Albay's sprawling provincial capital, transportation center, seaport, university town and commercial and cultural center, this component city is the terminal of the southern line of the Philippine National Railways and an important deepwater port for local shipping. The province's two main highways merge at this city. It was built on mangrove swamps which once fringed its deepwater port. The city center, Legaspi Port District, contains the port, bus stations, market and most of the hotels, moviehouses and restaurants. The port is situated on a deep bay that forms a fine natural harbor. Petroleum tankers and large freighters dock here.
|Places to See|
- The Headless Monument, along Lapu-Lapu St., Brgy. Lapu-Lapu, in front of the post office and near the wharf, commemorates the unknown heroes who died at the hands of the Japanese in World War II.
- Kapuntukan Hill, shaped like a sleeping lion (thus also called Sleeping Lion Hill), is located less than a km. away from the pier, passing through Victory Village. It has a panoramic view of the city's Embarcadero and Port District, Albay Gulf, Mayon Volcano and the neighboring towns on the north, Manito and the islands of Rapu-Rapu.
- The Legaspi Heroes Memorial Trylon, at the corner of Rizal and Quezon Sts., commemorates the Bicolano stand against U.S. forces in 1900.
- The St. Gregory the Great Cathedral, located near Peñaranda Park, was built in 1834 mainly through the generosity of Pedro Romero. The St. Raphael Church, along Penaranda St., opposite the Plaza Rizal, has a ten-ton chunk of volcanic rock from Mayon as an altar.
- The Liberty Bell, at Penaranda Park, is a bronze bell installed in 1945 by the American Liberation Forces. It is enclosed within a dome shaped, concrete structure with the inscription, "Whenever oppression knocks at your door, feel free to ring this bell.”
- Peñaranda Park, at the Albay District, is the site of the Provincial Capitol, the City Hall, the Department of Tourism Office and the Public Market. Plaza Rizal is located at the intersection of Peñaranda, Alonzo, Aguinaldo and Magallanes Sts.. It has a monument to the late Albay governor (1834-1843) Jose Maria Penaranda.
- The Statue of the Risen Christ (Brgy. Banquerohan)
- Victory Village, located south of the city, near the port, has fishermen’s huts on stilts.
- Karangahan Falls, in Brgy. Banquerohan, has a deep catch basin ideal for swimming. It is accessible by motor vehicles.
- The gray sand Puro Beach
- The Legaspi City Museum, at the City Hall, was opened last October 20, 1993. Its Gallery I displays a collection of photographs, documents, religious items, pottery, books and artifacts from the Center of Military History of the U.S. Army and photographs of World War II and the devastation of Legaspi City. Gallery II is a venue for conferences, seminars and also serves as the Art Gallery. Open Mondays-Fridays, 8am-5pm. Admission is free.
- The L-shaped, 40-m. (130-ft.) long Japanese World War II Tunnel, in Brgy. EM's Barrio South in Albay District, is located 2.1 m. (7 ft.) below ground.
- Albay Park and Wildlife, along Binitayan Rd., is a picnic grove and zoological park.
- The Embarcadero, a major waterfront development fronting the city's main harbor, is home to retail spaces, restaurants, markets, a major civic space and a landmark lighthouse. It has a magnificent view of Mayon Volcano.
- The 143-m. (469-ft.) high Lignon Hill Nature Park, located off Binitayan Rd., behind Albay Park and Wildlife, is one of the best places to view Mayon Volcano and the city. The highest location in the downtown area, it towers over the adjacent Legaspi Airport and is located 11 kms. (6.8 miles) southeast of the volcano's summit. A winding road takes visitors to the observation station at the top. The park includes nature trails, ziplines and view decks. On its southwestern slope is a PHIVOLCS monitoring station.
- General Simeon Ola Statue (Bicol Heritage Park, Camp Simeon A. Ola)
- The Magayon Art Gallery, at the Provincial Capitol lobby, serves as a venue for artists to show off their visual creations.
- Rizal Park, along Penaranda St., in front of St. Raphael Church, has a fountain and a statue of Jose Rizal sculpted by National Artist Napoleon Abueva in 1966.
- The city had its beginnings as Sawangan, a small settlement by a mangrove swamp.
- From 1587 to 1616, the spiritual administration of this settlement was under Cagsawa.
- In 1616, it was made into a town called Albaybay (meaning “by the bay”).
- The church, together with several houses, were buried during the 1754 eruption of Mayon Volcano
- The February 1, 1814 eruption destroyed the town’s new church and half of the town.
- On September 22 1856, by virtue of a Royal Decree, Sawangan's name was changed to Legaspi (after Spanish conquistador Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi) with Don Lorenzo Hac as the first gobernadorcillo
- On May 18, 1872, it was designated as an open port.
- Legaspi became a city under the Becerra Law of 1892.
- On October 17, 1894, part of Albay's territory was ceded to Sorsogon.
- On September 22, 1898, Filipino rebels grab control of Legaspi after civil guards under Anacleto Solano joined their side.
- During the Philippine-American War, Legaspi was occupied by four companies of U.S. troops plus a gunboat after desperate resistance by its outnumbered and outgunned defenders led by Gens. Belarmino and Jose Paua.
- During the American occupation, Legaspi reverted back into a municipality becoming the capital in 1908.
- On December 12, 1945, during World War II, the Japanese Kimura Detachment landed and occupied Legaspi City which was only defended by the Philippine Constabulary unit of Maj. Francisco Sandico.
- On April 1, 1945, the U.S. 158th Regiment liberated the city.
- On July 18, 1948, Legaspi, including the town of Daraga, became a city for the second time by virtue of Republic Act No. 306.
- On June 8, 1954, it was recreated as a municipality
- Legaspi became a city for the third time on June 12, 1959 by virtue of Republic Act No. 5525.
Legaspi City is noted for its abaca products and candies made from pili nuts are a local specialty.
|Location and Topography|
Legaspi City, situated on a small plain between Albay Gulf and Mayon Volcano, is bounded on the north by Santo Domingo; on the east by the Albay Gulf and Manito; on the west by Daraga; and on the south by the Sorsogon towns of Pilar and Castilla.
- Area (sq. kms.): 153.7
- Population (2010): 182,201
- No. of Barangays: 70 (41 urban and 29 rural)
- Income Class: Second
- District: Second
- Zip Code: 4500
- Area Code: 052
|Where to Dine|
- Benjo’s Pizza & Pasta - Magallanes St.
- Four Seasons Restaurant - Magallanes St. (Chinese and Filipino cuisine).
- Graceland - Peñaranda St.
- Mike’s Oakroom Restaurant - Peñaranda St. (tel: 2-2688)
- Mister Donut - Peñaranda St.
- Shangrila Restaurant - Peñaranda St. (Chinese and Filipino cuisine)
- Wah Foo Chan Restaurant - Peñaranda St.
- Waway Restaurant - Peñaranda St. Ext. (Bicol Express and vegetarian dishes)
- Café Old Albay - Rizal St. (tel: 2-2103)
- Ihaw-Ihaw sa Legaspi - Rizal St. (tel: 4-4309)
- LCC Food Garden - LCC Department Store, cor. Quezon Ave. and Rizal St
- Wendees - cor. Quezon Ave. and Rizal St..
- Alibar Restaurant - Mabini St. (tel: 214-3389)
- Aroma Café - (tel: 2-2604)
- New Legaspi Restaurant - Lapu-Lapu St. (Chinese and Filipino cuisine)
- Ocean Villa Restaurant - Quezon Ave.
|Where to Stay|
See "Legaspi City (Albay) Resorts and Accommodations" at Tourist Support Diectory
|Where to Shop|
- Bicol Souvenir, Pili Nut and Handicraft - Legaspi Supermarket (tel: 2-2133)
- Brusola’s Handicraft - Legaspi Supermarket (tel: 2-2930)
- Celeste Souvenir - Legaspi Supermarket
- Hernandez Store of Pili Nut Candies - Legaspi Supermarket
- Edzel’s Handicraft - Pineda Bldg. (tel: 2-3018)
- Resam Handicraft - Pineda Bldg.
- Metro Gold - Quezon Ave. (tel: 214-3392 & 480-7816)
- Nene’s General Merchandise - Quezon Ave.
- Bewa Handicraft (tel: 2-2454)
- Bombay Silk Store - Rizal St. (tel: 214-3048)
- Sayco’s Native Craft - City Bus Terminal (tel: 2-2934)
|How to Get There|
Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines and Zest Air have 328-km. (55-min.) flights from Manila to Legaspi City. Legaspi City Airport has a 2,280-m. (7,480-ft.) long runway.
Airline Ticket Offices:
- Air Philippines - Legaspi Airport (tel: 481-0918 and 245-5296, fax: 245-5297)
- Philippine Airlines - Legaspi Airport (tel: 245-5024 and 4-4746, fax: 481-0779)
Distances (Legaspi City to:)
- Manila: 556 kms. (11 hrs., A. Bragais Liner, AMA Trans, Ambassador, Cagsawa Tours, Columbus Liner, Executive Carriers and Service, Goldline Tours, Inland Trailways, Jessa, Jerwin, Mabel, Partas Transit, Penafrancia, Philtranco, Sarkies Tours, Sarungbanggi, Sunshine Run, Superlines Transport)
- Daraga: 5 kms. (jeepneys)
- Sto. Domingo: 11.5 kms. (jeepneys)
- Tabaco City: 27 kms. (jeepneys)
- Naga City (Camarines Sur): 101 kms. (2.5 hrs., jeepneys, minibuses, AMDG, KNK Green Bus)
- Iriga City (Camarines Sur): (jeepneys, minibuses, AMDG, KNK Green Bus)
- Daet (Camarines Norte): 193 kms. (5 hrs., J.B. Bicol Express, Philtranco)
- Sorsogon City (Sorsogon): 58 kms. (minibuses)
The City Bus Terminal (buses for Tabaco City, Iriga City and Naga City) is located along Circumferential St.. The Satellite Bus Terminal, along Tahao St., is located 2 kms. west of the city center.
- AMA Trans - Satellite Market, Tahao Rd. (tel: 214-3803)
- AMDG - Satellite Market, Tahao Rd. (tel: 480-9093)
- Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus - Penaranda St. Ext. (tel: 2-3560 and 2-3569)
- Cagsawa Tours - Elizondo St. (tel: 24-3548 and 480-7727)
- Goldline - J. Barra Bldg., Rizal St. (tel: 214-3736)
- J.B. Bicol Express - Penaranda St.
- Philtranco - Satellite Market, Tahao Rd. (tel: 214-3023)
- Sarkies Tours - Rizal St.
- Sunshine Run - Rizal St.
|Tourist Information Center|
- City Tourism Council - City Hall (tel: 4-4452-53)
- City Tourism Office - City Hall (tel: 820-3679 & 820-1843)
- February 21-28 (Bikol Arts Festival) - this weeklong festival showcases the region's art, culture and agro-industrial products. It features a grand parade of all the festivals in the region, museum tours, karawat (sports), quiz shows, laro ng lahi, exhibits and cultural art shows.
- May 1-31 (Karangahan Albay Festival) - this month-long cultural and thanksgiving festival is derived from the Bicol word ranga which means “endeared in the heart.” It features a Legendary Street Presentation, a grand parade of Reina Elenas, cultural fashion shows, garden shows, trade fair, carnival, art, culture and photo exhibit, choral and amateur singing contests, sports and games, and award ceremonies for outstanding Albayanos and business establishments.
- October 21-24 (Great Sibidan Festival) - co-hosted by Tabaco City, this sea carnival and regatta (Palayag) are participated in by 30 to 40 fishermen in lightweight outrigger boats called sibid-sibid.
- October 25-31 (Ibalong Festival) - depicts Bicol's early beginnings as portrayed in the “Ibalong” epic. Revellers sing and dance on the main streets wearing masks of the three superheroes - Handyong, Bantong and Baltog and their archenemies like Oryol and other wild animals. Festival activities include tours, agro-industrial trade fair, stage presentation of Ibalong epic, exhibits and beauty pageant (Mutya ng Ibalong).
- December 18 (Bicol Pastores) - this is a unique Christmas celebration where pastores (young men and women dressed in colorful shepherd costumes) joyfully dance as they sing Pastores a Belen through the city streets.
- Bank of the Philippine Islands - Rizal St. cor. Quezon Ave. (tel: 480-7292 & 820-0047, fax: 480-7195)
- Bank of the Philippine Islands - Rizal cor. Msgr. Reyes Sts., Old Albay (tel: 481-1770 & 820-4758, fax: 245-5322)
- Chinabank - Rizal St.
- Equitable PCI Bank - Rizal St.
- Philippine National Bank - Rizal St. cotr. Gov. Forbes St. (tel: 480-7369, fax: 480-7780)
- Philippine Veterans Bank - Penaranda St.
- Unionbank - Rizal St. .
- United Coconut Planters Bank - UCPB Bldg., Quezon Ave. (with ATM, tel: 212-3038, 214-3177, 480-8291 & 480-8721, fax: 480-7881)
- Ago Hospital, Medical and Educational Center (100 beds) - P. Lerma St. (tel: 820-6592)
- Albay Doctor's Hospital
- Aquinas University Hospital (40 beds) - Washington Drive (tel: 820-3633)
- Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH, 250 beds) - (tel: 483-0016 to 17
- Dr. Esteban Ante Memorial Hospital (25 beds) - 573 Rizal St., Brgy. 18 (tel: 820-0469 and 245-5638)
- Estevez Memorial Hospital (35 beds) - Guevarra Subd. (tel: 245-5031 and 480-2135)
- Ibalong Medical Plaza
- Sacred Heart Clinic (22 beds) - Aguinaldo St. (tel: 480-7191)
- Sta. Teresita Hospital - Rizal St.
- Tanchuling Hospital (50 beds) - Imperial Court Subd., Phase II (tel: 480-6302 and 820-2913)
- Albay Provincial Office - 2/F, ANST Bldg., Washington Drive (tel: 821-7909)
- Legazpi City Fire Station - Rizal St., Albay District (tel: 820-9160)
- Legazpi City Sub-Station 1 - Peñaranda St. (tel: 214-5121)