The Bicol region, around 300 miles to the south of Manila, is largely untouched by mass tourism. You can drive from the capital but it’s easier and quicker to fly to Legazpi City. The tiny airport is dominated by the perfect cone of the Mayon Volcano, at 2,463 metres the most active in the Philippines. The top is clear today and I notice wispy puffs of smoke coming from the crater. It’s one of only two active volcanoes in Bicol, the other being Bulusan, in the south of the region.