Albay Tour: Day One in Bicol

“Create memories with random people in random places.”

  • Fakir

Albay – Sorsogon Solo Bicol Itinerary

Features: Daraga Church, Cagsawa Ruins, Kawa-kawa Hills in Ligao City, Bigg’s Diner, Lignon Hills, 1st Colonial Grill and Legazpi City

Supposed to be Mt Mayon View

Supposed to be Mt Mayon View

I woke up feeling happy from a good night sleep. Call time 0430, refresh from my slumber. The Mayon’s Peak is resting behind clouds from the window of Magayon Hotel. The sullen dark morning sky cast on my second day in Albay. I got up, took a bath and went out. Next to the inn is a bakery (Papay Pandesal) that sells Malunggay Pandesal, I bought 5 pieces of bread and head to a Carinderia in front of the hotel. I need to eat before starting my day, ordered Pansit Bato for Php10.00 per plate and instant coffee for Php10.00. After digging my simple meal, I arrange my pack then the rain pours outside for 15-20 minutes before heading out.


Pansit Bato, Malunggay Pandesal and 3 in 1 coffee

Pansit Bato, Malunggay Pandesal and 3 in 1 coffee

I ride a jeepney to Daraga for Php 10.00, from the market to Daraga church I walk. The old church was a replica of Cagsawa Church which was smashed by volcanic eruption of Mayon. The Daraga Church stands proud and mighty in a higher ground casting PRIDE all over Albay. I can imagine Mayon’s Peak if only the sun shines brightly. The clouds still hide the magnificent perfect cone of Mayon so I settle myself getting photos of the church. I arrived here while a funeral mass is being held. It was awkward to take photos while people around me were mourning. RAIN AND FUNERAL STARTED MY DAY.


Daraga Church Facade

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Whenever I visited a church, I leave a wish for my family or for a friend. I bought coffee while waiting for the mass to be finished. I saw several touring groups, off-peak season trip could be enjoyable if you do not want heads on your photos or wanted to have a quiet trip. Sipping coffee over the view deck of Daraga Church made me want to write more about my travels. Getting all the photos I wanted, I set foot to my next destination.

Daraga Church

Daraga Church

Cagsawa Church Ruins. I ride a jeepney to Ligao City from Daraga for Php 8.00. It was Saturday so the municipal office is closed, I asked around and was able to get proper transportation information from a local. The driver and co-passengers were too helpful to assist me on my tour. The jeepney driver drop me off in Cagsawa, I ride a tricycle together with a couple, fare Php 8.00. WALK INSTEAD OF TAKING THE TRICYLCE, it will only take you 5-10 minutes to get you there. I arrive in the RUINS, still no sign on the Mayon Peak.

Cagsawa Ruin in a Cloudy Day

Cagsawa Ruin in a Cloudy Day

Registration fee cost nothing but you can donate. I took several photos, guides are offering ATV rides and trick shots. I was not interested with ATV ride because rain started to pour. So I enjoy taking photos and my SILI (Chilli) Shake. Sili Shake cost Php 55.00 and bought a souvenir shirt for Php 200.00. Souvenir shops are available in Cagsawa, after taking my photos I decided to move on to my next trip.

Trick Shot in Cagsawa Ruins

Chili nd Mango Shake

Chili and Mango Shake

Ligao City. From Cagsawa it will take 45 minutes – 1 hour to Kawa-Kawa Hills. Kawa means Cauldron, from the top it looks like a giant kitchen pot. I drop off from the jeepney ride, take tricycle for Php 8.00 and hike up to the hills. It still cloudy and cool enough. Kawa-kawa hills famous for its sunflowers which blooms every March or summer. Since I travel in July, unfortunately NO SUNFLOWERS.

Cagsawa Ruins Bell Tower

Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City

Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City

I hike up and finished the station of the cross, made my wish after lighting my wish candles. I wish for someone’s father to heal and a good health for me this year. The pavement path is built for people, this place is often visited during the Holy Week in which statues based on the station of the cross were built. After the trek, I have sili ice cream for Php 10.00, a touring family asked me questions about my solo trip. They were amazed that someone can travel alone. Hehe

One of the Stations of the Cross in Kawa Kawa Hills

Inside the Kawa Kawa Hills

As I walk back from Kawa-kawa Hills, I saw a tourism center which was a Project of the late Jessie Robredo. I got free leaflets about Albay tourist destinations. Then, take the tricycle to the highway for Php 8.00. From Ligao City, I went back to Daraga (jeepney fare Php 40.00). I slept for a good 30 minutes, drop in Bigg’s Diner in Daraga for lunch. Bigg’s Diner is Bicolano’s famous fast food chain. Their cheeseburger is meaty with dripping cheese on it. I enjoy their crispy fried chicken. It’s the usual diner in a cozy interior. The meal cost me Php 168.00.

View at the top of Kawa Kawa Hills

View at the top of Kawa Kawa Hills

Dirty Chili Ice Cream

Dirty Chili Ice Cream

After lunch, I went ahead to my final trip. LIGNON HILL, I took jeepney for Php 11.00. It takes 10-15 minutes from Daraga to Lignon Hills. I trek up from the jump-off (Department of Education Bicol). It will take a good 30 minutes – 1 hour way up to Lignon Hills. Registration fee cost Php 20.00, then you can try their zip lines. I did not take it because I got tired. I just want to feel the view. There is no sign of Mayon’s Peak after whole day of waiting. I am still grateful that I manage to come along here and enjoy my day trip in Albay.


I welcome myself at Lignon Hill

I went back to Magayon Hills to freshen up and have dinner. I decide to dine in First Colonial Grill which is famous for their original Sili Ice Cream. I ordered Bicol Express and rice which boils inside my mouth. If you are not fan of spicy food, Bicol Express is definitely not for you. Sili ice cream have 3 levels of spiciness. I selected Level 3, to my surprise it was very good until the cold melted into your mouth. The chili flavored will kicked in and it feels like betrayal. LOL. Dining in the elegant restaurant that can cost you Php 300-500. This meal cost me Php 368.00.

Path to Lignon Hill

Lonely at Lignon Hill because I did not see Mt Mayon


Lignon Hill. Background is the Aiport Runway

My sumptuous meal made me want to rest. Since, night life in Albay is not like in Cebu or Manila. I went back to my room in Magayon Hotel. A friend from Sorsogon, message me about my trip. She suggested to me to visit her in her hometown. I agreed because my Day 3 is bound for Sorsogon for some beach loving. Initially, I wanted to go back in Naga City, to try wake boarding but going further South is definitely a good idea. I ended the night with a warm smile and prayed for good weather.

Original Chili Ice Cream at 1st Colonial Grill

One of the famous fine dining restaurants in Albay

Sorsogon Trip Review will be next!


Source: Personal Photos, Jerleen Custodio Copyright

Manlalayag is Seafarer in Filipino. I want to be a pirate who travels to Collect Memories and Steal Happiness from the places I want to go.

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