Tag Archives: Mayon Volcano

Your Itinerary for your Albay, Philippines Adventure

If you wanna go to Albay to see this Majestic Mayon Volcano, then here is my handmade itinerary for your adventure. Just follow this and I assure you, that doing so will definitely make you feel like a local and not just another tourist in Albay.

I added here the places where the usual tourists go but I also added some places and some restaurants that only locals know about 🙂

(To those who doesn’t know– I’m domiciled in Legazpi City, Albay although I’m currently residing in Manila, so I have experienced being a local in this part of the Philippines– I live, I breath, I love Legazpi.)

This is a sample itinerary for your Albay adventure. It depends to you if you follow it or not but I highly recommend it 🙂


So, in order for you not to be confused, with the places I’m going to mention, please take note that Legazpi City and Daraga is a city and a municipality of Albay. While Bicol is a region where Albay Province is located.

Daraga and Albay (a municipality and a city of Albay Province) adjoins each other that is why you can see a lot of jeepneys having a sign Daraga–Legazpi which means Daraga to Legazpi.  Gets?

So… Let’s start! 🙂


Click the links to see my posts/reviews about the place. Have fun reading! 🙂

3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS STAY (If you arrive 7:00 am or earlier)

1st day — Suggestion: Eat Heavy Breakfast

  • 8:00 — 9:00 am   (EAT BREAKFAST)

Places where you can eat your breakfast:

  1.  Airport Canteen– here you can eat a good TAPA (smoked beef), egg and coffee for P100.00 ($2.32USD)
  2. Airport Hotel Buffet — you can eat here (no need to be a hotel guest) the buffet here has a good variety. Remember it is a buffet or what other call as Eat-all-you can. Vegetarians would also love to eat here because they serve a lot of vegetables (the price is only — P145 or $3.37USD)
  • 8:00 — 11:00 am  visit Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave or Calabidongan Cave
  • 11:00 — 11:30 am  eat lunch by going to Camalig proper; there are a lot of stalls that sells “Pinangat” a local delicacy, it is made of a vegetable with coconut milk. Camalig is more known for their pinangats other than any place in Albay, so you can see sellers having their ice boxes in the streets where they keep this tasty pinangats hot 🙂 This is a must do since this is Bicol’s especialty, coming to Bicol without trying this is a No-No!
  •           It is either you eat in one of the restaurants (when I say restaurant– cheap style– it is the usual place with no airconditioning, if you are lucky there is an electric fan; a small downscale restaurant 🙂 ) Or you can opt to buy Pinangat and Rice in Camalig (the price of pinangat is only P 20-70 or ($0.46- 1.63 USD) then buy rice) after that you can bring it in your next stop– the Cagsawa Ruins!
  • 12:00-2:30 pmGo to Cagsawa Ruins, have a picnic there and eat your lunch. Actually, there are food and souvenir stalls in this park, so, it is up to you whether you  buy your lunch in Camalig or just eat in one of the downscale restaurants in Cagsawa Ruins. The Entrance Fee for Cagsawa Ruins is only P10.00 or $0.20USD per person
  • 2:30 pm– 3:30 pm Hike or ride the tricycle to visit one of the beautiful Church in Albay the Daraga Church. It is located in a hill where you should hike before you can see its grandeur. 
  • 3:30 pm–4:40 pmVisit another old Church in Albay, the Albay Church and take pictures of the park and Governor’s office (The Capitol Nearby). The Albay proper in Legazpi City is still in the Spanish colonial setting where the Church, the Capitol and the park stays in one area of the city. So, at least you can see such a setting even during this time.
  •       From here, ride a jeep going to Legazpi City, and then get off near LCC’s main entrance then walk towards a place where there are a lot of streetfoods being sold (I posted a sketch below, refer to it. The jeep ride is only P12.oo or $0.27USD per person
  • 4:40-5:20 —  Go to Legazpi Center (Centro Legazpi) and go to a hawker street in Legazpi City (Just like hawker streets in Wangfujing, Beijing China, Legazpi also has some street foods to offer.
  •        As a suggestion,  go there to eat congee. Go to AKONG’s LUGAW atbp. The congee there is great! It was already established even when I was still a child. Ask the locals where the Akong’s Lugaw is located (Pronounce it as Ah-Kong with strong A and O). The price of the congee is only P35.00 $0.81USD
  • 5:30 – 7:00 pm — Go to Embarcadero, from Akong’s Lugaw, you can ride a trycicle and tell the driver to go to Embarcadero, and tell the driver to drop you off not in the mall but in the baywalk (the fare should only be (P20-30 — $0.46-0.70). In Embarcadero, you can see the Mayon Volcano wrapped by the blue sky. The view is good during sundown:
Mayon Volcano (taken in Embarcadero sept. 2011)

You can stay in Embarcadero until you want since this ends the tour, you can eat in the nearby mall and then go back to the baywalk area and then have a drink in one of the open bars in the area. I suggest you go to Opisina Bar it is the cheapest among them all!

2ND DAY — Places to Visit: Lignon Hill, Bacacay, Albay Black Sand Beaches, Mayon Resthouse.

4:30 am — wake up! yeah, I know.. too early right? What I want you to do is to hike the Lignon Hill which gives an amazing view of Mayon during sunrise. If Embarcadero has a nice view during the evening, Lignon Hill is the best during sun rise.

7:00 am — Go down Lignon Hill head back to your hotel to eat your breakfast and rest

11:00 -1:00 pm — Head to Albay and go to Small Talk Cafe for Lunch — try their pinangat pasta or cordon bleu! Highly recommended! (Price for 2 persons sharing = P500-800 = $12 to 18USD)

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm — Mayon Resthouse in Tabaco, Albay, a one hour drive from Legazpi City. I’ll post the directions going here soon! 🙂

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm — Enjoy the black sand beaches in Bacacay, Albay

6:00 — travel back to Legazpi City and go to Four Seasons Restaurant in Legazpi City Center. Order there Seasons Chicken — the food here is really yummy– trust me! and order their Avocado shake 🙂 (Price for 2 persons sharing= P500.00 or $12USD)

3RD DAY (depends on your departure time)

8:00 – 9:00 am — head to Satellite Terminal to buy souvenirs (Here, you can buy some great and yummy pilinut candies as well as sturdy abaca products) and then head to either DJC halo-halo located near Gaisano Mall or the more cheapscale but I think yummier one, (Lanas’ Halo-Halo) which is located in the Legazpi City Market just ask the locals where this place is and they will be glad to help. Halo-Halo in Legazpi is different than other places then go back to your hotel to pack and get ready to leave 😦

I found a map of Legazpi City in Mappery.com. Here it is:

Legazpi City Map I got from Mappery.com

Okay, forgive my drawing and handwriting. This sketch will show you how to go to Akong’s Lugaw and Four Seasons: Forgive my horrible handwriting 😦

How to go to Akong’s Lugaw atbp?

Another One to see where Four Seasons is located:

forgive my horrible drawing 🙂



How to GET to Albay, Philippines?

In order to see the Majestic Mayon Volcano, the usual route is to go to Legazpi City and make it as your base for your Albay Adventure

Legazpi City is the capital of Albay, and where the sole airport in Albay is located.

Mayon volcano in legazpi domestic airport

To arrive in Legazpi City from Manila, you have two (2) options:

1. Ride the plane which will take you to Legazpi Airport. The trip will take 45-55 minutes.

The roundtrip fare is usually P4000.00 or $94USD but if you chanced up a sale, the total round trip fare can be P1500 – 2,000 (35USD –47USD).

Take note that in the Philippines, the earlier you book the better as fares goes higher every minute. So, if you book 2 days before your departure date, it will be MORE expensive! You should book weeks or months before your departure date for much cheaper rates

There are various local airlines which will take you to Legazpi City. And these are the ff:

> Philippine Airlines – more expensive, however, offers much better service. They offer drinks and snacks during your flight. And has much more leg room. And, if you are traveling weeks or days before your departure, it is good to check their website, since sometimes they offers much lower fares than their counterpart. The airplane leaves at Centennial Terminal 2 of NAIA

> Cebu Pacific Air — cheap and sleek. It is the best budget airline in the Philippines, it always offer sales in advance, so if you are planning to go to Legazpi or any domestic/international destination I suggest that you book early or check for their seat sales. However, since this is a budget airline, don’t expect snacks and drinks being served, but they sell snacks and drinks on board for a fee. Price ranges from P50-100 or $1-2 USD. Plane leaves at NAIA Terminal 3

> Air Philippines — Well, this is the 2nd best budget airline in the Philippines, it also conducts a monthly or weekly seat sale to various domestic and international destinations, so just like Cebu Pacific, you should book in advance if you wanna save more. Plane leaves at NAIA Terminal 3

> Zest Air— This airline also flies to Legazpi City and it is the cheapest among the four. But, unfortunately, there are still flaws on their service and aircraft maintenance, so usually, flights get delayed or canceled. Let’s just give time for this airplane company to flourish and became a good competitor in the industry. Plane leaves at Manila Domestic Terminal (oldest terminal in Manila; so don’t expect a good airport)

2. Ride the bus.

If you are game for the long ride then this is good for you. The trip will take 8-10 hours with 2 stopovers for dining and peeing 🙂 Usually, the trip is made during the night (overnight buses), so you will just sleep the entire time

The ticket price depends on the bus you are gonna use. But the price ranges from P500-1100 (12-26 USD) for a single ride. So, usually the round trip is P1000-2200.00 ($24-$51USD)

There are various bus companies that can take you to Legazpi City. The following are:

1. Cagsawa Travel and Tours — this is my most trusted bus company. This is the company my family and I use when we travel by bus.

They have (2) ticketing office and “terminal station” in Manila. One in Araneta Center/Cubao and one in Padre Faura, Ermita.

The one in Padre Faura is in front of Mercury Drugstore and near Lotus Garden Hotel.

They have three classes of tickets: Business, Royal, and Royal Elite

Royal Elite has lazy boy chairs and you have option to choose the “singles” chair. Which means that if you choose such, you won’t have some pesky seatmate which snores so loud during the entire trip 🙂

All of the classes are airconditioned!

  • The Business class cost P750.00 or $17 USD
  • The Royal Class cost P850.00 or $20 USD
  • The Royal Elite class cost P920.00 or $22 USD

You can contact Cagsawa Travel and Tours by calling them here:

Ermita Booking Office : P4 Padre Faura Center 472 P. Faura Corner M.H. Del Pilar, Ermita Manila (Tel: 5248704 telefax :(632) 5248704 Cell No. : +639174815809 / +639176063918)
Ali Mall Booking Office : Araneta Center bus Terminal, Cubao, Quezon City (Tel : (632) 9134514 / 4393787 cell No : +632917-6063918)

*I’ll update this soon; I will post a picture for this bus company, It’s near my place so I can take a photo of it 🙂

2. PhiltrancoReservations: (63) 2 851.8078 to 79

3. Penafrancia Travel and Tours

Departing in                       Type of Bus                              Price

Cubao Station                     Standard Aircon 2×2              P800.00/ 19 USD

Cubao Station                     Benz Deluxe with CR             P1100.00 / 26 USD

Contact them:Reservations (02) (480 – 3050) / (781 – 6487)

4. RSL — they also have booking office in Padre Faura, ermita (they are located near Cagsawa booking office) and they also have one in Araneta Center, Cubao

Tips when traveling by bus:

  1. Reserve your ticket early especially during peak seasons (Holy Week (usually 2nd or 3rd week of April), October 30-Nov 2, and during Christmas and New Year season.
  2. Bring a thick jacket or even a blanket since it is very cold in this air-conditioned buses
  3. Don’t drink a lot of water especially if your bus doesn’t have CR, you have only 2 pit stops to relieve yourself 🙂
  4. Bring you own “in-flight” entertainment or just doze off throughout the entire trip



Cagsawa Ruins, Albay: An Amazing Scenery and a Glimpse of a Painful Death

Your tour won’t be complete if you don’t visit the Cagsawa Ruins. Here, you can see the Mayon Volcano up close and the historic Cagsawa Ruins, where a Church once stood but was destroyed by a major eruption of the Mayon Volcano.

The Cagsawa Church was made during the 18th century by Franciscan friars. Its style is a baroque one. However, nowadays, you cannot see its former grandeur..

Cagsawa Church (Photo from Jenny Exconde’s Web)

It is called Cagsawa Church because it is located in a baranggay called Cagsawa in Daraga, Albay.

In February 1, 1814, the Mayon Volcano erupted. 1200 people went to this Church hoping that they will be saved from Mayon’s fury. Unfortunately, all of these 1200 people died. It’s just like what happened in Pompeii where they seek refuge yet they still died. However, the case here is that they were not poisoned by gas or hot ashes but they were burnt by lava that flowed throughout the small town of Daraga.

People tried to climb the bell tower but they all died in vain. And not only that; 15000 people died during that eruption– which was said to be one of the scariest and strongest eruption made by Mayon throughout history.

The Bell Tower where the victims tried to climb  in vain 😦

only few people survived Mayon’s wrath, and also the barangay Cagsawa was buried with sand.. and it did not recover its former liveliness and grandeur, it became a dot in history.

AND, the only surviving structure of this Church is its bell tower..

The Bell Tower

Now the remains of this church became one of the landmarks in Albay; and you can see souvenirs having this bell tower alongside the Majestic Mayon Volcano:

Mayon covered with clouds and Cagsawa Bell Tower

To see clearly what it looks like when there are no clouds, I grabbed a picture from Wikipedia, and here is the beautiful photo of Mayon Volcano and the Bell Tower

From Wikipedia

This Mayon Volcano might be very beautiful but when she gets angry—she is really scary!

Beautiful Mayon Volcano 🙂


Mayon Volcano, Philippines: Truly Wonderful

I was born and raised in Legazpi City where a perfectly amazing landmark is located– The Mayon Volcano.

Being used in seeing this Volcano since I was young, I wasn’t really that amazed on how unique and beautiful it is. I always say to myself– “It’s no big deal, It’s just a freaking Volcano”

I went to Manila to pursue my studies thus, I’ve never seen this wonderful volcano for a long time.. Since I am far from it, I’m kind of missing seeing this volcano..And the real deal is that every time I go back to Legazpi for a vacation, and upon deplaning… There’s always a realization which always runs in my head……

I realized how beautifully crafted it is…

How different it is from other volcanoes out there…

and how  it made my heart flutter when I see it…

And every time I see this natural wonder I really feel that I’m finally home…

I realized that It’s something important in my life. In other sense, it witnessed my life.. from being toddler to a full-grown lady… and being away from it makes me feel incomplete….

Mayon Volcano (taken in Embarcadero sept. 2011)

This Volcano is always in your periphery when you are in Legazpi, it sits perfectly in your line of sight… Just sit down somewhere (where no buildings will kept the view out) and you can savor the beauty of this beautiful Mayon Volcano. One of the places where you can really savor the beauty of Mayon is in Cagsawa Ruins, Embarcadero (during sunset) and in Mayon International Hotel (Now, named as The Oriental Hotel), Lignon Hill and the Legazpi City Airport.

Mayon Volcano before I ride the plane going back to Manila (Taken in Legazpi Airport)

The name of this volcano is “Mayon” a shortcut for “Magayon” which means Beautiful in Bicol’s dialect. The name suits it very well because it has an almost perfect cone…and its beautifully laden landscape in rice paddies.. and also, you will be amazed on how it kept its natural beauty for centuries.

And… That’s not it; Mayon Volcano is part of the 7 Natural Wonders in the Philippines, so It’s really a MUST-SEE!

However, Mayon is quite shy and always cover herself with Clouds, so some unlucky visitors in Albay can only see her wonderfully shaped figure only once or sometimes not even once…There’s a legend that explains why Mayon is always covered with Clouds

Mayon covered in clouds in Cagsawa Park


The Legend of Mayon Volcano is that once upon a time, there lived a beautiful young maiden named as Daragang Magayon (Beautiful Lady), she is the daughter of a tribe leader of Rawis (a place in Albay, which is still called as it is until now). Since Magayon is really beautiful, a lot of young men from different tribes likes her and one of her very daring suitor is Pagtuga (in english, Eruption), he is really in love with Magayon… But Magayon doesn’t like him because of his boastful attitude and unkind heart.

Magayon was playing in the Yawa River (A river in Rawis, Legazpi City which is still existing until today) when she suddenly slipped and unfortunately she doesn’t know how to swim. Luckily a young man named Ulap (Cloud) was walking near the river and he saw the damsel in distress and helped her. Magayon was shocked on how and why Ulap saved her, knowing that Ulap is from a rival tribe. But Ulap was also shocked on how beautiful Magayon was and fell in love with her in an instant. Magayon also fell in love with Ulap upon knowing how kind and loving he can be.

When Pagtuga learned about the relationship of Magayon and Ulap, he kidnapped Magayon’s father and told her that if she doesn’t marry him, he will kill her father; Magayon told this dilemma to Ulap, then Ulap being the prince of another tribe went towards Pagtuga’s lair and killed him… Magayon saw how victorious her love is and went towards Ulap when she was suddenly hit by an arrow from Pagtuga’s warriors; Ulap went towards her not knowing what to do and suddenly he was also pierced by a spear which caused his untimely death…

Magayon’s father decided to bury the two together, and in shock, the people realized that the grave became higher and higher until it formed what it is today…

It was said by my teachers when I was in grade school that once Mayon is covered with clouds… Ulap and Magayon are kissing each other and their love is being reconciled… while when it errupts… they say that Pagtuga can’t still rest in peace and still harasses Magayon… While others says that it is Magayon’s own wrath about how she was killed and her beloved… and how their love untimely ended.

Beautiful Mayon Volcano 🙂


Albay, Philippines: An Introduction

This place is where the majestic Mayon Volcano can be seen.. And I’m proud to say that this place is my domicile although I’m currently a resident of Manila…

Legazpi City, the main city of Albay is located South of Manila, it is 45-55 minutes by plane and 8-10 hours by bus. It’s somehow far, but the natural beauty that awaits you is jaw-dropping.

If ever I’m feeling tired and lonely… I think of this place and felt relieved by reminiscing my great memories attached to this beautiful city…

Before, I don’t know why there are a lot of tourists visiting this place, and I don’t really think that Mayon Volcano is worth of the time and visit… But, after some time I was stuck here in Manila for study purposes, I appreciate how beautiful it is and how worthy it is to be visited by flocks of flocks of visitors each year. Let me share you why I can say that this is worth the visit.

And also, let me share you some of the tips and my experience in living and traveling in this wonderful city.

So, tune in for my next posts! 🙂

THIS IS MAYON VOLCANO (I didn't take this picture.. Watch out for my photos in my next posts, I found this pic in Wikipedia:)