Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ligao City's Kawa-Kawa Hill

I flew to Albay with no definite plan and just these two goals: eat Bicolano food and see Mount Mayon. A few days before the trip I saw a photo of an unusual hill, a hill with its center scooped out, I should say. I tucked that picture in my mind for future reference.


One boring day, while sitting in a bus en route to Legazpi City, I mentally dug up the photo and thought, 'Why not? I don't have anything else to do today anyway.' I informed the bus conductor of my destination, he gave me my ticket, I examined it, handed over my bus fare, and sat on my auto–recline seat. My seat kept reclining on its own every few minutes, probably trying to get me to sleep, for it knew the bus was lethargic. After what seemed like hours, the bus conductor finally announced "Kawa-Kawa hill!" Off the bus I went with the bus conductor telling me to just take a tricycle to Kawa-Kawa hill. So I did. Three minutes into the tricycle ride, the tricycle driver stopped and said we're here. Huh? That near? I could have just walked.

I looked around and couldn't find any sign telling me that I was at Kawa-Kawa hill. Turns out the drop off point of tricycles is halfway between the highway and the entrance of Kawa-Kawa hill.

Pathway between stations

From where the tricycle dropped me off, it was only a hundred meters or so to the entrance but my backpack grew heavier with every step up the incline. And it dawned on me...I am getting old. I know it's going to be my shallow version of Calvary if I lug my bag around Kawa-Kawa. At the entrance, I asked around if I could leave my bag somewhere and a lady selling cold drinks and snacks kindly offered to keep my bag (without asking for payment) in the wooden table-slash-cabinet on which she displays her goods. Thank you, ma'am, for getting it off my back.

Stations of the Cross

The hill, because of its shape, got its name from the Filipino word for cauldron: kawa. Kawa-Kawa Hill is more of a religious destination because of the Stations of the Cross beginning at the entrance, going up the hill and around its rim. At some point near the 10th Station, I took a sweeping look around and saw that the hill is indeed awesome. Too bad my photo couldn't convey its awesomeness.

I admit I didn't go to Kawa-kawa hill for the Stations of the Cross, but for the view. I circumnavigated its rim, breathed deep for the fresh air (and to catch my breath), and just took in all the greenery surrounding me. I wanted to snooze in the open–air cottage but the kind lady might get worried that I wouldn't come back for my bag.

Kawa-Kawa Hill
Brgy. Tuburan, Ligao City, Albay
Daily Morning (yup, that's what the sign says) to 8PM

How to go to Kawa-Kawa Hill:
Kawa-Kawa Hill is about 30 kilometers from Legazpi City. From Legazpi City, take a jeepney to Ligao City/Oas/Polangui. The jeepney driver will know where to drop you off. From the highway, either take a tricycle (Php 8) or walk. Visiting Kawa-Kawa Hill is free but donations are most welcome.

A Fraction of Albay:
Camalig: Let's Pinangat, Shall We?
Ligao City: Kawa-Kawa Hill (you're here!)
Ligao City: La Terraza Restaurant
Legazpi City: Affordable Accommodations
Legazpi Eats: 1st Colonial Grill, Small Talk Café, Bigg's Diner
Stalking Mayon


  1. Good thing there are some people you can trust to leave your bag with. Oh, and great pictures! xx

    1. Thanks Sheryl! Luckily there was somebody willing to keep my bag. Oh my back! I don't think I could have walked all the way up with my bag :-)

  2. It is a great spot with a fantastic view indeed. Like you said, it would have become your own shallow version of the calvary without the trustworthy lady :D People like that are few and far between these days. I'm jealous that you can just easily go on these spontaneous adventures, no planning whatsoever in a snap of your fingers just like that.

    1. Not really spontaneous coz I bought my ticket six months before. I never buy regular priced tickets :-) I usually plan ahead for places I am not familiar with but for this trip I was just too lazy to seriously make an itinerary :D But sometimes having no plan is a good plan. ;-) Thanks Jo-Ann for taking time to read my blog! Appreciate it!! (Yay! Somebody reads this!)

  3. My wife and I are attending a KB reunion in Ligao this weekend. On Day 2 we make a trek to Kawa Kawa. I really look forward to the experience after reading your blog.

    1. Hi Mr Sevilla! I hope you will enjoy the scenery and the fresh air like I did! Thank you for dropping by my little blog :)

  4. What is the do's and don'ts in kawa kawa hill??