Originally, my plan is just to visit Caramoan Islands. However, Cebu Pacific Air does not have a seat sale from Manila to Naga on the date I have chosen. I have searched online and found out that there is an airport in Legazpi City which is just about 2 hours bus ride. Surprisingly, Mayon Volcano is located near Legazpi City, which made me decide to do a city tour in Legazpi City before going to Naga City for Caramoan Islands.
The airport in Legazpi City looks like it is within a subdivision. I mean, just outside the airport is a residential area. Unlike with other airports I have seen, you need to walk few meters away from the airport before you can see houses.
When I arrived at the airport in Legazpi City, I asked the guard about commuting to Ligñon Hill Nature Park. He told me that I can ride a tricycle going there. There are tricycles inside the premises of the airport but few steps from the airport, you can hire a tricycle which will save you about 40% of the rate from the airport tricycles.
Tricycles are not allowed to go up the hill so I walked towards the top of the hill. I have met a couple from Batangas who work in Manila. I invited them to go with me. As we go up to the hill, we took some photos, selfies and groupies. I also met a group of teenagers from Sorsogon City.
After few minutes at the top of the hill, we decided to go to the Cagsawa Ruins. The weather was not cooperative. It was cloudy that day. I did not have a full view of Mayon Volcano. Nevertheless, the experience is still worth it. After all, I can always go back there.
We went back to the main road. The Cagsawa Ruins drop-off point is a 2 jeepney rides away from the drop-off point of Ligñon Hill Nature Park. Albay Park and Wildlife is just a walking distance from Ligñon Hill Nature Park but it was under renovation when I went there.
From the drop-off point of Cagsawa Ruins, we just walked towards the attraction. Of course, we had some photos at the drop-off point. We also took photos of the bell fry. Mayon volcano was still covered by clouds. We stayed there for few minutes. I tasted Albay’s Chili Ice Cream and bought some pasalubong, which is a Filipino tradition of travelers bringing anything like souvenirs or foods from their destination to people back home. The couple and I have separated from Cagsawa Ruins.
I went to the city proper to check Peñaranda Park and Embarcadero de Legazpi. If you have time to kill, you may want to check these places. Embarcadero de Legazpi is basically a mall. From there, I rode a tricycle get a bus a ride to Naga City in Legazpi Grand Central Terminal, which is within the LKY Metro Transport and Lifestyle Hub.
I arrived in Bicol Central Station located in Naga City at around 8:00PM. The Bicol Central Station is a walking distance from SM City Naga. I took my dinner at Tapsi Terminal, just in front of SM City Naga. I then went to Sunny View Hotel but there was no available room. I tried inquiring at Sampaguita Tourist Inn, Hotel Mirabella and Golden Leaf Hotel but there were no available rooms as well. I was a bit surprise to learn about it as it is off-peak season and there are no special events in the city. I ended up with Sogo Hotel, a much more expensive than the other hotels.
Accommodations in Naga City do not not usually accept reservation. You need to walk-in to be able to get a room. If you are traveling to Naga City and you require an accommodation, I suggest you reserve a room at around 2:00PM.
The next morning, I went to White Pebble Beach without much idea on what to expect there. I took a tricycle and asked the driver to drop me at LCC. I am not aware that there is an LCC Supermarket and LCC Mall. The driver dropped me at LCC Supermarket but I told him that I need to get to Southbound Naga City Terminal also known as LCC Transport Terminal. We then headed to the terminal.
I took some photos in the area and I waited for about half an hour before a jeepney going to Bagolatao arrived. I asked the conductor to drop me at the White Pebble Beach. We waited for other passengers. Each passengers was carrying lots of things mostly items that are meant to be resold. There was even a passenger that caught us on our way to our destination in a gasoline station. She was carrying a lot of packages from sacks of rice, groceries and others. With these scenarios, I knew that transportation to that location is very limited but I never thought that going back is really a challenge.
Generally, the road going to Bagolatao is ok but there were rough roads along the way. I feast my eyes with the beauty of nature as we travel. We had a short stop where I bought myself a stick of bananacue being sold by children in the area.
As we approach the coast, I get excited to see the sea. It was cloudy and windy that day. The waves are very strong. You cannot even see the beauty of the water. We traveled few more meters and the conductor had informed me that we are now in White Pebble Beach. I was busy checking Google maps then and was surprised to learned that we are now in White Pebble Beach as Google maps shows it is still hundred meters away. I knew that I was on the right location when I saw the Bicol Shell Museum. I have read in one of online blogs that the Bicol Shell Museum is just across the White Pebble Beach.
I inquired inside and asked if that is the only white pebble beach in the area. The attendant said that she does not know. I paid for the entrance fee only and check the beach. I took some photos and selfies in the area. Prior to that, I asked the attendant how to get back to the city proper. She told me that the next trip will be at 4:00AM the next day. I was not able to get a clear information about the schedule of passenger jeepneys in the area. At one point she mentioned that there is a trip in the afternoon but took it back when I confirm it again. However, three things are for sure when it comes to going back to the city proper; you can take the early morning jeepney trip, you can hire a habal-habal (motorbike) or if you are at least a group of 10, you can make an arrangement at the Southbound Naga City Terminal.
I just got lucky that day because a group of 5 from Manila had made an arrangement with a jeepney and they will be back to the city proper early afternoon that day. I asked if I can join them and I will just pay for my share. They agreed. On our way back to the city proper, we passed a wedding celebration along the way. It was nice to see such event. In Philippine provinces, it is usual to see a lot of people attending a wedding celebration. Mostly, they belong to the same community or barangay. Even though there is no official invitation, it is like automatic. Thus, the hosts are expected to prepare more than enough for the celebration.
When we reached the city proper, I immediately went to Sunny View Hotel to reserve a room. I was told that a room will not be available until 3:00PM. I decided to wait as it is just about 30 minutes until 3:00PM. Few minutes of waiting in their lobby, I was advised that the room is ready for occupancy. I paid for the room and a deposit fee for the towel, which is refundable upon checkout.
I stayed in the room and took a nap before I went for a city tour. I walk towards their city plazas and took some pictures. There are plenty of restaurants and eateries in the vicinity. You can also find street foods. I was looking for something that is “local” but I could not find one. I ended up eating goto, a beef porridge.
The next day, I woke up early to prepare for my flight. I went to the Bicol Central Station to catch a jeepney that will bring me at the drop-off point of Naga Airport in Pili, Camarines Sur. Just look for jeepneys bearing a sign “Bula” or “Pili”. Using Google maps, I monitored my current location. I do not think that one can miss the drop-off point because it is just across Central Bicol State University. If you are coming from Naga City, it is located on the right side of the road. You can always ask the driver to alight you at the drop-off point of Naga Airport. From there, you have the option to take a tricycle or just walk towards the airport, which is just about 450 meters away.