Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Albay: Mayon Volcano, Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church, Lignon Hill & Balay Cena Una

Mayon Volcano as seen from Lignon Hill
It was a sunny day in Albay, perfect day to catch a glimpse of Mayon Volcano! It isn't my first time to visit Albay. But seeing Mayon again is something to look forward to.

We took a morning flight to Legazpi and were met at the airport by our guide from Donsol EcoTour for our tour around Legazpi City and neighboring Daraga.

Cagsawa Ruins
We first visited the Cagsawa Ruins. Unfortunately, a bridge going to the former parking area was washed away during a recent typhoon. So we had to cross a makeshift bridge to get there.

This view from the Cagsawa Ruins is probably the most popular shot of the Mayon Volcano, with the ruins of the Cagsawa belfry in the foreground. The Cagsawa Ruins are what remain of the former town that was buried by the 1814 eruption of Mayon.

Daraga Church
From Cagsawa, we proceeded to the Daraga Church. The facades, belfry and baptistry of the Daraga Church are designated as a National Cultural Treasure. I've always wanted to take a photo of the Daraga Church with the Mayon Volcano in the background. But in the many times that I visited, there were lots of vehicles parked in front of the church. I finally was given an opportunity during this trip! It is testament to the harmonious relationship between architecture and nature that made our country the Pearl of the Orient then.

Balay Cena Una
Lunch was at Balay Cena Una in Daraga, a beautiful example of adaptive reuse, reminding us that old architecture can be made economically-viable in the 21st century.

With Alberto Molero and Nellie Huang of WildJunket.com at Lignon Hill
Our last stop before proceeding to Donsol, Sorsogon was Lignon Hill. It was my first time up the hill. And it was definitely a revelation since it provided a really majestic view of the Mayon Volcano towering over verdant rice fields below. It's probably the best view of Mayon!

More photos of Albay, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur in the Ivan About Town FB page.

Thank you to Director Verna Buensuceso and Christie Navarro of the Department of Tourism Team Europe for arranging the trip of Nellie Huang and Alberto Molero of WildJunket.com to Bicol! Thank you also to Director Maria Ravanilla and Amy Detera of Department of Tourism Bicol Region for her valuable assistance and warm hospitality!
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