go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Introducing Southeast Luzon

The southern Luzon peninsula of Bicol is home to two of the Philippines' emblematic tourist attractions: the whale sharks of Donsol and the regal - and deadly - Mt Mayon volcano.

But the outdoor action hardly stops there. Bicol is home to no less than 22 volcanos, all of which can be climbed. Secluded beaches, limestone cliffs and nonpareil coastal exploration opportunities are available on the Caramoan Peninsula and elsewhere. Dive outfits have sprouted up recently to take advantage of newly discovered sites like the 'manta bowl' in Ticao Pass, off southwest Sorsogon, and Bagasbas Beach, near Daet, is one of the country's more laid-back and accessible surfing locales.

If you're not an adrenaline junkie, Bicol offers fiery food cooked in coconut milk, dozens of old baroque Spanish churches and the yearly pilgrimage to Naga's Peñafrancia Festival. Gorgeous white-sand beaches are everywhere and there are some reasonably priced high-end resorts for those who just want to relax. Bags, hats and mats made of the super-strong abaca fibre can be bought cheaply throughout the province.

Lying off Bicol's east coast is the pristine and very wet island province of Catanduanes, known for an erratic but sometimes perfect wave known as Majestics. Marinduque island, also unspoiled, lies to the west between Bicol and Mindoro. Here you can join a Passion play during the popular Moriones Festival, take the scenic drive around Mt Malindig in the south of the island or (should you feel the urge) repent your sins in Boac's lovely church.