Bicol, located on the southeastern peninsula of Luzon, has been on the top of my list to travel in the Philippines.

If I had more time (and money), I would love to visit every one of its six provinces.

I spent my seven days exploration of Bicol Peninsula crisscrossing between Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon … 3 out of 6 for my first time to Bicol is good enough but I just have to come back for more!

The “Lone Survivor” in Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Naga Penafrancia Festival Photos: My First CamSur Experience

Witnessing the Peñafrancia Festival, the largest Marian devotion in the country, was my first agenda after touchdown at the Naga (Pili) Airport in Camarines Sur. I shared My First CamSur Experience with the hospitality of Nagueños and got an introduction to the rich history of Naga City. Since I was not able to make prior room reservations in Naga City, I decided to spend my first night in Legazpi City instead.

First glimpse of Bicol at the Naga (Pili) Airport

Naga Metropolitan Cathedral

Image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, locally known as “Ina”

Holy Rosary Minor Seminary

5241771351 f55fe24f09 Naga Penafrancia Festival 2010 Photos – My First CamSur Experience

Brick Arches along the corridors of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary

Old Buildings in the downtown area of Naga City

Devotees of the Virgin of Peñafrancia chanting “Viva La Virgen!”

 Legazpi City Night Travel and First Glimpse of Mayon Volcano

I couldn’t wait till morning so I could finally see Mt. Mayon in all its glory. Legazpi is definitely a strong contender for being the most picturesque city in the Philippines. Just roaming the streets and open areas, I can’t help but feel awed at the ominous presence of the cone-shaped Mayon Volcano. I made sure to go around some of the usual vantage points in Legazpi and Daraga so I could bring back a classic view of Mayon.

Morning walk at the Penaranda Park in Legazpi City, Albay

Legazpi City Cathderal / Parish of San Gregorio Magno

Pingangat Pasta and Bicol Express at Small Talk Cafe along Dona Aurora Street

 Embarcadero Lighthouse Viewdeck: Mayon Madness Take 1

Seaside Boulevard / Promenade beside the Legazpi City Seaport

Sweeping view of Legazpi City with the Mayon Volcano from the Emcarcadero Lighthouse

Daraga Church Sidetrip: Mayon Madness Take 2

Daraga Church built on top of a hill

Cagsawa Church Ruins at Dusk: Mayon Madness Take 3

A carabao grazing on the open fields along the way to the Cagsawa Ruins

Ruins of the Cagsawa Church, which got destroyed during the devastativng eruption of Mt. Mayon in 1814

Classic view of Mt. Mayon with the rice fields in the foreground

Colorful night lights from Embarcadero Mall and the bay area of Legazpi City

Legazpi City Seawall at Sunrise: Mayon Madness Take 4

Father and son duo in their usual morning routine at the bay

Ligñon Hill View Deck: Mayon Madness Take 5

Morning view of the Daraga Church (Our Lady of the Gate Parish)

Ligñon Hill, an elevated recreational area just at the outskirts of Legazpi City and Daraga

Around Naga City and Commute from Legazpi

Pinangat at Let’s Pinangat along the highway in Camalig, Albay

Camalig Church, Albay (St. John the Baptist Parish)

Ligao Church, Albay (Saint Stephen Protomartyr Parish)

Canaman Church, Camarines Sur (Nuestra Senyore de la Asuncion Parish)

Bombon Church, Camarines Sur (Nuestra Senyora del Rosario Parish)

Arch-bridge at the Quipayo Church in Calabanga, Camarines Sur

San Fransisco Church and Ruins in Naga City, Camarines Sur

Porta Mariae of the Naga Metropolitan Cathderal at night

San Fransisco Church Ruins

Penafrancia Basilica with spaceship-like gazeebo

Penafrancia Basilica Interiors

Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine in Naga City

Camarines Sur National Highschool

Old Naga City Central Business District

SM City Naga

Caramoan at Last! DIY trip to the Survivor Islands in CamSur

No doubt, my #1 agenda for the whole trip was to visit Caramoan! It’s one of the breakthrough hot ticket destinations in the Philippines, and of course, I wanted to get my fill of this tropical paradise. I stayed for two nights in Caramoan. I spent my first day exploring the town proper area and resting at the hostel. Initially, I was hoping to join a group to share the “island hopping” cost with. Since failed to find other tourists who were also planning to do the island hopping tour the next day, I had to rent the whole boat all for myself!

Dreadful Boarding/Disembarking Procedures at Sabang Beach

View of Aguirangan Island and Mt. Mayon 

Arrival at Guijalo Port, Caramoan

Caramoan Church (St. Michael Parish)

Gota Beach

Hunongan Beach Resort

Lahos Island

Tayak Beach

Remnants of Survivor production structures in Caramoan

Matukad Island

aramoan to Legazpi Commute: CamSur PARTIDO Coastal Highway

Instead of going back to Legazpi via Naga, I saw another way passing through the coastal highway of Camarines Sur and Albay. Initially, I had planned to visit Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte for my last stop. Unfortunately, my plan didn’t push through … so I had to pick a new destination, which turned out to be Lake Bulusan in Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Goa Church, Camarines Sur (St. John The Baptist Parish)

View of Atulayan Island from the winding roads of the PARTIDO Highway

Eastern Albay Commute and Legazpi to Bulusan Road Trip

Tiwi Church, Albay (San Lorenzo Parish)

Santo Domingo Church, Albay (St. Dominic de Gusman Parish)

Legazpi City Central Terminal

Barcelona Church, Sorsogon (St. Joseph Parish)

Lake Bulusan: Solo Overnight Sidetrip in Sorsogon

Dancalan Beach in Bulusan, Sorsogon at Night

Waiting for a morning tricycle ride at Bulusan town proper

Gorgeous view of Lake Bulusan

Sorsogon to Legazpi City: Last Day in Bicol

My outgoing flight was in Legazpi City and I arrived at the airport, luckily, an hour before my flight … well, I still had 15 minutes to spare before the check-in counters closed :) I was excited to get some aerials shots of Mayon Volcano during the flight. Unfortunately, Mayon’s peak was too cloudy at the time. In consolation, I got my first glance of the off shore islands and islets of Camarines Norte and Quezon Provinces. One of these days, I’m sure … I’ll get to visit them someday too.

Roadblocks during my commute to catch a returning flight

Sorsogon Provincial Capitol

Sorsogon Cathedral

Armada of Tricycles at Sorsogon City

Metro Gaisano – LANDCO Pacific Mall, Legazpi

Legazpi Airport and my return flight to Manila

View of Mt. Mayon from Legazpi Airport Runway

Aerial View of Legazpi City

Aerial View of Mayon Volcano

Coastal areas of Camarines Norte

Touch down at NAIA Terminal 3