On September 28, 2012, Zac Efron tweeted a photo of himself on a motorbike and announced that he just rode up the lava flow of Mayon Volcano. The same day, the pic was scattered all over FB and on to my newsfeed ^^ (Photo from http://www.facebook.com/legazpicity ) He looks hot. Ok, seriously, that’s sooo not what we’re gonna talk about coz that was like so last month. *clears throat* Well, these pics are sooo last year but I’m kinda hoping you’ll still find them interesting considering the fact that I’m not so good at taking photos. ^^
The Mayon Volcano (Beautiful Volcano) in Albay is considered as one of the greatest wonders of the world because of its near-perfect cone shape. Legend has it that Daragang Magayon (Beautiful Maiden) had a face so lovely, she captured the hearts of plenty of men from faraway tribes including those of the handsome but haughty hunter, Pagtuga (eruption) and Ulap (cloud), who was the lucky one to earn the love of the sought-after maiden. Ulap asked for Magayon’s hand in marriage and while he went away to tell his people to gather the supplies for the festivity, the bitter and enraged Pagtuga kidnapped Magayon’s father Makusog (strong) and declared that unless Magayon agreed to marry him instead, war will be waged and her father will die. Ulap then came to the rescue and he and Pagtuga fought each other in a battle where Ulap won; unfortunately, as Magayon ran to triumphantly throw her arms around her man, she was struck by a stray arrow. As Ulap sorrowfully held his dying bride-to-be in his arms, one of Pagtuga’s men struck Ulap at the back with his spear . Makusog slew the henchman but it was all too late; the young lovers were dead and instead of a joyous celebration, there was mourning all over the land. The young unfortunate lovers were buried together.
As the days went by, the people noticed their grave rising higher and higher along with stifled roars and earth tremors and red-hot rocks which burst from the crater. Whenever these rumblings were heard, it was believed that the angry Pagtuga is trying to disturb the volcano so that it would return back the gifts which he gave to Magayon (it was custom then to bury the dead with possessions such as presents). On cloudy days when the tip of the volcano is kissed by hovering clouds, the natives claim that Ulap was kissing Magayon… and then the rain would follow, dribbling down on the Mayon Volcano’s perfect slant signifying the tears of the heartbroken Pagtuga.
The name Magayon was later shortened to Mayon.
I’m a sucker for romantic stories! And I simply adore places with fascinating stories behind them. But whether or not you were moved by my synopsis of the old folks’ tale (that we were told a million times since we were kids), you are bound to admire this charming view of the Mayon Volcano. Just a couple of hours drive away from Naga City lies this amazing wonder of nature… The nearest possible place where you can observe Mayon Volcano and at the same time still be far enough to appreciate it’s shape is at Cagsawa Ruins. The Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of the Franciscan church from the 18th century, wrecked by the volcanic eruption in 1814 – an existing reminder of the perils of living within such close proximity to a volcano, even one as lovely as the Mayon.
So am I telling you to visit Legaspi City just so you can stare at the volcano at a closer distance? Possibly. But there are plenty of other things to enjoy while in Legaspi City as well. There’s the Albay Park and Wildlife which is obviously a zoo with caged animals – nothing too exotic really but it kinda brings back childhood memories of my first-ever terrifying trip to Manila Zoo.lol Also, there’s the Lignon Hill Nature Park… behind Albay Park and Wildlife. The observation station on top affords people with the best spot to view Mayon Volcano and Legaspi City. There, you’ll find nature trails as well as a zip line (which I absolutely did not try since I love myself too much lol). If you don’t have a car with you, then I suggest you prepare yourselves for a long walk to the top. Be sure to bring some sunscreen, an umbrella, water and insect repellent if insects find you irresistible, like me. ^^ The Embarcadero de Legaspi is a major waterfront development which fronts the main harbor. There, you’ll find shops and restaurants; don’t expect too much though as the place is still being developed. You can also see a great view of the Mayon Volcano from there. A tip: If you’re planning to have lunch there, be sure you order some seafood. I mean seriously, you’re near a body of water so you know what that means, right? Fresh Catch! So order some fish, squid, crabs, shellfish… whatever… drink a fruit shake and enjoy lunching Al fresco. ^^ Sometimes when we’re in Legaspi, boyfie carries a cooler at the back of his pick-up coz he always drops by the fish market at Embarcadero to purchase some big fishes and prawns to bring back to home.
Did you know that The Philippines produces 85% of the world’s Abaca? In Bicol, you’ll find plenty of Abaca-based products to bring home as souvenirs. Woven designer purses kinda makes me uneasy with their crazy price tags coz I know that I can purchase plenty of cheaper stylish Abaca handbags of every imaginable color in Legaspi. Other stuff made from Abaca include slippers, fans, mats, wallets, furniture, decors…etc
So there you have it, another blog-worthy destination to consider if you ever find yourself in Cam Sur. 🙂