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.
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
Go island-hopping and snorkelling around Caramoan and its islands in the east of Bicol.
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
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.
By road, it’s about 475km/9hrs 30mins from Manila to Legazpi. Buses, jeepneys and cars are popular means of getting around the region.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that the Ridge and Reef Corridor heralds another milestone in the country’s bid to spur domestic tourism recovery.
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.
Message of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on the Celebration of the World Tourism Day
On behalf of the Philippines Department of Tourism, let me warmly wish everyone a happy and meaningful World Tourism Day. This year’s theme, “Tourism and Rural Development,” is particularly relevant to our country as many of our rural areas depend on tourism but have been adversely affected by the pandemic.