Legazpi City in Albay is familiar city to most Filipinos, because of Mt. Mayon. The last time I was in Legazpi, I was still a teenager. Now, probably after 15 years, I arrive at the hometown of my father, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the most prominent cities of Bicol.
I was surprised that Legazpi was still laid back. It was a Saturday, so most of the roads were clear. The weather was perfectly cool and sunny. Mt. Mayon didn't cover itself up, which is considered rare. I awed at the beauty of Mayon, and it was closer than I imagined it to be. The textured slopes of the near perfect cone volcano gave it so much character, that I ignored the smoke coming out from its top.
From the airport, I headed straight to Sto. Domingo where the black sand beaches area. I just needed to get some sea breeze. Going there, I witnessed the lahar flow and remnants of the destruction brought about by Typhoon Reming. I was moved by the stories and the horror during the disaster.
I went back to Legazpi to check in one of the most beautiful provincial hotels in the country, but more on that later. I was surprised to see Legazpi still the same as I remember. However, there is one development that I was most impressed with.
This was Embarcadero, the newest entertainment and dining complex in this part of the country. If Naga is already undergoing all the cosmopolitan changes, Legazpi is just beginning.
Embarcadero would be considered a mall. There are shops, restaurants, cafes, but most of them are still closed. The place has been open for nearly a year now, but it seems that Embarcadero hasn't really taken off yet. I was told that it was only now that shops like Mango opened.
Embarcadero has a lighthouse, which serves as a viewing deck as well. We ate at Bigg's of course, the diner of the Bicolanos. I particularly love their iced tea and the tenderloin tips meal.
My trip to Legazpi was a very quick one, since I had to be back in Manila the next day. Again, Mayon showed its splendor to the world. It was an amazing sight especially from the window of the plane. I will be back, to probably explore more and experience the newest luxury playground, Misibis Bay. Bicol is indeed one of the best destinations in the country.