DESTINATION

BICOL

All you need to know about Bicol

At the southernmost end of Luzon island, the Bicol region has six provinces composed of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.

 

Why it’s more fun in Bicol

Swimming with whale sharks (known locally as butanding), the world’s largest fish, is the activity most people associate with this part of the world, but there’s plenty more outdoorsy fun to be had in the Bicol region – both on the water and on land. And when you need to relax, there’s a lot of scope for that on the white-sand beaches.

Culture and Food

The Bicol Region has an array of cultural sites that showcase its rich history. Originally descended from incomers from China, the inhabitants of Bicol often mix Chinese, Arab and Spanish ancestry, and most are devout Catholics.

Bicol is also famed for its spicy food, which is based largely on coconut and chillies – as evidenced in the likes of gulay na lada or Bicol Express (pork and local chillies cooked in coconut cream). Other dishes not to miss are laing (taro leaves with meat or seafood in coconut milk, spiced with chilli, lemongrass and more) and local specialities featuring local pili nuts.

Top Events and Festivals

Tinagba Festival, Iriga City, February – a harvest thanksgiving including parades, street dancing and sporting challenges.

Ibalong Festival, Legazpi, August – a celebration of a local legend, with masked and costumed reconstructions of classic battles.

Peñafrancia Festival, Naga, September – a barge procession, fireworks and more, celebrating Bicol’s patron, Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Climate

Tropical, without pronounced dry and wet seasons in the western and southern areas and no dry season in the eastern and northern areas. The average temperature throughout the year ranges from about of 27°C to 30°C. Minimum monthly rainfall occurs from March to May.

 

Top 10 things to do in Boracay

 #1 Whale Sharks

See and snorkel near whale sharks in Donsol in Sorsogon

#2 Snorkelling

Go island-hopping and snorkelling around Caramoan and its islands in the east of Bicol.

#3 Surfing

Surf on Catanduanes Island and swim in its waterfalls and lagoons.

#4 Visit a Volcano

Take an escorted tour by ATV to the active volcano Mount Mayon

#5 Explore Legazpi

Explore Bicol’s main city, Legazpi, with its Franciscan church, Spanish pier and Japanese tunnels.

#6 Cagsawa Ruins

Tour the Cagsawa Ruins – the atmospheric remnants of a 16th-century Franciscan church.

#7 Quitinday Underground River

Take a boat-ride through the Quitinday Underground River, a natural cave system.

#8 Daraga Church

Visit the imposing Daraga Church, set on a hilltop against a backdrop of Mayon volcano

#9 Zip-line at Lignon Hill Nature Park

Head for Lignon Hill Nature Park with its zip-line, hiking trail and valley views.

#10 Albay Park and Wildlife

Relax in Albay Park and Wildlife with its bike hire, lagoon boating and fishing.

HOW TO GET THERE

AIR

There are short flights (roughly 75-90mins) from Manila to Legazpi in Albay, Naga City in Camarines Sur, Virac on Catanduanes and Masbate island. CALABARZON’s Quezon province is also a gateway to Bicol.

LAND

By road, it’s about 475km/9hrs 30mins from Manila to Legazpi. Buses, jeepneys and cars are popular means of getting around the region.

SEA

Option unavailable. 

MICECON 2020 goes virtual

MICECON 2020 goes virtual

The Philippine M.I.C.E Conference (MICECON), the country’s premier gathering for professionals in the meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry, will take place in a virtual space on 26-30 October 2020. 

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