Along with the popularity (created largely by dethronement a few weeks after grand coronation) of Philippine's bet to the Miss Universe 2010 Beauty Pageant,Maria Venus Raj, came the sudden rise and awareness about farms and about her hometown - Bato, Camarines Sur where she was said to have learned the catwalk on the rice paddies. More and more tourists want to experience walking on rice paddies like Venus to see if they are also " beauty queen material" haha. Seriously, as farm life becoming an appealing option for travelers nowadays (to find some peace and quiet, a rather scarce commodity for those in the city), my two hometowns Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur are getting noticed.
Camarines Norte is a province in the northwestern coast of the Bicol Peninsula. It is about eight hours drive from Manila through lush forests and picturesque seascapes of Quezon Province. I lived in Mangcawayan,Vinzons, Camarines Norte until I was 9 years old so I have seen and walked on rice paddies myself. During recent years I have been back there a number of times to tour around my visiting foreign friends.
As for Bato, Camarines Sur, I passed by there a number of times. Bato is a rural municipality in the province of Camarines Sur, Philippines. Although, the municipality of Bato, is known for being the "home to Sinarapan, the world's smallest fish", which occupies the waters of Lake Bato, my personal memories of the place is its Pancit Bato.
Pancit Bato, (the original and the malunggay, and ampalaya flavored ones) is a family favorite. Whenever I pass by Bato,Camarines Sur (on my way to Albay and Sorsogon from Naga City and vice versa),I would have a quick stop in Bato to bring home its tasty "Pancit Bato".