Day 0: Manila to Legazpi City, Albay
We chose to go to Legazpi City by bus because it is way cheaper than by airplane, but will take you at least 12 hours of travel time. So if you have extra cash and can’t take long hours of travel, it is better to travel by airplane. The DLTB Co. 2×2 air-conditioned bus fare is P810 from Cubao Bus Terminal to Legazpi City Bus Terminal.
We were supposed to depart at 8 PM but due to traffic, our bus was late for almost 30 minutes. Aside from being late, there was a problem with its radiator so we had to stop every hour to prevent it from overheating; which made our trip looonger. 🙁 But glad we had a safe trip.
Day 1: Albay Day Tour
Finally, we arrived in Legazpi City at 9:30 AM. Not knowing how to go to Night and Day Inn (reservation was made thru Agoda), we were glad to be approached by Kuya Edwin Cortes, a bubbly and very kind tricycle driver; we rent him to drive and guide us around Albay. Renting a tricycle is just our choice because we want to maximize our trip by not getting lost and due to time constraint. Kuya Edwin could actually passed as a tourist guide because he could explain the histories of each places very well and he knows a lot of people from different Barrios!
For our Day 1 tour, we were able to visit 7 places:
1. Cagsawa Ruins
Cagsawa Ruins is now a park managed by the municipal of Daraga and is one of the most visited tourist spot in Albay with an entrance fee of P10. You can enjoy the view of Mayon Volcano with famous Cagsawa belfry in front. Around the park are several souvenir shops and locals that offer trick shots!
It was gloomy on the day of our visit so the Mayon Volcano was hiding from us behind the clouds.
2. Quitinday Hills
Albay’s newest tourist spot and own version of Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills! We did not rent habal-habal anymore because we already have Kuya Edwin’s tricycle. 🙂 The road going to Quitinday Hills is not yet developed so we had to endure the rough road. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the local guides and had some short introduction about the hills. The guide said it became open to hikers/ tourists around March 2015 so I guess we were lucky to find the place earlier before it becomes too popular. 🙂 There is no entrance fee and any amount of donation will do.
The trek going up to the hill is easy and will only take 5 minutes to reach the top, this makes it a tourist-friendly. The breezy hill-top will make you want to stay longer and linger at the attraction or, will make you want to sleep on wooden bench or inside the Kubo. Haha. We only stayed for 20 minutes because we want to maximize our day.
3. Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave
Located in Camalig Albay. Upon entering you can instantly feel a blow of cold air thus, the word “Hoyop” in Bicol dialect means to blow. The entrance fee is P100 per person. The price is worth it as you will learn a lot about the history of the cave.
Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave served as a guerilla and refugee camp during Japanese occupancy. There is also dance floor inside the cave because during Martial Law era, the cave served as a dance hall for partygoers. During typhoons, locals sheltered themselves inside the cave.
The Hoyop-Hoyopan cave is now privately maintained by the Soriano, Nieva, and Nuylan families.
4. Daraga Church
Daraga Church or the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate). A centuries-old church which was declared a Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 2007. The church is still under construction so we did not stay longer, but would love to visit it again once already completed.
Since the church is located at the top of the hill, the view of Mayon Volcano is breathtaking. It is a good location for picture taking too.
5. Ligñon Hill
The Ligñon Hill Natural Park promises a breathtaking sights and fun thrilling activities. The entrance fee is P20 for non-locals. We walked our way to the top because the tricycle won’t be able to make it. It was tiring but the long walk will be worth it when you reached the top. The air was so refreshing and the view of Mayon Volcano is so mesmerizing! A good place to chill and take photos because of panoramic 360 degree view of Legazpi City, Daraga, Albay Gulf and the Mayon Volcano at the view deck.
6. Japanese Tunnel
The tunnels were dug at Ligñon Hill by the Japanese soldiers during World War II and used it to hide their equipment. Some of the relics inside the tunnel were already moved to museum and the only item left was the old typewriter and a statue of a Japanese soldier. There were also small bats inside the tunnel. 🙂 They have a policy of no guide, no entry.
7. Embarcadero de Legazpi
The place is across the Mayon Volcano and the ambiance is the same as Manila Bay. You could enjoy the view of Mayon Volcano while fishing, biking, jogging and eating. I’m not quite sure what else to do there aside from those activities, so I guess the best time to be there is during sunset.
Day 1 Expense (donations and food expense excluded):
DLTB Co. Bus Line (From Cubao Terminal to Legazpi City terminal): P810/person
Tricycle Rental (Whole Day): total of P1,300
Cagsawa Entrance Fee: P10/person
Ligñon Hill (non-local): P20/person
Click here for our Albay, Bicol trip video summary. Enjoy!
Kuya Edwin’s Contact Number: 09093159805
**Update: January 13, 2017**
If you’re looking for Albay tour with car rental, you may contact Albay Bicol (FB Profile) or his brother Ronald thru 09179900470.
Php 3,000 for 2-4pax, gas and driver included. 🙂