Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Must-see Attractions in Tiwi Albay (Plus Side Trip in Legazpi) | LakBayan Diaries

The region of Bicol has always been on travelers' bucketlist because of its fine and breath-taking destinations. I hear people talk about the city of Legazpi - the home of the popular Mayon Volcano. Being the capital city of Albay, tourists would visit Legazpi more often than the other cities. Regardless, I'm pretty sure there are other famous cities and municipalities in Bicol, but I would like to focus on just one, Tiwi.

I have never heard of Tiwi, a municipality in Albay, until I have explored it myself. It may not be as known as the other cities and municipalities in Bicol, but it is definitely as majestic.

We stayed in our family friend's house (I'm deeply grateful for their hospitality and kindness) and they toured us around. We may not toured as much as we wanted to, but every destination was sufficient. So, without further ado, let me show you the must-see attractions in Tiwi Albay.

Corangon Shoal

This is my personal favorite (it should've been an attraction where I could nearly touch the Mayon Volcano but that's just too mainstream).

It's a small island in the middle of a marine reserve. It is considered as a fish sanctuary that's why according to our guide, it's was just open during the Holy Week (it's not always open for visitors).

With its golden brown sand (corals are on the shore) and the clear blue water, you'll definitely have the perfect relaxation. You could also get a far view of the Mayon Volcano.

However, don't go there during times where the sun is striking. There are no shades because there are no trees. Be sure to always bring a big umbrella or anything that could protect you from the UV.

Cost = 3,000Php for the tour + 300Php for the boat's gas.

Church of San Lorenzo

The church is located in front of the town plaza and beside the wet market. Since we were there during the Holy Week, we joined the Prusisyon ng mga Santo where images of the Saints are being paraded through the town. The start point of the procession was on the church grounds.

Joroan Church

Joroan Church, also known as Nuestra Senora de Salvacion, is located in the town of Joroan (obviously). You may have difficulty in getting to the church as you have to go through several alleys.

The structure of church seems like it was well-handled and maintained. If you could notice, the Church of San Lorenzo and the Joroan Church pretty much look like each other. Upon researching, I stumbled upon the information that a chapel in Joroan could not be fully established due to devastating storms. Because of that, people built a replica of the chapel in Tigbi (Tiwi). After a long time, the chapel was then brought back to Joroan, but the replica remained erected.

Busayan Falls

According to the locals, the waterfalls is named Busayan Falls. It is tucked in a mountain near the Geothermal power plant in Tiwi, Albay. 

To reach the falls, you must hike for about an hour through large rocks and humid forest. Don't fret because the exhaustion and body pain that the hike may bring will all be worth it. 


Pot-making is a one-of-a-kind experience for me. It taught me that patience, dedication, and imagination would create a beautiful masterpiece. 

PhilCeramics, which is located in Brgy. Putsan, offers experiential tour for visitors. For 350Php  + 15Php/Clay, you can mold and make your own pot. You will be guided by one potter there, so don't worry if you don't know how pot-making works (it's my first time making one as well). You may bring home your work. However, if you are just a tourist, you could bring home just the molded clay. The whole process of cooking the clay takes 3-5 days. I never got to bring the clay here in Manila.

Mayon Skyline (Legazpi)

Our visit here should've been more amusing if the clouds weren't covering Mayon. Nevertheless, it's still great to see the whole city from above. 

Tip: If you plan to go there, bring a sweater or jacket because it's super cold!

Hoyop Hoyopan Cave (Legazpi)

Hoyop Hoyopan Cave's name came from the Bicol word "Hoyop" which means "blowing of air". The locals named it as such because of it's cool ventilation. The cave's openings allow air to enter. Also, it is a cave with a lot of cool structures. Here, all you need to bring is a camera and your imagination.

The stalactites and stalagmites form images of different things like a head of a dinosaur, a skull, an alligator, etc. There is even a huge dance floor at the center of the cave.

Cost = 350Php for entrance fee and a fee for the tourist guide.

Cagsawa Ruins (Legazpi)

I mentioned above that the Mayon Volcano was covered with clouds during our visit, that's why you could not see it in the picture (I wish I had a chance to see it). 

The famous Cagsawa Ruins, located in Daraga, Albay, are the remains of a Franciscan church. The church was destroyed during the volcano's eruption in 1814. Its name means "too much" or "excess", which obviously speaks for itself - the excess or remnants of a church. 

You may try renting the ATV in the area and you may buy souvenirs and take-homes as well. 

Despite the bad weather, we honestly enjoyed our stay in Tiwi, Albay. I must say, one could really find gold even in the smallest cities or towns in Bicol. You just have to dig and search deeper.

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