The above title pretty much constituted my Bicol trip last weekend, with friends and fellow Visayan Voyagers Julian Canero and Lalaine Hablado. After arriving at Legaspi’s airport, we were supposed to climb Mt. Bulusan via Brgy. San Roque, Irosin, but the continuous rains did not permit it. Instead, upon arriving at Sorsogon, we met with Allan Caubang, president of the Sorsogon Outdoor Society (SOS) who shared with us the mountaineering scene in the area. Aside from Mt. Bulusan, the Sorsogon mountaineers take pride in Mt. Pulog, which they themselves explored way back in 2002.
Back in Legaspi, we decided to just take the quick hike up Lignon Hill which just took less than 15 minutes (you can actually drive all the way up). Atop Lignon Hill were beautiful views of the entire city of Legaspi, as well the famous Mayon Volcano. After sightseeing, We decided to try the zipline. Although its length of just over 100 meters was quite disappointing, the views were not. Who would not enjoy beholding Mayon while zooming across the air? The lava flows can still be seen, steaming amid the misty weather.
I liked Lignon Hill; it reminded me of Mt. Tapyas in Coron: a nature sanctuary that is very accessible to city dwellers. The 160 MASL elevation of Lignon Hill may seem petty, but is good enough for a quick hike (and exercise) and I think every city should have some area like that. In San Pablo City we may not have such a hill but we have Sampaloc Lake and people love jogging around it. The local governments of Legaspi and Albay should be commended for developing Lignon Hill.
That night in Legaspi, we also visited the newly-opened commercial center, Embarcadero. Situated in the port area, it is a very impressive, visionary project. This modern complex, modest in size and therefore just right for the community, is resplendent with lights and has something for everyone. The free rides from the city proper show how determined the people are to really put Embarcadero on the map.
From Dan Arispe, president of the Federation of Bicol Mountaineers, Inc. (FBMI) I found out that Mt. Malinao in Tabaco, Albay is also a dayhikable destination. Thus, it would seem that virtually all peninisular Bicol mountains can be dayhiked with the exception Mayon: Bulusan (a long dayhike), Pulog, Malinao, Asog, and even Isarog (another long dayhike). I have no information regarding Mt. Labo further north. Then of course there are other mountains in Catanduanes.
Yet, with weather still uncooperative on our second day, Lalaine and I decided to just go to the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Pili, Camarines Sur for wakeboarding. I would have pushed with an Asog dayhike; I’ve been texting the very friendly Richard Cebo of the SAMINGKIL Mountaineers about Mt. Asog and he recommended that we just come back with better weather.
Had I known that I would enjoy wakeboarding that much, I would have rushed the descent from Mt. Isarog’s summit three weeks ago and immediately proceeded to CWC. Off topic, SM Naga’s Booksale proved to be very rewarding for me once more: I happily picked up a Kenzaburo Oe novel.
My excitement piqued over the Bicol mountains, there is a good chance that I will be back in Bicolandia soon. But next time I’ll make sure the weather forecasts cooperate with me.
PinoyMountaineer thanks the FBMI’s network of mountaineers for assisting us during our stay in Bicol Region. Pictures are courtesy of the blogger and Julian Canero.