• Gianluca Iacopini

A day in Legazpi - Philippines

When traveling to The Philippines chances are that you will land in Manila and upon your arrival the most responsible thing that you could think about would be finding an official taxi to go to your hotel, right? Wrong! They are expensive ( P1500 or $28) What I would recommend would be to get a GLOBE sim-card (P140 or $3.00), it will give you a local number, 200 texts to any network and 2gb of LTE data, it will take a minute to have that activated as there is no need to sign any paper.

Get the sim, put it in your phone and you are good to go. Download the app GRAB, it’s the equivalent of Uber without the need of uploading your cc details, you will just pay cash to your driver and the cost to go to a more central area of the city like the central Makati district will be only P250/300 or $4.80.

I am not a big city person so after two days that I spent to get adjusted to the new time zone, learning some Philippino’s words and getting a taste of the local cuisine, I booked a flight to Legazpi using Expedia to go visit the active Mayon Volcano.

At my arrival, I was welcomed by my new, first, Philippino friend, Ra-Yaj, a local and independent taxi driver and tour guide. Wherever I travel I will always try to find people like him and avoid the big sponsored tours especially in this kind of communities.

Legazpi is still a fairly rural village with a slowly growing touristic scene, don’t expect to find any nice hostel here. I opted for the COMMUTERS INN hotel. For $18/night I had my own private, queen-size bedroom. Basic, clean, and with a decent wi-fi signal, definitely recommended.

Foodwise my favorite spot in town was the SMALL TALK CAFÈ, a family-owned restaurant serving local food ( try the bicol express or the sisig, two local’s favorite). An average of P200 or $4.00 will feed your belly up! (Word from the locals is that they also serve a super good pizza that unfortunately I didn’t get to try)

I had two places that I wanted to visit in Legazpi: the Mayon Volcano and the Busay falls.

Ra-Yaj took me to the best spots to photograph the Volcano, he is absolutely phenomenal, friendly and a super knowledgeable person.

Taken with Fujifilm XT-2 16mm, ISO 200, F 16. SS 1/60 from the “Our Lady of the Gate” Church.

Then he surprised me by driving to the Samnang lake, a place I did not know about and there I took one of my favorite photo of this year so far.

Taken with Fujifilm XT-2 16mm, ISO 200, F 16. SS 1/6

After a morning spent photographing the Volcano we went to the Busay waterfall were we spent a few hours enjoying this amazing view, completely undisturbed without any other tourist around. We swam, took photos and had a lot of fun together!

Taken with Fujifilm XT-2 16mm, ISO 200, F 16. SS 1/4

Legazpi was my first adventure in the Philippines and it was definitely one for the book! I hope you enjoyed reading and watching the photos and the video.

Video of the Mayon Volcano recorded with DJI MAVIC PRO .

If you will plan to visit and have any question please drop me a message by commenting this post or send me an email at and if you would like to stay updated with my travel posts you can join my mailing list here (only 1 email a week, no spam, no ads, just a quick reminder that a new blog post is up)




#Travel #backpacking #travelblog #travelphotography #sunrise #philippines #mayon #mayonvolcano #legazpi #landscapephotography #landscape #hike #DJI #mavic #drone #aerial

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