In Bicol, the long weekends beckon with the promise of rest and adventure. Whether it is a slow and leisurely getaway or a fast-paced and daring escapade, this region, situated at the southernmost tip of Luzon, is a travel mecca for holidaymakers wanting a respite from the monotony of life.
Albay’s cultural sites
Travel through time and immerse yourself in the bygone era at Albay’s cultural sites.
Head to Daraga town to pay homage to one of the country’s national cultural treasures, the Cagsawa Ruins. Today, the remnants of this Franciscan church stand as a poignant reminder of the most destructive eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814 and a symbolic testament to the resilience of its people in the face of natural catastrophes.
To level up on your cultural odyssey, visit Casa Simeon, located in Bacacay town. Savor its sumptuous heirloom recipes and marvel at the vestiges of the country’s colonial past by soaking in the architectural splendor of this ancestral home.
With its intricately preserved alleys, large windows adorned with capiz shells, and antique furnishings, this family home owned by the late Simeon Alparce has the power to transport you to the good old days of the 1920s.
Sorsogon’s rustic retreat
Revel in the tranquil charm of slow living at Balay Buhay Sa Uma Bee Farm in Bulusan town.
For tired and weary souls, this agritourism site is an ideal staycation destination as it melds together a bee farm, a resort, and a restaurant. It boasts a picturesque cold spring that looks straight out of a movie and earthy native cabins surrounded by verdant scenery.
Find comfort while watching stingless bees work their magic and enjoy fish feeding at the farm’s stunning pond.
If you love quiet days and casual strolls while mastering the art of doing nothing, this patch of heaven lets you experience life in the countryside without the hefty price.
Masbate’s cowboy haven
Turn your Wild West dreams into reality at the Sese Brahmans Ranch, located in Mandaon town, Masbate.
Explore the rugged beauty of this 1,150-hectare cattle ranch on horseback and channel your inner cowboy and cowgirl vibes, even just for a day.
To make the most of the experience, don your best rodeo outfit and snap Instagrammable photos as your real-life cowboy tour guide takes you to the rolling hills and pastures where the ranch’s prized cows graze. Strike a pose at La Forteza de San Juan, a stunning log cabin, which was chosen as one of the locations of the Filipino soap opera “A Family Affair.”
Tired and hungry after your trail rides? There is a hilltop restaurant to suit your fancy.
If your idea of a long weekend is saddling up to explore the great outdoors, this ranch, owned by Judge Manuel Sese, is the place for you.
Catanduanes’ surfing paradise
Sun. Sand. Sea. Surf.
If these appeal to you, then Puraran Surf Beach Resort in Baras town, Catanduanes, is your go-to destination to quell that strong surge of wanderlust.
With its golden sand, crystal-clear water, unique rock formations, and perfect swells, this surfing paradise is a visual spectacle that should be included in your bucket list.
First-timers wanting to experience the thrill of riding waves can avail of surfing lessons at a minimal fee, while seasoned surfers can get up close and personal with the world-renowned “Majestic Wave.” Beyond the waves, the resort is also accessible to other natural wonders, such as Binurong Point and Nahulugan Falls.
Give in to your surfing fantasy this year. Surf season is from July to October.
Camarines Sur’s tranquil oasis
Soak in the mineral-rich waters of Panicuason Hot Spring Resort and Adventure Park in Naga City for that ultimate rejuvenating staycation.
This tranquil oasis is a popular destination for nature lovers who want a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. The resort offers cozy accommodations and a modest restaurant to suit everyone’s budget.
What’s more, they also offer zip-bike and zip-line adventures for adrenaline junkies.
Don’t miss out on this relaxing haven, nestled in the verdant foothills of Mount Isarog.
Camarines Norte’s hidden gem
Calling all backpackers wanting to reconnect with nature! The Calaguas Group of Islands, located in Vinzon’s town, is the most idyllic getaway if you find joy in unplugging from the world.
If you’re looking for crystal-clear turquoise waters and a long stretch of powdery white sand comparable to that of Boracay, charter an outrigger boat from the port of Paracale and head to Mahabang Buhangin on Tinaga Island.
This hidden gem in the province of Camarines Norte is perfect for camping, scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping, and sunset viewing. You can also rent a crystal-clear kayak for those postcard-perfect shots.
This unspoiled, uncrowded, and pristine paradise is hands down one of the best destinations to load up on Vitamin Sea. (PNA)