1. The Pepperland Hotel is located near the airport and has a good view of the Mayon Volcano esp. on sunny days. Although there are transfer rides from the airport to Pepperland Hotel, just a few steps from the airport will bring you right in front of this Hotel. There are also several restaurants offering very good food at very affordable prices conveniently located nearby. Pepperland has its own lobby restaurant that offers a variety of very good food and a night bar, where live bands make it all the more fun fun fun on some nights.
2. Hotel Venezia is just a good 2-minute drive from Legazpi Airport and accessible to government offices, banks, churches, shopping malls, and Albay park. Hotel Venezia offers wide range of accommodation and they have very spacious rooms. Note: Some rooms have verandas. This place is definitely a home away from home. It also has 3 function rooms, meeting facilities and equipment for 350 people (for meetings) and 500 people (for cocktails).
3. Sophia Hotel is also another hotel located along Washington Drive that offers very reasonable accommodation rates. This Hotel is just two minutes away from the airport. It has its own lobby cafe & restaurant. There is a Disco/Ballroom Dancing area on the 2nd floor. Most of performing live bands here are timers to overseas bookings and are very good. For those who are into singing, there is a Karaoke Bar adjacent to the lobby restaurant. But the most important thing is that- they offer very reasonable accommodation rates. Be sure to ask re their occasional promo rates to become an instant winner.
4. Hotel Victoria may not be as grandiose compared with other popular hotels in Legazpi but this hotel offers very good package rates for those visitors checking in in groups. At present, Hotel Victoria has opened only 5 of its many rooms for visitors to accommodate- as the rest are already occupied by guests who are staying for a period of time. Find this hotel along Rizal Street.
5. Hotel St. Ellis (formerly Hotel La Trinidad) is conveniently located along Rizal Street
and a short 3-kilometer drive from Legazpi Airport. Business establishments, restaurants, department stores, Embarcadero, and etc. are all within walking distance. Their 40 guest rooms are havens of thoughful comfort.
6. Casa Blanca Hotel is also located in a very convenient location within the heart of Legazpi City's vibrant downtown and just 10 minutes drive from the airport. Casa Blanca offers its
guests different categories and well appointed cozy guestrooms at very affordable rates. Casa Blanca Hotel's restaurant offers a variety of good food and nightly live band entertainment.
There are still a lot more of nice Hotels and cozy inns within Legazpi City. Check it out!
Abaca is grown almost everywhere in Bicol. Volcanic area like the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon, are best suited for abaca cultivation. The Philippines' tropical climate, high to moderate rain fall, and rich in volcanic soil are particularly important in the growing of these plants.
Some of the common abaca products now being sold all over the world are: Bags, Table Runners, Place Mats, Wallets, Belts, Slippers, Carpets, Hammocks, Wall Decors and even ropes.
Americans have been the largest importer of abaca since 1830s , followed by Japan, and Australia.... The American navy uses abaca rope because it has a remarkable strength and more resistant to salt water decomposition than other known fibers. In fact, it was and still is the strongest of all natural fibers. Such qualities that were also appreciated by other foreign shipping companies all over the world.
By 1925, the US Department of Agriculture officials attempted to grow abaca in the Central American countries but despite experimental planting in their willingness to expand the industry in several other central American countries, efforts came out to be futile. However, at the end of World War 2 they have finally succeeded cultivating Abaca somewhere in Equador.
The abaca plant is a restricted material and government regulated. So, while Abaca's seeds and flowers are freely shared among countries, Thus, if a country other than the Philippines claims to grow abaca, DNA testing will always trace its origin to the Philippines, especifically Bicol.
These happy looking noodles come in different flavors like:
Green Noodles: MALUNGGAY/Moringa + (leaves, seeds, and flowers), which are rich in vitamin C, ascorbic acid, iron, calcium, and phosphorus and have been claimed to help lower blood pressure, aid in circulatory stimulation, ease pains caused by rheumatism, headaches, migraines not to mention that it can also help prevent tumor.
Orange Noodles: CARROTS are excellent sources of antioxidant compounds, pro-vitamin A carotenes, which help protect against cardiovascular disease (lower risk of heart attack) and cancer and promote good vision, esp. night vision.
Yellow Noodles: SQUASH+( shoots and flowers)- Alttogether, they become another excellent sources of Vitamins A & B, calcium, phosphorus, and iron, which are very good in promoting good vison, increase rate of metabolism, helps maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. Enhance immune and nervous system function.
And many more...
How it is prepared? Very easy☺. Mince a handful of garlic, chop several pieces of onions, chop thinly sliced pork into very small pieces, cut those small labuyo into two and get a pint of fresh thick coconut milk from the market. Once you have all the ingredients ready, set aside coconut milk and sauté all the ingredients in 2~ tablespoons of good oil in the following order. Garlic→onions→chopped pork meat→shrimp paste(washed to lessen saltiness)→labuyo. Add coconut milk and put salt or whatever taste enhancers you'd prefer to add in. Stir occasionally until it's cooked. Done. It's chao time!
After harvesting these pili nuts, locals blanch them in lukewarm water for a few minutes and once the external covering of these nuts softens, they are ready for serving (TINOLANG PILI). The dark magenta-colored skin is then peeled off until the cream colored meat-like part is exposed. This part is then- dipped in fish sauce "patis" to give it a more delightful taste.
Once the outer layer is removed, the pili nut shell is then exposed. Pili nut shells are as slippery as lemon and orange seeds when they are wet, that is why- locals have to dry them first before they start the cracking process for easy extraction of pilinuts embedded within those shells. But, aside from the meaty outer layer enveloping a pili nut shell the pili nut itself has also its own thin wrapping, which is colored like that of an old red brick.
After they are done extracting these nuts from their respective shells, locals boil them for several minutes until done. The next step is- peel off those nuts skin- after which, they would start cooking these raw pili nuts into sweet luscious candies.
Popular candied pili nut products are:
brittle pili nuts, caramelized pili nuts, yema, azucarada....
As to pili nut shells, some locals who live far from the city, burn and turn them into charcoals, which by the way, is said to have more energy/heat than that of charcoals made out
of wood and coconut shells. With a stock of generous charcoal on hand, they can then cook their pili nut candies without the need to spend more on butane gases and kerosene.
There are 2 airports in Bicol. One is in Pili, Camarines Sur (for small aircrafts only) and the other is in Legazpi City. Take Legazpi bound flights. From Manila, there are 11 flights bound for Legazpi City daily via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. There are five(5) flights coming in from Manila and 6 six (6) from Cebu, either via Cebu Pacific or PAL. All Legazpi bound aircrafts are Airbus 300s and occasionally, bigger ones land there too..
FROM THE AIRPORT, you can hire local taxi cabs to take you to your Hotels or make sure to ask your booking agents if there will be shuttle buses or transport service cabs waiting at the airport to take you to your hotels and vice versa?
Now after you are through with your flights and hotel bookings, your next step would be to start planning where you want to go. Starting with places you would REALLY love to visit when you get to Legazpi City.
And, I am here as AS YOUR BEST GUIDE EVER!
ARE YOU READY? Well, I am sure you are! But before we take off I want to check again if you've packed the ff:
─ SUMMER WEAR
─ UV LOTION
─ COMFY SHOES/SANDALS
─ LIGHT MULTI-PURPOSE BAG/or BACK PACK
─ PESO BILLS in small denominations
─ YOUR ENTHUSIASM and good HEALTH ( most important)
I STRONGLY ADVISE you guys not to bring your valuable belongings such as: jewelry, expensive watch, or important documents as you won''t be needing those in the Philippines. Just bring with you a good pair or two of your best evening dresses and elegant but comfy shoes, which you will only need in Manila if you plan to go fine dining in those world-class restaurants found either in Hotels or in any of those many social venues there. Otherwise, better not add extra weight to your luggage.
LIGNON HILL: Lignon hill is nestled between Mayon Volcano and Legazpi City Airport. This area was developed by the local government because of its geograhical location. Climbing to the top, visitors get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Gigantic and beautiful Mayon Volcano up close. This is also the most common spot where local and international reporters, writers, journalist, and photographers take shots of the world famous majestic Mayon Volcano. The scene on the other side of this hill is the view of entire Legazpi City area, its neighboring towns, as well as mountains and Pacific Ocean shores embracing it. Lignon Hill is just a good 5-minute ride from Albay Provincial Capitol and 15 minutes away from Legazpi City proper. .
FIREFLY WATCHING in Donsol, Sorsogon: Is another phenomenon found only in Sorsogon, Albay. This particular river cruising in the dark, which starts only when it is totally dark is one of the most thrilling experience I have had in Sorsogon. The earliest 1-hr river cruise starts at 6:30 pm. This is also among the unique experiences that tourists visiting Donsol, Sorsogon in Bicol get to enjoy after a day of fun with those playful Butandings. The idea is to cruise a long river very similar to that river where they shoot ANACONDA, where Jennifer Lopez played the starring role. The riverbanks on both sides of the stream are filled with trees where thousands of fireflies flock in each of the thousands of trees aligned there. The effect is spectacular! With all those Fireflies flying everywhere and glowing in the dark like small emeralds floating everywhere, NOTHING Compares. The slow boat ride in the dark and the amazing sight of small green lights floating everywhere (during the entire 1-hour trip) is an unforgettable unique experience indeed. You'll feel like being transported to the kingdom of mini fairies and the unknown, and with the thrilling boat ride speaking even more. You have got to experience taking this river cruise in the dark yourself to know the feeling, which I am finding so hard to put into words. However, much as you are dying to immortalize this adventure- it is an encounter that you cannot capture with your camera because fireflies glow only in the dark. Rental boats cost $25 per boat. A boat can accommodate 10 passengers
HOW TO GET THERE:
From Legazpi City (Albay), go to Naga City (Camarines Sur). From Naga City, hit the road going to Sabang. Once you reach Sabang, take a boat ride going to Caramoan. This would cost $ 2.50 per passenger- one way. Most of these boats from Sabang are bound for Guialo Port. From Guailo Port you can either go to Paniman or
Bikal. Don't worry- regardless if you choose Paniman or Bikal, the activities you'll be doing when you get there would still be the same, only the accommodation differs. Paniman offers better though a little bit more costly.
Activities that await anyone who visits this place would be- Island hopping, swimming, snorkeling, diving, trekking and exploring the islands.
There are a number of islands to visit when you get there. The famous of which is Gota Island- being the favorite destination of many adventurous foreigners. Maybe it is because of this island's breathtaking beauty that magnetizes many sea lovers to flock to this island.
I need not say fancy words to describe this place. Let the pictures talk....
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