Thursday, February 20, 2014

Picturesque Albay, Majestic Mt. Mayon: Scenic Roadtrip from Naga City to Legazpi City

Picturesque Albay, Majestic Mt. Mayon
Scenic Roadtrip from Naga City to Legazpi City

It was one of the rare moments that I traveled
to Legazpi City as a passenger, not as a driver,
 so I took the chance to bring my camera
to document the scenic countryside of Albay.

I left Naga City early in the morning,
together with three of our employees
who packed themselves on the backseat,

…while I was at the front passenger seat, and our ‘driver’
was a professional medical representative who volunteered
to drive for us when my car broke down a day before.

The CamSur leg of our trip was pretty dreary, and  despite
 the awasome view of Mt Asog when we reached the
 Baao- Nabua diversion that bypasses the City of Iriga

…that my companions slept on the backseat.

We bypassed most of the town centers in CamSur
except for Nabua, as it didn’t have a diversion road yet.

....and Bato, the last town in CamSur.

When we got to the CamSur- Albay boundary
in Agos, Polangui- I got my camera ready,
to document and capture the sights and sounds
one of the most scenic roadsides in the Philippines.

The Maharlika Highway traverses several barrios
in my old hometown of Polangui, the first of which
is Agos, that serves as a boundary with it’s namesake
barrio of Agos in the town of Bato, Camarines Sur.

It would then lead the traveler to Matacon,
a very progressive barrio in Polangui which
is usually mistaken as a town by travelers
as it has its own town- like business center.


Balangibang the next barrio, has one of the straightest
portion of Maharlika Highway in the region with
 acres and acres of rice fields on both sides of the road,

…and if the traveler is lucky enough, this part
of the highway would give them  the first glimpse
of Mayon Volcano looming in the horizon,

…and luck was on our side that day.

This super straight highway stretches up
to the Polangui Diversion Road ,

…and this is an ideal meal stop or rest area
as the Bastian Food House is located here
and it offers delectable dishes and tidy toilets.

There is really not much to see 
in the next town of Oas



...but it may also  give the traveler a glimpse
of Mayon Volcano as it nears, Ligao City.

Ligao City is where Kawa Kawa Nature Park,
a the popular pilgrimage site is located.
It features larger that life statues of depicting
the scenes of the Stations of the Cross.

It is also were the Sabluyon Road begins that
a serves as a scenic shortcut to Tabaco City.

This is also the place to try out the Rice Puto
with Macapuno filling that are unfortunately sold
on untidy looking  ramshackle huts by the roadside.

The city administrators should take a look
and support  these front yard stores to
make the stalls more appealing and sanitary
as these delicacies are becoming very popular.

One of the longest and most scenic bridges
in the Naga- Legazpi route is the Malabog Bridge
that serves as a boundary between Ligao City
and the quaint and idyllic town Guinobatan, Albay.

This town is famous for its home made, native
suasages called Guinobatan Longaniza, which
is a must try for tourists visiting this town.

Guinobatan countryside offers the best view
view of Mayon Volcano that breathtakingly
looms over like a painting at the roadside.

Camalig is a town located at the base of
Mayon Volcano,  and the closest one can get
to the famous volcano when traveling
in this main thoroughfare.

Unlike in most Albay towns where you see
the volcano on the roadside, Mayon looms
in front and seems to appear at the end of the
road when on is in Camalig town proper.

Being in Camalig is like driving right thru the
volcano and this is where you get to appreciate
Mayon’s magnificent crevices and fissures,

…and the awesome cleft on the crater created by previous eruptions 
reminds us that the beautiful volcano is not just another mountain
but  a living and breathing  spectacular display of nature.

Daraga is the penultimate town to Legazpi, and
this is where the Cagsawa Ruins Park is located.
This place is pretty special for me as this is
where I married my wife seventeen years ago.

We took the Daraga diversion road  to avoid the
 homongous early morning traffic in Daraga town center.


This side of Daraga although heavily populated also 
offers a very scenic view of the volcano at the vicinity 
of Isarog Street where  the crater cleft that faces the town 
reveals more of the volcanic activity on a clear day.

This diversion road leads to the Legazpi Airport,

…on to the Albay district,

…and to Rizal Street where we were heading.

On our way back to Naga City , Mayon Volcano
was still on its full glory amidst the late afternoon sun,
and we stopped by Camalig town center to take photos,


...and at the Camalig-  Guinobatan boundary to take
 more pictures and enjoy the breathtaking view.

...we used the Sabluyon- Nasisi in Ligao route
 going to Polangui and the view was even more scenic, it offered the spectacular view 
of  Masaraga Mountain Range 
on the left  side of the road,

...and the majestic Mt. Mayon
on the other side of the road, 

...what could be more breathtaking
than this scenic country side view?

We passed several barrios at the
base of Masaraga Mountain Range.

Unknown to many, these isolated rustic barrios
with strange sounding sounding names like Nasisi,
Busay, Herera of Ligao,  Balogo of Oas, have the
best views of both Mt. Mayon and Mt. Masaraga.

This is the perfect place to view the two peaks
standing side by side on the horizon.

We stopped for a while to view and
admire the picturesque bucolic scenery
at the foot of Mt. Masaraga,

I cannot help but to become nostalgic of this
beautiful place where I grew up that looked
exactly the same during my boyhood.

It was like going back in the past
without the need of a time machine.

But I feel sad as the new generation of people
living  in this green paradise seem to behave
with utter disregard to the environment.

What would have been a picture perfect view is
ruined by the a heap of trash dumped on the roadside,

…and by the non stop detestable “kaingin” being
practiced by the local farmers  and I have seen
these people doing the same thing even  when
I was still a young boy growing up in this place.

The road then lead us to Balinad, a barrio
which is already a part of Polangui,

…and on to my old home in Napo,

…where we feasted on massive spread
of home cooked food prepared by my mom.

It s in my hometown of Polangui
where I get the chance to savor the
food of my childhood once again.

She prepares home cooked dishes like there is no tomorrow,
to the delight of my employees, as they feel like they were attending
a fiesta whenever we drop by to visit the old folks every week
on our way back to Naga after a whole day work in Legazpi.

After the sumptuous home cooked dinner
we resumed our journey at dusk,

… and passed by Ponso,
another barrio in Polangui.

By the time we reached Alnay,
we were again treated with the sight
of Mt. Mayon conflagrated by
the wonderful splendor of sunset.

We stopped to take photos for a while,

…and drove to the chaotic Polangui Centro.

The sleepy town of old Polangui on my childhood
is gone as it is sadly being turned into a bedlam
of disordered and jumbled town center,

…that most of progressing places
in the Philippines has become due to lack
of foresight of most government officials.
Progress without a master plan is disastrous.

With the clutter that I see and the frequent floodings
(that used to be unheard of in the past) that my
former town mates are experiencing lately,
 I believe, that is where my old hometown is heading.

I have been doing this journey once a week for nearly
 two decades now and I would be lucky to get a fleeting
glance of the volcano, as I do the driving most of the time.

When my car broke a day before, I had the chance 
to take this trip as a passenger and  Mt. Mayon 
had been very generous as she showed up all day long. 

We cruised back  to Naga City, longing to be home for
 a much  needed rest  and  looking forward for another
scenic journey from CamSur to Albay a week later.

Read the links below
for other related Roadtrips and Train Ride Posts

 The South Road Adventure
CamSur to Albay via Sangay- Joroan Road Trip : Scenic Pilgrim Road
Stonehouse Garden's Carabao Drawn Ride
Tugawe Cove to Partido Road Trip; Journey from Heaven to Hell 
The Great Train Ride to Prague 
Scenic Roadtrip: CDO to Dahilayan Bukidnon.



  1. Hi, I would just like to ask if San Jose Bridge in Pili is still passable at this moment? Thanks.

  2. It is not, but they have a bypass bridge.

    The traffic is heavy though.

  3. Hi.. Igwa ka po fb page? Or IG? I love following fellow bicolanos like you. Thanks

    1. Dios Mabalos for visiting my blog and for you interest.

      Below is the link to my facebook page:

  4. That was enjoyable to read, thanks for posting it.

    Here is my blog post - Bing (

  5. Hi, i would like to know what else na pwede makita o madaan sa way ng from Naga to legaspi City? is there any other old places po na madadaanan pa? and how long po pag by land from naga to legaspi? thanks alot :)

    1. Hi Arra,

      Thank you for visiting my blog. There are several sites that you could visit in the was from Naga to Legazpi.

      You mar drop by CWC in Pili, visit the historic Nabua Church, and buy som Pancit Bato all in CamSur.

      In Albay, stop by Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao, drop by Guinobatan and grab some Longaniza de Guinobatan, visit Camalig Church and of course Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga.