A Taste of Legazpi City and Daraga Albay

Monday, June 17, 2013

I didn’t have high expectations for the city tour because I was there to see the island resort. Nonetheless, it exceeded my expectations (and budget) because I immensely enjoyed my glimpse of Legazpi and Daraga.

It rained when we arrived in Legazpi City and I was worried we wouldn’t enjoy the city tour. Together with the other guests, we were welcomed on the tour by our guide Carl upon our arrival. Our first stop was Ligñon Hill – the highest point in the city.

Bicol’s star was MIA!!!

The famed Cagsawa Ruins

Mayon was still shy

I unexpectedly spent a lot on pasalubongs here at Cagsawa. We only had a few minutes so it was an “Amazing Race” kind of shopping trip.

Sili (Chili) Magnet (P35)
A little something to remind me of my visit to the spicy province. They have different kinds and sizes of the chili.

Souvenir Shirts (P200 – White; P250 – black)
I always buy a souvenir shirt because my Dad loves them. He’s acquired a massive collection from my travels already. That being said, I’ve seen my fair share of souvenir shirts and these ones were a steal. The material of the shirt was made of thick cotton and the print is rubberized, it even sparkles! Shirts like these in other places would go for at least P300.

Beautiful bags for export (P250-300)
There are a lot of different bags at Cagsawa but I found this stall at the rightmost side (if the ruins are behind you) that sold bags with great quality and design. His designs were more my style and creative compared to the other sellers. Most of the bags only have 1 stock per design so if you see something you love, grab it. The seller didn’t have a calling card so I gave him my number but he never got in touch with me. Sayang! 

I wanted to explore more; the stalls were filled with various abaca products. I wasn’t even able to check out the home ware section. Berenice scored this hamper for less than P300 while Danix picked up a couple of placemats and coasters. 

You saw how intensely blue the sky was which indicates how hot the weather was. Misibis gave us an endless supply of cold water. Yeahba.

Half of the members of our tour group came from one family. This family did some research about Legazpi and wanted to try some of the goodies the city had to offer. The family asked the rest of us if it was okay for us to stop in these places, which weren’t out of the way, and we all agreed. 

Our first side trip was at DJC Halo-halo for well, halo-halo. It was perfect for the sticky afternoon and it was worth the visit. It tasted more like mais con yelo but we still loved it.

The family also researched about 1st Colonial Grill that served unique ice cream flavors. Did you just say ice cream? Oh yeah, I’m there. How unique were they? We had Sili (Chili), Pili, Malunggay (Moringga) and Tinustang Bigas (Toasted Rice) Ice Cream.

Malunggay Ice Cream (P27)
It smelled and tasted like a plant. It’s not my favorite but it was something unique.

Pili Ice Cream (P27)
For people with a craving for something sweet, try the Pili Ice Cream. This will seem like an odd description but this is how it tasted – cold pastillas de leche but powdered. The texture through me off but the taste was my liking.

Tinustang Bigas Ice Cream (P27)
It tastes exactly like how it sounds but a pinch sweeter. For those wanting to stay away or cannot eat chocolate, this is a good alternative.

Sili Ice Cream (P27)
This was an experience all together. It tasted a bit like sweet and delicious cheese pimento. When you have a spoonful of the ice cream, you immediately taste and feel the heat of the chili. For people who can’t take extremely spicy food like me, don’t fret; as the Sili Ice Cream goes down your tummy the spiciness subsides. 

The last stop of our side trip was this bakery selling Malunggay pandesal. The family mentioned above bought all the pandesal available (less than 20 pieces) and shared it with our group.
The tour normally last for 3 hours but with all our side trips and relatively slower pace, we did it in 6 hours! Haha I am thankful to the family that was proactive in researching since the foodie finds were a highlight for me. I love that Misibis is exposing its guests to the wonders of Bicol, not just the island. 

The half day city tour was a splendid encounter. This glimpse of Legazpi and Daraga meant one thing; I need to go back to Bicol to visit these places not as a side trip but as the main destination. I left my shopping heart in Cagsawa, I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with a lot of items. If you’re visiting Misbis or Legazpi City prepare your senses for a treat. Let your eyes marvel at the beauty of the province, fill your tummy with unusual bits and feel the artistry of the province’s famous byproduct – abaca.

Coming up, let’s go back to Misibis.

* Additional photos from Danix Labudahon.

The rest of my Misbis posts are here:
Part 1: Our Room in Misibis Bay
Part 3: Activities to enjoy at the resort (besides the beach)
Part 4: B-E-A-C-H
Part 5: Resort Grub
Part 6: Clash of the luxe resorts: Bellarocca VS Misibis Bay

Check out other hotel options for Legazpi City here.

1st Colonial Grill
Villa Amada Building, Rizal St. Sagpon, Daraga, Albay

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