One of the best road trips in the Philippines: Legazpi (Bicol)

“Let’s go home. I miss mommy and Daddy.”

“I miss Madam Amelia, too.”

And we were off to Manila from Singapore. Stayed a couple of hours in NAIA Terminal 3, then flew straight to Legazpi via Cebu Pacific to meet my family and in-laws.

I grew up in a province 4-6 hours from Manila and possibly, 4-6 hours as well to Bicol, where this gem is.

You don’t need to hire a tour guide to explore Bicol (specifically, Legazpi). There are so many articles about it online and all you need to do is to hire a van, list down the places that you want to visit and get ready for the long fun and song-filled road trip to Bicol.

Of course, the first thing that you should look out for is the perfect cone-shaped active volcano that’s usually found in history textbooks in the Philippines. 🙂 When we visited in July, the clouds were all around it, but it was still very beautiful.

If you’re ready to explore Bicol, here’s a quick list of the “must-go” during our family getaway.

Cagsawa Ruins

They say that you’ve never been to Bicol if you don’t visit the Cagsawa Ruins. If you want to see the Mayon Volcano up-close and chill with some halu-halo, this should be one of your stops.

Cagsawa ruins are the remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church as per Wikipedia. It was originally built in 1587 but was burned down by Dutch pirates in 1636. It was rebuilt but was destroyed again during the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814.

Daraga Church

If you didn’t see the beautiful Mayon in Cagsawa, try snapping a photo of it in the vicinity of Daraga Church. Though this church is on top of a hill, it’s beauty is worth the climb. It was also built by Franciscan missionaries in 1773 and is definitely a living proof of Bicolanos unwavering faith.

Embarcadero

If you’re travelling with your parents or older family members, it’s expected that they’ll get tired of the long road trip. Embarcadero is definitely a good place to stop by, get some balut and walk around.

Kawa-Kawa Hill & Natural Park 

If you’re a Catholic (which is the religion of the majority of the Philippines population), you’ll be in awe seeing this hill and park. This is where the famous life-sized last supper is located. The view on top of the hill is breathtaking and you can go on a spiritual journey as you explore the entire place as it has 14 Stations of the Cross.

But regardless of your religion, this place has the best view of Ligao and is very serene and worth the climb.

PS. It will be challenging to push a wheelchair up so be prepared for some piggybacks!

Sumlang Lake

If you’re up for some fresh air and just want to chill and chat, try spending some time in Sumlang Lake. It has a beautiful view of Mayon, nice hammocks and benches, plus, plenty of local products to shop!

Bicol ATV Adventure

Spare a day or two to do the fun activities in Bicol (cause there’s a lot to do!). Because I think I’m lucky to have fun in-laws (HAHA), we’ve spent a day under the sun exploring Legazpi in ATV.

Black Lava Trail 

After lots of turns, uphill and downhill slopes, river crossings and beautiful scenery, we’ve reached the end of the trail which is also the  Lava Wall.

Be prepared for a bit of rock climbing if you fancy trying this out.

Zipline  at Lignon Nature Park 

This was where the magic all happened. 🙂

According to many, for many years, Ligñon Hill is known only for the PHIVOLCS observatory located on its flanks and an old lighthouse on its summit. Today, it has become one of the city’s prime destinations for sightseeing and countless of fun activities. The war tunnels during the Japanese era is here!

So when our parents and aunties got bored with just sightseeing and eating, they tried something that they said they never thought they will never do- trying out the zipline!

If zipline is a little less-exhilarating for you, try this one!

Don’t forget that this region has the spiciest dishes in the Philippines! So of course, we’ve tried the Sili Ice Cream. If you haven’t been spending time with Filipinos, you won’t know that they are the bunch who don’t really enjoy spicy food as compared with the other Asian cultures. So, this is really a hit! 🙂 It has different spicy levels so try it depending on your preference.

Plus, my brother in law woke up one of the nights wanting to explore the nearby towns…so we went to Sorsogon. 🙂

We concluded our trip with a visit to Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine. I thank Him for a beautiful family, I didn’t know what I’ve done to deserve them. 🙂

I’ve put together in less than 3 minutes, the gang’s adventure. Have fun!

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