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Your 24 Hours Travel Guide to Albay – What to Do, Where to Stay and Eat

Cagraray Eco Park

The final leg of our 5-day ALMASOR tour allowed us a day to explore Albay; the Queen City of Southern Luzon. I noticed improvements the moment we landed at Legazpi International Airport from the last time that I’d been there. It’s undeniably, one of my favorite airports in the country because of the clear view of Mayon volcano.

 

Legazpi Airport

View of Mayon from Airport

 

It was July of 2014 when I last visited Albay.I remember giving this airport a 5-star rating when I reviewed it on Looloo regardless, if it looks old, small, and simple. I love how clean and organize the airport is. Back then, I’m hopeful that the local government will allocate funds to improve Legazpi Airport.

 

And my prayer was answered immediately. In August 2015, the renovation of the airport was completed. I was impressed when I saw its eco-friendly inspired facade. There was also a wide glass wall that provides passenger a majestic view of Mayon. The building has become well-ventilated, clean, and spacious. I also like their restrooms, which are better than those in NAIA.

 

As we toured around the city, I couldn’t help but reminisce all my good experiences in this province. I love Bicolanos because they are one of the most hospitable people I’ve met during my travels here in the Philippines. Other improvements going on is the construction of Bicol International Airport, which is expected to be operational in July 2017. The newly international airport is expected to trigger economic growth in the region.

 

What to do in Albay?

 

I did ATV in different parts of the country and I could say that Mayon ATV is still the best place to do this adventure when it comes to experience and view. My first experience was in a shorter trail, about less than an hour [Read the review here], but this time, I tried the Mayon base camp trail. It’s a 2-hour adventure going to the camp and 15-minute walk going to the helipad.

 

The path leading to the base camp was stunning. The moment we started driving, it all felt like yesterday. I can still remember the joy of driving on the river bed and getting wet. The wide grassland with cows everywhere. The adrenaline of driving on a rocky and uneven road was like an aphrodisiac to me.

 

Mayon ATV

On our way to base camp

 

What made this adventure even more exciting is the idea that you can come closer to Mayon where you can get the most picturesque view of the volcano, one of the most famous and active volcanoes in the Philippines.

 

 

Mayon Volcano

View of Mayon Volcano from helipad

 

We had a short break when we arrived to the camp then trekked all the way to the helipad. It could be one of the unobstructed places to see Mayon. On our way down there was a zip line back to the base camp.

 

Our ATV adventure was arranged by Your Brother Travel and Tours. For inquiries please click this link

 

Where to eat in Albay?

 

I could testify that food in this part of the country is one of the most delicious dishes in the Philippines. Some of my favorite Bicolano dishes are Ginataang bagongon, Inon-on na isda, Tinutungan na manok, Gising-gising, Pili pulp with patis, and Laing.

 

Gising Gising

Gising Gising

 

Tourism Promotions Board brought us to one of the oldest traditional houses in Albay converted into a family owned restaurant, the Balay Cena Una from Bicolano word “Balay” means house and Cena Una or “Sinauna” means ancient or old fashion.

 

Balay Cena Una

Balay Cena Una

 

The moment I stepped inside the restaurant, I immediately felt the homey ambiance of the place. It feels like I’m visiting my grandmother’s house in the province or visiting a classy old grand house with a twist of modern design.

 

Balay Cena Una

Inside Balay Cena Una

 

Ms. Angel Villanueva-Reyes, the manager of the restaurant warmly welcomed us to Balay Cena Una. She told us that their restaurant started back in 2006 but due to the wrath of Typhoon Reming that heavily affected the Bicol region, they had to close the business for a while and turned their resto into a mobile kitchen that fed people from different barangays in the area.

 

During that time, a member of US Navy asked help from their family to feed Filipino volunteers they brought in the region. Without a second thought, their family extended their help and that is how he met this US navy guy who later became her husband. I believe that Balay Cena Una can stand the test of time since its foundation was kindness, generosity, and love.

 

Our lunch started with some appetizers, pako (wild fern) and pumpkin soup, followed by my favorite Chicken Tinotongan (smoked chicken cooked with coconut milk and papaya). I swear that you shouldn’t miss this food the next time you visit Bicol. We also had mixed sweet and sour seafood, their very own Lumpia Sorpresa (they call it sopresa or surprise in English because what’s inside the wrapped spring rolls differ from one another). You can have pork, tinapa (smoked fish), or kandingga (pork organs) and my other favorite Gising-gising (Green bean with Pork in Coconut milk).

 

Lumpia Sorpresa

Lumpia Sorpresa

 

Ms. Reyes always told us that we should have some room for dessert, she always told people to wait for the dessert because that’s the highlight of their meal. We had their signature cake, sili (chili) ice cream, and tinutungan (toasted coconut) ice cream. I was delighted with all the food that they served.

 

Chili Ice Cream

 

For more details visit about Balay Cena Una, please click this link.

 

Where to stay in Albay?

 

I was so excited when I saw the hotel where we would be staying in Albay. Being a self-proclaimed hotel enthusiast, one definition of heaven to me is staying at a luxury hotel and thinking of a luxurious break in the region, someone shouldn’t miss Misibis Bay, probably the only 5-star hotel in the province.

 

Misibis bay

 

We arrived past 6:00 p.m at Misibis. From the Airport, travel time is less than an hour. Located at Cagraray Island, the staff of this private island resort welcomed us with drinks and wooden bracelet. I can’t help but be amazed at how modern their facilities are. I personally loved their stylish architecture on how rooms/villa was designed. Despite the extravagant vibes, the feeling was homey. It seems like you’re inside a posh village. Misibis bay is really not your typical upscale hotel.

 

Looking for a hotel in Legazpi? Book with Agoda below!

agoda banner

 

Luxury Hotel Philippines

 

Imagine how huge this 5-hectare island resort, which for a more convenient check-in we have to ride a golf cart going to our room. We got a one bedroom deluxe, one of the most classy rooms I’ve ever stayed in. It’s a 65-sqm room with 2 double size beds; the comforter was thick and irresistibly soft.

 

misibis bay villa

Misibis bay villa

 

The main room is connected to the restroom, which has a bathtub and toiletries are all l’occitane. Our common area has a daybed and next to it is the dining area with a mini bar set up. What made this room surprising is the back door connected to the pool area. Every corner of our room is like taken from a magazine cover; tranquil, luxurious, and exclusive.

 

Misibis Bay room

 

Hotel bed

 

Luxury hotel

 

Misibis bay offers various land and water activities to check the complete list please click this link.

 

Misibis bay is also less than a 30-minute walk from Cagraray Ecopark where you can see their famous amphitheater which one of the pitstops of Amazing Race Asia 4.

 

Cagraray Ecopark

Cagraray Ecopark

 

The Bicol region is truly blessed with natural wonders, great food, and warm people. Albay is also fortunate to have the perfect shape volcano gracefully standing in their province.In fact, it has been named as one of the world’s most photogenic volcanoes by CNN Travels. Gone were the days where Bicol region was one of the least visited provinces in the country. Today, it’s one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the Philippines.

 

 

Get a discounted hotel accommodation by booking with my Agoda link below.


Note: This is a sponsored FAM Tour by Tourism Promotions Board to promote the province of Albay. All views, posts, and opinions shared here are my own.

37 comments

  • This is a great article about Albay, Cai! 🙂 I really missed our campsite in Cagraray Eco Energy Park, where the famous Ampitheater was located as well as the Stella Maris Chapel.

    I will definitely go back to Albay soon, maybe next year and hopefully, climb Mt. Mayon 🙂 Great that you are able to document the things to do in Albay 🙂

  • Ihave never been to Albay! Shame! I would love to see the beauty of Mayon Volcano someday. I was just curious, how spicy is the chili ice cream? Were you able to finish it? Is it good?

  • I love to visit Misibis Bay! Ive never been to Albay and i hope we could travel there soon! I would to stay in Misibis and take a lot of photographs! Will bookmark this for future reference.. thank u!

  • My last visit in Albay was 2011, we have our Daily Vacation Bible School there every summer pero nang nagpakasal na ako di na kami nakabalik. This post is very helpful guide sa mga gustong pumunta ng Albay at mag staycation.

  • I haven’t been to Albay and my sister is asking if we could go to Misibis Bay next Summer! I’m still trying to think if we’ll have a budget but we’ll see. The place looks really beautiful!

  • looks lovely. really dig that volcano. perfect triangle, like a child drew it. Really gotta visit the Philippines. Only saw Manilla on a business trip.
    TT

  • This post makes me want to go to Albay right this minute. The place is amazing! just by looking at the photos parang feel ko tuloy naka tour na ako. Great information and so helpful talaga for travel. Sarap ng tanawin, adventures, food and place to stay. Thanks for this!
    http://www.wish4less,info

  • I must say this is a great guide. Nice photos too. Sarap ng gising-gising and I am craving now 🙂

  • Cagraray Ecopark reminds me of the ancient Greek mythology, it’s nice! And on Misibis bay, I have a friend who asked me to check out their web rates, grabe, their regular rate is so pricey, I don’t think I personally would be able to afford that! lol. I haven’t been to Albay yet, I wonder when we’ll be able to go there, I’d really love to see the Mayon!

  • The ATV (Quad bike) tour looks too awesome!the hotel looks like a great place to stay.

  • This looks like an incredible experience! The ATV tour looks incredible as does the all the delicious looking food!

  • That hotel looks so dreamy, wow! Looks like you had an amazing trip (with plenty of yummy food to go along with it). Feeling some major food envy from your pics, Cai!

  • WOW!! The ATV adventure looks so epic! And that resort looks so relaxing. I truly appreciate a good bed and comforter when I travel 🙂 And with that food too…May have to plan a trip to Albay!

  • I think I’d especially enjoy the ATV experience. It sounds like a fun way to quickly get out into nature and enjoy the scenery.

  • What a lovely place, and it must have indeed been an exciting experience to ride the ATV in such surroundings. I also liked the restaurant Balay Cena Una. It looks so quaint and picturesque.

  • What a lovely place to stay! I’d love to see the only volcano in the world with a perfect cone. It would be an experience like no other. The hotel is lovely! The beds look so inviting. I wish I could get to see Albay the soonest time!

  • Saving this info for our hopefully next year Albay trip. Fingers crossed. 🙂

  • It is always my dream to go to Bicol, mainly because of the Mayon. I also heard so many good things about Bicol that is why I really wanted to visit. I hope one day, with the whole family. Thanks for sharing!

  • What a beautiful place, Cai! I’d love to stay at this resort and enjoy all it has to offer. I’ve not yet been to the Philippines, but living in Manitoba, Canada, I believe we have the largest number of Filipinos out side of the Philippines, so I’ve eaten a lot of the food and love it. The Gising-Gising is new to me and I think I would love it.

  • I like the idea of lumpiang sorpresa. It’s something I don’t see anywhere and it’s my first time to hear of it too! This is also a good guide for those who are interested to visit Albay one day, at least those who don’t have any idea at all!

  • Misibis is on my bucket list, we’re supposed to avail their promo last year but since my husband and son cannot afford to be absent for four days, we let it go na lang. Sayang, ok pa naman package na offer nila sa Travel Expo.

  • We hope to head back to Philippines in December…may have to add Bicol to our list. Thanks for the info.

  • Wow, that resort looks a bit big for my tastes.

    Are there more humble options, or even hostels?

  • Ohhhh so Misibis Bay is in Bicol!! I’ve heard of feedbacks from fellow wedding suppliers who had wedding shoots there. The rooms and the whole place looks really big and classy. I’d say it has more than enough space for wedding preps. I also love the Ecopark where the couple could probably have their wedding ceremony and the guests are surrounding them. I’m not sure if you mentioned how much it costs to stay at Misibis Bay. Would like to check that out.

  • Oh, Albay. I dream of visiting you someday! Hihi. I’d like to personally see the picturesque Mayon Volcano. Hopefully someday me and my family will be able to travel to Albay. And Be able to check-in at Misibis Bay Resort! Ang ganda eh.

  • Wow! After reading your post, I now feel the urge to go and visit Bicol! I wanna try ATV-ing in Mayon, I want to see how perfect the volacano’s shape is, I want to go to Misibis Bay and feel sexy (LOL! It’s the tv show on ch.5 that would immediately come in my head everytime I hear Misibis Bay.) Plus, I think I would enjoy the Bicolano’s foods since I’m a big lover of gata/coconut milk. Argh! I’m now drooling. 😀

  • My dad is from Albay and been there as well but on Misibis Bay. I heard that it is a bit pricey there, is that true? I am planning to explore Albay more on my next visit.

  • Everything is just fantastic, Cai! That view from the airport, I can stare at it allllll day 😂 Your ATV activity also looks so much fun. The hotel looks very cozy and stylish. I will probably do a 24-hour staycation in Albay with these ❤️

  • Cai, the airport in LGP is not yet an international one. 😊 This made me miss home so much. Haha. Born and raised in Legazpi, proud Albayana here! I’d recommend other places for you to visit the next time you’re there. For people who are from there, staying at Misibis is very luxurious but always worth it if you like to enjoy the beach.

    • Thanks for the info Maria, but when I googled LGP its always stated that it is an international airport. I have to correct it 🙂

  • Albay is such a beautiful place as youve described it in your post. Would love to eat pili nuts and walk around its famous mountain. Of course with my family.

  • It’s my dream to stay in Misibis Bay but I find it too expensive. I’m not writing off the possibility though. I also want to see Mayon and have a gastronomic feast in Albay.

  • Wow!!!! Hay, when will I ever be able to visit Albay/Bicol kaya? Sigh! hahaha. But I’m still keeping my hopes up that one day I’ll be able to visit the place with my family in the future. ♥ I’d love to visit these places too!

  • Nice, Cai. I used to go to Bicol region every other week. Back then wala pa ang Misibis. Towards the end of my tenure in Bicol, Misibis was being started pa lang. The owner of Misibis, Zaldy, is the brother of a good friend of mine, Congressman Christopher Co.

    It has been so long na since I last went there and everything you wrote about I do not recognize anymore. BUT, it is Bicol, and Albay. The majestic Mayon Volcano will always be there.

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