Setting Foot in Bicolandia (Iriga City, Camarines Sur)

It’s been 2 years when I traveled down south and it was my first ever travel  experience to set foot in Bicol Region  and I can’t tell how happy I am though there is not much difference with other provinces that I’ve been into but there’s something reminds me of this trip that wanting me to go back again and again.

Sunshine mini bus bound to Iriga City

The reason why I am  so excited to go as far as the Bicol Region is that  I wanted to  see the place maybe because I had this so-called blood connection  and that you know that you belong and had the feeling of live there once or you are  the re-incarnated for a mission or for a greater purpose just like in the movies, books or novels.

Town Plaza where a farmer and his carabao are placed.

My grandmother is a native of Lucena City as my father would tell me but he had never got a chance to take us there and as a kid you wanted to see how the place look like or wanted to get to know your relatives there.

Sad to say when we traveled to Iriga City back and forth it was night-time so I never see the place but all darkness if not I’m sleeping on the bus because of 10 hours travel time from Manila to Bicol and vice-versa.

I belong!Haha! W/ Aeta kids at the foot of Mt. Asog after descent

The real story that I wanted to tell you is our journey to Iriga City, Camarines Sur where my first ever mountaineering club (O’dd TrEE) joined the Tabang Asog Project which means Help Asog through Read-Along & School Outreach, Community Service, Medical and Dental Mission, as well as a Tree Planting and Clean-up drive in Mt. Asog also known as Mt. Iriga.

Getting ready to plant a tree

View of Mt. Asog

A little history of Mt. Asog and why it is called “Tabang”.

Mt. Asog, also known as Mt. Iriga, is an old volcano in the Bicol Region. Although it is outshine by the world-famous Mt. Mayon to the south and the higher, grander Mt. Isarog to the north, it possesses its own charms.

For one, the views at the peaks (yes, plural) are breathtaking, offering a view of Mt. Mayon, Mt. Malinao, at Mt. Masaraga on the south; and even a distant Catanduanes southeast. Knife-edged slopes characterize the contour of this mountain, especially in the Buhi side.

Mt. Asog has a colorful history. It was name after an ancient datu (chieftain) of the Agtas named Asog, who reigned over the region. Sometimes it is also called Mt. Sumagang, which means “Mountain of the Rising Sun“.

In some lowland areas, the sun seemingly rises from the mountain itself. Being on the eastern side of Luzon, the sun rises majestically from the Pacific Ocean when viewed from its summit.

Our way of to Mt. Asog

A climb to Mt. Asog is usually combined with a Mt. Isarog expedition; this maximizes a mountaineering trip to the Bicol region. From Naga, you can take a bus to Iriga City. Transport options vary depending on the trail you will take.

The Ilian trail requires just a tricycle/jeep ride to the jump-off where you may go ahead to the town of Buhi for the alternative trail via Brgy. Cabatuan. Both trails are suitable although the latter is a more extensive exploration, using the Esplana campsite as a ‘base’, from which you can explore the Dead Crater on the first day and the summit on the next.

On your way down, you can use Brgy. Santiago which is closer to Iriga City; or Brgy. San Roque in Buhi.

Me setting foot off to Bicol Region for the first time is unforgettable one and hope that I can go back and visit the famous perfect cone shape Mt. Mayon Volcano of Legazpi City, Albay.

View of GK Village in Iriga City

As I said earlier, this blog is about my first journey to the Bicol Region home of Bicol Express. Destination, Iriga City, Camarines Sur where we joined the biggest gathering of mountaineers, hiking enthusiasts, outdoor addicts etc that I ever joined so far.

I like the idea that we are helping through community services while traveling different places that’s why I made sure that I was able to join the said event.

I wanted others to understand why being on the outback is awesome and the life of a backpacker is great.

Trivia: Iriga City is also the home town of Philippine’s one and only Superstar, my mom’s all time favorite “Nora Aunor”.

For complete stories of our journey click here.

@the peak/crater. 8th Peaks in 8 Mts.

Resources: Wikimapia and http://silentpal.wordpress.com Photo Credits: Bebeboi Uzi, AB and Dingdong.
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About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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8 Responses to Setting Foot in Bicolandia (Iriga City, Camarines Sur)

  1. Pingback: Tunggalon Spring | Malate

  2. Sony Fugaban says:

    Thanks for pointing that out. My bad, really! I passed by this mountain when I went to take a peek at Mayon’s grandeur. One day I will climb this mountain too. Kudos to that Medical Mission and Tree Planting.

    Now, I’m glad you called my attention through that comment of yours huh.

    Like

  3. Sony Fugaban says:

    Nice view of Mayon, Paolo! I like it.

    Like

    • Paolomer says:

      Hi Sony that’s not Mt. Mayon that’s the view of Mt. Asog from Gawad Kalinga Village. It looks the same with it huh? That’s my first time setting foot in Visayas Region I hope to be there again and to Mindanao.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Mount Isarog: The Gateway To My Backpacking | Stories of My Wandering Feet & Mind

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  6. Pingback: Taking A Peek at Mayon Volcano’s Perfect Cone | Stories of My Wandering Feet & Mind

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