My Albay – Sorsogon Roadtrip
(Unplanned travels are often the best ones)
We’ve been so busy during the past few days of August. Because I was the official photographer of Abuyog, Leyte during their “Linggo ng Abuyog events”. It is a week celebration for the town fiesta. For 30 years of being an Abuyogon, It was actually my first time to witness the entire Linggo ng Abuyog events. It was a hustle and bustle but very extremely exciting and I loved what I did. Despite our scheduled trips to Siargao and Cebu south (with tickets), never had a single regret. Sayang din kasi ang opportunity. Im also glad that my friends especially my GF, understand the situation. Going back, right after my super busy week,to cope up with them, we decided to have a roadtrip using my own car from Tacloban to Legazpi, Albay to Matnog Sorsogon and back to Tacloban. It is like 400km drive back and forth. Here we go.
September 7, 9:30pm we depart from Tacloban. Arrived 2:30am at San Isidro Northern Samar Port. We took the 3am FastCat trip to Matnog, Sorsogon. Travel time is 2 hours only. We arrived 5am at Matnog port. Stretched a little bit and continue driving to Legazpi. 3 hours drive going to Legazpi town proper. Once in Legazpi, use your waze if you’re not familiar with the area.
In our case, we stayed at ParmView Hotel. Our room has 2 queen sized bed with 1 extra bed for only 1,800 per night. The place was perfect for us.
✓Newly construct building
✓Small parking space
✓The place was very clean.
Photo grabbed from their website. Never had a chance to take a clean bedroom shot. Very tired and sleepy na.
They also have these for your convenience. You can use everything as long as you clean it right after using.
Parking space for 2 cars only. Make sure to reserve 1st especially if you have your car with you.
PARMVIEW INN – 0975 922 4911
We had a few hours of sleep to recharge and get ready for our 1st activity. The Lava Trail. Oraayt! A visit to Legazpi City will never be complete without an ATV ride to Mount Mayon, world’s most perfectly formed volcano! ATV tours are surely the coolest ways to experience Mayon Volcano. It’s thrilling, fun-filled & gives you that one cool moment to play dirty! We booked our ATV trail with Your Brother / Mayon ATV tour or www.facebook.com/mayonatvtour or www.mayonatvtour.com/ – 0905 455 7594. We chose the Mayon to Lava Front package. The trail consist of uphills and downhills, with small streams to pass by in the beginning changing into rocky areas then sand part and passing through pines and coconut trees surrounding Mayon volcano after going to the Lava front youll then be driving on a different route passing by a pavement road that is under the foot of Mayon you will then see villagers cheering for you. Feeling artista. The tour is about 1 ½ hour back and forth. It was 1,800 per head. Trust me guys, it was all worth it. I cant wait to try it again next time. As far as I know, they don’t allow walk-in clients. So book ahead. Also they offer free pick up and drop off from your hotel going to camp and back and forth.
Tour guide: Dab pose kayo guys!
Kami: Anu yan kuya?!
Infairness, our tour guide also has a great photography skills.
Signature Hart-Hart pose. #McDo
Our 1st stop, the helipad. Volcanic rock Debris that Flowed 6 kilometers from the crater and Form a Lava Wall on the foot of the volcano last 2006 and now a famous tourist spot here in Legazpi city
Si Magayon at si Oragon.
Meaning Beautiful and tough! 🙂
The Lava front which is located at the Base camp of Mayon offers a Perfect viewing area to the volcano and the city of Legazpi.
Tourguide: Swerte po kayo. Nagpakita si Mayon. Mababait siguro kayo.
The Tour is unique because of the destination which offers a different activity and challenge the Short Trek to the Lava front.
They also offer other activities such as zipline. The zipline is like 350 meters long from the helipad down to the base camp. The zipline is 300 pesos per person.
End of our 1st activity. I suggest to do the ATV trail in the afternoon or last part of your itinerary so you dont have to worry about your energy right after the trail. The night trail adds extra more excitement and fun. It was indeed a memorable one. Wohoo!!
After the 1st activity, we had our dinner at 1st Colonial grill at Pacific Mall. A Local Filipino Restaurant with a reasonable price. We tried their famous Sili ice cream. To be a certified Oragon daw, u must eat the Sili Ice cream. ORAGON AKO! haha
Our 1st stop was at Legazpi Boulevard. The boulevard is a coastal road network extending from the city’s central business district and port area to the southern brgys. 10 mins ride going to the boulevard. We notice lots of restaurants along the area. Perfect for Park and Drink maybe.
A quickie pose at Legazpi Signage
we had our lunch at Bob Marlin Restaurant. A restaurant that specializes in serving great Bicolano food as well as Filipino cuisine. CRISPY PATA GUYS! MUST TRY!
Bob Marley Concept restaurant. Ohh, Baby I love your way!
We had a quick stop at Albay Pilinut Candy to buy some local delicacies “pasalubongs“. Few kilometers away from Bob Marlin restaurant. Pili nuts butter flavor was the winner for me.
Our 2nd stop, Daraga Church. As for me and Carla, our every travel isnt complete without visiting a local church. A quick church visit perhaps. The Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate, more commonly knows as Daraga Church) is an 18th century baroque structure, overlooking the sea and the majestic Mayon Volcano. The National Historical Institute declared this site a National Cultural Treasure on October 29th, 2007. The church sets atop of a hill with Mt. Mayon in the background but i think the weather has another plan for us. No Mayon Volcano background this time. We lit candles and had a quick prayers before going to our next stop.
Inside Daraga Church.
Our 3rd stop is at Cagsawa Ruins. One of the famous spots in Albay. Based lang sa history, Cagsawa built in 1587 destroyed in 1646, then reconstructed in 1724 and once again destroyed in 1814. On a clear day, same as Daraga Church, Mt. Mayon sits perfectly behind the Cagsawa Ruins but again, the weather has another plan for us. We bought souvenirs “ORAGON INI” t-shirt here for only 250 pesos each. Entrance fee is 20 pesos and the parking fee is only 20 pesos also.
We parked our car right next to this marker. PMake sure to have a group shot at Cagsawa ruins Marker right outside the gate. Parking fee is 20 pesos.
Lagyan ng 100 peso bill para maging perfect cone!!!!!
Giant Giant illusion. hahaha. Ayos ka kuya Randy!
Another Giant Giant illusion. hahaha. Ayos ka talaga kuya Randy!
Once in Cagsawa ruins, they have tour guides/photographers to tour and take good photos for you for free. But ofcourse we gave 100 pesos as a tip. Thumbs up for the illusion photography skills kuya. Galing galing!
ORAGON T-SHIRT. If they dont have your desired design on stock, just let them know, they can make it right away for you. For only 250 pesos. Amazing isnt it?
we had our dinner at BIGGS in Ayala Mall before going to Matnog, Sorsogon for our Island Hopping adventure.
In our case, we stayed at Midz Homestay for 2 nights for only 4,200 pesos. The room was big that can accommodate 6 to 8 persons. The place has parking space also. Ate caretaker was very friendly and accommodating also. Good vibes lang talaga. There is no grocery stores nearby. Only small sari-sari store lang. But it is like 8 to 10 mins going to Matnog town proper. Contact number 0930 307 5804. -www.facebook.com/MidzHomestay/
Island Hopping! Olala!
Visit Matnog Tourism office prior to your Island Hopping adventure. You will register and pay the environmental fee for 70 pesos each. Ask them also if your pumpboat operator / tour guide is legit. The office is adjacent to Matnog Port. In our case, we started at around 8am. Our boat operator / tour guide was the smiling guy, kuya Alex Geneblazo. Very friendly and accommodating. Try to search him on google. He is well known for travelers like us. If you want to enjoy your Matnog Island hopping experience, I suggest to book him guys. His only mission is to keep us safe and ofcourse for us to have fun. Our tour was only 1,700 pesos all in. We gave extra 500 for the tip. Contact number Alex Geneblazo – 0918 304 5437. www.facebook.com/JuagLagoonMarineSanctuary
Buy your own food, water and charcoal also if you want it grilled before going to the Island. Don’t worry someone at the Subic beach will be the one who will cook the food for your lunch. The wet market is just next to the Tourism office. They have lots of cheap fresh sea foods.
Our 1st stop. The Lagoon Marine sanctuary is owned by kuya Alex. Only Kuya Alex’s clients are allowed to swim in the Lagoon. One hell of a good perk huh? 😀
Guys, please dont use sunblock when swimming at Juag Lagoon. Kuya Alex will explain it to you why. Use rashguard instead.
With Kuya Alex. His wife also offered us free coffee before swimming.
This resort is privately owned. They allow to stay overnight.
Say hello to my fishie friends. Obviously they are all excited. 🙂
2nd stop. Subic Beach has a white long stretch shoreline with glittery pink sand specially when under a sunny weather. The place was quiet and peaceful and the island is all ours maybe because it was off season. We had our lunch here and stayed for 3 hours. We gave 250 pesos for ate Nilda who cooked our yummy food for lunch.
Groupshot guys, groupshot.
We rented this small cottage for 400 pesos good for one whole day.
Subic Beach allows overnight stay. They have this Air-conditioned room for only 1600 / night.
The water was clear as crystal. WOW na WOW! I can feel the summer heat even on Ber months. haha. I really cant wait to go back and stay overnight here at Subic Beach.
I was amazed by this DIY snorkeling mask or Silip owned by mang kardo (local fisherman). This thing works perfectly compared to my mahal na branded pa na mask. hu hu. As what my friend told me, WOW! PARANG HD! SUPER CLEAR! Someone at the town proper Market sells this kind of silip for 150 pesos only. So sad, I wasnt able to find one.
The locals were also friendly.
That smile. Really brings the good vibes. See you again soon.
Off to our 3rd stop. Calintaan Cave. You have to check the beauty inside the Cave. A bit scary at first. Its a small cave wherein you have to swim inside. For those who don’t know how to swim, Kuya Alex has life jackets and lifebuoy for you. He will also drag you inside the cave. 🙂
This is whats inside the cave.
Subic Snorkeling Spot
It was definitely a very beautiful site for snorkeling. The marine life was well preserved. The reef was clean, healthier and richer. Thumbs up for the Matnog Tourism office. No plastic was spotted along the snorkeling area. It was an one hell of an experience seeing the clown fishes (Nemo) swimming so gracefully, just doing their thing. The water was so clean, clear and blue. It was an amazing experience and highly recommended activity. Wohoo I really cant wait to go back!
Hanapin mo ang forever mo. Wala kang partner! hahaha
That’s how I look when im excited. ha ha ha
Nemooss everywhere noh? 🙂
and off to our last stop. Tikling Island. The island is named after a type of native bird called TIKLING. We saw lots of tikling birds in the area. This island is just few minutes away from Subic beach. The island is privately owned. No resort, no cottages or what so ever. The water was clear as crystal also. I wonder if we can deploy our tent and stay here overnight next time.
And that’s the end of our Albay – Sorsogon adventure. Back to reality!
One good thing about travelling off season is that you can solo the spot. Hahaha, Selfies AF. I feel the tropical Island vibe in you Matnog Island hopping. Wohoo!
We were lucky because we met friendly locals, Kuya Alex, Mabuhay po kayo! Thumbs up to Matnog Tourism office. They cooperate in maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of the attractions. The environmental fee was spent wisely. Ganards! Right after I posted some of my photos on facebook, some of my closest friends ask me if I can go back with them soon. Well, NO is not an answer perhaps? 🙂 Kitakits again soon!
TIPS FOR YOUR Albay-Sorsogon Roadtrip
-To fully enjoy its beauty is to travel on weekdays or off season where it is less crowded.
-Update your Waze, Maps.Me and other navigation applications.
-Bring spare tire and Electronic tire inflator
-Prepare your updated OR / CR and authority to travel for those who dont have Plate numbers yet. Have it photocopied prior.
-Bring your water bottle and snacks during the trip especially cars with spacious compartment
-Bring aqua shoes and flippers
-Sunblock, Sunscreen, shades
-Camera with wide angle lens to capture the stunning landscape
-Drone to capture the other perspective view from above.
-It was very convenient to get a tour package. You will save a lot of time and money. TRUST ME.
-Just keep on searching other itineraries for other ideas and opinions.
-Plan ahead. Please refer to Fast Cat schedule below
HOW TO GET THERE
From Tacloban 5 hours drive going to San Isidro Port. Fastcat travel time is 1hour 30 mins to 2 hours going to Matnog Port. From the Port, 3 hours drive going to Legazpi, Albay. Use waze or google maps or other offline maps. Some part of Sorsogon does’nt have signals and internet connections.
THINGS TO DO (recap)
Day 1 (Albay)
1st Colonial Grill at Pacific Mall (Sili Ice cream)
Day 2 (Albay)
Bob Marlin (great Bicolano food)
Albay Pilinut Candy (pasalubongs)
Biggs (Local fastfood in Bicol)
Day 3 (Matnog)
Subic Beach Snorkeling spot
Gas —- 2,500 (Pesos Back and forth)
Boat fare —- 240 Pesos each
Car Fare —- 1,530 Pesos (one way)
ParmView Hotel —- 1,800 Pesos / Night
Lava Trail ATV —- 1,800 Pesos each
Miz Homestay —– 2,100 Pesos / Night
Kuya Alex Matnog Island Hopping —- 1,700