Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Photo courtesy of Gio's Majestic View Facebook Fan Page
Picnic Groves

Albay's capital of Legazpi is not all-harbor or just a swath of modern cityscape. Although most tourists know it to be famous for its share of the Mayon Volcano view, there are a few hilltops where the city can be experienced in unconventional ways. One is at the historic Lignon Hill and another is at the charming Kapuntukan Hill (or Sleeping Lion). A third high point where vantage views of most of the city can be had is at the quaint landscape of Barangay Estanza where Gio's Majestic View stands atop the peak of one of the hills of Sitio Maticol.

Considered a mountain resort, Gio's Majestic View is starting to be known by visiting local tourists as Bicol's own Little Tagaytay for sharing similar qualities with the popular tourist attraction of Cavite. It's located at a high-altitude terrain where the climate is mild and there are numerous cliff-side views of rolling hills, the Albay gulf, the majestic Mayon Volcano and the rest of the city. It's a side of Legazpi that most tourists tend to overlook because of other more accessible attractions.

Catching the sunrise at Barangay Estanza
My booked accommodation
The veranda of my booked accommodation
Resort accommodations

Wellness Haven

Since it's been opened to the public, the resort has been frequented by locals for brief escapes from the hustle-and-bustle of the city proper. They tackle the uphill route of the long and winding Estanza Road from Rizal Avenue to dine at its restaurant for sampling of authentic Bicolano cuisine like the Chicken Albayana with an expansive view of the city. The resort premises includes a garden that allows the kitchen to serve farm-to-table dishes, including healthy drinks with fresh ingredients directly sourced from plants that are being grown there.

The view from the door of the accommodation
City Grid View At Night

At night, the skyline glows in electric hustle showing the main thoroughfares of Legazpi as a sizzling grid of lights. The resulting chilly atmosphere attracts sweet and non-romantic rendezvous, especially at the resort's picnic groves. With the recent addition of a few studio-type accommodations, guests now have a good reason to stay for the night and eventually wake up relaxed to appreciate sunrise from their room's appointed porch.

Intrepid Commute

For my recent visit of the province's Ligao City, I had a layover at Gio's Majestic View to experience a different side of Legazpi. It was easy and fun to reach the resort from EDSA since the commute included an intrepid ride of a habal-habal after the initial 9 hour-long bus trip from Metro Manila and a tricycle ride from the Grand Terminal.

"At night, the skyline glows in electric hustle showing the main thoroughfares of Legazpi as a sizzling grid of lights."

Scenery at Barangay Estanza
My booked accommodation

The resort at night
Nearby Attractions
My itinerary included visiting the newly-opened Philippine National Railways (PNR) Legazpi City station and other local attractions that I missed visiting in the past. The resort is just a 20-minute downhill walk anyway from the Old District of Albay where the city hall and old St. Gregory The Great Cathedral are.

Decent Lodging

My recent overnight at one of the stand-alone rooms was decent enough for having the basic air conditioned room features like a flat screen TV, a dining table, closet, bed and bathroom. In the wee hours, I simply opened the windows to let in the cold since the terrain got a bit foggy.

Great For Joggers and Cyclists

When I stepped out of the resort for a morning stroll, I spotted a few joggers and cyclists tackling the well-paved Estanza Road along with a few young locals who were off to school on foot to beat the flag ceremony.

Gazing at the general view of the place, I could still see pastoral spaces and lush tree-lined hillsides which meant that the city still has a carefree side where one can be away from its center but conveniently be just a stroll away from the crowd.

Gio's Majestic View

Official website of Gio's Majestic View

Address: Maticol, Brgy. Estanza, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
Phone: 0917-686-6898
Email: giosmajesticview

Check out my special feature about Legazpi City on Uniquely Pinoy.

The resort restaurant

(top) Chicksilog Breakfast at the restaurant; (bottom) Young local of Sitio Maticol
The resort at night
With Chase Honrado of Gio's Majestic View

The busy city proper and a pastoral landscape of Legazpi
Waking up early morning to this at Barangay Estanza
Young local of Sitio Maticol on his way to school
The view of the distant harbor and Albay Gulf from Barangay Estanza


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