The Pototan Cave in Rapu-Rapu

Pototan Cave Rapu-rapu Albay Bicol Beach Location Entrance Cavern Size Hiking Trail Depth Distance Difficulty Visit Tour Guide Stalactite Length Stalagmite Map River Spelunking History Discovery The Pototan Cave is located in Rapu-Rapu in Albay Province. The Pototan Cave is located just ten feet above the beach line. Inside it runs an underground river that flows into many chambers and passageways where you have breathtaking views of stalagmites and stalactites of various shapes and sizes; and where geological, archaeological, cultural, historical and biological remnants exist. A subterranean river with a depth of 12 feet exists at this cave. Exploring the cave requires at least four hours of time. The Pototan Cave’s entrance is 30 feet high and is shaped like a yawning mouth. The Pototan Cave is located an hour and a half away from Legazpi City. Continue reading

Tiwi Hot Springs National Park in Albay

Tiwi Hot Springs National Park Bicol Medicinal Waters Bath House Thermal Sulfur Temperature Swimming Pool Naglagbong Lake Geothermal Electric Power Plant Hiking Traitrail Ocation Tour Guide History Tiwi Hot Springs National Park is located in Tiwi in Albay Province. Tiwi Hot Springs is known for its “medicinal waters.” The bath houses in the region and the waters are the most warm at Naglagbong Lake, a boiling sulfur pool. The Geothermal Electric Power Plant which harnesses steam and turns it into electricity is also located at Tiwi which is also the site of a thriving salt-making industry exported to the rest of the country and around the Continue reading

The Masbateño Culture

MasbateñoMasbateño people are Filipino people that live in the province of Masbate, located in the Bicol Region. Though Masbate Province is a part of Luzon, the linguistic lineage of Masbateño leans more towards the Visayan languages, particularly Hiligaynon and Capiznon, than Bicolano or Tagalog. Masbate is one of the biggest cattle producers in the country. In is not surprising, therefore, that the province hosts the “Rodeo Filipino” every June. The festival features bull riding and lassoing, which are common events in American rodeos. The island of Masbate lies just west of the province of Sorsogon in the Bicol Peninsula. The population centers are in the municipalities of Masbate (55,996), Aroroy (45,306), San Jacinto (34,185, NSO 1980), and Uson (24,817), with the national population placed at 602,257 (NSO 1990). The island is Continue reading

Sinarapan

Mistichthys luzonensisSinarapan is scientifically known as Mistichthys luzonensis. There is no translation of this name in Filipino, though the word means “tasty” or “delicious.” This species is found only in Lakes Bato and Lake Buhi and other bodies of water in Camarines Sur province, part of the Philippines’ Bicol Region. It is believed to be the world’s smallest commercially harvested fish (though not the smallest fish known). The fish has an average length of 12.5 millimeters. Males are smaller than females. Sinarapan were first studied in 1859, but were mistakenly thought to be immature specimens of Gobius dispar. They received no further outside attention until United States Army scientists described them as a new species in 1902. Continue reading

Bicol Culture

BicolanoThe Bicol peninsula comprises the southeastern most extension of the island of Luzon. Generically, the people are referred to as Bicolano although in terms of language the population is highly differentiated not so much because of physical circumscription but socially. Total population is 4,469,082 (NSO 1990). The Bicol speakers include those in the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur. The Bicolano also inhabit principally the islands of Catanduanes, Masbate, Ticao, and Burias. Bicol Naga is the lingua franca in the general area. Continue reading

Legazpi City

Legazpi CityLegazpi, the capital of the province of Albay and the government center of Bicol, is one of the Philippines’ premier destinations and among the fastest growing cities. Situated on the shores of the Albay Gulf, 16 kilometers southeast of the beautifully symmetrical Mount Mayon, Legazpi is blessed with a spectacular landscape and scenery that has enthralled visitors and graced innumerable photos and postcards over the years.

Legazpi is also the most convenient gateway to Bicol owing to its central location in the geographic heart of the region and its complete land, Continue reading

Peñafrancia Festival in Naga

Penafrancia Festival BicolThe feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is celebrated on the third Saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol. The feast day is preceded by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a copy of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from devotees in boats escorting the image. When the barge reaches its destination, the devotees shout “Viva la Virgen” Continue reading

Bicol Region

Bicol RegionAs the home of Mt. Mayon, Spanish Churches, monuments and the Whale Shark, Bicol is a region of pilgrimage, festivals, eco-tours and historical splendor. Region 5 consists of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.

Bicol Region is located at the southern most end of the main island of Luzon. Bicol has six provinces, four on Luzon and two island provinces. The two island provinces lie on either side of Luzon. Continue reading

Camarines Norte Province

Camarines Norte ProvinceCamarines Norte is one of the six provinces that make up the Bicol Region, and it serves as the gateway to the Bicol Region from the rest of Luzon. It is bounded by Quezon Province on the southwest and Camarines Sur on the south. Along its coastlines, the province faces Basiad Bay on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the north, and the San Miguel Bay on the east.

Camarines Norte is composed of 12 municipalities, namely: Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Sta.Elena, Talisay and Vinzons; Continue reading

Fiesta Tsinoy in Legazpi

Fiesta TsinoyFiesta Tsinoy is the Chinese New Year celebration held annually in Legazpi City.  Chinese New Year is considered here to be the most important festival for the local Chinese community.  It does not follow a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar as the celebration stretches to about 15 days with varied activities each day.

The celebration in Legazpi, dubbed as Fiesta Tsinoy, was officially included among the city’s yearly festivals starting in 2004.  The celebration jointly organized by the local Chinese community with the Department of Tourism (DOT) regional office for Bicol here, the city government and the provincial government of Albay.