Sky signage near Mayon Planetarium
Guides and Itineraries,  Philippines

TOP 10 Things to do in Tabaco City, Albay

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Have you been to Tabaco City, Albay? If you haven’t yet, you’re definitely missing out on a great destination in Bicol! This place is charming, with a wonderful view of Mount Mayon and warm, hospitable locals. Here we’ve compiled a guide on the top things to do in Tabaco City, Albay!

1. Visit St. John the Baptist Parish Church

Tabaco Church in Tabaco City, Albay
Tabaco Church.

Also known as Tabaco Church, St. John the Baptist Parish Church is is a historical piece that dates back in 1864. It is made of dark volcanic soil and stones, with distinct mason marks on stones built for its construction. It also has a beautiful bell tower which you can climb up (with permission). It is considered a Natural Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.

St. John the Baptist Parish Church is easily located in the town center.

Other notable churches you may want to see in the area include the Cimburrio (a cemetery church) and St. Vincent Ferrer Shrine.

2. Visit Bahay na Bato

Tabaco Church in Tabaco City, Albay
Bahay na Bato.

Bahay na Bato is the oldest house in Tabaco City. It was a commercial establishment built in 1868 and then eventually bought by a local artist as a home. Bahay na Bato is built using stone blocks adjoined with mortar and molasses. It has withdstood more than a century of typhoons and volcanic eruptions.

Same as Tabaco Church, Bahay na Bato is located in the town center. As of our visit (June 2019), Bahay na Bato is not yet opened to the public but can be accessed with permission from the tourism office.

3. Ride a padyak

Tabak Festival (Albay) - Padyak Race

Tabaco City is known as the padyak capital of the Philippines. You can see padyak offering rides to short distances literally everywhere.

It’s a must to ride this at least once when you’re visiting Tabaco City. It’s also convenient too as it can get pretty hot especially during the summer. Fare is P10 per person.

4. See tabak making

Tabak making in Tabaco City
Tabak making.

Tabaco City’s icon is the tabak, a type of local knife created by the blacksmiths in the city. To see how tabak and other cutlery is made, you can visit Barangay Cobo where you can find blacksmiths on their forges.

You can also take home a tabak for P500-1000 per piece.

5. Taste local delicacies

Ginataang santol in Bicol
Ginataang santol.

As with other Bicol areas, Tabaco City is home to coconut milk-based dishes such as laing, pinangat, bicol express and ginataang santol.

Other native food you can find includes the marcasotes, a chiffon cake that is cooked in a claypot in an open fire for 30 minutes. Marcasotes is made only in Tabaco City.

6. Island hop via Tabaco Port

From the port in Tabaco, you can go on an island hopping trip to see various islands: Vanishing Island, Pinamuntogan Island, Sitio Maliktay and San Miguel Island.

Vanishing Island in Malilipot, Albay
Vanishing Island in Malilipot, Albay.
Vanishing Island in Malilipot, Albay
During high tide.

Make sure to allot most of the day for island hopping and bring your own food with you. Also, it’s best to go in a group so you can save on island hopping expenses (P3000-4000 rate).

7. Swim at Oras Falls

Oras Falls is a small waterfall found in Barangay Oras. It’s located in a forest, with a cool, green basin for swimming.

Oras Falls in Tabaco City
Oras Falls.

To get here, you need to take a jeepney ride from the town center to Barangay Oras. From the highway, ride aa tricycle to the jump-off point. From there, it’s an easy 15-20 minute trek to Oras Falls.

While in Oras Falls, you can also buy fresh coconuts for drinking from the locals.

8. See the views at Mayon Planetarium

The Mayon Planetarium and Science Park is a planetarium and geology museum where you can enjoy a panoramic view of nearby towns and see the geological features of Mount Mayon up-close.

Mayon Planetarium and Science Park
Mayon Planetarium and Science Park.
Sky signage near Mayon Planetarium
Sky signage going to Mayon Planetarium.

This is one of the most popular attractions in Tabaco City due to its cool weather and breathtaking views, as well as the scenic drive going here. It’s commonly visited for picnics and field trips as well as photo-ops by tourists in the city.

To get here, from Tabaco City, ride jeep going to Ligao City and then get off at the corner going to the Mayon Planetarium. From there, you can rent habal-habal and then ask the driver to wait for you.

Tip: If you want to see a sea of clouds, visit early at about 6AM.

9. Relax at Adelaida Farm and Resort

Adelaida Farm and Resort is the perfect nature resort when in Tabaco City. It’s located in a farm with a view of Mount Mayon, Mt. Malinao and Mt. Masaraga. You can stroll around, see livestock and sunflower plantations or swim at a natural spring water pool.

Adelaida Farm and Resort, Tabaco City
Adelaida Farm and Resort.
Sunflower farm in Adelaida Farm and Resort, Tabaco City
Sunflower farm.

Day-tour cottages and overnight rooms are available. Caretaker: Peter Buban – 09305511975. Walk-in rate is P30 per head.

It is beside Agriculture Office in San Vicente, Tabaco City.

10. Witness the Tabak Festival

Each June, Tabaco City holds the Tabak Festival — a celebration of everything Tabaknon. The festival lasts for several days and includes games, competitions, music & dance performances and of course a street parade. Some of the highlights include Mutya ng Tabak and Tabak Festival Street Dance.

Tabak Festival street parade

Tabak Festival street parade

You can also shop around the bazaars setup for this festivity and eat your heart out with the delicacies offered in various food stalls.

Read more about our experience at Tabak Festival here.

What other things to do in Tabaco City will you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Monch Weller

    My dad hails from Tabaco, and our summers back then usually consisted of long drives from Manila to there. It’s been 12 years since my last visit (after a relative passed away), and your post brought back memories – so thank you! 🙂

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