Albay, Philippines: Affordable adventure for a day and more

A group of 7,000 known islands and its location in the Pacific Ocean, makes the Philippines one of the go-to places for beachgoers, surfers, and island hoppers. But this time, in conjunction with the headline above, we’re in for an inland adventure for today which entails going to a cave, a tunnel, and a volcano.

 

Located at the southernmost part of Luzon in the Philippines, Albay is the countries heritage for its perfectly cone-shaped volcano – Mt. Mayon. An active volcano which outline and its peak that can be seen all over the half part of the Bicol Region. But for beauty seekers and conscious adventurers within the area, it’s more of a shaded canvas beckoning them to unveil the entire masterpiece. And just like a moth drawn to a flame, it brought us here in Albay.

 

Our group comprises of me, and my cousins from Manila and Nabua, a municipality in Bicol. Just another summer outing for the nine of us and a dog, though an increase in the number of the passengers is favorable, it’s just what the car can carry. Anyway, I’ve also written about this adventure for Travelicious, here it is. It’s a paid gig that’s why, and if you also like to get paid just by writing your adventure you can apply here. Ok, I’m writing this one because there’s more to what I’ve written in Travelicious, and also I forgot to include our last stop and our almost last stop. So, this post is a continuation of the one in Travelicious, so please check the first part to get a better feel of our adventure.

 

Last Stop: Quituinan Hills(Japanese Tunnels)

Quituinan Hills is just one of the recommendations from our tour guide in Hoyop-hoyopan cave which is more or less a 15-minute ride from the cave.

From the cave, you just need to go to the main road and look for a signage Quituinan Hills(Japanese Tunnels). From there it’s just a single road uphill, then make a stop in the Quituinan Ranch because that’s where you’ll meet your tour guide and read some instruction. Not to mention, the ranch has a fantastic view of the Mt. Mayon, and perhaps even a greater view than in the Cagsawa Ruins. Just a little disappointed that the ranch only offers the ATV ride and no longer offer horseback riding, since I would like to try riding a horse. Anyway, there’s no payment to enter the ranch, you’ll just have to pay for the tour in the tunnel or an ATV ride. Which costs 20php and 450php/hr, accordingly.

For the tour in the tunnel, first you’ll be brief in a small cottage at the entrance, pay 20php per head, then meet your tour guide – there’s only one designated tour guide for each party. After all things clear, the party and the guide will descend more or less 50 steps in the stairs, which is thankfully concrete. Then you’ll be met by two holes, on your front, and on your left. Though the one in the front, according to our guide, only serves as a decoy for the American and Filipino soldier, so we went for the left hole.

Japanese soldiers at that time are not that tall that’s why for a few meters from the entrance you have to duck, though I never had a problem because I’m only 5’2’’, I still have to duck. It’s my first time going inside a tunnel and I got a hard time breathing as we venture deeper inside the tunnel. Though we did not go to other passage since according to our guide, it’s connected to another tunnel which is not yet completely checked for hidden bombs.

 

Almost last stop: Quitinday Hills

A promise of Bohol-like adventure awaits us in the Quitinday Hill. A promised picture, discovered upon looking and reading instructions in the small cottage at the Quituinan Ranch. It’s just there, we even crossed upon its signage upon coming to the Quituinan Hills, and it’s only almost 4 pm, I said.

 

Why Almost?

With the signage in mind just a couple of feet from our last stop, we thought we can make it. But boy are we wrong, of its proximity at least, the signage only points toward its location. We have to go back on the Hoyop-hoyopan road then much farther up. With stories of NPA(local militants) residing in Bicol mountains, the oldest in the group are already shaking in its boots. Every minute demanding to end the foolishness and just went home. And with all of our smartphones dead battery, we can’t access the map so we rely on asking local residents which are in fact hard to come by in the area. And with those few that we get the information, they told us that it’s more or less a 1-hr drive to the Quitinday Hills. It’s almost 5 pm, almost dark, and the road is so narrow and bumpy that’s why we decided to backtrack and went home. We promise to go back the next day at an earlier time, but we never did. Perhaps you guys should go there and tell us about your adventure. Or earn writing about it in Travelicious, here.

 

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