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April 29th 2007
Published: April 29th 2007
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after the satisfying trip to donsol, sorsogon and having encountered with the gentle giant, we proceeded to daraga, albay. our first stop... OUR LADY OF THE GATE CHURCH.

as we entered the old church, i felt a little bit nostalgic. seeing the old church and its antiquity, i remember our church in barcelona, sorsogon, which is similar to that church as to its antiquity. inside the old chuch u will see the different "santos" in the altar. i silently prayed inside and thanks the Lord for all the wonderful things that are happening during our trip and for keeping us safe in our travel.

based on my research, the our lady of the gate church was built in 1773 on top of a hill by Franciscan Missionaries. the church is a priceless relic for art enthusiast because of its rich baroque architectural designs carefully carved on volcanic rocks, and its facade gives the church its special distinction from the other churches. it contains archeological relics of "santos" and rare religious seals ingeniously carved throughout the face of the church.

the construction of the church was really impressive and amazing.

after the church visit, our second stop was the Cagsawa Ruins. it's around 3 pm and halleluyahh... the sky is clear and the majestic mayon volcano appears to be perfect. thank God we saw the peak of the volcano. according to some tradition, once you saw the peak of the volcano you have to make a wish and it will come true. i immediately make a wish for my self and for my family. my wish.....ahmmm... secret......... hehehehehe

Mayon Volcano is spectacular, indeed, the region's crown jewel. no wonder it is labeled as one of the great wonders of the world. so majestic and beautiful.. i love watching the volcano. it makes me proud to be a bicolano.

i learned from my readings that the worst recorded eruption of the volcano occured on February 1, 1814 where 1,200 people from the nearby town of Cagsawa sought refuge inside the local church, but had lost their lives, as the whole town including the church was completely destroyed by the lava. only the church tower remained standing. having learned these facts gave me some unusual feeling. imagine im standing on the same spot where thousand of people were buried.

looking at the volcano, i can't imagine that this majestic and almost perfect volcano is capable of destroying thousand lives of people. it's the question that popped out in my mind. well, only God knows the answer...

to this day, the Cagsawa Ruins still stand upright as an eerie reminder of the power behind the Mayon's beauty.

before we leave, i took one last look of the Mayon. she is really a beauty to behold. and behind that beauty is a power that no one knows when will it shows.

what a satisfying trip. ALBAY is really a place that you will experience a genuine, exotic and unique adventure. to the albayanons, be proud and say with feelings... "DAGOS KAMO!!!! DIGDI NA KAMO!!!!"

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