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Region 5 - Bicol Region
As the home of Mt. Mayon, Spanish Churches, monuments and the whale shark, Bicol is a region of pilgrimage, festivals, eco-tours and historical splendor. Region 5 consists of Albay, Camarines Norte and Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.
Legazpi, the capital of Albay Province, is best known for its surrounding attractions including Mt. Mayon, the volcano renowned for its near perfect cone, and Cagsawa Ruins Park which contains the ruins of the village of Cagsawa with only the church steeple still standing. Other natural attractions include Hoyop-Hoyopan, Calabigonan and Pototan Caves, and Busay and Vera Falls. Santo Domingo beach is known for surfing, while San Miguel and Rapu-Rapu Islands are know for diving. Historical sites include the Battle of Legazpi Trylon and Jose Ignacio Paua Monuments in Old Albay, the Simeon Ola Monument at Guinobatan, and the Andres Bonifacio Monument at Santo Domingo.
Natural attractions in Camarines Norte include Kanapnap Falls, Apuao Grande island, and the beaches of Lanot, Pag-asa and Bagabas, whose white sand beach is regarded as one of the best in the nation. Historical landmarks include the first monument of Dr. Jose Rizal to be erected in the country, located in the town of Daet, and the Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, Sr. Historical Shrine at Vinzons. Churches include the Vinzons Catholic Church and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Recreational sites include the Tulay na Lupa (Land bridge) Reservoir in Labo, a recreational resort with a very natural and fresh water swimming pool.
Naga City, the capital of Camarines Sur, is known for one of the country's most important festivals, called the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. It is also regarded as the Christmas City of the Philippines, with the month-long Kamundagan Festival held in December. Naga City also has one of the oldest museum outside Manila, which houses Bicol's historical and cultural artifacts. Other churches include the San Francisco Church, built in 1578 by Franciscan Friars, and the Metropolitan Church, the largest in the region. Natural sites include Sabang, Gota and Caramoan Beaches, Adiangao and Kulapnitan Caves, and Lake Buhi, near Iriga City, which is home to the world's smallest edible fish called the 'sinarapan'.
Catanduanes is an island province with other smaller islands off the northeast and northwest coasts, including Panay, Palumbanes, Parongpong and Calbagio. Natural attractions include Maribina, Balongbong and Nahulugan Falls, and Luyan and Buyo Caves. Beaches include Toytoy, Mamangal, Marilima and Pururan Beach, which is popular to surfers.
Masbate Province is composed of three main islands, Masbate, Ticao and Burias, and serves as the link between the Bicol Region and the Visayas. Gold and cattle, celebrated in Rodeo Pilipino, are the main drivers of its economy. Natural attractions include the beaches at Dacu, Bituon and Talisay, the waterfalls at Tagoron and Catandayagan and the islands of Bontod, Deagan, Cagpating and Baybay.
Sorsogon Province is located in the southernmost part of Luzon. Attractions include Bulusan Mountain Lake, which is perched in the crater of a still active volcano, and has been regarded as "The Switzerland of the Orient" by foreigners. Another attraction is the coastal town of Donsol where massive whale sharks (butanding) can be found swimming in its waters between January and April. Other natural attractions include Bulus, Mapaso, Masacrot and San Benon Springs, Bato Limestone Cave and Tulong-Gapo Beach in Bacon.
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