WHAT MAKES PROVINCE OF ALBAY A UNIQUE DESTINATION?
ALBAY is every traveler’s memento. For years Albay has been synonymous to Mayon Volcano, the famous landmark shortlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Now, the province is perceptibly shining as a hidden tourism gem offering innumerable activities for leisure, fun, relaxation, and travel.
In Albay, tourists will find many remarkable places that were previously known only to locals and are still untouched by commercialism. Many of these destinations have never been featured in travel literature and awaits discovery. Partly due to its pristineness, the province was declared as a Biosphere Reserve in UNESCO’s MAB Programme as it is the proud home of approximately 462 flora and fauna species, 137 of which are endemic.
People are also one of its tourism assets. ALBAYANOS are resilient, gracious, happy and accommodating who go out of their way to make visitors’ stay in the province comfortable, relaxed, and worry-free.
Albay is home to at least 19 festivals that are celebrated all year round by its different cities and municipalities. In each month of the year, tourists will be sure to find revelers dancing in the streets in celebration of a religious or agricultural festival. These festivals last for several days and feature activities showcasing the local culture and practice.
Albay offers not just scenic and cultural destinations. It is globally recognized by United Nations as the model for adapting to the impacts of climate change. After suffering 46% damage in 2006 due to Typhoon Durian, the province quickly recovered by using tourism as one of its principal tools for reconstruction with foreign tourists’ influx. It also built 320 kilometers of roads to provide access to new and unique destinations such as the Cagsawa Ruins, Quitinday Hills, falls, black sand beaches, Japanese caves, colonial houses, historical landmarks to name a few.
Proof to how guests were enticed by its beauty, Albay hosted national and international events like UNWTO-ASEAN 2014, XTERRA Off-road Triathlon 2015, and the upcoming PATA Tourism Frontier, where the province able to share its experiences in transcending and mitigating the inevitable effects of climate change, having the world’s first and only Climate Change Academy and Disaster Risk Management Training Institute. It has zero crime rate against tourists and has modern health facilities.
With all the beautiful destinations and the warmest welcome it can offer to guests and tourists, the province make tourism as one of its priority programs.
WHAT TO DO IN ALBAY?
A. ALBAY TOURIST CIRCUITS
Experience the famed volcanoes of Albay through the Three Peaks tour circuit that especially caters to mountain climbers on a three to four-day itinerary. The tour takes you to the watershed reserve of Mt. Masaraga, the geothermal reserve of Mt. Malinao, and the world-renowned Mt. Mayon. Alternatively, you can visit Mt. Manaet where climbers are rewarded with a breath-taking view of Mt. Mayon looming over sea waters.
Skyline Express brings you to Albay’s ocean-bathed first district, where a variety of sights and experiences are in store. Learn the arts of pottery in Tiwi, cutlery in Tabaco and cargumoy weaving in Bacacay and have some of Albay’s best souvenirs at affordable prices. Take a plunge at the waterfalls of Malinao and Malilipot. Visit the centuries-old churches and heritage houses built with volcanic stones. The tour highlights the Mayon Skyline in Tabaco City, where you can visit the Mayon Planetarium and enjoy a stunning vista of the Albay East Coast.
The Magayon Express in and around the city of Legazpi takes you to destinations that are truly magayon or beautiful. Walk through the heritage zone of Camalig that’s home to pinangat and other Bikol delicacies. See the iconic ruins of Cagsawa and the incredibly ornate Daraga Church, both declared National Cultural Treasures. Enjoy a zoo experience at the Albay Parks and Wildlife, and the sights of Nag-Aso Boiling Lake in Manito. Finally, take a perfect picture of yourself and Mt. Mayon at the Lignion Hill and the Legazpi Boulevard.
Be mesmerized by the lush tropical landscapes of Albay in the Greenscape Circuit where you can enjoy the best eco-tourist sites in Albay’s third district, which links the province to Donsol and Camarines Sur. Greenscape treats you to an array of green destinations from the grapeyards of Libon, the bambusetum and Kawa-Kawa Hill of Ligao, the Buhawi Hills of Pio Duran, the Quitinday Green Hills and Sumlang Lake of Camalig, and the otherworldly Jovellar Underground River.
Albay East Coast
For a true sea lover, nothing beats the variety of eco-nautical experiences offered by the Albay East Coast, from the white sands of Misibis Bay Resort and Pinamuntugan Beach to the black sand beaches of Santo Domingo and Bacacay. The Albay East Coast circuit gives you to a tropical island tour on the Pacific side of Albay. Take a holiday spree at the Cagraray Eco-Park, cruise through the river-like Sula Channel, and visit two of Albay’s most tempting island offerings: the “Vanishing Island” of Malilipot, and the Corangon Shoal of Tiwi, dubbed as the “Egg Yolk Island.”
Albay Gulf Coast
Easily accessible from Legazpi City and the Bicol International Airport, Albay Gulf is a paradise for divers, beach lovers, and ecotourists. The Albay Gulf Coast tour circuit beckons you to take a dive off the Albay Gulf and interact with whale sharks, stroll along the white sand beaches of Guinanayan Island, explore the mangrove reserves of Manito, and go spelunking at the Pototan and Minaroso caves of Rapu-Rapu.
Albay West Coast
Bathe in sea waters that’s teeming with marine life as the Albay West Coast offers an unforgettable experience of the Ticao-Burias Pass, where whale sharks and manta rays find their natural habitat. Here where fantastic limestone formations meet the sea, you can take a swim at the beaches of Cagmanaba in Oas and Maonon in Ligao, dive in the underwater corals of Batong Langoyon, paddle through the maze of mangroves in Pio Duran, and enjoy the sun at the Baura Reef in Libon.
B. SAVOR ALBAY’S CUISINES
Food is also a great part of the Albay experience and the local cuisine is one of the most interesting fares in the country. Dishes served from the 65 restaurants in Albay are borne from tradition to culture that is mixed up in a tantalizing melting pot of various flavors, along with a couple of dashes of new fusion cuisine. These establishments are all supported and promoted by the province as part of its culinary tourism program.
Albay’s renowned local dishes are the Bicol Express, pinangat (a dish which combines taro leaves, chili, meat and coconut milk), and pili nut. Offering local specialty cuisines are encouraged and often result in interesting gourmet fusions making Albay’s restaurants some of the most distinct in the country. Another uniquely Albayano dessert that catches gourmet’s attention is the sili ice cream— made from famous scorching chili & comes in varying degrees of hotness.
C. TOURIST READY AND FRIENDLY
Albay is known for its lush volcanic landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, and spicy cuisines. But what makes Albay truly warm is its people. Welcoming visitors with the best accomodations they can offer is a trademark of Albayanos.
Located at the central area of the Philippines, you can easily come to Albay by land, air, and sea. It has its own airport, the Legazpi Airport, which received charter flights from Xiamen, China starting in 2014. Another airport, the Bicol International Airport in Daraga is nearing completion and slated to be operational by 2022. Buses operate daily between Manila and Albay, and buses from the South are carried by ferries. It has a well-built road system linking the different tourist destinations within the province and servicing different modes of land transportation, from PUVs, jeepneys and e-buses to the local tricycle and padyak. Albay is also the only province with two international seaports in Tabaco City and Legazpi City. Various other ports within the province make inter-island travel highly accessible.
With more than 279 establishments in Albay, it can accommodate visitors with a total room capacity of 13,835. These range from backpacker’s inns to luxurious hotels and resorts that also serve as world-class convention centers, hosting a variety of national and international meetings, conferences, and events. Most of the accommodations can be booked online. Facilities for PWDs and people with special needs are also well-provided, and health care facilities are easily accessible from tourist sites. All around Albay, shopping centers, souvenir shops, and restaurants abound, catering to tourists’ needs, tastes, and convenience.
PROVINCIAL TOURISM, CULTURE, AND THE ARTS OFFICE
Albay Astrodome Compound Captain F. Aquende Drive
Legazpi City 4500 Albay Philippines
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
Regional Center Site, Rawis Legazpi City
Tel: (052) 742 5004
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Located at the southern tip of Luzon island, about 550 kms. from Manila, Albay is located approximately 13.5 degrees north latitude and 124.25 degrees east longitude.
Composed of three (3) cities and fifteen (15) municipalities grouped into three (3) congressional districts.
As of August 2015, the Census of Population show that Albay had reached 1,314,826 inhabitants.
Generally, the Bicol dialect spoken in Legazpi and Albay District is the common tongue used. Bicolanos also speak Tagalog fluently. English is not difficult for them to communicate with liberal stature.
Average temperature is 27 degree Celsius.
Coconut and coco-based products, sugar cane, pineapple, vegetables, rice, limber, rattan, pili nuts, abaca (Manila hemp).