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The Shy Volcano of Bicol Philippines – What’s brewing?

Beyond the stunning beaches of Cebu/ Palawan and Boracay, lies a region in Philippines made up of lush rainforest, waterfalls, lakes and a perfectly symmetrical volcano – Welcome to the Land of Bicol.

Welcome to Bicol, the land of the Pili Nut

Welcome to Bicol, the land of the Pili Nut

Bicol is a good 45 -60 minutes flight away from the city of Manila. We arrived in the cosy little airport of Legazpi and were comfortably packed  into our minivan to get a little tour around the city of Legazpi.

 

5 Outdoor Adventure in Bicol Region

1. Quad Bike Ride up to the Mayon Volcano [Best ATV Experience ever !]

We embarked on a 3 hours adventure ride towards the Mayon summit, even though it was a cloudy day and the weather seemed dangerously threatening. All equipped with our helmets, powerful ATVs and action cameras, we were ready to go on our adventure atv tour.

Group Shot before we speed off towards the Mayon Volcano. Ready to start our Adventure ATV Tour! outdoor adventure in bicol region

Group Shot before we speed off towards the Mayon Volcano. Ready to start our Adventure ATV Tour!

On board our adventure powersports vehicles, going through swamps, lakes, long grass, mud and more…The wind is coming and our excitement rose.

 

The Mayon Volcano is 8,189 foot tall, and we  rode along the lava trail. I could do with more such adrenaline atv tours in my holidays.

Read more about trekking in Philippines – The Grand Corderilla Twin Peaks

2. The Spanish Influence and Church Ruins

The city of Bicol is rich in Spanish heritage and influence. We took a walkabout some of the most iconic churches here in Bicol, with some of these churches still conducting services every Sunday. Our guide himself attends the Daraga Church.

Cagsawa Church Ruins

The Cagsawa Church was inspired by Greek architecture during its construction stage. It used to be one of the most iconic catholic church in Bicol but was unfortunately destroyed during the volcanic eruption. The building was uniquely constructed with egg white, limestone and volcanic rock.

The Cagsawa Church Ruins overseeing the beautiful Mayon Volcano. Its a pity its a cloudy day that day hence the volcano is hidden

The Cagsawa Church Ruins overseeing the beautiful Mayon Volcano. Its a pity its a cloudy day that day hence the volcano is hidden

Daraga Church

Daraga Church still in service up till this date. outdoor adventure in bicol region

Daraga Church still in service up till this date

Old Barcelona Church

Moving on from exploring these beautiful ruins and churches, we moved on to some mother nature immersion.

3. Hiking and Kayaking around Bulusan Lake

At the foot of Mount Bulusan sits a lovely surreal lake surrounded by lush greenery, some may even call it the ‘Switzerland of the Orient’. Bulusan attracts many volunteers and researchers to its grounds to experience and understand the unique rich eco-system of a volcano/ rainforest lake and waterfalls all in one premise. No wonder this place is deemed one of the top eco-tourism destination in Philippines.

Rainbow colour kayaks calling out to us to start our adventure. outdoor adventure in bicol region

Rainbow colour kayaks calling out to us to start our adventure

The Bulusan Volcano Natural Park  houses the top 5 active volcanoes in the Philippines. When we were there, it was at Alert 1, so we couldn’t go within 5 km radius of it. There is a nice 2.8 km walking trail around the lake and you can spot the wide variety of wildlife here, from kingfishers to other extinct bird species. Apparently 26%  of the bird species here in Luzon are on the extinction list in the world.

Bulusan means ‘Where water flows’‘, which is the perfect name for it given it houses a wide mix of volcanoes/ lakes/ waterfalls/ limestone formations, rivers and more.

A house on the Bulusan lake that collapsed the day before our arrival due to the typhoon that came. We were suppose to be in there having a massage treatment

A house on the Bulusan lake that collapsed the day before our arrival due to the typhoon that came. We were suppose to be in there having a massage treatment

4. Indulge in some of the amazing delicacies of Bicol

One would have thought that Philippines food consists of mostly a heavy meat diet and rice, but Bicol presents itself having a rich variety of food – from the creamy coconut milk and spicy Bicol express, to the mussles and shellfish soup unique to Bicol.

One of my favourite most appetizing dishes has to be the Sinigang, where it consists of a lot of tamarind to give the sour kick. Very much like the thai tomyam soup, but without chilli padi and lemongrass.

The infamous Sili Ice-cream from Bicol

The infamous Sili Ice-cream from Bicol – Chili flavour ice-cream anyone?

For those with a sweeter tooth, the Sili Ice-Cream is a must-try in this region. The rich creamy taste with the use of coconut milk and the lingering aftertaste spiciness of the ice-cream is really something interesting to experience.

5. Relax and indulge in some of the Luxury Resorts of Bicol

Bicol has some really beautiful and relaxing villas to chill and unwind in, and comes with great restaurants, and facilities. I visited the Siama Hotel, The Oriental Lagazpi and Misibis Bay Resort in my 1 week in Bicol.

Find out more about each of them below:

360 shot of the pool at Siama Hotel

360 shot of the pool at Siama Hotel

Check out the rates of Siama Hotel on: Agoda

Click here for a 360 view of the Misibis Bay Resort room I stayed in – with a full pool view

 

Check out the rates of Misibis Bay Resort on: Agoda

Check out the rates of The Oriental Legazpi at : Agoda

360 view at the pool of Siama Resort. Stunning blue sky that day!

Hence concludes my post about my outdoor adventure in bicol region. This trip was done in October, which was just at the tail end of the monsoon season. Do drop by in the  months of Feb – May to stand a chance to see the whalesharks.

To read more about my hiking adventure in Philippines Mount Ugo and Mount Pulag, click here

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Wandering Ella
    June 5, 2018 at 6:47 am

    OMG ang ganda ng adventure experience dyan! And the Siama resort looks so beautiful!

    • Reply
      Lydia Yang
      June 5, 2018 at 7:29 am

      The resort has left me speechless, Ella! 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

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