The scenic ride from Naga City in Camarines Sur to Tabaco Albay lasted for an hour and a half. Upon reaching the Van terminal in Naga City, we secured a good spot in the van to capture the countryside scenes and actions. The driver seems very amenable to my need as he slows down whenever he sees me taking photos of whatever I like. I didn’t slept throughout the course of the travel mainly because I was mesmerized by the countryside view of Bicol Region.
Saint John the Baptist Parish Church Nestled in the Northeast side of the majestic Mayon Volcano, Tabaco is a component city of Albay housing a world class port, century old church and ancestral houses. Entering the city, one will be magnetized by the Tabaco Church or the Saint John the Baptist Parish Church. The 15th century church is the most notable landmark in the city of Tabaco.
Built using volcanic materials, the church is a historical landmark not only of the Uragon but also of the Filipino people as it witness the development of the country. In 2012 the National Museum of the Philippines declared Tabaco Church as a National Cultural Treasure.
Tabaco City Hall A few steps away from Tabaco Church is the seat of power in the city. The white painted city hall is open for public viewing any days of the week. Although its not as grandiose compared to other city hall, it complimented the small city vibe of Tabaco City. The city hall staff was kind enough to assist us through answering our question regarding Vera Falls.
Tabaco City Albay
After we toured the city hall, we hailed a pedicab and asked him to tour us around the city. There are about 2,500 to 3,000 pedicab plying the roads of Tabaco City everyday. It is the main transportation mode in the city. For as low as Php5.00 you can go from point A to point B. Pedicab tour may seem new but a good way to promote tourism in Tabaco.
Pedicab Tour in Tabaco Albay
Unexpectedly, Tabaco City has a lot of old houses that signifies the grand old Tabaco City. Apart from the ancestral houses some of the big old houses and structures were used as company office while some are being used as schools and space for religious institution.
One most notable ancestral house is the house of Angela Manalang-Gloria, a Filipina poet and once the Editor-in-chief of The Philippine Herald Magazine. Before it became the Ancestral House of the Filipina Poet, it was used to be the quarters of Bell and Smith Company in Tabaco Albay. The Ancestral House is the only remaining example of Bahay na Bato in Albay.
Everyday view of the Mayon Volcano in one of the residencial area in Tabaco
Tabaco City Cimburrio
Before dawn our pedicab driver brought us to the old cemetery. The public cemetery has century old Cimburrio or chapel which itself is a tourist attraction.
Legend says that Tabaco City got its name from “tabak” Others would say that it got its name from Tobaco products that once the city is known for. Anyhow, Tabaco City is known for creating tabak like of those in Taal, Batangas.
Tabaco City has a street that has a row of blacksmith shop. Unfortunately, it was late when we went there therefore we weren’t able to witness a blacksmith creating a “tabak” Whenever you find your way to Tabaco better be early to witness a blacksmith creating his masterpiece.
After our half day tour in Tabaco City, its time to hit the sack! Good thing Hotel Fina offers an affordable and a comfy stay in Tabaco.