Around Albay through Visita Iglesia

Catholic rituals like Visita Iglesia are observed during Holy Week to reflect on the Passion of Christ. This part of Jesus’s life is filled with examples and teachings for its church members to emulate and practice.

In Albay, there are several old churches that can be your host for this activity. Here are some suggestions from the province’s first and second districts.

Joroan Church/Our Lady of Salvation

Joroan Church


Tiwi Church/St. Lawrence the Martyr

tiwi church

Malinao Church/St. Joachim and St. Anne



Tabaco Church/St. John the Baptist

tabaco church


Malilipot Church/Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


Bacacay Church/St. Rose of Lima

Malilipot Church

Albay Cathedral/St. Gregory the Great

Albay Cathedral

Daraga Church/Our Lady of the Gate

daraga church






World-Class Abaca-Based Collectibles from Bicol


Native goods make for collectibles that are conversation-starters, and they’re always functional.

In Bicol, abaca (a plant from the banana family) is a primary fiber source for handicraft-making. Thanks to its superior tensile strength. The abaca industry in the region and in the entire country started and flourished with cordage materials until these were replaced by oil-based synthetic fibers in the global market. Hence, the evolution of abaca-based products that we now know as fashion bags and accessories, furniture sets, garments, and more.

Here are some producers of abaca products in Albay that you might want to know.

Forcast Industries Inc.

Product Line: Crochet and macrame bags and baskets. It supplies products for SM Kultura, Larone Crafts, and Triphill International.

Address: 183 Karangahan Blvd. Bamban, Tabaco City.


Kraftika Filipina

Product Line: Crochet fashion bags and hats made of abaca twine and leather handle.

Awards: Two-time Golden Shell Awards Nominee Excellence in Exports in 1998 and 2002, JCI Philippines Creative Young  Entrepreneur Award, Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011.

Address: Paulino’s Industrial Compound Purok 8, Lakandula Drive, Tagas Daraga, Albay



JM Handicrafts

Product Line: Woven abaca bags in colored twine. Products exported to Japan and US.

Awards: 2008 Outstanding MSME Award, 2008 Outstanding OTOP MSME Partner, 2012 Outstanding MSME Partner

Adress: 165 Bagumbayan, Daraga, Albay E-mail:


SRG Handicrafts

Product Line: Houseware items such as food covers and tissue holders.

Adress: Cullat, Daraga, Albay Contact No. 09057735172


AIM Handicrafts

Product Line: Functional office and household items with leather accent.

Functional Desk Items

The Rains Handicraft

Product Line: Gift packaging, household trays and baskets, bags, and slippers.

Address: Camalig, Albay E-mail:

Bicol's best

More can be read about makers of abaca products in Albay in this feature article on Rappler, especially the producers of window shades, area rugs, and furniture sets for indoor and outdoor settings.

The complete list is published in Albay’s abaca catalogue. Try to request a copy at Napa Carpet Industries when you visit its showroom in Camalig, Albay. It is near Sumlang Lake, a new tourist attraction in the area.

You may contact NCI for an educational tour through these numbers 09175701830/09328111704

Where to buy these products

  1. Legazpi Terminal
  2. Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay
  3. Gaisano Mall





Adventure and Luxury at Misibis Bay


Finding a top-notch resort like Misibis Bay in Albay is only fitting for the province’s rapidly developing economy. With an international airport currently underway, infrastructure and businesses surely have to keep up with the pace.

This luxury resort in Cagraray Island in Bacacay is themed with modern buildings and choice villas with expansive glass windows and pools set across the wide property. Going around is easy with golf carts ferrying around the resort.


A 3-day and 2-night-stay at the resort comes with complimentary activities, such as  non-motorized water sports and city tour. For the more adventurous guests, activities like ATV ride to the hilltop, jet skiing, Hobie cat sailing, and basic diving can be arranged. The resort made these possible with enough water equipment and a breakwater in place.

The resort has several romantic settings which according to Ira, the resort’s assistant guest relations manager, have been used as venues for proposals and weddings. There is Sula Channel for sunset cruising or 5 Views for a mini cocktails setup with Mayon Volcano as an alluring background. There is also the amphitheater with a view of the overlooking islands and the resort’s church nearby.

Options like private lunch on a secluded island or at the beach entail a VIP treatment. Fresh grilled seafood, wine, vegetable salad and baked desserts are prepared by a designated cook. These can be spiced up with spicy Bicol dishes made delectable with coconut milk.

At the end of the day, guests have luxurious rooms to recharge, complete with entertainment and dining sets, a mini-bar and adjacent pool, if not a private pool.

Vitamin C+ (8)

For a good one-hour drive from Legazpi, guests can find Misibis Bay an ideal retreat  choice – close to nature, away from the crowds yet a world-class service and facilities are within reach.

These and the contagious comforting familiarity that exists from one staff to another extend to guests the welcoming warmth that Bicolanos won’t hesitate to show to a tourist.

Accentuate your home with punchy vintage inspired pieces. Bringing an old world flair to a modern building can take a bland flat from boring to WOW.

Fluvial Parade for Albay Patroness


Every year Albay holds a maritime procession for the patroness of the province, Our Lady of Salvation, in honor of her feast day, August 15.

On the third Saturday of August, devotees and pilgrims from all over Albay take part in the celebration to pay homage to the miraculous image of Our Lady of Salvation. It is highlighted by a concelebrated Mass which is often held at Sugod, a fishing village in Tiwi, before continuing on with the procession.


The procession starts in Brgy. Joroan where the shrine of Our Lady of Salvation is located. The image is carried by a well-decorated trawl boat and followed by an entourage of equally colorful pump boats. It passes through the coastal barangays of Tiwi, including Bariis, Matalibong, Sugod, Bolo and Baybay, and vice versa.


On the last Saturday of August, devotees from all over the Bicol region will visit the shrine for Peregrinacion sa Magagahon. After midnight, they would walk in the procession from the St. Lawrence Church of Tiwi to the Diocesan Shrine in Joroan.

The nine-kilometer distance between the two churches is a sacrifice pilgrims make for that day, which they consider a special day of veneration. This flock of devotees to the shrine extends until September.


Incidentally, these events have become a part of the Coron Festival in Tiwi. Coron is a local word for potteries or clay pot, the very same product made out of pottery, the town’s major source of income. Events for this year include street dancing presentation, Tiwi Product Exhibit and Padyak Race.


In the next month, Naga will hold its annual fluvial procession for Our Lady of Penafrancia, the highlight event of the city’s Penafrancia Festival.

New Attractions: Chocolate Hills of Albay

A new tourist destination in Camalig, Albay is getting attention for its span of hills that look like the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Although the hills are not as rounded and symmetrical as those in Bohol, both share a strikingly similar appearance.

To get there:

From Legazpi City, ride a jeepney bound for Camalig town proper. Once in the town proper, look for a tricycle to take you to Quitinday Green Hills and Nature Park. You’ll have to rent it for 500 pesos as it will wait for you and take you back to the city proper. This rate should cover visits to Sumlang Lake and back to town proper. Habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) can be an option for solo travelers.

In less than 20 minutes, you’ll reach the foot of the park where registration and brief orientation are held.

Main Features

  • 4 peaks – There are four peaks open to tourists. Its gentle slopes allow for an easy and short hike to the top.
  • Hilltop view deck – In this park, you have the peak of the hills as your view deck.
  • Uniquely Bicol – It becomes easy to distinguish from Chocolate Hills with Mayon Volcano receding in the background.



For sample itinerary, please visit this link.

For other sites to see in Camalig and its neighbor cities like Sorsogon, you can check my article in Rappler.

If you are looking for an offline guide to Albay, complete with maps, daily itinerary and budget, look for my guidebook in the app store via Favoroute. It is called Postcards of Mt. Mayon in Bicol.

Photos courtesy of my travel buddies.