If Cagsawa Ruins and Mayon Skyline is for relaxation and nature appreciation and Japanese Tunnel is for educational trip, then Ligñon Hill will complete your Albay tour by giving you the best adventure they can possibly offer. Ligñon Hill is a prominent hill in the city of Legazpi which rises to about 512 feet overlooking the Mayon Volcano to the northwest and the entire city and Albay Gulf to the east. The whole site is managed by the city and provincial government, and has been designated as a nature park. As what I’ve heard, it is the highest point in the city situated next to the Legazpi Airport so it hosts the Mayon Volcano Observatory, the central monitoring station of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The nature park won’t exist without Mayon Volcano as it is the main attraction of the place and the reason why the observatory is built. The perfect cone-shaped volcano awaits at the west viewing deck of Ligñon Hill. Unfortunately, we can’t see the cone completely because noontime, the time of our visit, wasn’t the best time to have a glimpse of Mayon Volcano. Aside from the blazing heat of the sun directly from above, it’s also the time when the clouds block the perfect cone. So I suggest people to come here five or six in the morning or five or six in the afternoon because that’s the hour when I caught the whole Mayon, well not in this park, but in Embarcadero de Legazpi.
As I said, Albay gulf can also be viewed at the east viewing deck of the nature park. The gulf has been one of the tourist spots in the province because of the frequent sightings of whale sharks in the coastal areas. Obviously, the photo above isn’t the Albay gulf. I accidentally deleted my shot in it. Let me just give you this photo of the city of Albay instead. After all, we still got a nice sight with this. So provincial-looking! How I miss my hometown!
Enough with the Mayon Volcano, Albay Gulf and the city of Albay! Let’s now take a gaze of what’s inside Ligñon Hill. When the visitors reached the top of the hill, this circular building with zigzag roof is the first thing to notice. I immediately guessed that it’s the office where the business of the nature park is circulating. It has the Ligñon Hill Observatory, refreshment center, restrooms, souvenir shops and restaurants. We paid our bills here, FYI.
And here comes the most exciting part of the trip where the fun-filled adventure begins – zipline! The Ligñon Hill’s 320-meter zipline will allow its guests to soar on one side of the hill with the scene of Mayon Volcano only at 250 to 400 pesos. It may be thrilling at first as you wait for your turn but when you reached the middle and when you realized that the rope can carry you, ziplining will unleash your fright until all you can feel is fun. Well, that’s what I felt. Honestly, I want to try it over and over again if only it wouldn’t cost a price.
On your way up or on your way home, you’ll pass along the entrance of the Japanese tunnel, which let’s you see what’s inside Ligñon Hill. The cave was resided by the Japanese Imperial Army during the World War II. I suggest that you drop by so you’ll somehow be aware of the World War II stories in Albay. Effigies that were used to scare off Filipinos and some stuff of Japanese army are displayed inside. However, based on my experience, there’s nothing more to enjoy inside the tunnel.
The map shows the whole vicinity and attraction of Ligñon Hill. At the bottom-most part of the hill is the entrance gate and ticket booth while the Ligñon Hill Observatory is at the topmost and middle of the hill. I just seen seen on the last minute of our stay and I just knew that I missed their paintball, Kapit2ko, hanging bridge, rappelling and mini golf by that time. That’s sad because the activities I missed seemed to be filled with adventure and fun.
Despite of the short stay, I still enjoyed my experience in Ligñon Hill. And I’m missing the place, together with the magnificent view of Mayon Volcano and the entire Albay, badly. Actually, I am currently holding a remembrance from Ligñon Hill all smiles as the photo captured by the people there shows my unforgettable ride in their zipline. The souvenirs I bought in Ligñon Hill are also visible here at my working station. Ugh! I guess they’re looking at me on purpose! I should definitely come back.