Albay, Bicol: Day 1 Adventure

Albay, Bicol

Day 0: Manila to Legazpi City, Albay

We chose to go to Legazpi City by bus because it is way cheaper than by airplane, but will take you at least 12 hours of travel time. So if you have extra cash and can’t take long hours of travel, it is better to travel by airplane. The DLTB Co. 2×2 air-conditioned bus fare is P810 from Cubao Bus Terminal to Legazpi City Bus Terminal.

We were supposed to depart at 8 PM but due to traffic, our bus was late for almost 30 minutes. Aside from being late, there was a problem with its radiator so we had to stop every hour to prevent it from overheating; which made our trip looonger. 🙁 But glad we had a safe trip.

Day 1: Albay Day Tour

Finally, we arrived in Legazpi City at 9:30 AM. Not knowing how to go to Night and Day Inn  (reservation was made thru Agoda), we were glad to be approached by Kuya Edwin Cortes, a bubbly and very kind tricycle driver; we rent him to drive and guide us around Albay. Renting a tricycle is just our choice because we want to maximize our trip by not getting lost and due to time constraint. Kuya Edwin could actually passed as a tourist guide because he could explain the histories of each places very well and he knows a lot of people from different Barrios!

For our Day 1 tour, we were able to visit 7 places:

1. Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa Ruins is now a park managed by the municipal of Daraga and is one of the most visited tourist spot in Albay with an entrance fee of P10. You can enjoy the view of Mayon Volcano with famous Cagsawa belfry in front. Around the park are several souvenir shops and locals that offer trick shots!

It was gloomy on the day of our visit so the Mayon Volcano was hiding from us behind the clouds.

2. Quitinday Hills

Quitinday Hills

Albay’s newest tourist spot and own version of Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills! We did not rent habal-habal anymore because we already have Kuya Edwin’s tricycle. 🙂  The road going to Quitinday Hills is not yet developed so we had to endure the rough road. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the local guides and had some short introduction about the hills. The guide said it became open to hikers/ tourists around March 2015 so I guess we were lucky to find the place earlier before it becomes too popular. 🙂 There is no entrance fee and any amount of donation will do.

The trek going up to the hill is easy and will only take 5 minutes to reach the top, this makes it a tourist-friendly. The breezy hill-top will make you want to stay longer and linger at the attraction or, will make you want to sleep on wooden bench or inside the Kubo. Haha. We only stayed for 20 minutes because we want to maximize our day.

3. Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave

Located in Camalig Albay. Upon entering you can instantly feel a blow of cold air thus, the word “Hoyop” in Bicol dialect means to blow. The entrance fee is P100 per person. The price is worth it as you will learn a lot about the history of the cave.

Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave served as a guerilla and refugee camp during Japanese occupancy. There is also dance floor inside the cave because during Martial Law era, the cave served as a dance hall for partygoers. During typhoons, locals sheltered themselves inside the cave.

The Hoyop-Hoyopan cave is now privately maintained by the Soriano, Nieva, and Nuylan families.

4. Daraga Church

Daraga Church

Daraga Church or the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate). A centuries-old church which was declared a Cultural Treasure by the National Museum in 2007. The church is still under construction so we did not stay longer, but would love to visit it again once already completed.

Since the church is located at the top of the hill, the view of Mayon Volcano is breathtaking. It is a good location for picture taking too.

5. Ligñon Hill

The Ligñon Hill Natural Park promises a breathtaking sights and fun thrilling activities. The entrance fee is P20 for non-locals. We walked our way to the top because the tricycle won’t be able to make it. It was tiring but the long walk will be worth it when you reached the top. The air was so refreshing and the view of Mayon Volcano is so mesmerizing! A good place to chill and take photos because of panoramic 360 degree view of Legazpi City, Daraga, Albay Gulf and the Mayon Volcano at the view deck.

6. Japanese Tunnel

The tunnels were dug at Ligñon Hill by the Japanese soldiers during World War II and used it to hide their equipment. Some of the relics inside the tunnel were already moved to museum and the only item left was the old typewriter and a statue of a Japanese soldier. There were also small bats inside the tunnel. 🙂 They have a policy of no guide, no entry.

7. Embarcadero de Legazpi

View from Embarcadero de Legazpi

The place is across the Mayon Volcano and the ambiance is the same as Manila Bay. You could enjoy the view of Mayon Volcano while fishing, biking, jogging and eating. I’m not quite sure what else to do there aside from those activities, so I guess the best time to be there is during sunset.


Day 1 Expense (donations and food expense excluded):

DLTB Co. Bus Line (From Cubao Terminal to Legazpi City terminal): P810/person

Tricycle Rental (Whole Day): total of P1,300

Cagsawa Entrance Fee: P10/person

Ligñon Hill (non-local): P20/person

Click here for our Albay, Bicol trip video summary. Enjoy!

For Day 2 Itinerary click here. 

Video Summary click here.

Kuya Edwin’s Contact Number: 09093159805

Twenty20: Take Your Mobile Photography To The Next Level

Just found out about this application today and I love it already!

What is Twenty20?

Twenty20 is an application that allows amateur and mobile photographers to make money by selling their photos. Showcase your photos and build your audience!

Are you a mobile photographer?

Get discovered and sell your photos to brands and digital creators. Earn money doing what you love.

Need fresh stock photos?

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What else?

You could also run a photo challenge to source photos for your project or join a photo challenge by submitting an entry.

Photo Challenge

Create your account, start and explore now! For free. 😉 

You may check my account here.

Aurika Matias: 5 Facts About Me Vol.1

Aurika Matias

Just like school days! Where in the first day, you have to introduce yourself. Ahh, good times! Since today is rainy day and I want my day to be productive, I decided to make quick blog post.

If you’re an old friend of mine, some of these might sound familiar, but to my new friends/readers, here’s some little facts about Aurika Matias:

  1. My name came from a Japanese word “Rikka” which means standing flower, but I am not a Japanese. I have no second name. That same goes to my siblings.
  2. My natural hair is straight, thick and black. After experimenting my hair with some hair color and rebond, it eventually started growing wavy.
  3. Spontaneous and adventurous. When I thought of something fun, I want to do it immediately!
  4. I love eating, very much! And I think those foods that I munched goes to my cheeks! I hate the taste of bell peppers though… Eww.
  5. I have worn eyeglasses since high school because of myopia. Sometimes I wear contact lens and I like it more than eyeglasses.

Now that I think of it, five facts seem a little short. Since this site is my personal online diary, you’ll know more about me! Do we have any of these facts in common? 🙂

5 Facts About Me Vol. 2

Mt. Pico De Loro: Traverse Hike

My first hike was a day hike at Mt. Pico De Loro and we decided to do traverse hike from Ternate, Cavite to Nasugbu, Batangas. We paid P25 as registration fee at DENR then walked our way to the old trail.


I heard that there’s a new trail which is easier and more advisable for beginners but I personally haven’t experienced climbing via new trail so I don’t know how I will compare it with the old trail.

Honestly, I had a hard time because of the following:

  • There was a typhoon the day before our hike so the trail was wet, muddy and very slippery!
  • We do not have any tour guide upon climbing but we met local guides on the campsite that guided us to the summit, Monolith and going down to Nasugbu.
  • My shoes were not meant for hiking. Lol!
mt. pico de loro Old Trail
Old Trail
My not-so-advisable shoes!

Just like what I have said, it rained the day before our hike so the view at the camp was… wait, there’s no view! It’s so foggy!

mt. pico de loro camp
My cousin

From campsite, the locals we have met guided us to Mt. Pico De Loro’s summit where we did some photo-ops.

The Group
The Group
mt pico de loro summit
Be careful if you want to do something like this

For the final destination, the Monolith! I did not make it to the top of the Monolith because of my not-so-advisable shoes, I kept on slipping! So I just took some selfies instead. lol!

Wet look selfie. Haha
At Monolith


Here’s the two brave people that made it to the top of Monolith even though the steps are slippery!

mt pico de loro monolith
My boyfriend and cousin.

Overall, the old trail took us a total of 5 hours and is challenging. Beginners will definitely feel the challenge and thrill while climbing the peak but something to be proud of once completed; that is why Mt. Pico De Loro is popular for new hikers. Though I suggest that don’t go when it is rainy.

Glad that I hiked Mt. Pico De Loro first before Mt. Pulag!

Have you hiked Mt. Pico De Loro? What’s your story? 🙂

Boot Camp 2015!

I am thankful to be part of two-day Leadership Boot Camp held at Hotel Stotensberg, Pampanga; it was indeed a well spent weekend! Aside from meeting new friends, I was able to develop myself from Aurika version 1.0 to version 2.0. lol.

Below are some of the things that we did during the boot camp:

  • Grouped by age then had super fun activities that taught us how to be a good leader and to be a good player as well.
  • Speakers were successful people that inspired us by sharing their success stories.
  • Spiritually taught us to put God first before anything else.
  • Lunch -> Dinner -> Breakfast -> lunch. All were buffet!
  • And my favorite part, writing our short and long-term goals in S.M.A.R.T. way.

Do you already have a dream board? If none, I suggest that you create one because it will help you to focus on your dreams. Sounds good, right? Because it is! After boot camp, it made me realize how important dream board is. 🙂



#Bonus: How to create Dream Board using SMART criteria:

S – Specific

State exactly what you want to achieve. To set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions because having a specific goal makes it easier to achieve than general goals.

M – Measurable

Establish a concrete criteria to measure if you are on track or near to reaching your goal.

A –Attainable

Dream big and aim for the stars! Determine the steps and skills that you need to reach it.

R – Relevant

Is it achievable and realistic? You are the only one who can decide how high your goal should be. A higher goal could mean a higher motivation and effort you must exert.

T – Time

Set a target date. A goal should have a time-frame to focus on when you want to accomplish it.

SMART goal example:

To own a P985K worth Red Ford Ecosport by December 1, 2016 through selling my paintings.

Goal setting is an essential tool to be successful. Review your goals and make adjustments if necessary.

If you are interested to join in next boot camp, feel free to message me for other details. 🙂

See ya!