Sleepy Little City of Legaspi

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Asia » Philippines » Albay » Legazpi City
June 12th 2009
Published: June 19th 2009
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Happy Independence Day! The Philippines still got a long long way to go to know the real meaning of nationalism.
Don’t worry, I won’t be writing anything about my frustrations and all that, I just wanted to say that I’m proud to be a Filipino anyway … always will be. And besides, the public holiday gave us this long weekend which we intend to spend away from the chaotic city living & the H1N1 scare!

We boarded the Legaspi bound plane at 6:00 in the Morning; Ger, Ren, Mark and I will be the first ones to arrive in Legaspi and four more people will be on their way later on. It was starting to rain in Manila when we left but it was bright and sunny when we arrived in Legaspi (surprisingly on time after our plane took off 30 minutes behind schedule).

Please fasten your seat belts and prepare for landing … and ladies & gentlemen, we have a very clear view of Mt. Mayon at our left side”. What would you expect? The next sound I heard were buckles clicking, the seat belts went off and people went rushing to our side! There was Mt. Mayon at last, standing majestically amongst the whole of Legaspi. I didn’t expect it would be that enormous, so lovely! Lucky us for having clear skies that day.

Mt. Mayon is the main landmark of the province and is the most active volcano in the Philippines. It is known for its “Perfect Cone” and it’s most devastating eruption in 1814 where it buried the whole town of Cagsawa. Only the town’s church bell tower remained above the surface after the flare-up.

Mark’s cousin (Kuya Harry) who is from Camalig Albay, met us at the airport and drove us around. Traffic-less roads, uncrowded streets, and no smoke-belching buses … I love the province! It feels so great to be away from the city even for just a few days. We made a stop at Vista Al Mayon Pensionne to make reservations for our accommodation the next day and headed to Mark’s relative’s residence where we waited for the second group’s arrival.

We were warmly received by Mark’s relatives in Camalig; the familiar provincial hospitality ~ it means they’d try to make you as comfortable as they can and make you eat and eat and eat. I couldn’t help but
Fruit VendorFruit VendorFruit Vendor

Camalig, Albay
miss my own provincial home. We also got to walk around town and ate lots and lots of Sorbetes (which we call ‘dirty ice cream’) then went back to the house to have more food before Ren and I finally gave in to the sofa’s invitation for a little nap.

Right after lunch, we rented another car to pick up the second group - Martin, Janet, Cecile and her daughter CJ (who was very excited about her first plane ride) and to drive us around Albay. After the group re-united, we headed to our first stop ~ the Cagsawa ruins, where the remaining church’s bell tower is located after one of those infamous Mayon eruptions buried the whole town. There we met Kuya Eduardo who impressed us with his artistic photography and the fact that he didn’t care how much we pay him when we asked “How much?” … a really nice guy. There we’re shops at the area as well, selling native souvenir items in really cheap prices. I got an Abaca bag worth 250 pesos which is probably worth 1000 pesos in Manila!

Next stop was to Ligñon Hill Nature Park to try their Zipz Factor

Camalig Market
Zipline. It wasn’t very safe for our car to go up the steep hill so we had to go up on foot. Before our climb, we had another unexpected educational tour around Pot-Pot Cave at the base of the Hill with A-te Jean, a guide. The part of the tunnel we went in was one of the original 5 exits which were used by the Japanese during the Japanese - American war back in 1940’s. It served as the storage place for food, ammunitions, and cars (forgot how they managed to get them in that tiny tunnel). It was just a small tunnel and the tour just lasted for a few minutes. Off we go uphill to the Zipline afterwards, which took us 20 - 30 minutes. The zip line experience was really fun! I liked it better than the ones I’ve tried in Tagaytay and Subic. There was actually nothing more to do aside from the zip line so we just took more photos with the ever present Mt. Mayon in the background and then walked back down the hill barefoot.

Our early dinner was in Pares King which offers Bicol specialties, then Manong Pitong (our driver for
Dried Fish VendorDried Fish VendorDried Fish Vendor

Camalig Market
the day) and Kuya Harry drove us to the bus terminal for our next destination ~ Naga, Camarines Sur for the much anticipated wakeboarding.

Uh, uhm … hmmm … I think someone developed some sort of fascination towards Kuya Harry (nah, not me)! No wonder 'cause he's such a nice fella. He must have been relieved to see our noisy group off … for today

The two hours trip seemed so long … I eventually gave up trying to sleep and just stared alternately at the occasional sight of tiny villages and the darkness outside …

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12



a.k.a. dirty ice cream
Cagsawa RuinsCagsawa Ruins
Cagsawa Ruins

Mark, Ren, Me, Cecile, CJ, Ger, Martin, Janet, Kuya Harry

Pot-Pot Cave
Lingnon HillLingnon Hill
Lingnon Hill

way to the zipline

Ger doing the zipline

21st March 2011
The Plane & Mt. Mayon

Super photo - looks like something from a newspaper or travel magazine reporting on Mt Mayon!

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