Hola Readers! As promised, I told you I would share my sightseeing in Albay. I went to Bicol for some specific agenda and I told myself, why not do a side trip as well? Without any further ado, let me share you the world of volcanoes, sunflowers, pili nuts and of course, chili from yours truly, the Philippines.
But wait! Let me give you a short background of Bicol first.
Unlike any super duper mainstream domestic spots in the Philippines, I could say Bicol is not too hyped up (that’s why I’m promoting it!) and most travelers I see are the locals. It is a tourist destination to see the very popular Mayon Volcano but most people doesn’t have much knowledge aside from that. My parents came from Sorsogon so I usually visit my relatives there and I am quite familiar with the place, however, I started visiting different places in the region only last 2016 up until now.
Let’s focus on one part of Bicol which is Albay, and let me share what you can expect in there.
Ayala Mall, Pacific Mall
If you’re an urban dweller and you’re quite culture shocked with the vastness of land and the numerous trees, Albay is not really a break from the cities, but I could say it’s the same with Manila less the pollution and the traffic. As Filipinos, locals here also have the mall culture wherein they go with their families to have fun and dine. As for me, I went to the following restaurants with my relatives to eat and catch up + see the breathtaking view of the Mayon.
And guys, these are restaurants I’ve never seen in other areas of Manila. Totally local. Masirámon!
Embarcadero de Legazpi
Well, there is a mall here but I couldn’t recommend it that much because there’s nothing stunning. But what stunned me is the view outside. (Yes friends, let’s skip the malls and take a look outside instead.) I went here last 2016 and what we did are the following:
As I’ve read on other reviews, most shops are closing. I hope they could revive this area since it has good reviews from before, and the view outside is quite stunning when you see the nice sky.
Ligñon Hill + Albay Park and Wildlife
If you don’t want to zipline above water, zipline above land! Ligñon Hill is a place to exercise, relax, do some adventures, and adore nature. You can do the following activities here:
- Exercise while going up and down the hill. There are early morning joggers here.
- Visit the Japanese War Tunnels. Bicol in general, has a lot of Japanese war tunnels.
- Zipline. Or, just feel the fresh air!
- Eat some chili ice cream when you reach the top. If you ask me about the taste, it’s delicious, but it tastes like chili. Haha, just try it.
- Take photos. You’ll see a panoramic view of the Mayon here.
- Shop for souvenirs. Souvenirs from keychains, shirts to woven bags could be found here.
- Relax! Just feel nature around you.
Here are photos for proof:
Beside Ligñon Hill is Albay Parks and Wildlife, a very accessible park and a zoo if you want to see some other than humans. Additional activities here include:
- Ride a bicycle. They have solo and group ones.
- Watch some animals. Land, water, air animals, you can see them here!
Municipality of Daraga
Your Bicol trip wouldn’t be complete if you haven’t seen the Mayon Volcano and the famous church that was destroyed in the 1814 eruption. Located approximately 11kms from the volcano itself, this spot is the ones I would consider, the most mainstream and touristy among the rest of the places.
We all know that we would take photos here. But what else could we do?
- Ride the ATV. Actually, in Ligñon Hill, they also offered it to us. This one is best done when there are 2 or more people.
- Learn your history! The Cagsawa Church was built in 1587. You might want to travel back in time.
- Buy some souvenirs. This one wouldn’t be removed on the list as well. As for the souvenirs in Albay, most of them has Mayon because who would not proud as a local?
I didn’t include the place in my Instagram where I took the sunflower shot so here you go! The reason why I visited this place is because I randomly saw a sunflower field in my IG feed and I saw it came from Ligao, so I was quite surprised why I didn’t go there yet.
And so I went there!
What is Kawa-Kawa? Of course, names of places usually have their meanings. Kawa means cauldron in Bikolano (the term is pretty much used until now) and that’s its shape on the top. It’s called “a hill without a hilltop” or I should say, a hill with a crater. Oddly fascinating, right?
I totally love this place because of the tranquility it offered me and the warmth of the people (and the weather haha!) It’s not too mainstream, means it’s not too crowded, and I would love it that way because you couldn’t enjoy serenity if there are too many people.
What else is in it for you?
- Go to the stations of the cross. This place is really made to contemplate, and people respect the holiness of this place. This is ideal during holy week.
- Go to a church. Beside the park is a church with a nice architecture. It’s currently in progress but people can pray inside.
- Have picnics! There is an open field at the crater (yes, I climbed the hill hoping there was a hilltop but there is an open field instead full of blooming sunflowers!) and families, kids, couples, groups of friends, hang out there while they’re just eating or talking to each other. Also, I could say the people here are disciplined enough because the place is clean!
- Adore the sunflowers… and other flowers! Aside from the sunflowers, there are also other flowers here hanging in some areas and it’s like you’re really visiting a garden.
- Have a panoramic view of Albay. It’s not just Ligñon Hill that could give you a panoramic view, but this one as well! You don’t need to climb mountains here, just hills.
Other places you might not want to miss…
- Tabaco. I always stay in Tabaco since I have relatives there. It’s one jeepney ride from Ligao and one UV ride from Legazpi. They have parks there and lots of ukay finds, haha!
- Bacacay. I went here to swim and the sand is not white, nor brown, but black due to the volcanic activity. There are lots of resorts here that usually locals go to.
- Malilipot. The name itself means cold so I assumed the water here is cold as well (yes, in the resort we went to). There are a lot of swimming places and you can find Busay Falls here which I heard is really good from the locals. I might go there next time.
- Tiwi. I haven’t been here but this was one of the places I would’ve gone but due to time constraints, I haven’t. I’m looking forward to visit the Philceramics here. Anyone wants to join?
I would definitely go for a 3rd, 4th, nth time visit here. Local destinations in the provinces is something I look forward to and I felt safer to do it since the locals are nice and warm. People here live simply. Unlike in the city where it seems more dangerous, locals are happier and wouldn’t want to take advantage of you and even feels shy when you give them tips. Or is it just for Albay? Let’s see as I go on my next adventures! And if you go to Bicol, maogmang pag-abot!
- Discover Legazpi! – http://wowlegazpi.com/
- Visit the official website of Warm Albay! – https://bit.ly/2GTMQCY
- See more of my travels in this section! – http://justjezze.com/travel
Want to request something for me to feature? Please comment below!