joy to be welcomed by accommodating hosts. Most of them are very amiable and happy folks. Since the municipality is coastal, we also got to take a peek into the clean beaches (emphasis on clean).
Compared to Legazpi City or even my hometown Sto Domingo, Manito is more laid back, the air so much cleaner, and people are nice. Still, there are setbacks like the transport. In fact, when we need to go home, we had to be ready early because the last trip to Legazpi is pretty early at around 6pm.
In closure, Manito could one day become another tourist destination considering the potential of their beaches, and of course their warmly welcoming people.