Legazpi City is the largest city in the Bicol Region and the capital of Albay. The most scenic tourist destination is the Mayon Volcano which is partly within its borders. The city is also within the boundary of Sorsogon. The city is divided into two districts, the Legazpi Port and the old Albay district
The airport is also located in Legazpi City called Legazpi Airport. Several bus routes are accessible in the city with the integrated bus stop in Legazpi Grand Central Terminal.
The famous universities in Albay are Bicol University and the University of Santo Tomas – Legazpi of formerly Aquinas University.
Legazpi City Restaurants
The city has distinctive restaurants around the city catering to the locals and tourists. Here are my favorite restaurants that serve Bicolano Dishes.
Small Talk Café
It is a small cozy restaurant which is formerly an old house in downtown Legazpi. They serve Bicolano fusion cuisine and one of my favorites is their Laing and Bicol Express.
One of the best crispy pata in the Bicol Region. The restaurant has different memorabilia from the famous singer Bob Marlin.
This is a chain of restaurants in the Bicol Region and serves good Bicolano dishes. It is also the home of the sili ice cream.
Another chain of fast food restaurant is called Bigg’s Diner.
Mount Mayon is an active stratovolcano with a perfect cone because of its symmetric conical shape with a small central summit crater. Mayon is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and the highest point in the Bicol Region. The landscape surrounding the volcano was renamed Mayon Volcano National Park.
The Bicol region was one of the first five provinces I saw during the early days of my travel. But because most of it was because of work, there was only one time where I got to see beautiful places in the region. The first destination I saw was the strong waves of Bagasbas Beach in Daet. I also visited Cagsawa Ruins and the Daraga Chuch. I went to Albay numerous times but every time I went there, the marvelous Mayon Volcano was covered with clouds.
I went to Bicol from the night bus or a plane from Naga or to Albay. The trip with my friend in Camarines Norte and Sur was by bus and because it was either we were sleeping or we were standing we didn’t see the amazing scenery along the roads. Until recently I traveled because of work again, but this time we went there by driving.
There are so many interesting mountains when you enter the Bicol Region. You can either enjoy it while on the road or when you are at your destination.
Bicol Nature Park and Mount Labo
There are four mountain ranges in Camarines Norte. They are Mount Bagacay, Mount Cadig, Mount Labo and Susong Dalaga Mountain. Mount Bagacay is a dormant mountain in Paracale town. On its peak is overlooking the Labo River that runs to the town of Vinzons. You can also see it from Calaguas Island.
Mount Labo is an active stratovolcano located in the town of Labo. Other mountains are part of the Bicol Natural Park which connects Camarines Norte – Basud and Mercedes and Camarines Sur – Sipocol and Lupi. The natural park is also known for the winding road called Bituka nang Manok. The Mountain of Susong Dalaga is also located in the park.
Mount Isarog and Mount Iriga are both a stratovolcano. Mount Isarog covers the 6 municipalities in Camarines Sur.
Mount Iriga also is known as Mount Asog is a kilometer away from Lake Buhi.
There are three volcanic mountains in Albay called Magayon Trio – Mount Masaraga, Mount Malinao and Mount Mayon.
Mount Masaraga is found in the municipalities of Ligao City, and Mount Malinao is between Ligao city and Tiwi. The Tiwi Geothermal Plant is located in the mountain of Mount Malinao. The beautiful perfect coned shape Mayon Volcano is visible in the municipality of Guinobatan in Albay.
Mount Bulusan is the most active and prominent volcano in Sorsogon. Connecting Albay to Sorsogon are the mountains called Pocdol Mountain also known as the Bacon – Manito Volcanic Belt and Mount Pulog.
Mount Bintacan, Mount Batuan Mount Culangalan, Mount Caloomutan, Mount Homahan, Mount Jormaqam, Sharp Peak and Gate Mountains are concentrated near Mount Bulusan.
All the mountains and volcanoes are visible while driving along the Pan-Pacific Highway.
Daraga is a city in Albay at the foot of the magnificent Mayon Volcano. The famous landmarks in Daraga are Cagsawa Ruins and the Daraga Church.
The Cagsawa Ruins is a historical landmark at the heart of Cagsawa Ruins Park. It is the best location for tourists to enjoy the scenic view of Mayon Volcano. The park is protected and maintained by the municipality of Daraga and the National Museum of the Philippines.
The ruins were from the old baroque church before it was burned down by the Dutch pirates in 1600. It was rebuilt by the Franciscan friars in the 1700s. On February 1, 1814, the Mayon Volcano erupted and buried the town of Cagsawa. Only the belfry and some parts of the convent was left.
Cagsagwa Ruins park houses the Cagsawa National Museum and the third-largest regional branch. The museum has photo collections of the volcanic eruption of Mount Mayon. There is a gallery for a geological collection like rocks, minerals, fossilized plants and shells and porcelain and earthenware found in the Bicol region.
Galeria de Cagsawa, Patio Cagsawa and other ATV Adventure companies are all located in the park.
Our Lady of the Gate Parish
Another place to visit in Daraga is the Our Lady of the Gate Parish Church. It is at the top of Santa Maria Hill. The church architecture is baroque.
Naga is in the center of the Bicol Region and located in Camarines Sur. The City of Naga is also known as the Pilgrim City. It is the largest destination of the Marian pilgrimage in Asia because of the devotees of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
The city is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Caceres. The dominant Catholic religion is supported by different historical and influential institutions. There are so many churches run by different religious institutes like Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Peñafrancia Basilica De Minore, Ateneo de Naga University, University de Santa Isabel, University of Nueva Caceres, Naga Metropolitan Cathedral and San Francisco Church.
The Porta Mariae or Marian Gate is located at Barlin Street with a neoclassical architectural style. It stands as a symbol of the Bicolano’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. It adds beauty to the historical church of Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
Naga Metropolitan Cathedral
It is the oldest standing cathedral in Luzon which was established in 1595. It is also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist. The architecture of the building is Baroque-Romanesque and stands near the different universities in Naga.
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine is a baroque church under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Caceres. It was the home of the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia before it was transferred to Peñafrancia Basilica. It is where the Translacion procession of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia starts which is the signal of the Peñafrancia Festival.
Peñafrancia Basilica De Minore
The Peñafrancia Minor Basilica is the only Basilica in the Bicol Region which was constructed in 1976. It was opened in 1982 in honor of The Church of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. The image of the Virgin Mary sculpted in 1710 is located here.
San Francisco Parish
San Francisco Church was established in 1578 and built by Franciscan Friars. It is located along the busy street of Peñafrancia Street surrounded by malls, restaurants, hotels, and banks. It also near the El Pueblo de Camarines Sur a Sus Quince Martires del 96, a historical landmark for the Katipuneros.
Naga City also has the Naga Airport and as the heart of Camarines Sur, it also the jump-off point of going to the famous Caramoan and other municipalities surrounding Mount Isarog.