The Town of Oas, Part 1 of 6

Well-traveled men and hobbits, when asked of places to see in Albay, would perhaps not mention the town of Oas. Their list, most likely, will include the regulars: the world-famous Mayon Volcano, the hot springs of Tiwi, and the islands and the beaches of Bacacay. Or perhaps the sunflower farm of Ligao, the baroque church of Daraga, and the city of Legazpi.

Oas, the same quiet and humble town where you grew up, well, is still the same quiet and humble town you will find today. Frankly, there’s nothing fancy to visit in Oas. No well known beaches, rivers, and waterfalls. Neither malls nor movie houses or the luxury of city life. On your trip from Manila to Legazpi, or down south from Sorsogon to Manila, either you just pass by Oas because the highway happened to be there or you stop in Oas because you missed home.

It’s where you go back to your story, trace your roots and relive the joys of friendship and family. You go back to Oas to shake hands with old classmates, friends, and relatives, and hear words said in the native tongue where the sound of R roars fiercely, the vowels are short, and the words fly fast. You go to Oas to see the green fields and smell fresh air, to spend lazy days in the farm where the roosters wake you up and the crickets lull you to sleep.

A visit to Oas is always a homecoming.

Oas is in the Bicol peninsula, southeast of Luzon. From Manila, you can take a bus from the terminals in Cubao or Pasay and embark on a 10-hour journey to the town. Or, to make life easy, get on a plane to Legazpi City, hail a bus at Legazpi’s terminal and hop off at the public market of Oas.

* Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare.


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.