I mentioned that I’ll try to describe the sights we have gone with a tiny more details for better understanding. As previously mentioned as well, we rented a van for the whole day (Php 3,500 if I remember it right, 8 hours for around 10 people). I am not sure how inconvenient it will be to commute on your own if ever you decide to, except wheng heading to Mayon Rest House and Tiwi which are quite far from where we stayed at in Legazpi. It probably took us an hour per way to go to those places. I suggest if you are a big group, it is definitely advisable to just rent a van. This way, you may dictate the places and pace you prefer.
Our first stop when we left Hotel St. Ellis right after breakfast was Mayon Rest House, which is located at the Mayon Volcano itself. I think the place is outside of Legazpi City although near enough to drive. As mentioned, if I remember it right, it took us around an hour to get there from the city, sometimes the vehicle was struggling to go up the volcano. Tourists and locals alike are barred from this place whenever the volcano is actively causing minor earthquakes or other signs that it might possibly erupt.
But once there, I understood why there was a need to see the place. It was not exactly the place, it was in fact the view from the place. We got to see the whole of Bicol from up there. Our view was obstructed by clouds but those temporarily went away and I saw some beaches from up there that looked very immaculate and inviting. That should be the itinerary for the next Bicol trip.
Moving on, we were driven about half an hour to Tiwi, Albay to see a ceramic factory. I was so excited because I had always wanted to try pottery making, just for the heck of it. I wanted to get my hands dirty and of course, creating something out of nothing is always a thrill for me. The factory was not always in the process of making clay pots by hand as they have machineries but lucky for us that day, we got to witness it and I got to try making one (which would have been a total disaster had one of the kind workers not guided me during the molding). I realized the art in the form of pottery making was not for me (at all, I was way too gentle, haha).
The factory produces a lot of different shapes and sizes of potteries and what have you. It is also a good place to buy relatively cheap and pleasantly looking souvenirs. We were informed that the factory has been getting a lot of orders from Manila.
Lunch happened after, back in Legazpi. And then we proceeded to Ligñon Hill. It was again a place for overlooking the entire city. Once up there, people were just free to roam around and relax. There was also zip lining which I actually tried. It was my first time and I dreaded it. I have accepted the fact that I am never going to be able to overcome my fear of heights, but I guess my best friend did not mind trying. I did not want to go but he signed me up and so I felt like I was doomed.
It took me a while to be let go because I was hoping I could still back-out. But the experience really was tolerable. It was scary at around the first two seconds and then it became relaxing when I started enjoying the view (I managed not to look down, luckily). Then it got a little scary again towards the end because it felt like I was going to crash. That did not happen, of course. It was just my crazy imagination. Obviously, everything went well as I decided to give zip lining a go again, but the next round was in Davao.
After Ligñon Hill, we were off to Cagsawa Ruins. There was a church built on those grounds but was destroyed by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in the 19th century. Currently, it serves as a destination to get a great backdrop of Mayon Volcano. When we got there, the clouds was covering the top tip of the Mayon. Good thing that the clouds gave way right before sundown.
There were local kids who can take your photos and will surprise you with numerous vantage points. They made us do several poses that left us tired at the end of our “photo shoot”. Remember to give a tip (and try to be as generous as you can). These kids hang out at this place to earn a little for their family right before they go home and do their homework from school.
Our last stop was at Albay Pilinut Candy’s showroom which was highly recommended by our guide. It was a traditional house that showcased and sold different types of high quality pili products. I was not able to take photos inside as I was really tired and I just wanted to buy some stuff and get it over with. While I’m not exactly new to pili as I grew up having this around the house, I still found the selection fascinating. The prices were a bit expensive but I guess the taste made up for it. I especially liked the sugar and sesame coated pili.
During our stay, we went several times to Embarcadero for food. We tried out Biggs Diner and La Mia Tazza Coffee. There were also some boutique shops for shopping. Some trinkets as souvenirs were also being sold in the area. Lucky for us, Hotel St. Ellis provided free shuttle services to and from the place so it was not a problem for us to go there.
I had fun going around Legazpi City. I am still awestruck by the Mayon Volcano because I believe it is a must-see in the country. The people of Legazpi were warm and accommodating. I hope to go back and see Donsol and Cagraray Island
Some Bicol dining are coming up in the next few days, so check-in once in a while.
Albay Pilinut Candy
873 Rizal Street Old Albay District
Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
(63 52) 4811161