Albay is a paradise destination situated in the Bicol region of the Philippines. Tourists know the province more as home to the spectacular and famous Mount Mayon Volcano, the crown jewel of the region and among the great wonders of the world because of its perfect cone shape. The beautiful province of Albay is filled with numerous natural wonders, including caves, waterfalls, beaches, natural springs, and marine life.
Vacationers could enjoy delectable local cuisines, while shoppers could indulge at the numerous novelty items available as souvenirs, particularly items made of the finest abaca, ceramics, and cutlery. The local tourism industry is also complemented by the warm and hospitable people.
The province is small in terms of overall land area, which is just about 2,550 square kilometers (the 26th smallest province in the country). Most land area is located at the mainland peninsula, while there are four islands to its east, namely, Cagaray, Rapu Rapu, Batan, and San Miguel. Albay as a whole is mountainous with scattered fertile valleys and plains. Despite its small land area, the province is the 20th most populated in the Philippines with a head count of about 1.2 million people.
Agriculture is the major industry in Albay, which produces crops in abundance like coconut, rice, abaca, and sugar. Many people, especially at the rural areas, earn income through making different handicrafts. Paper making and forestry are other sources of local livelihood. Along the shores, fishing is a common occupation of locals. Logically, tourism is a good source of provincial revenue, especially at the capital city of Legazpi.
As mentioned, Mayon Volcano is definitely Albay’s pride. The perfect cone shape makes the active volcano frequently compared to Japan’s Mt. Fuji. Most tourists argue that Mt. Mayon is far more breathtaking. Even destructive eruptions of the volcano do not hamper tourists and travelers from coming. In fact, data show that more tourists (usually researchers, media personnel, and photographers) drop by whenever there is a pending volcanic eruption.
The province serves as a gateway to the nearby province in the south, Sorsogon, where there is a high volume of whale sharks. Thus, whale shark watching has become one of the most popular tourism activities facilitated in Albay. For beach goers, there are choices of different types of beaches from golden sand to black sand coasts. Cascade delights and falls are accessible about an hour away from Legazpi.
The Daraga Church is an old church built more than two centuries ago. It is a reflection of Spanish fine arts with its renaissance gothic design combined with heavy baroque. The facade is noticeable and is very distinct compared to all other churches. There are well-lighted parks around the Daraga-Legazpi area that are ideal for leisure strolls, family picnics, and outdoor activities.
Magayon Festival – celebrated in May, tries to relive and depict the origin of Mayon, hence the festival name.
Ibalong Festival – held on the second week of October in Legazpi City is a week-long celebration commemorating the exploits of local heroes, the Ibalongs of the prehistoric Bicol.
- Sarung Banggi Festival – held from May 18 to 25 to showcase Albay’s religious and cultural activities, while Tabak Festival every last week of March highlights Tabaco City’s foundation anniversary.
How to get to Albay
Albay could be reached by air or land transport. Daily flights are offered by Philippine Airlines from Manila to Legazpi. By land, hundreds of buses leave Manila to Legazpi on a daily basis. Bus terminals are designated at the Araneta Center in Cubao and in Ermita, Manila, near the Cultural Center of the Philippines.