From a ZestAir (now AirAsia) seat sale, I got a promo seat to Legazpi City for my Bicol travel series. The trip was my second solo travel following the Ilocos travel series I had during the last week of 2012. The plane departed from Terminal 4 on time and arrived at the Legazpi Airport at exactly 1 in the afternoon. The upper half of the Mayon Volcano was hidden under the clouds, a shy type one for first timers like me.
I got out of the airport immediately since I had no check-in bag. I went directly to the Provincial Tourism office where the very accommodating members of the department helped and assisted me with my inquiries for my trip. When I went out of the office, heavy rain started to fall. I had my late lunch at Bigg’s Diner at the back of Albay Provincial Capitol. The rain poured heavily as I waited for jeepneys bound to Legazpi proper.
From Old Albay, I went to Legazpi proper and checked in at Dreams Inn and Café located in front of the Pacific Mall. The rain stopped that triggered the start of my Legazpi walking tour. I started my city tour by visiting Trylon Monument, St. Raphael’s Church, Rizal Park and checking the Albay Park and Wildlife and the Ligñon Hill.
From a tiring walk in Ligñon Hill, I went to Embarcadero and tried toploading on their free shuttle. I had a meal at Bigg’s Diner, for the second time, and walk along the mall.
Early morning the next day, I headed to the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal around 5 AM to catch a bus to Sorsogon. Took a bus to Bulan and dropped at San Mateo Hot Spring in Irosin for their very relaxing hot spring. The Sorsogon misadventures happened. I’m planning to check Bulusan Natural Park and Barcelona Church but as per the tricycle driver, I’ve talked to, if I’m planning to visit Matnog, it is better to check Matnog first since Bulusan and Barcelona are on the other side of the route.
From Irosin, I took a jeepney bound to Matnog and along the way, a heavy rain poured. The tourism office was closed by the fact that it was Saturday (but during my visit to Ilocos, tourist centers were open even on Sundays.) I tried to talk to a group of tricycle drivers on how to check the attractions in Matnog. They advised me to charter a boat to visit Tikling Island, Juag Fish Lagoon, and Subic Beach. I can’t afford the rates they provided and even if I wanted to, the money I have was not enough. Instead, I asked a place not that visited by people but offers a scenic view. With my haggling power, I chartered a tricycle to Padang Hill where you can see the nearby Tikling Island.
After checking Matnog, I embarked a 4-hr jeepney and bus travel going back to Daraga, Albay. It was late afternoon when I walked from the hi-way to the Cagsawa Ruins and had photo ops with the devastated site.
The next morning, I planned to check Busay Falls, Bacacay Beaches, and visit the island of Cagraray. Before heading to Malilipot, I dropped at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine reenacting the Stations of the Cross with human-sized statues. Busay is not that magnificent but I love seeing waterfalls.
From Malilipot, I went directly to Bacacay to check the black sand beach. After taking some shots, I searched for the boats in Bacacay port going to Cagraray Island. Before riding the craft, the owner of the boat approached me and asked where I’m heading. He said that the next trip going back to the mainland will be 4 AM the next morning. Glad that he approached me and didn’t ride the boat immediately. Disappointed, I went back to Legazpi. To find out that a bridge connecting Cagraray Island to the mainland can be accessed through the nearby town of Sto. Domingo.
I went back to my room and took a nap. Got out of the inn and watched a Lion Dance in front of the Pacific Mall in welcoming the Chinese New Year. I tried the Sili, Malunggay, and Kalamansi ice cream flavors of 1st Colonial Grill and headed again to Ligñon Hill to have my first ever zip line ride. I rode the free shuttle to Embarcadero again and walked at the Legazpi Boulevard taking shots of the Kapuntukan Hill.
I woke up 5 AM during my last day in the province by a text message sent by Zest Air informing me that my flight back to Manila was delayed for about two hours. Around six when a staff of Bicol Adventure picked me up and dropped me in Pawa for my ATV ride to the Mayon Lava Flow. The ATV experience was my first time and I enjoyed it a lot and considered it as the highlight of my Bicol Solo Travel series.
I checked out in Dreams Inn at 11 AM and had a quick snack in Bigg’s Diner before heading to the airport. Rain poured again that the plane that would fetch us was still in Manila due to bad weather in Legazpi. I worried so much since I’ll be going to work on that day. Around 3:30 PM when the plane arrived and it was 4:45 PM when we safely landed on NAIA.
“Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.”
– James Russell Lowell