Traveling to Albay to see the Mayon Volcano, dubbed as the perfect cone of the Philippines, is a must. But you can maximize your trip by also visiting the province of Sorsogon (you can do most of the activities in Legazpi in a day). At first, everyone thought that I might not Albay because there were no beaches (we are a couple of dumbasses). Unbeknownst to us, we would end up spending our days mostly on water; Vera Falls, Corangon Shoal, Subic Island, Tikling Beach, fish sanctuary, and a hidden cave by the sea.
Flying to Legazpi in order to see the Mayon Volcano was never a priority, due to the unavailability of direct flights and the exorbitant fare. Recently, direct flights from Cebu become available. During the trip, we snagged a promo roundtrip tickets for about $25.
This is the complete itinerary for this trip.
Day 1- Overnight Stay at Corangon Shoal
We had a late flight in the afternoon and landed at Legazpi airport in the evening. We bought some groceries in Legaspi before heading out to Tiwi; the departure point for Corangon Shoal where we would camp out for the night (Permission is needed for this).
On the way to the shoal, realizing that there were only two females, us, with 6 male strangers, my sorority sister chided to me, “Are we sure about this?” I replied, “Not really, but I think it’s too late to back out now!” So it was a bit nerve-wracking, not to mention the bad weather condition.
After several minutes of boat travel over huge waves and completely dark night, I was nervous (note to self: again, learn to swim!). It took awhile for the boatmen to find the shoal. My sorority sis and I started giggling uncomfortably. Every time one of the boatmen spoke (in a different dialect) and point something, she translated it to, “We should throw them in that area, to feed the fish!” When another boatman replied, I also did the same thing, “No, a little bit further, where they could not swim back!”
Our hilarity over the situation calmed us a bit. Of course, we were not in any danger. We even told them about what we were saying. They were very hospitable and kind. During the night, when the rain and wind were pounding us, they made sure we were protected. They even gave up their tent for us.
The shoal is totally deserted and devoid of any facilities; If you can’t live without plumbing, I’m afraid your option would be a day-trip. However, the view was exquisite and totally worth the hassle. And if you’re up for an adventure, then it should not be missed.
Day 2-Vera Falls, Mayon Skyline, and Bound for Matnog, Sorsogon
Upon waking up, we got a glimpse of Mayon Volcano, however, it started to rain again. But I had to wash up so I’ve decided to take my bath at the falls. It was freezing my **tt off but at least I got to wash and shampooed my hair.
The rain let up, and the sky started to clear up. Unfortunately, the fog was thick and Mt. Magayon had decided to hide when we reached the skyline. We crossed our fingers and hope it’ll show its beauty when we are back.
Then we continued our two-three hours trip to Matnog to go to the island. We opted to stay at Tikling Island since it’s totally deserted instead of the touristy Subic island. We bought some groceries and supplies for our two days stay on the island.
Make sure to register at the tourism representative for your safety and insurance.
Day 3- Island Hopping, Caving, and Marine Sanctuary
Since I am a certified beach bum, lounging on a hammock on a deserted island among the wild pigs, some chicken and dogs and other unmentionable animals is definitely my idea of a paradise (well, a room service on an expensive resort overlooking the water is not bad either). But sleeping in a tent, not so much, but it may be necessary from time to time. Plus the weather was great.
At the island, there is a toilet, however, you have to manually pump your water then carry the heavy pail yourself. The restroom has no door, I’m afraid. So, this is is the time to channel your inner Crusoe. In fact, since the toilet is a bit far and secluded, during the night, you can’t be picky where to relieve yourself (Note: Lots of wet napkins).
I grew up in the province so It was not hard for me. I even knew what they meant, when they said, “you have to put life to the pump first; pouring water over it while you start pumping.
There are plenty of wild pigs or boar on the island but they don’t pay you any mind anyway.
The fish sanctuary is definitely a sight to behold. I was hoping to cook some of the lobsters but the owner just like to put them on display. I just salivated with the thought of what could have been.
Day 4-Cagsawa Ruins and Mayon ATV Adventure
On our last day, before heading home, We opted to do the ATV adventure. The sky is bright, and I was sad to leave the island but eager also for another adventure. There were a lot of places offering packages, so be sure to shop around first and haggle for the reasonable price.
How much to Budget for the Trip
The agreement was for us to limit our budget toP5000~$100. However, it went beyond that. It could have been cheaper but one of our companions missed the flight. So we have to cover his share. It would be costly to travel solo, unfortunately. This adventure is better done with a group of people. We were also lucky to find a local who helped us out and prepared the itinerary. It was the first time that I did not research on anything.
Roughly, these are the major expenses.
|Van (3 days)||~P4500|
|Boat to Corangon Shoal||~P3000|
|Boat to Tikling Island and Island Hopping and Caving||~P2500|
|Cagsawa Entrance/ATV Tour||~P1700|
|Tourism Fee, Donation||~P400|
|Restaurants and Pasalubong||~P1000|