However, superstars do fade but this City continues to strive and shine in their own way. Known as the City of Springs , this city has more than thirty natural springs providing a rich source of drinking and irrigation waters. Its most prominent natural landmark, Mt. Iriga , is a favorite mountain climbing destination of local moutaineers and hikers.
Too bad I wasn't in a backpack-mode that time that I could only visit some landmarks in passing and most notable of these is the Iriga Church. Locally known as St. Anthony Padua Church, the first church was burned in 1585. The second church was damaged by a typhoon and destroyed by fire. The third church was constructed in 1727 but was also burned in 1841. The present church together with two belfries was constructed shortly afterwards.
More than the facade, the interiors of this church is truly amazing with its decorated ceilings and stained glasses. Moreso, there are several beautiful paintings hanging in the church's walls. And after attending mass, you may want to spend sometime in Tinagba Park located just in front of the church. Here are some photos:
How to go there? By Air, from Manila to the Pili Airport is a 45 to 1 hour travel. Iriga can be reached within 30 minute by jeep or by bus. From Legazpi, which is 55 minutes from Manila, Iriga is still an other 45-minute ride.
By Land, there are more than twenty aircon bus companies plying the Manila-Iriga route daily, covering some 400 kilometers and a 10-hour ride, These bus companies have their respective booking offices at the City Aircon Terminal in Iriga and strategic places in Metro Manila.
You may also opt to ride by train. PNR still serves the Bicolanos as the safest mode of transportion to Iriga. This is the railway system that made Iriga the center of trade and commerce for its neighboring towns of Baao, Bato, Buhi and Nabua.
More churches of Bicol in my next posts.