photo byMikeNassau on flickr
Legazpi City has a rich history. During the Spanish regime, the inhabitants who were mostly fishermen and farmers were well accepted by the Spaniards in Albay. The Franciscan friars built a church in Albay and some towns surrounding it. On February, 1814, the Mayon volcano erupted. The biggest and destructive event happened in Cagsawa, just near the central, and because of this, some settlers transferred to other areas.
Where Is Legazpi City?
Map of Philippines, South-East Asia from allposters.com
Legazpi City is located in the Albay province of the Bicol Region. On the map, just follow the star in Manila southeast to the Mayon Volcano. The city is close to the southern tip of Luzon Island. According to the Philippines Department of Tourism, the distance to Legazpi City from the Rizal Monument (0 KM) in Manila is 538 km (334 mi). Google maps, on the other hand, has the distance at only 466 km (290 mi). The difference could be the starting and ending points.
There are daily flights to Legazpi City from Manila. Carriers which fly this route include Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air among others. The flight is only one hour long. Of course, there are buses if you prefer the longer, more scenic route. This method of transportation will take you about 10 hours to arrive at your destination.
A Little Geography
The best part in going to Albay is the Mayon volcano. Its magnificent beauty and perfect cone shape couples with the green landscape can take your breath away. It is a place filled with mystery due to the legend created about it back in the ancient times in Bicol. Also, strangely enough that every day, Mayon is seen with thick clouds around her on the hours from 9am till afternoon. It is rare to see her in a cloudless blue sky. Most of the locals consider you lucky if you happen to see this.
At the foot of Mayon, you can also find streams and also lava rocks of previous eruptions. Some backpackers, mountaineers, and trekkers come here to have an experience on the terrains, climb Mayon, and take a closer look.
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In the south, there are also hills along the coast. One is called Kapuntukan Hills, or the Sleeping Lion. It’s interesting to see this hill because it is shaped like a lion sleeping. It is also one of the most visited places in Legazpi city. It is best to watch the Sleeping Lion at the boulevard at night, just as like Mayon is going to take a good night sleep together with the lion.
The Culture and People of Legazpi
During the olden times, tribes were formed from Melanese, Austronesian, and other tribes. Legazpi City is a blend of Hispanics, Chinese, and local descent. People in Legazpi are modest and hard working. They wake up early to jog around 6am, and work at 8am. Most of them go home at 6pm. Their way of life is simple and casual.
Agriculture, trade, and tourism are principal livelihoods of the people. The chief exporting product is copra, the dried meat or kernel of the coconut.
Climate: The Weather in Legazpi City
The weather is tropical. Wet season is from June to January. The best time to visit is during summer time from February to March after the rains have passed.
Cuisine: Legazpi’s Culinary Delights
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The Bicol region is known for hot spicy foods mixed with vegetables and chili. One such dish is Bicol Express. It is a stew made of chilies mixed with coconut milk, onions, pork, shrimp paste and garlic. Pinangat a spicy dish prepared with taro leaves, chili, meat, coconut milk all wrapped in gabi leaves. The taste is really delicious. Some of their foods are also mixed with pili nuts and other vegetables.
One popular food that tourists like to experience is chili ice cream. It is famous because it has a different and unique flavor in ice creams. There are also other ice cream flavors like pili nuts and malunggay.
Claim to Fame
photo byDDeclaroMD on flickr
Legazpi is known for Mayon volcano. Because of its majestic view in every angle, tourists and adventurers come here from to get to see the scenic landscape.
Holidays and Festivals
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The Magayon Festival is held during the month of March. There are groups of dancers, musicians and a variety of contests. This is an annual event. It is inspired to celebrate the epic tale of Daragang Mayon, which means beautiful lady.
Without a doubt, the most popular attraction in Legazpi is the Mayon Volcano. You can see Mayon from different parts of Legazpi, even in public markets and in the streets. You can get a better look of Mayon outside Legazpi City from short distances.
Another place to visit is the historical Cagsawa Ruins which are about 30 minutes from the city. It is the most visited site in Bicol. Every day people come here to witness Mayon with her awesomeness and regard her as a powerful force not to reckon with.
photo byjojoclem3 on flickr
The Cagsawa Ruins is a destroyed church during the eruption of Mt Mayon in 1814. It was a sad story that day, for it buried more than a thousand people trapped inside the church, just like that of Pompeii.
You can also visit historical old churches in Albay like Daraga Church, St Raphael Church, Sto. Domingo Church, and many others. They are built in Baroque styles and Spanish architectures.
Up northeast of Legazpi are black sand beaches. Many of the beach resorts are found in Sto Domingo, with numerous islands to hop around, and enjoy the waves from the Pacific.
You can also get a good scenic view at Ligñon Hills in Legazpi. It is best to get here early in the morning. Also, a great place to jog here. At the top of the hill, you will get to see a 360 view of the city of Legazpi, and at the back, Mayon sitting beautifully.
photo bysandroweighman on flickr
In the south part of Legazpi is where you can find Embarcadero, Sleeping Lion, and the Boulevard. Embarcadero is a shopping mall and entertainment center. Also, a great place to hang around when you want a night out. There is a band playing every night and dining areas with a view of the Pacific Ocean. At the foot of the Sleeping Lion is a place for barbecue grills, and motor sports in the evening.
The Boulevard is also good place to hang out, or just a place when you want to go jogging in the morning and breathe the fresh air from the Pacific Ocean. You can also take a nice scenic landscape in the afternoon when the sun sets, and see Mayon going to sleep.