Bicolanos are known to be passionate lovers, and they have the same passion for spicy foods.
While in Naga, we thought of trying their "laing", "Bicol Express" and "pinangat". I noticed that unlike "laing" cooked in my province (Laguna) with lots of coconut cream, their "laing" was more salty and on the dry side. Their "Bicol Express" was also different from ours which used finely sliced chili; their dish used chopped chilis...But one thing sure, the dishes were super hot and spicy!
Due to our limited time, we didn't have a chance to savor more dishes at more places, but if you will go there and have more time, try the other Bicol Specialties.
When we went to the Basilica, some women kept following me, offering their services to pray the novena for me. Though quite irritated that they often interrupted me while I was praying, I simply said "No, thanks" in Tagalog.
I observed that some devotees who came with sick companions asked the services of these praying women. The latter led the prayers for the first day of the novena, and were to finish the 9-day novena in behalf of the devotee. I do not know about their "remuneration", but perhaps they settle for voluntary donations, as is customary in Quiapo, Manila.
It is not unusual to find candle vendors infront of the church. The devotees light candles to lift up their prayer intentions to God through the intercession of their Patron/ Patroness. Some churches allow candles to be lit infront of the religious icons; some have designated places for votive candles; some vendors have candle holders for tall candles with catch "basins" for melted wax which they recycle into new candles.
For Bicolanos, it is not enough to just pray. It is more meaningful for them to touch the religious icon after prayers, sometimes touching the ailing part of one's body after touching the icon. They believe that they will receive more blessings and/or answered prayers that way.
Magsaysay Drive, Naga, 4400, Philippines
Good for: Business
Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City 4400, Philippines
Good for: Solo