After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. – Nelson Mandela
The Philippines has been known to be the home of the world-renowned Chocolate Hills in Bohol. BUT, did you know that in the Bicol Region, a notably similar undulating geographical features like the ones in Bohol, can be seen in the town of Camalig in Albay Province?
The Quitinday Hills are said to be Albay’s version of The Chocolate Hills. And because Albay is known to be a pili producer, the moniker Pili Nut Hills has been associated since it was opened for the public to visit. These little-known hills span an area extending from the 2nd to the 3rd district of Albay. They may not be as cone-shaped and proportioned as the ones in Bohol, however, they are believed to be similar in composition. Nonetheless, the natural beauty of these hills can rival the charm of the Chocolate Hills.
Only early this year (2015) were these natural wonders opened for visitors and tourists to explore. It has since then been considered as an emerging Albay’s tourist attractions. These amazing geological formations adds up to Albay’s stunning landscape that has been dominated by the famous Mayon Volcano.
The best way to access the hills is through the nearby town of Camalig, home of the Hoyop-Hoyopan Cave. If one comes from down town Legaspi City, ride a jeep or tricycle going to the van terminal. Then, from the terminal, ride a van going to Camalig town. Inform the driver to drop you off at the intersection going to Quitinday Green Hills.
If you are coming from the town of Daraga, ride a jeepney with a Polangue signage and tell the driver to drop you off at the intersection going to Quitinday Green Hills in Camalig.
Now, once at the intersection going to Quitinday, either ride a tricycle going to the green hills or if there are habal-habal (motorcycle), then you may go for that option. Travel period would be around 30-45min. The road isn’t all paved so expect that the ride would be bumpy.
You will know that you have reached the area when you see a tarpaulin that says “Welcome to Quitinday Hills”. You will be asked to log at their log book and a brief orientation will follow. Entrance fee is Php20/person. Guide assistance is to your discretion.
The trek to the hills is pretty easy. So far there are huts/sheds that serve as shade and resting place for visitors. Reaching the highest among the hills, you will have a 360 degrees view of the rolling hills and Mayon Volcano’s imposing beauty.
It could be pretty warm atop despite the wind blowing, so make sure to bring with you a hat, your sunglasses and a bottle of water.
Albay can be reached via plane or bus from Manila. The Naga City Airport in Camarines Sur and Legazpi City Airport in Albay may serve as the entry point. There are several bus lines plying the Bicol route. These bus companies can be found both in Quezon City and Pasay City.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be a wanderlust. Take it easy ebriwan. Roamulofied out.