Ligao is a city of 100,000 in the province of Albay in the Philippines. It is a young city, having only given that status in 1997, and is largely agricultural in background. Ligao is at the southwest of Mayon Volcano.
Philippine National Railways operates a limited commuter service between Sipocot, Naga and Legazpi; intercity trains from Manila are suspended indefinitely as of 2013.
Buses operate daily from Manila to Legaspi vice versa. Try Philtranco, Cagsawa Tours, Penafrancia Tours, RSL Tours, or any of the dozen more bus companies.
See and do
- Kawa-Kawa Hill, California Village, Tuburan (It is 2 km from downtown as the crow flies but is a 30-minute drive.). Kawa-Kawa (or formerly Lunad) is a hill with a 6 hectares (15 acres) crater, that looks like a giant cauldron, or kawa in the local language of Albay Bikol, and serves as both an ecotourism site and a pilgrimage site. People who climbed this hill described it as a huge amphitheater, a sliced coconut, or a hill without a top. From a distance, it looks like an ordinary hill, but up there, you'll feel its uniqueness with the calm winds and breezes blowing through it, and you can also get a full view of the city. The hill is also a pilgrimage site, with a Way of the Cross (Via Crucis) featuring images created by a sculptor from Paete, Laguna. The Via Crucis here is unique as it follows a walkway up the hill, where the first six stations are placed, with the remaining 8 forming the path circling the crater.
- Malison Spring Resort, Bonga. You can get a majestic view of Mayon Volcano and Malison Lake from this resort, where you can also fish or boat.
- St. Stephen the Promartyr Parish Church. A Roman Catholic parish church from the 1600s.
- Hobbit Hill, Amtic. Trek up on a panoramic and exhilarating view of Mount Mayon and Mount Masaraga.
Check out the local market and small shops. Shopping is not at par with the bigger Legaspi market but there are items of comparable quality, and sometimes, the prices may even be a bit lower. The following products are not exclusively available in Ligao, but are widely available and regarded as of high quality.
Woven fiber products made of abaca, hemp, banana fibers, etc., made into items like mats, bags, totes, and screens.
- Our Children's Montessori Foundation, Inc., Samson St., Sta. Cruz, ☏ .
Craving late night food? Looking to bust that hangover? Check out noodle and congee stands near the bus terminals, try pansit (noodles with hard-boiled eggs and a splash of chili and vinegar), balut (boiled fertilized duck eggs), or goto (rice congee with ginger, chicken and an optional boiled egg, served with fish sauce and some cracked peppers). Or feeling like shopping for grubs? Head straight to the city market, pretty much open from mornings until the evening hours all week. For the more adventurous traveller who is not squeamish about trying street food, it would be worth the adventure to seek out the following food favourites in this city:
- Pancit rinuguan: fresh egg noodles in meat broth, sauteed garlic and spring onions, topped with a tart and savory stew of cubed pork, tripe, various innards and pork blood. Ask for directions to Deling and Boy del Valle's noodle shop. Most people in the city know them and swear by their pansit rinuguan.
- Sinapot, another street food favorite; ripe sliced saba bananas dipped in rice flour and sugar batter, held by cacao leaves, and fried in hot coconut oil until crisp.
- Puto sa abab, a rice cake steamed in coconut shells and filled with some type of coconut jam. A variation of the puto sa abab uses purple yam added to the ground rice.
- Carinderias - The local Carinderias are a delight and sample linutong balaw (shrimp paste with chilis and pork cooked in coconut milk until reduced and creamy). Another Ligao specialty is the pinangat(pork, coconut and shrimp paste, and sometimes, river crabs, wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut cream). also ask for charcoal grilled pork belly or chops. They are great paired with a soy, chili and vinegar dressing, and lots of steamed white rice. They are usually sold to take home. There are also little stands not far from the Catholic Church where pork bits on a stick, roast chicken and various other grilled meats are sold. These stands are usually open way past midnight.
- Pili nut products brittles, salted, roasted, mazapan de pili
- Santan coconut jam with slivers of pili nuts. Great with toast or even over ice cream!
- Dried fish products: Ligao is not far from coastal areas with abundant fish and seafood, hence, the wonderful array of dried and smoked fish products. A word of caution: do not attempt to bring these items through international flights unless they are packed and sealed.
- Kuyang's Grill. Run by Marcelo Garcia, is a full dining restaurant with an al fresco patio and banquet area, a large kitchen, a menu of local food favorites.
- Mexita Pizza Parlor.
- Berman Ice Cream Haus. Halo-Halo ice cream (ice cream sandwich), Banana split, halo-halo, tapsilog, and pancit are available.
- There are two police substations in the city.
- The city has a low crime rate 0.9%, but always be alert as bad elements lurk around you.
|Routes through Ligao|
|Naga ← Polangui ←||N S||→ Guinobatan → Legazpi|
|Naga ← Iriga ←||N S||→ END|
|Naga ← Oas ←||N S||→ Guinobatan → Legazpi|
|Tabaco ←||N S||→ END|