Every September, the streets of Naga are filled with Marian devotees to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Bicol’s patron saint. It is a joyful fluvial procession with thousands of pilgrims from all over the country paying homage to the 275-year-old image that has been said to have performed numerous miracles.
Now a bustling city, Naga has become one of the sought-after destinations for business and leisure travelers. For those love to come close to nature or to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the Bicol Province, there is no lack of things to enjoy and explore in this city.
History, Culture, Churches
Tourists can go on a Naga history and culture tour to visit Plaza Quince Martires, which dazzles with lights at night time, and Plaza Rizal that offers wide open spaces under lush greenery to meet with locals enjoying a leisurely day out at the park. Those who want to know more about the proud history of the city (founded by the Spanish in the 15th century) can stroll through the halls of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary Museum, the Peñafrancia Museum, and the University of Nueva Caceres Museum.
Fans of architecture and centuries- old churches can visit the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Peñafrancia Church, and Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñarancia where the miraculous image is housed.
Those who seek adrenaline-spiked thrills can enjoy the Naga adventure tours. Only 15 minutes away from the city is the Isarog National Park—home to a myriad of flora and fauna species. Located within the 2,000-meter high mountain, the park is said to be one of the best forest reserve areas in the South East Asian region.
The attractions are so diverse that travellers can even have a choice of hot or cold waters to swim in. Those who want to cool down in clear waters can enjoy a refreshing dip at the Malabsay Falls or experience the rejuvenating powers of natural hot springs at the Panicuason Hot Spring Resort. The resort also offers extreme attractions such as zip-lining or bike zip-lining. For additional thrills, the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex in the neighboring town of Pili is a must-visit spot for fun wakeboarding sessions.
At Home in Luxury
At the end of a fun day of exploring the beautiful and historic Pilgrimage city, you can enjoy a relaxing stay at the conveniently-located new boutique hotel right in the heart of the city.The Carmen Hotel is the only hotel in Naga Downtown (Naga Centro) that provides quality amenities such as swimming pool, restaurant, fitness center, spa, and three function rooms. Its Roof Deck offers a unique view of the Naga City skyline—perfect for lounging in the afternoons or evenings.
The guest rooms are lavishly appointed with imported linens and top-of-the-line bathroom fixtures. Guests who need to catch up on their business can visit the fully-equipped Business Center. Traveler’s tip: The Carmen also has a strategic location where you can take crowd photos of the Traslacion during the Penafrancia Festival without having to join the throng of devotees.
Visit www.thecarmenhotel.com.ph for more information about The Carmen Hotel.