6 spots in Albay that are safe for sightseeing
MANILA, Philippines – Do you want to know which of the tourist spots in Albay are considered safe for sightseeing?
Kurt Zepeda from the Provincial Tourism, Culture and Arts Office names 6 of them: Legazpi Boulevard, Ligñon Hill, Taysan Hills, Eztanza Highland, Daraga Church, and Cagsawa Ruins.
"These are outside the 8-km danger zone and mostly in elevated areas," Zepeda says. "The lava flow from Miisi and Bonga gullies in the south and southeast slopes are also visible in these areas."
How to get to these places? Here's the route via the Daraga-Legazpi Diversion Road.
You can get there on foot or via jeepney then tricycle. From the city proper, look for the 7-Eleven convenience store across LCC Mall. You can hail an Embarcadero-bound jeepney, or keep walking past the Development Bank of the Philippines and the National Food Authority. Turn right at the seawall park to the Embarcadero de Legazpi.
From there, you can walk outside to the parking lot, turn left and follow the pedestrian lane along the coastal road, or ride a tricycle from Embarcadero to Legazpi Boulevard.
Wait for the Rawis-bound jeepney at Embarcadero. Get off at the intersection of Daraga-Legazpi Diversion Road and Tiwi-Legazpi Road, and tell the driver you're stopping at "Diversion." The landmark is the yellow-orange waiting shed.
Cross the street to the Diversion Road, where a Loop jeepney waits for passengers. Tell the driver to drop you off at Ligñon Hill. From the city proper, wait for Loop jeepneys at the LCC parking area.
The Church of the Our Lady of the Gate, or Daraga Church, is one of Albay's 3 National Cultural Treasures. To get there from Ligñon Hill, go back to the main road and wait for Loop jeepneys heading to Daraha. Do not cross the road. Go down at Bigg's Diner, Daraga Branch, cross the street, and enter the alley to the side of Bigg's. Keep going until you see the stairwell between Daraga Municipal Hall and a hardware store. That leads to the church.
This historical landmark is a reminder of how devastating a volcanic eruption can be. To get there from Daraga, walk back to the main road. Walk straight ahead, past the Mercury Drug. Cross the intersection and wait for jeepney with any of these routes: Camalig, Ligao, Guinobatan and Polangui. Alight at the road intersection with a replica of the ruins. Walk to the park or ride a tricycle.
This alternative route to Sorsogon has a panoramic view of Albay. Even Ligñon Hill is visible. To get there, ride a Daraga-bound jeepney, alight at the intersection between Albay Pilinut Candy and the bridge next to the Bicol Christian College of Medicine. The store is a few minutes walk from Albay Cathedral. You can rent a habal-habal to take you there and back.
Taysan Hills is where The Oriental Hotel is located. A tricycle from Old Albay (or the tricycle stand at the side of Bigg's Diner, Albay Branch) can take you there. It's best to walk back to the city so you don't miss the view overlooking Mayon.
- Bring dust or N95 masks, wet towel and goggles. Some are distributed by the DOH and the Red Cross.
- Park cars in places protected from possible ashfall.
- Note the nearest hospitals in case of emergency: Albay Doctors Hospital, Aquinas Hospital, Ago General Hospital, Estevez Hospital, BRTTH (Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital).
- As of this writing, APSEMO PDRRMC has extended the Danger Zone to 9km, with Camalig and Sto. Domingo in Albay in focus. Quituinan Hills in Camalig, originally part of the safe zone, is no longer on the list. There is no ashfall in Legazpi, even after a recent eruption.
- Asked about the harmonic tremors associated with the volcanic eruption, Zepeda said that it is not as severe as tectonic eruption.
- Philippine National Police: 820-6440
- BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection): 481-3638
- BRTTH: 483-0016
- BRTTH-HEMS: 437-8055
- PNRC (Philippine National Red Cross): 481-3638
- APHO (Provincial Health Office): 480-4545
- APSEMO (Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office): 480-3772